6: Let's Get Down to Studying

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Avery's view

Today is Wednesday and I'm scared as fuck.

Sure, I'm prepared. I have all the chapter outlines and lecture slides printed out and I have all the terms on flashcards.

Right after sixth period ends I fast walk over to the library, find a nice quiet table near a corner with windows that let's natural light come in. I unpack my bag and put everything I think we will need on the table.

I check my phone and its 2:50. Class ended five minutes ago. I'm probably here really early, it might take her a while to get here.

I grab one of my notebooks and flip it open and get a pencil. I start sketching to pass the time.

"Wow, nice tiger. Didn't know you were an artist," says Ezra starling me.

"I'm not," I whisper out.

"Sure could have fooled me. Did you just start drawing that today?" She asks sitting next to me.

"Yeah, I started when I got here," I say trying not to get nervous from her close proximity.

Ezra checks her phone, it shows 3:05. "Have you been here for twenty minutes?" She asks raising her eyebrow at me.

"Um no, more like fifteen minutes. It took my five minutes to walk here," I blurt out. Great, that probably makes me sound lame, why would I come here so fast?

"Sorry I kept you waiting, I didn't think you would come here right after class," she says touching my shoulder.

I look down so she doesn't notice my face going red, "Its okay. No worries."

She unexpectedly reaches over and pushes a few strands of hair out of my face, behind my ear. "I like being able to see your face," she blurts out making me blush.

"We should start tutoring now," I say not looking at her.

She chuckles and grabs her textbook," Okay, let's start learning about chemistry, as if there wasn't already so much between us," she mumbles out.

I widen my eyes at that comment and try to wrap my head around it, "oh you meant like molecular forces of attraction, right."

"First of all, that's not what I meant. Second of all, what are those?" She asks seriously.

"You don't know what it is?" I ask her in disbelief.

"Nope," she says with all seriousness in her face.

"Okay, let me grab a page from chapter one, it's in there, then we can go to out current chapter," I say looking for the outline notes.

"We will probably have to stay on chapter one today, to be honest. I don't know shit," she says.

"I really doubt that," I say.

Ezra grabs her backpack and fumbles around looking for something. She grabs a test booklet and shows me her recent chemistry class that we got back in class.

She got a 20% on the test, "I guess Mrs. Simons didn't tell you how stupid I am at chemistry."

"You're not stupid, okay. Maybe you just need to be taught a different way. Maybe you're studying habits aren't that good," I explain, "tell me your steps for preparing for tests."

"What steps? I have none," she replies.

"You don't even read the textbook?" I ask in disbelief again.

"I just don't really have time," she says looking away from me.

"What do you mean? What do you do?" I ask.

"I have to work," she says.

"Okay, but you can ask your boss or manager to give you less hours or switch days with your coworkers to make time to study," I suggest.

"I can't do that. I need to work all those hours. I need the money," she replies.

"Why do you need the money?" I ask.

She sighs before saying, "You wouldn't get it. Look, I appreciate your help, but this probably won't work. I should just tell Mrs. Simons to get you out of this tutoring thing."

She packs her stuff away really fast and walks out of the library. She leaves me there so confused.

What the fuck just happened?

Before I know it, I'm running out of the library and catching up to Ezra. I grab her arm to make her stop and she turns around to glare at me with her cold eyes.

"Let me go, Avery," she says through gritted teeth.

"No," I blurt out surprising her and me.

"What do you mean no? Are you really going to try to hold me here," she says looking at me in such a harsh way that makes me want to go crawl in a whole.

But something inside me gets angry and defiant. I get a random boost of confidence and say, "I'm not letting go of you, Ezra. I know you can pass Chemistry. I just know it. You're not dumb, okay. You just need to figure out a way to study in between work or during work without getting caught. I can help you, Ezra," I explain.

Her face softens as I speak, "why would you do this for me? Why are you trying so hard to help me?" She asks quietly.

"Because... because i have hope in you. I know you can do it, Ezra. You're worth it," I say.

Ezra unexpectedly takes a few steps closer to me and embraces me in a tight hug.

I wrap my arms around her and say, "I'm here for you Ezra. I'm not giving up on you, I promise."

"You shouldn't promise dangerous things like that. Sometimes we can't keep promises," she whispers in my shoulder.

I pull away from her and lift my pinkie finger up, "I promise not to leave or give up on you. And I sure as hell will keep my promise Ezra."

She stares at me intently trying to read my face and slowly raises her pinkie finger. I grab her pinkie with mine and smile.

She chuckles, "Wow, I can't believe I'm doing a pinkie swear with you."

"I guess you're not as tough as you think you are. Looks like you have a soft spot," I say poking her shoulder.

Ezra smirks, "Where did this playful side come from?"

I shrug and turn around to walk back to the library. I notice she isn't following me and turn around.

"Why are you just standing there? Aren't you coming?" I ask smirking at her.

Ezra chuckles and walks with me back into the library.

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