Deeply Destructive
Author:Lucy Covington

Finally, I got up and left the theatre. The things I’d talked about with Justin were still on my mind. Maybe Justin was right when he said that I could still find a way to convince Dr. Klaxton to give me another chance. If I was telling Justin he needed to go after his dreams and not settle for anything less, then I needed to take my own advice.


As soon as I got back to my dorm room, I sat down at my computer and opened the paper I’d written for Dr. Klaxton. I read through it. It was good. Better even than I’d first thought. I went through it, fleshing out some of my ideas, adding a couple of new arguments, moving the pieces of the paper around until everything fit together more seamlessly.


I had the room to myself – Rachel was out with a girl she knew from high school who was going to Boston University. She would have been proud of me for working, though. When I’d gotten home from Justin’s earlier, she hadn’t been too excited to see me. She’d lectured me about how I needed to let her know if I was staying overnight with Justin, so that she didn’t worry.


I’d agreed, but I could tell she’d wanted to say more, probably about how I needed to be careful not to get so caught up in a guy I’d just met, especially when I’d just started school. I knew she was thinking about how I’d been late to class and how I’d missed my shot at getting one of those research assistant positions.


Wait until I told her about what I was about to do.


Before I could stop myself or rethink my plan, or come up with a million reasons why it wasn’t a good idea, I printed out a copy of my new paper, placed it neatly into a folder, then took off across campus toward the science building.


I knew there wouldn’t be anyone there at this time on a weekend. But I didn’t care. I was going to slip my paper under Dr. Klaxton’s office door, so it would be waiting for him first thing on Monday morning. What was the worst that could happen?


He would think I was psycho and hate me? He already hated me. It couldn’t get any worse.


The campus was deserted, with most people either out in the city or partying at the frat houses or holed up in the library studying. It was cool again tonight, and I walked briskly in an effort to warm up.


The science building wasn’t locked, but there was no one inside. In fact, the halls were completely empty. It was a little bit spooky, and I decided to drop my paper off and get out of there, ASAP.


I climbed the stairs to Dr. Klaxton’s office, taking them two at a time. By the time I got to the top, I was out of breath, and I made a vow to start working out at the campus gym.


Maybe Justin could give me some pointers.


Justin. Just the thought of him made butterflies swarm around my stomach, so I did my best to push him out of my thoughts.


When I got to the office, I looked down at my paper, suddenly unsure what to do.


Should I just slide it under the door? I’d put Dr. Klaxton’s name in the heading, but what if he didn’t get it? Should I have put it in an envelope with his name on it? Probably, but that would entail going back to my room, and now that I was here, I wanted to just do this and get it over with before I chickened out.


I decided to write a note.


I had a brand new package of post-its in my bag, and I pulled them out. It was one of those multi-colored pads, the kind with different colored sheets – yellow, orange, and green. I stared down at it, wondering which color would give me the best chance.


Orange seemed a little too flashy, but maybe that was what it was going to take to get Dr.


Klaxton’s attention. On the other hand, I didn’t want to seem like I was trying too hard.


So maybe the standard yellow was the way to go.


You’re overthinking this, Lindsay, I told myself. I settled on yellow, hoping the conservativeness of the color would help offset the crazy action I was taking by leaving this paper when Dr. Klaxton had pretty much told me to screw off.


I put the pad of post-its up against the door and got ready to write. What was I supposed to say, though? Maybe something pithy like, “You didn’t think you could get rid of me that easily, did you?” No, too psycho. Or I could go for the serious vibe, say something about how I never give up. Oooh, or I could use a quote. Maybe something by a philosopher, something that conveyed the idea that the person who goes the extra mile always ends up—


The office door flew open from the other side, and I pitched forward, almost losing my balance. “Ahhh!” I screamed. The post-its went flying out of my hands and onto the floor, and so did my paper.


“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” a voice said. “You okay?”


I realized I’d tripped right into someone’s arms.


“I’m fine,” I said, extracting myself from the person and taking a step back. I smoothed my clothes.


“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.” It was a boy. Well, a man. No, a boy. I actually couldn’t tell if it was a boy or a man. He was definitely older than me. But not a lot older. Maybe twenty-three or twenty-four?


“It’s okay,” I said. “I just, um…I wasn’t expecting anyone to be here.”


“Yeah, well, usually I’m not. But with labs starting this week, I had a lot of work to do.” He smiled. “I’m Carter.”




He bent down and picked up my paper for me, glancing at it as he handed it back.


“You’re one of Dr. Klaxton’s students?”


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