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A glimpse into the life of college students sitting up on a late night.

By S.N. EvansPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
Photo by Alek Olson on Unsplash

The trio sat in the cozy dorm lounge at a well-worn round table with cups of caffeine and snacks scattered about their books, papers, and laptops. Erin worked on an essay for her history final, typing and retyping the same handful of sentences in different ways, which is the definition of insanity. Jud attempted to review the entirety of his Literature class’s curriculum. His professor had given the class no direction on what to study for the final exam. Rily sat cross-legged, flipping through her sketchbook, disgusted at her lack of inspiration. She had a week to complete a final sketch. She had an idea at the beginning of the year, but now it seemed too simple to work. Tearing the page she had spent the last three hours sketching, she crumpled it up in a ball and lobbed it at the nearest waste can.

“Haven’t you been working on that for like hours now?” Jud questioned, looking up from his scattered notes at the sound of movement.

“Weeks,” Rily groaned, jumping up to retrieve the crumpled page from the trash, realizing how much work she had put into it. How’s the studying going?”

“It would have been easier if Dr. Gray had directed us on what to study. The testing time only lasts an hour,” he said, running his hands through his shaggy blond hair.

“Will you two zip it?” Erin frowned, slamming the backspace on her laptop multiple times.

“If you want to be alone, go to your room.” Jud frowned. Or the library.” He glared at her, his irritation beginning to boil over.

“Sorry,” Erin apologized, “It’s just–”

“Dr. Weiss is brutal in his expectations?” Rily offered.

“Yes,” Erin whined, “This final essay is worth a quarter of our grade, and I haven’t done the best on the last two tests.”

“At least you know what to do; I must review a year's worth of course notes willy-nilly. I think my brain is cramping.”

“Your brain can’t cramp,” Rily chuckled, “It’s just fat and electricity.”

“Don’t tease me, I’m too stressed.” Jud frowned.

“I need a rough sketch for approval by the end of this weekend,” Rily offered.

Erin hammered on her keyboard with a ferocity that startled the other two, “Ugh, at this rate, none of us are sleeping tonight.”

“Not likely,” Rily commemorated, smoothing out her crumpled sheet of paper.

“You know what we need?” Jud questioned, jumping to his feet and putting his palms on the table, “Perkins.”

The three of them exchanged glances before nodding in agreement; they needed a change of scenery, fresh caffeine sources, and greasy food. It might not have been cost-effective or healthy, but it was good for the soul. Packing their things, they slung their weight packs onto their backs and exited the dorm lounge, walking toward Erin’s dilapidated jeep.

“This thing is only held together by duct tape and prayer,” Jud chuckled. I can take a look at her if you like.”

“More like some sort of demon pact.” Rily jabbed.

“Hey, you two knock it off. At least I have a vehicle.”

“Can you really call it a vehicle if it’s this unsafe?” Jud opened the passenger door and entered, waiting for the other two to do the same.

“If you don’t think it’s safe, you can walk.” Erin playfully growled, “Don’t listen to them, baby.” She cooed, patting the dashboard, “We all know they don’t mean those awful things.” Turning the ignition, the engine sputtered a couple of times before eventually starting.

“There we go,” Erin cooed. Everyone buckled?” she questioned, not sparing a moment to double-check for closed doors before shifting the jeep into reverse.

The drive to Perkin’s was quick. It was a few blocks from the campus but was further than any of them wanted to trek with their backpacks. Pulling into the small diner, they noticed how empty the restaurant was this late at night. A neon sign in the window proclaimed it was open, and a single man sat at the counter with a mug of coffee and a book. The bell rang as the trio entered, sitting in one of the booths, reluctant to drag out their work. A woman dressed in classic diner attire approached them.

“What’cha having kids?” The waitress questioned, pulling a notepad from her apron.

Jud let the two girls order first, listening as Erin ordered an espresso and Rily ordered a soda. When it came time for Jud, he felt indecisive but ultimately ordered a coffee. With their drink order in, the waitress brought them menus and waited for them to choose. They waited in silence after ordering, unsure if they should start working again or take a break for conversation. They were in no hurry. The diner was open all night. As their food came, they settled in and continued to work.

PsychologicalYoung AdultShort StoryMicrofiction

About the Creator

S.N. Evans

Christian, Writer of Fiction and Fantasy; human. I have been turning Caffeine into Words since 2007. If you enjoy my work, please consider liking, following, reposting on Social Media, or tipping. <3

God Bless!

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  • Anna 2 months ago

    Brilliantly written😊

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