Finals Week

March 4, 2013

Darius Fletcher woke from a dream of Elvis Presley in a leotard. Don’t be cruel, sang the
King of Rock and Roll. Lisa’s ringtone. The blue glow of the cable box said 3:55 AM. Why
was she calling?

Fletcher gently slid his arm from beneath the mass of blonde hair lying next to
him. Mary Beth was a light sleeper. He picked up his cell phone and padded out to the
living room.

“Hello?” Light from the Starbuck’s sign across the street filtered in through the
blinds, painting the apartment’s shag an ugly fluorescent green. It reminded him of St
Patrick’s day.

“Good morning, sleepy head.”

A dark chasm of dread open at the sound of her voice. “Lisa. What’s wrong?” She was halfway across the country, at the University of Chicago. “Why are you calling?”

A sharp squeal of laughter. “Oh, no! Did I wake you? Gosh darn it, I forgot about
the time change thing again.”

“What’s wrong?” he repeated.

She emitted a huff of impatience at the question, like a miniature freight train. The little engine that could. “Nothing’s wrong, Honey. It’s just that…well, I have some good news, and I have a little bad news.”

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