He skidded into the library, pushing Angela out of the way of the door. “HA! Victory!” He plopped onto the floor, panting. “I earned that fair and square, I mean, other than the fact that someone had the severe upper hand in that race. I won more than fair and square.” He took another deep breath. “I won despite the odds!”

Angela smiled and clapped sarcastically. His eyes had more of a spark of life in them, still not much, and it was quickly fading, but anything was progress. “Congratulations!” She patted him on the shoulder and pulled him up off the floor. “Coffee? I took a couple packs of maple syrup from the pancake place down the road last time I went that we can use for sweetener, to spice it up a bit.” She did jazz hands and tossed one of the packets at him.

“Your idea of spicing it up is over the top, I don’t know if I can handle it!” He dramatically put a hand over his heart. “The very thought makes me dizzy!”

“Oh shut up and make your coffee,” she teased. “I could’ve saved these all for me, you know.”

His smile flickered, but he quickly pasted it back on. She should have saved them. She doesn’t exactly have enough food to share with you, you’re taking away from the food she needs to live! “Thanks!” When she looked away, he tossed it back into her bag, shoveling the old chunky brown sugar into his coffee instead.

“So, looking forward to graduation?” He passed her the milk powder as he stirred a spoonful into his own. She thought for a moment, swirling the maple syrup into her cup. “I don’t know. I’m happy to be over with college, that’s for sure, but I have no idea what I’m going to do after that. They’re going to kick me out of campus, cause I can’t live here unless I’m a student.” She flinched as she said ‘kick me out’ as if they brought back an unpleasant memory. “I don’t have enough money to rent an entire apartment, not even close. And living out on the streets, that’s pretty dangerous. I mean, I did it before, but I definitely don’t want to do it again.”

She sat down on the couch and took a sip of her still boiling coffee, and patted the seat next to her, beckoning Adri to join her.

“How are you not melting your mouth off?” He stared incredulously as she drained half the cup. “Mine’s still molten lava, and I heated it for less time than you did.” Rude question to as- He readjusted his focus again, focusing on cooling his drink.

“What on earth do you mean? It’s freezing.” She had pulled her arms deeper into her hoodie sleeves, shivering.

He put an arm around her shoulder, pulling her closer. “It’s a bit chilly, sure, but it’s not that bad.” He looked her over carefully. “Are you ok? Are you eating enough?”

She crossed her arms defensively. “I’m fine! It’s just a bit cold, nothing to worry about.”

Not quite sure he believed her, but not wanting to push the matter and offend her, he changed the subject. “So, about after college. I’ve been thinking. I have been saving up for moving out, and I also only really have enough for half rent of an apartment. Therefore,” he paused for effect, “if you want to, of course, I think we could maybe try to rent an apartment together and share rent. For economic reasons, of course.” He hastily took a sip of his coffee and cursed as the boiling coffee scorched his throat. That’s a dumb thing to say! You ran it over in your head a thousand times, and still were dumb enough to suggest it? She’s going to think you’re a creep! She’ll-He struggled to block out the voice.

“Uh, that sounds alright!” She grinned and pulled out a notebook. “Where do you think would be the best spot to find a place? What sort of apartments are cheapest, but also not totally crap”