A college girl sits what proves to be the hardest exam of her life.
The - Sturm und Drang - was a literary movement born in Germany during the last decades of the 18th Century. Wolgang Goethe, Jacob Reinhold Lenz and Friedrich Maximilian Klinger are counted among its most famous members
"Sarah? Hey Sarah? A little help please, please, you've got to help me!"
Sarah pulled the brake of the time machine, and felt her mind being catapulted from the sorrowful land of young Werther to the college class where dozens of undergraduates were biting their nails.
Her friend Chloe popped out of the bench ahead, looking at her with the eyes of a rabbit stuck in the middle of an highway.
"Gimme a minute, Chloe, and I'll give you my notes. Can't you wait?"
"Waiting? Thirty minutes left and I don't know a damn thing!"
"Forty minutes left."
Chloe gazed nervously at the clock that hovered over the class like a bomb hanging by a silken thread. "Yes, yes, but I'll be left for dead if you don't hurry up!"
Sarah snorted and plunged again into the book. That was Chloe for you: skipping classes to chase pants, just to beg for help at the last minute. Sarah's eyes rushed to the last paragraph, slaloming in and out of words and sentences. On the last page, a glint of gold caught her attention. A shiver ran through her spine with the speed of a bullet train. She gazed at the golden flecks floating on the sea of scribbles. She reached for her forehead. They've fallen again... I've lost them again.
"Sarah. Are you done hon'?"The air liquefied and her friend's word reached her as if they were underwater. "Sarah? Are you all right?"
Sarah felt a hand pulling her out of her thoughts and took a deep breath. "I—am sorry. There you go. My notes. I mean—"
Chloe giggled. "Well, well. Then Sarah's too a part of the human race"
"I'm sorry?" She felt a itch on her nose and discovered a trickle of sweat running down from her forehead.
Her friend waved her hand dismissively "You're always eerily calm before an exam: cold-blooded even when everyone's else is shitting their pants. It's the first time I see your ass on edge" Sara forced her lips in a smile "Oh I'm not worried about the exam. Not at all. There are— worse things in life."
"What do you mean worst things? How could possible ever be worst things than to fail an exam? If I don't pass this I'm gonna be cloistered for the rest of my life! No more boy—friends. No videogames, music, concerts. And I'll have to trash the tickets I've got for that trip to Barcelona!"
"I wish I could have those kind of problems, Chloe. I really do."
Chloe's eyes darkened "You could never have these kind of problems, sweetheart. You're smart, you could remember Shakespeare's entire work off the top of your head. And let's not speak about your pretty head, which makes a lot of other heads turn. Not to mention the fact that your parents've got cash."
Chloe's words ballasted her heart and Sarah lowered her gaze. "I may not have much time, though—"
"Don't we have thirty minutes or so? And I've spent the last ten being an asshole, didn't I?"
Sarah smiled "Yes, you're right. Could you—," she stretched a hand, hardening her muscles in an effort to hide her shaking "Would you let me help you revising?"
"Ooooh Sarah! You were a life saver!" Sarah flinched as Chloe threw her arms around her neck.
"You did it?"
"Thanks to you I did! Without your help, I wouldnt've been able to even put the pen into contact with the paper! It's time to celebrate! I know just the right place for it, and you'll be my guest."
Sarah froze, letting the flow of students who were still swimming in adrenaline walk past her. "I am— I am afraid that drink will have to wait," muttered with her throat in an icy grip.
"Waddaya mean? The exam's over. Hey, are you crying?"
"I've still got one exam left, Chloe. At the hospital."
"The hospital?" Sarah hugged her friend and felt her muscles hardening like steel.
"Yes. A cancer examination. And that's one I cannot afford to fail."