11 Nov

Paulina had barely moved in three days except to reach from under the covers to grab the food and drink the water that her roommates left beside her bed. They’d knock on the door, and she would turn her  back to them as they tentatively entered. Sometimes they would sit a while, touching her shoulder, muttering platitudes that she knew they meant but that she didn’t want to hear.

Tissues covered the floor in a half circle where she lay. It was easier to sleep, to try to forget it all. But now she was slept out, cried out, worn out… kicked out. She lifted herself out of bed and saw that next to the sandwich that Martin had left, was also a card.

She opened it and read, “Dear Paulina, I want to make sure you know we know you didn’t do it. We told Dean Johnston that you’re a really hard worker. That you would never cheat. He’ll meet with you, if you want. I think he’ll listen and I think it’s a good idea. You don’t deserve this.  xo, Martin.”

Paulina shook her head, pushed her lank hair out of her eyes, and fell back into the bed. She wished, with every fiber of her being, that what Martin said was true. She pulled the covers back over her face.

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