The Stress of Revision Ch. 01

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Part One.

Jon sighed and gazed out of the window. He had been trying desperately to force some kind of notes that were on the page in front of him into his brain, but his brain was having none of it. Summer exams were looming, and he just couldn’t concentrate. He knew he’d left it too late, and things now were building up so that it looked like he’d be swamped. His first exam, Criminal Law, was a week away. How can you go over and commit to memory twelve weeks of lectures in a week? Well, he had absolutely no idea, but he was going to give it his best shot.

Reluctantly diverting his gaze back on to the page of neatly handwritten notes in front of him, he scanned the section on defences for murder. It wasn’t too difficult really, there was just a lot to read and digest.

He had just got to the bottom of the page when there was a knock on his door, and Niall bounded in, his buddy who lived in the room next door. Niall was a tall lad, who played a lot of rugby and thus due to his muscular nature and easy-going charm was a big hit with the girls in the hall.

“Yo Jonny boy, hows it going?”

“Hey buddy, not bad mate, slowly like, but I’m getting there,” Jon replied. “Just a few more pages for now, and I should be ready for dinner.”

“Alright then mate, I’ll give you a knock yeah? Twenty minutes or so?”

Jon had turned back to his notes already and just put a thumbs up over his shoulder as Niall left the room. How could he have let the situation get so bad that he couldn’t even swap stories with Ni? He couldn’t explain it, apart from the lack of self-discipline he found had dogged his first year at university in Newbridge. When the opportunity had arisen to do work, he usually ended up doing something else. Talking to his mates from back home on Messenger was usually a popular one. Or playing snooker in the snooker room with Dave was another favourite past time.

The next few minutes passed quickly in which he memorised a few cases on self defence as a defence to murder. Slamming his books shut, he left his desk and checked his hair in the mirror. He had a mop of dark blond hair that would never fall straight, so he always used to make it reasonably spiky all over. It was slightly tousled after having ran his fingers through it several times during the afternoon, but he still looked presentable. His hazel eyes then checked his reflection for any new blemishes on his face, and finding none he opened a drawer, looking for a change of clothes. He stripped off his sweatshirt to reveal an athletic upper body that he was rather proud of and changed into a t-shirt to head off to dinner in. Just in case on the vague chance there were some girls he hadn’t met before, he wanted to make a good impression. Baggy sweatshirts had never done much for him in his experience.

Giving himself his customary wink to his reflection, he turned round and made to leave his room. He heard a group walk past outside, chattering away about the previous night’s activities. He refrained from opening his door for a couple of seconds so as to not attract their attention, such was his shyness around people he didn’t particularly know, and then left and knocked on Niall’s door.

“Come in!” he heard faintly. He pushed the door open. He noticed Niall just fiddling around with his laptop. Music if Jon wanted guess. Niall had a great passion for all kinds of music and was forever organising playlists to suit his moods.

“Hey dude, you going foodwards?” Jon asked.

“Yeah man, let me just add these few tracks, and I’ll be with you. Hang tight,” Niall replied. In a few moments they were headed out the door, right after a group of girls from another corridor.

“Yo buddy, check out the chick on the right, the one with the wavy blond hair. She one of us?” Niall whispered in Jon’s ear.

“I think so mate, isn’t she in A33?”

“Aye, could be right there. She’s looking a bit fine today, when did she start looking so hot? Check out that ass!”

Jon gave him a glance and responded, “Well, she’s always been pretty mate. Have you had your eyes shut for the whole year?”

“Must have done, not quite sure how I’ve never really noticed her before if she’s on the bottom corridor,” Niall said, his gaze focussed directly on the girl. “Any idea what her name is mate?”

“Bianca I think,” Jon replied. “She’s on my course if I remember rightly.” The girls in front had just reached the end of the corridor, and as they turned left through the door, Bianca had given the slightest glance over her shoulder. Both guys tried to keep blank expressions on their faces as she looked round.

Once she’d rounded the corner, Niall looked down at Jon. “She’s on your course?” he said incredulously.

“Yeah mate, think so.”

“My God, that girl has definitely got the looks to stun any judge in a court. Blimey, I mean did you see that face when she just turned round?” Niall asked.

“Yes mate, the way you were looking at her, you could probably give quite an accurate canlı bahis sketch of her now.” Jon gave Niall a wink.

“Well, does she know who you are?” Niall said after a short pause.

“No idea, it’s not as if I’ve spoken to her much I guess.”

“Holy Mother of God Jonny boy, you’ve got a great looking girl like that on your course, who lives in the same halls as you, and you’ve not really spoken to her? You not a big fan of group studying or something?”

“Woah buddy, what you trying to say?” Jon retorted.

“Well, correct me if I’m wrong, but we being males, are built to talk to women. Now it’s not every day you come across a bright, gorgeous female like… whatsername… Bianca, and you haven’t ever thought to ask her for exam advice? You and her could get together one evening and swap notes or something.”

Jon looked at Niall with a scared expression.

“OK, OK, so we all know you’ve been broken hearted before and you’re terrified of talking to girls, but you’re not there to try and get in her knickers, you’re just asking for some exam advice. Where’s the harm, or difficulty in that?”

Jon thought about this. It was true, Ni had a point. But where could he get the confidence from to approach an absolute babe like Bianca and ask her for some help? It was true that he was in dire need of a push in the right direction and it would take away some of the loneliness that revision usually brought. But would he be able to focus on Law, rather than Bianca?

“Well, you’ve got a point matey… I’ll think about it, alright?” Jon said, with what he hoped sounded like confidence.

“What’s there to think about? All you have to do is ask her. You know where she lives, she’s on your course, therefore she’ll be revising the same stuff as you. It’s common knowledge that if you work together it’s more fun and you can get more done. Y’never know, you guys might hook up, and live happily ever after,” Niall smiled. “Go on matey, go and give her a knock later on this evening. I’ll drag you round if that helps.”

Jon knew he was backed into a corner. What was the worst that she could say? No? It wasn’t exactly a marriage proposal, just a fellow student asking for a bit of advice. It’s not as if I know anyone else who can help me. What have I got to lose?

“Go on then Ni, you’re on mate,” Jon said resignedly. “Don’t worry about coming with me, I’ll do it myself.”

“Nah, because you won’t have the balls to do it. I want to see you in action.”

Damn, Jon thought, no backing out of it now.

***

Part Two.

Dinner passed uneventfully. Jon was rather quiet, trying to build up some confidence for later on. Niall, as ever, was constantly talking to whoever was on their table, passing the time between courses. On the way back to their rooms, Niall asked Jon for a suitable time to go round.

“Gimme about half an hour mate, I should have mastered self defence by then,” Jon said.

“Why, what you scared of?” Niall said with a grin.

“Noooooo… Not that kind of self defence you moron,” Jon smiled. “Y’know, self defence as a defence for murder.”

“Yeah buddy, I was only pulling your leg. I get it. Half an hour it is.” Niall unlocked his room and disappeared inside, while Jon entered his own room.

Throwing his keys on his bed, Jon sat down heavily in his chair, opening his file for what felt the millionth time that day and scanned for where he had finished earlier. When he found his place, he began to read a list of cases, trying to remember the ratio decidendi of them all. He started by reading the material facts, and then the judges decisions, repeating this process a few times, until he was sure he could remember the case.

After about fifteen minutes, as so often happened with his revision, Jon’s mind began to wander off the subject and began to focus on the meeting with Bianca instead. What should I say? Should I dress up a bit, or do my hair? He automatically put down his books and walked over to the sink and looked in his mirror.

His reflection looked back at him, betraying the scared feeling that he was trying to hide. Dammit Jon, pull yourself together, he thought. Switching on his stereo he chose something upbeat, with a nice guitar riff, and then shook his head a bit as if to clear it. He splashed his face with some cold water and sprayed his neck with some after-shave, and then feeling a bit more refreshed settled down to read a few more pages.

When the knock came, he shouted “Howdy!” as was his custom, and the door opened. Jon kept his eyes on the notes in front of him, trying to keep the flow going.

“Hang on buddy, I’m just finishing this sentence, and I’ll be with you,” he said, eyes frantically reading the page he was on.

“It’s OK, can I grab a chair?” a distinctly feminine voice asked. Jon immediately stopped and turned round very slowly in his chair. His eyes took in the blond wavy hair, the deep brown eyes behind black-rimmed glasses, the tight white t-shirt bahis siteleri revealing a subtle curvaceous figure and the denim shorts partly covering a shapely pair of legs. He swallowed a couple of times and in a hoarse voice managed to stammer “S-s-sure, ha-have the seat next to th-the sink.”

“Thank you. How goes the old revision?” Bianca asked once she was seated.

“W-well, I w-wish I’d started it a b-bit earlier like, b-but I’m getting there slowly I g-guess,” Jon replied, wishing that he’d stop stammering. She’d just completely caught him off guard; it was something that he hadn’t been expecting at all. “How’s it g-going for y-you?”

She flashed a smile at him, revealing a set of perfect white teeth. Why oh why was he so nervous? Why couldn’t he talk normally to girls?

“I’m doing OK, though Criminal Law is a bit of a bitch really isn’t it? Lots to get through there,” she said, giving him that bewitching smile of hers again.

“Y-yeah, there is. I’m just revising that n-now actually,” Jon responded, trying to convince himself to stop stammering and breathe normally.

“Oh really?” she said, raising an eyebrow. “Which bit exactly?”

Jon swallowed, trying desperately to hold himself together without appearing like a nervous wreck. “Ermmm, the b-bit on self defence being a d-defence for m-murder at the moment,” he managed to say, not sounding so hoarse now.

“Wow, you’ve got that far through it already?”

Jon nodded.

“I’ve only just started murder, let alone getting to the defences for it. You must have been working flat out recently,” she smiled.

“Well, yeah I g-guess, I haven’t been out that much this week,” he answered, blushing at the compliment.

“Yeah, revision sucks doesn’t it, but we’ve all gotta do it I suppose,” she said with a frown.

“Well, we could always not do it and fail the year I suppose,” Jon said, pleased to see his stammer had gone. He leaned back in the chair a bit more. He was pleased to hear her giggle a bit at his comment.

“Who’d want to do that, silly? But it is an option, I admit.”

He smiled shyly.

“I suppose you’d like to know why I’m here,” Bianca said. Jon nodded. “Well, I was thinking that we could speed up revision a bit by studying together if you were OK with that. I mean if you’re not, then you don’t have to, it’s just that two heads are better than one.”

He almost double taked. Here was Bianca asking him the exact same thing he wanted to ask her. “Well, yeah, I was gonna come and ask you the same thing this evening actually,” he said nonchalantly.

There was that infectious smile of hers again and she tucked her hair behind her ears. “Excellent!” she said, standing up. “Well, I’ll go and get my books out, do you want to come to my room in say… fifteen minutes? I’ll have to give it a bit of a tidy first. Is that OK?”

Jon had nearly lost the power of speech. The hoarse voice returned, “Yeah, OK, see you in fifteen then.”

She turned and paused, giving him plenty of chance to assess her shapely bottom that Niall had pointed out earlier, gave him a smile that he could only describe as heart-warming over her shoulder and left the room, leaving behind her an aura of her sweet perfume.

He let out a long breath, and ran his fingers through his hair. Sheez, he thought, how did that happen?

***

Part Three.

“Hey buddy, I was just coming to knock for you, what’s up? You bottling out?” Niall was washing up in his sink as Jon had entered his room. “Yo, you look like you’ve seen a ghost my man, I’ve seen you scared before, but not like this,” he commented.

“She just came in,” Jon said faintly, trying to work out in his head how it had just unfolded.

“Who just came in where?” Niall asked, a bit confused.

“Bianca just came in.”

“What? You’re kidding me. When?”

“Just now,” Jon replied, still sounding faint.

“Why? C’mon Jonny boy, spit it out.”

“For the exact same reason I was going to see her.”

Niall smiled. “There we go buddy, divine intervention or something. It was destined to be.” He paused to dry a plate. “So what’s the plan? You said yes obviously.”

“Oh aye, I said yes. I’m going to her room in fifteen minutes,” Jon said dreamily.

Niall flicked the tea towel at him. “Hey, wake up man… You’re going to do some studying right, so you come down out of your tower right now, and get your head straight. I’m not sending you in there with your dick doing all the thinking, you’ve got exams to do.”

“OK OK, you’re right of course. Better organise some stuff to take round.”

“Yeah, you got it. Good luck in there my friend. Keep your cool and don’t be too nervous. Oh and take one of your fave CD’s. You guys might want something to listen to.”

“Aye, cheers Ni. I’ll tell you what happened later, yeah?”

“You got it dude. Keep me posted.”

“Hey, no worries. Laters.” Jon left Niall’s room, and went back into his own. Grabbing a collection of notes of bahis şirketleri his desk along with a biro, he then stood to look at his reflection in the mirror.

“OK Jon,” he said to himself, “you’re going into the heart of the mothership here, so just be cool, calm and collected. Fight the nerves, you’re not asking her out or anything like that; you’re going to talk Law. Pure and simple Law. Nothing else.” Winking once again, and giving himself a grin, he checked the time, and realised it was time to go. He selected one of his favourite albums, and then headed down the stairs to the ground floor.

There it was, room A33. Was this purely because he was doing Law like she was? Or was there some kind of ulterior motive here, he wondered. It was somewhat odd, he admitted, that they had never really crossed paths before, being on the same course and all. Had they ever actually spoken to each other? He couldn’t remember any incident where they had, he’d always considered her to be unapproachable. Why would a girl, as gorgeous as Bianca be wanting to converse with a guy like him? He hadn’t found an answer then, and he couldn’t find one even as he stood outside her door.

He timidly knocked on her door.

Nothing. He knocked a bit louder.

Still nothing.

He put his ear to the door, and tried to open it, but it was locked. What was going on? He felt a terrible sense of dread drop into his stomach. Had he been set up? Was she just leading him on? He rested his forehead on her door, trying to control his breathing, telling himself that there must be some other explanation. However, here he was, and it seemed that Bianca definitely wasn’t.

“Jon!” came a cry from the other end of the corridor. He turned round to see the form of Bianca running down from the bathroom end. He gave a sigh of relief and attempted to give her a smile and an awkward wave.

“Hi,” he said when she stopped in front of him, jingling her keys. “Am I too early?”

“Nope, bang on time brother, just let me open my door and we can get started.” She gave him that sexy smile once again. Enchanting, he thought, completely enchanting. Bianca opened her door, and switched on the light. Jon followed her in with a sense of trepidation, not quite sure what to expect.

He found her room full of light, quite airy and with a sweet smell, rather like the one she’d left behind in his earlier on. Looking around, he saw lots of photos and little bears covering the walls and shelves respectively. “You’ve got an ace room,” Jon commented, “I like it. It’s got a real sense of space.”

She gave him a quizzical look. “Well, I mean it’s quite bright and organised. Nothing seems out of place, and it seems quite spacious…” Jon tailed off, not quite sure what to say next.

“That’s really sweet of you,” she said and he gave a sigh of relief. He could have done without digging himself into that hole, mentally banging his head against a wall. Think, think, try and convince this girl you’re not completely brain dead, Jon, c’mon man, think!

“So, what’s in the photos?” he asked, casually pointing to the pictures on the wall.

“You mean these ones?” Bianca asked. Jon nodded. “Well, they’re just pictures from secondary school really. My friends and stuff.”

“Do you stay in touch at all?” was Jon’s next question, racking his brains trying to make small talk.

“Well, not as much as I’d like, but hey, they’re all out there somewhere doing their own thing now I guess.” She did the tucking her hair behind her ears thing again, that he realised was something she did when she was feeling a little bit awkward.

“Would you like to get started?” Jon asked, trying to help her feel less awkward. She looked up at him and nodded.

“Yeah, why not. Where shall we start?”

“Well, how about with the murder bit that you’re doing, so that we’re not covering anything too new?”

She looked up at him, and smiled, her eyes almost twinkling. “That’s a great idea. Have a seat,” she said pointing to the bed. He laid his files on the bed and perched on the end. She turned her back on him, bending down to pick her notes off the floor. He couldn’t help but stare at her rounded ass, feeling a little guilty at the same time. He almost felt like reaching out to caress it, but he resisted the urge. She seemed to spend an awful long time bending over, and Jon wondered if she was doing it on purpose, but at that point she stood up, rustling bits of paper, looking a little embarrassed.

“Sorry, I couldn’t find the notes that I’d made earlier.” He shrugged, not thinking of a witty reply to her statement. Bianca then came and sat next down on the bed next to him, and for the next thirty or so minutes there was full-on discussion concerning what qualifies for murder and the cases that had helped set up the common law on the subject.

Jon watched Bianca in full flow, appreciating how articulate her words were in relation to his slight slurring. Realising he was spending too much time looking at her mouth and not maintaining eye contact, he looked into her deep brown eyes and immediately got lost in those dark mysterious depths, trying to read what she was thinking behind the legal drivel she was reciting.

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