Love Degree

September. The beginning of his third year. A lonely university student drifting through life is about to be enrolled in the most difficult course of all: the course of love.

[a cell phone novel]

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3. I watched her blink and her hair slide across her cheek

"It's OK," she said. "You don't have to talk."


I wanted to. I couldn't.


The sentences my mind constructed stuck in my throat like burrs.


With my mouth open and silent, I watched her blink and her hair slide across her cheek.


Finally, I managed one word:


"Why?"


"I found you. In the street, after the car had--


I remembered:


Bright, flashing, light.


Screeching.


Pain.


Becoming wetness.


And my hand touching the wetness, and seeing that the wetness was red rather than rain, and my mouth tasting liquid rust...


"I called the ambulance and when it came I didn't want to leave you alone.


"I went through your phone.


"I didn't know who to call. There was nobody.


"So I lied. I said I was your fiancee."


She bit her lower lip. Mine felt thicker than it should have been.


A doctor walked in.

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