Coffee cup on a lecture hall table
Professor Cootes looks right at Kate when he says, “I seem to be boring your partner Ms. Stone.”

Kate looks at Maggie, canted to the right, her head resting on her fist, eyes closed, softly snoring. Kate gives her a shake and Maggie’s eyes snap open. Kate glances down to read a text message.

How about this one: ‘Women can discover everything except the obvious.’

Maggie drifts off while Kate gives Oscar the evil eye and texts back:

Ooooooh. That one was catty, Oz. You could get in big trouble repeating stuff like that.

Wilde was frequently catty. Um Maggie’s snoring again.

Kate tries nudging Maggie, but it just changes the timbre of her snores. A sharp kick to the ankle yields a better result. Maggie wakes enough to realize Kate kicked her, so she glowers.

Kate whispers, “You have to stop snoring.”

Maggie’s eyes narrow. “I don’t snore!”

Kate nods. “Sure you do, I’ve got witnesses to prove it.”

Maggie smacks herself in the head, “No way.”

“Way,” Kate smiles back, “Even the teacher cracked jokes about it. Good thing you have nice little ladylike snores. If it’d been Elsie’s honking he’d have fled screaming.”

“But I don’t snore.”

Kate grins. “If you want I can get a show of hands.”

Maggie holds up her hand. “No no no. Okay, shhhh, I believe you. So what’s the assignment?”

Somehow Maggie lives through the rest of her sleep deprived morning. Compensating with double doubles from the cafeteria keeps her moving, but she is in a fog nonetheless.

Only as the school day is ending does she begin to feel conscious. A bit more wired than awake, but it will do. Oscar comes in trailing Jake and Kate. He peers at Maggie, then bends over, cups her chin, gently tilting her head back and forth as he examines her face in the afternoon sun.

“Hate to tell you this, wee girl, but they’re called ‘the whites of your eyes’ and not ‘the reds of your eyes’ for a reason.”

Maggie wrenches her chin away and sticks out her tongue. “Sez you. It’s the new look, Oz. Get with the program.”
Kate says, “Maybe we should reschedule?”

Oscar is firm. “Can’t do it. If we pack it in, we’d make Linux look bad to all the noobs who might’ve switched over.”

“Oscar’s right” agrees Maggie, “We can’t. Every Ubuntu group in the world is having their release party today. I was just too excited to sleep. No way do we reschedule.”

“You were playing Farmville, weren’t you?” teases Jake.

“Of course I was. But only because I couldn’t sleep.”

Kate rolls her eyes at Maggie. “How about this then, you nip home for a nap.”

“No, no, no. It’s my party, I gotta be there.”

“Look at it this way, kiddo, if you sneak a nap you’ll have the pleasure of being conscious for your release party.”

“I’m awake now, I will be then. Don’t worry. If I slap on some war paint I’ll even look conscious. It’ll be fine.”

Kate asks “Gonna paint eyeballs on your eyelids like Captain Jack?”

“Ha ha.” Maggie rolls her eyes.

Oscar’s flipping though the school paper with a frown. “Wasn’t Krystal doing publicity? I thought she said she’d get something in the paper.”

“Yeah, I thought she had it all set up.”

“Nothing in here.” Oscar lays down the paper.

“Are you sure she’s even coming?” asks Kate. “She wasn’t in Gates’ class this morning.”

Maggie shakes her head. “You’re right, she wasn’t. I don’t know. She said she would.”

“Cheer up girl, Adam says, Canada’s got a higher proportion of Linux users than the States. How cool is that?”

Maggie grins at Kate, “Pretty cool. Look, save my spot and guard my coffee with your lives, ’cause I know I’m gonna need every drop today. Back in a flash.”

Maggie heads for the washroom where she splashes water on her face. Yup, Oscar’s right on the money. She could be the poster girl for a horror movie. Much more red in them thar eyes than white. Another splash.

Coffee coffee and more coffee is just what this girl needs to get through the rest of the day.

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