“He did say this would be cumulative, right?”
The hallway was filled with students. Of the roughly fourteen students, they had accounted for 32 hours of combined sleep.
“It’s supposed to be cumulative. He definitely said cumulative. Is it cumulative?”
Kevin flipped through his notes with one hand while scrolling through emails with the other hand.
“Kevin? Kevin? Earth to Kevin?” Jeff pushed Kevin’s shoulder.
“What?! Dude. Don’t stress me out right now.”
“Stress you out? You’re stressing everyone else out! We don’t need you shouting while we’re trying to study.”
The tension in the hall was realized by the pungent body odors of the students who have spent days on end never returning to their dorms or apartments but migrating between the corner store for bottles of soda and back to the library.
“Jeff. Can you tell me, with one hundred percent certainty, this exam is cumulative?”
“What does it matter? If you studied everything, even better, right?” Jeff shrugged.
“No! Wrong! I could have spent more hours focused on what’s important.”
The clock ticked. Ten minutes remained until the exam. The odor only permeated the hallway more.
“You want to go in and get a seat? It really wreaks out here.”
“No one else is. Give me ten more minutes to shove a few more of these notes into my skull.”
The hallway remained crowded while no one had entered the room as they neared five minutes until the exam.
“It’ll probably be mostly from the last three weeks of class, I think.” Jeff said.
Kevin dropped all of his notes and tossed his hands in the air. As papers scattered across the hall floor, some hitting half-conscious students sitting on the floor.
“What does it matter then, Kevin? What does any of this matter. Let’s just go in and get this over with.”
“Kev, you’ve gotta relax, man. You know this stuff front and back, you’ll be fine.”
“I just wish he had been more clear about the content of this exam, you know?”
Jeff took his phone out of his pocket.
“Look, Kev, I’ve got the email right here. It says the exam will be covering information from the entire semester. And it will be taking place on the 23rd of May.”
“Good. Okay, let’s go in.”
“Kinda weird no one else from our class is here yet. They must be cramming hard, right to the last minute.”
“Yeah, it’s weird.”
Jeff’s face turned a pale white. His eyes widened.
“You okay, Jeff?”
“Today— today’s the 22nd.”
“Yeah, comes after the 21st, but before the—”
The two realized their scheduling mishap. They silently cleaned up the papers that Kevin had dropped on the floor and apologized to the students.