So she flunked the quiz.
Lucky her it was only 5 percent to the final grade. She thought she’d at least manage half the 5 percent. But Ning Jie was never okay with flunking a quiz or test, exam even. (Nobody thought Ning Jie would ever flunk any, which was complimenting and distressful at the same time.) She’d go on and on right after the paper, ranting about how she found the stupid mistakes she’d just made unacceptable and unbelievable or how she could’ve done better. It was the same this time. She wasn’t quite okay after the test. But it wasn’t about the paper. In fact, she felt indifferent about the paper. Screw it. Just screw it for once, she thought.
It was probably about yesterday’s read. People always said that with time, pain would eventually go away. It was like pain was something you didn’t want to see ever again. You went the extra miles digging a big freaking hole burying it with time. But in fact, it was never gone. Because you buried it right there, so it was there the whole time. Eventually the soil got washed away, and you just felt weak, exposed and broken.
That was what she felt engrossed in yesterday’s read. It was almost like the whole thing happened before her eyes again. It wasn’t necessarily a good thing how people could relate to the melancholic scene in a book, so much. So much that she felt angered, like Cath. Broken, like Cath. Asking the how-could-you’s like Cath did. Perhaps she just really had bad coping mechanism. Wren coped with everything pretty well. Hanging out with friends and staying in everyone’s bracket. But Ning Jie was like Cath. Cath didn’t want anyone to talk to her. Because it was awkward. She couldn’t deal with people. She didn’t know what should be said and what should not be. Or she just didn’t know what to say most of the time. Cath just wanted to be alone (or not really) and that made her look so pathetic until someone too nice came along to be her friend. Cath never tried hard to make any friends. Even if she really wanted to have company.
Also, Cath was so angry her mom left her and drove her dad crazy. It was a vicious cycle. Cath kept holding on to the things that made her sad. Or especially that one particular thing that made her depressed. I’m not even sure I’m talking about Ning Jie or Cath now. Every time Ning Jie read up something related to the tragedy (Would you call it a tragedy? Of someone you thought was supposed to be a superman for you, leaving you?), or watched a really moving scene on TV about it, she’d feel as though every horrible thing was relived again. In a not so good way. She tried hard to escape. Because everyone else was fine. (This was obviously a self-centered statement. Not everyone else was fine. Some people had bigger problems. But I’d let her off for this one. She needed the emotional booze.) Everyone else said she could move on. Everyone else said everything that was supposed to make her feel better. But it was hard. Really hard.
And she went on reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. It was supposed to be centered on romance I guess. Ning Jie took the wrong focus because…
Because pain demands to be felt.