“I could wear a skirt and put a paper on the inside, and fold it whenever you need to check something,” Mariana said. But Alex immediately dismissed the idea, “Stupid idea, I cannot rely on being seated next to you or put you in such a position.”
“I know!” Mariana exclaimed. “Since we are not allowed to have our pencil cases on the table, you can create the cheat sheet on a tiny bit of paper and slide it inside a pen! It’s visibly invisible. No one will be expecting that, therefore, no one will be looking for it. Those are the smartest tricks,” she added convinced, waiting for a reaction.
“Yeah, it sure sounds like a great idea…until the teacher asks me why I am staring at my pen as if I could get the answers from it, so, until he realizes that’s exactly what I’m doing!” – she suddenly burst out laughing, incredulous at how low she’d gone and surprised at her own perceptibility.
“Okay, okay, fair enough. How much are you willing to risk it?” Mariana asked, as an idea formed in her head.
“I’m all in,” Alex replied without a doubt in her mind.
“Okay. So you do this. Water is the only liquid we are allowed to bring, in a clear bottle. And, we all know the trick of sloppily writing something on the white part of the label and reading through the bottle. That’s just stupid and teachers are aware of it. But, they don’t ever pay any attention to the labels. So, you will need a good printing place for this, somewhere far away from the university. First, write up a summary of what you’ll need, obviously, keep it as short as possible. Then, design a label trying to copy one of the known brands. Choosing the same design, the same color, and even adding the logo to make it pass as the usual brand. Then, instead of the description of the water, where it comes from and so on, you start copy-pasting your notes. In the slogan, the table of nutrition facts, the copyright, everything from the original label, you substitute with your notes. You will need close attention to detail, you’ll need to change fonts, colors, sizes; you’ll need to print it several times to adjust the graphics. It won’t be fast or easy. My suggestion, it’s easier and safer to study; but you’ve made up your mind.” As she said this, Mariana stopped for a second and looked at Alex. She had tried to scare her a bit with all the exposure required by her trick, but was surprised to find that Alex was following her instructions closely, without a hint of doubt. “Do you understand what I mean?” she added.
“I do. I got it!” Alex said firmly as she got up. Her body had left a mark on the grass where she was seated, along with the grass she had anxiously ripped out with her hands while thinking. “If I’m going to do this, I have to start now. Speak later.”
Mariana was a bit surprised at Alex’s rudeness; after all, it had been her idea. Not that she’d put it into practice; but still. She wished she had realized Alex was struggling with this subject before so she could have helped her. Mariana felt like she had tried to help her now, but deep inside she knew that by coming up with this idea she was helping no one. Even worse, if Alex were to get caught, she would be expelled. She walked home, trying to convince herself that Alex was a grown woman and well aware of the consequences; but the awkward feeling didn’t leave her.
She didn’t see Alex for the next two days. She had called her and even gone to the restaurant to try to convince her not to cheat, but she couldn’t find her. It was not much of a surprise since Alex worked rotating schedules and was always covering for someone who hadn’t shown up.
As soon as the class before Statistics was over, Mariana walked straight to the exam room, without stopping to eat or go to the restroom. She couldn’t even bring herself to take out a bottle of water. She waited for Alex outside the classroom. She would beg if need be, she would cry, anything not to let her compromise her own future. Alex had fought so hard to be where she was, and was so close to graduating, it was not worth the risk. How could she have been so stupid and so driven by her own desire to impress her with her cleverness. She hadn’t been aware that Alex would actually go through with it!
The first bell rang, and quickly, all her classmates found their way into the classroom. She could see Alex’s usual seat empty, “Where was she?” she asked herself. She hoped she’d come up with a credible excuse, a health issue or something. As the second bell rang, marking the start of the class, she walked to her seat with a look of defeat. Suddenly, as she glanced up, she saw Alex talking with the teacher. The teacher did not look pleased, and Mariana had never seen Alex talk so much and so fast. Had she been caught? Was she now trying to defend herself with some lame excuse no one would believe? Seriously, who’d believe someone that had gone through all that trouble! That’s it. She could see herself graduating alone, with a look of resentment on Alex’s face. She didn’t’ know what to do, what to say.
Suddenly, Alex smiled. That completely caught Mariana off guard. Not only that, Alex smiled, and then left the classroom.
Mariana was in complete disbelief but tried to focus on the final anyways. Those were the longest 50 minutes of her life.
(…to be continued…)
Series – Evanescent
January: If Something Can Go Wrong…It Will – Jonay Quintero Hernández (Spain)
February: The Planet of Pleasure – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)
March: Evening with Jackie Chan – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)
April: Vuvuzelas, Walkie-Talkies and Madiba Magic – Sarah-Leah Pimentel (South Africa)
May: Remembering – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)
June: 5-4-3-2-1 – Talia Stotts (America)
July: Getting Ready for Newborns – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)
August: Regrets – Kate Korneeva (Russia)
September: A Hollow Pursuit – Diana Haidar (Syria)
October: The Test – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)
November: A Life Rekindled – Lauren Voaden (United Kingdom)
December: Translation Perfect – Zhang Lu (China)
Special: Catching Water III – Javier Gomez (Argentina)
Background – Context
Transadaptation Volume 2: Conceived – Childhood Transadapted, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2021)
Transadaptation Volume 1: In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)
Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)
La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)
The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)
L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)
From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)
Emblems and stories on the international community
Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world
Cover photo: Montevideo, Uruguay – Neglected – DFLC Prints (Shutterstock)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed