Waking up on the day of exam, I felt the readiness and confidence that I would be able to do the test. After all, I had spent the whole weekend reviewing for this examination. As I went down the stairs of the school dormitory, I looked again at the notice board. The test would start at 8 o’clock. I continued down the steps and into the dining hall.
It was almost full, which is very normal in this time of the day. I zigzagged my way towards a table at the far end of the hall. There, Liana was sitting alone, eating her breakfast with another breakfast tray beside her. She was my roommate, one of my classmates and one of my best friends. She has a cat-like character, sometimes proud, sometimes friendly, but mostly, she is a nice person to be with.
‘You’re late,’ she said and without looking up, pushed the other tray towards me.
‘Thanks,’ I said. Together, we ate our breakfast, talking about the up-coming exam and what we would do after it is finished.
At 5 minutes to 7, I and Liana left the dining hall and made our way to the main school. It took us about 15 minutes to reach the building where we were going to take the exam. It is a tall building, 3-storey high and painted in deep blue. We walked into the building and sat down on one of the marble benches in the spacious corridor. Taking out our books, we started reading them for a final revision.
About 10 minutes later, a blonde girl came running to us, her plaits flying behind her. She was another best friend of mine, Andy. She is a kind, funny girl who always wears a smile on her face. She didn’t stay in the school dormitory so every morning, so she had to run to come to class on time.
‘Hi,’ she greeted us as she panted heavily.
‘Hi, Andy,’ I said, ‘how is your weekend?’
‘Oh, fine,’ she replied, ‘it’s a lovely one actually.’
‘Nice to hear that,’ Liana commented, again without looking up. Then, the three of us sat together and read the books, waiting anxiously for the beginning exam.
Time ticks by. More friends arrived and the noises of nervous students filled the corridors. By 10 minutes to 8, some people stopped reading their books and started pacing up and down in front of the exam room. Most people still had the noses in their books but a rare number of people were doing nothing.
‘Excuse me, Betty,’ Andy said, ‘may I borrow your notes on Newton’s Laws of Motion for a moment?’
‘Why?’ Liana asked as I hand over my note book, ‘It won’t be on the exam, Andy.’
‘It will be tested.’ Andy answered, ‘Haven’t you read the announcement on our class website? The teacher announced the new coverage yesterday. Newton’s Laws will be the majority.’
This shocking news swept through me and Liana like thunder bolts. We never knew that there was a class website and we hadn’t reviewed the Newton’s Laws of Motion during the weekend. And how could Andy never tell us about the website before.
‘May I ask when did the website form?’ I asked. Anger started to boil up inside me as I tried to keep my voice steady.
‘Two months ago.’ Andy answered carelessly, ‘Why?’
‘Because,’ Liana spoke up, her voice shaking with anger, ‘because no one had ever told us about it. We first heard about the thing from you minutes ago.’
In my imagination, Andy should look sorry and apologize for not telling us. In reality, however, she just shrugged her shoulders.
‘You don’t have to worry,’ she said, ‘you are good at Physics. Even if you didn’t read about the Laws, you still get good grades.’
I felt like the girl was a stranger. Andy, who I saw as a selfless person, seemed to want to have everything. I saw in my imagination that a friend I once knew was turning into someone else. She seemed to be a wicked person I never saw before.
I felt as if the whole weekend of revision was a complete waste of time. I and Liana had been working for nothing, nothing at all. And Andy just told us we didn’t have to review to get good scores. How could she do this to us? It was completely unfair.
‘Give it back,’ I said and snatched my note book back from Andy grasps.
‘What?’ the girl exclaimed.
‘That’s your punishment for not telling us before.’ Liana answered for me. I felt grateful because I was so I angry I could not speak.
‘I thought you already know it!’ Andy shouted at both of us, tears started to pour down her face. Still, I saw the tears as a fake sign of guilt.
‘When we know about the new project,’ I started, surprised by how steady my voice was, ‘we tell you everything, even though you already know. How come you thought we already know about the new coverage and the website?’
‘I… I…’ Andy stuttered. She seemed to lose what she was going to say.
Without another word, Liana and I turned around and headed off to another end of the corridor. I could hear Andy sobbing as we walk away, but I felt no empathy for her. After what she had done to me and Liana, I didn’t think we can be friends any longer.
There was less than 5 minutes before the exam. Liana and I studied the notes as much as we could. When the exam started, I walked into the room with my heart thumping very fast. Thoughts clustered my mind as I looked for my seat. Did I and Liana speak too wickedly? Did we break our friendship with Andy permanently? Before long, I had to clear my mind and did the exam.
‘Did the thing trouble you?’ Liana asked me right after we exited the exam room.
I nodded. It really did trouble me.
‘Do you want to say sorry to her?’ I asked.
Liana looked behind her and I followed her gaze. A familiar blonde girl walked behind us, her face covered with anxiety. When she noticed our gazes, she quickly hid behind her bag.
‘No.’ Liana finally answered, slightly louder than needed. ‘I don’t think we need to be with someone like that anymore.’
The girl blushed so violently then ran away.
The rest of the examination day was spent strangely in my opinion. I hardly knew where or what I was going or eating that day. Nor did I take in what I and Liana were reviewing before the exam. The thought about Andy kept popping up in my mind. Though Liana didn’t said or show any sign of the matter but I knew that she was troubled by the thought too.
When we finally finished all the tests at 4 o’clock in the evening, we walked back to our dormitory. I glanced at Liana quite often because I wanted to observe her actions. I didn’t see anything strange from my only best friend. Just as I was walking behind Liana, she suddenly stopped and I walked straight into her.
‘Why did you stop?’ I asked Liana. She did not answer me but stared straight at our room. I walked around to stand beside her.
On our door, a note was stuck there. Written on black paper with white ink, the sticky note attracted a great number of students to stand and watch it. Liana walked toward the crowd then ripped the note off the door.
‘Betty! Let’s come in!’ she called then turned to other people. ‘There’s nothing to look at. Just go to your room. Just go!’
I quickly slipped into the room after Liana. The crowd that surrounded our room slowly cleared away. I walked to a chair and sat down. My friend sat opposite me.
‘What does it say?’ I asked.
‘It said “To Liana and Betty, I’m sorry for everything I’ve done or said. I wish that you would forgive for what I did in the morning. I’m very sorry. Andy.” That’s all.’ Liana read out for me to hear.
I looked at her, straight into her eyes. She stared back, frowning at the paper. The white letters seemed to float before me.
‘What do you think?’ I asked then added quickly, ‘I’m angry about her behavior. But why does she use black paper?’
‘Because…’ Liana started, ‘she is lamenting for our friendships.’
She then turned to me, a single drop of tear slid down her face and said,
‘Our friendship is broken… forever.’