The colonel and I threw ourselves into school once we gave up, knowing that we’d both need to ace our finals to achieve our GPA goals (I wanted a 3.0 and the Colonel wouldn’t settle for even a 3.98). Our room became Study Central for the four of us, with Takumi and Lara over till all hours of the night talking about The Sound and the Fury and meiosis and the Battle of the Bulge. The Colonel taught us a semester’s worth of precalc, although he was too good at math to teach it very well—”Of course it makes sense. Just trust me. Christ, it’s not that hard” — and I missed Alaska.
And when I could not catch up, I cheated. Takumi and I shared copies of Cliffs Notes for Things Fall Apart and A Farewell to Arms (“These things are just too damned long\” he exclaimed at one point).
We didn’t talk much. But we didn’t need to.