First lines given – #12

Welcome to First Lines Given! If that sentence confuses you, here’s a link to where I explain what this is.

Today’s first line is by Buster! He said:

He likes to make things complicated. But I got this.

“The cat used its Herculean strength to lift the sun because his aunt’s nephew’s baby mama twin got skin cancer from the moon,” I say with my eyes narrowed toward you.

You, of course, still tune me out as you stare at the screen with your mouth slightly ajar. You’ve paused your note-taking, pencil still ready to write the next word. I lean over the table between us to see if I can spot even an inch of what you’re looking at, but the laptop is angled too far away.

I huff, lean back in my chair, and cross my arms. My math homework still lays out in front of me with another problem half done. “With the sun now lifted higher, the temperature on Earth changed, of course. In seven minutes, we lost some of the most vital sunlight we’ve ever seen. We also noticed some new stars in the sky. You know, the ones hiding behind the sun to play peekaboo.”

Your eyes scan the screen’s words from left to right to left to right…

“But Apollo got upset in like ten minutes, so he put the sun back and slapped the cat. The cat then changed into Hercules himself—cause why not?—but his aunt’s niece’s baby mama twin still had skin cancer. That didn’t change. The lesson being to perhaps think your actions through, of course.”

Your brown eyes flicker toward me. “Nephew.”


“It was the aunt’s nephew‘s baby mama twin. You just said niece.” You turn back toward the screen with a sigh. “If you’re gonna tell a ridiculous story, at least get it straight.”

My eyes narrow. “If you’re not going to help me study, I can go somewhere else.” Which is true. This math concept has been bugging me for weeks. YouTube isn’t even helping me solve it.

You try your best to hide your eye roll, but that didn’t work well. Leaning over, you glance at my upside-down problem and frown. “Remember to carry that value over.” You point toward a number and drag it over the equation with your finger as if you can physically drag the number over yourself.

I sit straight to see the problem better. As an argument comes to mind, I pause. “Oh.” You’re right. I mark the value over and type some numbers in my calculator. As I glance back at the multiple choice answers, I find that my answer still doesn’t match with any of the other answers, but I circle the closest one and hope for the best. “Is that right?”

You glance over from your screen again. “Yep.”

Great. So, I’m good at getting close enough for these problems. Just not the exact right answer. I sigh and look at the next problem. Then my eyes gaze down the rest of the page. I got another five more of these to go. Perhaps I’ll figure out the right answer soon.

“Zag!” someone calls from across the library, beckoning you over with a grin and a waving hand. I don’t recognize them, but that’s normal.

“I’ll be right back,” you mutter as you stand and head on over.

I look at my math problem, but as I read it, nothing absorbs in my mind. I read it again. Nothing.

Peeking over, I notice you in deep discussion with that other student. Fine. I tilt your laptop more toward me to see the screen better. As soon as I register the gameplay on it, I roll my eyes and put it back. On your notepad is just gameplay tactics.

You’re not even studying schoolwork.

I glance back down at the notepad. Wait a minute. I write out a few lines on a tactic you missed and turn the notepad back around. By the time you get back to your seat, I’m packing up.

“Thought you needed help?” you ask, standing behind your chair.

“I finished my five problems.” With my best calculated guesses. “See you in class.”

I make it about halfway across the library before you cuss and call my name, telling me to wait up.

I don’t.

Copyright © Robin LeeAnn

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