Lanuleta University - Psychology

Where Memory Is Concerned

I wrote all I could about memory till my left hand seized up into a ragged claw of Absolute Suffering. Then I dragged it across the page again.

*I think you have enough.*

Maybe. But there was this line right at the edge of my thoughts. Even if it took all hour, I probably wouldn't get it but it seemed to taunt me. So, I wrote some more just to show that I didn't need it.

And then I still had time. Rats!

I tried to corral my wild imagination with possibilities for my abnormal psych paper and then connect that with the subjects which were coming up in my organic biology and chemistry classes. But I kept wandering to the idea of "gratuitous boy-on-boy butt-secks", which Andrea wrote on the dorm marker board.

But I almost had to smack myself because I was getting into that idea to the point it was like my skin was about to launch itself like a rocket.

And then it was time to stop being Crazy-Nasira and listen to the professor. I made a special header for the new line of discussion.

I rested my eyes in little ten-second bursts which could be mistaken for really long blinks and not nodding off. Need sleep…gimme more!

During one of the open-eye sets, I glanced over at that guy across the way. Ugh, I couldn't remember his name. But he kept looking at me. Or the wall. But I was sure it was me. I got worried the first day I had oatmeal caked on my face, so I ran out as soon as class ended to hose my face in the bathroom.

Then, I saw him over at the café. Watching me again. The blasted voice told me to say 'hi' but I couldn't do that!

After way too much thought, I thought the bizarre voice sounded a little like him when he presented stuff in class. Maybe a girl him. No, androgynous. Maybe. No. Well. Perhaps?

He didn't watch me all the time, or so I figured. And I'd seen enough punch-worthy guys oogle me 'covertly' and feed me lines to know the type. This guy, I had moments where I was watching him too. But, as usual with any guys who looked interesting, I knew nothing about him…especially his name. I knew he'd said it, but I couldn't remember it.

But I had to pay attention. My notes were slipping. I had nothing under my new header. I crossed my legs tightly enough to get a muscle cramp and pressed a finger next to my twitching right eye.

I knew my hair had to be going nuts. More than a decade-and-a-half of magical development and all I had to show for it was mood ring hair and a voice inside my head I'd never told anyone about.

*You should. It might help you develop abilities.*

Or it could just go to show I'm way crazier than ever I thought. I brushed at a lock of my hair as calmly as I could. It was red again. I really hoped it was just red and not some insane blast of hippy rainbow vomit with red on the side. It did that once. Dad asked me if I was doing drugs. Soooo embarrassing...

*You and your dad both need to relax.*

Easy for you to say, miss/ster disembodied voice! And my dad has relaxed quite a bit, but he has a stressful job with the government. Studying those with dangerous magical abilities isn't like walking a cake or however that thing goes.

Gah! Focus. This'll definitely be on the tests and the final exam. Sometimes, I wished there were more class hours. Class was wrapping up? I wondered what the outro was going to be for this session.

*Should be fun.*

I waited. Professor Kellemann closed his eyes. I closed mine a little too. And I waited. I didn't feel anything. I popped my eyes open to glance around the room. Most people had their eyes closed but a few were looking around as well. The Professor still had his eyes shut.

Crud. I don't want to interrupt. I had to just wait till it's over and then maybe bring it up.

*You can say something, you know*

Shh! When his eyes opened, a couple people in the back mentioned their experience with smiles. They were flying and diving through the air.

I winced. It sounded nice. Figures that, of all things, wouldn't work on me. Considering the first class thing made me into a jerk, then a boy (that wasn't too bad though). Then the second one was a head-trip of unreal things on a beach. The beach was nice. I just got paranoid about noticing every weird thing.

*I liked it*

Eventually, the guy-whose-name-I-forget, raised his hand and pointed out that he didn't experience anything. I almost put my hand up to say the same. It was then that Professor Kellemann clapped. It was a trick.

He explained it. Some of the class was given a false memory. They thought they experienced a vision. It was made very intense so they would feel compelled to share it and, the professor noted, some of the people who claimed they experienced a vision didn't actually get one.

I could see where he was going with group-think and peer pressure and confabulation of false memories. People were sure something happened to them because everyone else was saying the same thing. Brilliant. Good thing I didn't completely embarrass myself by saying something. I made a big note and underlined it like I labeled and underlined every page in my notebook for this class "Lanuleta University – Psychology" (sometimes "Psychology Class").

*Is it really necessary?*

If I ever want to keep a good log of my classes and a book of notes for personal research and maybe even a major capstone portfolio, I had to do it.

And that was it. I already had my weekend packed full of things. I knew the roommates would want to head to the mall but it never had anything I liked, I had no car so I was at the whim of how long others wanted to stay, and…I'd probably come up with something else later too.

I slipped all my stuff in each compartment in my bag and flipped it on my back. I still had a chemistry terminology quiz to ready myself for on Monday. First, mad dash to the library before they closed up so I could get all the good books for abnormal psych before everyone else snapped them up.

And I should probably eat. Week-old graham-cracker bears for breakfast were probably a good part of my current level of whacky.

*I have no idea how you're still conscious.*

While I sped along out of Longbloom and to the brick path, I did let myself linger around the drama and improv guys as they left their practice. They were so much fun to watch

I didn't talk much, but I enjoyed the humor and then snuck in to use the restroom and gaze longingly at all the people who somehow had enough time to sit down to a game of chess. And then I had to run back into the restroom for a while until the last of those evil grambears were purged.

After surviving that onslaught, I rushed over to the library and grabbed one of the psychology resource computers. Books were easy to find and I made sure to check out what I could in general topics before anything.

They also had the DSM-VI with some amendments for disorders relating to magical abilities. Those were pretty scary where mental states could vary according to who you were around. I didn't want to touch those.

I eventually settled on one and started to jot down notes about it. From my side, I heard someone settle into the chair next to me. I glanced over but didn't see anyone there. I shrugged and continued with my notes.

*Hope it's not a ghost.*

No such things, except for what my roommate Nancy was able to make with her ability. But those were non-corporeal copies of people.

I wish dad let me get a dog as a kid.

I paused a moment and wondered where that thought came from. I looked over at the resource computer. Had I selected my disorder yet?

I heard a rough cough really close to me. I nearly jumped. If it was no one again, I was about ready to beat the chair next to me with a book till it shut up. Gratefully, there was someone next to me this time. It was that guy from class. I didn't remember hearing him sit.

I opened my mouth a little and returned the cough as roughly as I could. He glanced away.

*You should say hi. Perfect opportunity.*

Yeah, to embarrass myself. But I figured I might as well try to ask him something class-related.

"Cool job catching that trick at the end of class." I tacked on a decent smile to that statement.

"Thanks." And that was all he said. He looked busy.

Boy, did I feel stupid.

So, I went back to my notes. The monitor was on the fritz with wavy lines. I gave it a good smack. Smacking always fixed those things.

I had an essay for magical history later, but my stomach was beginning to complain. I glanced up and I swore I saw something reflected in the screen. It made my heart flutter something crazy. Then a buzz came through that sounded like a voice.

Forget that. I'm not hanging around on a haunted computer. I gave it a hard boot and gathered my notes and borrowed books. I could deal with the library another day.

I looked behind me to the guy from class, but I couldn't see him from this angle.

And I liked libraries. Why was this one being so weird to me?

I scuffed a bit of mud at the exit in the library's direction and made a bee-line for the café. Once there, I enjoyed the multitudes of other people to help lower my creep-quotient.

I relaxed with a good roll of my neck to get all the hard classroom chair-ness out. I looked forward to relaxing even further before bed with hours of bath-ness which I planned to enjoy…in my usual way.

I hummed a couple songs to myself and pondered whether I wanted a cold drink or hot tea. Or maybe both. Steamy with frigid.

I ordered as I played a melody with my fingers on my school bag.

*Get something with chocolate.*

Now that I could get behind. I ordered a bit of warm chocolate and a soda along with a veggie burrito and took it to the back of the café.

As I sat down and eyed my burrito, I had the strangest sensation pass over me. I felt a certainty that this had happened before. I mentally scoffed at that because I'd ordered a veggie burrito after psychology on Monday and then with Michelle the other day….wait…who was Michelle?

The name and note came automatically and yet I had no idea why I thought it. I considered a moment that this was just another little thing left over from class. So, I gave myself a solid smack in the face. It hurt, but that was about it.

I shook my head and tried to focus on my burrito again but that strange, almost-voice returned. It was stronger this time. It floated around me with strange words which suddenly became familiar.

"See you…"

I glanced up and standing there behind the main area of the café was a something the height of a tall coat rack with the shape of a giant, black praying mantis. Its legs undulated in place.

The giant bug stood there, about ten feet away, as I was frozen in confusion. Between blinks, it vanished.

I took a couple breaths and glanced back at the same place to check.

Bugs! I hated bugs!

The giant bug thing never returned. I calmly told myself it was just a side effect of whatever tricks and things were going on in psychology class and I tried to push it from my mind.

Still, I couldn't shake the notion, as I traced its contours in my memories, that I'd seen it somewhere before, if only in a dream.


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About the author


Bio: I'm MajorKerina and I love to collaborate creatively with a group of friends to make tales where people have their genders, identities, and very realities questioned, contorted, and turned upside-down. I like slice-of-life with a spicing of the supernatural, strange, or surreal. Reality with a scent of the impossible. You can find me on DeviantArt, Twitter, ScribbleHub, and other places.

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