Candace hadn’t been comfortable leaving Andy alone but she had to at least try and pass the rest of her finals. Three today and two tomorrow and then she would be packing to go home for the winter break. She pushed down too hard on her pencil and the end snapped. The room was so quiet it felt like everyone must have heard, but she hurriedly click out some more lead and began filling in circles again. There was an hour break between this exam and her next one, so she could run back and check on him, then grab food on the way back.
She couldn’t even remember the name of this class. It was about history in some century where people used muskets in war. She’d found history interesting, but college was just more memorizing dates and names. It wouldn’t be hard to pass the test, but she wasn’t inspired to take the next course in the sequence or pick history as her major. She got to the last question and filled in the circle and looked up at the clock. Five minutes early. If she handed it in now she’d have five more minutes to panic about what to tell her parents.
Candace handed in her test and hurried out the door and across campus. Her dorm was only ten minutes run away but the cold air made breathing heavy painful so she paced herself. Twenty minutes later she reached the door and opened it to find Andy sitting on the bed where she’d left him. He looked up as she entered and watched silently as she swapped her notebooks out for the next exam.
“Sorry, Andy, just two more exams today and then I can spend more time programming you.”
“Is there anything I can assist you with?” He watched her blow her nose and swap out her socks for dry ones.
“No, Andy, I’ve got it. You just sit there and… enjoy yourself?”
“Self-enjoyment will commence.” Some lights flashed and he stopped watching her. She blinked at him, uncertain of what was going on. Her phone alarm went off and she put her shoes back on, dragging her bag behind her as she left again. She fumbled with her key for a moment before finally getting the door locked and ran down the stairs, ignoring the broken elevator again. Outside the cold bit at her face and she took a shortcut across the snow to the next building. Snow seeped into her shoes again and she grimaced, feeling it start to melt as soon as she entered the building.
People were lined up outside the room waiting to be let in. She could see a few familiar faces as she went to the back of the line. She sat on the floor, leaned back against the wall, and almost immediately the line started moving. She stood up with a sigh and filed into the room, sitting down in the far back corner as usual. Exams were passed out and she stared down at the page, her mind blanking.
After a few minutes of blind panic she found a question she knew and answered it, working backward through the questions to the beginning. Even after answering everything she didn’t have a great feeling about her score, but she wasn’t in danger of failing anyways. She turned it in and left the room a few minutes early again.
The next exam was only two rooms over so she sat outside, pulling out the instruction manual for Andy. It had a link to follow for further instructions, and she pulled that up on her phone. The website was broken and redirected to the homepage, but a quick search found her a forum with users discussing discontinued models. One thread even had pictures of the old website, though they were tiny and the in-depth instructions were difficult to read.
“I just need basic programming…” She muttered to herself. The exam in the room she needed to be in let out and she stood up again, waiting for the stream of students to subside so she could get inside and find a seat. The room slowly filled up and her art appreciation professor sat down at the desk, turning on the projector.
“Alright, everyone. I got extremely poetic and drunk last night so I have a hangover. I expect at least one of you has one as well. Your exam is shut up and watch this musical for two hours in the dark.”
A few people laughed, and the professor put her head down on the desk as the musical started. Candace took the opportunity to discretely search for more instructions on her phone. She managed to find a way to make Andy clean more efficiently and the two hours ended with the professor snoring loudly at her desk as everyone filtered out.
She hurried back to her room and grabbed the remote, not even bother to take off her wet socks this time. Andy reacted as she started programming the new commands and got off the bed, starting to tidy up the mess of books on her table. He filed them on the shelf and then stood next to the bed, waiting for more commands.
“Thank you, Andy.”
“You’re most welcome, Candace. Can I offer any further assistance?”
“Why don’t you do the dishes and I’ll order some pizza. I have to try to study for tomorrow.” She threw her bag on the table and gathered her notes for the remaining exams next to it.