The Thanagarian threw her head back and groaned, "I still don't get this."
John turned his attention to his fiancee. "What don't you get?"
"Everything!" She exclaimed, throwing her hands in the air for a dramatic effect.
John heaved a heavy sigh. That had been Shayera's response to the last three times he asked her what she didn't understand about the current period of history she was attempting to understand and memorize.
"Let me see the paper," John said. He cleared away an empty soda can and a candy bar wrapper that were sitting next to the papers. The two had been there for the whole day. They had ordered a pizza, and the empty box and greasy napkins littered the floor. Shayera's soda cans cluttered the table, along with a bag of chips and numerous spilled kernels of popcorn. "You should really take it easy with that soda Shayera. You're getting addicted to it."
Shayera tiredly rubbed her eyes as she stretched."That's the only thing keeping me awake. I promise, once this stupid test is over, I'll swear off caffeine for the rest of this pregnancy."
John looked over the paper and his mind began making the proper connections quickly. "Oh this is an easy one," He said. When he glanced up at Shayera, he regretted his words. "I mean, once I explain it to you, you'll get it."
Shayera groaned in frustration. She was starting to give up. John wouldn't have any of that.
"Ok," John read through the notes. "Lasting from 1775 to 1783, this war was known as the?"
"World War?" She pathetically guessed. She wasn't even trying anymore.
He tried to hide his disappointment. "No, it's the American Revolutionary War. It was the war of independence, Shay. Great Britain against the U.S. colonies. Great Britain and America. Got it now?"
"No," She replied flatly.
John sighed, she knew the answer; the problem was that she had dates, places, and names jumbled. "Okay let's try it this way," He took a deep breath. "Now don't get offended by this, I'm just making a comparison. Alright let's say America is Earth and Great Britain is the Thanagarians." Shayera quickly looked at him. That certainly gripped her interest.
"I think I get it now," She stated slowly. "When Thanagarians made demands that the people of Earth didn't want to follow, the people revolted like the colonists. They wanted liberation but the Thanagarians, and British, weren't going to take any of that. So they went to war over it. Eventually the people, colonists, won and the Thanagarians, the British, went back to where they belonged."
"See you got the main point. That's all you need to know. Don't confuse yourself with intricate details."
"There's another thing I don't get."
"What part don't you get?" He asked.
"Why is it called the Boston Tea Party?" She slowly asked as she read from the paper. "There was no party, especially one with tea."
"It's just a term they made for the event Shayera. It doesn't mean there was a literal party with tea in the middle of Boston."
"I hate history," Shayera murmured, ignoring his words. She crumbled up the paper and threw it over her shoulder. "I had enough of this!"
John momentarily closed his eyes, fighting off feelings of annoyance. "Come on, Shayera. You want to pass don't you?"
She sighed, "Can't you just do it for me and put my name on it?"
He rolled his eyes, "Like that'll work."
"I don't know what I'm doing in the first place," She said. She grabbed another paper and began to crumble it.
John frowned. "Stop doing that. I'm trying to help you. If you get rid of all of the notes then you'll have nothing to study from."
Shayera didn't respond. Instead, she began to fiddle with a piece of paper. He shook his head and looked down at at the next paper.
John yelped in surprise as something smacked against his cheek. Next to him, Shayera laughed.
"Hey," He reprimanded, reaching for the paper football that landed in his lap. "Come on babe, focus." He crumpled the triangle in his fist and placed it on the table.
"I can't," She whined, heaving a monstrous sigh and running a hand through her hair. "This is so boring."
Well, John couldn't argue there. Memorizing historical facts wasn't exactly the most interesting thing in the world. But still, Shayera needed to pass. "Shay, come on. I'll help you through it." When she scowled, he pressed on. "Shayera, come on."
"Fine," She grumbled. She resentfully spread the papers out. "But half of it doesn't make sense. I don't get it."
John could feel his patience thinning. Spending all day fueled up on unhealthy junk foods and reciting U.S. history nonstop was taking its toll on the both of them. Besides, it was getting late and Shayera had to be up early. In his opinion, she needed at least eight hours of sleep and by the way things were progressing, she would be lucky to get only four hours. Saying that morning sickness didn't plague her during the night and early morning and kept her up.
"Alright, we're going over the basic outline again." He inhaled before starting. "Native Americans were the first to populate America and centuries later a man named Amerigo Vespucci discovered America."
"I thought that was Columbus and his little group of boats sailing across the Atlantic?" She questioned.
"He found other areas of America years after Vespucci did."
"Hey, do you want some more popcorn?" She asked.
John smacked the back of Shayera's head.
"Hey!" She cried. She narrowed her eyes. "What was that for?"
"Focus," He ordered. "Besides, you had enough junk food for one day. You're going to get sick off of it."
Shayera childishly stuck out her tongue and John rolled his eyes. He began to continue the lecture but Shayera interrupted him yet again which he ignored.
"Anyway," John continued. "England primarily colonized the east coast and...Shayera!"
The Thanagarian looked up from playing with a loose string on the end of her shirt. "What?"
"Pay attention," He scolded, a little more harshly than he intended. "I'm trying to help you but you're making it difficult."
Shayera murmured an apology, rubbed her tired eyes, and pressed the heel of her hand against her forehead in obvious distress. She was caving into both stress and fatigue.
John took a deep breath, attempting to calm his rising vexation. He resumed his lecture, glancing over at Shayera every few seconds to make sure she was paying attention. She seemed to be pretty engaged now, biting down on her lip as though she was deep in thought, either that or she was keeping herself awake. When John finished explaining that portion, he asked her if she understood.
"Good," John said, feeling relieved. Maybe they would finish this before midnight. Yeah right, wishful thinking.
John sighed as he rested his head in his hands. He didn't know which one of them was more stressed out. It had been nonstop for the past seven days.
"I give up," She announced. "I've seriously had enough of this garbage."
John straightened up, "You're giving up?" She didn't respond. "How are you gonna pass if you just give up?"
"Ok, ok I don't mean it and you know it. I'm just really stressed out and having to study for all this is driving me crazy."
John got up and moved behind her. He started to massage her shoulders, "Just calm down. Stressing yourself out isn't going to help you any."
"I know that," She started as she tilted her head back to look up at him. "But I can't help it. My nerves are fried at this point."
"Alright let's run through the stuff again from the very top and then call it a night."
Sure it was past two o'clock in the morning when they finished, but it was well worth it.
"I finally get this," Shayera said. "Thanks."
"Alright, good." John yawned. "No problem."
Shayera stretched and yawned as she stood. "Can we go to bed now? I'm tired and starting to feel nauseous."
"Your nauseous because all you ate was junk food, nothing healthy or nutritious," He noted as he then looked at the clock. "You should have been asleep awhile ago. You're going to have sleep deprivation and that's unhealthy, especially in your condi-"
"Don't even start fussing again!"