Edie Kits has a learning disability. Well, not a learning disability exactly, but a disability that impacts her learning. It isn’t visible, it isn’t obvious, and it isn’t something she likes to advertise. In fact, she’s successfully hidden it from nearly everyone in her life, including her college roommate and best friend, Serena.
And for the first half of her freshman year, she has managed without assistance. Edie thought she was in control of her disability, until she meets her match with French 101 and a professor unwilling to hear her out.
Edie finds herself caught between getting the help she needs and convincing her professor that she isn’t looking for an easy out. Luckily for her, Hudson, the badly dressed but undoubtedly adorable TA in her French class, ambles in to help her out…
"You never took a boring Cambridge in pie school?" Dr. Galloway, my academic adviser, asked. His head inclined to the left, his fingertips pressed into the oversized metal desk that separated us in his small, muggy, windowless office.
I stared at him. Took a boring Cambridge in pie school. That's what I'd just heard.
You never took a boring Cambridge in pie school?
Think Edie, think. Deep breath. I should have been watching him and not scanning his bookshelf. Come on. Come on. What did he say? Ugh. What did he just say?
Don't say huh. Don't ask what. Don't ask him to repeat himself.
He’s going to think I don’t pay attention in class and that was why I’m failing. He’s going to think I’m just like all the other millennials he advises, complaining about their classes being too hard. He’s going to think I didn’t care enough to listen, but between the hum of the halogen lights, the fan in his ancient desktop computer, and the faint sound of music in the distance I was doomed.
"I'm sorry, what?" I stuttered. It wasn’t happening; I wasn’t going to figure that one out on my own and I didn’t know him well enough to guess.
"I said: you never took a foreign language in high school?”
Foreign language. Not boring Cambridge. Pie school? God, Edie. Get it together.
Melinda Grace wrote her first piece of fiction in middle school, but didn’t write a complete story until an introduction to creative writing course at SUNY Oswego, where she earned a BA in human development. She went on to earn a MS Ed in counseling and currently works as a school counselor. When she’s not guiding the youth of America, she’s planning her next vacation to Disney World, laminating anything she can get her hands on, and binge watching on Netflix. Meet Me in Outer Space is her debut novel.