Ratings, Disclaimer, Random Thoughts in Chapter 1.


Back to School (6/7)

Donna reviewed her notes overnight and felt confident, but when Tuesday morning came, she started getting nervous. She missed Josh's calm reassurance. She started quizzing herself while she sat in a meeting, but got so flustered that she started forgetting formulas. Frustrated that she was already forgetting everything Josh taught her, she furiously studied her notes at lunch, but didn't feel any better.

She was one step away from scribbling the formulas on the back of her calculator, when her phone rang. Clearing her throat so that she wouldn't sound as if she'd been crying, she picked up.

"Josh Lyman's office."



"How are you?"

"I'm fine," she said, biting her lip and putting her calculator away, realizing that she couldn't write her formulas on the calculator while talking to Josh.

"I can tell you're not fine," said Josh in an admonishing tone. "You're not nervous are you?"

"A little," she admitted.

"Did you do the problems I left for you?"



"And, I got them all right."

"I knew you would," he said softly. "Did you get your reward?"

Donna felt her face blushing, remembering Josh's gift. "Yes. Thank you Josh."

"You're welcome. I thought a little incentive couldn't hurt."

"And a little luck?"

"You don't need luck, but I carried that rabbit's foot throughout school. My grandmother gave it to me when I was 7 and had a very difficult spelling test in 3rd grade."

Donna laughed. "Did you do well on your spelling test?"

"Of course," he laughed back. "But even if I didn't, do you think I'd tell you that so close to your test?"

Donna was quiet for a minute. "I'm really nervous Josh. I tried to remember the formulas during a meeting today and I couldn't. And then when I tried to do some problems at lunch, I…"

"What did I tell you we were going to do today?" he interrupted.


"We were going to sit back and relax."

"Uh huh."

"And are you doing that?"

"Well, kind of…but I just wanted to see if I really knew the formulas… and then I couldn't…"

"Donnatella, you're making yourself nervous. Put the books away. Don't look at your notes anymore. Just take a deep breath if you get frustrated. Okay?"

Donna sighed. "Okay," she said quietly. "You still won't be back until Friday?"

"I don't know. Things could change, but you know how the President is. He wants to talk to every person who was affected by the quake."

Donna took a deep breath to give her courage to admit what she was about to say. "I wish you were here," she said quietly.

"I do too," he whispered back. "I miss you."

"I miss you too."

After a moment of silence between them while they both felt the pangs of their separation, Josh said, "I'll call you tomorrow to find out how you did, okay?"


"You can do this Donnatella."

"I know."

"You don't sound convinced."

"I am. I am," she said more convincingly the second time.

"That's my girl. I gotta go. Good luck tonight."

"Thanks Josh. I'll talk to you soon."

Donna finished the remainder of her work and headed directly to Georgetown from work. She sat at her desk, taking a quick glance through her notes. She put the rabbits foot in her shirt pocket and watched as the professor distributed the midterm. Feeling a familiar flutter in her stomach, she took a deep breath and started the exam.

An hour and a half later, Donna was finished. She'd only panicked on a few problems, but she'd done as Josh had said, taking a deep breath and visualizing the end result, and she'd moved past her mental block. She'd checked and double checked her work and was satisfied that it was to the best of her ability. She went home satisfied that she wouldn't disappoint herself or Josh. She admitted to herself that even if she got a `C' she at least didn't completely blank the way she had on so many math tests before.



Back To School - 7




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