Shade A if I, II, and III are correct.
Shade B if I and III are correct.
Shade C if II and IV are correct.
Shade D if only IV is correct.
Shade E if all the choices are correct.
1. The first time they meet, she is rushing to catch a taxi, her coat drenched by the rain, and he loses his umbrella to the wind, his impatient feet sliding, then slipping on asphalt as he attempts to chase after it – a bouncing black thing marred by the sudden show of her orange coat into view. Which of the following is/are true of the events hereafter?
I. They both recall the collision – inadvertent inasmuch as it was interesting – as a mix of splashes, minimal bruises, and elevated levels of cortisol.
II. Frightened that he has ruined her coat, he offers to treat her to dinner.
III. The duration of the rain is inversely proportional to the amount of time they spend talking – exchanging names, occupations, and differing views on the weather.
IV. The duration of the rain is directly proportional to the amount of time they spend drinking coffee and tending to their own wounds.
2. Which of the following is/are the correct situation: defense mechanism pair?
I. When dogged by his calls and messages concerning what time she arrived home the night before: she dents her mobile phone on the nearest hard thing, the accumulated damages later on serving as a barometer of believable excuses (i.e., It fell off my desk, stopped working. So sorry.)
II. When faced with her inability to express emotion at his grand efforts (i.e., a rented-out restaurant with its own string quartet, a view of city lights spelling her name, and so on): he holds her hand – snugly, not too tight – finding the slightest affirmation through touch, the uncanny coldness in her thin fingers and how they move to clasp his in return – softly, with something that he believes is sureness – her eyes kept focused at some unidentifiable distance, her cheeks blooming pink, flooding color into the pale landscape of her face.
III. When meeting his parents: she feels the need to look smart but quiets down instead, drinks an excess of champagne and forgets the importance of keeping eye contact (she saves herself by looking at their eyebrows instead – those strange, pointy, upward arches)
IV. When in her room for the first time, left alone while she prepares coffee: masking excitement, he instead fixates on the many pictures of her as a child, growing up, and recently; almost worshipping those polaroids – all arranged in a square, stuck to her bedroom wall, believing he found a map to how she worked (only to later on realize all this as wrong, while her fingers traced a trail on his bare skin).
3. Which of the following statements is/are true about their relationship?
I. He believed in the many powers of observation, meaning: he interpreted everything that took place in the day as significant and telling (i.e., the formation of the pigeons taking flight had something to do with the evening traffic, the clock seemed to be ticking slower – both hands taking their time, believing this slowness would account for why she was late, again, despite his nine messages, asking where she was).
II. She was fond of making lists, piling thought upon thought into catalogs that attempted to explain her world (for example: Seven Things That Must Be Done Before Breakfast, Things I Must Never Think Of When Stuck In Traffic, Acceptable Replacements For Love, The Five Boys I’ve Always Wanted to Fuck, Eleven Names I Would Instead Like To Have, Three Places That Keep Recurring In My Dreams, All The Excuses For Lateness, Reasons I Dislike Flowers, etc).
III. Together they read books and spent evenings in cafes to mask what they both already knew but were just too afraid to point out. Everything was a matter of passing time and/or being painfully polite.
IV. None of the said statements are true.