By the time we pull into the drive that winds past the upper parking area and down to the faculty lot and Senior Alley, I'm actually feeling better even though Dakota's cursing and Hannah's complaining that one more tardy will get her Friday detention and it's already two minutes after the first bell. Everything looks so normal, and that thought alone makes my heart race. I know that because it's Friday, Emma McElroy will be coming from Evan Danzig's house, and sure enough there she is, ducking through a clipped portion of the fence. I know that Zack Merrick will be wearing a pair of Nike Air Force 1s he's had for a million years because he wears them everyday. Seeing all these things makes me feel a thousand times better, and I start thinking maybe all of yesterday- everything that happened- was just some kind of long, strange dream.
Dakota cruises down Senior Alley, even though there's zero chance of her finding a spot. It's a religion for her. My stomach dips as we pass the third spot from the tennis courts, and there's Sarah Grundel's brown Chevrolet with its Thomas Jefferson swin team stifker staring at me from the bumper. I think: she got the last spot because we're so late and I have to squeeze my nails into my palms and repeat to myself that I've only been dreaming- that none of this has happened before.
"I can't beleive we have to walk .22 miles," Hannah says, pouting. "I don't even have a jacket."
"You're the one who left the house half naked," Lindsay groans with a slight chuckle. "It is February."
"I didn't know I'd be outside." Hannah fights back as she adjusts her top.
We pass the soccer fields on our right as we loop back towards the Upper Lot. At the time of the year the fields are all churned up, just mud and a few patches of brown grass.
"I feel like I'm havin deja vu." Hannah whispers. "Flashback to freshman year, you know?"
"I've been having deja vu all morning." I blurt out before I can even stop myself. Instantely I feel better, and even my heart has stopped beating as fast as it once was earlier this morning.
"Let me guess." Dakota sighs, rubbing her temples and frowns. "You're having flashback to the last time Hannah was this annoying before nine a.m."
"Shut up Dak." Hannah whines, leaning forwards to smack Dakota's arm and they start laughing. I smile too, relieved to have spoken the words out loud. It makes sense to me that I would be having deja vu.
"Oooh!" Hannah squeals, and starts digging through her purse, knocking out a pack of cigarettes in the process. "I almost forgot your present."
She sends the condom sailing over the front seat, and Dakota claps her hands and bounces in her seat as I hold the tiny package up.
"No glove, no love?" I laugh, managing a small smile to play on my lips.
Sarah leans forward from the back and places a light kiss on my cheek. "You're going to be fine."
"She's right kid." Hannah chuckles, applying a thick layer of pink lipgloss to her lips.
"Don't call me that." I say, and I drop the condom in my bag. We all step out of the car and the air is so cold my eyes sting and start to water. I ignore the bad feeling buzzing through me, and I think, This is my day, this is my day, this is my day, so I can't think of anything else.