We planned to meet Jason and Matt at the front doors just before 4 o’clock so we could all walk over to the Student Union together. They were waiting for us when we came down the stairs. I noticed that Jason was staring at the floor and he seemed nervous. It was probably dread. I was glad he was looking at the floor though because I had been avoiding his eyes. Since he wasn’t looking at me I was free to look at him. His hair was sticking up more than usual as though he’d been running his hands through it. His jacket was unzipped and I could see that he was wearing that blue shirt that made his eyes look even bluer. I’d have to look away before I could enjoy that. I was afraid that if he saw my eyes he’d know exactly what I was thinking and that would be the start of everything falling apart. What if he wasn’t any better at being careful with me than I had been with Adam?
I wasn’t quite fast enough. His eyes jumped up to mine expectantly, like he was asking a question. I assumed the question was, “Are you ready to get this over with?” so that’s what I said as I turned quickly to look at Matt. He was safer.
Matt nodded and grabbed the door.
“Come on,” Abby said. “Let’s have a positive attitude here. You guys might even have fun.”
I doubted that. I reminded myself to try to be a good sport as I walked through the door that Matt held open. Jason lagged behind as we walked over and I slowed down to walk with him. Neither of us said anything. It was great that we could just walk together and be comfortable. Well, as comfortable as two people can be walking when it’s 40 degrees.
I realized I had taken a few steps without Jason. He was standing on a corner. Matt and Abby were ahead of him, cutting the diagonal through the grass. He gestured after them and said, “We’re going this way.”
“Oh, I… the sidewalk is over here.”
“But this way is faster.”
“Yeah, maybe, but…”
“There’s no maybe. It’s a triangle. The diagonal is shorter and therefore faster. You can see the path worn in the grass because everyone else knows this way is faster.”
I didn’t know what to say. I thought Jason had gotten used to me by now. I couldn’t explain why I needed to walk on the sidewalk. But… for crying out loud, it has the word walk in its name. I’m supposed to ignore that?
I think I was looking at Jason kind of helplessly when a huge grin stretched across his face. He said, “You like the sidewalk like you like the 4th floor lounge, don’t you?”
I smiled, too. He did get me.
Jason glanced over at Matt and Abby, who didn’t seem to realize we had stopped. “Okay,” he said. “But we have to run.” He kept grinning as he grabbed my hand and started pulling me along. I was so surprised I couldn’t do anything but run after him. It took me a minute to realize that it was a race.
We had rounded the corner by the time Matt realized it as well. And that he was losing. “Oh, no, you don’t!” he yelled as he started running, too.
In the end it was really close. Jason would have been way ahead if I hadn’t been slowing him down, but we just reached the door before Matt. We were all laughing when Abby jogged up a bit later.
“For people who aren’t thrilled about this, you sure are in a hurry to get here,” she said.
Matt told her that she was the one who said we should have a positive attitude.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish