Claire backed out of my driveway. “You okay? I didn’t hear from you at all this weekend. I thought you’d want to go out last night.”
I shrugged. “No, I had homework to finish.”
“I’m sorry you didn’t win.”
I gave a little laugh. “You think me not wanting to go out had to do with not winning prom queen?”
“I don’t know, that or Bradley. I’ve just never seen you upset over a guy before.”
I started to deny that staying home all weekend had to do with Bradley but in a weird way it did. Or at least with the person who’d filled in for him. He’d taken over my thoughts and was making it impossible to concentrate. Why was that the case when I hardly even knew him? Maybe that was the point—that he had saved me the other night without knowing me at all. And I wanted to know why. “You’re right. It does have to do with him.”
“Is it because he basically broke up with you first by cheating on you?”
“You’re just always the breaker-upper. He beat you to it.”
“I . . .”
She playfully punched my arm. “Don’t deny it.”
Bradley. He broke up with me. That tension in my chest was back at the thought of it. No, I was done with him. He’d left me in the parking lot at prom. He didn’t get to make me feel bad anymore.
Claire grabbed my hand. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to make light of it. He pulled a jerk move. You should be upset. I should’ve taken you out for a milk shake or something.” She squeezed my hand. “But you can’t let a boy ruin your carefully crafted image. Pull yourself together and we’ll mourn in private.”
“Right. We wouldn’t want that.” Was this how I’d comforted her after Peter last year? “Did you guys have fun Saturday night after leaving prom? What did you end up doing?”
“We went over to the park and hung out. Tyler surfed on the swings.”
“That sounds fun.”
“It was funny. He almost ruined his tux.”
I smiled. “So, Tyler? Are you feeling like you know him better now? He seemed nice.”
She shrugged. “I don’t know. He’s a solid B, but I still think I have a chance with Logan. He’s A material for sure. Don’t you think?”
Logan. I vaguely remembered telling her a month ago when no one had asked her to prom yet that Logan was someone she should aim for. He was a star on the football team plus did well in school. But then Tyler had asked her and she seemed to like him so I thought she’d forgotten about Logan. Apparently not. “Logan had his chance. I think if you had a good time with Tyler that you should go for it.”
“Not that it matters. We are leaving for college soon.” She bit her lip, containing a smile. “Then we will have our pick of college boys. College men. Ones that are way better than Bradley.”
“Right.” I finished my granola bar and shoved the wrapper in my backpack.
“Oh, speaking of, my mom bought us a doormat.”
“For our dorm?”
“Yes, I tried to tell her that our dorm was inside a building and it wasn’t like an apartment, but she insisted.”
“What does it look like?”
“Get this. It says, ‘I am not a doormat.’” She groaned.
I laughed. “Do you think she is trying to send a message to our future visitors or just trying to be funny?”
“I don’t think she gets the double meaning. I think she thinks the doormat is saying it’s not a doormat and she finds that amusing.”
“Your mom is funny.”
“My mom is annoying.”
“Between our two sets of parents, we’re not going to have to buy anything for our dorm room.”
She smiled and held up her fist for me to bump. “One hundred and three days until we’re officially roommates.”
“I can’t wait.”
We pulled into the parking lot at school. Right away I saw Laney and Jules heading our way from where they had just climbed out of the car. I braced myself. Jules had all weekend to analyze prom. Surely she’d come up with something incriminating.
Laney and Jules joined us at the car.
“Gia,” Laney said. “Tie breaker.”
“Okay.” I shouldered my backpack and shut the car door.
“Which building do you think is higher—the Holiday Inn or the Convention Center?”
“Um . . . what?”
“The boys were talking about rappelling off one. Hypothetically, of course.”
“Which Holiday Inn? Beachfront or Downtown?”
“The Convention Center. Hands down. But Beachfront would be easier to rappel without getting caught.”
“See?” Laney said, pointing at Jules.
“You act like Gia is the authority on building heights.”
Great. I’d thought it was an argument between the boys. I hadn’t realized I was going against Jules. It was like she was always on the opposing side from me whether I knew it or not. “But I could be wrong,” I said. “I’ve never measured them.” I walked toward campus, the others following after me.
“I’ll Google it,” Jules said.
She was constantly Googling things to prove she was right. The problem was that when she wasn’t right she got all pissy, as if we had personally gone into Google and changed all the answers to go against her.
She pulled out her phone. “Oh, and while I’m online, I wanted to leave mean messages on Bradley’s Facebook page for what he did to you. What’s his last name again?”
Here it was—her play. I was surprised she had waited this long. “He isn’t on Facebook. Who goes on Facebook anymore anyway?” He actually was on Facebook, but there was no way I was telling her that.
“So Instagram? Twitter? You showed me them before but I don’t remember his handle,” she pushed.
“We broke up, Jules. I don’t want him to think I’m still hung up on him.”
“But the messages will be from me.” She held her phone poised like I was going to give her his social media information right there on the way to class. I wasn’t sure if she thought she’d find something on one of those sites to incriminate me or if she knew he wasn’t who I claimed him to be. “Did you see our prom picture I posted? It already has forty likes.”