Chapter One.

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Do you know those weird moments in life where you wish you had a portal to jump through to escape to a less awkward, less traumatizing place? Like the times when you're at a friend's house and you're starving and you don't want to raid their kitchen but you're so hungry so you do it and their mom walks into the dark kitchen and you scare her with your mouthful of Nutella? Brown stained teeth and all.

Or when your best friend leaves you in the suburbs of New Orleans to visit her dad in New York City for a week and you have to hang out with two girls who are already best friends and you feel so clingy and out of place even though you're sitting across from them, live-snapping to complain to your online friends who you like much more than most people but your parents make you hang out with people, like actual real people?

Well, this is the opposite of those types of times. This is one of the best times of my entire life and my best friend is shrieking in my face, celebrating the best time of both of our lives up to this point. We get to share a room next fall for college. 

I don't mind high school, but college will be so much better. Not because I have some misconstrued idea of crowded parties at Fraternity houses, or because I plan to meet a mysterious guy who pretends he hates college to be cool. The reason I'm excited is because I will live only minutes away from the French Quarter and I'll be sharing a room with my best friend in the entire world. I will trade those parties and that guy for my best friend and shorter lines at the coffee shop on campus. 

Only one more year until I never have to walk these halls again.

Raining on my parade, a janitor pushing a trash can runs over my foot and I move out of his way, bumping into a boy who shares a lab table with me during Bio. River Ridge High has the most crowded hallways and no system whatsoever but Crane isn't plagued by trash cans running over her or boys pushing her out of the way. Crane is the swan of this friendship. She's the blond with high cheekbones and perfect brows. This is why no one cares if she's jumping up and down in front of me, waving her phone in my face, they move out of her way. The words, "Housing Department" flash by my eyes when she shrieks again.

"I know, I know you're excited!" I grab ahold of her denim vest to try to hold her still. Her long legs bounce her higher and her laughter take over the shrieking. I let go of her and she puts her hands on my shoulders.

"Do you have any idea what this means?" Crane claps her hands together and rests them on top of her head, just above her ponytail. I shake my head, I'm just as excited as she is, I'm just not as fast to show it.

My phone buzzes in my pocket, it's a text from my mom, asking me to pick up graham crackers on the way home. Her and my dad are making impromptu S'mores tonight. It feel like Fall is slipping by so quickly this year. Everyone always told me that my senior year would go fast but I didn't have a clue just how fast.

I turn to my best friend, "Gotta go, parents want S'mores and I have to get the crackers," I start shoving my books into my backpack. I have two quizzes to study for and a paper due this week so I have to fill my bag to the top with notebooks and textbooks. I've been trying to use my mom's tablet but she uses it for her work, this season even more than usual.

She frowns, her lips dropping out in a dramatic pout. "Fine, this conversation isn't finished though," she points a blue sparkly nail at me, "'we can finish over coffee in the morning before school." She hugs me and reaches into her pocket for her phone. "I'll text you later. I have to pick my sister up from her soccer game anyway."

By the time I get to my car, go to the nearest grocery store, and get home it's past five. My mom is in the kitchen, her brown hair twisted into a creative nest on top of her head. My mom can pull off the messy bun look in a way that I can't. My version of a messy bun is an actual mess so I just let my hair dry and hope for the best every day.

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