Senior Class Trip Edition!
Senior class trip.
A week away from home.
A week of freedom.
A week that will change Karri's and Jessica's lives forever.
Read an Excerpt
"It's Senior Trip!" I told my, three best friends, Jessica Carvelli, Erin Yamada, and Maya Greer, as we entered Banana Republic in the mall on Saturday. As if just saying the words would somehow invoke world peace or something. Okay, maybe not world peace. But just knowing that I'd be getting away for a week of fun in Chicago, starting Monday, made all my problems seem a little smaller.
"I have to confess," I added. "It's coming at exactly the right time for Matt and me. Not that I don't want to party with you guys, but I need this week with my boyfriend. With his band and my cheerleading and all our papers and tests and things, it's been really hard to connect with him lately."
There was an awkward silence, punctuated only by the bleep of the cash register in the distance. Erin turned away from a mirror, where she was trying on a tiger-print scarf. Jessica and Maya didn't look up from the stack of jeans in front of them, but I felt their concern. I knew that my friends weren't exactly sure what was going on with Matt Fowler and me these days. One minute we were soul mates, and the next minute we were fighting over something trivial.
"Are you worried?" Maya asked me. "I mean, about your relationship?"
"After all we've been through?" I said, trying to sound casual, as though I thought Maya's question was ridiculous. Inside, I wasn't so sure it was.
"Kerri's right," Jessica said. "Think about it. How many relationships can survive an exgirlfriend like Donna Cantreal?"
"You're being too nice," Erin said. She tucked the scarf back onto the rack. "That girl is a stalker with a capital'S."'
I leaned on a table with some pastel sweaters on it and pressed my fingernails into my palms. It still bothered me to think about Donna, even though she wasn't supposed to call me or come near me. My mother had made sure of that, insisting that we get a restraining order against her.
I admit, when Donna first showed up at Maya's track meet a few weeks ago, I felt a little jealous. I mean, she just ran up to Matt and threw her arms around him as if they were the last two survivors on an island. Right in front of everybody.
Things just got weirder from there. First, Donna kept saying that she and Matt were still dating. Then she blamed me for stealing Matt away from her-when they had broken up way before Matt and I started going out.
Then things became scary. Donna started hanging out in front of my apartment, calling me at all hours, popping up at my job at Bernie's Bagels and at the one modeling gig I had at the mall. She even slashed the tires of my car. And when stalking me didn't win Matt back, she tried to mow me down with her Jetta.
That was when my mom went with me to get the court order.
Donna denied that she did it on purpose. She told the police that her car swerved toward my friends and me when she was dialing her cell phone. She said it was an accident.
But I didn't believe her. I still don't.
"I am so glad she's out of the picture," Maya said, slipping an arm around my shoulders.
Jessica nodded. "I never thought she'd go that far. Boy, did I misjudge her."
"We all did," I said. "But the important thing is that she's gone, and Matt and I are still together...I just miss the way things used to be between us ... so fun and easy."
Jessica sighed as she slid her hands into a pair of chocolate-brown cashmere gloves. "I remember what it was like to have a boyfriend...I think." She pulled off the gloves and tossed them back on the counter. "You know, it feels like I've been without a guy for years, even though it's been only a few months." Jessica had broken up with Alex McKay, her boyfriend of two years, at the start of senior year.
"You'll find someone," Maya said reassuringly. "Maybe in Chicago?"
"Nope. G.U." Erin's ponytails jiggled as she shook her head. "Geographically Undesirable."
"Forget about finding a guy in Chicago," I said. "We are just going to hang out and have fun. Matt says they have really cool jazz clubs there."
"I'm looking forward to spending a big chunk of time with Luke without my dad looking over our shoulders," Maya said. "Plus Chicago's got great shopping."
"And the Art Institute," Erin said. "I could just move into a back room at that place." Erin slid a red sweater, over her, shoulders, tied it there, and made a face in the mirror.
"And the Tribune," Jessica added. "I heard we're going to tour the place to see behind the scenes at a major newspaper."
I smiled. Leave it to Jess, the writer, to get psyched about a newspaper tour. "This is going to be a landmark in our senior year," I told my friends. "A whole week without parents."
"And how about hanging at the hotel with the boyfriends?" Erin said. "How cool is that?"
"Way cool for you guys," Jessica said, moving over to a rack of hats. "I'm going to be the seventh wheel."
"Oh, right," I said. "Like that would ever be true." I pulled a green cap off the rack and handed it to her. "Here, try this on."
Jessica plunked the hat on her head and stared into the mirror. Her superlong dark hair streamed out from the sides. "Not my color," she muttered, and put back the hat.
"Hey!" Erin cried as I scanned the store, looking for the sale rack. "What about our Truth or Dare game? We left off with you, Kerri. What did you pick? A dare, right...
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