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Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Author:Gayle Forman
Language: eng
Format: mobi, epub
ISBN: 9780525425915
Publisher: RHCP
Published: 2013-01-08T08:00:00+00:00


Nineteen

* * *

JANUARY

College

* * *

Two feet of snow fall in Boston while I’m in Mexico, and the temperature never rises above freezing, so when I get back two weeks later, campus looks like a depressing gray tundra. I arrive a few days before classes start, with excuses of getting prepped for the new semester, but really because I could not handle being at home, under the watchful eye of the warden, one day longer. It had been bad enough in Cancún, but home, without Melanie to distract me—she took off for New York City the day after we got back, before we got a chance to ever resolve the weirdness that had settled between us—it was unbearable.

The Terrific Trio comes back from break full of stories and inside jokes. They spent New Year’s together at Kendra’s family’s Virginia Beach condo and went swimming in the snow, and now they are ordering themselves Polar Bear T-shirts. They’re nice enough, asking about my trip, but I find it hard to breathe with all that bonhomie, so I pile on my sweaters and parkas and trudge over to the U bookstore to pick up a new Mandarin workbook.

I’m in the foreign languages section when my cell phone rings. I don’t even need to look at the caller ID. Mom has been calling at least twice a day since I got back.

“Hey, Mom.”

“Allyson Healey.” The voice on the other end is high and winsome, the opposite of Mom.

“Yes, this is Allyson.”

“Oh, hello, Allyson. This is Gretchen Price from the guidance office.”

I pause, breathing through the sickening feeling in my stomach. “Yes?”

“I’m wondering if you might like to stop by my office. Say hello.”

Now I feel like I’m going to throw up right on the stacks of Buon Giorno Italiano. “Did my mother call you?”

“Your mother? I don’t think so.” I hear the sound of something knocking over. “Damn. Hang on.” There’s more shuffling and then she’s back on the line. “Look, I apologize for the last-minute notice, but that seems to be my MO these days. I’d love for you to come in before the term starts.”

“Umm, the terms starts the day after tomorrow.”

“So it does. How about today, then?”

They are going to kick me out. I’ve blown it in one term. They know I’m not a Happy College Student. I don’t belong in the catalog. Or here. “Am I in some kind of trouble?”

That tinkling laugh again. “Not with me. Why don’t you come by—hang on.” There’s more shuffling of paper. “How about four?”

“You’re sure my mother didn’t call?”

“Yes, Allyson, I’m quite sure. So four?”

“What’s it about?”

“Oh, just getting-to-know-you stuff. I’ll see you at four.”

Gretchen Price’s office is in a crowded corner of the ivy-covered administration buildings. Stacks of books and papers and magazines are scattered everywhere, on the round table and chairs by the window, on the love seat, on her messy desk.

She is on the phone when I’m ushered in, so I just stand there in the doorway. She gestures for me to come inside.



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