Flight (Page 27)

“And you Allie? Have you picked your classes yet?”

“Not yet, but I’m majoring in business.”

“Business? You so don’t seem like a business major,” Hailey said.

“Yeah, I’d probably major in biology if it were up to me, but my dad wouldn’t go for that.”

“Wow, it sounds like your dad is as controlling as mine,” Anne said sympathetically before changing the subject again with no warning. “So Hailey, you must know tons of people here? Know any cute guys to introduce me to?”

“Not really, sorry.” I had never seen Hailey so uncomfortable.

“Speaking of guys, we need to have a system of letting each other know when we have male company.”

“Excuse me?” Hailey nearly spit out the first sip of her tea. “You do know we’re in JL, one of the girl’s dorms, right?”

“Of course I know that, but I’ve asked around and there are ways to get around the check in rules.”

“I really don’t think we need to worry about that now.”

“I just think we should have a signal. Socks on the door handle seem too cliché, how about we use panties?”

Hailey and I froze looking at each other in disbelief.

“Just kidding.” Anne giggled.

I really wasn’t sure she was.

Aside from the look of panic on Hailey’s face as Anne described her panty suggestion, the evening was fairly enjoyable. Anne was pretty intense, but I could tell she was nice and Hailey could do worse in a roommate. Watching their somewhat awkward conversation reminded me of what I faced arriving at Princeton at the end of the summer. Not only did I have to meet a new roommate, I also had to face Toby. By the time our acceptances had rolled in I was already starting to doubt the permanency of our relationship. College was about a fresh start, now I had to start with an ex-boyfriend.

“Allie?” Hailey called me back from spacing out.

“Oh sorry, what were you saying?”

“I was telling Anne how you had to get home early…”

“Oh yeah, sorry, but it was really nice to meet you,” I said with a smile.

“Same here! You’ll have to come down for a visit this year. Maybe for Mardi Gras?”

“Sure, that could be fun.” As I agreed, I imagined visiting Levi and discovered I didn’t mind that thought at all.

Hailey grabbed my arm as we hurried down the brick steps of the outdoor patio. “Oh my god. Oh my god. Did she seriously suggest putting panties on our door?”

I snickered. “Yeah, I believe she did.”

“Shoot me. Who says something like that?”

“Aw, she seemed nice, maybe a little too over eager.”

“Nice? Let’s try scary.”

“Calm down, Hailey. She’s just your roommate, you don’t have to be best friends.”

“Great, now you sound like my mom.”

“I’m only trying to help,” I said defensively. I wasn’t used to this side of Hailey. My gut reaction would have been to snap back at her, but I figured she was just really nervous about starting college and I knew the feeling.

“I know and I appreciate it. Are you in a rush to get home?” She calmed down.

“Not really, why?”

“Are you up for some ice cream?”

“Sure, I’m always up for ice cream.” I smiled

Twenty minutes later we were enjoying waffle cones filled with decadent vanilla Häagen-Dazs. Unable to find a seat inside, we took our cones outside, dripping sticky ice cream with sprinkles all over us as it melted.

After finishing our cones, we headed back to the car. The main lot of the shopping center had been full, so we’d parked on a side street a little ways down. It was dark out, and I was ready to get back to the car and the hotel.

“You do realize our dinner tonight consisted of a chai tea and ice cream, right?” I laughed.

“Yeah, that’s why we went for the extra scoop.” She smiled. “Thanks again for coming with me. I know I was pretty bitchy back there.”

“It’s okay, and this was a good way to make up for it. Anyway, thanks for treating.”

“No problem—Hey! What the hell are you doing?” Hailey sprinted the remaining distance to her car.

A man was trying unsuccessfully to break into the driver’s side of the jeep. Whipping around, he took out a gun and pointed it at us. “Get back and drop your bags.”

“Get away from my car,” Hailey demanded without a sign of backing down.

“Let’s just give him our stuff. I’d rather not die right now.” I barely choked the words out. My flight response was ready to take over.

“Not a chance,” she fumed.

“I told you to back up, b***h,” the man yelled.

Without warning Hailey moved like a blur and had the guy’s arm pinned behind him and slammed on the hood of the jeep. “You had better not have scratched my car!” She tossed him like he weighed nothing. Her eyes were completely black. Picking up the gun from where it flew during their altercation, she calmly pulled out the clip before throwing the rest of the gun into the bushes.

“Open the back and pull out some rope,” she directed.

“Rope?” I asked as I walked around the car. Sure enough, there was a length of rope.

I tossed it to Hailey who proceeded to tie the guy to a tree.

“You just happen to have rope in your car?”

“It’s climbing rope. I occasionally climb and you never know when you’re going to need it,” she explained.

“What kind of freak are you?” The guy started coming around.

Hailey kicked him in the stomach shutting him up. “Let’s get out of here.”

Hesitantly, I opened the passenger door and slipped inside. Hailey joined me with a quick glance over her shoulder. “He scratched my door. I shouldn’t have been so nice.”

“You can’t seriously be worrying about your door right now! Shouldn’t we call the police?”

“No, how would we explain what just happened? The scumbag would talk. I’ll have to call the cleanup guy.”

I sat silently as she placed her call. “Gary, it’s me. I had a slight mishap off Carrolton tonight. I kind of left a guy incapacitated.” She laughed. “He was trying to steal my car, but I took care of it. All right, thanks.”

“We’re set.” Hailey pulled out and we headed back downtown. She watched the road like nothing had even happened.

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