Two hours later, Dawn was much more packed but feeling slightly harassed and panicked. She knew she was doing a haphazard job of packing, but she seemed to have so much more stuff than she remembered. Hadn’t she just done this a few months ago?
No, she hadn’t. Because for winter break, she hadn’t needed to pack up all her bedding and every last thing in her room. She’d been coming back. But she wouldn’t be returning to this room again—thank goodness. She, Corrie, and Edie had a room in Sayer that wasn’t up five flights of stairs.
She just hoped they would be able to fit all their stuff.
Just as she was thinking of Corrie and Edie, a knock came at the door and she hurried to answer it. She thought it was likely to be them; Naomi’s friends all seemed to be gone for the summer already.
Sure enough, Corrie was standing at the door, grinning. “Hey. We thought you might like to grab lunch before the assembly. One last lunch on campus.”
“Don’t be so dramatic,” Edie said. “We’ll be back in the fall and we can have plenty of mediocre dining-hall lunches then.”
Dawn couldn’t help grinning back. “Of course. Let me grab my keys. Hey Naomi, do you want to come with us?”
“Nah, I’ll see you at the assembly,” Naomi said. “Or afterward. I guess it will be crowded.”
Dawn nodded, picked up her keys, and walked back out into the hallway with Corrie and Edie. She was glad she didn’t have to convince them to go to the assembly; they had to be just as curious about Roe’s vision as she was.
“How’s your packing going?” she asked her friends as they headed for the stairs. “I seem to have a lot more stuff than I remember.”
“Oh, I’m packed,” Corrie said. “I figured I’d head home right after the assembly. I have everything in the car waiting for me.”
Dawn shook her head and turned to Edie. “You won’t make me feel inadequate, right?”
Edie smiled. “I’m definitely not done packing. But Corrie has a head start on us, you know. She gets up early.”
“Yeah, but then I run!”
“And you were already packing when I got up this morning. And yesterday morning, for that matter. You started earlier than I did.”
“I didn’t even start until today,” Dawn admitted. “I think my mom is going to be annoyed.”
“Maybe my mom can help you, if you’re not done by the time she gets here,” Edie said. “She’s really good at packing.”
“I should just have less stuff,” Dawn said.
“I think it’s too late for that,” Corrie said. “You’ll get fined if you leave anything behind, right? You’ll just have to keep the amount of stuff in mind for next year.”
“Yeah, I was just wondering if we’re really going to fit into that triple in Sayer. Are they half again as big as the doubles we have in Gilkey?”
“I think they’re bigger than that,” Edie said as they swiped their cards to enter the dining hall. “It certainly felt big when we were in that one.”
“And that one was full of stuff already,” Corrie said. “I think we’ll be fine. Besides, I don’t have very much stuff.”
“That’s true,” Edie said. “Another way you cheated to get packed quickly.”
Dawn laughed, and they parted ways to get their lunches. The dining hall was practically empty—it held maybe a third of the number of people that Dawn usually saw, even at lunchtime, when the dining hall was always a bit emptier than it was at breakfast or dinner time, due to people scattering and having their lunches all over campus.
The food offerings today seemed to be a smorgasbord of leftovers. Dawn wondered what the graduating seniors would eat for the next three days, but enjoyed the opportunity for more of last night’s lasagna. After one glance, she steered clear of the salad bar.
Lasagna and soda in hand, she found a table and was shortly joined by Edie and Corrie, both of whom had gotten some soup. “They’re not even trying now,” Corrie said with a sigh.
“Well, they don’t have very many people to feed,” Edie pointed out. “It’s probably easier to cook for the whole campus than for just a small portion.”
“Maybe if they offered really good food on the last day, more people would be inclined to stick around and go to the assembly,” Corrie said.
“I doubt the dining hall can offer anything good enough to compete with people’s home cooking,” Dawn said. She liked the lasagna, but it wasn’t quite as good as last night, and she was already thinking wistfully of her dad’s cooking. He was always busy with work, but he liked to make a good meal when he could, and she was sure he would be making a good meal to welcome her home.