“Yeah,” Wil said. “Harry.” She adjusted her backpack the best she could and glanced over at Reagan’s face. The girl appeared to be somewhere besides the crowded common room they were about to cross. “You all right, Reagan?”
Reagan’s eyes followed a blue spoon-shaped artwork on the wall before she returned Wil’s attentions. “What?”
“I asked,” Wil stressed the word, “If you were all right.”
A few teenagers brushed past them. “Hm …yeah,” Reagan answered. Another group walked between them, eyeing them; sending a nonverbal query as to why the two girls obstructed the base of the stairs.
“Oh.” Wil thought to elaborate; decided against it. “Well!” she said in a brighter tone, “Should we go see what the others want?”
“Oh!” Reagan blinked. “The thingie! -Yeah, Wil, let’s go!” She grabbed for Wil’s backpack again, but Wil was quick enough to pull it away this time.
“I’ll walk faster without the dragging.”
Reagan faced her, hand on hip and frown on face. “Alright.” Her tone did not sound convinced.
Wil smiled in innocence and started forward at a fairly quick pace. Pockets of chattering pupils and phone-hypnotized stragglers stood between her and the hallway to the lunchroom stairwell. She would have preferred a slower pace, but chose this over Reagan’s alternative.
With only a few stumbles and accidental shoulder-bumping, she and her impatient friend made it across. They turned and rushed down the stairs. Wil had enough spare thought to admire Reagan’s graceful descent compared to her own pell-mell lunges before she made it to the bottom without accident.
“Reagan,” she called, out of breath, just before the girl’s shadow turned the corner. The shadow stopped and looked to turn back. Wil stood and walked forward. “I. have. to. get. lunch. first,” she managed to say.
Reagan responded with another hand on hip pose. Wil took it as permission and headed to the counters.
“I’ll tell them you’re coming,” Reagan called. She left. Wil sighed in relief.
“What’s it today, dearie?” the smiling lunchlady asked. Her hair net head appeared more edible than the fare she offered, but Wil frowned and considered the options anyway. She needed to hurry, before Reagan changed her mind.