My friend, Rachel, and I were out with two boys, who may have been our friend Lucas and his roommate, Ben, but I'm not sure. Didn't pay much attention to them. Rachel had a cut-out of a bird, a toucan I think, decorated with glitter and sequins. One or both of the boys jostled her and knocked off some of the sequins. I took a closer look at it to see if we could fix it, and reprimanded the boys: "You can't buy sequins like that at Wal-Mart." This led to a discussion of the various arts-and-crafts stores, which was pretty much me lecturing and others making affirming comments like "Oh, yeah, I've been there."

We decided to go to one of the arts and crafts stores. I was driving. Rachel came on my side to get in, and crawled into the back seat. I asked her if she'd rather ride shotgun (we girls always team up against the guys) but she said it was okay.

Next thing I know we are in the crafts store, which is small, crowded and labyrinthine. We are tucked away in a corner just talking. The phone rings, and I realize it is after hours. I answer it and claim that I work there, in case someone saw us through the window and suspects we are thieves. Another voice, who has answered at the same time as me, says "You work here? Then why am I back here doing everything myself? Come help me!" I hang up the phone and go back to face the indignant girl who is about my own age, but seems less mature, more petulant and spoiled. I explain that we were in a corner talking and didn't realize the place closed, and I only said that I worked there so the person calling wouldn't think we were thieves. This gave her an idea, to say we were thieves, so we ran out of the store.

The layout of the buildings began to mimic that of my home. The crafts store took the position of a shed we use to store bicycles, and a large dormitory nearby - our destination - took the position of our house. The distances were greatly exaggerated, though. by the time we got around the crafts store, we were exhausted. I didn't know if I could take another step. The ground was sand or something that just made it incredibly difficult to walk on. The stretch that led away from the craft store went across open ground, which the sun beat down on. The other end of the dormitory was nearer, and the way had some shade over it, but to go that way we had to pass nearer to the entrance of the craft store and might risk being seen and pursued. I made a snap decision and took the shorter path. Out of the corners of our eyes, we saw an army of cop cars parked at the entrance to the store. I reassured myself and the others, as I had been doing frequently, that we couldn't get in trouble because we did not have any merchandise on us.

In the dormitory, we were having a big meeting. I got separated from the others, but this seemed normal to me. I think Rachel went to take a shower or something. It was a religious meeting, and though it was not mandatory, it was frowned upon if we left. Some boy was sitting beside me, talking to me. He struck me as the slick pretty-boy type, like Austin. I responded noncommitally, but was not off-putting. He started to hold my hand, and I considered telling him that I had a boyfriend, but decided it would be easier to just wait for him to get tired of me. He did soon, and turned around to talk to the girl on his other side. The glimpse of him I got out of the corner of my eye suggested that he was not as good-looking as I had thought at first. A girl across the aisle from me signalled for my attention. "He's a player, you know," she warned me. I shrugged, "I don't care. I already have a boyfriend."

I thought of leaving to go watch tv in my apartment, risking the evil eye of the speaker. Then I realized that I had both an apartment and a dorm room. I supposed I should save money by cancelling my apartment immediately and living in the dorm, even though school didn't start for another month. Then I remembered that I intended to live in the apartment during school. But I had arranged with Rachel to be her roommate in the dorm. I decided that I would let her share the apartment with me if she wanted.

I woke up then.