After the final sprint, we get back on Woodruff and walk East, still panting. I spot the strange guy at the bus stop, but ignore him.
Diana says, “I needed that. Thanks for reminding me.”
“You’re welcome. Detour. We turn left here.”
“I’m being mysterious.”
We get Nosker and I sit down on the steps of the side door. Last time I did this, Mark was a stranger in a uniform I recognized.
Diana gives me a weird look, but sits down anyway. Shouldn’t be long, I hope.
“You really like those steps, don’t you? Who’s the friend— Wait. Diana, is that you?”
I look at Diana, see the hesitation on her face and then suddenly she straightens up. “Mark?”
“Yeah, guess I still had that brat look last time I saw you.”
Both of them turn to me. “So what’s up with this?”
“Nothing is up. My friend figured out the connection between the two of you and both of us thought you should talk.”
Mark looks at Diana. “You’re OK with that?”
She gets up and says, “Let’s take a walk and talk. Cat? You coming?”
“I— No, you go— I think I’d just make it awkward.”
“What? You know the story and it’s not like I’m asking him out.”
I feel my face getting red. She looks back and forth between us. “Oh.”
“You guys go and talk. That’s what the whole idea was.”
Mark and Diana look at each other, then back at me. Diana’s chin wobbles a bit, then she says, “Alright. For now. Mark, let’s go.”
They walk off and I go back to Jones. My room has never felt this small.