When Jennifer got the invitation to go back to Lake Prahd and go see her old friends, she was delighted. One must admit, she was thoroughly caught by surprise with the invitation. After all, she and Kyle and Casey and Monica had been a circle of friends years ago forgotten. Late elementary school, early junior high. They were fading shadows in her mind. But a letter, an invitation, from Monica Lane herself, calling Jen back for a weekend of catching up.well, who could pass up that opportunity?

Truth be told, the sum of Jen's life hadn't been quite up to par lately, and it was just the excuse she needed to get out for a little while. Out of town, out of routine, out of her own mind, perhaps. Four friends who had been inseparable as children, as young teenagers, but who had seen each other only a handful of times once turned late teens and adults. That was a reunion to attend!

Jennifer packed her things and made her plans, not calling the ex who had just stepped out of her life, nor the most recent best-friend gone never-seen-friend. There were, in fact, very few people to call. Rather than let this sadden her, Jennifer put every effort into psyching herself out about the upcoming weekend. She dialed with shy fingers the numbers on Monica's letter, to tell her old long-lost friend that she would be coming this weekend. Jen was pleased and excited to hear the old personality in the new, older voice, so long forgotten in the back of her mind.

"So you'll be in Friday then," Monica said, surprised. "Wow, that's fast."

"Well, I'll be busy the next few weekends coming," Jennifer lied. "This was the only one I had open in awhile. Good timing on your part." She tried not to let the desperation show. It was not that so many upcoming weeks would be busy, as she said, but rather the opposite. Each weekend in the near future was going to be as painfully boring, lonely, and uneventful as this one had originally meant to be. Jen wanted to jump on the opportunity the second it was available. "This weekend isn't bad for you, is it?" she asked, hesitant. "I already got off Friday with my boss . . . "

"No, no, not at all," Monica assured. Her voice was stony, yet sweet. Sounded funny. "This weekend is just fine by me. Just some plans to be made - I need to arrange some things with Casey and Vera and Kyle."


"Just a girl I hooked up with a couple years back. Closer to her than Case and Kyle now, really. The four of us are together all the time." Monica's voice, quirky again. "We do stuff together."

Jennifer swallowed. Her fears of rejection swam up to the surface briefly, wondering how this Ver girl would accept her. "It should be fine," Monica's voice assured into her ear. "Not a problem at all. You need someone to pick you up, or . . . ?"

"I've got a car." It came out sounding prouder and more enthusiastic than Jen had intended, like the voice of a ten year old bragging about a birthday present. She cleared her voice, trying to find an appropriate tone. "I was going to drive in," Jennifer explained casually. "I like road trips."

Monica's voice laughed a little. "Yeah, it'll be a trip alright."

Jen paused. "Well . . . guess I'll be seeing you then."

"Bye, Jennifer."