LaTonia and I had been having 'late fights,' as I called them, all semester long. She was winning. It was a competition for who could arrive later to poetry class. If you missed class outright, the day was a wash. She was a tough adversary, and quite shameless, I may add. I had, over the last four years, fine tuned my ability to walk into class drastically late, making little more ruckus than the meek opening and shutting of the door. If my lateness would exceed thirty minutes, I would call it a day and just stay in bed. LaTonia, on the other hand, had no qualms arriving up to an hour late to an hour-and-fifteen minute class. It was a challenge, but I scored bonus points by arriving late to the midterm a month ago. Still, I operated at a tremendous deficit in comparison to her.
This morning, I strolled into Satterfield Hall at 9:30, a healthy fifteen minutes late. I tapped the raindrops from my umbrella and lifted my headphones. I took a drink from the fountain, snuck past the classroom door, removed my jacket. I saw a Daily Kent Stater sitting on a table and browsed the photos.
At that moment, Danielle walked into the building. She asked me why the hell I was standing alone in the hallway, reading a paper, jacket draped over one arm, fifteen minutes late. I explained to her that I was already late, and that there was no sense in rushing at that point. I went on to say that by taking off my jacket before entering, I would appear to have been in the building for a while, printing out copies of my poem, possibly. I pulled a folder out of my satchel to complete the illusion.
Danielle laughed, said she hadn't seen me in a while, gave me a hug. I asked her if she was with me. She told me to hold on and took off her jacket. We tiptoed in together, ill prepared, jackets removed, folders in hand, smiling. Upon gingerly sitting down, we realized neither had been to class in a week and laughed silently to each other.
Ten minutes later, LaTonia stepped in, wearing her bright red leather jacket. She produced much commotion with said jacket's removal. The chair clamored clumsily as she pulled it away from the table. She sat down with a tremendous sigh.
I chalked the day up as a loss.