I completely understood that Paige was just motivated by concern for her friend's welfare. But I felt like Rex's instinctive live-and-let-live attitude more closely matched my own inclinations. I figured that when I saw Paige on Thursday I'd just tell her about the date and then later deal with the religion question if and when it came up. Hopefully she would still be willing to be friends with me just as she had maintained her friendship with Rex.
When I felt that I was sufficiently calmed down off my happy cloud, I went back into the dormitory and headed for April's room. As she let me in, I noticed that by coincidence she had out all of her brochures and apparently had been going through them herself.
"Hi April," I said, "I was wondering if I could look over some of that material you sent away for."
"Of course, be my guest. I was just looking over them myself."
I picked one up at random. It was MIT. It looked nice, but I imagined I wouldn't get in.
"So you're really thinking of transferring?" she asked.
"I'm not just thinking about it," I said, "I've decided. I have to leave too. It's not about you, it's not about Janie, it's about me. I just don't belong here, no matter what I dreamed as a kid."
"I agree," she said.
I ran my fingers through the short hairs on the left side of my head, and started going through the pile more systematically. I started with the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin. Both were good schools where we would have in-state tuition (because of an agreement between Minnesota and Wisconsin). They also had the advantage and disadvantage of being not too far from Mom and Dad.
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I saw that April also had a bunch of information about different types of financial aid, which would certainly be helpful since we might be on our own after Mom and Dad found out we were leaving "the Lord's University."
There were some brochures from various west-coast schools in Washington and California, including Stanford. I figured that on the strength of not even one date yet it might be a bit early to be thinking about showing up on his doorstep, but at least I put that one in my not-entirely-ruled-out category. April had information on a bunch of east-coast schools as well that looked interesting. In addition to the big state schools, she had some brochures for a smattering of smaller liberal-arts colleges, some of which I had never even heard of. I found that she had even gotten information about how to join the Peace Corps and also some brochures for work-study programs in Europe.
"Do you see anything that interests you?" she asked.
"Lots of things," I replied. "There are so many possibilities."
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