Central High’s half-marathon fundraiser for diabetes is floundering without sign-ups, and newly diagnosed Avery is determined to save it. It’s the perfect opportunity to prove to her classmates—including the ex who dumped her because he has “enough to worry about”—that she’s still the girl who can do anything. Her plan to increase registration: matchmake every runner, including the race’s stubbornly single, immensely desirable founder. But finding his soulmate is even harder than running 13.1 miles when she falls for him herself.
The Central High School parking lot has seen many things in its decades of service. An escaped rooster from a prank gone wrong. Mike Wright streaking in a last-ditch, misguided effort to win back Sam Lee. Way too many promposals involving the marching band.
But I’m not sure it’s ever seen a senior wearing a toga with an insulin pump.
Today the lot is full of gossipy, sheet-draped students enjoying a pancake breakfast before we stampede the school, as is first-day tradition. I scan the crowd, waving to classmates, searching for the hood of Olivia’s beat-up blue Toyota, and keeping a wary eye out for Adam. I haven’t flexed my social multi-tasking muscles in months—too busy recovering from my diagnosis, bringing my blood sugars back to baseline, learning to count carbs—and I’m tensed for whispers about poor sick Avery. So far, though, things feel almost normal.
Then the group chat pings with a message from Olivia.
Sorry, we’re running late! Sophie overslept. Again.
I allow myself one moment of disappointment. I was counting on having my friends at my side today, but I guess I’ll have to brave the pancake line alone.
Standing on the edge of the lot, surveying the sea of bodies, I take a deep breath and square my shoulders. Here we go. Avery’s triumphant return.