I heard my brother called out to me from our living room. “Coming!” I yelled as I went downstairs with my back pack. I literally danced my way down with a huge grin on my face. I found my brother sprawled on the couch, watching the television. He’s back home for a week on his semester break. My mum rushed to me with a small bag in hand. She shoved in the bag in my already packed bag pack. “Mum, I’m sure the boot camp will provide us more than enough food.” I groaned as I struggled to zip up my bag.
My mum ignored my comment and started to tell me what to do and not to do once I get to the camp. I rolled my eyes while my brother laughed at us. “Are you sending her to the war or something?” He mocked.
“It’s only a week.” I reminded my mum. “It doesn’t matter whether a week or a day, you have to be careful when you’re in a new place especially the jungle.”
I nodded and gave her an assuring smile. She always worried whenever we head out to somewhere far. I still remember how worried she was when my brother enrolled in college. She had lectured him all the way to his college and only return home after taking a good look at his room and the campus.
My friend honked once again.
“Time to go.” I announced and walked out of the house.
The striking blue car was parked right in front of my house. I waved at my friend as I wore my sports shoe.
After assuring my mum that I will be careful, I hopped into the car.
“Try not to get lost in the woods.” I heard my brother yelled out. “I will try.” I replied jokingly.
“Drive safely, Naomi.” My mum told my friend. “I will, Mrs Andwill.” Naomi replied.
As we drove away, I glanced back and saw my mum standing in front of her small garden waving at me. I waved back though I doubt she could see me now.
“They do realize that you’re almost 18, right?” Naomi teased as always. My parents have always been overprotective that even my friends could guess where I’m allowed to go and when I will be grounded. It’s a good thing my dad was in outstation attending his business meeting. I doubt he would allow me to go to a summer camp without asking a lot question about the whole thing. I would have given up by the time he was done. Though he had quitted the police force, he still does act like he hasn’t. I made sure to remind myself to call him as soon as I reach the camp.
Naomi was wearing a red tee and black jeans. Her blonde hair twisted up in a bun.
Naomi was the first girl I befriended almost instantly back in high school. We were both transferred from different places so it was quite lonely for us the first few weeks.
It was the first marathon practice day I had spoken to her. She was standing right in front of me during the briefing, her hair braided neatly. Back then I was taller than most of the girls in my class while Naomi was the shortest. I still remember the first question we asked each other was about our grades. If it was someone else they would have thought us as being snobbish but we understood each other. We both cared about grades, rankings and practically every other thing that would secure our top spots in the class. Just like that we clicked, we became best friend forever.
While we chatted, Naomi’s phone chimed, a red head girl’s picture popped on the screen. It was Jane Black.
“She changed her hair!” I said in amazement as I scrolled the screen to answer her call.
“Tell me you’re on the way.” Jane’s tone was laced with annoyance. “We are.” I replied. “Good. See you.” She hung up the call curtly.
“What time did you tell her?” I asked Naomi and she smiled sheepishly. This happen almost every time we decide to meet up, Naomi not being on time and Jane getting irritated at that. Jane hates those not punctual. It is utmost important to her for people living up to their words. Slacking will only makes her mad. I guess being best friends for almost two years now, we have become the exceptions but that doesn’t mean we don’t face her wrath.
For the first few years of our schooling years, I didn’t even know Jane existed. She has always been invisible, almost. The first time I noticed her was when she happened to have the same class as Naomi. It was Naomi, who introduced her to me. At one glance, I assumed she’s the shy and quiet kind. Whenever we hang out together she never socialize much and always keep things to herself.
It was at the international debate competition had she blown everyone away at the school. Her smart and witty mouth was not something I expected. Only then we came to find out, she had been the school representative in language society and that she had led the team to win over many competitions national level. She is one of the school golden students but she preferred keeping low profile. Each time she share something about herself, she always stun me. Her mind, her world works differently. She views things in a different perspective.
Jane was standing outside her house by the time we reached her place. She was wearing her classic wear, black top and jean. Her newly done hair was striking and complimented her Mexican skin tone. Her mum’s lineage had come from Mexico so Jane and her little sister had inherited the complexion while her younger brother looks absolutely different like her father.
She settled in the back seat without muttering a word, to diffuse the bomb, I quickly complimented her change of look. “The red suits you. You can totally pull of the Black Widow look.” Her fingers twisted a few lock that fell until her stomach, a small smile seeped in slowly. “Really?” She asked genuinely.
To see her to have doubts her look is new, “Yeah! Jane if only our school boys see you now, they will be falling head over heels for you.” Naomi stated in her joyous tone. Jane smile grew bigger. “I kept having doubts if this was a mistake.” She told us as she took out her hand phone. “I told Ivy that I would call her as soon as you guys fetch me.”
Ivy Luciana Hale, the billionaires of the nations’ top mining business. Mr. Hale, her daddy had been listed in Forbes for being in top 100 richest man in the world. Ivy transferred to our school two years back. I just knew the second we saw her she was not just some random transfer kid. The first week itself, she was caught in a scandal with one of the popular senior. She attracted more than enough attention in a very short period until some of the senior girls started hating her for being the new fascination among the boys. It was totally random that when she came to us to inquire about the school, and we became friends.
Sometimes I wonder how on earth the four of us ended being friends. It truly amazing we stuck with each other after millions of differing views and arguments and disagreements. I guess that’s how friendship works.
We stopped outside the big house, I called Ivy’s phone and she stepped out hastily with her two bags. Her two dogs appeared at both sides of her, waging their tail playfully. She patted them and ordered them back in as the gate started to close electronically. The small furry one ran inside as soon as she received her order. The big rottweiler barked at us a few times before heading in. The dog was as big as lion. I have always been afraid to step into Ivy’s house simply because of the gigantic dog. None of us opened the car door until the gate was closed.
“Will your dog ever get used to us?” Naomi asked Ivy.
She shrugged unsurely herself. “She won’t bite.” Ivy stated as always but never once has she let us in without making sure her dogs are in the cage, locked.
Her phone rang as soon as she settled beside Jane at the backseat. “No phones!” I said out loud. “Yeah-uh don’t you know it’s rude to be on the phone when you’re actually out with your friends?” Jane quoted the tweet Ivy recently retweeted.
“Oh hey, what’s up?” Ivy answered the phone as she rolled her eyes at us. “Tonight? No I can’t make it. I’m going away for a week.” She was all sighing and nodding on the line.
“My friends? Which picture are you looking at?”
“The cute one? Oh that’s Naomi. Yeah, yeah she’s the one but save your breath, she’s taken.”
“Who is she talking to?” Naomi asked as soon as her name was mentioned.
“I don’t know.” I told her and looked at Jane. Jane simply shrugged, clueless as well.
“The other one? You mean Anna? You know her, she was with me the other day. Yeah, the one you had an argument with. I don’t know if she’s interested but I thought you didn’t like her.” Ivy gave me a sheepish smile before she went on.
I frowned at her, wondering who is on the other side of the line.
“Trust me, you two can never get along. Is that Jamie? I can hear him. Who is he talking about? Oh, tell him, you don’t wanna mess with Jane. No, not that. She’s sweet actually, just not like the others. Not exactly, she’s more like I don’t know a little dark and twisted inside.”
“That’s it, I’m taking over.” Jane snatch the phone from Ivy and with her calm and equally dangerous voice said, “Hi, Jane here. Who are you and why are you asking about me?”
The phone line went dead.
“Jane, you scared them off!” Ivy claimed as she retrieved her phone from Jane.
“Seriously that’s how you describe us to your friends?” Jane asked, to which Ivy replied, “Come on it was not that bad.”
“Who was that?” I asked her. “I don’t remember having argument with anyone.”
“Remember the guy from the band, Tyler. He even tried to hit on you.” Ivy told me but I couldn’t recall any memory of it.
“Nope, I don’t think I know what you talking about.” I told her but didn’t press on it since I know I have the problem of remembering the names of random strangers I met.
“Well, those boys were looking for someone to play a character in their new music video. They are trying to scout some new talent.” Ivy informed us.
“He thought we could be in his music video?” Jane asked, almost sounding excited.
“Yeah, that and Jamie asked me to set him up with someone.” Ivy sheepish smile was back on her face.
“Okay, now I get your strange conversation.” Naomi stated.
Ivy has been very active in social media which made her famous for being the girl that know it all. She’s very good in editing video and making it viral in a short period. Often she gets invitation to attend concerts and meet and greet of artists.
Her phone rang again but Jane was quicker to end the call. “Yeah, no more phones in this trip.”
“I’m so re-considering about staying a week with the three most annoying people on earth.” Ivy said in annoyance. She combed through her shoulder length hair with her fingers while peeking at her phone screen. Her mahogany coloured hair shined beautifully. “No you’re not! We agreed to this plan. Nobody is bailing.” Naomi stated as she drove into the highway rather roughly. I watched the road and the vehicles around us worriedly. Naomi can be a dangerous driver sometimes. “Slow down. We’re not in hurry.” I told her and she cut me a look.
“Anna, why boot camp? Of all the other fun things we could be doing, why the jungle?” Jane asked. “It’s something new and adventurous, as we planned to do after school.” I pointed out. As soon as we graduated from school, the four of us agreed to do some new and adventurous activities together before we enroll in college. Though we did applied the same college, it’s not certain that all of us will be accepted in the same one so we wanted to at least have a memorable holidays together before our life get busy.
“Did you see Esther’s post last night, romantic dinner date at the beach side? Now that’s something I want to do.” Ivy started tapping her phone screen, looking for the picture.
“Guys, trust me. You gonna have fun. My cousins went there for three summers consequently because they loved it.” I tried to convince the girls. Jane and Ivy did hesitated when I suggest about spending the first week of summer at the boot camp but nonetheless they agreed. Of course, they constantly grumble about it. Naomi was onboard with this since she was as curious I am about camping and staying in the jungle. I hope this won’t be a disappointment.