“Whose house are we going to first?” Walter asked buckling his belt in the drivers side of the car.
“I’m already packed so we might as well go to Greg’s,” Casey answered back, the click of her belt echoing slightly in the small car.
“Of course you’re already packed,” Greg complained rolling his eyes. The car engine roared to life, a comforting sound in the cold temperatures.
“I knew a new battery would do the trick!” Walter exclaimed adjusting his mirrors slightly.
“Yeah, we wouldn’t want to get stuck at school again,” Greg admonished crossing his arms over his chest.
“Hey Mr. Franks saw us stranded and gave us a jump we were only stuck for like, half an hour!” Walter pointed out indignantly.
“It happened once, let’s not dwell on it,” Casey tried to order, reaching up and hitting Greg on the arm.
“What is with you and hitting me today?” Greg questioned purposefully moving slightly out of her reach.
“I wouldn’t have to hit you if you weren’t being a jerk,”
“How am I being a jerk?” Greg huffed, turning around to look at Casey.
“Do I have to spell it out for you?”
“Enough you two car checklist time!” Walter called out a little louder than his arguing friends to be heard. “Bags!”
“Check!” Greg and Casey answered back playfully.
“Belts!” Walter called out a little louder than necessary.
“Check!” Casey called pulling on her belt a bit for emphasis.
“I didn’t hear a check Greg.” Walter pointed out looking over to his friend to see him fastening his belt.
“There, belt on can we go now?” Greg complained turning on the heat in the car.
“Yes, we can go now,” Walter affirmed carefully pulling the car out of the lot. The tires squeal as Walter kicks the car into drive, but are quiet otherwise. After a few minutes of silence and the school firmly behind them Greg decided to speak up.
“So what exactly should I be packing?”
“Camping stuff,” Casey deadpanned.
“That’s all well and good but what exactly did you pack Case?” Walter chimed in glancing back at Casey through the rearview mirror.
“You know the essentials: toothbrush, sleeping bag, warm clothes, an extra pair of socks, and some food.” Casey listed off on her fingers.
“Exactly how long are we going to be out in the woods?” Greg asked sceptically.
“I’m not exactly sure,” Casey shrugged.
“What?!” Greg and Walter exclaimed at the same time. Walter barely managing to keep the car from swerving in surprise.
“You agree to go on a camping trip and you don’t even know how long we’re going to be there!” Greg yelled, balling his hands into fists and twisting around to glare at Casey.
“Well Shaun wasn’t exactly clear on the timeline! He said a few days!” Casey yelled back at the two, tears starting to form in her eyes.
“Then tell us a few days!” Greg, yelled again fumeing.
“Why do you keep yelling at me for trying to help someone!”
“Woah Case, it’s okay,” Greg soothed, taking a deep breath before looking Casey in the eyes, “ I didn’t mean to make you feel bad.” Greg stopped and rubbed a hand across his face.
“It’s just that you sprung this whole camping trip on us with, like, zero warning can you really expect us to just easily accept that?” Walter chimed in, stopping at the red light in front of them.
“I get that Walt,” Casey laments, “But all you guys have done is yell at me for the choices I’ve made.”
“That’s kind of the point here Case,” Walter meekly offers moving the car forward again.
“What is that supposed to mean?” Casey asks quickly, her tone clipped.
“You made these choices. We didn’t have the chance to say anything about this camping trip.”
“Well you guys would have said no!”
“And that should be our choice!” Walter exclaims, car swerving a bit with his anger.
“Guys, guys, this is supposed to be a fun trip.” Greg points out quickly, keeping his hands planted firmly on either side of his seat. “Let’s get on with the fun, what’d you say?”
“Fine,” Walter agreed begrudgingly, “but I’m still not going over the speed limit.”
“Baby steps Walt, baby steps.” Greg teases, patting Walter on his shoulder patronizingly. Greg fiddled with his fingers, drumming them on his door frame, before quickly tiring of that. Staring out the window is almost as boring.
“Okay, so I know I said let’s get on with the fun, but how is sitting silently in a car fun?” Greg, complains turning to keep both Walt and Casey in his line of sight.
“Well some of us would like to not crash into a ditch.”
“But how is talking going to make you drive into a ditch? I thought you were supposed to be the best driver out of all of us.” Greg prods.
“What can you not handle the car being silent for more than five minutes Greg?” Casey jokes.
“I can so!” Greg answers instantly, “It’s just.” Greg pauses to suck in a short breath, his mind struggling for words. “I don’t want to sit in silence, road trips are always more fun with talking and games.
“This isn’t a road trip you know,” Walter points out, taking a smooth left turn.
“Any trip is a road trip if you think about it.”
“And what is that supposed to mean Greg?” Casey asks, sarcasm heavy in her voice and in her raised eyebrow.
“Well, we are driving on a road are we not?”
“I’m just gonna stop you right there.” Casey puts her left hand up, while her right goes to pinch the bridge of her nose. “I know what you’re getting at and I refuse to let it get any farther.”
“I’m with Case,” Walter chimes in, “And because I’m the driver I order the rest of this car ride to be in quiet time.”
“Okay. That’s fair Walter, but don’t you mean the rest of this road trip?” Greg wiggles his eyebrows and Walter’s annoyed glance.
“Don’t let him turn you against me Walter!” Casey threatens, pointing her index finger towards him.
“I’m sorry Case I can’t hear you over the sound of quiet time for the rest of the-”
“Don’t say it!” Casey tries to warn Walter. Only it’s not enough.
“For the rest of the road trip.” Walter finishes his sentence, happily.
“YES!” Greg exclaims, pumping a fist into the air.
“Now look what you did,” Casey sighs, slumping back into her seat.
“Hey I said quiet time!”
“When is your mom going to be home again Greg?”
“About five I think Walt.”
“Are you guys purposely ending your sentences with each others names? ...Greg?”
“Why would you think that, Casey?” Greg questions, undoing his seat belt.
“Because, that is almost certainly something you’d do Gregory.”
“That feels like slander to my perfectly good name, Casey,” Greg huffs getting out of the car.
“Well you don’t exactly have a perfectly good name there Gregory.” Walter interjected, clicking the lock button on his key fob.
“No one asked you Walter!”
“Okay enough with that or I will punch both of your lights out.” Casey snaps, taking the one step up to Greg’s porch in quick succession.
“I think we’ve angered the beast dude.”
“You know she doesn’t like being called a beast Walt!” Greg remarks overly loudly, before leaning closer to Walter. “But yes we definitely have.”
“Greg you better have this door open in two seconds or so help me-”
“It’s open! It’s open!” Greg exclaims loudly, nearly falling over as he steps through the threshold.
The house is quaint not what you’d call big but not small either, sort of a medium house. Stairs lie to the right of the door, and about three steps away from it, stairs which Greg quickly starts climbing.
“You guys get some snacks from the kitchen while I pack!” Greg calls down from the top of the stairs.
“If it’s about food you don’t have to tell me twice!” Walter quickly agrees making a B-line for the food.
“Walter! You better not be taking all of the food in the house!” Casey sighs, taking measured steps after him.
“I’m not!” Walter answers, his voice muffled.
“You already have food in your mouth don’t you?” Casey asks knowingly walking into the kitchen.
“...No.” Walter mutters sheepishly turning around to face Casey. His mouth is bulging, and the traitorous banana peel sits still in his hands. Casey just stands there in the doorway, hands on her hips and an exasperated look on her face. Neither of the two say anything, they only continue to stare at each other as the sound of movement upstairs reaches their ears.
“...Did you shove a whole banana in your mouth as soon as you got in here?” Casey finally breaks the silence after a few minutes.
Walter swallows with some difficulty before responding, “...Yes.”
“You have a problem with food Walt.”
“I know,” Walt answers back, disposing of the banana peel in the process.
“Guys should I bring my puffy green winter jacket or no?” Greg calls from upstairs.
“You should bring it just incase it gets that cold!” Casey shrilly yells back.
“Got it!” At the sound of movement in the kitchen Casey turns her head back towards Walter.
“What are you doing?” She asks accusatorily.
“I’m getting snacks, like we were told to.” Walter pulls out a bag of chex mix and a bag of pretzels “Now which should we bring?”
“Wipe that dopey smile off your face and we’re bringing both.” Casey answers quickly.
“I always knew you were fun! No matter what anyone said.” Walter cheers, putting the goodies on the island in the middle of the kitchen.
“I know I’m fun!” Casey gloats, smug look on her face. Until her ears and her mind catch up to what’s been said. “Wait who says I’m not cool?!”
“Bag packed and ready to go!” Greg calls dropping his back by the door and walking into the kitchen.
“We can get some more snacks at my place!” Walter says quickly, grabbing Greg by the shoulder, turning him around and heading towards the door.
“Woah Walt wait what’s going on-”
“No time to talk get to the car.” Walter interrupts, pushing Greg towards the door a little more forcefully.
“What did you d-” Greg starts, only to be interrupted by Casey.
“Walter who said I wasn’t fun!” Casey demands, shaking herself out of her stupor and stalking towards the duo.
“Oh no I see.”
“Car. Now” Walter urges, getting the door open.
“You’re not getting out of this that easy Walter!” Casey calls storming out the door after Walter.“They are definitely going to try to kill each other at some point on this trip.” Greg mutters to himself before closing and locking his door, and making his way towards the car.