~Preparing: Chapter 1~
I zipped my suitcase with a sigh and looked around at my room. I had everything I needed right? Unzipping my suitcase I went through everything and made sure I had everything in there, then moved onto my backpack and went through it.
“Noodle let’s get going! I want to get to the school early!” I rolled my eyes at Mom’s shouting.
“You always want to get there early,” I muttered under my breath, zipping my bag and suitcase up once again. Excitement coursed through me as I realized I was actually doing this. I was actually going to dance camp. While Chey Chey was off at Patoka Lake with Rayna. They were renting a cabin together and spending the entire summer there while I was off at dance camp. Leaving Mom all by herself in the trailer. I felt a bit guilty for leaving her alone. But she seemed happy about it so I left well enough alone.
“We’ll be out in the car,” Chey Chey said before she and Mom walked out of the house, leaving me with Oreo and Midnight. I looked down the hallway at Oreo who was sitting next to the front door, looking at me as if I was supposed to let her out.
“I’m not letting you out. Sorry,” I said shaking my head in the negative. My phone buzzed in my pocket. I pulled it out and looked at the notification. It was a message from the group chat in skype. Dez was asking if we all were up and ready yet. I looked at the time before cursing under my breath and grabbing my things. If we didn’t leave now we were going to be late for the bus. I rushed out of the house and into the backseat of Mom’s car.
“Where’s the list? Where’s the list? Where’s the list? Fuck, fuck, fuck!” After a few moments of frantically searching around my room, I found it in my pocket.
“Okay, let’s make sure I have everything!”
“Dance uniform? Check!”
“Other clothes? Hmm. Yep!”
“Check and check!”
I continue going through everything on the list.
“Okay, it seems like I have everything...I better check again.”
I continue to check to make sure I have everything on the list at least ten more times. I heard a car horn from outside.
“Shit. Gotta go. Just one more time...”
After I made sure I had everything for the last time, I ran downstairs with my duffel bag. I grabbed a waffle off my brother’s plate before he drenched it in syrup and ran out the house yelling, “Bye! I love y'all! I’ll see y’all when we get back!”
I opened the trunk of the car and tossed my bag in. I slammed it shut and jumped into the passenger’s seat.
“Ready to go?” My mother asked.
We headed off to the school where the bus would be picking us up.
Taking a deep breath, I stared at the packed suitcase in front of me. I was actually doing this. Just a few minutes earlier, I had packed this bag to the brim with all the clothes I might need, all the random health supplies a girl might need to have, and a few other random things that I wouldn’t want or need to keep right on me. The things in the smaller backpack included my laptop, like hell, were you separating me from that godsend piece of technology, a few snacks for the trip over, and a couple books in case I got extra, extra bored.
“Are you almost done packing?” My mom called, walking through the open door to my bedroom. I looked over and grinned.
“Yep. All packed up and ready to roll.”
“I can’t believe you’re going to a dance camp,” she said laughing.
“I know, right?! I mean, come on, I can’t even make ‘This one time, at dance camp’ jokes without people thinking I just messed it up!” I exclaimed with a snort. She shook her head.
“People wouldn’t understand the joke anyways unless they were my age! But the reason I can’t believe it is that you’ve never seemed to like dancing.”
Well, she wasn’t wrong.
“True. I figured it would be fun, though,” I replied with a grin. She rolled her eyes and shook her head at me.
“If you say so,” she said. She looked as if she was about to continue before she was interrupted by a horn sounding from outside. The bus was here.
“Shit, I gotta go!” I exclaimed with wide eyes. I hurried up to her and kissed her cheek, before grabbing my things (including putting on my hat-of-a-thousand-pins that were really just a gamer hat of mine covered in rows of small buttons that I’d collected and covered it with) and rushed down the stairs, and out the door. I hurried towards the bus, an excited grin on my face.
“Carly! Get your ass up!” I heard my dad yelling at me from the other room. I sighed as I slowly got out of bed. I put on some shorts and a tank top. I put a sheer fabric called a shirt over it.
I slipped on my socks and shoes and went to the kitchen. I grabbed a pop tart from the pantry to eat for breakfast.
I finished it and headed to the bathroom. I brushed my hair and put it up in a ponytail. I then brushed my teeth.
Just look at yourself. That awful reflection.
I sighed again and headed back to my room. I grabbed my bags and gave my family their byes and said I loved them.
I opened the front door and started walking to the bus stop. It was only a mile or so away, so I didn’t bother asking my dad to drive me. I didn’t want to make him upset.
Once I arrived, I grabbed one of my snacks from a bag and ate.
“When will the bus get here?” I asked to myself as I heard my phone ringing.
“Where the hell are you? Why aren’t you home?” My dad questioned me.
“Dad, I’m at the bus stop. I have to go to dance camp today, remember?” He hung up. I grumbled to myself.
I wish the bus would hurry up.
I stared out at the window from the backseat of Mom’s car. My earbuds were popped in my ears and Icon For Hire was playing on my phone. Rayna and Chey Chey were texting on their phones, Chey Chey was in the front seat, and Mom was driving, leaving Rayna in the backseat with me.
Currently, I was somewhere in the awkward line between excited and terrified. I was excited because this would be the first time I’m ever seeing my best friends Abi, Carly, and Dez. I had technically already seen Dez since she’s sent pictures and turned on her camera during Skype calls. But I’ve never seen Carly or Abi. What if we don’t recognize each other and spend the entire summer without meeting face to face?!
“We’re here,” Rayna said tapping my shoulder. I paused the music and got out of the car as Mom popped the trunk and put the car in park. She got out of the car as I walked to the back of the car and pulled my suitcase out of the trunk.
“You have your phone anytime you need to contact me okay?” Mom said cupping my face and kissing my forehead. I nodded and smiled at her.
“I’ll be okay Mom. I promise,” I ensured her, readjusting the bag on my shoulder as my phone vibrated. I ignored my phone for now and hugged Mom tightly. “Love you,” I managed out without breaking into tears. I was happy to get away from the house but I loved Mom to death and hated to be away from her for so long.
“Be good!” She shouted as I pulled away from her and started walking towards the bus with my suitcase and bag. I nodded and waved to her before handing the bus driver who was standing outside of the bus my suitcase. She stuffed my suitcase under the bus in those little compartments as I got onboard the bus and found a seat near the back.
Pulling out my phone from my purse I looked at the notification before looking out the window at Mom who was crying near the car. I waved her goodbye as the bus driver got on the bus and started to pull out of the parking lot. I watched Mom in the distance until she was just a speck on the horizon. And when she completely disappeared from sight, I looked back down from my phone and read the skype message Abi had sent.
Abi: Just got on the second bus. How 'bout you all?
I smiled and quickly pressed play on my music before typing up my reply to her message.
Dakota: Just got on the first one. I keep forgetting you and Carly have three busses whereas Dez and I have two.
Putting my phone down in my lap I looked out the window, enjoying the scenery for a few moments before my phone started buzzing again. I looked down at the battery on my phone. It was currently at 86%, it would have to last another 3 hours. I had to take it easy on what apps I use. Reopening up Skype I read the message Dez and Carly had sent.
Carly: are we rly doin this?
I smiled and scoffed, shaking my head.
Dakota: Yes, we’re really doing this carls.
Carly replied within seconds.
Dez: everyone have everything?
Dakota: Yes Dez, we have everything we need.
Dez: just makin' sure
Still smiling I looked up and back out of the window, enjoying the relaxing feeling of the scenery and listening to the music. This way I could ignore the chattering of people on the bus and I could relax. Leaning back in the seat I closed my eyes and let myself doze off.