23 | Just a Dare
“It was just a dare.” I repeated, as I walked down the path towards camp Turn It up. “A dare. No big deal. Just a stupid dare that I’m going to kill Shannon for.”
Chris had asked me to come down to his camp, because he had to tell me something. I didn’t understand why he couldn’t tell me at my own camp instead of dragging me up there.
What if Chase see’s me?
After the dare I had performed last night, things had gotten extremely awkward. Josh was pissed off, Chase was quietly staring at his feet, Shane was smirking, Shannon was giggling and I had mixed emotions between anger, confusion and god knows what else.
I pushed open the gate that led me into the camp. The lawn was full of people. Kids were outside playing games. Some boys and girls were playing soccer, while others were reading or practising dance moves. It was so energetic and happy, unlike Camp Step up the Beat recently.
“May?” Caleb called, and came running over. “Hey!” He lifted me up and swung me around. I laughed at the piles of energy this kid had. He didn’t even care what people think.
“S’up.” I smiled.
“What are you doing here?”
I pulled a face at his question. “Your guess is as good as mine.” I grumbled. “Chris told me to come to his office. Well he didn’t tell me. He told a girl called Jenna, who told Jessica, who told Josh, who told Shannon, who told.. me?”
Caleb paused for a second, and thought about what I said. “So Chris wants you to go to his office?” He sums up. I nodded. He chuckled, and grabbed my arm. “I shall take you there.”
“Why thank you!”
We walked past the campers, and down a small path, away from the activity of the camp. “That’s it there.” Caleb pointed at a small bricked cabin, in the middle of two others. The one on the right of it is the staff room thing, and the one on the left is the nurse’s office.”
“We don’t have a nurses office.” I mused.
“Yeah, Chris had it built recently. Like you guys have a nurse, just not an exact place for her to work.”
I nodded in understanding. “Thanks man.” I smiled, and began to walk towards the cabin. “If I’m not out in a half an hour, called the cops!”
Caleb snorted, and began to walk off. “I’ll keep that in mind.” He called over his shoulder. I reached the door, and knocked twice. I heard shuffling inside, and after a couple of moments he finally let me in.
“I’m sorry. I’ve had to keep the door locked, I don’t want anyone to barge in and get well, worried.” He apologized. I glanced around the office, it was all clean and organised except for his desk which was covered in papers and files. Chris’s hair was a mess, and his eyes were dull and tired.
“It’s fine.. What’s up?” I questioned.
“I thought I had should update you, it was your idea after all.”
My eyes widened. “Did it work?”
Chris hesitated. “Kinda. Well, he’s willing to sell the camp to me. But for double the price.”
I nodded, edging him on.
“He wants the money by Saturday, and that only gave me three days. I’m not going to have enough.”
My heart sank. “How much are you short?”
“Is that it? But like, your family is famous! You’re bound to have that.”
“Dave paid a lot of money, I guess he used all Granddad’s money from the camp, as well as his own. I was able to get money of my gran, and my family but it still doesn’t cover it. I’ve taken a lot of money out of my own camp, but I can’t risk it getting bankrupt.”
I buried my face in my hands. “How about a loan?”
“The bank will only give out a certain amount, and if I want anymore than that, I have to wait until Monday.”
“Fifty grand short?”
He nodded. “I never thought I’d have problems with money, but Dave must have sold it for this amount, because he knew we’d try to get it back.”
I didn’t reply. What could I say? ‘Oh, I’m sorry you’re going to lose your grandfather’s camp because you can’t get fifty thousand?’ If only I got along with my parents, I could simply ask them for fifty thousand.
I excused myself, and left the office. My plan didn’t work. My plans always worked! I growled in frustration, and headed back down the path as fast as I could.
“You’re alive! No need to call the cops huh?” Caleb yelled from across the lawn. I shot him a weak smile, and kept walking. I closed my eyes and tried to clear my head and think of a new plan.
But that might not have been the best idea.
“Ouch.” I grumbled, after walking into someone. I looked up to apologize, and realized I was face to face with Chase. His honey colored eyes narrowed.
“Do you always walk around with your eyes closed?” He mused. I grimaced and shook my head. “Why are you here?”
“I had to, um, visit Chris.” I stuttered. I mentally slapped myself.
I shrugged in reply, and skipped past him down the lane.
“You know I’m not going to stop asking you right?”
I rolled my eyes, knowing that his threat was true. “I had a plan that would help Chris buy back the camp.” I explained.
“Did it work?”
“He’s short fifty thousand.”
Chase cursed under his breath. “What are we going to do?”
“What can we do? My parents aren’t going to hand me fifty grand just because I asked. I doubt any parent would.”
We reached SUTB, and I headed towards my cabin. Chase attempted to follow me, but I told him that I’d meet him in the dining area. I had a phone date with Kelly.
“You’re late!” Kelly snapped down the phone. She was breathless, like she had just run a marathon.
“What’s up with you?” I asked curiously.
“I’m busy as hell. A model dropped out of the show and mom made me fill in.” She grumbled.
“How did she make you.”
“Talked about grandma, offered lots of money. You know the usual. And when I still said no, she threatened to ‘destroy my career’, and when I laughed at that, she promised that she wouldn’t ask me to do anything ever again if I did this for her.”
“Oh.. That was a very good offer.” I laughed.
“I know right? At least I can do what I want now.”
“Have you any luck? Getting a job?”
“Yeah actually. I was offered a place in this New York restaurant. It’s one of the biggest restaurants ever, and the main chef retired.”
“Congratulations!” I beamed. I was so happy for Kelly. She always wanted to be a chef, but her mother was against it, because food and fashion apparently don’t mix. But Kelly was an amazing cook!
“How about you? You seem stressed.” Kelly questioned, her voice was laced with worry.
“Remember what I told you about Dave?” I asked.
“Well Chris said that the plan could have worked, except he’s short fifty thousand.”
“Fifty wouldn’t take that long to raise.”
“He needs to have it by Saturday.”
Kelly sighed. “May-“
I could hear my aunt yelling in the background, “-I’m coming! God!”
I chuckled. “What’s got her all worked up.”
“You’re only gone a couple of weeks and you forgot? It’s fashion week.” She explained. My eyes widened in realization.
“Where are you today?”
“New York. We’ve a few shows in Manhattan tomorrow.”
“Six or seven… Our first one is at eleven in the morning, our last is eleven at night.”
“Urgh, sucks to be you.”
“I know. Listen babe I got to go. Call me if you need any help!” She hung the phone up, leaving me standing there, missing her.
I went to the dining area. Everyone was there eating lunch. Chase was sitting beside Cassie with an amused look on his face, as she told him a story. Shannon glanced up as I walked in. “How did it go with Chris?” She cried. I merely shook my head, and her smile dropped.
“What happened?” Shane pressed.
“Were short fifty thousand.” I explained. Shane frowned in confusion. “The guy wants it by Saturday, and there’s no way Chris can get it.”
Jessica stopped at our table, hearing what we said as she was walking by. It must have killed her having associate with us, but anyway.
“I can ask daddy, he’ll-“
“I doubt it Jessica. He was the one helping Dave get the money in the first place.” I murmured, and grabbed an apple from the basket.
Jessica paused. “What?” She snapped.
“Remember what Dave said? Your father has been very generous to this camp.” I grumbled.
Jessica’s eyes widened in realization. “Of course!” She cried. I jumped at her sudden outburst and watched her cautiously. “Of course he’d be helping Dave! Can he not give me one summer on my own? Where I don’t have to deal with his shit!”
I was taken aback by her rant. “Um-“
“We’ll find a way out of this Jessica.” Shannon promised. I nodded in agreement.
“I want to help.” Jessica demanded. “Whatever you are going to do. I want to help.”
“How about a fundraiser?” Shane commented.
“A fundraiser wouldn’t raise fifty thousand though.” Cassie reasoned.
I thought about this. It would if we had the right people. “But.. If we went to the right places. Places with rich people, or a lot of people in it. We might.”
“Like where?” Shannon asked.
“Manhattan. There are several fashion shows on tomorrow all over Manhattan. My parents are running them. If we can crash them, with a song and wear my parents clothes, we can get our money because people at these events will be loaded.”
“How are we going to get to Manhattan exactly?” Max pointed out.
“I can get that sorted.” Chase replied. “My granddad owns a big transport business, that includes buses as well as delivery vans.”
“Would he lend us one?” I asked.
“Yeah, of course.”
I looked over at Shane. “What do you think?”
Shane shrugged his shoulders. “Do you think we could raise that much money?”
“There’s probably around seven shows. First one is at eleven in morning, last one is at eleven at night. There will be thousands of people who want my moms clothes, and we will be basically advertising them. I’ll get my cousin to send some of my mum’s designer clothes for us all, and we’ll wear them while we perform.”
“Would you’re mom mind?”
“Of course she’ll mind, but I’ll find a way for her to think it’s a good idea.”
“How would you do that?”
“Shane pet. I can be very persuasive.” That was true. I could be the best strategist, and business person whenever I put my mind to it. When I be Esme Riley, and not May. I can be serious. I can get stuff done.
Shannon rolled her eyes and laughed at that. “Okay, so what do we do now?” Jessica asked, bringing everyone back to the main point. “Like, we need to practice and stuff, right?”
I nodded, “But try and do it somewhere that Dave won’t find out. I need to make a phone call, so text me when you find a place.”
Shannon nodded, and wolfed her soup down. “We better hurry, Chase! Go talk to your granddad, and get a few of Turn It Up campers to help.”
He nodded, and shot me a wink before jogging off back to his camp. Shannon wiggled her eyebrows in my direction and I flipped her off.
I grabbed my phone from my pocket and dialed Kelly’s number, she needed to lend a hand.
After a quick five minute conversation with Kelly, we had worked out a plan. We were to meet her outside Pro’s and Show’s at ten o’clock, where she would give the guys their clothes. We would start our performance outside the shop just before the fashion show starts, because that would pull more people to the event anyway. Which would please our parents. Kelly is going to pretend that this was a surprise from her, and our parents will be happy and rich, and we would also get our money.
That was the plan anyway.
Shannon texted me, and told me that they were practicing in camp Turn It Up. I guess that was a very logical idea, because Dave wouldn’t go near the place, and we could do what we want.
Once I entered the neighboring camp, I found Chase waiting for me. “Come on.” He ordered, “They’re at the concert stage.”
I nodded, and waited for him to show me the way. After a moment of awkward standing, he seemed to realize that I had no idea where that was and decided to show me the way.
“Okay so May, do we perform one song? Or different songs? What do we do?” Shannon pestered. Everyone stood there expectantly, and I gritted my teeth.
“Get me a pen and paper.” I ordered. Melissa dug some out of her pocket (only she would carry around a pen and paper) and handed them to me. I bit my tongue in concentration and began to write down ideas. No one interrupted me, I probably looked scary as hell. Whenever I get into the zone, I get aggressive and basically become my father.
“Were not doing one song.” I decided. “We’re going to do a remix.”
“May we don’t have enough time!” Shane reasoned.
“Of course we do! I’ve already written down the songs we need to practice with. It’s only bits and pieces, it will give nearly everyone a chance to sing, plenty of ways to dance. The more we do in the limited time we have, the more we impress. The more we impress the more money we get.”
Jessica nodded in agreement. “What songs are we doing?”
I handed the list over to her, and she read through them quickly. “That could work.” She admitted.
“We have to start practicing, we need everyone to get some sort of position. Find out who sings what.” I sighed, and rolled up the sleeves of my hoodie. “Let’s do this.”
After three hours of practicing, everyone was wrecked. We had practiced hard, making sure that everyone knew what to do. We had agreed that only twenty five people would be going to Manhattan, fifteen people from Step Up The Beat, and ten people from Turn It Up.
“I’m still not sure about this.” Melissa mumbled. “What if we don’t raise enough?”
“We have to try!” I insisted.
Shane wrapped an arm around Melissa and squeezed her shoulder. “We’ll figure it out!”
“Right now you’re the only reason. I’m not letting go!
And time out if everyone’s worth pleasing,
you’ll trigger a landslide, to kill of the finite state of mind.”
I couldn’t help but let out a laugh at her choice of song.
“It takes acquired minds to taste, to taste, to taste this wine
You can’t down it with your eyes.
So we don’t need the headlines
No, we don’t want your headlines
We just want…” Jessica whispered.
“Everybody sing like it’s the last song you will ever sing.
Tell me, tell me, do you feel the pressure now?
Everybody live like it’s the last day you will ever see.
Tell me, tell me, do you feel the pressure now?
Everybody sing like it’s the last song you will ever sing.
Tell me, tell me, do you feel the pressure?” I sang.
Everyone who was apart of our little rebellion began to grin, their stiff figures began to relax.
“Alright, so you think you’re ready?
Okay, then you say this with me
Go!” I smirked.
“We were born for this!
We were born for this!” The crowd of people yelled.
“Alright, so you think you’re ready?
OK, then you say this with me,
“We were born for this.
We were born for this.
We were born for this.
We were born for this.”
“Okay.” Chase interrupted. “Granddad has organised a bus, it’ll be here at seven am. “
“That early?” Max whined. I smirked.
“Big baby.” I laughed. “Okay. I wanted everyone to write down their size in clothing on this paper, I need to send it to Kelly.”
They all nodded, and came forward. I quickly wrote name, Size, and Position, down on the paper, and watched carefully making sure they filled in all the important details.
“Just because I’m going along with this.” Jessica hissed in my ear. “Doesn’t mean I like you.”
“Aw damn. And here I was thinking that you had finally fallen for my charm.” I replied, fighting my smile.
She rolled her eyes, and stormed away. “I’m doing it for me.” She yelled over her shoulder.
Yeah, well so am I.