Control the Beat

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26 | Frogface

“What the hell is that?” Shannon yelped, sitting up in her bed.

The sound went off again. “Jesus!” I spluttered, and scrambled out of my own bed.

I checked the time, and it was half six in the morning. Half six! The whistle kept blowing, and I stormed to the door.

“What the actual-” I began, but stopped in my tracks. Chris made his way through the camp, whistle in his mouth, waking up every camper.

“I’m starting to regret giving him the money.” Shannon whispered, wincing at the sound.

I sighed and grabbed a pair of runners from behind me and slipped them on. Turn It Up was marching behind him, with wide grins on their faces. Obviously enjoying the satisfaction of waking up every one of the Step Up The Beat campers.

“Come on.” I grumbled, grabbing her hand. “He’s probably up to something.”

“Yeah well couldn’t he wait a couple of damn hours!” She yelled. Now she knows how I feel every morning.

I dropped her hand and raised my own in defense. “You go tell him that.”

She grumbled under her breath, and made her way over to the crowd that was now following Chris. I stumbled down the steps, and wandered over to Shane who had also joined the group of people marching behind Chris.

“Good morning sunshine!” He sang.

I shot him a blank look, and internally groaned. “It’s too early!”

“I’ve been up for hours.” Shane shrugged.

“Shut up frog face.” I muttered, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. Shane doubled over from laughter, he began coughing and spluttering, while he continued his walk. I watched him bemused. “You done yet?”

“Frog face?” He spluttered.

I rolled my eyes, “My insults suck in the morning.”

“How do they differ from every other time of the day then?” Max butted it, he grinned as I scowled and swung his arm around my shoulder.

“Lighten up May.” He chuckled.

I bit my tongue, preventing myself from snapping at him. We continued walking behind Chris, who continued blowing his stupid whistle. We halted outside of Dave’s office. He was always here at six in the morning, so he can sort out some ‘business’.

Chris blew his whistle a dozen times, hoping to pull Dave away from his desk.

Chris rolled his eyes and continued blowing his whistle until the door was flown open and a raging Dave stormed out. “What do you think you are doing!” He roared. “Why are you in my camp?”

“That’s funny. I was going to ask you the same thing!” Chris smirked.

I glanced at Shannon who seemed to have forgotten how pissed she was with Chris. She was smiling. I grinned at Shane who looked relieved.

“What does that mean?” Dave asked cautiously.

Chris pulled an envelope out of his pocket and handed it to Dave. “You shouldn’t put your business in the hands of a power-hungry man, besides yourself of course.” He mused. “All I had to do is buy it for more.”

Dave swallowed slowly while reading the letter, before shaking his head. “This is fake.” He decided.

I snorted with laughter. “Denial!” I sang.

Dave re-read the letter. “It can’t be-“

“Dave I want you to leave my camp. If you don’t, I’ll be forced to call the police.” Chris announced grimly.

Dave’s eyes widened, and he shook his head. “I’m sorry Chris, I’ll continue to manage the camp, I won’t do anything-“

“Get out Dave.” Jessica hissed, her eyes full of hatred.

Everyone watched as Dave stood at the office, looking worthless and lost. “My stuff..” He muttered.

“We’ll have it all sent to your house.”

Dave nodded, and rubbed his face in frustration. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s a bit late for that.” Shannon retorted. I watched as Dave’s eyes filled with tears. Most people would start to pity the guy, but I didn’t. He brought this on himself. He went back into his cabin to collect some of his possessions, everyone began to whisper urgently.

“What’s going to happen now?”

“Chris runs the camp, just like he does with TIU.”

“Does that mean we’ll have to paired up with them?”

Dave made his way through the sleepy campers, and towards his car. He glanced at us all one last time, before getting into his car and driving off. The campers were silent as we watched him leave. Chris watched him through narrowed eyes, and Shannon glared him down.

“Well that was very dramatic.” Chase mused, out of nowhere. He had his arm around a pretty brunette, and was smirking at us all. “Cheer up people! He’s gone, the camp is saved! Hooray and all that!”

The campers began to relax and laugh. Chris patted Chase’s back. “Okay guys, go get dressed and get breakfast. We have a lot to talk about.”

Everyone nodded and made their way back to their cabin. I looked up to see Chase watching me, with a small smirk on his face. I winked at him before skipping over to Shane and Josh.

“Hey girlies!” I teased.

Josh opened his arms, allowing me to jump into them and be spun around. “We did it. We did it!” He laughed.

I pulled Shane into our hug, and squeezed them both as hard as I could.

“Uh May.. I can’t breath!” Shane choked.

“I don’t care.” I replied, continuing the hug.

“I’m dying.”

I sighed and let go of them, grinning widely. “There’s only two days left.” I realized. My smile faded slowly, and I pouted.

“And we’ll be back next year.” Shane hugged me. “Plus we’ll come and visit you like everyday.”

“Everyday?”

“Everyday.”

“Aw cute!” I cooed, and ruffled his hair. He slapped my hand away and complained about me messing up his hair. I took hold of the both of the boy’s hands and pulled them away, chatting about what we could do during the school year. Shane came up with the craziest ideas, while Josh just laughed along.


We all sat in the dining area. Camp Step Up The Beat took their usual places on the benches, while Turn It Up sat cross legged on the ground. Well most of them, Chase ended up sitting beside me on the weirdo table.

“Okay guys. I chose to have the meeting here, because it was larger and more space.” Chris started. I rolled my eyes as he stated the obvious, but continued to listen anyway. “So I own both camps now, and it’s going to be quite hard to run them separately.”

The campers watched him curiously, wondering where on earth he was going with this conversation. “I got some.. Advice. And I thought it was a good idea, but I need to run it by you guys first.”

Everyone waited patiently.

“I was thinking of putting the two camps together.” He announced.

The camp went silent. The campers stared at him in disbelief. “What!”

“You can’t be serious!” Corey yelled.

“We don’t get along! We’re rivals!” A TIU campers cried.

“This is so stupid!” Josh snapped.

“How is it stupid?” Caleb argued, “It’s common sense!”

“I don’t know.” Jessica retorted. “Our camp is the most famous one in America. Its Step up the beat, not the Step Up The Beat and Turn It Up!”

I listened to everyone’s arguments. After a while I began to get fed up of their petty excuses.

“Okay shut up!” I yelled, waving my arms getting everyone’s attention. People looked up in surprise, and the camp once again fell silent.

“You all have the same stupid excuses.” I snapped. “Oh we don’t like each other, we’re rivals!” I mocked.

Everyone watched cautiously.

“No one cares!” I cried. “So what if you don’t get along. I can’t stand Jessica, but I ain’t leaving the camp because of her. No offence.”

She shrugged, “None taken.”

“She’s right.” Melissa agreed.

“Guys, we all trust Chris. At least this way we know that he isn’t a power hungry idiot who wants to make us into circus animals. How can he run them both separately?” I reasoned. “But if we join together, we might be even better! This year you all got along so well! I wouldn’t have thought we were rivals!”

Chris nodded his head in agreement. “If we joined the two camps together, we could make everything better.” He explained. “We could make the concert area bigger, add more classes, have more room for people! We could work together to make it better.”

The campers looked thoughtful, as they glanced between Chris and I.

“We should do a vote.” Chase suggested from beside me. “All in favor of separate camps!”

Five or six people raised their hands.

“All in favor of joining the camps.” Chase raised his hands, along with most of the campers.

Chris took in the amount of hands raised, and smiled. “Are you sure?”

We nodded.

“And those who didn’t raise their hands, will you be okay with this?”

They shrugged slightly, Corey being one of them. “Oh god! Just give him a straight answer dipshits!” I snapped.

Corey glanced at me, a small smile played onto his face. “We’ll live.”

“Wait, so what will we call the camp?” Chase questioned.

I had an urge to slap him right there. He could have waited for everything to settle down, but no. Not Chase!

The two camps began arguing, both wanting to keep their camps name.

“Step up the beat sounds better!”

“No it doesn’t! Turn it up is obviously better!”

“How about calling it Max is awesome?”

I smacked the back of Max’s head after that comment. “We should join the names together. Like turn up the beat, or step it up?” I suggested.

“That’s a good idea!” Cassie agreed.

“Let’s give us a day to think about it.” Shannon added, “No need to rush.”

Chris nodded in agreement. “I think we should have a celebration.” He decided. “To celebrate saving the camp, and the end of summer.”

I frowned at the thought of the end of summer, yet everyone else cheered at the idea of having a party. “Don’t be too happy there Riley.” Chase whispered sarcastically.

I glared at him, and slumped my shoulders. “Oh shut up.” Was my amazing comeback.

He chuckled, and offered me a hand. I dismissed his attempt to be polite and jumped off the bench by myself. “That was rude.” He pouted.

“Your face is rude.”

“Maybe if you were nice, people would actually like you.”

“People do like me, it’s my natural charm.”

“That’s what I’m supposed to say!”

I rolled my eyes at his complaints. “Whatever.”

Shannon of course busied herself for the rest of the day setting up the end of the year party. She was insistent to make this the best party in history. Yes, history. She promised the campers that there would be everything a party needs and the campers loved her for it.

Everyone was excited, even I was. We were going to end this summer with a bang.

“Come on, come on!” Shannon sang, as she dragged me down the path towards the concert field. I could hear the music blaring, and people cheering.

“I’m coming!” I giggled. I was wearing a pair of high heels, so I couldn’t exactly run. I didn’t have the same experience as Shannon with the heals. Shannon would probably be able be able to run a hundred meters in them.

“You are so slow!” She whined.

“This isn’t my fault!” I wailed. She grumbled, and grabbed my arm, pulling me on. Finally we reached the field. It was already full with people. Shannon had decorated the field with balloons, hanging music notes decorations, fairy lights and flowers. “It’s so pretty!”

Shannon smiled proudly, and danced into the field. Dear future husband by Meghan Trainor was playing, which made Shannon squeal in excitement. She grabbed the nearest guy, which happened to be Max, and began dancing with him. She gestured for me to join her, which I ended up doing. Max twirled us both around at the same time at a very fast pace, making us dizzy.

“Stop.” Shannon squealed, as he continued spinning her.

“I’m gonna puke.” I agreed. He snickered, and maneuvered us into a drop before letting us go.

“Damn man! You can dance.” Shannon cried, punching Max’s shoulder. He bowed to us.

“Yeah, but now I need a drink.” He announced, wiping sweat from his brow.

“I’ll get them.” I volunteered. I made my way over to the refreshment table, where two people happened to be making out. Quite openly, yet they looked really awkward.

I chuckled and began singing along to the song. “Dear future husband-“

“Hey!” I looked over to Corey who was grinning at me.

“S’up?” I smiled, and poured myself some cola.

“I wanted to ask you something.” He smirked, and leaned against the table. I took a sip, and nodded.

“Shoot.”

“You know that girl you hang around with? Melissa?”

“Yeah?”

“Would you ask her if she’d go out with me?”

I raised my eyebrows in surprise. “Repeat that.”

“Will you ask her if she’d go out with me?” He smiled.

I waited a few moments for myself to process his question. “What about Jessica?” I asked in disbelief. He hesitated for a moment, and furrowed his eyebrows.

“Well I broke up with her, today.” He shrugged.

I laughed despite myself. “Dude! You can’t just ask another girl out- or ask me to ask another girl out for you- after breaking up with your girlfriend like a few hours ago!”

“You don’t like Jessica!”

“That’s not the point!” I sighed in exasperation. “It’s not right.” I shook my head, and turned around. I couldn’t believe him. Like are boys that stupid! “I’m not asking her anything. If you wanna ask her, ask her. But most likely she’ll say the same thing.”

“Wait May!” He called, but I walked off. “Idiot.” I muttered under my breath. Forgetting about Max’s drink, I looked through the crowd to see if I could find Melissa.

Shane called me over, and began to dance with me. I calmed down a little, and began to have a little bit of fun. “What were you and Melissa talking about the other day?” I asked, curious.

“Nothing important.” He replied, smiling tightly.

“You can tell me anything. You know that right?” I murmured. He nodded and hugged me tightly.

“I know.”

“Hey Shane! Let me take over from here.” Josh interrupted, taking my hand and spinning me around. Shane rolled his eyes, but shot me a wink and walked off.

Josh danced with me for a while, not saying much. “May, can I ask you something?” He mused.

I hesitated, I had learnt my lesson earlier on in the night. “It depends.”

“Depends on what?”

“Is it appropriate?”

“Well yeah.”

I nodded, letting him know that he could ask.

“Do you want to meet up, over the year. Maybe go out?”

I dropped his hand, like it was hot and glared at him. “Are you asking me to be your girlfriend?”

“I guess.”

I breathed in deeply. This was the guy who I had seen making out with my best friend, on my bed, last night. And he is now asking me out? “Boys.” I grumbled under my breath.

“What?”

I smacked him in the stomach. It wasn’t to hard, but just enough to hurt him. “Let’s get this straight. If you don’t like Shannon. Stop leading her on. It’s not fair!”

“No! I- It’s not like-“

“Shut up.” I snapped. “I like you Josh, as a friend. But come on either way! I’d never do that to her! So stop playing her around.”

I shot him a sympathetic look, “I don’t get why you act like such a player, and in normal circumstances I wouldn’t care. You’re still my friend! But so is she, so pull yourself together man.”

I pushed him away from me, and stormed off. My teeth were gritted in annoyance, and I ignored his pathetic attempt to call me back.

I pushed past the crowd of campers, until I was outside the concert field. I settled down beside the fence, and closed my eyes. I controlled my breathing and calmed down.

Idiots. Idiots everywhere.

“What’s wrong with you princess.”

I opened my eyes slowly and tilted my head in Chase’s direction. “I’m trying not to kill people.”

“Oh, am I included?”

I shrugged, “Not sure.”

He sat down beside me, and watched me carefully. “What happened?”

“Boys.”

“Oh yeah, I hate those.”

I laughed under my breath, and bumped his shoulder. “So let me guess, someone decided that you were somehow good enough to be asked out, yet you didn’t like them, and then drama?”

“I left before there was drama.. Wait somehow good enough?” I snapped.

He shrugged, a lazy smile stretched across his face.

“I am so good enough! You wish you could ask me out!” I glared at him.

“But what’s stopping me?” He smirked.

“You’re gay?”

“I’m not gay!”

“Then I don’t know what’s stopping you.”

“Maybe I don’t like rushing things.”

I blushed and watched him cautiously. My heart quickened, making me look away quickly.

“Maybe I will though.” He climbed to his feet, and offered me a hand up. I accepted it this time. “That is, if you want me to.”

I bit my lip hard, almost drawing blood, and glanced down at my hand that he was still holding. I attempted to regain my confidence as best I could. “I guess I could give you a shot.” I shrugged and smirked. “Who knows, you might surprise me.”

He snorted. “I thought you hated surprises!”

I thought about that, and nodded. “That’s very true!”

He let my hand go, and began to walk backwards. “Well, considering I like annoying you. I might surprise you for the fun.”

“I don’t know if I should be flattered, or insulted.”

“Both.” He continued walking backwards, and when he was about to turn around, he tripped over a rock and tumbled to the ground. I let out a bellowing laugh, tears began to pour down my cheek.

“Smooth Chase. Smooth.” I choked.

“Oh shut up.” He grumbled, as he got to his feet. I continued laughing so hard, that I slipped on the small slope and fell down myself, causing Chase to snort. “Fail!”

I looked up from my position, and raised my middle finger. “I didn’t ask for your life story.” I was quite pleased with my quick save.

Chase fake gasped, and rested his hand on his heart. “Oh no you didn’t!” He sassed, making me laugh harder. “Good day.” He put his nose in the air, and strutted off like a queen diva. I struggled to catch my breath as I laughed. People began to stare at me as I lay on the ground laughing.

That boy will be the death of me.


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