Keep the Beat

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Chapter 3

The whole new room mate thing was a little stressful too. Jessica was one of those people that would judge you while you’re wearing your fluffy bunny slippers. That may be the reason why I sneaked out during the night to meet up with the loser himself.


I lay on my bed, staring at the comforting site of the cabin’s wooden ceiling. Both Jessica and Shannon were asleep. It wasn’t as bad as I expected. We came in, unpacked our stuff and talked for a while. Well, Shannon and I talked, Jessica decided to ignore us and wear earplugs as soon as she entered the cabin.

And now, three hours later, I couldn’t sleep.

I wasn’t sure if I was too excited, or not used to the bed, but sleep refused to take over. I groaned, and dug my hand under my pillow, pulling out my phone. I quickly sent a text to the one person who would still be awake, or at least wake up to text me back anyway. A couple of minutes later, my phone buzzed in reply.

Urgh. Meet me outside. -Chase

I smirked, and muttered ‘whipped’ under my breath, as I clambered out of my bed. My phone went off again, and I check it.

Oh and bring your guitar.-Chase

I frowned at that. What had my guitar got to do with it? I’ll never bring it outside, in the dark to the hands of Chase.

Bring it!-Chase

I groaned, and grabbed my guitar case from the floor at the end of my bed, a long with a pair of runners and my comfortable hoodie. I glanced over at Jessica’s direction, she was wearing an eye mask, and snoring quietly. Shannon however was the complete opposite, she was sprawled out on her bed, snoring loudly, her pink hair in a ball at the top of her head. I snorted with laughter, and quickly snapped a photo.

This is pure gold. I can’t wait until her birthday.

I opened the door as silently as I could, and sneaked out. I felt like a stereotypical good girl sneaking out on her parents to go to a party. It felt weird. “Took your time.” Chase’s voice floated over to me, as he leaned against the cabins fence.

“I was putting that valuable time to good work.” I responded, carrying my guitar down the steps and over to him.

“Looks like it.” He eyed my unicorn pajama bottoms, and hoodie with a smirk.

I gasped, “What’s that supposed to mean? You looking for a fight bruh?”

“I’d beat your ass.” He mused, as he pulled my guitar from my grip, and began walking away. “Now hurry up.”

I pouted as I stared at my guitar in his hand. “You touched it.”

“Stop pretending you don’t love it.”

“That makes no sense, but whatever.” I grumbled, and followed him down the path, towards the lake.

“I thought we’d check out the new dock.” Chase explained, as we approached it. The lake was beautiful in the night, the moon reflected from it’s surface, and not a sound could be heard except for our breathing.

“It’s so pretty.” I murmured, and sat down into one of the chairs. Chase began to play a few random notes on my guitar. “Damn I love your guitar.” He muttered.

“Key word being your. As in mine.” I added, as he laughed.

“So my beautiful super wifey, why couldn’t you sleep?” He asked quietly, looking out at the lake. I shrugged in reply.

“Great answer May. A plus.” He snickered.

“Shut up!” I chuckled, “I don’t know, excited maybe? Nervous? Weird?”

“Well weirds definitely involved somewhere.”

“Thanks chick!”

“No bother.”

We fell silent, and I closed my eyes and relaxed. “Come here.” I heard Chase whisper. I glanced over at him, as he set down the guitar, and gestured towards his chair. I smiled slightly, and skipped over to him and allowed him to pull me onto the chair along with him. He wrapped his arms around me, and buried his face in my hair. “You don’t have to be nervous.” He said. “Keara’s got nothing on you.”

“I know that. Like nothing can beat this, not fairly anyway.” I mused. “But she’s never fair. She doesn’t play by the rules.”

“I never saw you as someone who followed the rules.”

“I follow the rules of life.” I replied. “I let people like me for me, not bribe them into liking me. I earn praise by being me. Not acting as someone else.”

Chase didn’t reply for a moment. “You still have advantage though.” He murmured. “Because you don’t need to pretend, you don’t need to put in that effort. Fake people always lose in the end.”

I laughed, “I guess your right. And she doesn’t have my parents here to back her up.”

”Everyone here loves you May.”

“Aw!” I cooed, pinching his cheeks. “You love me?”

Chase looked away, and I could only imagine his face going red. Curse the dark! “Oh shut up.” He grumbled.

I grinned at his reaction with satisfaction. “You’re so whipped.”

He narrowed his eyes at me, “Says the one. It was cute how you reacted after Shannon-” I pressed my hand over his mouth and shook my head. “Don’t ruin my glorifying moment.”

He licked my hand, in an attempt to make me move it, which made me laugh. He groaned and tried to say something sounding like ‘You’re a weirdo.’

“Thanks Chase. With a bit more practise, you’ll be one too!”

I finally moved my hand, and slumped back on the chair, my head was resting against his shoulder. “I think I should dye my hair like, green or something.”

“That’d be cool.” Chase smirked, hugging me tighter.

“You’d like that?”

“I wouldn’t really care. It’d make you feel more rebellious though, and we don’t need that.”

“Of course we need that!”

“We really don’t!”

“I’m going green.”

“Guess it’ll be the hulk instead of superman…”

I snorted with laughter and flicked his forehead, before hugging him back. “The hulk’s awesome.”

My eyes fluttered open, and met another. The green eyes widened, and the person grinned. “Wakey wakey!”

I groaned, and shoved her off my bed. She tumbled onto the floor, and whimpered about her sore butt. “You should know not to annoy me in the morning.” I announced, pulling the blanket over my head. “Now go away.”

“It’s the first day at camp May. Jessica’s already up and at ’em.”

“You did not just quote the simpsons.”

“This is why I love you as a friend. You get all my quotes.”

“As a friend.” I repeated slowly, “Are you in denial Shannon babe?”

Shannon rolled her eyes, and attempted to pull me out of bed. “Why won’t you get up?”

The door of our cabin closed, revealing a smirking Jessica. “She won’t get up, because she’s too tired from her little adventure last night.”

I narrowed my eyes, and internally groaned. I thought she was asleep. She’s sly, like a spy, and now she must die..

Just kidding, I’m not going to kill her. Yet.

“What adventure?” Shannon asked, confusion scribbled all over her face, she glared at me, daring me not to answer.

“I’ll tell you at breakfast.” I sighed.

“That’s if you make it to breakfast!” She began to throw her pillows at me. “Up! Now!” Jessica snorted, and lifted her mobile of her bed, and began to make her way out of the room.

“Watch your phone next time Jessica!” I yelled, dodging Shannon’s cushions. “You’ll never know who would want revenge and has a friend who is awesome at hacking things and could possibly be the best person to ruin your life on social media!”

“I’ll meet you at the dining area.” Shannon announced, and flounced off after Jessica.

“I’ll meet you at the dining area!” I mimicked, and clambered angrily out of my bed. “Why can’t people just let me sleep huh? Am I too beautiful for more beauty sleep or something!”

I grabbed Shannon’s cushions and tossed them onto her bed. “What to wear… Do I wanna look pretty, or punk rock?”

I glanced at the mirror. “I just look like piece of awesome shit.” I opened the wardrobe and grabbed a random top, “An awesome piece of shit it is!”

Once I was ready, I made my way out of the cabin and towards the dining area. It was already full of people, everyone was laughing and chatting. Everyone was happy… What is it with people being happy in the mornings?

“Here loser!” I heard Melissa shout. Our gang had secured a table in the far left. The table was bigger than last years, so everyone was able to squeeze onto a seat. I decided to sit down in my usual seat beside (take a guess) Shane. Breakfast today was pancakes. And they weren’t just any pancakes, but they were my grandmothers recipe. I grinned, happy that Kelly was the chef now.

“These are freaking amazing!” Max said, or I think he said, through his mouthful of pancake.

“The new chefs supposed to be awesome.” Shane added.

I grinned, proud of my cousin. “Well I taught her all she knows…” I joked. Melissa laughed at that, while the rest stared at me in confusion. “Kelly, my cousin, is the chef.” I explained.

“Well it definitely doesn’t run in the family.” Shannon muttered, “You almost gave me food poisoning at Christmas.”

I pouted at that. “The biscuits were fine! Chase liked them!”

Chase froze, and coughed slightly, as he nodded his head in agreement. Knew it! He loved them.

Everyone rolled their eyes, and simultaneously muttered, “Whipped.”

“I’m never inviting you guys around for Christmas again.” I grumbled, as I piled nutella and chopped strawberries onto my pancakes. “You all suck.”

“Who sucks?” Caleb piped in, as he made his way over to the table.

“People.”

“Hmm, I agree.”

I nodded, satisfied with his answer and offered him a strawberry. “So I introduced myself to that Keara chick.” He mused. “Her voice isn’t near as annoying as it was in that phone call.”

I smiled as I thought back to the epic prank call last summer. Good times, good times.

“It grows on you.” I agreed, “It doesn’t sound as high-pitched after a while.”

Cassie was staring intently over our shoulder, making me turn around out of curiosity. “Damn, get me the popcorn!” I exclaimed. Everyone jumped up to get a better view of the scene in front of us.

Keara and Jessica stood face to face, in the middle of the dining area. All the attention was on them, and they knew it. I stuffed the rest of my pancake into my mouth, and waited for drama. Jessica looked Keara up and down a few times, raising an eyebrow, while Keara stared boldly at her.

Jessica scoffed, turned around and walked back to her table.

She scoffed.

Scoffed! I got a blown on bitch attack when I first met her! I was called a tramp, and threatened and ordered around. And Keara get’s a scoff. “Hold the fuck up!” I shouted. “How come you let her off so easy?”

Jessica rolled her eyes, “Because she wasn’t dancing with my boyfriend.”

“I wasn’t dancing with your boyfriend, I was dancing all by my lonesome and your boyfriend just happened to be beside me.” I argued.

“I don’t believe it. You’re the kind who would dance with anything for some attention.” Keara sneered.

“Did I ask you?” Jessica and I chorused, turning to Keara.

“Well you sassed me.” Jessica continued.

“You sassed me first. I’m only a bitch when I need to be a bitch.”

“You’re a full time bitch, sweetheart.”

“Well, only when you’re around petal.”

We both glared at each other, tension thick it the air. “So.. I still say chicken.” Caleb announced. Chase snorted with laughter burying his face in his hands, while Shane growled. “Cheese!”

“Chicken.” Max shrugged.

“Cheese.” Cassie argued.

“Chicken for me too.” A random person spoke up. “Cheese!” His friend argued.

Soon enough, the whole camp was arguing over chicken and cheese. I glanced at Chase, who was still in convulsions laughing, and shrugged. “Meh, chicken.”

Chase smiled up at me, a wicked glint in his eye. “Cheese.”

I narrowed my eyes at him, and mouthed ‘it’s on’.

“Okay, okay!” Caleb waved his arms around. “I know how we can solve this.”

“Pick a song.” Shane ordered, crossing his arms getting ready. I stood beside Caleb, “I got your back bro.”

“Team chicken man!” Max nodded, as people chose their group, and we all stood facing each other. It was like meeting Turn It Up all over again, except now were one big camp, fighting over food.

I winked at Chase, who was standing right in front of me, right beside Shannon. Chase rolled his eyes at my cockiness, and flexed his muscles, or what he calls muscles.

“I went to the moped store, said, ‘Fuck it.’
Salesman’s like ‘What up, what’s your budget?’
And I’m like ‘Honestly, I don’t know nothing about mopeds.’

He said ‘I got the one for you, follow me.’” Caleb began, a smirk on his face. I sighed happily, my love for Macklemore never seems to fade.

“Oh it’s too real!
Chromed out mirror, I don’t need a windshield,
Banana seat, a canopy on two wheels.
Eight hundred cash, that’s a hell of a deal!” Max continued gleefully.

“I’m headed downtown, cruising through the alley.

Tip-toeing in the street like Dally!

Pulled up, moped to the valley!
Whitewalls on the wheels like mayonnaise!
Dope, my crew is ill, and all we need is two good wheels.
Got gas in the tank, cash in the bank” We sang the chorus, and I let the rest of my team finish as I prepared for the next verse, I rhymed it silently in my head, making sure I knew all the words..

“Killing the game ’bout to catch a body!
Passed the Harley, Dukie own a Ducati!
Timbaland, Khaled, Scott Storch, Birdman,
God damn man, everybody got Bugattis.
But I’m a keep it hella 1987,
Head into the dealership and drop a stack and cop a Kawasaki.
I’m stunting on everybody, hella raw, pass the wasabi,
I’m so low that my cajones almost dragging on the concrete-” I rapped, but Chase cut in, stealing my verse.

“My seat is leather, alright, I’m lying, it’s pleather..
But girl, we could still ride together!
You don’t need an Uber, you don’t need a cab,
Fuck a bus pass, you got a moped man!
She got 1988 Mariah Carey hair.
Very rare, mom jeans on her derriere.
Throwing up the West Side as we tear in the air,
Stop by Pike Place, throwing fish to a player!” Chase smirked at me, knowing full well that I was pissed. I glared at him, sticking up my middle finger. I was proud of myself there, I was in the zone, I rapped without making one mistake!

“Downtown.. Downtown.
Downtown, downtown!” Shane sang.

“She has her arms around your waist.

With a balance that could keep us safe…
Have you ever felt the warm embrace.
Of the leather seat between your legs!” Shannon sang at the top of her voice.

“Downtown!

You don’t want no beef, boy!
Know I run the streets, boy!
Better follow me towards.” Cassie grinned.

“Downtown!

What you see is what you get girl!
Don’t ever forget girl!
Ain’t seen nothing yet until you’re downtown!” Melissa sang, also on the cheese side. Traitors.

“Dope!
Cut the bullshit.
Get off my mullet.

Stone washed, so raw.
Moped like a bullet!” Caleb and I sang.

“Peow! You can’t catch-” The camp alarm suddenly basted over us, signaling us to go to class. Everyone began to groan, including me. I didn’t get to my favorite part.

Keara rolled her eyes, and pushed past me as she made her way out of the camp.

“Running around the whole town!

Neighbors yelling at me like, ‘You need to slow down.’

Going thirty-eight, Dan, chill the fuck out!

Mow your damn lawn and sit the hell down!” I yelled after her, before turning to Caleb satisfied that I got to say my favorite part as well as yell at her. “We nailed that.”

“Chicken won that.” He agreed.

“Only because we ran out of time.” Shannon argued.

“Excuses, excuses.” I tutted.

Shannon paused, and stared at me. “Excuses is right! Where the hell were you last night?” My eyes widened, and I turned around and began to make my way out of the area, whistling. Somethings I didn’t miss.

For example, Shannon finding out all.


Christmas is for Family

“This is so fun!” I squealed, as I rode my shopping trolley down the isle. People were frantically moving out my way, scowling as I passed. “It’s Christmas. Lighten up!” I snapped at them. People these days.

“May. What the hell are you at?” Shane grumbled, as he ran to keep up with me. “They’re going to kick us out.”

“Ha! I’m their best customer. I spend a fortune on sweets in this place,” I shrugged, “besides. They love me too much.”

“Why do I find that hard to believe?”

I began to throw several boxes of chocolates into my trolley, and move on to the next shelf. “It’s the season to be jolly!” I sang, “Oh pringles!”

“May, you’re buying a lot of stuff.” Shane eyed the food in my trolley.

“So? Mum left me loads of money because she felt guilty, and gran added loads to that too, because she also felt guilty, and then Kelly gave me her apartment because she also felt guilty. I’m a rich women!”

“I still don’t understand why you don’t just stay at your house.” Shane commented.

“My house is massive. I told all the staff to go and enjoy their holiday, so I’ll be there alone. It’s creepy.”

“Is this your first Christmas alone?”

I nodded sadly. My parents were always away at Christmas. It wasn’t much of a surprise really. Christmas is one of the most fashionable times of the year. From the age of seven to eleven, I spent Christmas with Gran, and then Kelly began to join us. But this year Kelly brought my Gran a ticket for a cruise, and then unexpectedly, Chris announced that his family wanted Kelly to spend the Christmas with them, and voila! Lonely May.

Of course Kelly wanted to refuse and stay with me, but I wasn’t going to let her blow her chance with Chris again.

Shane smiled at me, “Shouldn’t you get some proper food, for like Christmas dinner?”

I thought about that, before nodding. “Good idea! I already have a turkey, and Kelly basically has it all ready. All I have to do is throw it in the oven.” I eyed the food in front of me. “I need cranberry sauce.”

Shane laughs and tossed it at me. “And sprouts!” I shouted.

He frowned, “You like sprouts? Ew.”

“Spouts are delicious okay! I feel so bad for them. Why should everyone judge them at Christmas?” I argued.

“May. They’re food. They don’t have feelings.”

“How the hell do you know?”

Shane rolled his eyes. I saw Shane a lot over the year. He only lived one town away from me. He had agreed to go shopping with me. Melissa was away on with her parents to visit her grandparents today, so I was going to be all alone. Luckily I could choose between Josh, Chase and Shane.

I chose Shane because I thought he’d be the least judgmental of my food addiction.

“So what are you doing for Christmas?” I asked him, as I placed a chocolate pudding into my trolley. Kelly had already made the Christmas pudding for me too, which was super delicious every year.

“The usual really. We get up at like ten, and swap presents. I always get Rose the most, because she’s spoiled.”

I laughed at that.

“Then gran puts on dinner, and after dinner gran and gramps are wrecked, so we just watch some movies.” He shrugs. “It kind of gets boring after a while.”

I shook my head at that, “It sounds fun.” I grinned when I saw the selection boxes, and lifted a pile of them and threw them into the trolley.

“You’re such a pig!”

“Yeah well yolo!”

After I finished my grocery shopping, I approached the check out. A guy, around nineteen, grinned at me. He was wearing a Santa hat, which all the staff were forced to wear around this time. Wasn’t that cute? “Hey May!”

“Hey… You!” I had already forgotten his name, and I only met him here last week.

“Christmas shopping? Are you having a party.”

I looked around awkwardly, “Psst, of course.” Shane snickered, and I elbowed him in the stomach.

“So May. My friends are having a New Years Party, and I was wondering if you wanted to come.” He smiled charmingly, “My friends are dying to meet you. They’ve heard about all of your pranks you’ve done since you came back.”

My eyes widened and I shook my head frantically at him. “What all did she do?” Shane queried, eyeing me.

“Oh dude! In September she spray painted the principles car pink!”

“That was an accident.” I snapped defensively, “I thought it was George Johnson’s car!”

“And in October she got completely hammered at Williams party, and jumped off his Balcony into the pool. Her friend Jack completely freaked out.”

“Also not my fault. Keara spiked my drink,” I muttered bitterly, “why do I always end up with the spiked drinks?”

“And just recently she put this huge Christmas tree decorated and everything, on Keara Cinders parking space at school. She was raging!”

“Melissa helped with that one.” I shrugged.

Shane shook his head, and muttered something along the lines of ‘crazy bitch’.”Anyway she can’t go to your party. She has plans.”

I nodded at that, “Yeah, sorry Santa.” I was planning to meet up with Chase, Shane, Josh, Shannon, Caleb and Melissa at new years, and give everyone their presents.

We finished packing all the food, and Shane helped me carry all my bags to the car. “May. Why don’t you come to my house for Christmas?”

“I don’t like to intrude.”

“You won’t be intruding. I don’t want to leave you alone for Christmas.”

I shook my head. I hated the idea of going to someone else’s house, at the most special time of the year. “Christmas is for family Shane. Now shut up and open your car.” I shivered in the cold, it was zero degrees, and giving snow for the following few days.

Shane rolled his eyes at my bossiness and did as he was told. It was getting dark, so it was probably around six o’clock and I just wanted to go home and unpack everything. “Stop!” I suddenly announced, “I forgot the chocolate Santa’s.”

It was Christmas Eve, and I was setting up the Christmas tree in Kelly’s apartment. It was a pretty apartment, there was a sofa, armchair and TV in the sitting room, with Kelly’s piano in the corner. The fire was roaring in its fireplace, and Christmas songs were playing rather loudly. It felt sort of like Christmas. “You better watch out, you better not cry! You better not pout I’m telling you why,” I sang, as I wrapped fairy lights around the Christmas tree, “Santa Claus is coming to town!”

I frowned, “Bitch I’ll pout if I wanna pout.”

Once I finally managed to wrap the lights around the tree, I sat onto the sofa, and began to pull the ribbon out of the box of decorations. It was so much easier to decorate the tree when I had Melissa’s help, but I couldn’t take her away from her family.

I sighed, and tugged the golden ribbon harder. I hated being alone. I was such a loner. I shouldn’t have told Kelly to go. I should have made her stay.

I began to toss the ribbon onto the tree, yet it wasn’t going to well. “I’m literally terrible at this.” It looked like a two year old’s effort. You’d think I’d be good at this.

There was a brisk knock on the door, causing me to frown. Who the hell would have been here at six o’ clock, Christmas eve. Considering Kelly was gone, and no one was known to even be here. I glanced over in the direction of the poker for the fire. I was considering taking the poker with me to open the door, just in case they were robbers or something.

Would robbers knock?

The person knocked again, and I sighed. I’d take them with my bare hands. I rolled up the sleeves of my checkered dress, and prepared myself to do some ass kicking. On the count of three, I pulled open the door and braced myself in a fighting stance.

“Uh May. Why does it look like you’re about to attack us?” Shannon’s voice called to me.

I snapped out of my fight mode, and I looked at what was standing in front of me. “Guys?” I gasped, “What are you doing here?”

My whole squad was standing in front of me. From Shannon, Shane, Josh, Melissa to Chase, Cassie, Caleb and Max. A girl I didn’t know stood with them, with a smile on her face.

“Shane called,” Chase smiled his usual charming smile, “why didn’t you tell me you were alone?”

“Yeah, you’ve been telling me all month that you were spending you Christmas with Kelly!” Melissa narrowed her eyes at me, pissed off with my lie.

“Because. It’s- it’s Christmas! You should be with your family, not here!” I stuttered. “And I knew you’d come so-“

“You are our family May.” Shane grinned, pinching my cheeks. I cracked a smile at that.

“God Shane that-” I started.

“-was so cliche.” Max finished, shaking his head. I laughed and opened the door wider, gesturing for them to come in.

“May this is my little sister Rose.” Shane introduced me to the girl. She looked around sixteen, probably only a year younger than me.

“Hi!” I gave her a small wave, “Welcome to May Riley’s home for the weekend.”

Shane and Josh turned and grinned at me. “You did not just quote yourself.” Josh grinned, and I shrugged. “Maybe..”

“May what the hell are you doing to the poor tree.” Shannon uttered in horror.

“She’s terrible at decorating, unless it involves spray paint,” Melissa informed her, “she made me decorate this huge tree at school once, because her attempts sucked.”

I sighed in agreement, “I do suck.”

Shannon face-palmed. “I better get to work then, I’m a pro at this.” She threw her rucksack down beside the others and began working on the tree. I paused, wait rucksack?

“Why the hell do you guys have bags?” I asked.

Cassie smiled sheepishly, “We’re sort of spending the night.”

“No you can’t!” I growled, “You have families, and you can’t just ditch them on Christmas day!”

Chase rolled his eyes, and jumped onto the sofa. “I’d prefer not to spend this wonderful day with my not so wonderful step-mom thanks.”

I raised my eyebrow at him, “Make yourself at home.”

“I will.” He grinned cheekily.

“I decided to give my grandparents a day to themselves,” Shane added, “as long as Rose is with me, I don’t care.” Rose punched him in the arm because of his cuteness.

“My mom and dad love you. They don’t want you to be alone at Christmas.” Shannon smiled.

“Same.” Melissa helped herself to the decorations and began hanging them on the tree. “Mom was so pissed when she found out you didn’t tell us you were going to be alone. Besides, she has to look after all my younger siblings, she doesn’t mind.”

“Melissa you can’t just leave your family.”

“It’s not like I’m not going to talk them. Mom is happy that I’m being nice and keeping you company.”

“I’ll be going back home tomorrow morning, but I’m going to spend the night here with you guys.” Josh informed us.

“See! He has sense, at least he’s spending Christmas with his family!”

“Shut up May.” Chase grumbled.

Cassie grinned at me, “My parents are a bit like yours. They actually don’t celebrate Christmas. They work at their Chinese restaurant all day.”

Max shrugs, “I just follow the crowd.”

“I don’t have anything better to do on Christmas except spend it with my Aunt and Uncle. And I really dislike my cousins, they remind me too much of Josh over there.”Caleb added.

I run my hand through my hair in frustration. “You guys are unbelievable.”

Chase’s hand came out of no where, and he tugged me onto the seat beside him. “Unbelievably gorgeous.”

Rose giggled at that, and I shook my head. There was no point even arguing with them.

After thirty minutes of arguing over who put the star on top of the tree, Rose had yanked it out of Josh’s hand and placed it on top before any of us could even blink. “Can you all shut up now?” She cried. “God you are all so different but freaking exactly alike.”

We blinked at her and chorused, “We are so not alike.”

Rose shot us an ‘of course you aren’t’ look. The look scared me because she looked exactly like Shane when she did that.

“Damn you look so much like Shane.” Shannon muttered, bewildered.

“No I don’t!” She cried defensively.

“Of course she doesn’t!” I lied, “She got the prettier genes!” Shane shoved me, while Rose grinned at me. “You’re my favorite.”

“Damn straight I am. I’m everyone’s favorite.” I puffed out my chest, proudly.

“Sure May.” Melissa smirked.

I pulled Chase off the sofa, and ordered him to help me bring the sweets into the sitting room. He obliged with a few grumbles.

“Gees. How much food did you buy?” He asked, as he stared at all the junk food on the counter.

“Quite a lot.”

“I call half of it.”

“I bought it mister. I call half.”

“But I’m awesome, and you love me!”

I pursed my lips, “Nah, not gonna cover it.”

He smirked slyly, “Pretty please?”

“Nope.”

He wrapped his arms around my waist and tilted to his head. “With a cherry on top?”

“Oh let me think about that… No.”

He pouted, “You’re mean.”

“Don’t I know it?” I smirked. He leaned forward and pecked my lips, but before we could go any further, we heard a small, “oh shit” from the doorway. Sighing, Chase glanced over at Josh, who was standing there awkwardly.

“Do you mind?”

I laughed at his comment, and grabbed the bag of chips, and threw them over to Josh. “Can you bring them into the sitting room?” He nodded, and quickly exited the room, Chase still glaring after him.

“Come on. We were meant to get the food.” I told him. He didn’t remove his hold, and I shot him a deadpanned stare.

“You look very pretty today.” He commented. I rolled my eyes and pushed him away with a laugh. “Aren’t you such a charmer?”

“Don’t I know it.”

We grabbed the snacks and made our way back into the kitchen. Our friends were no longer sitting beside the Christmas tree, but standing around the window, staring outside. “It’s snowing!” Melissa exclaimed.

My eye’s widened and I shoved them out of the way as I ran to look. “It’s so pretty!”

“It’s so Christmas-y!” Rose added

“It’s Christmas Eve, of course it’s Christmas-y”

“Don’t spoil this for her Josh!” I snapped.

“People just shut up and enjoy the moment.”

We all fell silent at Shannon’s command, and watched the snowflakes fall.

“It looks cold.” Max announced as he stared out the window.

“It’s snowing. Of course it’s cold!” I rolled my eyes.

“Baby it’s cold outside!” Melissa sang softly, grinning widely at me. We had both discussed what our favorite Christmas songs were, and Michael Bublé’s version of ‘It’s Cold Outside’, came out on top. Cassie sat down at the piano and began to press the keys.

“I really can’t stay!” Shannon hummed.

“Baby it’s cold outside.” Caleb replied.

“I’ve gotta go away!”

“Baby it’s cold outside!”

“This evening has been-“

“Been hoping you’d drop it.”

“-so very nice!”

“I’ll hold your hands their just like ice.”

I smiled, and joined in. “My mother will start to worry..”

“Beautiful, what’s your hurry?” Max continued on for Caleb.

“Father will be pacing the floor!”

“Listen to the fireplace roar!”

“So really I’d better scurry-“

“Beautiful please don’t hurry.” Josh added.

“Maybe just a half a drink more!”

“Put some records on while I pour..”

I started swaying to the music, and grabbed Melissa and Shannon’s hands and pulled them into a dance.

The neighbors might think!” Melissa sang to Shannon, while laughing.

“Baby, it’s bad out there…” She replied.

“Say what’s in this drink?”

“No cabs to be had out there!”

“I wish I knew how-“

“Your eyes are like starlight now.” Shane murmured.

“-to break this spell…” Melissa smiled.

“I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell!”

“I ought to say no no no, sir.” I sang.

“Mind if I move in closer? ” Chase smirked.

“At least I’m gonna say that I tried…”

“What’s the sense in hurting my pride?”

“I really can’t stay!”
“Baby, don’t hold out!”
“Baby it’s cold outside!” We all chorused.

After a few moments of just watching the snow fall, Caleb glanced over at me and wiggled his eyebrows. “So what were you two up to in the kitchen?”

I groaned in frustration, “Let’s watch a movie.”

“I say elf!”

“Santa Claus movie.”

“No way, the grinch!”

I buried my face in my hands, “Why can’t we ever decide on something?”

“Because we suck.” Max sighs. “We suck worse than my wrapping.”

My eye’s widened as the words came out of his mouth. “Urgh Shannon. Bedroom now.” Our friends wolf whistled at that, and I shook my head and tutted. “You dirty minded creatures!”

Shannon merely winked at them as she followed me to Kelly’s bedroom. “What’s up?”

“I’ve only wrapped your present, no one else’s, and I usually get too into my wrapping, I have to make sure they are perfectly wrapped and everything you see. But considering I don’t have time I need you to help..” I trailed off as I rooted the presents out from the bag under my bed.

“Okay, do you have wrapping paper?”

“Yeah, Kelly had some in her wardrobe.”

After getting all the essentials sorted, wrapping paper and tape ready and scissors in hand, we set to work. The presents that I got everyone weren’t enormous, even if they weren’t all extremely cheap. They all stood for something, a memory of some sort.

“These are so cute.” Shannon murmured, as we wrapped them up.

I shrugged, “I prefer to put more thought into presents, than putting money into them.”

Shannon smiled, and fixed the ribbon on Chase’s present. “They’ll love them!”

I snorted with laughter, “They better. It took me hours making those.” Due to the fact that I was working in my mothers workshop to help payback the money she had given to the camp, I had asked Juliet, who was over me at the time, if I could make some stuff for my friends. She loved me, so of course she said yes.

I had made Chase some of those silver men bracelets, with a superman sign, and batman sign graved into them.

Shannon, Melissa and Cassie had also gotten bracelets. Yet they were charm bracelets which had the names of their favorite bands, favorite instruments, even their favorite animals. It took me a while to find out all their favorite things though.

Max had gotten a t-shirt, which had a rainbow colored puppy, eating unicorn poop. Literally I pictured it out and made a t-shirt out of it.

Shane had gotten a cap, which had a picture of a jar Nutella on it, and Josh had gotten a t-shirt which said ’I’ll protect you cutie.” They both also got a book, which I had spent many months trying to hunt down. It was called a guide to how not to be dicks.

And lastly I got Caleb something very different. A prank set, in which he would use to get Chase back for his crappy prank at camp.

“Let’s go and put them under the tree.”

We entered the sitting room again, to find Caleb lying on top of Chase yelling something about Christmas puddings. “Dude what are you doing?” I asked, as I set the presents under the tree.

“Get this crazy idiot off me!” Chase’s muffled voice came from under Caleb.

“He doesn’t like Christmas pudding!” Caleb responded, smacking Chase’s head.

I burst out laughing at the sight, while Shannon sighed and tried to pull Caleb off him. “Get off him, Caleb!”

“Wait! Let me get this on camera!” I giggled, as I reached for my phone.

“No!” Chase tried to climb out from underneath Caleb to get to my phone.

“Why am I even friends with you guys?” Shane muttered, shaking his head.

“What do you mean? This is awesome!” Rose giggled, her phone was out and she was recording everything.

“I really like you.” I declared, fist-bumping her. “I could take you under my wing and train you. You could become little me. You would be awesome, I could pass my reputation onto you when I’m too old-“

“May stop converting my little sister!” Shane snapped, “And god she’s only a year younger than you!”

I sighed and waves his comment away, wrapping my arm around Rose. “Stop freaking hogging her Shane!”

“She’s my sister!”

“I can change that.”

“… How can you change- actually, never mind.”

“Exactly Shane. Exactly.”

Chase had finally managed to escape Caleb’s hold. “You’re as crazy as May.” He accused, rubbing his arm in pain.

“That’s impossible.” I argued, while Caleb nodded in agreement.

“I’m replacing you for May. She’s my new best friend.” He glared at Chase, unimpressed. Cassie laughed at that, as she began to pull presents out of her bag.

“God help you, May.” Melissa snorted.

Everyone began to calm down again, and they took out all their presents from their bags and set them under the tree too.

“Do you know in Germany, people open their presents on Christmas Eve?” Max mused, waggling his eyebrows at us.

“We’re not opening our presents now Max.” Josh and I chorused. We shared a look with each other, before we burst out laughing. Great minds think alike.

Rose jumped onto Josh’s back. “So how did you guys meet? Like I know you met at camp, but how?” She asked, as she clung onto Josh, who was rolling his eyes fondly at her.

“I don’t even know.” I mused.

Max rubbed his hands together as if he was getting ready for a speech.”Well me, Josh, Shane and Cassie were friends at camp for a few years, and we of course knew Shannon while she was dawdling around-“

“I don’t dawdle!”

“-and we knew Melissa because she always helped Cassie with her computer stuff. Caleb and Chase were in Camp Turn It Up and we sort of hated them because we were rivals, and I don’t even know why we were rivals, but yeah I liked being rivals, it was entertaining.”

He took a deep breath before continuing, “Then May came, and she made quite the entrance with getting into fight with Jessica on the first day. And we all knew she was a prankster, but we didn’t expect her to be as bad as she actually was, she was crazy!”

“Why thank you.” I smiled.

“So then May sort of brought us all together by being friends with basically everyone.” Max finished, and shrugged.

Chase threw himself back onto the sofa, “Well wasn’t that entertaining?”

“T’was,” I agreed with a nod, “who’d have known that I was crazy?”

Everyone turned at me and stared.

“What?” I frowned.

Melissa shook her head in amusement, and glanced at the clock. “Can we just sleep in here?”

I nodded, “Sure. I’ll run and get some blankets.” I skipped over Caleb’s feet, who was lying on the floor trying to find a hole in the wrapping of his presents. I grabbed some blankets from the press beside the fire, and threw them over to the group.

“Play the DVD.” I ordered Josh, and he leaned over and pressed play on the TV.

I sat down beside Chase and grabbed a blanket over me. “It’s Christmas in two hours.” I whispered, dramatically.

“All I want for Christmas is you!” He sang sarcastically.

“You know it.”

We watched the Santa Claus movie, and by the time it was finished nearly everyone was asleep. Except me. I kept my eye on the clock and the moment it turned twelve o’clock, I poked Chase’s cheek, waking him up.

“What’s wrong?” He murmured.

“Merry Christmas.” Was all I whispered, and he smiled pulling me into his hold.

“Merry Christmas May.”

I grinned, and glanced around at all my friends who were sprawled across the sitting room, sound asleep. I was right. Christmas is for family. And that’s what these guys were to me.


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