Rosaline burst from her sleep gasping for breath. Though she was sleeping above the covers and her tank top and shorts were as thin as possible, Rosaline still woke up drenched in sweat. Her room was like an oven.
"What the hell; why's it so hot in here?" She inquired to no one as the room was empty aside from her. She tossed herself off the bed and crawled on hands and knees across the floor, saying "I need some water or I'll be baked alive. A quick dip in the ocean will surely cool me off. Although, since I can't swim, it may be dangerous to go in the water at night without supervision. Nah, it'll be fine." When she reached the door, she used it to help her get to her feet, but found that it was locked. "What the friggin' frig! I demand you open!" she ordered as she violently jostled the doorknob.
She flicked on the light and discovered a piece of paper shoved under the door. She picked up the paper and read what was written out loud. "Dear Rosaline, we knew you would try to do something stupid so we locked you in your room for the night. Love, Frankie."
She slowly turned towards the lone window her room had. The only thing visible through it was what the moon had lit up, but Rosaline ran to the window in a panic. Still sweating, she desperately tried to pry it open, muttering "What the friggin' frig! I demand you open!" Then she quickly went back to the door.
"What the friggin' frig! I demand you open!" she exclaimed as she yanked and pushed on the doorknob. "Wait," she said suddenly, "the door can be locked from the inside, and therefore can be unlocked from the inside. And I have the key!" All her enthusiasm suddenly exited her body. Rosaline's face collided with the door and began sliding down until her knees were on the floor. "But I left my key in my bag on the living room floor," she muttered with her mouth against the wooden door.
However, not one to give up easily, Rosaline soon sprang to her feet and then leapt to the center of the small room. Her fists clenched and she smiled as if accepting a challenge. "Okay door," she said, "if that is how you want to play your cards, then eat this!" she cried as she delivered a powerful kick into the stubborn piece of wood. While Rosaline had put everything she had into the kick, the door, appearing unmoved, made only a slight cracking sound to accompany the inevitably loud bang.
Rosaline, however, screamed loudly as she sat at the base of the door, cradling her throbbing foot. "Stupid door, I hate you! Someone let me out of here! Wah!"
In the next room over, David sat at his desk, staring at the anime playing on the screen of his laptop. He could clearly hear Rosaline's outbursts despite the headphones he had on. "Music to my ears," he smiled to himself.
That morning, Rosaline stood with her elbows propped up on a glass counter at the department store where David and Carrie worked. Rosaline spoke with Carrie as the glasses-wearing girl counted out the change for a customer.
"Honestly, I could have died. What the hell was he thinking, locking me up like some kind of animal?" Rosaline ranted.
"Frankie just did it as a precaution, and after a while he did come to check on you," Carrie said.
"At least he turned the air conditioner on," Rosaline said, "Hey wait, did all of you know he was locking me in?"
"Um, yeah, well, we were given strict orders not to let you out. Sorry about that," Carrie said, embarrassed, "It was for your own protection."
"Whatever," Rosaline huffed, "Well, I'm outta here. See you this afternoon." Rosaline turned around and exited the building.
"Bye-bye," Carrie said, waving pleasantly.
It was still early in the morning, only just after nine o'clock, and the swimsuit department at least was only visited by a handful of people so far. Carrie relaxed a little as she stood behind the counter in the blue polo shirt she had to purchase upon employment.
This is kind of nice, Carrie thought, I didn't think I would enjoy working here, but it isn't so bad. Actually I didn't think I could really work anywhere. I'm usually so shy that any contact with other people makes me extremely nervous. I don't really know how to act in social situations.
"Excuse me, could you ring me up?" a lady asked.
"Oh, yes ma'am. I can help you," Carrie said. After Carrie had announced the price of the swimsuit the lady was purchasing, the woman dug through her purse with a disgruntled expression.
"Do you take credit cards?" she asked.
"Yes ma'am," Carrie said with a smile, "we take cash, credit, and sex." In an instant the smile fell from her face. "No wait, I meant checks. Not sex; I would never exchange sex for a swimsuit. Um, not that you aren't very attractive, ma'am; you're not my type. I mean, well, oh…" Carrie rambled until her face became as red as it could, and at that point she slowly began to lower herself behind the counter.
"Um, don't worry. It's alright," the woman said with an uncomfortable smile. After some encouragement, she was able to get Carrie back to her feet.
"I'm s-sorry, ma'am," Carrie said, her face still red, tears in her eyes. She sniffed cutely and completed the purchase. Once the customer had left, Carrie removed her glasses and wiped the tears out of her eyes with the back of her hand.
"Hey C.C., are you alright?" David asked, approaching the counter in his polo shirt.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Carrie said with a smile as her face returned to white, "Don't worry about me."
"Good," David said, reassured, "how's business?"
"Pretty slow, actually; it's still early," Carrie answered, but before their conversation could go further, David was called back to the toy department.
"There's never a moments rest," he sighed before returning to his post on the other end of the floor.
Once she was alone again, Carrie also sighed. Why am I so weird? Carrie thought, I can't seem to go ten minutes without embarrassing myself. Mistaking "sex" for "checks;" that's so stupid. I don't know how long I've been doing stuff like that, but whenever my mind wanders, stuff like that just slips out. And it's always at the worst times. Oh.
A smile came to her soft lips. David is a nice person though, she thought, he always seems to be looking out for me. She looked over to the toy department and saw David looking back at her. She waved cautiously and smiled at him.
Business at the store suddenly picked up and Carrie was buzzing around like a bee as she helped the many customers that demanded her attention. But as she worked, helping the many women locate suitable swimsuits, Carrie couldn't help but notice that David was frequently staring in her direction. As she placed a pair of swim trunks on the rack, David was staring. As she accepted a customer's cash payment, David was staring. As she complemented a young girl on her pink one-piece, David was staring. He seemed to be watching the swimsuit department very seriously. Carrie caught him several times, and each time it made her more self-conscious.
What is he doing? Carrie thought. Don't tell me he's...Carrie released an audible gasp. He couldn't be checking out girls. Even if he promised Al that he would, he wouldn't. David isn't that creepy. Carrie turned slightly and caught a glimpse of David staring so intensely that she felt like shrinking. On the other hand, she thought, he couldn't be watching me. Do I have something on my face? Oh, I hope he isn't.
Carrie's face was about to go red again, but it was halted by a tremor. In fact, it was a series of rumbles that kept getting stronger. Curious, Carrie turned to see what the cause of the commotion was, and it was huge. Her mouth gaped as she stared up at the bearded face of a massive human. Carrie was pretty sure it was man, as he had a beard and a gruff and scary voice, but he was wearing a purple dress, which fit very tightly over his rather large body.
"May I help you?" Carrie squeaked.
"Yes," the man leaned over to speak into Carrie's face, allowing her to notice the lipstick crudely applied beneath his beard, "I need my measurements taken."
"Y-your measurements?" Carrie muttered.
"Yes, I intend on buying this bikini, but I need to know what size," he explained loudly, holding up a dainty orange bikini.
Oh dear, she thought. "Right, just a moment," Carrie smiled forcefully, trying not to reveal how scared she was, as she craned her neck to see that the two other girls on duty with her were both busy. "Right this way," Carrie uttered as she lead the man to a changing stall with very jerky robotic movements. Why me? Why me? Why me? her brain screamed.
With a shaky hand, she opened the door of the stall and pulled the measuring tape out of her skirt pocket. The enormous man entered the changing stall, leaving very little room for Carrie and forcing her to awkwardly rub up against him with every movement.
"Well, let's start with your b-bust," Carrie stuttered, the sweat forming on her brow, still trying to sound pleasant. The man reached a large hand back and unzipped his dress. Carrie was happy that he didn't take it off completely, but sliding it down revealed a scarred and disgustingly hairy back. It was all orange hair, the same as his curly beard. Is this karma, she thought.
"P-please raise your arms, sir-er-ah-ma'am," Carrie requested. The man complied, revealing two even more disgusting patches of fur, both dripping with sweat and unleashing an alarming odor. God, why have you forsaken me? Carrie thought, whatever sins I have committed, please forgive me.
Hesitantly, Carrie reached around the man with the tape measurer, carefully keeping her face at a safe distance. The last thing she wanted was for his back hair to brush her lips. On her first day, Carrie was instructed to smile at all customers as she completed her work, and even though she still forced that smile, her bright red face and quivering eyes betrayed her true emotions. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, Carrie thought while the sweat now came pouring down her forehead.
Carrie, however, was interrupted mid-prayer. She felt someone grabbing her. The man had reached an enormous hand back, up her skirt, and used his large fingers to grip her butt. Carrie was frozen, terrified by the molester. What the…why, why is he touching me? she thought. Her mind raced for an appropriate response, and it took her back to her first day in town. She remembered that morning when Al tore her bikini top off and Rosaline used her hands to cover the smaller girl's breasts. This is the second time I've been groped this summer, Carrie thought, the first time it was Rosaline. What would she do?
Carrie knocked the man's arm away with the back of her hand and pushed him away, which actually forced her into the wall as the stall was so very cramped, even though she realized Rosaline would have beaten him. "Don't touch me," Carrie sputtered before a giant hand was clamped over her mouth.
"Now let's keep quite, huh?" the man said in a harsh whisper. Carrie quivered and began to struggle. He had her pinned down with one hand. The other went to pull up his dress, which gave Carrie a chance to escape. She squirmed out of his grasp, but slipped, falling to the floor. She made a break for it and tried crawling under the door. She had almost made it out, but the man grabbed her leg and tried pulling her back in. "Please, let go of me!" Carrie screamed, tears in her eyes.
The outburst was loud enough to get the attention of everyone in the department, as well as David who had been watching suspiciously. The man knew he was in trouble now. He released Carrie and bolted out of the changing room, running past the people racing to Carrie's aid.
"Carrie, are you alright?" David asked, dropping to his knees to help her as she lay on the floor. She used David to prop herself up. Her lip quivered and the tears came again. She collapsed, crying into David's chest.
"David, he…he was grabbing me," she sniffled, "I was so scared." As she nuzzled against David, her glasses fell off her face. David couldn't say he didn't enjoy the feeling of the girl he liked crying on his shoulder, but to see Carrie in such a feeble position crushed him. The tears kept coming; she shook from fear as her anxiety wetted David's polo shirt.
"Excuse me, Carrie," David said as he lightly pushed her back. He handed Carrie her glasses, and said "I'll be right back." He slowly got to his feet and stared in the direction the bearded cross-dresser had run. "Someone needs to teach that bastard a lesson," David announced before running off.
The man in the dress had taken several wrong turns, so by the time he knew how to exit the building, David, running at top speed, was able to catch up to him. "Hey, you bastard, you're finished! How dare you hurt Carrie," David yelled as he ran at the man, but the cross-dresser turned around and delivered the first and last punch. As David blacked out on the floor, the man made his exit.
When David came around again, he felt a cold, numbing feeling over his left eye. He opened his right eye to see Carrie looking down on him. She smiled as she held an icepack to his swollen eye. She smiled beautifully as she looked at him, her expression soft, and her pigtails dangling at the side of her face.
"You okay?" she asked softly.
"Yeah sure," he said, trying to sound fine, despite his piercing headache.
"Thanks for taking care of me," Carrie said.
"Don't mention it," David said, getting one last look as her sweet face before closing his eye again. They rested together on the floor of the lingerie department for several minutes, neither one wanting to move, until the manager ordered them to leave.
"This world is so messed up," a man in his early twenties with long blonde hair ranted as he walked down the beach, "there's global warming, the IRS; I don't know what to do anymore."
"Yes, Jack," said his girlfriend of a similar age as she walked beside him.
"It just drives me crazy. We've got to do something. Americans have become so disconnected from the world around them. We only see the world from our own perspective, and that's limited at best," he continued.
"Jack, you've been going on about how the world is crap since we left the university," his companion said, "We only have a few weeks here, so please relax."
"Sorry, Babe," Jack shrugged, "My Eastern philosophies class just makes me realize that we are looking at the world the wrong way."
"Maybe you should become a Buddhist monk or a preacher or something," she quipped. At first he laughed, but suddenly quit upon what he witnessed.
R-Kelley was sitting cross-legged on the beach, wearing a tattered orange bathrobe but no pants. The backs of his hands rested on his knees; his thumbs and middle fingers pressed together while the pointer finger stuck out. His eyes were closed and his face was stoic, though he didn't appear to be sleeping. Although he wasn't wearing shoes, pants, or even underwear, R-Kelley was wearing his usual backwards hat. In his lap rested a sleeping seagull.
Jack got on his hands and knees and began examining R-Kelley from different angles. R-Kelley, however, seemed oblivious, not even breaking from his meditation. The man's girlfriend was instantly curious as to what her partner was doing.
"Can't you see, Jill?" Jack exclaimed, "He's the real deal, a Buddhist monk."
"Monks are bald, idiot," Jill argued.
"You're right. Maybe he's not a monk; maybe he's enlightened," Jack guessed, turning towards Jill dramatically, as if he just made a miraculous discovery. Before she knew it, Jill's boyfriend settled himself on the white sand next to R-Kelley, imitating his pose and going silent.
"Oh no, you're not doing this to me again!" Jill screamed at her unmoved boyfriend. She ran her hand through her short black hair and continued yelling at him.
"Hey lady, do you mind shutting up?" another college male approached, "We're trying to enjoy the beach."
"Tell that to my idiot boyfriend," she huffed.
"What's he doing?" the man asked.
"He's being an idiot that's what. He sees a random monk squatting on the beach and just has to go join him," Jill ranted.
"Whoa, he's a monk? For real?" the man asked, visibly interested. After giving R-Kelley a look over, he called his friends over to see the oddity. He explained, "This guy is a real monk."
"But he's not Asian how can he be a Buddhist monk?"
"Maybe he's in a special order of Caucasian monks."
"Do you think he's visiting America on some diplomatic mission?"
"He sure looks legit."
"Check out the robe. He must have been traveling; it's so dirty."
Soon, one of them suggested that they join the mysterious monk in meditation, and it didn't take long before the group of college students were sitting cross-legged around R-Kelley. Jill looked at them in amazement until she was distracted by a short redheaded girl in a white bikini waving and running towards the group.
"Hey guys, what are you doing?" she asked the group, but no one bothered to acknowledge her presence let alone her question. After a moment, the girl turned towards Jill and asked her what was going on.
"These idiots saw this monk or whoever-he-is meditating and decided to join the party," Jill explained, "And even though there's a seagull in his lap and these jerks were making a commotion around him, he refuses to wake up."
"That guy in the orange?" the redhead confirmed.
"I bet I can get his attention," the girl said, a cat-like smile stamped on her face.
She made her way to the center of the group where R-Kelley was positioned. She got down on her knees next to him. She lightly gripped his chin and turned his expressionless face towards her. "Hey," she whispered seductively, "I'll let you give me a kiss, if you want to." R-Kelly made no motion, and when she released his chin, his head slowly turned back forward.
She tried a different tactic. She moved behind him and wrapped her arms around the meditating teenager. "C'mon now," she said, "I know you want me." The short girl started rubbing up against R-Kelley so that her breasts provocatively pressed into his back. She kept that up until she caught a whiff of his hair, which R-Kelley does not regularly wash. "God!" she yelled through her hand as it covered her nose.
Now the redhead was ticked. She shot to her feet, stepped in front of R-Kelley and grabbed his shoulder. She began violently shaking the boy as she yelled for him to wake up. R-Kelley, who actually was meditating and not sleeping, remained comatose, but the seagull in his lap was rustled out of his slumber. The bird began squawking at the redhead and flapping violently. The redhead angrily shoved the bird away, but then she was the one that suddenly leapt backward with a "Gah!"
"He's not wearing any boxers!" she exclaimed. At seeing the redhead leap back so suddenly, Jill burst into laughter, although she tried to stop by covering her mouth with her hand. "Well," the redhead said as she got to her feet, her face beginning to resemble her hair, "you know what they say; if you can't beat them, join them." And with that awkward remark, the redhead joined her friends on the sand in meditation.
Jill watched this happen as Frankie stepped out of the beach house. A smile came over his face as he yelled to his friend at the center of the group. "Hey R-Kelley, what's going on?"
"It's no use. These guys won't crack because they're all idiots!" Jill explained, yelling in her boyfriend's ear.
Frankie didn't pursue the subject any farther, as his attention was turned towards Rosaline standing by herself at the water's edge. Frankie saw this and quickly ran to her side.
"Rosaline, you better not try drowning yourself again," he said as he approached.
"Are you kidding? Girls that put their life at stake for some guy are just stupid. I would never be so foolish," she declared solemnly. She didn't turn towards Frankie as she spoke. She seemed melancholic as she stared dejectedly into the ocean.
"Is something wrong?" Frankie asked. He knew that she had been guy hunting and although he was happy she had no success, he still didn't like to see her sad. Frankie tried not to look at her, instead staring out at the sea, which had become littered with swimmers.
"I've decided to give up on the lifeguard. If he thinks protecting a bunch of random people is more important than dating me, then I want no part of him," she stated. She stood motionless as the small wave made its way up the beach, sweeping the sand away from around her bare feet as it retreated.
"Well, there are plenty of other guys on the beach," he reassured her. Frankie couldn't decide if she was really so shallow or just clueless, but he was happy nonetheless.
"Ha," she scoffed, "Don't think I'm so weak spirited. We still have a lot of time here; I'm not giving up yet." She gave Frankie a light shove as she spoke, looking up at the horizon determinately. "So now I'm off to try again," she said, but she was distracted by the mass of people in front of their beach house.
Following her line of sight, Frankie exclaimed "Whoa, there's got to be ten more people than there were a few minutes ago!"
"Hey keep it down;" ordered a man in a Hawaiian shirt with a camera, "the master and his followers are communicating with the universe."
"The master is our friend!" Frankie asserted, but the Hawaiian-shirt-guy appeared not to hear him, as he busied himself with taking pictures.
As the camera captured the peculiar sight, R-Kelley's eyes slowly opened. He broke his meditative position to cover his mouth as he yawned. He stood up, dusted himself off, and looked out over the audience that had amassed, now all looking up at him with expecting eyes.
"Say something, Master," yelled one of the many sitting on the sand.
"Enlighten us with your wisdom," another one shouted from within the group that now included well over twenty members.
R-Kelley looked confused at first, but then slowly folded his hands in front of him. "My children," he said softly, "I thank you for your willingness to follow my example. Let us now go off to quench the hunger of our souls." Wearing nothing but his orange bathrobe, R-Kelley crossed the beach with his numerous followers behind him.
"He sure did fit into the role of their leader quickly," Frankie said, astonished.
A few minutes down the beach, Al stood, leaning over his cart, muffling his own yawns. He opened up the top hatch of his ice cream cart and saw that he still had an ample supply of Popsicles and fudge bars left to be sold even so late in the afternoon.
"Hey Al," R-Kelley called as he approached the boy in the paper hat.
"Um, R-Kelley, don't look now, but there is a huge crowd behind you," Al said, confused.
"Yeah," R-Kelley whispered, bringing his hand up to hide his mouth, "they're my followers." He brought his hand back down and said in a normal voice, "May I have a Popsicle, please?"
"Sure," Al said as he handed R-Kelley a Popsicle and accepted his money. When R-Kelley stepped aside after thanking his friend, two of his followers quickly stepped up to the cart.
"Hey, give me a popsicle, too."
"Yeah, and me."
Soon, Al had quite a line of customers. R-Kelley's followers were eager to mimic their leader's example and purchase ice cream. The customers kept coming until Al had completely sold out of Popsicles. The followers were a little disturbed by this, but with R-Kelley's blessing they agreed to purchase fudge bars as well.
Jill had been standing off to the side; annoyed with the fact her boyfriend wouldn't drive her back to the hotel. Jack came up to her with two Popsicles in his hand. He offered one to her. At first she refused, but then with a smile she accepted the Popsicle and began eating it alongside Jack with a smile.
"Unbelievable," Frankie muttered. Rosaline, however, didn't say anything. Another huge smile was plastered onto her face as another guy-getting idea ran through her skull.
"Hey, R-Kelley," she called as she ran up to her dark-haired friend. She whispered something into his ear. R-Kelley smiled and nodded his head in agreement, which made Rosaline grin even more.
"My followers!" R-Kelley preached, "I have an important request that will bring those who qualify much inner peace. If you are a male that would consider himself a…um…seven or higher, please line up before me."
"Unbelievable," Frankie muttered again, realizing what Rosaline had put R-Kelley up to.
Thirteen men lined up before Rosaline and R-Kelley. Anyone would say they were a handsome lot, but as usual, Rosaline was extremely picky and threw them out if the answer to her questions was unsatisfactory. And her questions weren't typical of what a girl would want to know about a guy.
"If you were a lifeguard, would you pay more attention to swimmers or me?"
"I guess if it was my job, I'd have to watch over the swimmers."
"Next," she ordered, pushing the boy aside to get a look at the man behind him, "have you ever watched an an-nee-may?"
"You mean anime? Yeah, I've watched a few on T.V. when I was younger."
"Get out of my sight," she said, pushing the poor lad away. "Do you like to dance?" she asked the next man in line.
"Um, yes, I do," he said. Rosaline immediately smiled and grabbed the stranger's wrist, raising it above her.
"Yes, we have our winner, ladies and gentlemen!" she yelled happily. Then she happily wrapped her arm around his and looked up into his confused face. "We're going to go out," she explained, "we're going to see movies, have dinner together, cuddle, act all lovey-dovey, and you're going to teach me how to swim."
"Huh?" was all the poor soul could manage.
That night, Rosaline's singing voice transformed into Rosaline's screaming voice, as she happily shouted out the words of her favorite campfire song until she reached zero bottles of beer. She and her friends sat in lawn chairs on the deck surrounding the campfire ring, which now held a flame that stretched above its perimeter. Rosaline was really the only one singing, as R-Kelley, Al, David, and Carrie just silently listened to her as they ate the hotdogs that Frankie had prepared.
Once Rosaline stopped singing, she noticed that David was sitting next to Carrie and was starting a conversation with her. Rosaline then stood up from her seat, went behind David, and lifted his chair up so that he would fall out; sending him to the floor, dangerously close to the fire.
"Hey, I could've fallen in the fire just now," he shouted, getting to his feet.
"Yeah, your life sucks; you should be more careful," Rosaline said uncaring about David's condition as she sat down in the seat he had just been using. David then moved to the seat Rosaline had just abandoned on the opposite side of Carrie. Rosaline growled at how he outmaneuvered her. She stood up and without saying anything, sat down on Carrie's lap. "Checkmate!" She pointed at David and began snickering at her own cunningness. "Ah, seriously Carrie," she began lecturing, "Why do keep hanging out with a pervert like this?" This made David fume.
"Rosaline, David saved me from a real pervert today," Carrie said, uncomfortable with Rosaline on her lap.
"Is that so?" Rosaline said turning towards David. She then began laughing heartily.
"What?" David asked angrily.
"Your face was hurt," she stuttered through her own laughing, referring to his black eye.
"You mean you just noticed?"
"Well, I try to look at your face as little as possible if it can be helped," Rosaline said, completely serious.
"Um Rosaline," Carrie said shakily, "you're really heavy."
"Scoot over then," Rosaline ordered. Carrie made room for Rosaline, and although they had to squeeze, both girls managed to fit on the chair. Knowing that she still separated Carrie and David, Rosaline stuck her tongue at him with a "nyeh."
"Here are some more of your filthy hotdogs," Frankie said as he brought out a tray full of the sausages, "doesn't anyone want to partake in the ecstasy that is the bratwurst?"
"No," his friends said in unison.
"Face it, Frankie," Al added, "No one likes that junk. But I would like another hotdog please."
Frankie set the tray down on a table, placed a hotdog in a bun, and bitterly said "here" before tossing it to Al, who could barely catch the hotdog, which had separated from the bun, and had to stand up to snatch the bread before it hit the sandy, wooden deck. Smiling at his agility, Al placed the hotdog back into the bun. "Want some mustard with that?" Frankie asked, pointing the opened bottle at Al, gripping it with both hands.
"Thanks, I'll pass," Al said sourly before taking a bite out of his hotdog.
"That was awesome, Al! You rock!" Rosaline screamed, giving Al a thumbs-up and a huge smile.
"Yeah, you're right, that was pretty awesome," Al admitted, returning to his positive demeanor.
"Ugh, you're in an annoyingly good mood," David groaned after hearing Rosaline's increasingly loud outbursts.
"Shut up, Pervo," Rosaline ordered before going on to explain happily, "Thanks to ma main man, R-Kell-ay, I was able to snag a cute guy today." She gave R-Kelley a thumbs-up and thanked him. "And he's a dream, definitely the one I'm going to be having my romantic love affair with. I don't remember his name, but we're going to meet here tomorrow at sunrise. Isn't that romantic?" She seemed to tear up a little as she spoke.
"I guess so," Carrie admitted, not sure if it was or wasn't. She had a feeling the idea to meet so early in the morning was one of Rosaline's.
As Rosaline spoke of her romantic love affair, a dark cloud loomed over Frankie. His head dropped, his hair covering his sad eyes.
"Are you okay, Frankie?" Carrie asked.
"Yeah, I'm just hungry," he said, getting up, his head still hanging in misery. Frankie returned a few minutes later with a huge stack of bratwursts tucked away in buns. He slammed the tray onto the table and looked over the stack. His eyes flashed with determination. "Okay, R-Kelley, time me."
"Gotcha," R-Kelley confirmed, taking out his cell phone, which had a stop watch.
"Wait, hold on I want to record this," Al said. The boy who still wore his sunglasses at night, ran up to his room and plucked his video camera off the bed. Upon returning to the deck outside, Al positioned himself to get the best shot and allowed the act to be completed.
In two minutes, Frankie devoured eight bratwursts, while Al filmed his gluttony. R-Kelley kept careful time, while Carrie and David watched in astonishment and Rosaline cheered loudly.
"How was that?" Frankie asked, wiping his mouth.
"Not as good as your old time, but then again you didn't start on an empty stomach this time," R-Kelley said.
"That was so gross, but you're amazing, Frankie!" Rosaline cheered.
Bringing his hand to the back of his neck, Frankie said "It was nothing," and the cloud of despair was gone, but a little piece of meat was still stuck to his lip. "How's the film look, Al? I want to see how my strategy held up."
"Um, it doesn't seem to be working," Al said as he replayed the video his camera had just recorded, "the audio is all distorted and the video is messed up." Al slunk into his chair, dropping the camera delicately on the ground. "I guess I need to get it fixed now. I wonder if there's a repair shop in this town."
"You know, Carrie," Rosaline said, turning towards her bespectacled friend, "you said a pervert attacked you, but what did he do exactly? The audience wants to know."
"Ooh, yes we do," Al said sitting up, tapping the tips of his fingers together anxiously. He smiled like a little kid sitting through the coming attractions before he can see his favorite T.V. show become a full length movie.
Carrie blushed a little; "Um, the moon looks lovely tonight, doesn't it?" Carrie, to change the subject, suddenly became entranced by the bright, white sphere that now hovered over the calm dark waters.
"Oh, you're right."
"It sure is big right now."
"Is it a full moon?"
"I don't know."
"Do you think high tide will be a problem for us since we're so close to the water?"
Rosaline looked at her friends with disgust. "You guys, don't you see she's trying to distract us?" Rosaline gripped Carrie's shirt and began shaking her and yelling in the smaller girl's face. "C'mon Carrie, I'm you're best friend. You can let me in on all the titillating facts can't you?" But Carrie kept staring at the moon with a serene look on her face. "Fine, I didn't want to know anyway," Rosaline said, sitting down in her own chair and crossing her arms and legs.
The joy of her date the following day quickly came back to her, though, and filled her with happiness until she started singing, "A thousand bottles of beer on the wall, a thousand bottles of beer…"
"A thousand?" David exclaimed, "It's supposed to start at ninety-nine."
"I always thought it was a hundred bottles of beer," Frankie added.
"You idiots," Rosaline stopped singing to explain, "We have to start at a thousand or else the song will end too quickly, and we want this campfire to go all night, right guys?"
"Actually, I think I'm going to go to bed. Whoever's awake should remember to lock up Rosaline."
"Hey, R-Kelley's already asleep. I'm going to draw a penis on his face."
"Don't Al; he doesn't bathe so it could stay on his face for weeks."
"You're such a pretty moon, aren't you?"
"Please come back to me Carrie," Rosaline pleaded as she sobbed.