Sugar and Spice

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Chapter 31: The Cousin Returns

“Why can’t we go on a picnic?” Ethan asked as I took my books out for the class that was about to start any moment now.

Why isn’t the teacher here to save me yet?

“Because I said so.” I sassed. “Besides, we can watch a movie or go eat some pizzas or something. I don’t want some romantic crap.” I shrugged.

“But a date is supposed to be romantic, Penny. That’s what dates are for. Something romantic.” Ethan remarked. I sighed tiredly.

“But do I not get a say in what I do with my precious time?” I whined.

I mean, it’s my time and I am a citizen of a free country!

“Of course you do!” He answered.

“Then I choose to not go on any picnics!” I said before he could say anything else. He sighed as he looked at me.

“At least tell me why you won’t go on a picnic.” He requested in a soft voice.

Umm… Because bugs are disgusting?

“I don’t like the outdoors.” I replied with a shrug. Ethan narrowed his eyes on me.

“Says the girl who loves PE like no other.” He raised an eyebrow at me as if telling me to spill the beans.

Shit!

“Umm… Well, when you go out in the open field with a basket of food, then you will surely have ants all around, trying to get to the food.” I told him. “And that’s disgusting. And Scary.” I added.

That sounds like a good reason, right?

“Penny…” He said in a warning tone. I rolled my eyes at him.

“I just don’t want to go on a picnic.” I sighed. “I’m not saying no to a date. I’m just saying no to picnics. We can literally go anywhere else!” I stated.

I’ll even agree to go to Antarctica but not on a freaking picnic!

“I won’t force you to go on a picnic but at least give me a reason. I want to know why the idea of a picnic disgusts you.” Ethan responded.

I bit my lip as I thought about it. Should I tell him the reason? Will he understand? Or will he think that it is silly, that I am silly?

“It’s a long story. But the conclusion is that I would never willingly go for a picnic.” I told him.

“Why? What happened?” He asked.

“Why are you so eager to know all this?” I questioned.

“I just want to get to know you more.” He told me, honesty shining in his tone and in his eyes. “I want to know everything about you.” He sighed.

Oh god! Is he going to start talking about feelings and stuff now?

“The last time I went on a picnic was not so great. It was a total disaster. Quite literally.” I said, changing the topic. I didn’t want him to start talking about feelings and all that crap right now.

“I am sure it wasn’t that bad.” Ethan tried to make me feel better when I looked down.

“On the contrary, it was.” I told him. “I went there with my sister and…” I trailed off when I saw someone standing right outside the classroom.

“Your sister and…?” Ethan asked but I ignored it because I was too shocked and curious to care about him and the story I was about to tell him.

I’ll deal with him later…

“Cassie?” I called out.

What was she doing here?

“You went on the picnic with your sister and Cassie?” Ethan asked, confused.

“I did. But that’s not what I care about at the moment.” I told Ethan before I got up and walked up to the person I haven’t seen in about a year.

Maybe longer…

“Penny? Where are you going?” I heard Ethan saying but I ignored him.

“Cass?” I called out when I was close enough. She turned around, her blonde hair flying. When she saw me, her eyes grew wide.

“Penny!” She squealed. Before I could even blink, she was suffocating me in a super tight hug.

“Cass, I am just as excited to see you but can you at least let me breathe?” I stuttered. She instantly loosened her grip by a smidge. I wrapped my arms around her and smiled.

“What the hell are you doing here?” She asked as she pulled away.

“Ah… I can ask you the same thing!” I told her, not wanting to answer her question. She sighed as she looked around.

“Apparently my cousin got a month of detention. Her parents called me up for help since her records aren’t great and they were really worried.” She explained.

“Cassie! You aren’t supposed to tell everything to strangers!” A squeaky and shrill voice said from behind Cassie.

“She is not a stranger, Sarah.” Cassie replied. “And hold your tongue. I didn’t give you permission to speak yet. You’re on thin ice, young lady.” She added in an arrogant voice.

See! That’s why I love Cassie!

“Wait! You know her?” Sarah asked in her usually high pitched voice.

Wait… Oh god no!

“Sarah’s your cousin?” I asked Cassie with a look of horror on my face.

Cassie looked at my face before turning to Sarah who looked like she saw a ghost.

“I guess you both have already met?” Cassie asked sheepishly.

“Cass, please tell me that you are not related to her!” I requested.

“She’s my cousin, nerd!” Sarah scoffed. I frowned at Sarah.

Nerd? Me? I wish!

“Penny? A nerd?” Cassie asked, trying to hold her laughter back. I rolled my eyes which made her finally start laughing.

“I can be a nerd if I want to be one, Cassie.” I told her.

Even I knew how big of a lie that was…

My words only made her laugh harder. People in the corridor were now staring at her as if she was crazy but it did look like she cared about that.

“I didn’t know what else to say.” Sarah muttered to me as Cassie tried to control her laughter. I shrugged at her.

“So, how do you two know each other?” Sarah asked me as Cassie wiped the tears from the corners of her eyes.

“Cassie was my sister’s best friend.” I answered.

“And yours too!” Cassie said. “Don’t you remember how we used to pull pranks on your sister together?” She asked me.

“I do remember that, Cassie.” I chuckled.

“Liv, Penny and I were inseparable.” Cassie sighed as she looked at me with a smile.

“That was until we all were forced to go our separate ways.” I added.

“But that doesn’t mean that we are not friends anymore!” Cassie exclaimed. I shrugged not knowing what to say.

Cassie was like a sister from another mister. But I haven’t seen or heard from her in a long time so I wasn’t sure. We all did part ways on good terms but neither of us really wanted to leave.

Liv was almost heartbroken when Cassie had to leave. But I guess even she moved on after a while.

“Anyways, what are you doing here in the school?” I asked her.

“She’s here to convince Principal Hughes to let me take on some projects or something to help my grades.” Sarah answered.

“Penny! You can help! After all-” Cassie started but I cut her off.

“I would love to help! Anything for you, Cass!” I cheered, giving her a sickly sweet smile. Cassie frowned at my tone.

Back when Cassie, Liv and I were a troublemaking trio, she knew me very well. She always understood everything just by looking at my face.

I just hope she still knows me that well…

“Right…” Cassie said, dragging the word out. Suddenly, something clicked in her eyes. “How silly of me! How can you help? You should get to class. I’ll talk to the principal on my own.” she said.

Aww… She can still read me like a book!

“I think she actually can help.” Sarah spoke up before I could say anything. “She helps her friends all the time!” She exclaimed.

“And by how you two reacted to me knowing both of you, I don’t think that you are friends.” Cassie shot back.

Cass and sass go hand in hand…

“But she is your friend!” Sarah replied.

More like a really close friend…

“She’s not my servant, Sarah.” Cassie scolded her.

“But she can actually convince him!” Sarah whined.

I really can…

“Sarah!” Cassie yelled warningly.

“Actually, I would help.” I sighed. “If I knew that she was your cousin, I would have started helping long ago.” I shrugged.

Cassie helped me a lot when I was younger just because I was her best friend’s little sister. She actually changed me. This was the least I could do for her.

“Really?” Sarah asked. She looked shocked.

“Yeah.” I answered.

“Thank you.” She said, smiling a little.

Looks like there’s still hope for Sarah…


Me: Another chapter! Another problem!

Penny: And since the author is a bit depressed, no long author’s note available.

Damien: Next update will be up on 5th August 2021.

Xander: Which is Thursday!

Jason: Until then, stay safe!

Mason: And eat CAKE!

Curtains close as Ellie, Penny and the author start eating ice cream while watching sad movies while the others disappear...

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