Chapter Forty-Five.Campfire Talks.
Song for this chapter: Zac Efron and Zendaya-Rewrite the stars.
Fire, Marshmallows, Chocolate.
It was a spontaneous idea brought up by Becca as we sat together with the rest of our ‘gang’ at a booth in Frizzi’s. We had our finals coming up soon just after graduation and prom, I guess she wanted us to enjoy ourselves before we would be stressed to the nines studying until we couldn’t keep our eyes open anymore.
The three blondes said they knew the perfect camping spot since it’s a tradition every year for them and their Parents to go camping together and shocking me they also had a younger brother named Luke who also tagged along. He was around Gabriela and Bella’s age.
And that was how we ended up in the middle of nowhere, grabbing boxes from Grayson and Kimberly’s cars to set up the camping spot and put up our tents. I would be sharing with Grayson, Kimberly with Jackson who sadly was invited, Becca with Stacey, Brittney with a guy she met in her calculus class and Blake insisted he stay by himself since he brought his own tent.
After arranging the spot in the middle of hundreds of pine trees and sighing in relief when it was all set up, I couldn’t help myself but gaze at the beautiful view in front of my very own two eyes. If my phone camera wasn’t a potato, the picture would have been tumblr worthy.
″It’s great isn’t it?″ A high pitched voice commented from beside me.
I nodded in agreement, ″Yeah, beautiful″ I breathed out breathlessly to Brittney.
″My Mom and Dad found this place when they were teenagers and used to go here on there anniversary every year, it’s become a tradition since″.
″You don’t mind other people using your special spot?″ I asked, knowing I wouldn’t be the first to invite people to Gray and I’s special place somewhere only we know.
She shook her head and giggled, ″I know what you’re thinking, I wasn’t all cheery about it at first. But then I realised that other people should get to enjoy somewhere as beautiful as this. It’s something you wouldn’t want to miss″.
I smiled at her words, still looking on towards the glassy lake in front of me surrounded by water lilies, the sun hitting off the dark blue like a mirror. It was a sight to hold, Brittney excused herself when Stacey called her name from behind us. The chatter and ruffling of moving boxes soon came to a stop when everyone had their stuff sorted.
″Hey, Libby. Come over here″ Becca called waving me over, I smiled and made my way over to the fold up chairs in a circle in front of a bunch of wood that would soon turn to a campfire when the sun hid behind the hills.
A bunch of beer was in an ice box, but I dismissed it and opting for a soda instead. Alcohol and I don’t really have the best of memories together. I sat down on one of the chairs beside Becca.
Where the hell were the guys?
There was no sight of any of them, not even the one Brittney invited. I furrowed my brows and took a peak behind my chair for even a head of brown hair to be seen, but came to no avail.
″They’re going to fetch more wood″ Stacey informed me, noticing my curious eyes.
I smiled at her grateful that my boyfriend wasn’t just kidnapped by his cousin and a random guy I haven’t been introduced to yet. But let’s face it, I think Gray could take them both down...blindfolded. I think Blake would put up a good fight though.
She smiled in return, taking a sip of her coca cola. I guess I wasn’t the only one not in the mood for alcohol this fine evening.
″Prom is only a week away! How did that time fly by so fast?″ Britney exclaimed, dramatically placing the back of her hand on her forehead.
We all laughed at her dramatics shaking our heads at just how blonde she really was. ″Yeah guys, how did that time fly by so fast?″ I asked rhetorically, shaking my head and creasing my brows together.
Christmas flew by in a matter of what felt like seconds but in reality was last month. I guess when you’re living your life to the best of your ability it flies by in a blink of an eye.
Elizabeth really has been making an effort to show me that she wants to join back the family, she’s trying hard for it too. I told her it was too sudden for her to attend Christmas this year, she was disappointed but didn’t argue. Although, when Gab was asleep on the couch I then let her bring her to bed and tuck her in like she use to do for Jackson and I.
″Well what I can tell you is that this week is going to feel like years. It always does when you’re anticipating something big like this″ Becca spoke truthfully, I remember being so excited for Christmas before my Dad passed and it felt like years until that day came and now it feels like seconds.
We all nodded in agreement, ″It won’t be long until we’ve graduated and out to fend for ourselves″ I added, thinking of the harsh reality soon to come. It was only a week until prom, and a week until we all send our applications to our desired colleges. That was what I was not looking forward to, not only afraid of getting rejected but the student debts I was sure to be in unless I got the scholarship I had dreamed for.
I shook my head, ridding my head from those nauseating thoughts I wouldn’t have to think about for a week to come. Tonight was for fun and laughter and I wasn’t letting those thoughts get in the way of it.
We talked and laughed about all things stupid and idiotic that was going to happen during and before Prom. Stacey here claimed she was going to order McDonald’s and use that for her date to prom, she’s an odd cookie.
Hands squeezed my shoulders making my jerk up out of my seat, earning laughs from around the circle of chairs. I pouted as I looked up to a pair of creased emerald eyes who was laughing alongside everyone else but held a helping hand up for me to take.
″Wow, thanks″ I remarked sarcastically, taking his hand in mine and pulling myself up.
″I didn’t think you’d fall out of your seat″.
″Well, I did″.
He pursed his lips, his hand still in mine but pulled me in towards his hard chest. I looked up to meet his emerald eyes as he tried to do a puppy expression, which never works. Unless he was puss in boots, then it would work. But hate to break it to you Gray, but you’re not.
His breath hit off my skin, it was a mixture of mint and beer that only drew me closer to him. ″I’m sorry″ He whispered.
″I wasn’t upset″ I smiled, placing my hands on his cheeks and leaning up to kiss his tender lips.
He smiled within the kiss, placing his hard hand on my hips pulling me closer to him if that were even possible. His lips were intoxicating and if we continued on for any longer i’d have to drag him into our tent.
I pulled away making him sigh like a child and I shook my head up at him, he seemed to get the idea since he winked at me making heat rise onto my cheeks, he always finds one way or another to embarrass me.
We took our seats again as the three blondes offered to start the fire as the sun was starting to set and we had enough wood to last until tomorrow or more at that. I couldn’t see much of the sky from here, but at the lake you had an all clear view of the orange-yellow sky.
It wasn’t long until the fire had started and the bags of marshmallows were brought out alongside with chocolate and honey biscuits. Yum, I need one of those. I reached out to get a marshmallow but had my hand slapped away by Stacey.
I furrowed my brows at her and chuckled, ″What?″.
″We are not eating now, we have a schedule. It’s time to hop into the lake. As much as I want to eat food, sadly my sisters won’t allow that″.
The lake? It’s probably going to be below freezing! There is no way in hell I am getting in that lake, let alone now at all times.
And sadly that’s how I ended up in nothing but a bikini, goosebumps on skin and my hands covering my body to keep the shivering to the minimum. Everyone was in the lake laughing and not at all shivering, everyone but me, Gray and Blake that is.
″I am not getting in there″ I stated just as I stated to everyone that I wouldn’t get into my bikini, and look how that turned out.
″Come on, Lib. It’s not bad once you get in″ Becca claimed, waving me over to join them in the freezing cold lake.
I shook my head, ″Gray, I’m not getting in there″.
He smirked looking behind me as he moved closer towards me, I backed away, ″Come on Gray, don’t do this!″ I breathed out in both frustration and cowardliness.
I walked backwards until I hit something hard, I took a peak from beside me to a smirking Blake who simply winked at me before swiftly throwing me over his shoulders.
″Throw her in!″ Brittney chanted.
Thanks! I just love moral support from my friends.
I kicked and squirmed, hitting his bare back. ″Put me down, Blake!″.
″No can do, princess″.
I yelled in frustration still squirming, ″Throw her in!″ Brittney chanted again.
And then they all joined in with her, including calculus boy.
″Throw her in!″.
″Throw her in!″.
I need to make a mental note to get new friends.
″Sorry, Lib″ Grayson chuckled, ″Throw her in!″ He chanted with a laugh.
My mouth parted open, ″Wow! Even my boyfriend wants me thrown into water that will be the cause of my death″.
I breathed out in anger.
I took in a deep breath.
I closed my eyes shut.
I was thrown in without another word, my body hitting against the freezing water like a sledgehammer. I threaded the water to get back to surface, my body still freezing. But I hated to admit, that I was a lot colder not in the water than I am in.
I pushed my wet hair out of my face, ″I hate every single one of you!″.
Blake and Grayson were still standing on the wooden dock laughing at my facial expression. ″You know, since you’ve thrown me in why don’t you guys join me?″.
They looked at each other, laughed and then shook their heads, ″Not happening, Lib″ Grayson remarked with a wink.
I lifted up a brow, ″Okay, then″ I tried to say casually as I swam towards them, I reached my hand up for Blake to take. ″Help me up?″.
He took my hand not thinking twice,with all the strength my wet and cold body could possibly muster, I pulled him with a loud splash. He hit surface in a few seconds looking at me with narrowed eyes, ″It feels good, doesn’t it? Blakey boy″.
He shook his head, smiling. ″Oh you are so dead″.
I shrugged turning to look up at Grayson, ″Join us, Gray″.
He shook his head, ″I’m not falling for the ‘help me up’ scheme, Lib″.
I pouted, ″You’re no fun″.
He raised a brow in a ‘are you kidding me’ way and I smirked, ″Don’t be a party pooper and join us...that is if you’re fun enough″.
″Oh Libby, you’ll be the death of me″.
″As I’ve been told″.
He backed away and motioned for everyone to move away from the centre of the lake, I furrowed my brows but complied as did everyone else. He ran up from the back of the dock taking in a sharp breath as he cannon balled into the water.
Always a showoff.
We waited a few seconds for him to come up for air, I furrowed my brows when he hadn’t after ten seconds.
″Guys, he’s not coming up!″ I yelled, in panic.
The colour washed from my face as panic pulsated through my veins. The look of fear washed over Blake’s face as well as everyone else. Blake took in a deep breath and soon plummeted under water with the hopes of bringing Gray back up.
Jackson swam towards me, staring into my watering eyes as I let out deep breaths to stop me from hyperventilating. ″It’s okay, Libby. He’s going to be okay″.
″How do you know that?!″ I yelled, tears escaping my eyes, water splashing everywhere.
″Trust me, Libby″.
I nodded briefly, the girls making their shocked bodies towards me. ″He’s probably messing with us, Libby″ Becca claimed putting her hand around my shoulders to give some bit of support.
I wanted to believe her words, but there still wasn’t any sign of either Grayson or Blake. It was like I was frozen in time, in a black hole of doom and loom.
A gasp of breath from beside me and more water splashing knocked me out of my nerves. I turned quickly and whimpered at the sight of an unconscious Grayson in Blake’s arms...and calculus boys too.
I was too frightened to even notice his absence, I was too shocked to notice or even evaluate any relevant thought right now.
They rushed his limp body onto the deck, pulling themselves up as well. I couldn’t stay in the water knowing my boyfriend needed emergency help, I shook off Becca’s arm and pulled myself up onto the dock.
″What happened?″ I cried out, desperate for answers.
Calculus boy started to do compression’s on Grayson’s chest, it blew up and down and I held my breath each time with the hope that he would flutter his eyes open.
″I don’t know″ Blake sighed in frustration running his trembling hands through his hair. ″I think he hit his head when he hit the bottom, the lake isn’t deep enough to cannon ball in without the risk of hitting the bottom″.
I pulled my knees to my chest, keeping my eyes on Grayson at all times. I was shivering without knowing it. The cold from the glistening lake sinking into my bones. I pushed myself so I was now by Grayson’s side, Blake by his head and calculus boy at the other side checking for his heartbeat.
″It’s strong″ He confirmed.
We all let out a breath of relief at the good news, but with good news the bad soon follows. I placed my hands on his cheeks the droplets off my hair hitting against his bare chest.
″I’m going to have to do mouth to mouth resuscitation″ Calculus boy announced making my heart drop, he was only getting 18% oxygen. We needed emergency services as quickly as possible.
Kimberly had already ran back to where we had set up camp to retrieve her phone and ring 911, since she was one of the few here to know the destination of where we were.
I turned my head no longer being able to bare the sight of Grayson unconscious and limb, but I held tightly onto his hand, to show him I was here.
″Damn dude, don’t put your lips on mine″.
I whipped my head to face where the husky voice had emitted from, my eyes widening as I did.
We all stared at Grayson in both dis-belief and shock, not knowing if we were just imagining things or not. There he was pushing calculus boy off his chest, acting as if nothing had ever happened.
″What the fuck Grayson″ Blake cursed.
″Sucka″ Grayson chuckled sticking his tongue out at me.
He was laughing, but I didn’t find anything about it amusing. Who in their right mind just pretends to drown? No one in their right mind does because they know better not to. I can’t believe him right now.
Tears were still streaming down my eyes, but this time not out of heartbreak but anger.
I knew what he had done, he was getting me back for pretending to get hurt when we played football with his parents. But damn, I didn’t take it that far.
″Don’t be mad, Lib″.
″Fuck you″ I yelled, quickly getting up off the dock nearly slipping as I did but Grayson kept me steady by keeping a firm grip on my leg.
I kicked his hand off, storming passed him as I did, but paused mid walk.
I swiftly turned around, Grayson now standing as Blake swore bloody murder at him. He didn’t see me stop, but that was just what I needed.
Blake caught my eye but I motioned for him to keep quiet by placing my finger to my lips, he then pressed his eyes onto Grayson, scolding him for what he had done.
I tip toed right behind Grayson and swiftly but quickly pulled his shorts down so he was now in his birthday suit.
″Push him in!″ I yelled to Blake.
He obliged as if automatically and within a few seconds there was a big splash to be heard.
I grabbed Grayson shorts, taking Blake’s hand in mine and running back to camp.
″He’s not going to be happy about this, Libby″.
″Karma’s a bitch″.
We panted for breath, me holding my hands on my knees as I crouched down when we came to a halt. Everyone was looking at us with confused eyes.
″We threw Gray into the pool″ Blake informed them with a breathy laugh, everyone nodded in understanding with sly smirks on their faces.
″Without these″ I help up his shorts with a proud smile.
″Serves him right″ Becca added, drying her hair with a towel.
″And that’s the sister I know and love″ Jackson cheered in a sing song tone.
I had gone into Grayson and I’s shared tend to get out of my bikini and change into something more comfortable and weather appropriate. Which of course included my trusty converse and Grayson’s denim jacket.
Before I had the chance to unzip the tent, laughs erupted from outside making me curious as to what I was missing out on but I had a fair idea, and that included a certain naked person I know by heart.
I unzipped the tent, taking a peak outside and sure enough I was right. I got out and made my way over to the ‘circus attraction’. I masked my laughs by covering my mouth with my hands. He stood there with his body dripping wet, his hair falling over his forehead as he covered his...manly area with his two hands.
″Libby, you are so dead″.
″Funny″ I shrugged, ″Cause five minutes ago I thought you were, we all did″.
″I was messing, Lib″.
″As were Blake and I″.
He rolled his eyes playfully before escorting his naked self into our tent. I sat down on the fold up chairs as did everyone else. As the seconds passed by the sky become darker and darker, now a blur of dark navy. No stars to be seen, only the bright moon.
The topic of the conversation was starting the fire and so Stacey offered to start it with her sisters shaking their heads in a refusing manner making their way to the fire first.
″Let’s not make a recurrence of what happened last year″.
″What happened last year?″ Becca asked.
I was curious too, so I was glad someone had asked instead of my nosy self. Sometimes I can get a bit too nosy where I then end up stalking your sisters boyfriends ex girlfriends postman’s dog’s mother’s owner on Facebook.
″Care to share, Stacey?″ Brittney prodded on as she kept her eyes on holding a matchstick over a bunch of sticks of wood that Kimberly was holding up.
She held her head down in embarrassment, ″I set myself on fire″ She murmured.
Me and Becca shared a confused expression between ourselves as Jackson choked on his drink, calculus boy cleared his throat and Blake shook his head, no surprise shown.
″How did you manage to do that?″ Jackson asked once he composed himself and wiped some leaked beer off his chin with the back of his hand.
She sighed, fiddling with her thumbs. ″It was a mistake″.
″Continue″ Blake encouraged, in a not so encouraging tone but more so humorous.
″I was just holding the match up for Brittney and it was so dark out, we could barely see″ She paused and sighed, ″I felt something hit off my foot so I got startled and fell along with the match″.
″Before any of us knew it, I was lit up like Christmas lights on December 25th″.
I widened my eyes, opening my mouth to say something. But someone beat me to it.
″God, Stacey. That’s gruesome″ Becca laughed.
″Luckily our dad had a bucket of water for later to set out the fire″.
″Are you okay?″ I asked, a laugh emitting from my lips.
The situation wasn’t in the slightest bit funny but we couldn’t help but laugh to mask away the horrid feeling of it. Sometimes laughing was the only cure, and in a situation like this it was the only remedy.
She nodded, ″Oh yeah, I wasn’t critically hurt or scarred″.
″What you guys talking about?″ Grayson asked as he made his way over to us sat down on the empty fold up chair next to me.
″Oh nothing, just how Stacey set herself on fire″ I said casually as if talking about the weather.
He did a second take on what I said, ″Did you just say how Stacey set herself on fire?″.
″You heard me right, loverboy″.
We delved into conversation, no one once risking the chance of getting thrown into the lake if they muttered anything about the long dreaded SAT’s. We had all including myself started studying two months ago. I needed that scholarship more than anything right now, and if I didn’t even get accepted to the culinary college of my dreams, I didn’t know what I would do.
But I had a backup plan just like everyone else.
I would become a stripper.
No, all joking aside I think I would have to intern for a local bakery for a year to have some experience on my college applications. The end goal was in ten years time to have and run my own cafe, I knew all recipes from pie to brownies to cake to lattes. I just needed to study in college so I can get jobs easier leading up to saving for my own cafe.
Jackson had brought over the long awaited marshmallows, chocolate and cookies for the mouth watering smores that would soon be smashed into my mouth with no pity. We all grabbed for them like a bunch of hungry lions, in return letting a few fall onto the floor which Stacey then picked up and kept to herself.
″More for me″ She beamed, her eyes lighting up as if we would all be jealous we didn’t get to keep the dirt covered marshmallows.
″Good for you, Stace″ Brittney remarked sarcastically, patting her sister on the back.
Kimberly grimaced at Stacey when she took a huge bite out of the white marshmallow, ″Sometimes I wish you were adopted″ She whispered under her breath.
″Hey, Lib?″ Gray whispered into my ear quietly as I pierced my marshmallow through a stick we all washed off with the bucket of water we would then use to set out the campfire.
″Mhm?″ I hummed, holding my marshmallow out to the fire until it got to a golden brown.
″I’ve never made a smore before, what do I do?″.
I widened my mouth, my mouth gaping open at the new revelation. As if he told me he had never seen an episode of friends I looked at him as if we was insane, not right in the head, a bit crazy.
″You’ve never had a smore before?″ I repeated, my voice high. I was trying not to embarrass him by laughing, but my lip was starting to burn from biting it too hard. ″But doesn’t your family own a cabin house?″.
He sighed, ″Yes, but it’s usually too cold to make smores or even attempt to step foot outside when we go there″.
I chuckled, Blake catching my eye as I did. ″Did he tell you he didn’t know how to make a smore?″.
I nodded, my cheeks burning.
We whipped our heads around at the sound of a dramatic gasp, of course no surprise was shown when it was revealed to be Stacey behind the gasp. Marshmallow and chocolate dripping from the corner of her mouth.
″You’ve never had a smore before?″ She blubbered out, which more so sounded like a person with no teeth trying to communicate with someone who spoke a whole other language to them.
Gray shook his head at her, recoiling back as more marshmallow dripped out of her mouth like she was a two year old incapable of looking after herself.
″Stacey, fix your face″ Brittney scolded, rolling her eyes high at her sister who seemed more than often to have food stuffed in her mouth, but yet had the figure of an Instagram model, how? I don’t know. I was guessing it was genetics and judging by the sight of her two sisters, I seemed to be right as the all had slim figures, blonde hair and clear icy skin.
Stacey knocked out of her food coma and wiped her face with the back of her sweater that looked to be more expensive than my whole life put together. ″Well let me teach ya, I’m a world known pro for this″.
I quirked up my brow, pursed my lips and nodded briefly at her. I agreed with her like a Mother does to her children just so they wouldn’t complain or talk back.
″You’re not world known, Stacey. You were in girl scouts for two days but then bailed out because you couldn’t eat all the girl scout cookies″ Brittney accused, licking chocolate off from the corner of her smore.
She huffed at her sister, ″Well same thing, I made more than fifteen smores on the second day so I have a lot of experience″.
Grayson went along with her, just so she wouldn’t throw a tantrum over a marshmallow and a bit of chocolate and then she started her lecture on how to make a smore all the while the boys delved into conversation about how calculus boy knew how to do compression’s. I listened in on their conversation curious as to how he did know what to do in a situation like that.
″My Mom is a doctor″ He answered Blake, sipping on a cool lager. ″She taught me how to save a life like she taught me how to walk. It’s second nature to me now″ he shrugged carelessly.
″Well Matt, at least one of us has out heads screwed on tight″.
And finally calculus boy has a name, he doesn’t look like a Matt to me. His naturally tanned skin, freckled cheeks and light sandy hair gave me the impression that his name would be something exotic like Luca or Wren, but Matt is basic.
″So I’m guessing you want to take after your Mom and be a doctor too?″ I joined in.
He looked at me with his deep brown eyes and smiled in a friendly manner, kindness radiating off him. ″No″ He answered surprising me, he seemed to be the type of person who wanted to devote there lives to helping others. But I guess there is more than what meets the eye.
″I want to be a lifeguard″.
And that explains it, I guess he wants to save people in water rather than land.
″What about you?″ He asked.
″I want to be a baker and have my own cafe one day″.
He nodded, ″You don’t seem like the baker type″.
I quirked up a brow, leaning back in my chair. This was getting interesting.
″And what type do I look like?″ I asked, amusement lingering in my voice.
″Oh this is getting good″ My annoying brother muttered, taking a gulp from the freezing cold beer in his hand as he crossed his arms and sat back in his chair watching me and Matt’s ‘encounter’.
″I was aiming more towards″ His voice dreaded on, coming up with an answer. ″the model type″.
I laughed at his answer, ″Me? Model?″.
The only type of modelling job I would ever get offered to do would be for a Twinkies commercial.
″Aye, that’s my girlfriend you’re talking about″ Grayson joked, putting on a stern voice pointing an accusing finger towards him that was holding a smore.
Matt put his hands up in surrender, Brittney smacking him on the back of his head for his comment towards me. I didn’t take any offence to it, I had seen all kinds of humours and I knew he was joking.
″You guys, I think I had one smore too many. I’m gonna hit the sack″ Jackson announced, his eyes half open.
″Wait up for me!″ Kimberly called after him once he got up out of his fold up chair and made their way to their shared tend.
There were nine and now there’s seven.
I smiled proudly at Gray for making smores on his own, it wasn’t something to be entirely proud of since it was something extremely easy to do, but with Grayson there wasn’t much he couldn’t do and so I was proud of him achieving yet another goal.
″Prom is going to be a night to remember″ Becca gushed, ″It’s really the last night before we all go our own separate ways, some getting addicted to alcohol and drugs, some ending up pregnant with three possible fathers and some just going off to a different state to live their dreams″.
″Damn Becca″ I laughed at her dark humour which seemed to be true for our school statistics, sadly enough.
Maybe that would be the harsh reality for some of us, but I knew right in this moment that I wouldn’t let that happen for any of us. Maybe it would be the reality for a group of people I knew all too well, but I didn’t wish that on them no matter how much built up hatred I had towards those individuals who will not be named, I couldn’t wish any bad on them. Besides one person with the capital H.
One person who was my sworn enemy and I wished I never had to lay on eyes on ever again.