Chapter 57: Neighborhood - Strange Names
The ride to Camp Artsy was a tense one. My decision to sit beside Milo was not well received by either of our teams. Elle went as far as to call it “the ultimate betrayal”. She was too dramatic to be serious. I stood my ground and used the hour and a half bus ride to savor my final moments with my boyfriend.
“You better not expose any of our secret plans to her, Miles, or you’re sleeping outside!” Ryan called to Milo, looking at him pointedly.
“We don’t need to know your stupid plans to win. We’re going to do it all on our own. We’ve got major tricks up our sleeves. You Ry Guys better watch out, us Elle-Stars are in it to win it.” Elle interjected passionately.
“We need to calm down. We are not even at camp yet.” Morgan tried to reason, but the others weren’t having that.
“Trash-talking is part of the fun, Mom. This allows both teams to get overly hyped up and produce better results in the long run.” Ryan explained, before he turned his attention back to Milo and me.
“Miles, you should’ve just sat with Replacement Izzie who is on our team, like I told you to.” He said seriously.
“It’s about time you learn her name. I know for a fact that it’s not ‘Replacement Izzie’, just as the others aren’t ‘Replacement Morgan’, ‘Replacement Sami’, and ‘Replacement Elle’.” Milo fired back.
“That’s awful, Ry.” I shook my head, still giggling.
“Milo doesn’t know their names either. That’s why he couldn’t fully correct me!”
“Nick knows their names.” Finn announced.
" ‘Replacement Sami’s’ real name Tabby. ‘Replacement Morgan’s’ real name is Julia. ‘Replacement Elle’ is named Cecilia. And ‘Replacement Izzie’ is actually named Grace.” Nick had no choice but to speak up.
“The Elle-Stars are already proving to be superior. We know all our new teammates’ names. We’ve got Marcus, Lee, Danny and Diego.” Sami informed the boys proudly.
“That’s just because Elle made everyone wear name-tags for a week.” Finn replied.
“You should’ve thought to do the same instead of giving each of the girls new names, which will grow to become highly confusing to everyone involved.” Elle pointed out.
The boys rolled their eyes.
“Okay, I’m curious, how did you decide whose replacement they were?” I asked.
“By department or attributes. Grace is in the dance department so she’s you. Julia’s in the art department and really nice, thus making her Morgan. Cecila’s super girly, making her our new Elle. And Tabby almost got into three fights last year, make her the obvious choice for Sami.” Adam explained to allow Nick off the hook.
I nudged Milo with my elbow to get his attention. “How are you and my replacement getting along?”
“AMAZING. She met my parents. They love her. Our wedding date’s already set. We already have three kids, actually.” He maintained a straight face.
“Oh, really, is that so? When were you going to tell me this bit of information?”
“Soon, very soon. You’re best woman in the wedding. But, shhh, you can’t tell Ry. He’ll get jealous.” He said in a hushed tone.
“I won’t. I promise. Are your vows going to include the name ‘Replacement Izzie’ or her real one?” I lowered my voice to the same volume his was.
“‘Replacement Izzie’, of course. Whom do you take me for?” He said with a small smirk.
“Right, well, I wish you the best of luck with ‘Replacement Izzie’ and your three nonexistent children. You should know that I will continue to run our imaginary drug empire, sell my body, and raise little Fitz solo. Your actions will not derail the beautiful life we have built in the slightest.”
“Thanks. The support of ‘Real Izzie’ really means a lot to us. Your legacy’s a lot to live up to. I know you’ll understand that as soon as the wedding is over I will file a restraining on you.” He shrugged.
I nodded. “I know the drill.”
“Wait. Now that I think about it, it doesn’t make sense to have the back-up when you can have the original. Will you take me back?”
“Yes.” I sighed. “Fitz would miss you.”
“You’ll have to tell ‘Replacement Izzie’ though. She might take it pretty hard. I may have never known her real name and renamed her yours, but still, it was beautiful and loving.”
Both of us snickered when we couldn’t keep up our ruse any longer.
“Who gets Fitz when we go to war as soon as we arrive at camp?”
“Don’t worry. He is safe and sound with his nanny. I’m going to miss hanging out with his mom this week like crazy, though.” He offered me a sweet smile.
“Guys, we’re here!” Elle cheered a few moments later.
When I saw the wooden carved sign that read: Welcome to Camp Artsy, a huge smile crept onto my face.