Ah, it’s finally summer at the pool with my friends! We’ve have been coming to the Kansas City Country Club every summer for as long as I can remember. Knowing my dad, he probably took me out in the golf cart with him when I still needed to be in a car seat. Some of my friends are only friends because our families have been friends forever, like Tyler and Carson, who we call Six, since he is Carson Price the 6th. My best friend is Jude, we’ve been friends since he moved to Kansas City ten years ago. Jude’s girlfriend, Katrina, is a newer edition to the group. They began dating when we started high school, and are pretty much inseparable now. And there are the girls who are also part of the whole family group, Noelle and Delia. They are the girls that people kind of assume will end up with one of us four guys.
Speaking of which, here come the Doublemint twins, sorry, Noelle and Delia. They’re not really twins, not even related actually. And they don’t even look like each other, Delia is a blonde and Noelle is a brunette. They just seem to be joined at the hip and everything they do is exactly what the other one does.
“Good morning Prince!” they both sing out as they drop their towels on the lounge chairs to my left.
Oh, did I forget to say that my name is Prince? Short for Princeton, which is my mom and dad’s alma mater, as well as where they met and fell in love, and where I’m expected to attend in the future. Not sure if Prince is any better, but it’s shorter, and it stuck about the same time Carson became Six.
I look over the top of my sunglasses as I push them down my nose, and give them a quick salute with two fingers. I close my eyes and push my glasses back up to block the sun from my eyes.
Delia could pass for a Barbie doll, the blond hair, the boobs, (Plastic like the doll’s, her chest was practically concave until she took a summer trip one year and came back all filled out, they just grew if you ask her). She’s setting her belongings on the chair closest to me, and then leans over to talk to Six, who I think she’s kind of got her mind set on as her latest beau.
“So Six, I hear your parents are out of town this weekend, party at your house?” She says this as she’s leaning over me, blocking the sun and her hair is hanging down and tickling my bare chest.
“Of course D, isn’t that how we always start the summer?” Six sits up and smiles back at Delia who is now slowly standing back up after making sure all the guys, including the obviously impressed college aged lifeguard, have had a chance to check out the goods first.
“And of course I’ll be bringing the extra special beverages to replace what we might use up of the Price’s as usual, as well as the wine,” Tyler says with a smile. Tyler’s family owns several vineyards, one in Missouri, as well as one large one in California, and another in France. His family’s attitude towards alcohol is a bit more on the lenient side, which has to some extent slipped its way into the rest of our families.
“Katrina and I have planned out some great playlists for our party music this summer.” Jude chimes in. Jude’s parents are musicians. His father is a retired recording artist producer, who used to work for one of those companies that used to be really big in the 80’s. Once he made his money, he retired before the industry started seeing losses from people downloading songs instead of buying albums. Then he packed up and brought his family to the Midwest where they live a mostly quiet life. His mother is in the Kansas City Symphony, but before they moved here, she played for the New York Philharmonic.
Jude’s girlfriend, Katrina, is kind of a rocker/punk type of girl. She loves music and likes to DJ. In fact there is a bar in town that she is the DJ one weeknight a month, even though she’s not allowed in any other time because she’s under 21. What brought them together actually was their love of The Beatles. As you can probably guess, Jude’s parents loved the group, which led to his name. When she heard someone say his name in class on the first day of school freshman year, something clicked for her and she asked him out and they’ve pretty much been together ever since. Katrina’s pretty cool. She’s lived all over the world with her dad who is a brilliant physicist. While she isn’t really what you’d call a friend with either Delia or Noelle, they all get along when we’re together. It’s probably just that she doesn’t care if they don’t really include her outside of the group activities.
“I can’t wait to start the summer before senior year with a total blowout party! Maybe we can invite Tyler’s older brother, if he’s back in town from MU for the summer. I think my new bikini might be just the thing to make him finally notice me this summer.” That’s Noelle. Of course while she’s not quite as well endowed as Delia, she has a toned body, she’s more of an athlete, but not in that gross muscle-bound way. She’s just very toned, with more of a model’s skinny body than an hourglass shape. And I do have to admit her new bright yellow string bikini looks great on her already deeply tanned skin. Especially as she’s twisting and turning while putting on her tanning oil, making sure that she’s also putting on a show for every male at the pool.
The conversation continues in this manner for a few minutes, and I kinda start to drift off in the warm, summer sun. All of this is the same old stuff we talk about every year. In fact this whole summer is looking to be like someone just rewound a movie right back to the starting point of last summer and then pushed play. Things are looking a bit boring for the summer before our senior year, even with all the “blowout” party talk from Noelle.
“EARTH TO PRINCE! COME IN PRINCE!” I’m startled out of my thoughts by Delia’s voice. Guess I was really out of the conversation.
“What? Did I miss something?” I push my sunglasses down again and look over towards the girls.
“What is with you? We’re planning the party, don’t you have any thing to add to the plans? It is our last summer as high schoolers. Next summer we’ll all be getting ready for college and probably won’t have as much time to do our usual summer partying. “ Noelle’s voice can really grate sometimes, it’s a high pitched whine when she’s trying to get everyone’s attention, which is most of the time.
“Yeah man, come on, get with the program. Jude here is trying to slip in a ton of that old Beatles crap on our party playlists again. You’ve gotta convince him to tone that stuff down!” Six says. Six is not much of a music fan. Or I guess I should say he considers himself a snob. His tastes run to the classical operas and orchestra music that his blue blood family pipes through their mansion, one of the first in Kansas City, as they tell everyone who visits, every time you visit. His family would be a bit shocked to hear some of the music he actually keeps in his iTunes though. He has a bit of a thing for hardcore rap music, one of his favorite artists being a local rapper named Tech N9ne.
Again this is an argument we have before just about every party. And I have to stick up for Jude, because anyone who doesn’t appreciate The Beatles has a screw loose in my book. “Get over it, Six. You know whenever one of the songs Jude or Katrina picks comes on, you always get into it before you realize that it’s The Beatles and you’ve got to hurry to save face and pretend not to enjoy it. I know Katrina promises not to pick any of the obscure songs that no one will know, right Katrina?”
I look over at Katrina on the other side of Jude and see her give a nod at Six, along with an eye roll when he turns away again. I go to push my glasses back up to try to distance myself from the conversation again as they get back to the normal talk of party guests and beverages. A flash of light catches my eye from over by the towel cabana at the other end of the pool before I get my sunglasses all the way back on my face.
I look over to see what caught my eye, and my gaze lands on a girl I’ve never seen before. It’s her necklace that caught the sunlight, something shiny but I can’t tell what it is from this far away. But there’s something about the girl that holds my gaze, even though at first glance she’s nothing that anyone else would probably call remarkable. She’s got long auburn hair that has some very red hints when it catches the sun just right. The country club uniform of khaki shorts and royal blue shirt fit her perfectly. Another guy from my school, Jeff, is loading up her arms with clean towels to stack in the cabana.
“Seriously Prince, what is so much more interesting to you than being a part of our conversation right now?” Again with the whiny voice, Noelle sits up, blocking my view of the girl.
Six and Tyler also sit up and look in the direction I guess I’ve been staring for a noticeably strange amount of time. “Check out that booty man! I think I might be seeing my next hookup for the summer.” Six is always looking for the next girl to add to his list of conquests, to the annoyance of Delia, who really wants to be with him, probably more for his family connections and the status it would give her than because of an actual interest in the guy himself. And you can just see her annoyance as she sits up and whips her head in the same direction we’re all staring now.
I crane my body to try to see around Noelle who is also looking towards the cabana with narrowed eyes. But the new girl has disappeared, along with Jeff. Looks like this summer might not as predictable as I’d thought.