I spend the rest of the afternoon hiding out in my cabin avoiding all the campers. I lay on my back and stare up at the ceiling. The senior trip plane I should have been on would have landed in Italy by now.
I wonder if Kelly had been thinking about me as much as I’ve been thinking about her. I take another peak at my phone, still no messages. Sighing I roll to my side and look towards Cory who has his back turned towards me as he messes with something on the makeshift desk next to his bed.
A loud bang sounds and smoke begins billowing up from the desk, cursing Cory jumps back from the desk and swipes at the sweat trickling down his forehead. “Damit, I’m so close.”
Cory leans over the desk and opens the window behind it, grabbing his pillow he begins to fan the smoke out of the cabin.
Coughing into my shirt I managed to choke out, “Jesus Cory, are you trying to kill us both! Give me some warning next time you try to blow some shit up.”
Cory turns his head towards me and gives me an apologetic shrug, “Sorry man, It doesn’t usually explode like that. I’m just so close.”
I cautiously walked over to his desk to see what he was working on. All that remained was a scorched metal box with a bunch of wires sticking out of its side.
He excitedly leans over my shoulder and begins speaking quickly, “Look here.” He says pointing at a partially melted computer chip hidden in the wires, “The receiver is only partially melted, something must be wrong with the sensor and that’s why it exploded!”
Breathing heavy from his excitement he pulls a thick journal from under his bed and flips to a page and begins to rapidly scribble. Confused, I try to see what he’s writing when he snaps the book shut and gives me a glare.
“Watch it dude, this notebook is for my eyes only alright. If I ever find out you looked through it I will shave your eyebrows off in the middle of the night.” I start laughing at that but his dead serious face makes me stop. I put my hands up in surrender and say, “Hey man alright I get it, your eyes only. Just, what are you trying to build.”
That made his dark expression lift and his smile was back, “You know how bullets bounce of superman right? That’s what this is going to be for us normal people, kind of like an invisible bullet proof vest.”
I just stare at him for a moment before I begin laughing again. A frown forms on his face and huffing he crosses his arms over his chest. “Don’t laugh, it’s a great idea!” I manage to stop laughing for a moment and wiping some tears from my eyes I ask, “Stop bullets huh, just out of curiosity have you managed to get it to work yet or does it just blow up or electrocute people?”
Embarrassed he rubs the back of his neck, “Well, no I haven’t gotten it working fully yet, there’s some kinks to figure out but it’ll get there trust me.”
I slap him on the shoulder, and walk back to my bed. Falling back onto it I call over to him, “Cool man, I’m going to try and get some sleep before the bon-fire tonight. No more explosions.” The last thing I see before I close my eyes is Cory frowning deep in thought at his broken machine.
I wake around 8:30 and take a quick shower before the bonfire starts. Coming out of the bathroom I head over to my footlocker and begin looking through my clothes. I turn to Cory who’s reading a book on his bed, “Hey what kind of stuff do people wear to this.”
Cory looks up from his book as I pull a collared shirt out, “Dude.” Cory says, “It’s a camp bon-fire not the prom, just wear some jeans and a t-shirt.”
Nodding I let the collared shirt fall back into the footlocker, digging to the bottom I grab my favorite shirt, a faded grey shirt that once had the Beatles logo on it.
As I’m pulling on my shoes I hear what sounds like a firecracker go off outside followed by the screams of a couple girls. Cory just shakes his head as we hurry out of the cabin door and spot a group of three girls yelling at two guys rolling around laughing.
“Great.” Cory says, “That’s the Mendez twins Luke and Cam, they’re the resident pranksters at camp. Don’t get on their bad side, two years ago they put a wasp nest in this guy Ryan’s bed. The camp leads had to take him to the hospital, last we ever saw of him.”
I nod as we pass the angry girls and twins and head towards some music coming from behind the admin building. We walk around the side of the building and I get my first view of fire, it must be at least 15 feet high with campers sitting on logs and messing around.
I notice Derrick sitting on a bench close to the fire with three girls hanging off his arms, fluttering their eyelashes at him and making sure that he has a good view down their shirt. On the log right behind them I can see my other cabin mate Kevin making out with that girl Nikki, I guess she’s already forgiven him for earlier.
Cory and I manage to find an open seat away from the fire and as we are sitting down I hear someone call Cory’s name. Cory turns and waves at whoever called him, I tilt my head and follow his gaze until it lands on probably one of the hottest girls I’ve ever seen. She has straight strawberry blond hair that falls just past her shoulders and a bright smile that seems to never leave her face. Her tan skin seems to glow in the firelight as she makes her way over to us. She stops and pulls Cory into a quick hug.
Blushing fiercely, when she finally releases him stutters out, “He…..y hey Jess how’s it going?” Jess brushes a loose strand of hair behind her ear and I can see that her eyes are a crystal blue. “Oh not bad not bad I’m so excited for camp starting up this summer, we have so much fun planned!”
Jess turns to me and flashes me an 100watt smile, “And who might this be? I don’t recognize you from camp.” I get lost looking into her eyes for a moment until Cory loudly clears his throat next to me. Shaking my head I stick my hand out, “No it’s my first year at camp. I’m Matt.”
She reaches out and shakes my hand, causing the light of the fire to glint off the bracelet around her wrist. I tilt my head and notice that she has the same bracelet that Jack was wearing in the parking lot earlier.
She sees where I’m looking and rotates her wrist so I can see her bracelet easier, “Oh, this is a camp bracelet, don’t worry you’ll get yours and a bead at the end of the summer. Ok, I have to go say hi to some people but it was great seeing you again Cory and Matt I hope you love camp!”
With that she turns and leaves. We stare after her for a moment when a loud snicker makes us jump. Turning I spot Mellany perched on a log next to the tree line shaking her head. “Wow. You both look like love sick puppies. It’s kind of embarrassing.” She hopes off the rock and walks over to us. Jabbing her finger into my chest and hisses, “Listen hear Matt, I’m already stuck here with no cell reception. If you ever embarrass me in front of my cabin mates like that I will ruin you. You get me.”
As her threat hangs over us a whistle sounds next to the fire. We hear Mr. Mayard call for all the campers to come listen to announcements. We walk towards where he is standing on a flat rock like how a king would sit on a throne. In front of him stand two girls and three guys dressed in khaki shorts and bright yellow t-shirts that have the camp logo on the front.
“Hello campers new and old,” Mayard calls out to the quiet group. “I want to welcome you to another great summer at Camp Pine!” Loud cheering erupts from the front of the group where Jess and Jack are standing cupping their hands around their mouths trying to pump up the crowd.”
Mayard waves his hand to shush them and continues, “We want you all to have fun this summer, but remember the camp rules. We can’t have another Ryan Anderson incident.” Behind me I can hear Luke and Cam laughing quietly giving themselves a high five. Mayard must have been able to hear them to as he casted a scowl into the crowd. “And to ensure that nothing like that happens again, our camp leads here are going to enforce the rules tenfold this year. Leads please introduce yourselves to the campers.”
A pretty black girl with long braided hair and thin glasses who couldn’t be much older than 21 steps forward and flashes a smile to the crowd. “Hi everyone I’m Desir, and I can’t wait to meet all of you!” She steps back in line and the lanky guy next to her pulls her into a hug and puts his head in the nape of her neck whispering to her. Laughing, she pushes him away from her. Smirking he straightens up and waves to us. “Hey guys I’m Jaxston and I say lets have fun this summer.” That got a cheer out of us as the leads continued introducing themselves; a buff asian guy named John Cho, a bubbly fake blonde girl named Penny, and Sam the quiet emo guy on the end.
Once the leads had finished introducing themselves Mayard climbed back onto the rock and waves to us to be quiet. “Now campers I’m not going to take up to much more of your time, I just want to tell you that this summer is going to be the best summer of your lives.” With that he and the leads turn and walk back to the Admin building leaving us to enjoy the remainder of the night around the warm bon-fire.
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