Chris came and sat down by me on the living room couch, "Hey, Angiiieee!" He said, smiling and handing me a glass of orange juice. He wanted something.
"Just spit it out, what do you want from me?" I said flatly.
Chris let out a breath and said quickly, "Geoffry invited me to come with him on a four-day road trip with him over break, can I go pleaaaaaseeee?"
Oh, hell no.
Chris bit his lip and waited for me to answer.
I almost choked on my orange juice and I said loudly, "What? No! Oh no! No."
"Why? Please?" Chris begged.
I shook my head, "No way, little brother, too dangerous."
Chris snorted, "Dangerous? Seriously, Angela, you have the wrong idea about Geoffry..."
"And what if I don't?" I snapped, "You can not go on that road trip, Chris!... Not by yourself."
Chris's eyes lit up. Uh oh. "What? Does that mean- does that....?"
I gritted my teeth, "No, Chris. I am not going with you! Not!"
"Come on, Angie! Don't take so long!" Chris leaned over Alice's shoulder and beeped the car horn repeatedly.
"Chris, stop that!" Alice said, gently pushing him into the backseat.
I opened the front door, my backpack slung over my shoulder. I dragged my feet as I walked to Alice's car as slowly as I could. Alice, Chris, Geoffry, and I were going on a road trip over spring break. I had insisted on taking Alice with because I couldn't babysit Chris and Geoffry without her. Plus, I was not going to ride for four and a half hours in Geoffry's crappy Maverick. I don't know why I trusted Alice's million-year-old yellow Pinto any more, but I just did.
I reluctantly got into the passenger seat, next to Alice. Chris and Geoffry were sitting in the back seat, holding hands and blabbing about how fun this was going to be! Chris was dressed in a powder blue button-up with the sleeves rolled up, khaki shorts, and completed oh so fashionably with a pale pink bandana tied around his neck. What a dweeb. Geoffry was wearing.... Well, I just don't care enough to describe him.
I know we seem a little young to go a road trip without adults, but there's four of us, what could possibly go wrong?
We had been on the road for about thirty minutes and I was already fidgeting. I glanced at Chris and Geoffry in the rear view mirror; They were talking quietly and giggling. Geoffry leaned toward Chris, like he was gonna kiss him...
I clapped my hands together loudly and said cheerfully, "Well, I think it's about time for some road trip songs, don't you?" I laughed stupidly, hoping no one heard my sigh of relief as Geoffry backed off. Chris was looking at me like I was an idiot.
I laughed again, "Come on, let's sing!"
"Angie, are you sure this is a good..." Alice said quietly.
"There was a farmer who had a dog and Bingo was his name-o!" I started singing loudly, sounding like a total moron.
"B, I, N, G, O...." My voice trailed off as I looked around at everyone. Alice was glancing nervously at me, but keeping her eyes on the road. Chris was looking at me anxiously, looking annoyed. Geoffry just looked confused.
Chris sighed, "How about not that?"
After a slight pause, Chris started singing Tik Tok by Keisha, Alice and Geoffry joining in.
I groaned, "Chris, that's such a stupid song. It's just about some girl getting drunk and partying all night."
They all stopped singing and Chris thought about this, saying, "You're right, Angela. Do you have any suggestions? Rock-A-Bye Baby? Kumbaya? 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall?"
He was making fun of me.
I laughed nervously, "Oh, you know that one song.... na blah blah hurts to know the truth, beneath your perfume and makeup..." I sang, looking at Chris in the mirror and saying sharply, "You're just a baby in disguise.... is that how that song goes?"
Chris scowled at me, "I know what you're doing! Just drop it, Ange! He's not like that!"
I turned around to face my brother, "Oh, please! You don't know anything!"
"Why do you have to be like that, Angie?"
"You're like that too sometimes!"
"Leave me alone!"
"Oh, you couldn't last a day without me!"
"Of course I could! Just let me have my own life!" Chris yelled at me.
I laughed hollowly, "You sound like some stupid teenager! Oh, wait- You are some stupid teenager!"
We started screaming at each other and Alice yelled over us, "GUYS! STOP IT!" That got us quiet, Alice doesn't yell much.
"You guys, just.... stop." Alice said, "We haven't been in this trip for an hour and you're already fighting. Come on, you're never like this."
We sat in silence for a while after that.
Chris said softly, "I've learned a few Beatles tunes. Everyone likes the Beatles, right?"
"No." I said flatly. He either didn't hear me or just ignored my comment.
Chris started singing All My Loving. Geoffry and Alice joined in, "Close your eyes and I'll kiss you, tomorrow I'll miss you. Remember, I'll always be truuuueeee...."
I slouched down in my seat, hating the song choice and regretting ever saying yes to going on this stupid trip.
It had been almost five hours and Alice said, "So, Angie, where do I turn now?"
I pointed to the left, "That way."
She turned the way I pointed and we came to a foresty area.
"What now? Do I turn around-" Alice said, but I interrupted her.
"No! Just go through there." I said. Everyone turned to look at me.
"What?" Chris said, "In the forest?"
I laid back in my seat, "I know what I'm doing." I grinned to myself and Alice reluctantly steered the car into the forest.
We came to a sign that said, Brown Toad Campgrounds. What an appealing name.
"Oh, oh! Turn here." I said excitedly.
Alice did as I told her and we came to a gravel parking lot. Chris and Geoffry exchanged a look and I grinned.
"Okay, here's good." I directed Alice and she parked.
We all got out of the car and Chris put one hand on his hip, the other shading his eyes from the sun. "What is this place?"
I pulled our bags out of the tiny trunk of Alice's Pinto, "Campgrounds!" I said enthusiastically.
All three of my companions looked at me questioningly. I said, "Wait- none of you guys have ever been camping?"
"Well, I have," Chris said, "In second grade, Cub Scouts."
"Oh, I remember that..." I said, feeling a little guilty.
Chris nodded, "And that kid put that raccoon in my sleeping bag..."
Alice and I snorted. Of course, Mr. Wonderful didn't. He just looked pitifully at Chris, feeling sorry for him. The sap.
Alice said, "No, I've never gone camping."
Geoffry shook his head, "Me neither."
I laughed, "Well, then! Here's your chance! The great outdoors...." I said cheesily, "Sitting under the stars, sleeping in four separate tents...." I tried to make the last part very clear even though I didn't think anything that bad could....
I turned to face them, beaming, "Go to the bathroom in the woods!"
All three of them gasped and I said, "I'm kidding. There's a outhouse."
Alice swallowed, "An... outhouse?"
I nodded excitedly, "Yeah!"
They didn't look too excited.
I nodded enthusiastically, "Come on, let's go find a place to sleep!" I ran off into the woodsier area at the edge of the cheap parking lot.
Chris gave Alice a I-can't-believe-you-let-her-do-this-to-me look and she shrugged.
"Um... c-come on, Chris. Let's go with her." Alice reached for his hand and he rudely pulled it away, taking Geoffry's hand instead.
Feeling a little hurt, Alice slowly followed us.