Friday, October 29, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 25 - CHAPTER 3

I dragged my feet as I walked to the cheerleaders' table at lunch. I was going to invite Kathy over to our house for the party.
She was sitting between Gwen and Michelle, her red hair falling perfectly over her left shoulder.
"H-hey, Kathy?" I said nervously.
Kathy and most of the other cheerleaders looked at me.
Kathy eyed me and said, "Oh, it's you."
Well, that was a bit blunt.
"What is it?" Kathy said, and she put down her fork. That relieved me a bit.
"Umm..." I said, "I... Just wanted to know if... You wanted to come to a party and my house."
Kathy and the other cheerleaders eyed me silently and I stuttered, "I-it was kind of a stupid idea, but whatever..."
God, Angie. You sound like an idiot. I thought.
"Who is going?" Kathy asked suspiciously.
"Um, me and Chris will be there... Obviously." I said, "Then, Leo, Mouse, Alice, and Tae-Hyun."
Kathy's eyes narrowed and she said, "Tae-Hyun... That new kid?"
You know him, Kathy. Don't be a stubborn idiot and pretend you don't know Tae-Hyun just because you don't like him. I wanted to say, but I was too scared.
"Yes," I said, "He's actually been here a while now..."
Kathy sighed and stood up, her hands on her hips.
"What are you doing, Angela?" Kathy said.
I knit my eyebrows and said, "What... Do you mean?"
"Why are you inviting me to your party?" Kathy said, "Alice and I don't get along, Tae-Hyun and I don't get along, you and I don't get along..."
"Tae-Hyun never did anything to you." I said, "Neither did Alice. Or me, for that matter. You need to stop holding grudges against people because you're jealous. It's worthless."
"Wow, you are such a loser." Gwen, one of the cheerleaders, laughed. She took a swig of water from a bottle.
Kathy studied me, lips pursed. She stared at me for a long time.
I stared back at her and said softly, "Just come. Please. We used to be friends and then you got mad at us. At least come and see if we can get along without someone getting killed."
Kathy studied me for a moment more and her face softened just the tiniest bit.
"Okay," She said, "That might be okay."
Her answer kind of surprised me, but I smiled gently and said, "Okay. See you then."
Kathy nodded and I walked back to my friends and sat down between Leo and Alice.
"Kathy might come to the party." I said.
"Wonderful." Alice said.
I looked at her, a little surprised.
"Come on," I said, "I said she should come to see if we can all be together without killing each other."
Alice sighed and nodded.
"You're still going, right?" Chris asked her.
Alice looked at him and said, "Of course."

This was going to be interesting.

Cool With A "K" PART 25 - CHAPTER 2

Leo spotted Tae-Hyun by her locker and smiled a little. He walked over to her and said, "Hey,"
Tae-Hyun looked up and smiled, "Oh, hi, Leo."
"Hey, um..." Leo said, "Do you wanna go to a party at Chris and Angela's house on Friday? It'll be fun. We're gonna watch movies and eat popcorn and stuff."
Tae-Hyun closed her locker and said, "Oh, yeah, that sounds good. What time?"
"Right after school." Leo said, "We can get off on Angela's bus stop and go straight to their house."
Tae-Hyun smiled warmly, "Cool! I'll ask Kyung, but I'm sure he will say yes. He's always worried about me having friends in America."
Leo chuckled and leaned against a locker, "Why would be worry about you making friends? You're awesome."
Tae-Hyun blushed and said, "Thank you... You're awesome, too, Leo."
Leo's hand slipped on the locker and he fell over.
Tae-Hyun let out a little yip and put her hands over her mouth. She helped him up and said, "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, yeah, totally." Leo said, blushing and grinning stupidly, "I just, uh, lost my balance."
"I can see that." Tae-Hyun said, smiling.
Leo smiled back and Chris walked by.
"If you guys want to keep Tae-Hyun's secret, then you're going to have to try harder." Chris whispered as he passed them, "Less cliche, more masculin."
He said 'masculine' in French, but I barely sounded different from the word in English.
Leo and Tae-Hyun blushed and took a step away from each other.
"Well, uh..." Leo said, looking at Tae-Hyun, "You don't have to worry about not having enough friends. I'm pretty sure everyone likes you."
Tae-Hyun chuckled and said, "That's very sweet."
She sighed and added, "Kathy doesn't like me."
Leo's face fell and he said "Oh, yeah... I forgot about her..."
Tae-Hyun looked down sadly and said, "I like you."
Tae-Hyun smiled at him and said, "Thank you... I like you too."
Leo smiled goofily, "S-so, ca.... Can you... Come? To Chris and Angie's house?"
Tae-Hyun nodded, "I'll... See you in English class."
Leo nodded and watched Tae-Hyun walk down the hall. He put his hand on his chest and felt his heartbeat; It was racing.

She said she liked me. Leo thought.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 25 - CHAPTER 1

I laid on the living room couch upside down, bored.
Chris was sitting next to me, reading a magazine about famous chick celebrities. Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Ke$ha, that kind of crap.
"I'm bored." I said.
"Watch T.V. or something." Chris said without looking up.
I thought for a while and said, "We should have a party."
Chris gave me a look and said, "Why?"
"'Cause..." I said, "I'm bored."
"So... You're saying you just want to call a bunch of people right now and see if they'll come over."
I sat up, "No, you stupid idiot. We'll go to school tomorrow, then we'll ask if they wanna come over on Friday for a movie night. Taday we can call Alice and she can help us plan it."
Chris put down his magazine and looked at me, "Angie, don't talk like that. You sound drunk."
"Chris," I said, "You didn't tell me what you thought of my idea."
Chris shrugged, "It sounds fun... Can I invite Geoffry?"
"What? No!" I said.
"Then I don't want to participate." Chris said, holding up his magazine.
I scowled at him, "I thought you were done with Geoffry."
Chris snorted, "I never said that. I said I can see why you think he's creepy."
"If you can see why I think he's creepy, then why do you still like him?" I said.
Chris smirked at me and said, "Ange, you've got to learn to see the good and bad in people instead of one or the other."
I rolled my eyes and he said, "Remember Jonah Perry?"
"Oh, God." I said, shaking my head, "Please don't, Chris."
"Seventh grade, you were sooo in love with Jonah, you could baarely think about aaanything else." Chris said loudly, grinning.
"I can't heaaar yooouu!" I said, covering my ears.
"Then, it turned out he had been to Juvie three times for selling illegal drugs and shoplifting!"
I looked at my brother and said, "Come on, Chris. I was thirteen!"
"And he was your first kiss." Chris said, shaking his head, "I see a pattern here."
"Come on, Buddy, don't do this to me." I said.
"Hypocrisy, thy name is Angela Harper." Chris said, and he busted out laughing.
I hit him on the shoulder and said, "Shut up, Chris."
Chris slowly stopped laughing and said, "Okay, Angie. Yes, I think the party sounds fun, but I don't think it's fair for you to tell me I can't invite Geoffry."
"But he always ruins everything!" I said.
Chris sighed and said, "It's perfectly fair if I invite him. Ask Mom if we can have a party."
I leaned over and yelled into the kitchen, "MOOOOMM! CAN WE HAVE A PARTY THIS FRIDAY?"
"Depends. Will there be any drinking?" Mom teased from the kitchen, "Any smoking? Any drugs?"
"No, Mom." Chris and I said together.
"But there will be Geoffry." I said. Chris hit me with his magazine.
"No sneaking out? No getting arrested? No sex?" Mom teased, giggling.
"No, Mom." Chris said, looking uncomfortable.
"I think I party would be fun." Mom said from the kitchen, "Can I come?"
Chris and I silently glared in the direction of the kitchen until Mom came into the living room.
She laughed and said, "Okay, okay, I get it. This is a teenager party, no moms."
"Mom," I said, "Please."
Chris' scowl faded a little bit and he looked at Mom sadly. Oh, God...
"Hey, Angie, w-why can't Mom come?" Chris said suddenly, "She loves us and she's fun!"
"No, Chris." I said.
Mom laughed, "That's very sweet of you, Chris, but I can go play poker with the girls."
Chris and I looked at each other and said in unison, "The girls?"
Mom laughed again, "You know, the nice women who live on our street. Carrie, Mrs. Walker..."
"Mrs. Coleman?" I said flatly.
Mom nodded, "Yes, Alice's mother will be there..."
"Aww," Chris said, "Then how can Alice come over if she has to babysit her brother?"
"Maybe she can get Tyler to do it." I said.
Chris gave me a look and said, "Tyler's ten."
I crossed my arms, "So what? I babysat you when I was ten."
"Yes, but I wasn't a baby at the time." Chris sneered.
"Oh, you were close enough." Mom said.
I laughed and Chris said, "Moooom!"
"I'm sorry, Honey, but you really didn't change much for those nine years!" Mom said, laughing.
I always talk about how embarrassing my mom is, but she's great.
"Whatever." Chris said, holding his hands up, "I'll think of something. But right now, I'm calling Alice."
I laughed and said, "Thanks, Mom. This'll be great."
"Yeah, no problem, Sweetie." Mom said, smoothing my hair, "And don't forget, I want you to know that I trust you."
Then she added, half joking, "And I want you to show me that I can trust you."
I nodded and smiled, "Yeah, no worries."
"Hello?" Chris said into his cellphone, "Hi, Alice! Are you busy today? Cool! Can you come over? Awesome! See you soon.... Yeah, Angie and I want to have a party, just 'cause you know... Yeah, can you help? Great! See you!"
"She can come?" I said.
Chris nodded and said excitedly, "Yes! This is going to be, like, so awesome!"
He almost squealed and I rolled my eyes.

So, Alice came over that day and we started planning the party.
Chris said, "So, I was thinking that we can, like, make food and then we can, like, watch movies-"
"Chris, if you say 'like' one more time, I am going to slap you." I said.
"Sorry." Chris said, but I doubt he meant it.
"I think a movie night sounds like a lot of fun!" Alice said, "Who should we invite?"
I thought about it and, grabbing a piece of paper and a pen, said, "You know. Leo, Mouse, Tae-Hyun..."
"Geoffry." Chris said.
"No." I said, "So, as I was saying-"
"We're inviting Geoffry," Chris said, "Or I'm not participating."
"Your loss, not ours." I said, "We don't need you."
Alice asked, "Why don't you want Geoffry to come, Ange?"
I looked at her and said, "Because, he's creepy!"
"No, he's not, Angie." Alice said, "Don't be silly. He's nice."
I gaped at Alice, "You're kidding, right?"
Alice and Chris shook their heads.
"Am I the only person who sees the evil in him?" I said, "The only one who notices when he purposefully brushes past peoples' shoulders in the hallway? Or when he stares at girls' boobs while the girl is talking to him?"
"Come on, Ange." Alice said, "He's a boy, of course he's going to be like that."
Chris gave Alice a look and she said, "Um... Okay, I guess that was a little bit general. Sorry, Chris."
Chris put his elbows on the table and said, "Angie, he's my boyfriend. I-"
"I am aware, Chris." I said bitterly.
Chris sighed and said, losing patience with me, "And I think it is very unfair of you not to invite him just because you hate him."
"I don't want him to do anything to you, Chris." I said.
Alice shrugged and said, "Well, he wouldn't do anything that bad in front of everyone else."
Chris and I gave her a look and she said, "Sorry..."
Chris took the pen and paper out of my hands and put the paper on the table. He wrote in his girly script, Alice, Leo, Tae-Hyun, Geoffry, Mouse, Kathy...
"Wait, wait, wait." I said, "Kathy?"
Chris shrugged, "Why not? She's nice."
"Well, she hates my guts." Alice said, "And after the talent show, she started a fight with me and Angie and she slapped Tae-Hyun. None of us have really been on her good side lately."
"That's right." I said, "She hasn't talked to me in weeks."
Chris pursed his lips and said, "Uh, okay. Maybe we won't invite her to this party, but we should really clear the air with her."
Alice and I nodded.
Chris smiled slightly and said, "You know what? Maybe it would be good for our friendship with her if we invited her to this."
I sighed, "Fine, you can invite her."
"Okay..." Chris said, "Cool. So, we have the three of us, Leo, Tae-Hyun, Geoffry, Mouse, and Kathy."
"That sounds good." I said.
At the same time, Alice and I added, "Except for Geoffry."
Well, she said Kathy, I said Geoffry.
Chris gave both of us a look and said, "Be nice, guys."
"Chris, why can't you be like us cool kids and hate anybody?" I said sarcastically, grinning.
Chris shrugged, "I don't hate people. It's just not my thing."
"What about Mouse?" I asked.
Chris didn't say anything for a second and he gritted his teeth.
"Well.... I don't hate her..." He said, "She's just... Disrespectful. You don't hate Mouse, do you?"
I shook my head, "No, but she picks on you a lot more than she picks on me."
Alice snorted and said, "She picks on everyone, Angie."
I shrugged, "Whatever. She's still my friend."
"How generous." Chris said flatly.
I pointed at him and smiled excitedly, "See? I knew you hated her!"
"I don't hate her." Chris said, "Drop it."
"Okay, okay." I said, "So, what movie should we watch?"
"MEAN GIRLS!" Chris said, "Omigod, I love that movie!"
"We know, Chris." I said, "And I've seen that movie enough times that I can move my mouth along to the words, so no."
Chris looked disappointed, but then he smiled and asked hopefully, "John Tucker Must Die?"
"No, Chris." I said.
"Oh, Uptown Girls!" Chris suggested excitedly.
"How about one of those nice Saw movies?" I said, "They're so great. No romance, no girl fights, no cheating boyfriends..."
The song Telephone by Lady Gaga started playing. Chris' cellphone.
Chris answered it, "Hello?"
He smiled coyly and said, "Hi, Honey."
"Speaking of cheating boyfriends..." I said.
Chris shushed me and said into the phone, "Yeah, I'm glad you called. Alice, Angie, and I are having a party this Friday."
"Don't invite him!" I said, not caring if Geoffry could hear me or not.
Chris gave me a look and said, "That was Angie, I'm sorry.... I know! She is so rude!"
Chris looked at me and said, "I knooooow! God... Yeah, my house, this Friday after school."
He smiled and said, almost... Suggestively, "See you there... Bye."
Chris hung up his phone and sat back down.
"I hate you." I said flatly.
Chris scoffed, "Will you shut up, Angie? Geoffry's a nice guy. Get off his case."
I pouted and said, "Whatever."
Alice looked back and forth between us and called into the kitchen, "H-hey, Mrs. Harper!"
Mom poked her head into the living room and said, "Yes?"
"W-what movie do you think we should watch at the party?" Alice said, laughing nervously, "We just can't seem to agree on one."
No, don't ask her. I thought.
Mom thought and said, "Hmm... Let's see... Oh, how about The Little Mermaid?"
Chris squealed, "Ooh, I love that movie!"
"Good Lord, Chris." I said, rubbing my temples, "You're such an idiot."
"Angela," Mom said, giving me a stern look, "Don't insult your brother."
I held up my arms and said, "He's my brother, I'm supposed to insult him."
"Can I see the rulebook?" Mom said, winking.
I shook my head, "Whatever, I'm calling Leo."
"Okay." Alice and Chris said.
I took my cellphone out of my pocket and dialed Leo's number.
"Hey, Leo." I said, "Do you and Mouse wanna come over after school on Friday and see a movie?"
"Sure, sounds fun! Who all is going?"
"We were thinking Alice, Kathy, Tae-Hyun..." I said.
"Yeah" I added with a groan, "And Geoffry."
Leo laughed, "Nice. I bet you're excited."
I sneered, "Ha ha. Very funny. So, you guys'll come?"
"I'll ask my mom. See ya at school."
"Later." I said, hanging up.
"So," Alice said, "They can come?"
"Leo's asking his mom." I said.
Chris grinned, "I can picture her reply perfectly."
He mimicked Leo's mom's Italian accent and said, "'Sure, go to the party, Leo. But be nice to the girls, because someday, you will find one that likes you and you will have a beautiful family with her."
I laughed, "Don't be racist, Chris."
"I'm telling you, she sounds exactly like that!" Chris said, laughing.
There was a pause before I said, "Okay, yeah, she does."
"'Mooom!'" Chris mimicked Leo's voice, "'What are you talking about? Girls love me!'"
We all started laughing and Mom said from the kitchen, "Kids, don't make fun of your friends!"
"Sorry!" Chris, Alice, and I all said.
The laughing slowed and I said, "So, we can ask the others tomorrow at school."
Alice nodded, "Yeah... But you get to ask Kathy."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 24 - CHAPTER 24

I got on one of the charter buses the next day with my friends. Leo told me Tae-Hyun went home with her brother the day before and she was doing fine.
"That's awesome!" I said, "So, she's going to be okay now?"
Leo nodded, "Yeah, he'll be fine."
I grinned and said, "Sorry."
"Don't worry about it." Leo said, looking around, "No one caught it."
I remembered when I accidentally referred to Tae-Hyun as 'she' in front of Jenny and I turned around to look at her.
Jenny was fast asleep with her head leaned against the window in the seat behind me.
Michelle was sitting next to her, poking her arm and saying, "Jenny... Jenny... I'm hungry."
"Let her sleep, Honey." Alice said from behind Michelle, "We're going to stop for lunch in a few hours."
Michelle nodded and said, "Okay... You're nice... Who are you again?"
"I'm Alice," Alice said slowly, "We've been in school together for more than two years."
"Oh, yeah..." Michelle said, "I'm sorry, I forget things sometimes."
Chris and Alice exchanged a 'really?' look.
Michelle slowly grasped Alice's sleeve and said, "We should be friends."
"Um..." Alice said, smiling politely, "Okay."
Somebody's getting herself into a mess.

Eventually, a lot of us fell asleep. It was kind of a mass of cuteness. Chris and Alice had their heads on top of each other's. Michelle had her head on Jenny's shoulder and her arms were wrapped around Jenny.
Mouse and Chris would forever ridicule Leo and I if we fell asleep together, so we both tried to stay awake.
It was only about 3:00 P.M., but the weekend had been pretty... Draining.

When Leo saw Tae-Hyun at school on Monday, he ran over to her and hugged her hard.
"I missed you." He said.
Tae-Hyun giggled and hugged him back, "You too."
Chris and I stood nearby, smiling at our friends.
"Ah, young love." Chris said.
I laughed, "I know."
There was a silence and I looked at my brother.
"Hey... Chris?" I said.
"Why... Did Tae-Hyun pretend to be a guy?" I said in a low voice, so no one else would hear me.
Chris looked at me and said quietly, "Well, her father is a bit of a misogynist. He always treated her brothers better than he treated her, so she decided to come to America as a boy and see if people treated her better."
I nodded and thought for a while, "Wait... So, is she..."
"Is she what?" Chris said.
I said hesitantly, "Transgender?"
Chris gave me a look and said, "Angie,"
"You're an idiot."
"That's not very nice." I said.
There was another silence before I said,

"What's a misogynist?"

Cool With A "K" PART 24 - CHAPTER 23

Soaking wet, Chris slammed the cabin door behind him and announced, "I HATE CANOEING!"
Lester, who was also drenched, opened the door and came in right behind him, "Yeah, 
me too."
Chris went into the bathroom and said, "God, why would those stupid counselors make me go in the water? Jesus!"
Lester sat down in a chair by the wall outside the bathroom and said, "Wow, you seem really cheesed off. What gives?"
Chris poked his head out the door and said, "Uh, y-you know, I just don't like canoeing that much..."
He closed the bathroom door again and Lester said, "What about swimming?"
"Nope, hate it." Chris said.
"Kayaking?" Lester asked.
"There's no difference between kayaking and canoeing." Chris said.
Lester thought about it and said, "A little one."
"Yeah?" Chris said from the bathroom, "What is it?"
Lester was stumped. "H-hey, man. Don't ask stupid questions."

Alice and Mouse went into their cabin and closed the door behind them.
"I hate sports." Mouse said.
"Does canoeing really qualify as a sport?" Alice said, brushing off herself. She was completely dry.
Mouse shrugged, "It requires work. In my book, it's a sport, and my book overpowers all else."
Alice held her nose and said, "Good Lord, Mouse."
"Will you please take a shower?" Alice said, "You smell like the lake."
Mouse drew her hand up to her heart and said, "That really hurts me, Alice. It really hurts."
Alice sighed and Mouse eyed her.
"What is it?" Alice asked.
Mouse reached to touch Alice and Alice shrieked.
Mouse started laughing and said, "Ooh, I almost got lake germs on you! You're hilarious!"
"You're not." Alice said, wrapping her arms around herself, "That's not funny."
Just then, soaking wet Stephanie came into the cabin and let out a blood-curdling brat-scream.
Mouse covered her ears and said, "What the hell was that? Did someone stab a cat with a knife?"
"OH. MY. GOD." Stephanie screeched, "I HATE THE FREAKING CAMP!"
"Oh, come on, Stephanie. It isn't that bad." Hilary walked in behind Stephanie, wringing out her hair.
Stephanie turned around and fired a death glare at Hilary.
"Wow, is that a new scowl?" Mouse said, "The running mascara really adds effect."
Stephanie spun around and said to Mouse, "I. Am so done. With. You. You better get off my back or I will-"
"Or you'll what, Stephanie?" Mouse said, sounding annoyed, "I'm sick of you. Will you cut me a break for once?"
Stephanie and Mouse started arguing and Alice and Hilary stepped in between them.
"Okay, girls..." Hilary said, "Calm. Down."
"You two have been fighting since the moment you got put in the same cabin." Alice said.
"Well, that's because-" Stephanie said.
Alice held up a hand and Hilary said, "How about you guys just stay clear of each other? Huh?"
Mouse and Stephanie glared at each other and Mouse said, "Fine."
"Yeah, whatever." Stephanie said, holding her hand up, "As long as she, like, leaves me alone."

Tina and I went into our cabin and stood in the middle of the room.
"Well, that was a new experience for me." Tina said, wringing out her hair, "Have you ever gone canoeing before?"
I nodded, "Yeah, when I was nine, Chris and I went to Camp Sunny Day. There was canoeing there... Chris didn't like it."
"Yeah, it didn't seem like his thing." Tina said, "Poor Chris. I felt bad for him, the way he fell out of the canoe and Carlos had to save him."
Carlos is one of the counselors.
"Why did you feel sorry for him?" I said casually, "Carlos is kinda hot."
"Well, from where I was, it looked like Chris was drowning." Tina said calmly.
I shrugged, "Yeah... He probably was..."
Jenny opened the cabin door. She had her arm around Michelle, who was bawling like a baby. They were both soaking wet and Jenny looked tired.
"So," I said, "Carlos didn't come to Michelle's rescue when she fell in?"
"Nope." Jenny sighed tiredly, "I'm the night in shining armor."
I grinned at her and said, "You look like you need some sleep."
Jenny laughed quietly, "Yeah, you tell that to Michelle."
"I'M WET!!!" Michelle sobbed.
"I can see that." I said, "Hey, Michelle. How about you give Jenny a break?"
"But, I'm wet." Michelle sniffled.
Jenny patted her shoulder and said, "It's okay. Let's get you cleaned up."
Michelle sniffed again and nodded.
They went into the bathroom and I sat down on the bed.
"Wow," I said, "Jenny has been taking care of Michelle this whole trip, hasn't she?"
"Yes, she has." Tina said, "She looks so tired."
"I know..." I said, "Maybe taking care of Michelle is a big job."

Cool With A "K" PART 24 - CHAPTER 22

Tina, Jenny, Michelle, and I walked to the Main Building for a meeting, when I heard muffled screaming.

I whirled around, kind of scared.
The source of the screaming was Lester and Chris. They had tape over their mouths, they were tied together, back-to-back, with thick rope, and ants were crawling all over them.
I walked over to the boys.
"What the hell?" I said, "Did Buck and Joey do this to you?"
Lester and Chris nodded frantically and tried to say something.
I started trying to untie them and Chris tried to say something again.
"How did you get these ants all over you?" I said, brushing the ants away and picking at the ropes.
Chris was yelling something now.
"What?" I said, peeling the duct tape off their mouths.
Both of them exclaimed.
"What were you guys saying?" I said, putting my hands on my hips.
The boys looked at me and said in unison, "We're not wearing pants."
I stared at Chris and Lester with wide eyes and my face flushed.
"Um..." I said, feeling my cheeks with my hands, "Why aren't you wearing pants?"
"Joey and Buck took them." Lester sighed, shaking his head, "Again."
Chris turned his head and looked at Lester. Then, Chris looked at me and furrowed his brow, "Angie, are you feeling alright? You're blushing."
I felt my face again, "Uh, I don't know."
Lester smirked, "Oh, Angela. Have you finally realized-"
"That I'm in love with you?" I said, "I'm sorry, Lester. No."
Lester looked down sadly. I wasn't really that sorry. He asks me if I like him about three times a week. He's kind of like Leo... Or how Leo was before he met Tae-Hyun.
I smiled a little. Maybe Leo had met his match.

So, I untied Lester and Chris (with my eyes closed, as they insisted), and they snuck back to their cabin as quickly as they could.
My cabin mates and I went to the Main Building. A lot of kids were already there, including Leo!
I ran over to him and he let me hug him.
"Hey," I said, backing off and putting my hands on his shoulders, "How's Tae-Hyun? Is he doing okay?"
Leo nodded, "Um, yeah. His brother just got here and he seems a lot better than he was yesterday. He should be able to come home by Friday, if he doesn't leave with his brother later."
"Good, good." I said, letting my hands fall to my sides.
I started to walk to a table, but Leo didn't move. I looked at him and said, "And how are you doing?"
Leo shrugged and smiled weakly, "I dunno... I guess I've been worrying a little too much. Tae-Hyun keeps telling me I need to worry about her less."
"Oh, careful." I said in a low voice, "I did that earlier."
Leo thought for a second and said, "Oh, yeah. Thanks."
We sat down at a table and waited for the Mary to arrive.
I studied Leo and said, "You really love her, don't you?"
Leo blushed and looked at me, "W-what?"
"Tae-Hyun," I said, quieter, "You really love her, don't you?"
Leo looked down at the table again and smiled a little.
"I, uh..." He said, blushing deeper, "I-I guess you could say that.... But don't tell anyone!"
"What, that you're in love with a girl?" I teased.
"N-no, it's just..." Leo said, "Well, Mouse would tell her and Chris would freak out about how cute it was that I liked someone."
I snorted, "Yeah, that probably would happen."
"See? That's why I don't want you to tell." Leo said, "Plus, the more people know, the closer they are to figuring out Tae-Hyun's secret."
I nodded and said, "Don't worry, Buddy. I won't tell."
Leo smiled at me and said, "Thanks, you're a great friend."
"Yeah? You're not too bad yourself." I said, laughing.
Mary came in and said, "Hey, kids, settle down now."
The talking died down and we all turned our attention to Mary. Maybe kids were finally listening to her in case there was more news about Tae-Hyun. Everyone was still talking about it.
"Alright," Mary said, "Tomorrow, you guys are all going back to your schools around noon. So, who's excited to hear what we'll be doing today?"
No one said anything. I almost felt bad for Mary.
"Canoeing!" She said, beaming.
"NO!!!" Chris cried, clinging to Alice's arm... And... Crying.
"Déja vu." I said, and Leo stifled a laugh.
Mary,and everyone else in the room, stared at him.
I reached across the table and patted my brother's back, "Nothing to see here. It's okay, Chris..."
"All... Righty then." Mary said, "Come on, Kids."
"At least she's not calling us teenyboppers." Stephanie said to Michelle.
"Oh, you mean like those toys they have at the baby store?" Michelle said.
Stephanie gave her a confused look, "What the hell are you talking about?"
"You know, the baby toys that are shaped like this and smell the bacon." Michelle traced a bone shape in the air with her fingers.
Stephanie looked at her distastefully and said, "I don't know what kind of baby store you're goin' to, but-"
"It has fish, too." Michelle said, holding up two fingers about an inch apart, "Little orange ones. One time we went there and my little brother tried to eat one... He thought they were gold fish crackers."
Stephanie looked so confused.
"They don't really let us in anymore..." Michelle said, sniffing, "I liked that baby store."
Stephanie walked away from Michelle and Jenny took her place.
Michelle whirled around to look at Jenny and her ringlet-curled blonde hair flew around her head.
"Why did Stephanie leave me?" She said, looking sad.
Jenny put her arm around Michelle and said, "It's alright, Michelle. You can tell me about the goldfish baby store."
Michelle beamed and said, "Okay, so the store also had these bags of sand that smelled like air freshener..."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 24 - CHAPTER 21

I lied sprawled across my bed, bored. I listened to Jenny and Michelle talk.
"Why did those really big cars come here two days ago?" Michelle asked.
"The ambulances?" Jenny said softly, "They came here because Tae-Hyun was sick."
Michelle pouted, "Big cars don't come when I get sick."
"Well, Michelle, Tae-Hyun was really sick." Jenny said, "He was so sick that he needed a doctor to help him get better."
I couldn't help being amused at how much Jenny had to dumb down the way she spoke for Michelle.
Michelle looked really confused and said, "Who's that?"
"Tae-Hyun is Leo's friend." Jenny said, "The Korean boy."
Michelle's mascaraed eyes widened, "Ohhhh, I remember him! He was from the war, right?"
"No, Michelle."
"But, there were bombs..."
"No, there were no bombs in South Korea, Michelle."
Michelle sat on the floor with Jenny, staring into space.
"Jenny," I said, "I think her brain stopped."
Tina fought back a grin and Jenny said, stifling a laugh, "Angela,"
"My brain works pretty good." Michelle said, clasping her hands together, "Ohhh, that reminds me of this time when I was five and my mom was on the phone and she was carrying me and my little brother. Then, when she went to get food for us so we'd stop crying, she dropped me and my brother on our heads and my brother had to get stitches."
Jenny, Tina, and I stared at Michelle for a long, long time.
"Hey, Tina." I said, trying to start a new conversation, "Have you heard back from Leo yet?"
Tina nodded, "Yes, actually. I heard from Mrs. Green that Leo and Ms. Nelson are coming back to camp today."
"Awesome." I said, smiling. I was glad to hear that at least Leo was coming back. For a while, I was scared that he would refuse to leave.
"Why was Leo at the hospital too?" Michelle said.
I sighed, "Oh, Michelle..."
Jenny gave me the kind of look Mom gives me right before I insult Chris.
"Leo was there to visit Tae-Hyun while she was sick." I said, smiling tightly.
Poor Michelle looked so confused, "But... Then, wouldn't Leo get sick?"
"Angela," Jenny said, "Did you just say 'she'?"
My face fell and my eyes widened. Then, I laughed and scoffed, "Pfft! No."
Damn my terrible lying skills and my big mouth.
Jenny studied me and I said, "Verbal typo, okay?"
"Verbal typo..." Tina said, "Interesting."
I gritted my teeth. I can safely say this was the first time I was grateful for one of Michelle's stupid comments.
"Is Leo sick too, now?" Michelle said, looking concerned.
"N-no, Leo's fine." I said, "He's coming back to camp today."
"Angela," Jenny hissed.
"So... Does that mean we're all gonna get sick???" Michelle said, throwing her hands into her mountain of light blonde curls.
I gritted my teeth and looked down at my lap.
"No, Michelle." I said.
"Why do you keep saying that?" Michelle said, standing up, "No, Michelle. No, Michelle. You're confusing me!"
"For God's sake, I feel like I'm talking to a child!" I exclaimed.
Michelle's shoulders slumped and she pouted, her lower lip quivering. Good Lord...
Michelle started crying right there, just like a little kid who couldn't find their mom at the super market, when really she was right behind them.
Jenny put her arm around Michelle's shoulder and said, "There, there."
I gave Tina a 'unbelievable' look and she shrugged.

How were Tina and Jenny always so nonchalant about everything?

Cool With A "K" PART 24 - CHAPTER 20

Leo opened the cabin door and went inside, his head hung sadly.

"Hey, Nerd." Daniel said, smirking, "How's your bulimic boyfriend? Is he gonna pull through?"
Daniel was sitting on one bed and tossing an apple up in the air and catching it.
Leo scowled at him and said, "Why would you say something like that? Tae-Hyun almost died and you're talking about it like he had a cold!"
"Come on, Chickie, don't be such a drama queen." Johnny said, standing up and giving Leo a little push in the chest.
"You guys are jerks." Leo said.
Johnny scoffed, "Is that all you nerds ever say? 'You're a jerk', 'you're an ass', 'oh, you're hurting my feelings'. That's what your loser friends said earlier."
"Maybe you should listen to them." Leo said, "Great minds think alike."
"Hey, looky here." Daniel said, "Somebody's tryin' to be smart here. You think you're so tough, don't you, Leo?"
"Yeah, don't you, Leo?" Johnny said, pushing Leo again, "Then why couldn't you protect your little boyfriend?"
"SHUT UP!" Leo yelled, anger filling his voice.
"Oooh." Johnny and Daniel laughed.
Johnny stuck out his lower lip and said in a baby voice, "Is somebody being sensitive?"
"He could've died, John." Leo said, dead serious, "Tae-Hyun could have died and here you are making fun of him!"
Johnny snorted and he and Daniel crossed their arms over their chests in unison.
"How do you know he's not dead right now?" Leo said, his voice getting louder and cracking, "How did you know he wasn't dead when I came in here and you were already on my case, making fun of him?"
"Hey, come on, man. We were just playing." Daniel said.
"Oh, were you now???" Leo cried, "You were just playing. Well, let me tell you something, Daniel. Don't play... With death."
Daniel and Johnny were silent.
Leo scowled at them, his eyes red and brimmed with tears.
"He's alive, if you were wondering." Leo said, turning his back to them, "No thanks to you goons."
Leo opened the cabin door, stepped out, and closed it behind him.
Daniel and Johnny looked at each other. 

They had nothing more to say.

Cool With A "K" PART 24 - CHAPTER 19

Mouse opened her cabin door and went inside.
"Oh, I'm so scared for Tae-Hyun." Hilary said, "What if he's really sick?"
"I don't think he's that sick." Mouse said.
Alice, Stephanie, and Hilary all looked at her.
Mouse sat down on the chair my the door and put her hands behind her head, "It's not like he was vomiting blood or anything."
Stephanie rolled her eyes and said, "Oh my God, Mouse. You're such a smartass."
"Haven't we already covered this?" Mouse asked.
Stephanie sat down on one of the beds and said, "Whatever."
No one said anything for a minute. Then, Stephanie slowly looked over at Mouse and said, "So, Mouse. How has it been going with you and Lydia?"
Mouse shot her a look, "What are you saying, Barbie?"
"I was thinking about when you were on the cheerleading squad." Stephanie said, "So, how has it been going with Lydia?"
Mouse scoffed, "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Come on, we all know you're a lesbian!" Stephanie exclaimed, "Just give it up already!"
"I don't like Lydia, Stephanie." Mouse said, "I think all those little flips and lying in tanning machines messed up your brain."
"Can it, Buch." Stephanie said.
Alice groaned and said, annoyed, "Must you two fight all the time?"
"Yes." Mouse said, "I hate being stuck in here with her."
"She's a disgusting, fat, smelly lesbian." Stephanie said, "I feel very uncomfortable sleeping in the same room as her."
"Oh, please, Barbie." Mouse said, "That lesbian thing is really getting old."
"Well, I can't picture you with a guy." Stephanie said, putting her hands on her hips, "You've never kissed a guy, have you?"
"No," Mouse said, "But so what?"
"It means, you're lame." Stephanie said, laughing hollowly, "You're such a loser, Mouse."
"At least I have a brain." Mouse mumbled.

Cool With A "K" PART 24 - CHAPTER 18

"Have you ever done any drugs?" Dr. Lee asked Tae-Hyun, "Marijuana? Cocaine? Anything like that?"
Tae-Hyun shook her head, "No, never."
"Alright, good to know." Dr. Lee said, writing something on his clipboard, "Do you regularly take any NSAIDS, like Aspirin or Ibuprofen?"
"Not very much." Tae-Hyun said, "My older brother, Kyung-Sam, sometimes gives it to me when I had a stomachache or a headache, but not very much."
"Okay," Dr. Lee wrote something else, "Have you ever drunk alcohol?"
"Well, my brother let me try a little, tiny bit of Japanese Saki he brought home one time, but I thought it was awful and did not have very much."
"I see." Dr. Lee said, "Does your family ever push anything like drugs or alcohol on you?"
Tae-Hyun shook her head quickly, "Oh, no. They never would."
"Have you ever smoked?"
Dr. Lee wrote one last thing down and said, "Alright, Miss Nam. That's it for questions. Thank you."
Tae-Hyun nodded and Dr. Lee left.
Leo got up from his seat across the room and sat down on the side of Tae-Hyun's bed. He stroked her hair and said, "How are you doing?"
"Not as good as I like, but better than before." Tae-Hyun said, smiling.
Leo stroked her hair and smiled at her.
"I'm so happy you're okay." He said.
Tae-Hyun smiled and said, "Me too."
Ms. Nelson came in and put her hand on Leo's shoulder.
Leo looked up.
"Leo, I think you should be getting back to camp." Ms. Nelson said, smiling warmly, "It's a field trip and you've missed half of day three."
"I don't care." Leo said, holding Tae-Hyun's hands with his, "I'd rather stay here with Tae-Hyun."
"Leo," Tae-Hyun said.
Leo looked at her.
"Go back to camp," Tae-Hyun said with a smile, "I'm fine. You don't need to worry so much about me."
"You said you were fine before and then you threw up blood." Leo said, biting his lip.
Tae-Hyun's face fell and she studied him.
"Then ask the doctor." Tae-Hyun said, smiling warmly, "He'll know if I'm okay or not."
Leo nodded and stood up, reluctantly letting go of Tae-Hyun's hand.
"Okay." Leo said, "I'll see you later."
Tae-Hyun nodded and smiled tiredly, "See you later. Thank you so much."
"For what?" Leo asked.
Tae-Hyun laughed, "For getting Mary to call the hospital, for being here with me. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you."
Leo stood, frozen where he was.
"You saved my life, Leo." Tae-Hyun said, smiling and tearing up, "Thank you."
Leo breathed in shakily and said, "Can I hug you?"
Tae-Hyun nodded and Leo gently hugged her.
Tae-Hyun hugged him back and laughed and cried at the same time.
Leo stood back up and just looked at her. He said shakily, "Tae-Hyun..."
Leo stared at her and his hands started shaking. He put his head down and walked out of the room.
Tae-Hyun watched him walk away, a bit disappointed that she didn't get to hear what Leo was going to say. She sighed and leaned back in her bed.

Leo walked down the hospital halls, telling himself under his breath how stupid he was.
Then, a young guy rushed into the hospital lobby so fast, he almost fell over. He looked kind of familiar.
Leo walked up to him and said, "Hey, are you Kyung-Sam?"
The guy looked at him and Leo said, "Tae-Hyun's brother?"
The guy studied Leo for a second and smiled slightly.
"Uh, yeah." He held out his hand, "You must be Leo, right?"
"Yeah." Leo grinned and shook Kyung-Sam's hand, "How'd you know?"
Kyung-Sam looked like he was holding back a smirk. He cleared his throat and said, "Oh, uh, he's mentioned you."
Ah. Kyung-Sam didn't know Leo knew Tae-Hyun was a girl.
"Oh, has she?" Leo asked.
Kyung-Sam almost looked impressed. He grinned and said, "Oh, yeah. The hair, the age, the eyes. That's how I recognized you."
Leo blushed and said quietly, "She... Talked about my... Eyes?"
Kyung-Sam looked very pleased with himself and said, "She... Mentioned them."
Leo hesitated before he asked quietly, "What did she say?"
"She said that they're beautiful." Kyung-Sam said, smiling warmly.
Leo's heart stopped beating for a split second. Kyung-Sam could be lying. He's Tae-Hyun's older brother, brothers lie!
Then, Kyung-Sam suddenly looked worried, "Have you seen my sister?"
Leo nodded and said, "O-oh, yeah. She's doing great. Her room is that way."
Kyung-Sam nodded and walked down the hall Leo had pointed to.
Leo followed behind him slowly.
He watched Kyung-Sam go into the room and Tae-Hyun's face light up.
Kyung-Sam cried and hugged his sister.
Leo smiled a little and sighed. He turned and went back to the waiting room.
Ms. Nelson was waiting there, looking at her watch. She saw Leo and said, "Leo, where have you been?"
"I'm sorry, I ran into Tae-Hyun's brother on the way here and said hi." Leo said. There was no life to his voice.
Ms. Nelson sighed, "Alright. Come on, I'll drive you back to camp."
"Are you going to stay there or come back here?" Leo asked.
"I'm going to come back here." Ms. Nelson said, "I need to sign a ton of paperwork."
Leo followed Ms. Nelson out of the building and said, "Wow."
"What?" Ms. Nelson said.
"Tae-Hyun's brother drove all the way here to see his sister." Leo said.
Ms. Nelson said, "Well, you were worried about her, so you stayed here instead of going to camp."
"Yeah," Leo said, "But camp is only fifteen minutes away. Home is four hours away."
Ms. Nelson smiled and said, "Come on, Tae-Hyun will be fine with her brother. Let's go back."
Leo nodded reluctantly and followed Ms. Nelson to her car.