The following Monday, our whole school loaded onto three charter buses.
So, I was with Chris, Alice, Mouse, Leo, Tae-Hyun, Kathy, and other people.
Geoffry had gotten onto another bus, luckily, but I hadn't seen where Mitsuko had gotten on.
Jenny, the laughy cheerleader who did Genie with us, was sitting alone.
"Hey, can I sit here?" I asked.
She smiled warmly, "Of course."
I sat down in the seat next to her and said, "Um... Not to sound nosy, but don't you usually sit with the other cheerleaders?"
Jenny looked at me and said, "Oh, yeah... Usually I do."
She sighed, "Stephanie said I'm too nice to the lesser students at this school and it's damaging the cheerleader reputation."
I shook my head, "That's the dumbest thing ever! Why would she say that?"
"Stephanie... Is very particular about her cheerleaders' behavior." Jenny said slowly.
"Her cheerleaders?" I said, raising an eyebrow.
Jenny shrugged, "Well, she is the head cheerleader."
Leo and Tae-Hyun came and sat down in the seats in front of Jenny and I.
"Hi, guys!" Tae-Hyun said cheerily.
"Hi," I said, smiling.
Chris and Alice sat behind us and they both said, "Hi."
Jenny and I waved to them.
Mouse sat behind Chris, but he didn't notice.
She slowly leaned over his shoulder and said in a loud whisper, "Hi, Chris."
Chris jumped and whirled around.
Seeing it was Mouse, he clenched his teeth and said, "Oh, great."
"Isn't this awesome?" Mouse said, smiling and clapping her hands down on Chris' shoulders, "Four hours of quality time together on this bus!"
Chris looked really pissed and pursed his lips prissily.
"Sure." He said, "Sure it is, Mouse."
I jumped about a foot in the air, just the way Chris had when Mouse said scared him.
I spun around in my seat, "Mitsuko!"
Mitsuko's face fell and she said, "Is something wrong, Angie?"
I shook my head quickly and she said, sitting down next to Mouse, "Oh, great! So, are you excited for the trip? Oh my God, I am!"
I slumped down in my seat and tried not to sigh too loud.
I swear, Mitsuko didn't stop talking for a good hour before she fell asleep, her head against the seat.
Mouse slouched against the window, looking pissed off.
"Okay, she has to go." Mouse said, about to push Mitsuko onto the floor.
"Mouse! No!" I hissed, "You'll wake her up!"
Mouse retracted and frowned.
"Ew. I don't like her." She said.
"I'm not exactly her biggest fan." I grumbled.
Leo snorted, "She sure is yours."
Leo turned to Tae-Hyun and said, "What'cha listening to?"
Tae-Hyun smiled and handed Leo one of her earbuds.
Hello hello hello Na gateun yeojan cheoeum eulo eulo eulo bon geos gat-eunde wae
Naleul pandanhani naega hogsi dulyeoun geoni...
"Bad Girl, Good Girl." Tae-Hyun said, "It's by a Korean band called Miss A. There are two Korean members and two Chinese members. The Korean members are Suzy and Mia and the Chinese members are Fei and Jia, who has pink hair."
Leo smiled, listening to the Korean music.
"So, are they pretty?" He said teasingly.
Tae-Hyun grinned and shook her head, "I knew you would say that. I think Suzy is the prettiest, but I like Jia's hair the most."
Leo nodded and smiled.
The trip wasn't really boring until I started counting how much time was left on the bus.
"Three hours, thirty-eight minutes." I said aloud.
Chris looked at me and said, "Ange, you know we're not getting there in exactly four hours..."
I glared coldly at my brother.
"Don't tell me," I said, pointing a finger in his face, "How to run my life."
"So..." Jenny said slowly, "Are you having fun?"
I rolled my head on the seat to look at her.
"No?" She said, "Yeahhh...."
We got to Citrus County by about 5:00 P.M. and everyone was tired already.
We were greeted by a woman wearing a bright neon green polo shirt and tan slacks.
I looked at Chris to see his reaction to her clothes. Sure enough, he gagged.
"Heeey, kids! Ready to have some fun!" The woman yelled excitedly. She looked like she expected us to say "YEAH!"
We all stared at the neon lady and she cleared her throat.
"Well, you better be!" She said cheerily, "Because fun is all you're gonna get for the next week!"
"I wonder if she has notecards that say these things." Leo whispered, and Tae-Hyun and I stifled laughs.
The neon woman clasped her hands together and said, "Well, my name is Mary and I run this place!"
"Oh, um..." Mary said, "Dinner is in the Mess Hall in an hour. Until then, I will tell you which cabin you're staying with and who you're sharing with."
Tae-Hyun's heart stopped. She swallowed and whispered, "Leo... Are they..."
"Don't worry about it," Leo whispered back, "I'll take care of everything."
Tae-Hyun smiled up at him.
Leo... He's so sweet to me. She thought, I'm very lucky to have him as my friend.
Leo raised his hand and Mary smiled.
"Um, it's guys with guys and girls with girls, right?" Leo said.
A few kids giggled.
Mary looked at Leo like he was so ignorant.
"But of course, Silly!" She said, laughing loudly, "What did you expect? That I would just let boys and girls stay in the same cabins?"
Chris and I glanced at each other, then back at Mary.
Tae-Hyun glanced at Leo and he put his hand on her shoulder.
"It'll be okay," He said, grinning, "I promise."
Tae-Hyun wasn't particularly found of the phrase 'I promise', because a lot of the times people had said it to her, they hadn't meant it. But she believed Leo.
Mary held up her clipboard and said, "Boys' Cabin One, is Chris Harper-"
"I'm sorry, can I interrupt?" I said, raising my hand.
"Uh..." Mary said, but I was already elbowing my way to her.
I leaned over to Mary and whispered, "Um.... Chris Harper is my brother and... For safety reasons, I just have one request."
"Yes?" Mary said, smiling over-enthusiastically.
I looked around and whispered to her, "Can you not put him with Geoffry Canning?"
Mary nodded and said, "Oh, sure. But... Is he a danger to other students?"
I shook my head and said, "Besides being creepy, not as far as I know."
I went back to my friends and Chris whispered, "Angie, what did you say?"
"Oh, nothing." I said.
Mary cleared her throat and looked at her clipboard again.
"So..." She said, "Cabin One is Chris Harper, Lester, Buck Borowski, and Joey Casely."
Chris and Lester both fell to their knees and said, "NOO!!!!!"
"Aye, don' worry 'bout us, guys." Buck said, bending down to pat Lester's head.
Lester flinched and Buck continued, "We's not gonna hurt nobody. Right, Joey?"
"Yeah, dat's right, Buck." Joey said, grinning. One of his front teeth was missing.
Mary smiled ignorantly and said, "Oh, well, that's good. Now, Cabin Two is Daniel Wilson, Johnny Thomas..."
Every student held their breath, especially the non-football-player boys.
"Leo Guillermo and Tae-Hyun Nam!" Mary said.
Everyone turned to look at Tae-Hyun and Leo.
"Man, you two are two brave dudes." Lester said, shaking his head.
Mary went on announcing names and Leo swallowed. He looked at Tae-Hyun and smiled.
"See? I told you nothing bad would happen." Leo said.
"Are you kidding me?" Tae-Hyun hissed, "We are sharing a cabin with Daniel and Johnny! The meanest boys in school!"
"Yes..." Leo said slowly, trying to think of something smart to say, "But I'll be there. I can protect you."
Tae-Hyun smiled at him. She could hear her heartbeat in her ears.
"Thank you." Tae-Hyun said.
Leo nodded and smiled.
Mary finished listing the boys' cabins and said, "Now, girls' Cabin One is Stephanie Bradley, Hilary Benson, Alice Coleman, and Tiffany White."
"WHAT?" Mouse, Stephanie, and Alice all exclaimed.
Mary shook her finger at them and said, "Now, now, girls. Be polite."
Alice didn't say anything, but Mouse went on.
"How could you do this to me, Lady?" Mouse cried, "And it's Mouse, to you!"
Almost everyone laughed, and Mouse tried to give them all the death glare.
Stephanie chuckled and stepped forward.
"Look, I'm sorry to, like, sound rude or something," She said, smiling sweetly, "But I, like, can't share my cabin with them."
Mary put her hands on her hips and said, "Now, why not, Miss Bradley? They seem to all be very nice girls."
Both Stephanie and Mouse snorted at that.
"I just, like, I, like..." Stephanie said, twirling her hair and looking offended, "I can't, like, sleep in the same room as Mouse and the nerd and the germ freak."
Chris put a protective hand on Alice's shoulder.
"Look, being with you ain't exactly my first choice either, Robot." Mouse said.
"Oh my God, Ms. Mary! She just called Steph a robot!" One of the other cheerleaders cried.
Mary held up a hand and said, "Girls, calm down. You are with who you're with. Deal with it."
Stephanie looked shocked, then pissed, then she stepped back and started putting lipgloss on her pursed lips.
"Cabin Two," Mary said, "Angela Harper-"
"Yes!" I said, doing a fist-pump.
Chris and a bunch of other kids looked at me and I said, "Sorry... Got excited a little early."
Mary cleared her throat and said, "Angela Harper, Michelle Brooks, Tina Fackler, and Jennifer Alvarez."
I don't really know Tina that well. All I know about her is she changes her hair every day and she's super obsessed with giraffes. I've also heard she's kind of crazy. Greeaatt.
Jenny is sweet and nice, but girl can be loud.
Michelle.... Well, I don't really need to worry about her. She's kind of too dumb to do anything bad.
So, those were our cabin roommates. I was really scared for Leo and Tae-Hyun and kind of scared for Chris. But, hey,
At least he wasn't with Geoffry.