Author's Note: Yes, I'm aware that this begining sucks. I've gotten a million and twelve critisms from my teacher and various friends for this one but I don't know how to change it so if you have any ideas for it please, PLEASE, tell me. Also, I'd love it if you would review it, good or bad, I'm open to anything.

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It was a myriad of different things that forced Schmitty, Ace, and I to pool our money together to buy the damn hippie van

It was a myriad of different things that forced Schmitty, Ace, and I to pool our money together to buy the damn hippie van. My reason was because I needed a way to get from point A to point B in a relatively safe manner. I think Schmitty wanted it so that he could sleep in the back when he didn't really want to go home. And as for Ace, well, I never understood what went through her overly medicated brain. It was Ace who had picked out the damn hippie van with the money we had all bled, cried, and applied copious amounts of deodorant for. It was ugly as hell, though, but Ace loved it. She loved that it was a hideous shade of green and purple. That it had little white stars, smiley faces, and hearts creating a little border near the bottom of the car. The thing she really loved about it, though, was that you couldn't lose it in a parking lot.

Although Schmitty and I loathed it, we let her keep the damn thing. It made her really happy and it was in relatively good shape for a four-decade-old van, plus, we needed a vehicle, and we weren't about to be picky about it. Ace's brother bought it from some supposed rock group that was going to disband eons ago. Throughout the years he earned his mechanics license on it, preserving every piece of the unattractive car as best as he could.

Anyway, it was that summer after we bought the damn hippie van that Ace blackmailed Schmitty and I into a road trip to Washington DC to see the Cherry Blossom Festival. Schmitty and I were both dead set against it but after a week of listening to Ace whine about it Schmitty broke down (I think it was her blue puppy dog eyes that got to him) and I was powerless in the face of the democratic system. We voted on it, I lost, and Ace jumped around the room like she'd won the lottery.

Ace was smart enough to procure papers telling us how to get from Sioux Falls, North Dakota to Washington DC. However, for an entire week she fed us information like M&Ms. What to see, what to bring for the trip, how much money we'd need, and other things that we already knew but she thought was necessary to prepare us for the trip. Apparently she remembered when we hitchhiked to California and how much of a disaster it ended up being.

"Hey, Lev, are you taking your iPod? 'Cause its sitting right there and we'll be in the van for hours so you might as well bring it." I was considering killing Ace. I really was. She hadn't shut up about the festival since we 'agreed' to it and now she insisted upon sitting in my room to 'advise my packing strategies'.

"Yes, Ace, I'm bringing my iPod, how else am I supposed to drown out your annoying voice during this trip?" Ace threw a pillow at me, missed, and then mumbled about how she liked Schmitty better. After two whole hours of fighting with Ace, I decided to call Schmitty and allow him to arbitrate between us. Schmitty eventually found his way into my room, his eyes glued to a copy of Dante's Inferno. As if in a fog of allergy medicine he lethargically wandered around the room before settling down on my bed. He didn't bother to look up once, the entire time, seemingly too enthralled in his book. I watched Schmitty lean backwards onto my bed, lie down on his back, and continue to read.

"Schmitt, tell Levie, that she needs to bring two raincoats."

"Schmitty, tell Ace that I don't need two raincoats."

"Schmitt, tell Lev that if she doesn't take two raincoats she's going to lose one and then whine about how cold she is for the rest of the trip."

"Schmitt, sweetheart, tell Ace that if I lose one then I'll just take your sweatshirt."

"Schmitt tell Lev-"

"DUDE! You guys are annoying. I'm trying to read." Ace and I looked over at Schmitty, who had already plunged his baby blue eyes into Inferno again. Let me tell you a little about Schmitty. He was cute, in this 'chess-player-musician-super-smart-kid-who-wishes-he-was-a-body-builder' kind of way. He had this light brown hair that went past his ears and did this kind of obnoxious curl kind of thing. He also had these super dark glasses, which he wore mostly when he was reading. He had them on now, and I noticed that they were kind of slipping down his nose.

"Schmitty, doll, we called you over here so you could decide who's wrong and right, by the way, I'm always right." I told Schmitty, but I doubt he was listening anymore. He'd probably end up siding with Ace anyway; for some reason I suspected that he had a crush on her.

"Hey, Schmitt, darling, I gotta question." Ace asked, climbing up on my bed. Well, hey, let's just have a nice little party on my bed why don't we?

"Hm?" Ohhh, so now he pulls that nose of his out of a book if little bitty Ace has a question for him.

"Yeah, see, I wanna get one of those hands-free headsets, Bluetooth or something like that, you know for our trip, 'cause it'd just be easier, yeah? How do I get one of those?" I looked over and Ace had migrated into Schmitty's lap, surprisingly, this didn't really shock me much. I went back to my dresser to try to finish packing, also trying to ignore Schmitty, who was practically drooling over Ace ('Cause really, who didn't anymore?) and Ace, who was pretending like she didn't notice. I listened to those two talk incessantly for a good hour and I was beginning to rethink calling Schmitty when my mother came up to my room to see what we were doing. I think my mom is secretly worried that Ace or I are going to get pregnant, because apparently you can't be friends with a guy without having sex with him a few times. Because of this weird belief my mother insists on checking up on us when we're at the house. She's also not super fond of Schmitty, but we pretend like we don't know it.

I knew it was my mother before she even knocked on the door. I could hear her quiet little footsteps coming up the stairs, an old habit from when she used to run a daycare in our house when I was younger. She did everything quietly, my mother. Speaking, knocking on doors, getting ready for work in the morning, hell she even ate potato chips quietly.

"Levi? Sweetheart, can I come in?" usually when we're in a good mood we like to play little pranks on my mother. Last week we pretended like we were trying to smuggle Schmitty out of my room only be 'caught' by my mother. It's really fun watching the look on her face. Today however, none of us were really in the mood.

"Yeah, come in, we're only doing cocaine and having casual sex with each other." I answered her, flippantly. My mom hates it when I do that.

My mother opened the door and leaned into my room. "I hate it when you say things like that, Leviathan; it's just not very lady-like." I shrugged and continued to throw a ball of clothes into one of my overnight bags.

"Are you going somewhere, Levi?" my mother asked, I could feel her green eyes watching me.

"Yeah, see, mom, I kinda forgot to tell you but we're going on this road trip thing. We're not hitchhiking this time though, I swear." I didn't bother to turn around. I knew what she was going to do. She was going to roll her eyes, object to it in her soft little voice, and then eventually let me do it. Of course, I guess I didn't really need her permission to do anything. I was technically an adult, but she liked to pretend that I wasn't.

"Where are you going?" Or maybe she wouldn't this time around.

"DC," Ace spoke up for me, leaning her head on Schmitty's shoulder. For some reason she had removed herself from Schmitty's lap. I think maybe she just didn't want to hear my mother's little passive-aggressive comments about pre-marital pregnancy.

"How are you going to get there?" My mother, I will admit, was starting to freak me out by now. Usually she'd be 'yelling' her head off about how I was irresponsible, wasn't allowed to go anywhere, and that she didn't want me to come home pregnant. She's a little paranoid about that.

"We're taking the damn hippie van." I answered. That was the little nickname for the hideous van Ace had fallen in love with. She's wasn't too fond of it, especially since Schmitty and I painted the words 'the damn hippie van' in white letters on the back of it. My mom swears that we're going to get pulled over by the cops because of the word 'damn' on the back of the van, but so far we've dodged the bullet.

"Leviathan Marie Warren, I don't think you're responsible enough to just-" And there we go. The speech about how I'm a child, I have no money, I'll come back pregnant, and she'll disown me. I was a little afraid she wasn't going to say it this time around. It wouldn't be a road trip without listening to that speech. Plus it wouldn't be as fun deliberately disobeying her if she acted like she was all cool with it.

"Yeah, yeah, mom, I get it, cool, fun, I promise I'll name the kid after you when I get back."

"Leviathan, that's not even funny to joke about." My mother snapped, still standing in the doorway. I shrugged my shoulders and went back to packing. After a couple moments of silence my mother was compelled to speak again.

"Aaron, Ace, will you be staying for dinner?" we all knew that my mother really didn't want Schmitty and Ace to stay over for dinner. She was really just trying to be polite.

"Yeah, they're staying over tonight and we're going to order pizza later." Very rarely in my life have I ever asked my mother for permission to do something. I suppose it's because I never felt like I needed her approval for anything.

"I suppose that's fine, dear, although I wish you would've told me about it sooner so I could pull out the air mattresses." My mother stated passively. I remember once, when we were thirteen or so I told my mother in advance that Schmitty and Ace were going to spend the night and she made Schmitty sleep in a tent out in the backyard. Since then I don't tell her when they're going to stay over and we just hang out in my room and pretend like we can't hear her and my father discussing my 'obvious lack of a future'.

My mother soon left the room after I started thinking aloud about where to buy the best pot, allowing Ace, Schmitty, and I to go back to what we did best. Arguing. After an hour and half we decided that we would get a large pizza, half pepperoni, half banana peppers with extra cheese. After the pizza guy left (He stayed an extra five minutes to flirt with Ace) we headed back up to my room. I sat on my bed with Schmitty, while Ace put her greasy pizza fingers all over the keys of my laptop at the desk. Since Schmitty was busy reading more of Dante's Inferno while inhaling pizza slice after pizza slice, I turned my attention to Ace.

The thing about Ace is that she's pretty, and she knows it, but she pretends that she doesn't know it and then looks shocked when someone finds enough courage to ask her out. Ace was born with a full head of white-blonde hair, although in junior high she dyed her hair an awful bright red color, and she refuses to color it back to normal. As I've said before Ace has pretty intense blue eyes. It's no secret that I'm jealous of them.

"Levie, are you going to eat that last piece of pizza?" I shrugged my shoulders and turned on my television. Ace leaned over and grabbed the last piece. You know, for such a teeny tiny person, Ace eats a lot.

"Jeez, Ace, what is that, your seventh piece?" Schmitty had finally pulled his nose out of the Inferno to look over at Ace.

"Why're you counting?" Ace snapped before taking a huge bite of her slice of pizza.

"Because he can't take his eyes off of you and your shockingly bright hair," I responded, making Schmitt shove me a little. He's easily embarrassed, that Schmitt, especially when he likes someone.

"Shut up, Lev, its not that bright."

"Perhaps it wouldn't look that bright if you were standing on the sun." I answered her. I think part of the reason why Ace won't color it back to normal is because it drives her father insane. He thinks it's a waste of time and money to dye her hair. That and her mother had blonde hair, I'm sure that that's probably a reason also.