Chapter 1.

I lived at Tina's house that summer. It was just like summer camp, minus the camp counselors, disgusting meals, and I didn't have to put up with people that I didn't know. The only time I would return home was when I needed fresh clothe, or when my mom was in need of my assistance at the house.

Most of the time, we 'created' fun, normally with fishing poles, four wheelers, and the infamous summer swimming pool. Except for us, our 'swimming pool' was a lake. Typical Alabama fun. I know we sound like a bunch of hicks, but it really is fun, seriously try it.

It would have been the perfect summer, had it not of been for him. He was the only flaw of the summer. I hated him. I absolutely despised him. He had no life and a huge ego. And no business touching my camera, which was now gone, at the bottom of the lake.

"I'm sorry, Heather." Tina ranted," He says he's incredibly sorry."

Tina had been at it for fifteen minutes straight. She knew the significance of my camera- it was the last thing my grandmother gave me before she passed last November.

I pulled my strawberry blond hair into a ponytail and sighed for the umpteenth time," It's fine. I'm just a little pissed off that Dodge even touched it and then has the audacity to make you apologize for it."

Tina shook her head," I think he was taking a picture of Carmen. He claims that he thought it was mine."

"Oh yeah, that makes everything better."

My friend suppressed a sigh, as if there wasn't anything she could do, which there wasn't.

.I pulled on a t-shirt and a pair of shorts over my bikini, slipped on my flip flops and plopped down on Tina's unmade bed.

"I guess I can just ask for another on my upcoming birthday." I sighed, "It was starting to get old anyways."

"I'm extremely sorry, Heather." Tina finally gave up. She gathered her sunglasses and a bottle of sunscreen and opened the door. Tina gestured with a nod then the brunette followed me out the room.

~[~]~

As pissed off as I was at him, the five of us, me, Tina, Carmen, Jay, and John, all clambered into the bed of Dodge's white `73 Chevy truck . On the whole way to the lake, Carmen donned a smug smirk, a very ugly one too, and anytime I would look her way, she would look elsewhere.

Carmen was Dodge's girlfriends, its pretty obvious when you're around the two of them so much. Carmen is the type of girl that can't keep her clothes on. By the time we arrived at the lake, Carmen already stripped to her bikini, meanwhile I was still donning my shorts and ponytail.

I don't have a clue as to what possessed Carmen to curl her hair and apply fifty plus coats of mascara , as she was aware that we were going swimming.

Another downside of this summer: sharing a room with Carmen. She slept in Tina's room with us but spent most of her time with Dodge. Tina's parents would have a cow if Carmen slept in Dodge's room, no matter what they were doing in there. The mere thought made my shudder.

After parking in the mud, which we all had to trudge through just to approach the lake, I finally treaded into the water; Tina bringing up behind me. I wasn't too fond of lakes till that summer.

"What are the boys doing?" I asked, not even struggling to keep my head above the dark green water. I was sure it was a fish I just felt touch my ankle. Yikes!

"They are trying to lift the truck out of the mud, I believe."

"That's what the dumbass gets for parking in the mud." I muttered, trying my best to keep my voice down so Tina wouldn't hear. Being as outspoken as I am, I find it difficult to keep my thoughts to myself. Most of the time people tell me I speak too loud, but then yet whenever I say something half the time everyone acts like they don't hear me. The moral would me to keep my mouth shut and I would, but then I would be boring.

Tina narrowed her brown eyes, "It was the only place he could park."

"Yeah," said a voice from behind me.

I looked around to observe Carmen, defending her boyfriend, her dirty blond curls in soaked tresses and her mascara already in flakes and runs down her cheeks.

Quickly, I thought of something to get her away," I think I saw a fish a minute ago." Truth is, I don't know what hit my ankle a minute ago, but it was enough to get her to leave.

When I was certain she was out of earshot,I said," Sorry, I'm just not a big fan of hers."

"Neither am I ." Tina shook her head," If I'm gonna have a sister-in-law anytime soon, I sure hope God has better plans for my brothers"

"There is just something about her that rubs me the wrong way. You know how some people have something about them that you just cannot dislike? Well, she's the opposite."

"Something about her aura." She finished, glancing back at the hectic scene.

It appeared that they had lifted the wheel out of the mud already.

"I guess she is perfect for my brother."

"What do you mean?"

She knocked her voice down a notch," If there is one thing one can infer from living with Dodge, its that his ego is pretty big. He wants all the attention."

I nodded in acknowledgment," I guess I know what you mean. They do seem like the perfect couple; the attention seeker and the…"

"Smug one that suspects everyone to be jealous of her?" Tina suggested

"Yeah…"

I took another look at the boys. Dodge was standing on top of the truck; looking around and laughing.

How could I not notice he's an attention seeker?


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~Kayti