Chapter 2

The day went by rather slow, I suppose it was one of those days where everything annoyed you, making every mere second irritating. Me without my camera, knowing it was at he bottom of the lake, Dodge without the decency to apoligize for it, and Carmen just being herself.

We returned to the house; on Mrs. Holland's orders to be punctual for dinner. The woman was strict as it is, but with other kids, she lightened up a bit. That was the only problem with her though; her excessive knack for punctuality of certain events. Whether it be certain meals or returning home to help around the house, she could be a firecracker. Though I can't say I blame her, for if I were in her situation, with a bunch of reckless teenagers as ourselves (especially Dodge and Jay), I'd be strict too. Which is why I try to show my best manners. A little class never hurts, besides she was like my second mother.

My parents were divorcing that summer. I didn't even see it coming, though I couldn't say I wasn't surprised. Their marriage had been failing appallingly, but I didn't know they were any where near divorce. Around the winter holidays, the began seeing a counselor. I thought it worked for they seemed to get along. Then yet, even though I was an only child, I was sometimes kept from things. For all I know, they could've been putting on an act just to keep me oblivious.

We had been at the lake for a good five hours before we left. My fingers began to prune into raisins, my face clammy, my long hair in tangles, and soaked skin beginning to dry with the setting sun. The lake was a good mile from the house, but you could smell the hickory half way home. To me, it was one of the most welcoming scents.

"Smells like barbeque." Tina whispered beside me, "Not your favorite?'

"I'm not particularly fond of it." I replied. Looks like I was eating buns for dinner tonight.

"You're like the only person from Alabama whodoesn't like barbeque." She said.

"I just don't like the texture, I guess."

"No wonder you're thin, you are the pickiest person I know."

"I'm average." I corrected her," Besides, I eat more than others, tut tut."

We both glanced over to Carmen, who stood at five foot three (just an inch shorter than me) and couldn't have weighed more than one hundred and five pounds..

It felt great to be on the receiving side of the smirks.

"Good point." Tina observed.

We pulled into the driveway after a short three minutes. It would have been thirty seconds if it weren't for the dogs that we chased down. Normally I would welcome recklessly fun behavior like that, but I was starving and I have not an ounce of patience. It's a genetic trait.

Tina's dad, Mr. Irwin Holland, was just finishing putting out buns and condiments. He gestured at us to help ourselves. Mr. Irwin was a kind, gentle man; he put us before himself. Sometimes he would sit out with us, quietly eating his food and listening to us. I don't know why he did so, nor why he wouldn't have preferred to sit inside with his mosquito- phobic wife, but he understood being a teenager better than any other parent I knew.

The basic blue sky shifted to sapphire; welcomed with stars. Flickering on the porch light, Mrs. Holland called out to us about the cake sitting on the kitchen table when we were ready for it. Honestly, I would have rather of been eating the cake than the buns I was picking at but I have a weird obsession of not being first to dig into something. It makes me feel fat.

"Okay, okay so I was talking to a friend the other day when the our conversation and the contents of its hit me-" Jay began, with a subject I would rather leave unknown.

"Dude, did you just say 'It shit me'?" joked John. He too, obviously spotted the grammatical error of Jay's sentence. Jay wasn't the brightest bulb in the box, but he was hilarious at times.

We all burst into laughter at John's remark, even Mr. Irwin, who didn't mind the redundant use of curse words. Then yet, I was the one who said that curse words don't do any harm, so what the heck.

"No, no- I said 'the conversation and the contents of its hit me'." Jay corrected

Tina spoke up, " The correct phrase would be, 'the contents of the conversation hit me', not whatever you said."

"Are we really talking about grammar?" I thought out loud. I did have a good point though…

"Yeah, carry on with what you were going to say, Jay." Dodge prompted, putting down his sandwich to speak. I actually doubted his manners for a minute. Carmen was sitting next to him; he spindly legs crossed on a beach towel. She had only two bites taken out of her sandwich. She probably does it to keep her tiny figure.

I smiled as I remember the Miranda Lambert song Only Prettier- perfect to describe this situation.

I'll keep drinking, you'll keep getting skinnier. We're just like you, only prettier.

Not exactly true. Call me a goody two shoes, but I don't drink, though I have had a few sips of my mother's margarita or long island tea, its not a hobby. I'm sure you catch my drift.

Jay went on with whatever he was going to say. I wasn't really paying attention since my thoughts were elsewhere. Matter of fact, I actually forgot about my surroundings for once, until Tina shook my shoulder.

"What?!" I exclaimed, not really much of a happy camper to have been pried from my thoughts.

"Come with me to get some cake."

"Go get some by yourself." I said, looking back at everyone else. It seems in my mental abscence, Dodge as well as Carmen had dissappeared.

"I don't want to look fat!" she complained, unable to keep the childlike whine out of her soprano voice.

I raised an eyebrow,"You're concerned about appearing 'fat' in your own house?" I queried.

"Just come, please?"

"Fine." I had lost interest in my chips and bun anyways. Time for cake.

Turns out that Carmen too had been holding off for cake, which she got a honking peice of. Maybe she wasn't trying to keep her figure, maybe she just had a high metabolism. Maybe she isn't that bad after all.

I momentarily forgot about the smirks. Didn't her mother ever tell her her face will get stuck like that?

Tina and I sliced a reasonable slice and made our way to her room. The mosquitoes had been pelting at our suntanned legs and we already ran out of bug spray; I would rather not risk West Nile virus.

Instead of flipping on the tv, she retrieved her laptop from her pillowcase (that was her 'master' hiding place. Dodge steals it all the time. Somehow he doesn't consider looking behind the pillow). I ignored whatever she was doing on there and ate my cake.

"You're being quieter than usual." Tina finally peeped, not looking up from the laptop.

I shrugged," You are too."

She sighed and straighten her slouchy posture, looking back at me, "What is on your mind?"

"Nothing, honest."

"Is it the divorce?" Tina ignored my response.

"No. I told you, there's nothing on my mind. Nothing new."

She arched thin eyebrow and turned back.

I know they say that one of the biggest lies is 'I'm okay' but it was true. There was nothing wrong. I was content and I was happy. Nothing new, nothing more.

The dilemma is getting everyone to believe me when I say that.

Most people know about my parents' pending divorce. I have told Tina, Tina has told her parents. I recall slipping it to Jay or John once.

I suppose I don't talk as much as I used to, which is normal for me because sometimes I don't have very much to say.

The next few hours melted away fast. Tina and I climbed into bed and I was out like a lightbulb in seconds.

Little did I know, that I would have to go home the next day.

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This was just one of those pointlessly boring chapters to fill you in on Heather's life. Sorry about that.

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