Anna screamed. "What are you doing here? God, you scared me. Can't you knock?"
Lizzie was unapologetic as always. "Your mom let me in and you need to toughen up. You're so jumpy; this'll just help you get over it. Not the point though. Look at this!"
She shoved a pamphlet in Anna's face. Anna threw her a brief dirty look but then focused on the paper.
"'Join for a chance to win a million dollars!'" Anna's brows furrowed as she read the title. "Is this a joke?"
"All we have to do is drive from New York to Santa Monica and beat all the other teams to get there first," Lizzie said casually, flopping down on Anna's bed. "We all said we wanted a getaway trip together before we left for college; this could be it."
Anna waited for a moment for Lizzie to yell out a "just kidding" or "psych." When it didn't happen, she rolled her eyes.
"Yeah, right, as if my parents would just let me drive across the country with no adult supervision. Or Vee's or Devon's."
"We're all 18; we're legally adults." Lizzie picked up their most recent yearbook, her dark brown hair splayed across the perfectly made light pink comforter. "You know, I never really noticed, but Adam's whole look really improved with that haircut he got. Don't you think?"
She pushed the yearbook towards Anna, who smacked it away. "Ok, so back to reality, what movie do you want to watch tonight? Romcom, classic, or regular comedy?"
"You could always just lie to them, you know," Lizzie said, ignoring her question. "Tell them you're staying with me for the week or that we're all going to Vee's cabin; they've always let you do that."
"You're actually serious about this?"
"A million dollars, Anna. That's $250,000 each. That could pay for college and more. Wouldn't that be nice?"
"What would be nice is still being alive at the end of the summer to actually start college. Which I won't be if they find out about this."
"You know what your problem is?" Lizzie sat up. "You never do anything new or spontaneous. You're just stuck in your routine and your perfect little world because you can't handle anything outside of your control."
"I can be spontaneous! And I don't need everything to be 'perfect' or 'in my control.'"
Lizzie gave an exaggerated glance around her room. Notebooks and papers were perfectly stacked on the desk, leaving nothing lying around. The books on her shelf were all alphabetized by author and everything was color-coordinated in either white or a light pink.
"What other teenager do you know who plans out her outfits for the whole week?"
"I just don't like waiting until the last minute!" Anna said defensively.
"It's weird. You need to do something different."
"Fine." Anna crossed her arms. "If you can convince Devon and Vee to somehow go along with this, then I might actually consider it."
"Challenge accepted," Lizzie smirked.
"Hell yeah," Devon said, swinging her legs over the arm of the couch. "When do we leave?"
Anna's jaw dropped. "What! How could you possibly say yes to this? It's crazy!"
Devon shrugged. "I'm bored. I've just been cooped up all summer at home and Ryder is getting on my nerves. It'll be a good break."
"Oh, really?" Anna crossed her arms. "What are you going to tell your mom?"
"Ryder's going with some friends to the beach for a week. I'll just say I'm going with him. Quality sibling bonding."
"You think he won't tell on you?" Vee popped a piece of candy in her mouth, her wavy blonde hair hanging down her back.
"Nah, I'll just owe him one later."
"Vee? You're not going along with this, are you?" Anna turned to her, eyebrows raised.
"It'll be fun though. Won't it?" Lizzie advanced threateningly.
Vee looked back and forth between the two of them, clearly trapped. "Umm…"
"Don't give into peer pressure! You know that it's a bad idea, right?"
"Well," Vee started hesitantly. "It does seem like fun."
"Hah!" Lizzie said triumphantly.
"But I don't see my parents going for it. What would I even tell them we're doing instead?"
"Say you're going with me and Ryder to the beach," Devon suggested.
"My parents will definitely check with yours."
"My mom will think you're coming with us too. It'll be fine, don't worry."
"This is insane," Anna pleaded in a last ditch attempt, seeing the thoughtful look that came across Vee's face. "We can't just drive across the country. Whose car would we even take?"
"Yours, obviously," Lizzie said. She was much more relaxed than she was moments before, clearly seeing that she'd already won the battle. "It's the biggest."
"Oh no." Anna refused. "If I come, there is no way Nigel will be subjected to this."
"Isn't your mom using Nigel while her car's in shop anyway?" Vee reminded her.
"Then we'll just use mine," Lizzie shrugged and eyed Anna with a grin. "Does that mean you're coming?"
Anna's lips tightened. "I get control over most of the music and snacks."
"Done," Lizzie was unsuccessfully trying to not gloat. "Told you I'd get you to come."
Anna rolled her eyes. "Don't celebrate yet. We still have to actually convince our parents. And, you know, have a plan for how we're going to get there the fastest?"
"Devon and I will handle the parents. You two come up with the route and check out the competition, ok?"
After an affirming nod from Vee and a shrug from Devon, Anna held out her hand for Lizzie to shake. "Done."
"Whoa, what just went down here?" Ryder walked into the living room. "I feel like I just witnessed a deal I wasn't supposed to."
Anna eyed the two guys that walked in behind him.
"Nothing you need to worry about." Devon sat up and smiled sweetly at her twin. "When are you guys going to Beach Week again?"
One of Ryder's friends shrugged. "Next week, the 7th. You guys wanna come with?" He cast a glance at each of the girls.
Ryder was less unsuspecting. "What do you want?" He eyed her suspiciously.
"Nothing big." Devon didn't even bother trying to look innocent. "I just need you to tell Mom and Dad that we're all going with you guys for the whole week too."
"And where are you actually going?"
"It's not important." Lizzie waved her hand in the air in a vague manner. "We just need to know if you can cover for us."
Ryder looked unsatisfied but let it go. "Yeah, fine. But you all owe us."
Devon shrugged. Vee appeared rather nauseated. But Lizzie looked satisfied.
Anna tried to seem at least apprehensive but couldn't bring herself to do so and just remained resigned that Lizzie would always get what Lizzie wanted.