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Help! Mary-Kate is missing!
Oh, Diary, I never thought I'd be writing to you with such awful news. Mary-Kate and our friend Phoebe Cahill have been missing all day. They went canoeing in an alligator-filled swamp and never came back. The camp counselors are organizing a search party, I'm in my room, waiting for them to come and get me.
Mary-Kate, Phoebe, and I are in the Florida Keys, in a place called Camp Coral Reef. It's part of a special summer field tripthat was arranged by our school, the White Oak Academy for Girls.
There are three other First Formers from White Oak: Summer Sorenson, Cheryl Miller, and Elise Van Hook. Plus, there are five First Formers from the Harrington School for Boys: our cousin Jeremy Burke, Seth Samuels, Justin Martinez, Ross Lambert, and Devon Benjamin, who's starting at Harrington in the fall. "First Form" is what they call seventh grade at White Oak and Harrington.
Camp Coral Reef isn't the sort of camp where you do crafts and play Capture the Flag and sleep on rock-hard bunks. Our "dorm" is this super-cool beach house with wicker furniture and a wraparound porch that overlooks the ocean. For the last two weeks we've been studying wildlife photography, deep-sea fishing, and scuba-diving.
Anyway, it began right after we got here. Mary-Kate and I made this dumb bet. I happened to say a few things about scuba, like how diving too deep can make your lungs explode and your eyeballs pop out. And how Iwasn't crazy about the idea of being chased by thirty-foot alligators. It's not like I made this stuff up. I got it out of a really scientific book called The Worst That Can Happen.
Well, Mary-Kate took all this the wrong way.
"What a wuss!" she said with a laugh. "I bet you're not going to pass your scuba test. I bet you won't even make it through the next few weeks of camp. You'll be too scared to do anything!"
"A wuss?" I gasped. "I am not a wuss! I bet I can totally ace all this camp stuff! Not only that, I'll pass my scuba test...the first time!"
We hooked pinkies on that. Mary-Kate said whoever lost the bet would have to clean the winner's side of her dorm room for six whole months. That seemed a little harsh, especially since her side of the dorm room looks like her closet exploded or something. I was pretty confident I was going to win, though, so I didn't put up too much of a fuss.
But things went downhill after that. Way downhill. I got really wrapped up in winning the bet. I also got a tiny bit wrapped up in the new guy, Devon Benjamin. Devon's from Daytona Beach, and he's super-nice, plus he's really, really cute. I should never have started thinking about him that way, though. I already have a boyfriend: Ross Lambert.
Well, I can't say it was all my fault.
The only person who knew about my Devon crush was Mary-Kate. And guess what? Mary-Kate blabbed my secret to the whole world, and Ross found out!
I got over my crush on Devon really fast. I discovered that we had nothing in common. He doesn't like mint chocolate-chip ice cream, and he doesn't like the band 4-You, either. Some people have no taste!
But Ross didn't get over being mad at me. Mary-Kate and I got into a big fight because of that. I accused her of blabbing my secret because she saw I was winning our bet. Mary-Kate insisted that she was innocent, but I didn't believe her.
Then two days ago she made things even worse between Ross and me. Mary-Kate said she was only trying to help. But I didn't believe that, either.
Mary-Kate and I stopped speaking to each other after that. Actually, that's not true. We stopped speaking to each other after I told her that when we got back home to Chicago, I was going to ask Dad for separate rooms because she was a total rat.
Now I know that nothing I accused Mary-Kate of is true. Oh, Diary, how could I have said those terrible things to her? How could I have let this stuff with Ross and Devon come between us? I mean, boys are important, but a sister is forever.
And now she's missing! We had a big Camp Coral Reef canoe race this morning. Everyone finished by lunchtime except for Mary-Kate and Phoebe, who didn't finish at all.
Where could they be? Will I ever see my sister again?
Got to go, Diary. Sid Pepper, the camp director, just knocked on my door and said that the search party's ready to roll.
This is not the kind of party I had in mind for our last weekend at Camp Coral Reef. Oh, Diary! We have to find them. We just have to.
This is probably the last time I'll be writing to you.
Unless someone comes and rescues us, fast!
Diary, you'll never guess where I am. Phoebe and I are stuck on an island in the middle of a swamp. That's why there are little dead mosquitoes smushed all over the page.
Phoebe and I were teammates in the Camp Coral Reef canoe race. We were doing just great, following the little red flags that Sid and Brad and the other camp counselors set up for the course.
But then we got to a place in the swamp where there were lots of spiderwebs stretched across the water like the ones in those fake haunted houses, except these weren't fake...