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First Kisses 1: Trust Me (AER)Chapter One
"What were we thinking?" Liz asked.
I'll admit it had been my brilliant idea. As a matter of fact, most of our ideas started out as my brilliant idea.
It's not that my best friend, Liz, isn't creative. She is. She's incredibly artsy, especially when it comes to craft projects. She made the shoulder bags that we carried around at school. Mine was pink with fringe and sequins. Hers was blue with felt-shaped puppies on it. They actually started a trend, and for a while she had a business going. She also created a lot of the jewelry I wear: earrings, bracelets, necklaces. She always makes them kinda whimsical: a lady in a flowing gown sitting on a crescent moon, a unicorn. Stuff like that. Real originals. So Liz is definitely creative.
But the idea to rearrange the furniture in our dormitory was definitely mine.
"We were thinking that four beds lined up along one wall looked like something from the mental ward in a psycho movie," I reminded her. Maybe we'd been a bit harsh with our original assessment of our surroundings. Maybe it more closely resembled an army dormitory. Which I figured was fitting since we were basically at boot camp. Counselors' boot camp.
Anyway, I'd suggested we shove the beds so each one was angled out from a corner of the room.
"Now we have something from Charmed," Liz said. "All we need is a pentagram in the middle . . ." Her voice trailed off and she released a tiny giggle. "Bad, bad idea, Jess." She giggled again. "I mean, it just doesn't . . . work."
I started laughing and fell back on the bed. It wasn't often that my ideasdidn't work. The problem with this one was that one of the beds angled in a corner blocked the door to the bathroom. So yeah, it definitely wasn't going to work.
"Okay," I said. "For now, let's just put every-thing back the way it was."
I got up and started pushing my bed back against the far wall, while Liz started pushing hers.
We had spent the past four summers coming to Camp Lone Star. In the past, we'd been designated as nothing more than campers, having a great time, goofing around, working on the craft projects that Liz was so good at, telling scary stories while sitting around the campfire, becoming friends with kids from other schools in the area. Last summer, our favorite pastime had become checking out the guys and rating them according to cuteness factor.
But this year we wanted to do more than follow orders. We wanted to be the ones issuing orders. And we wanted to do more than check and rate the guys. We wanted to seriously connect with them. And one of the things that our previous observations had shown us was that guys tended to gravitate toward the counselors. Since Liz and I were now old enough, we'd applied to be those all-attention-getting counselors.
And we'd both been selected!
I was totally psyched!
Of course, the first step in being a counselor was attending leadership boot camp..."a week of intense team building," according to the letter we'd received announcing our selection as counselors. Not that I thought either of us needed leadership training. My younger brother, Alex, was always telling me that I was way too bossy. So I figured I'd be a natural at this job. Since Liz and I tended to excel at the same things, I was convinced she, too, would make an excellent counselor.
Our parents had dropped us off almost an hour ago, with the usual hugs, tears, and promises to call, to be careful, and to have fun. We wouldn't see our parents for almost a month, a week longer than we'd ever been gone before, since the summer camping sessions were divided into three-week intervals. Strange how a month seemed so much longer than three weeks. But I had Liz and she had me, so we knew we'd survive the longer separation from our families. No problem.
We'd registered, received our uniforms, and headed to the dormitory. We'd put our gear in the footlockers at...you guessed it!...the foot of the beds. Then we'd decided to do the extreme room makeover. Now we had everything back to the way it was. Boring. Maybe when the other two girls we'd be sharing the room with arrived we could come up with another arrangement.
"Guess we'd better get ready for our first"...Liz wiggled her fingers, making quotation marks in the air..."official team meeting."
"Yeah, we don't want to be late for that."
Quickly we got dressed in our "official" camp counselor uniforms. Then we stared at each other. The clothes didn't exactly come from the Gap. They looked like they'd been made with the "one size fits all" approach.
"This is so not going to work," Liz said.
As usual Liz spoke out loud exactly what I was thinking. I wasn't sure if she could read my mind because she'd been my best friend forever or if she'd been my best friend forever because she could read my mind.
"I don't remember the counselors wearing anything that looked like this," Liz said. She swept her hand from her head to her narrow hips, like a sorcerer about to cast a spell that might rid her of what she was wearing.
"Maybe these are just our 'in training' clothes," I offered hopefully.
"Jess, they stitched our names over the pocket. That's a lot of trouble for something we'll wear for only a week."
Good point. Above my left pocket was stitched in red Jessica Kane. Above Liz's was Elizabeth Stewart. I didn't know anyone who called her Elizabeth. Not even her parents. At least mine called me Jessica.
But that wasn't the worst part. The worst was the baggy brown shorts. They looked like something my granddad wore with white socks and sandals when he walked the grounds at the assisted-living facility. And the shirt matched in all ways possible: color, bagginess, hideousness. Could the outfit get any more out of control?First Kisses 1: Trust Me (AER)
. Copyright © by Rachel Hawthorne. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.