Chapter 1: Charlie’s POV by meme
There’s a line of taxis four cars long parked in front of my house and they all belong to us. Taking control of this lot and figuring out who’s riding with who is like pulling teeth from a lion’s mouth, it’s not the safest of jobs, but someone has to do it. Why does that someone have to be me? I’m just lucky I guess, that’s one of the perks (and I use that term loosely) of being the team Captain. I have to make a mental note to throttle Adam for mentioning his grandfather’s ski cabin in Colorado, I can already sense my ulcer developing.
“I’m not riding with him,” Fulton declares snidely, pointing at Portman.
Portman just rolls his eyes. “Jesus, you’re six foot plus and you’re such a baby.”
If you haven’t guessed from the way they’re acting the Bash Brothers are in a lover’s quarrel. Don’t ask me what about, all I know is they were fine up until the last day of Junior year when they were packing to go home for summer vacation, where they will have more to do other activities like hobbies or training with a foam roller device for this. Now Fulton won’t look at Portman and Portman is certain his ex is the world’s most unreasonable life form. Neither really wants to go anymore, but the plane tickets were just too expensive to let go to waste, so they’ll have to deal with one another.
If that’s not bad enough a new family just moved in next door to me a little less than two months ago with a teenage daughter, a really nice teenage daughter to be exact. Kory Montel will be going to school with us next year at Eden Hall so I invited her along to meet some of the gang before the year starts. That wouldn’t be too bad if she was willing to ride with anyone other than me, she won’t. Of course Taz wants to ride with me as well and there’s no way Kory, Taz, Maya, Banks and I are all going to fit in one taxi.
I can feel the migraine setting in, I really can. On the brighter side of things after the hell we’re going through to get there, spending a week on the slopes and cuddling by the fire with Adam is going to be well worth the work. At least that’s what I’ll have to keep telling myself until we get there, or I just may change my mind and stay here in the safety of my own home. Oh and Jesse’s coming along too, I think he’s felt pretty left out lately, so it was sweet of Banks to invite him.
“Is everyone here?” I clap my hands together and start doing a head count. “Four girls, three straight Ducks, two Bash Brothers, one former Duck…”
“And a partridge in a pear tree,” Averman cuts me off in a sing song voice.
“All right this is how it’s going to be.” I shake my head at the annoying redheaded boy “Adam, Kory and me in cab one, then Taz, Maya and Fulton, Luis, Portman and Annie in the third, last is Jesse Averman and Goldie.”
“There’s one problem with that Charlie,” Banks speaks up beside me and I grumble. Why does there have to be a problem?
“What’s the problem?”
“Kory’s not here yet.”
“Not here yet! The girl lives next door how can she not be here yet? It’s not like she could’ve gotten lost!”
Jesse finally opens his mouth for the first time since he arrived, I’d almost forgotten he was there. “Chill Charlie, the flight doesn’t leave for like an hour and a half.”
“Besides, maybe that’s why she’s running late.” Luis’s best-friend Annie James points across the yard toward the sandy haired girl tugging a huge suitcase behind her, while trying to balance a violin case under her arm and a backpack on her shoulders. I know I told her we were only going to gone for a week, we weren’t fleeing the country or something.
While Portman and Goldberg run to go help my new friend with her baggage I can distinctly hear Taz whine to Maya. “How come she gets to bring her violin, but I had to leave my paints at home?”
“Well sweetie…” Her girlfriend wraps an arm loving around the purple haired wonder’s waist. “Her hobby won’t deplete the property value of Adam’s Grandfather’s cabin.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means if Kory decides to play the violin in the living room it’s not going to harm anything, if you take out your paints there’s a good chance Grandpa Banks will wind up with Snow White and The Seven Dwarves on his wall.”
“Oh, right.” Taz giggles and skitters off to chase a butterfly that just landed on my lawn.
As Kory walks closer to me I see her glance in both Annie and Taz’s direction and I know why. She’s studying Taz for the simple reason there was not many people with bright purple hair on the Marine base that Kory grew up on and two even if there was they more than likely weren’t size of your average eight year old child. Why is she checking out Annie? Simple really, Annie’s cute and Kory’s bisexual, makes perfect sense to me, maybe those two can talk and be friends, then Kory can leave me alone for a few. But I don’t know, Annie’s a cheerleader and Kory’s in the band, they may not mesh well. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it all goes.
One last time I do my best to get everyone’s attention, but my clapping does nothing so instead I start jumping up and down flapping my arms like a monkey with a wedgie.
“Everyone over here, before we load up you all need to meet Kory. Kory come here a minute.” Kory however is deaf and has no clue I’m trying to get her to acknowledge me. She’s too busy staring at the side of Annie head. I’m sure the blonde has a beautiful profile but I’m trying to organize things here. “Can someone get her to look at me please?”
Averman taps my neighbor on the arm and with a blush she turns to look at me. “Sorry.”
I nod and continue. “Guys this is Kory Montel, she’s new around here so be nice to her for the first couple days, then you can be yourselves. Kory, this is, Greg Goldberg, Lester Averman, Jesse Hall, Luis Mendoza, Joanna ‘you better call her Annie’ James, Fulton Reed, Taryn Anne MacDonald—” That earned me the angry munchkin face from Taz, haha she may be scary but I’m still bigger. “—Maya Hansen, Dean Portman, Adam Banks and you know me.”
Wow that took a lot of breath. I need a soda before you go. No wait, if I get a soda everyone else will want one and I’m not flying from Minnesota to Colorado with a caffeine high Taz. She’s likely to drive the pilot so crazy he crash just to ease his misery.
“Everybody get into your pre-assigned taxi please, so we can go.”
Ever try to get twelve people through check in, in less than thirty minutes? I just did, I’m never doing it again, but I did. That was of course after Taz took her spin on the luggage carrier and Fulton ‘accidentally’ smacked Portman in the back of the head with his skis. And I just realized something else, Adam’s claustrophobic and Fulton’s scared of flying. Oh man I hope the stewardess carries sedatives on her tray.
Adam sits down in a seat closest to the window so he can look out, and with a subtle grin I slip into the chair next to him. He smiles back and everything is good for less than a minute. The next thing I know there’s a ruckus next to me that sounds like cats fighting over a mouse, the analogy is pretty close to the real thing may I add. Only I’m the mouse and Kory and Taz are the cats, they’re both trying to force themselves into the seat next to me. Unfortunately for Taz, Kory’s got a good four inches on her and a few more pounds, it’s not too difficult for her to force the smaller girl out of the way. Aspirin please.
Taz goes back to sitting with Maya and I start rubbing my temples. It’ll be okay when we get there.
“She’s a bully!” Taz pouts and Maya shakes her head, reaching into her carry on for a notebook and pen. Then pen she pulls out is sparkly with little plastic butterflies inside, when you shake it, it looks like they’re flying. Instantly she hands it to her girlfriend and fishes a pencil out of her bag for herself. Maybe it’ll keep her occupied for a minute or two.
As we exit the plane Portman says something that Fulton immediately has to contradict.
“How are we all going to fit in a ski cabin anyway, aren’t they usually small?” the taller Bash Brother asks.
“It’s Banks’ grandfather’s genius, it’s probably got twenty bedrooms, six bathrooms and a butler.”
“Uh, it has six rooms and two bathrooms, guys. Three bedrooms and a bath upstairs and the same downstairs. There’s a fire place, though, and a hot tub. Very romantic.” Adam winks at me and the Bash Brother’s sneer.
“Kory’s deaf right?” Luis questions quietly as we stand waiting for our bags to unload.
“Yeah,” I reply confused.
“She’s rooming with Taz then.”
Averman laughs only to be kicked in the shins by the Purple Peril. I knew I liked that girl for a reason. But somehow I’m starting to think this was a bad idea.