Monday, July 21st, 2008
After Friday the thirteenth, Monday’s are the worst days of the year! We all know it’s true. You have to wake up early, get ready for school or work, sit behind some desk for roughly eight hours a day, and the best part of a Monday, if there really is one, is to finally come home and get the chance to relax. Oh wait, there’s still four days left of the work week, to go through the same routine. Then, there’s summer vacation if you’re a young teenager like me.
Hi, I’m Cody Layne and as you can already tell, I absolutely despise Monday’s. I always have some sort of problem to put up with on them like problems at school or at home, but mostly at school. I guess you could say that I have bad luck on Monday’s, or maybe it’s just a coincidence, I don’t know. On the other hand, school, or eighth grade, for me, ended on the Friday before Memorials Day and now it’s the middle of July. I’m beginning to feel a little nervous because freshmen year is looming nearer and what’s worse than starting high school as a freshman on, you guessed it, a Monday?
So far, this summer has been super hot and my friends and I have been hanging out together for most of it. Today, we’re going to Mission Beach just north of San Diego and the heat is supposed to stay put, but there’s a chance of rain in the forecast, which means nobody will be there. For now, I push the thought of freshman year to the back of my mind and focus on getting ready for my day at the beach.
I locate my swim trunks in my dresser and my flip flops and bag full of things to do at the beach in my closet. I put the bag on my bed and then quickly undress and redress into my Hawaiian style suit and step into my black flops then enter my bathroom to retrieve my beach towel and admire my appearance. My hair is short and is the color of a medium brown. It lies flat on the top of my head and the bangs fall just above my hazel eyes. And to cap it all off, my skin is tanned from being outside so much. I hear the doorbell ring signaling one of my friends. I dash over to the window and pull back the curtain to see that it’s Vivian Chen, but I always call her Viv. She is a sweet girl with an Asian descent. Her hair is long and black and her eyes are dark brown, but she is also standing outside my front door in her green bathing suit waiting to be allowed in. I make it to my bedroom door, when the doorbell rings for a second time and my cell phone rings right along with it on my bedside table right beside me. I grab my phone and see that my other friend, Tim Braswell has texted me.
"Cody?" That would be my mom. "Are you going to answer the door or are you going to let your friend stand outside forever?"
"It’s Viv, mom. Can you let her in? I’ll be down in a second." I say.
I hear my mom greet Viv and tell her what I asked her to say. In the meantime, I return to the text and it reads:
Hey, Cody. I forgot that I have a dentist appointment today and I can’t reschedule it, so I won’t be able to go to the beach with you guys. Then I’ll be leaving town for Minneapolis tomorrow to visit my family and I won’t be back for about two weeks. I’ll see you after I get back. I’m sorry I can’t come. I’ll text you a lot while I’m away.
P.S. We’re driving all the way to Minneapolis, so you can guess how that’ll play out…
Of course he can’t come. I guess Monday’s still bring me bad luck, even during the summer. I’ll admit that I’m not mad at him. It’s not his fault that he can’t come. So I reply:
It’s okay, buddy, I get it. I hope you have a great time on your trip especially the driving part, ha-ha.
(He has four sisters’ which could make his life fun, but I bet it’s more expensive to fly him and his family there). But yeah, text me at any time, I should be available.
Thanks for being so understanding. And I’m not looking forward to sitting in a car all day with my sisters. You know how girls can get… Oh well, life goes on. Anyways, I got to go now, I’m at the dentist. Bye.
I pocketed my phone in my swim trunks and grab the bag from my bed then finally head downstairs to meet Viv and my mom talking. My mom is wearing a complete summer’s outfit, shorts and a tank top and her feet are bare. I get my looks from her because she has the same colored hair as I do, it’s just longer and her eyes are exactly the same as mine.
"Thanks mom for answering the door. I got a text from Tim saying he couldn’t come because he had a dentist appointment to go to."
"Tiff, Derrick, Emma, and Mackenzie are still coming and they should be here shortly. I’ll just come get you when we’re ready to go."
"Okay, I’ll be in the kitchen finishing your guys’ lunch and putting it in the cooler."
"Thanks, mom. Hey, Viv, how’s life?"
"Great! I’m so excited for today!"
"Me too!" I say when the doorbell rings for a third time. I open the door to find the rest of my friends there. Tiffany Rodgers, or Tiff as I always call her, is in the front wearing her yellow bathing suit and matching sandals and her towel hangs over her right shoulder. She has short brown hair with emerald green eyes and she is tiny compared to Derrick Johnson standing right behind her. Derrick is wearing red swim trunks, but without any shoes leaving his big feet bare and his towel hangs around the back of his neck. His eyes are a crystal blue and clear as can be and he has solid brown hair that is short like mine while his bangs are spiked up in the front like always. I expected his twin sister, Emma Johnson to be standing right next to him, but Mackenzie Brown stood in her place instead. Mackenzie is wearing a blue bathing suit with blue flip flops and her towel is around her waist. Just like her surname, her hair is colored a chocolaty brown and her eyes are colored the same.
"Hi guys, thanks for coming," I say as I step back to let them inside.
"Hey, Cody," Derrick says. "My sister couldn’t make it. She was really upset, but she came down with the flu. She wanted me to tell you that she was sorry."
"That’s okay, buddy. So the flu, huh?"
"Yeah, she was up all night hacking up her lungs and throwing up. It was a bad night for her. I was going to text you saying that I couldn’t come, but she insisted that I come have fun instead."
"Wow, I’m sorry."
"It’s okay. It’s just the flu, she’ll recover."
"Well, you guys ready to go then?" I call to my group of friends.
"Yeah," they all say.
"Let me go get my mom and then we’ll be on our way."
My mom and I carry the cooler in between us while I carry my bag on my other side to the back of our minivan. I look up and notice that the sky is partly cloudy, but no rain clouds yet. When everything and everyone is settled in, my mom starts the car and we are on our way. If the beach wasn’t so close to our house, my mom probably wouldn’t be so generous into driving us there. However, it’s about a five minute drive and we’re there in no time. She helps unload the cooler and my bag from the back as we thank her for driving us.
"So Cody, your dad will pick you guys up around six or whenever it starts to rain so you can get home, wash up, and eat dinner. Then their parents can pick them up sometime after that," my mom says.
"Sounds good, mom."
We say our goodbyes and then Derrick and I carry the cooler while Mackenzie carries my bag to the beach. This part of the beach is free which is just awesome because who would want to pay to go to the beach on a sizzling hot day. As I predicted, nobody showed up to the beach today because of the slight chance of rain. If you ask me, it’s a perfect day to go to the beach, I mean so what if it’s supposed to rain later, it’s now that counts, but I’m not complaining.
We find our favorite spot on the beach, not close to the water, but not too far from it either and lay the cooler and bag down. Afterward, we take our sandals off, aside from Derrick and burry our feet into the pleasantly soft and warm sand. After a few minutes rest, I lay out the huge blanket and position the beach umbrellas behind us so the sun can’t seep through. We take our fold up chairs and set them in our desired spots on the blanket then we apply on sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
"What should we do first? Eat, set up the volleyball net build sand castles, or take a dip in the water," I ask.
"I vote we set up the volleyball net, and then take a dip," Viv announces. "That way, we can get everything set up, then get cooled off in the water and go from there."
"I agree," Tiff says.
"Agreed," Derrick says. "And Emma would have agreed too."
"I like that idea as well," Mackenzie says.
"Okay, then it’s settled," I say.
We take about ten minutes to set up the net and the surrounding bounds, after that we run towards the water. The water feels cool to the touch, but tastes just awful when it accidentally gets inside your mouth.
At about noon, we dry ourselves off and attempt to wipe away all the sticky sand, but it doesn’t really work. We each take a water bottle and poor it over our hands to wash them clean before we mess with the food. My mom didn’t actually make us lunch because she wasn’t sure who wanted what. Instead she packed in a variety of stuff to make sandwiches and a bunch of other sides to go with it. I had a sandwich with cheddar cheese, ham, turkey, bologna, chicken, roast beef lettuce, mustard and mayo and man was it a rockin’ sandwich. On the side, I had string cheese with some barbeque chips and an apple. There were so many different selections to choose from that my friends and I all had different lunches.
"So how is everybody’s summer vacation so far?" I ask.
"It’s been great hanging out with you guys all summer," admits Viv. "I can’t believe it’s already the end of July almost."
"Mine has been great too and I know, Viv," Mackenzie says. "School will be here before we know it."
I thought coming to the beach with my friends would keep the topic of school off our minds, but that was too good to be true.
"Freshman year, guys," Derrick put in. "We have four more years to put up with and then we’re done."
"What? Are you saying that you want to be back in school, Derrick?" Tiff asks
"Of course not, but we are almost done!"
"I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really nervous about freshman year. You know the bad luck I have on Monday’s…"I say.
"You’ll be fine," Viv reassures me.
"Yeah, you’ll be with us, dude," Derrick says.
"Well, are we going to sit here all day and talk or are we gonna put the volleyball set into use?" Mackenzie asks.
"Yeah, let’s play some volleyball," I say.
"Okay, but how are we gonna play," Tiff asks. "If you ask me, I count five people here.
"Well, one team will have to have three people," Viv says. "Since Mackenzie will be playing on the volleyball team at school, I say that she is the team captain and picks who is on which team."
"Nice thinking, Viv," I say.
"Okay," Mackenzie says. "I will be on a team with Derrick and you three can be on a team. Sound good?"
Everyone is happy with the set up and the game starts. Mackenzie serves the ball first, getting into position in the far right corner and Derrick is in the middle front by the net. On my team, Viv and Tiff are on the back corners while I am in the middle front like Derrick. Mackenzie serves the ball hard and it flies over the net to where Viv is standing. She hits the ball using her reflexes and it comes my way. I hit it over the net, but there Derrick is hitting the ball back over. Without the dive from Tiff, Mackenzie’s team would have gotten a point, but Tiff saved it by mere seconds and it flies back over to where Mackenzie is impatiently waiting for it. She sets it up right above where Derrick is standing and he spikes it to the ground on my side.
"Oh it’s on, Derrick," I say, but he just laughs at me.
Mackenzie gets the ball back and serves it to Viv. Again she hits it and this time the ball soars over the net. I don’t know what Derrick was doing, but he wasn’t paying attention to the game and the ball strikes the ground right in front of him. He passes the ball to Viv and she serves the ball superbly. It arcs downward towards Mackenzie and she whacks it back over the net, except that I’m ready for it. I leap up causing the sand to fly through the air and I spike it directly to the ground right in front of Derrick’s feet. That’s two one, my team. Now it’s my turn to laugh at Derrick.
"Hey, that’s not fair," Derrick complains. "You have three people on your team while I just have Mackenzie."
"Mackenzie so happens to be a great volleyball player, if you ask me. And besides, she was the one to pick the teams," I recall.
"Okay, I think we’re done here," Mackenzie butts in.
"I agree," says Tiff.
"Let’s go build some sand castles," Viv suggests.
"That sounds fun" Derrick states.
"Let’s go, then," I say.
A couple yards away from the Volleyball set is where we relax and build up our sand castles. We decide to build them individually because competition is more entertaining that way.
It’s really hard to build a castle with such soft sand. You really have to mush it together. Luckily the sand is sticky so with water, the walls begin to take their shape. I wonder if that’s why a moat is often with castles, to keep off enemies and to keep the castle in good condition.
I built the surrounding walls of my castle first, and then move to the inside when I’m finished. You always want to make sure your castle has security before you forget it and you never want to make your castle to big because it could easily be broken in to. When I finish, I admire my work, and then I leave to locate an ice cold water bottle from the cooler.
My friends never stop to glimpse over at my finished castle; they merely carry on with their unfinished work. As they begin to finish, however, they follow my track to the cooler to grab ice cold water as well. When we satisfy our thirst we go and take a look at the constructed castles. Mine is lame compared to the other castles.
"I don’t know what everyone else thinks," I say, "but I think we have a clear winner: Viv!"
The others agree and Viv cheers for her outstanding building skills. Her castle was huge. Nothing matched up to the size of it. If it was a legit building, I would definitely be living in it. It was fit for a king.
The day was really fun at the beach. We would have stayed longer except that we hear thunder roaring from above and a couple flashes of lightning catch our eyes. A heavy downpour was about to take place and we didn’t want to be under it when it did. We hurry to pack up all the equipment which goes terribly because we are rushing it. Once everything is packed neatly away, we head for the parking lot and then to my dad’s car.
We make it home just before the rain and the smell of lasagna reaches our noses when we walk through the threshold. Dinner is amusing tonight as all my friends forgot to bring a change of clothing, so they sat at the dining room table still in their swimming gear. I decide to make them feel more comfortable so I leave my suit on as well.
"How was your time at the beach?" My mom asks us.
"It went well," Viv answers.
"Yeah, we set everything up first, then took a nice and needed dip in the water before finally eating," Tiff explains.
"Excellent choices on the food, Mrs. Layne," Derrick thanks.
"My pleasure, Derrick," my Mom says. "I’m glad you enjoyed it. Did you play volleyball at all? She scoops some of the lasagna off her plate with her fork and sticks it in her mouth.
"We sure did," Mackenzie squeals with excitement.
"You tried out for the volleyball team, right?" my dad asks.
"Yes I did, Mr. Layne."
"Did you make it on the team?"
"Yeah, I’m really thrilled about it."
"Did anyone else try out for a sport?" my dad continues.
"I was considering football," Derrick says.
"And I was thinking about Tennis," Tiff admits.
"What about you, Viv," my mom asks her.
"Eh, nothing," she says.
"I was thinking about joining the swim team," I say. My parents turn to stare at each other then back at me. They are clearly hiding something from me, but I forget about it for now and pretend I didn’t make anything of it.
"That’s great, Cody," my mom says. "So how did the volleyball game go? The conversation continues like nothing happened seconds before. I get a, that’s great. No why or anything. I don’t know what’s going on. I hear Mackenzie going on about the volleyball game and I choose to ignore her. I look down at my bare feet in front of me wondering what my parents have in store for me later after my friends leave.
Mackenzie finishes her exhilarating tale and it moves on to talk about the sand castle competition; how Viv won and that it was really fun. Then I finish the conversation. "Yeah, it was a great time, but then the thunder and lightning got going. We were pretty much done with the beach anyways." My parents look at me and I know I blew my cover, they know something is up.
When everyone ate their fill of lasagna, my friends’ parents came over to pick them up. Meanwhile, I go upstairs to my bathroom and decide to take a nice long shower. The storm outside rages on and I can still hear the thunder and see the lighting. When I finish bathing, I dress in nice clean clothes and text my friends to check that they made it home alright.
Hey, did you make it home safely?
I send a mass text to all of them.
Viv replies back first with, Yeah, I did.
Good. I was just making sure because of this storm.
I know, this storm is terrible.
I get another text from Tiff and Mackenzie at roughly the same time. They say the same thing as Viv: Yeah, I did.
I text back: Thanks for coming to the beach with me, today!
Derrick finally texts me back a couple of minutes after I sent the first text. Sorry for not texting sooner, Cody. My sister is still fighting the flu. I told her all about our adventures today which cheered her up some. Our drive home was okay. This storm is terrible, but we made it home safe in the end.
I respond: Tell your sister that I hope she feels better soon. And I’m glad you made it home safely. Thanks for coming to the beach with me today, it was a real fun time!(:
I put my phone down on my bed side table then head downstairs to find my parents. They obviously need to talk to me. I find them in the great room talking quietly. The TV is turned off and their backs are to me when I see them. They’re facing the window watching the ever going storm. I hate to eavesdrop, but what can you do at a time like this? Go back upstairs like a good little boy? No, I’m tired of being that little boy. By the sound of it, they just started talking about what they’ve been hiding.
"How are we going to tell him?" My Mom says.
"I don’t know how, dear, but we need to figure out when we’re going to tell him." My dad proposes.
"Well, we’re going to have to start cleaning up, if we want to be ready by next Monday…"
What’s happening next Monday
, I think to myself.
"Then we should tell him tonight," my dad carries on.
"I guess so," my mom concurs.
I step away from the wall and climb silently up the stairs. When I reach the landing, I turn around and march straight back down, allowing my parents to hear me coming. I reach the wall where I was standing moments before and enter the room without hesitation.
"Hey, Cody, how was your shower?" My mom questions me.
"Good, I guess."
"Good. Now will you come sit down on the chair in front of us? We have something we would like to inform you and you might not take it very well," she whispered softly. I obey and sit on the chair before them prepared for the news.
"What is it, mom, dad?
"Would you like to tell him, Hun?" My mom asks.
"Well, son," my dad begins hesitantly, "There’s no easy way to say this, but my boss has offered me a new job. It’s higher up, let’s say than the one I have now and I’ll make more money than I do now which makes it so outstanding."
"That’s great," I say enthusiastically.
"The problem is that we’ll have to move," he persists. "We will be able to find a bigger house than this though since I will be making a lot more money."
"Okay," I respond. "Where to? Will we be able to find a place on the beach? That would be so awesome! I could have a view of the ocean from my room! Then my friends could come over at any time to go to the beach with me!" At this point I was on my feet again walking back and forth in front of the window. My parents didn’t look as pleased as I was about the magnificent news. In fact, they shook their heads and had worried expressions painted on their faces. Their hands covered their foreheads as if they were misunderstood.
"No, Cody, you aren’t getting it. Take your seat and let your dad finish."
"What I mean is that we have to move…out of State…to Denver…Denver, Colorado…"
I stand up again, "WHAT?!"