It is finally summer. There is no homework, no school, just me and what I love most; Camp Temalo. Every year for as long as I can remember, I've been going to camp every summer for the whole summer. It was and still is the best escape from home possible.
Camp Temalo is a children's summer camp that is excluded from civilization. Completely out in the middle of nowhere with no streets, neighborhoods or people; which was perfect.
Camp offered plenty of outdoor activities like hiking, boating, swimming, archery, and even a low ropes challenge course. For half the day kids rotate between activities on a timed schedule, but after that, they are free to do as they wish on half the entire camp; granted they are with another camper and have adult supervision.
This year is the best year of Camp so far for me, not only is it my last year as a certified 'camper'; but I graduate from the CIT program. The CIT program is a three year Counselors in Training program which trains you on the expectations and skills required to be an actual Camp Temalo Counselor. This is my dream, to become an official part of the Camp Family!
Doing the CIT program with me for these three years is my best friend Piper, she and I don't mingle much besides lunch to make sure that we don't crowd each other too much. Piper has been my friend since before we were born, our mothers were college roommates together and we were forced into the relationship; thank god.
"So Avery," Piper said looking at me from across the minivan, "Aren't you nervous for our last year as a CIT?" The excitement in her voice turned to a squeal as she shook her fists vigorously in joy.
I smiled and replied "I guess, but mostly excited. We finally get our whistles!" Every CIT graduate gets a special beaver chewed piece of wood that is hand crafted into a whistle we wear around our necks, our names are wood burned into the whistle and it is our official nametags. As the years go by other counselors and even campers will give you beads or items that you can put on your whistle string for remembrance or as a simple hello. This is what I've been waiting for, for years.
Piper's mom pulled into the familiar long road that leads into the camp, we were suddenly surrounded by pine trees and the sun began to be blocked out. Piper squealed and clapped her hands; she was the more girly of the two of us.
Piper was a short slender girl, her short brown hair stopped at her collar bones and it was pin straight. No one but her could pull of her hair style; it was a drab look but complimented her nicely. She was a scrawny skeleton that made me sometimes jealous; every girl has that kind of moment though right?
Me on the other hand, I was a tall athletic girl. I could probably take on the football team if I wanted to, my brawn sometimes surprises me. The girls at my school don't mess with me if they know what's good for them; my right hook can be bone breaking powerful. I can give that credit straight to my kickboxing and my pitcher abilities. I make up for my lack of feminine personalities with some good sized boobs and curly blonde hair, it can be deceiving sometimes.
Finding boys is never hard for Piper, most of them are drooling over her petite girly figure while other cower in fear over me, pussies. Even when a good guy comes along, they are always shorter than me, which I know I shallow but it's a definite no. With that constantly stabbing me in the back that gives me another reason to be jealous of Piper, but in the end she never brags about it.
I rolled down my window and took in the country air, the smell of the woods and freshness sent my goose bumps flying. It's never a dull moment arriving to camp, but when it happens it never ends well for Piper.
Piper and her mother are best of friends, they always hug each other goodbye and one ends of crying, different person every year. Me on the other hand, my mother is like a stuck up teenage girl. Always has to win the verbal fight, always has to be the last to speak in an argument and is way too touchy feely. It's not that I don't love my mother, we are just polar opposites; which is part of the reason she wasn't here dropping me off.
The van pulled over along with the other cars parked on the side of the dirt road, I almost lunged myself out of the door and flew the trunk open. I grabbed my bags, threw some over my shoulder, and I am all set. Piper on the other hand, was hugging her mom and crying, again.
"Come on Pipe or we're going to be late," I moaned at her. She sniffled and straightened herself out.
"You're right," She wiped her nose and nodded at her mother "I'm coming," she slugged out of the vehicle and trudged over to the trunk to pick up her bags.
"Wipe those tears away; this is going to be the best summer ever!" I tried to hype her up, but she only gave me a smile. She looked back at her mom as I pulled her into the woods along a small trail leading to CIT Land.
CIT Land is newly built especially for the CIT 3s; it's a circle of four cabins that surround a giant fire pit with handmade tree benches surrounding it and a pavilion. The girls cabins were Eluta and Kema and the boys were Okahi and Aon, I am too excited to finally be able to stay in them.
The trail to the cabins wasn't that long; you were greeted by a short thick blonde counselor you recognized as Emily. She pressed the edge of her clipboard into her stomach creating a roll of fat over the board, as we got closer she finally grew a smile.
"Hello ladies! My name is Emily," The fake happiness in her voice was noticeable but her face hid it well "I would be happy to place you guys in cabins, all I need is your names."
"Well I'm Piper," she blurted out with a grin completely forgetting her tears back at the van.
"And I'm Avery," I said with a side smile. Emily looked down at her clipboard with an intense thinking face as she searched for our names on the cabin lists.
"Aha Avery, you are going to be staying in Eluta and Piper…" She held out the 'r' as she followed down the list with her pen, "Piper you will be staying in Kema," She held out her hand gesturing us to move past her. "Unpack you things and meet everyone outside under the pavilion please."
Me and Piper exchanged a goodbye glance as we parted ways, my pace picked up as I ascended to my cabin. CITs and counselors weaved causing me to repeatedly mutter 'excuse me'.
Eluta wasn't huge but it wasn't one of the smaller cabins in camp, there were five bunk beds along the walls and one single bed which belonged to my counselor. It was filled with colorful bed sheets and a giant ass pillow; three bunks were completely taken which gave me four options for beds. I ran over to the farthest bunk and threw my bags to the floor; I scuffled through my bed sheets and threw them onto the top bunk. I was tall enough to pull myself up and spread my sheets out nicely.
Girls walked in and out of the cabins, a few which gave me a friendly hello and smile. Camp was a place which everyone had to be friendly to everyone, if there was confrontation it would be handled immediately. This is just one of the reasons why Camp Temalo is a second, more preferred home for me.
I jumped down from my bunk and waltz out the cabin door which swung open with a creek and slammed behind me, most of the CITs were already at the pavilion and a few lingered by the fire pit which held a small smoky fire.
I strode over to the pavilion and watched as one of the program directors who I knew as Mark climbed on top of a picnic table.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls" this was one of his usual quotes to get the crowd to quiet down. His voice was loud and echoed around the pavilion, "I would like to welcome you to this year's summer vacation at Camp Temalo. I'm Mark as I hope you all know and I will help run the CIT program this year. Why don't we all start off with a friendly mingle party and we'll descend into our assigned cabins afterwards." The camp stood watch in silence as he looked at us all. "Off with you then," he waved with a grin. His curly red beard covered his face which was mopped in his long curly red hair; he looked like a man that lived in the woods for far too long.
My feet were trampled by raging people trying to go see one another; I scrunched my arms close to my body as I tried to weave between them in search of an open soul. I was caught by a soft hand, and I turned to see a smiling Emily.
"Hello Avery, I would like to finally introduce myself properly." Her voice seemed more enthusiastic than before, maybe she was getting bored of her duty earlier. "I'm Emily Wingenbach, E-Wing for short and I will be your Counselor for the remainder of the summer!" Her smile stretched ear to ear as she held out her hand for me to shake.
"Nice to meet you again," I said with a smile taking her gentle hand firmly. "I'm Avery Brooks," I was about to say something about myself but she interrupted.
"We'll get a chance to mingle later in the cabin, why don't you go meet up with the other CITs." She left me with a smile and nodded her head as she turned away and weaved through the crowd.
"Goodbye I guess," I muttered to myself. I began to budge my way to the fire pit, less people were out there. But as I reached the edge of the group my foot caught sending me forward only to be saved by a sturdy hand grabbing my arm.
"Oops, watch yourself." A British accented boy said as he helped me back to my feet.
"Thank you so much," I said as I met my saviors eyes, he smiled and looked up at me. He was about a head shorter than me and was covered in freckles; his short brown hair curled together and complimented his brown eyes nicely. His teeth were crooked and browned like a foreigner; they dropped his attractive level miles down.
"I'm Alistair by the way," his red lips curved to a smile as he released my arm and brushed my shoulder off.
"Avery," I said as I shook his waiting hand, there was an awkward pause and we were shaking for way too long. I released his hand and stuck both in the back of my jean pockets, "So, tell me about yourself Alistair."
"Well I enjoy long walks on the beach," I laughed at his joke and so did he, but he shook his head and continued "Actually I enjoy playing golf, and I'm from England if you couldn't tell from my voice."
I smiled and replied "Wow that's cool, was it a big change moving to America?"
He shrugged "I moved when I was younger so I didn't really have to change too much, but it was a long ass plane ride." I smiled and nodded my head in response. "So anything interesting about you?" I watched as his eyes glanced down and back up, a little part of me died as I realized he just checked me out. Why me, why is it that short guys always like me.
"Well I kick box," I didn't want to try and impress him, so I gave him small facts. "And I like to draw." He nodded and smiled his grey teeth, my tongue stuck out and I quickly snapped it back in as a distasteful picture filled my head of his teeth. I felt bad for judging him, but his teeth were really bad.
Before he could say another word I pointed over my shoulder at other CITs, "We should probably keep moving, but thanks for the save." He nodded and waved goodbye, finally.
I turned and peered around to find another person to get to know, maybe someone with clean teeth. Then a pair of green eyes caught mine and they greeted me with a smile, I recognized these eyes. His eyes were unnaturally green, if I didn't know any better I'd say they were contacts, but they weren't.
"Well well if it isn't Avery," Luke said as he strode over to meet me. Luke was my counselor that I helped as a CIT 2 last year. I stayed with him the entire week and acted as a second counselor, he's the reason I graduated CIT 2s and continued onto 3s.
"Lucas Park," I said nodded my head trying not to smile. His rusty red hair shimmered and is much shorter than last year, his perfect lips curled up into a smile and he held out his arms as he got closer. I giggled and strode into his open hug; he was about the same height as me which made it one of the easier hugs.
As he pulled away he smiled and said "Haven't seen you in ages".
"It's been exactly a year Luke," I laughed at him making him flash his perfect white teeth. "How have you been?"
He shrugged and said "Well it hasn't been the worst, but it could have been better. How about you"?
"The usual, kick boxing then softball and repeat." His smile made me play with the tip of my shirt, I couldn't understand why but he gave me butterflies just by looking at me. My mind wasn't attracted to him, but my body was.
"Staying buff I see," he poked my arm causing me to giggle.
"Buff enough to take you on," I said grinning at him, his responded husky chuckle made me stand on my tiptoes but I immediately sunk back down trying to make it a fluid motion. I covered up by speaking again "I already know you so I should probably move on," He smiled and looked at my feet then back up.
"Whatever you say," and he turned around leaving me to my wits again.
The crowd seemed to be slowing as they made friends, but it was hard enough trying to find open people in a moving crowd, but now everyone was talking and open people just didn't exist. I spun around slowly and another pair of eyes caught mine and they smiled, I blinked twice before I registered my mouth to smile back. As they got closer the intoxicating blue stood out even more, they crystalized and grew more beautiful as their owner got closer.
"Hello," the deep voice said. I had to register in my mind that you had to look up, for the first time in forever I had to look up to someone to speak. My mind wanted to say 'Can we be best friends now please'.
"Hi, I'm Avery Brooks." Why I said my last name I will never know, but he smiled and shook my hand.
"My names Nicholas Giangobi, but you can call me Nick, nice to meet you." His voice sang in your head as he flashed his beautiful teeth which were covered by the most beautiful lips. His dark black hair was messy on top of his head, his side burns turned to scruffy cheeks as his facial hair joined up with them. His olive skin matched his Italian last name as he was darker than the average American.
"Italian blood huh," I managed to squeeze out of my racing head.
"SÌ in effetti," He replied with the most beautiful side smile in the world, I have no idea why I am going bananas for a guy I just met, but I don't care. I dropped out hand shake and waited for him to speak, the awkward silence killed me on the inside.
"So," I said with a smile, "What is your favorite part of Camp?" His smile turned to a subtle side smile.
"Maybe I can show you sometime," his deep voice sent a shiver up my spine which I can only hope he didn't notice.
"Sure," I fumbled for my words "That'd be fun." He definitely noticed my awkward being and continued to conversation.
"How long have you been coming to Camp?" His voice was too perfect, he was too perfect.
"This will be my ninth year at Camp, you?" I managed to calm my voice and act like a normal human being, I think.
"This will be my tenth," I brightened as I learned we've been going to camp together all these years, maybe he's noticed me. Suddenly Mark's voice boomed throughout CIT Land, causing everyone's heads to face him.
"Alrighty everyone, hopefully you've had a chance to make a friend or two. Now let us all go to our cabins and meet our summer cabin mates." I turned back towards Nick who looked back at me first, or did he never look away.
"So I guess I'll catch you later?" I said with hope swimming in my voice.
"Absolutely," He replied flashing me another perfect smile. As he turned to walk away I found myself drain of my attraction for him, I found myself to be normal again. I contemplated what the hell just happened to me, why was I so drawn to him?