2. The List
''Aw dad, come on,'' I begged for the hundredth time to my parents. ''You gotta let me do this please.''
My dad's eyes narrowed as it always did whenever he so badly wanted to give me something but couldn't possibly allow it without fighting with my mother.
''It's just too risky sweetheart.'' My mom interrupted just as he was about to say yes.
I threw her an unwelcome comment look.
''Yeah, but I won't be alone. And you can give me conditions and ground rules and stuff. Just please.'' I took a deep breath. ''Just please let me do this. It's the last time I get to spend with my friends before they scatter around the globe.''
He sighed. ''Alright but conditions and ground rules.''
I held my hand in the air. ''Scouts honor.''
''What are your plans?'' he glanced from me to Logan who sat next to me on the sofa in the living room.
''We still have to finalize the minor details but we're thinking of heading up to Long Beach for the summer.'' I answered eagerly.
My enthusiasm was starting to show.
''Condition.'' My dad smiled and I groaned inwardly. ''Take at least six more people with you.''
I gasped. ''But that's ridiculous!''
''No it's not.'' My mom interrupted. ''The more you are the safer you'll be and the less money you'll have to spend. You could split everything evenly and that way it'll be more fun.''
I looked at Logan who smiled.
I groaned and nodded. ''Fine then. Six more people. What else?''
''Ground rule.'' My dad said and leaned back in his chair. ''You'll be back before December.'' His voice was tight. ''Bring me the list and I'll think about it.''
''But you already…'' I started to protest but my father held his palm upwards.
''If you plan to leave tomorrow then you gotta bring me that list young lady.'' He smiled and I jumped up to hug my mom and dad.
''Thanks so much guys.''
We left the house then, I carried a pen and notebook and Logan carried a blanket. We walked to our usual spot under a broken tree house far from my house.
The house was still vaguely visible from a distance.
''Who do we want?'' Logan asked after throwing the blanket on the grass and lying on his back.
I lay on my stomach and crossed my ankles in the air, with the notepad in front of me. ''What about Rebecca?''
''Yeah. Call her.'' He pulled his arms under his head and gazed up at the clear sky.
The rain had stopped moments ago though the atmosphere still reeked with the smell of a storm.
I was on the phone with Rebecca for what seemed like eternity. It was hard getting her to agree.
I shut the phone and looked at Logan who stared back at me with arched eyebrows.
''She agreed but she wants Devin to come with.'' I said cautiously.
I knew, though I didn't really know, that Logan didn't like Rebecca's boyfriend all too much. He would never talk about it to me.
He nodded, clenching his jaw. ''Fine.''
Logan knew how much I wanted my best friend there and I knew he wanted me to be happy. I had a feeling he was keeping his feelings to himself for the moment.
''Would you be okay with it if Austen came too?'' He asked after moments of awkward silence.
I nodded, my voice caught in my throat so I couldn't speak. He caught me off guard and laughed when I didn't answer him.
He called Austen then.
''Hey man, what's up? Listen Rils and I are planning this road trip. Wanna go?'' Logan waited for a few moments while Austen said something.
''Long Beach, California.'' He said then.
He looked at me, his eyes hiding something. ''Rebecca and Devin.''
''Yeah man I know. We'll see you tomorrow then?''
''Alright. Cool. Bye.''
My stomach clenched tightly as I wrote Austen's name on the paper.
We called Ella then. It was impossible to have her agree with the list of demands she made but eventually she said yes.
Adrianna and Oliver were next. They agreed immediately.
''Oliver said Phoebe needs a ride to Santa Fe to her dad's, think we could swing by and drop her off?'' Logan said as we walked back to the house.
I nodded. ''Sure.''
''Rils,'' Logan grabbed my wrist and I stopped.
''What's wrong?'' I frowned at his expression.
He looked down, still holding my hand. ''There's something you should know.''
''Logan. What is it? You're scaring me.'' I pulled a hand through my hair.
''Austen doesn't trust Devin around you.'' His eyes were soft as he looked at me.
I rolled my eyes, pulled my hand free and smiled. ''We've been through that before haven't we? Devin loves Rebecca, he hates me.''
''Yeah that's exactly why he doesn't like him. Don't you get it?'' Logan's jaw clenched and unclenched a few times.
A frown creased my forehead. ''Get what?''
He shook his head out of frustration. ''In all of the twelve years we've known each other, you haven't noticed a thing? The guy's crazy about you Rils.''
''Look Logan, I appreciate the interference and the heads up but I don't have time for a relationship right now.'' I pulled my hand free.
I shrugged. ''It's just too complicated.''
''Nothing's ever too complicated for me. You know that.'' He sighed deeply. ''Come on, we should get that list to your dad.''
''And?'' I perched on the sofa opposite my dad, bringing my legs up to my chest and hugging them together.
It was dark outside, past ten p.m. and my father still didn't comment on the list.
He sighed, looked at the piece of paper on the table and back to me. ''I think its okay.''
Relief flooded through me. ''So can we go then?''
He nodded. ''Yes. But tell me one thing first, promise me that you won't do something stupid or reckless?''
I chuckled at his face. ''Like what?''
His face tightened into awkwardness as was his voice. ''You're really making me say it out loud aren't you?''
I shrugged, keeping myself innocent. ''Don't know what you're talking about.''
He groaned. ''By doing the stupid thing of having unprotected sex in a tent or something.''
''So what you're saying is that I should have protected sex in the Land Rover?'' I teased and got to my feet.
Several emotions crossed his face and settled on shock. ''What I'm actually trying to say is don't have sex until you're thirty something.''
I walked around the coffee table, leaned down to kiss his cheek. ''I won't be stupid and reckless. Promise.''
''Night kid.'' He mumbled.
I tousled his hair. ''Night old man.''