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Sleepover by Toni Roman

Novel By: Toni Roman
Young adult

The problem with an invitation is that you might not get a second. View table of contents...


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Submitted:Mar 21, 2011    Reads: 18    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

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6. Talk

All opted for nail colors other than their stated favorite color: indigo (Meg), ivory (Beth), pearl (Grace), eggshell (Lisa), and colorless (Cameron). Cameron did not want to return home and get cussed out by Sarah [death was preferable] for being a vain fashion model instead of focusing on protecting John. Sarah kept her nails short and without nail polish to be practical. Perhaps her mother would not notice polish that was transparent and colorless.

Beth was tired of leading the talk so she gestured to Grace.

Grace: "Crushes and boyfriends?"

Cameron: "I haven't crushed any boys lately but I did almost send one to his death."

The great thing about the truth is that no one believes you. It was better than lies sometimes.

Lisa: "You're talking about the short guy. Automotive, shop class, industrial education, drivers ed class, am I right?"

Meg: "Morris."

Cameron: "He won't be short for long. Gained another inch. How did you know?"

Grace: "You kissed him in the hallway near the office. People talk."

Cameron nearly blushed. When Cromartie came by the school posing as an FBI agent, Cameron got Morris to pose as John Baum and since Morris looked nothing like the real John Connor, Cromartie left and never came back. Cameron had used Morris. Cromartie could have killed Morris but Cameron gambled that Cromartie would lose interest in Campo de Cahuenga High School. The gamble paid off but it showed how cold Cameron could be. John was right. She had no feelings. Cameron looked off since drooping her head would draw attention. She was ashamed because she had developed feelings for Morris. She didn't deserve a boy who loved her.

Lisa: "Beth likes Chad."

Meg: "The jock?"

Grace: "Yeh."

Beth: "You heard wrong. I can't stand him."

Grace: "But he's a hunk."

Beth: "A lunk. An obstacle. With hanging Chad hanging around, Jeremy will never ask me out."

Lisa: "Jeremy doesn't even know you're alive."

Cameron: "Why don't you just ask him out?"

Obviously Cameron had three heads and came from another planet. Girls never made the first move. Fear. Boys were expected to go first regardless of personality. It scarred some for life. Not that anyone cared about the resulting damage to society.

Beth: "That's an idea. Why should Cameron be the only riot grrrl at school?"

Lisa: (to Beth) "Then can I have Chad?"

Meg: (to Lisa) "You can't see another girl's boyfriend--"

Beth: "--he's not my boyfriend--"

Meg: "--ex-boyfriend. Ever. It's basic feminism."

Cameron: (sarcastic) "He has to take vows of chastity and celibacy and end his life as a monk."

Beth: "He was never my boyfriend so he can't be my ex. It's not for me to forbid anyone to see him although I understand the feminist principle that men are horny dogs and must be manipulated. Happy now?"

Meg: "In bliss."

Cameron did not know if they were joking or serious and was afraid to ask and be excluded. Lisa paid Beth $1. Beth continued to hold out her hand until Lisa added $5.

Grace: "Who's a virgin and who's having sex?"

Meg: "Is oral sex, sex?"

Grace: "You just answered your own question. You said it was sex. Raise your hand if you've done it."

Cameron: "Is kissing sex?"

Beth: "Your mom really keeps you under a rock."

Cameron: "Kissing is oral."

Beth: "Lip to lip doesn't count."

Meg: "Virgins can hug people or hold hands and remain virgins. So it has to involve the crotch to be sex. A girl has to have her hymen penetrated to cease to be a virgin and a boy has to do penetration. According to this site."

The others looked at the web page.

Grace: "You know when they list sexually transmitted diseases, STD's, they include those spread by mouth to mouth kissing. Speaking of which, it says girls should get the cervical cancer/HPV vaccine by fourteen -- before they are sexually active."

Beth: "Excuse me. I want to show you something." (she entered a new URL) "This gynecologist says that a girl should have her first gynecological exam by age fifteen and not have vaginal intercourse until eighteen or risk psychological damage."

Meg: (distressed) "Eighteen! That's old age. You're ancient by then. One foot in the grave."

Lisa: "That's why my older sister in college is rushing a spring wedding. I'm in her bridal party."

Beth: "She's pregnant?"

Lisa: "Not sure. Her boobs are bigger."

Beth: "Well getting preggers is a lot of trouble just to get a bigger bust size."

Cameron: "Are all sleepovers this personal?"

Beth laughed hard.

Beth: "This is nothing. And I've been to a lot of sleepovers. I've heard of sleepovers that ended in fights. Not pillows. Fists. There are sleepovers where truth or dare is just a pretext for a bunch of gay girls to come out of the closet . . . "

Lisa: "Okay expert. What's the truth about nude sleepovers?"

Beth: "You sure you want to know?"

Everyone nodded yes.

Beth: "You're going to be disappointed. It's mostly a myth started by horny guys. I'm sure there have been sleepovers in some suburb somewhere where kids like us were talking about sex and started comparing and then got interrupted by a parent checking on them. Or dares that went too far. Now among nudist families, nude sleepovers would be normal."

Lisa has been searching the internet.

Lisa: "Beth, you must have memorized that speech because it's almost word for word on this web page. Urban legend started when Ann Landers gave a serious answer to a letter that was probably a hoax."

Meg: "Anyone heard of mixed sleepovers? Girls and boys at the same sleepover?"

Beth: "Just rumor."

Meg: "What about frozen bras?"

Beth: "That's a game. You get a bra wet, freeze it solid, and put it on over clothes. Be kind of cold otherwise. I had enough trouble making those flavored ice cubes. Speaking of food, anyone want some more S'mores?"

"Me." "Me."

Meg: "Too fattening."

Meg got some sugar-free cookies. Grace got some soft pretzels.

"These are supposed to fight acne." she said.

All but Meg got ice cream.

Meg: "I imagine when fat girls have sleepovers, they must spend all their time talking about diets."

Beth: "Obviously you've never been fat. I have. What they actually talk about is fat celebs and clothes that are supposed to hide the bulk. No such clothes exist at any mall. And fat girls eat worse than us. When we moved here, I had just lost weight and my mother said that I should make skinny friends in order to keep the weight off. Fat may not be physically catching but psychologically you pick up fat habits. The best diet is exercise like swimming or volleyball."

Meg: "Or sex."

Beth pointed at the movie Mean Girls.

Beth: "I don't want to be like that but you do need to pick your friends carefully. Got to strike a balance."

Grace: "How come you didn't invite Nancy? She's skinny like us."

Beth: "She's a whore."

Cameron: "She sells sex for money?"

Beth: "No. I was being mean. We're feuding."

Meg: "Technically all women sell themselves for money. Guys pay on dates. Guys pay for the ring. Gals don't return it when they break off. After marriage, the bills come out of the husband's salary. The wife keeps hers. What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine."

Grace: "Statistics say men earn more than women."

Meg: "That's because when women get pregnant, they quit their jobs instead of handing the baby to the father and making him stay home and be the househusband. Women are the beneficiaries of insurance and women live longer which is why women own most of the assets in this country."

Grace: "True and even in income, women earn more than men in some groups."

Meg: "When a woman is self-made rich, she doesn't get married. It's about the money."

Cameron: "So romance is a lie?"

Beth: "No, it's an illusion."

Lisa: "And I thought I was a cynic."

Beth: "Most embarrassing moment?"

Grace: "Being called a foreigner because of my British accent even though I was born in America and grew up in America."

Lisa: "Came out of a restroom and my dress was hitched up in the back and toilet paper was stuck to my high heels. At a recital. If my mother wasn't backstage, I might have gone out in front of an audience like that. I would have slit my wrists."

Meg: "I didn't know spandex could fail. I don't wear spandex any more. Let's just say I did have an audience. I'd rather not elaborate. Too embarrassing."

Cameron: "Welcome to my world. I seldom feel anything other than embarrassment, humiliation, and shame with occasional mortification." Beth: "Huh. Thought I was the only one." Cameron: "Hard to choose but the worst might be the time I woke up in the back of a convertible at a junkyard soaked in accelerant and my whole family and a family friend was staring down at me. I would have lit a match except I didn't have one. Odd. My brother got me out of that."

Beth: "I was dressed to the nines at my last school when the cheese was cut as I was carrying my tray in the cafeteria. I was so embarrassed that I blanked out. To this day, I don't remember whether it was me or somebody else. Awful either way. The dream you want to achieve?"

Grace: "Get rich and marry a millionaire."

Lisa: "Solo on the viola. Maybe tour as a soloist."

Meg: "Become an artist and sell portraits to tourists."

Cameron: "Live to see eighteen."

Beth: "Dream big Cam."

Cameron: "I'd like to be a ballerina but my mom doesn't care and besides I'm injured and that career choice is gone."

Beth: "You could teach ballet. My dream is to design fashions and have two husbands. Simultaneously." (surprised looks) "What? You're the only ones allowed to say outrageous things? College?"

Grace: "Harvard."

Lisa: "Juilliard."

Meg: "UCLA."

Cameron: "If I could go, Carnegie-Mellon."

Beth: "Fashion Institute in New York City and then transfer to the University of Paris. A secret you've never told anyone?"

Grace: "You first."

Beth: "I think my mom wants me to be a lesbian so that I won't get pregnant or contract STD's."

Grace: "I'm afraid of homosexuals."

Beth: "Good for you. What's your secret?"

Grace: "I just told you."

Lisa: "I almost got raped." (obligatory hugs, though genuine)

Meg: "I killed somebody. No, not like in that movie. It was New Year's Eve, my older cousin headed out the door to buy something, I knew he was drunk and should have said something. He struck and killed a pedestrian. Manslaughter. If he weren't a juvie . . . I was nine at the time but I knew something bad was going to happen. I could have hidden the car keys."

Cameron: "My mom won't let me date boys. Beth said what I was going to say."

Beth: "Then tell us another secret."

Cameron: "It would sound like a lie."

Beth: "We'll be the judges of that."

Cameron: "I'm from the future sent to protect my brother and save the world by killing my creator."

Beth: "Prove it."

Cameron: "How?"

Grace: "Stock tips. If you know the future, then you know which companies will do well and I need to get rich."

Cameron: "All companies will be destroyed in the war. So stock tips are worthless."

Meg: "World War Three is pretty predictable. Everyone knows that's coming. If you're going to lie, then tell original lies not retreads."

Lisa: "No. Killing God to save the world is rather original. It's like the opposite of Christianity. Instead of God saving us, she kills God to save us all. I'm guessing your family are all atheists."

Cameron: "Except for me yes. How'd you know?"

Lisa: (points at herself) "Pathological liar. Been there, done that. You dread the world coming to an end and living as the only religious person among a family of non-believers, you want something more. You have post-Apocalyptic nightmares so vivid that they seem real. After a while you start to think you're from that future."

Cameron: "And if I succeed, then I disappear because I will destroy the future I'm from."

Lisa: "Nope. Basic physics. If you time travel, then you leave your timeline never to return to it because of causality violation."

Cameron: (musing) "So I might see eighteen after all."

None of them knew by 'creator' she meant Skynet. Only people with top secret security clearance and the appropriately named 'Baum' family knew of the Skynet project. Cameron did indeed inherit nightmares from Allison Young. In order to be convincing, the machines had overbuilt her and made her too human and too much like Allison. The others were waiting.

Cameron: "I have a secret. I just started my periods. My mother has no clue."

The others reacted.

Cameron: (changing the subject) "I could never get raped."

Lisa: "Strong women with black belts have been raped. Men get raped all the time in prison. If you are drugged or held at the point of a weapon or a group gangs up on you, then you will be raped."

Cameron thought about Tasers and metal restraints. While Doctor Katherine Brewster had not raped her, she had done worse. Cameron did not mind protecting John but the process of turning her from his assassin into his protector was rape, prostitution, slavery, mind control, brainwashing, and more all rolled into one. It was worse than Allison's nightmares.

Beth: "Well we know about Cameron's insecurities, what about everyone else?"

Grace: (getting up) "That would take decades on a psychiatrist couch in my case."

Cameron: "I actually haven't told my insecurities--" (water and dogs bothered Cameron)

Beth: "--and you won't. We need a change of pace. Facials."

The others got up and most went to brush their teeth before smearing on pastel green masques and watching a scary movie.


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