Life in the Friend Zone

The Friend Zone is a real place. It is like a cross between a boarding school and a hospital. And Dakota Fenway knows it all too well. She entered the friend zone for the first time when she was in fourth grade. She is one of the only girls. The Friend Zone is a mind set, not a physical place. It connects all the minds together who are in the friend zone and you stay there until you break away from the friend. You are told no one has ever broken through the friend zone into something more because it would upset the balance. Dakota has entered in the friend zone once again during her senior year two weeks before prom. She is determined to get her friend Harry Warren to see her as more then a good friend. And no one, not even the Heads of Fate, are going to stop her. Watch as she jumps between the real world and Friend Zone and adds her own sarcastic touch.

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13. Camp Friend Zone (Prt 2 of 3)

    "Really, Brenda? You know, I'm starting to like the normal friend zone a lot more than this." I said, swatting at a mosquito that wasn't really there, just part of the program. But that's the best part of the friend zone right? You feel every water splash, mosquito bite, and broken bone. And, newsflash: if you break something in the friend zone, you break it in real life. And trust me, I know from experience the painful experience of breaking a bone in the friend zone. 
FLASHBACK
    I attempted to run away from Brenda, as she attempted to take me to the friend zone support group thing. I knew there was no point in running since she could just program the next turn I made to be the support group room. Which was exactly what happened when I turned the next corner. However, my acceleration caused me to trip over a chair and land with a crack on my wrist. And trust me, the noise was enough to make me scream already. When the pain hit I screamed at the top of my lungs only to be awoken by my mother. I had fallen out of my bed in the real world, falling awkwardly on my wrist and breaking it. I was driven to the hospital cursing Brenda one million and two times for programming the room to be around the corner. 
END OF FLASHBACK
    "Dakota, you got yourself into this mess. You always do. I'm sorry boys don't want to be more than friends with you." Brenda explained. 
    "Don't push it Brenda. Dudes are a touchy subject for me." I explained,
    "Alright, Dakota. Could you please just cooperate this summer?" she said, rubbing her temples as if she had a headache. "You are in cabin 101. Three other girls will be there as well. Play nice, breakfast is in two hours. Once you hear the breakfast announcements and step into you cabin, you'll be back in the real world. Have I made my directions clear?" Brenda asked. 
    "Crystal!" I said, my voice dripping with over-enthusiasm. I came up to the programmer that would make the cabin next to me my cabin. I punched in 101 and looked into the cabin that appeared empty, but once I stepped through it changed into a cabin decorated bright pink with two bunk beds. I got the bottom bunk. Three girls were inside, not communicating with me at all. 
    "Hello? I'm Dakota, your roommate?" I said waving my hand in front of the girl who was just laying there on a top bunk doing nothing. Did Brenda give me fake roommates? Then a voice said something behind me. 
    "What was that?" I asked, turning to a girl on the top bunk hanging upside down. Here blonde hair flowed down and she laughed a little before coming down. 
    "I said that Tina is in the middle of a conversation with someone in the real world." she stuck out her tiny hand and I shook it lightly. "I'm Fey, you must be Dakota. That's Harriet, she's sleeping. I wouldn't wake her up if I were you, because she's going to leave the friend zone in the while. Her friend has realized that he loves her and they are about to kiss." Fey explained. I looked at Harriet, who looked transparent. I watched as her form slowly faded away until the space in her bed was empty.  
    "So Fey, how did you get here?" I said plopping onto the bed. 
    "I'm a counselor at this camp for 1st through 7th grade kids. I'm a junior, so I get the 6th graders. But the counselor for the sixth grade boys became my friend, and I have a huge crush on him.Long story short, he's got his eyes on the lifeguard girl who watches over kids at the pool during free time and when the sixth graders are in there." Fey explained, then suddenly the girl who was staring blankly on the top bunk blinked a couple of times before getting up. 
    "Sorry, Fey. Larry wanted to  ask if I knew the best way to ask a girl out to go canoeing." the girl, Tina, explained. 
    "No biggie, Tina, I get it. This is Dakota, our new roommate." Fey said happily. 
    "Hello, how long are you here until it's back to real world?" Tina asked. "I just went to bed for an afternoon break from Camp Haven back home." 
    "I'm here until I come back to the cabin from breakfast." I explained. 
    "Lucky, I'm here all day." Fey complained. climbing into her top bunk like a monkey before sitting cross-legged in the middle. "I usually get friend-zoned in the summer, so this is usual for me. Tina has liked this guy from her camp ever since she met him there in fourth grade. Every summer she reunites with him, followed by joining Camp Friend Zone."   As Fey finished her statement, a stereotypical run-down camp PA crackled to life, and lo and behold, Teresa announced it was breakfast time. Fey flipped out from her bunk and grabbed both Tina and I's wrists as she sprinted out of our cabin and to the programmer for 100-110. She clicked on cafeteria and we all walked forward where the cafeteria appeared before our eyes. I stepped inside, and immediately I could tell that this cafeteria was much different. 
    Instead of little talking and disgusting food, there was hot dogs, hamburgers, salad, French fries, chicken nuggets, soda, ice cream, and all that good stuff. I got in line with Fey and Tine was behind me. Fey grabbed a hot dog and placed it on her plate.
    "You want one Dakota?" She asked. I shook my head violently. 
    "I can't eat hot dogs, they creep me out. Like, what's in them? Nobody knows!" I said.     "Good point..." Fey said before placing the hot dog she had gotten for herself back on the serving platter. We moved on and I piled my plate just with fries and got a soda. We sat down at a round table. 
    "Wait a minute, I thought it was breakfast right now. Why are we eating lunch and dinner food?" I asked. 
    "Well, apparently the camp is new, and the programming has yet to distinguish which foods are lunch and which are breakfast. We had beef stew yesterday for breakfast and eggs for lunch." Tina explained. 
    "Well, that's interesting." I said. We ate in silence and talked a little in between before we were called back to our cabins. Brenda came up to me and led me away from Tina and Fey. I frowned.
    "What did I do this time?" I said, my voice almost turning into a whine. 
    "Nothing," Brenda said, "but I'm just letting you know that you'll go back to the real world as soon as you step though the cabin door. I rolled my eyes and nodded then walked off to go back to the cabin. I silently  walked up to the cabin door and as soon as I stepped through I was stepping into the dorm. 
    "Yo, you mind if I meditate a little before I go to bed? I'll have to leave the lights on." Brooke said, giving me puppy dog eyes. 
    "Yeah, whatever. It's fine." I said  waving my hand as a gesture. I climbed into bed and dozed off. Wasn't this camp going to be fun?
***
    "Dakota, come in the water!" Brooke yelled from the shore. I peered over my sunglasses and frowned dramatically. We had chosen to spend the weekend at the beach. Brooke, Kyle, and Leo were in the water. We were relaxing after taking the mid-camp exams on our classes. I wore my dark blue and was currently enjoying a book, but they wanted me to go in the water. I sighed and lifted my book back up. As I finished the page I was on I thought I heard something. I put my book down and just as I noticed that Kyle, Leo, and Brooke were no longer in the water my arms were lifted up. I looked up frantically to see Leo and Brooke smiling down. Suddenly Kyle came and grabbed my ankles. I attempted to get out but I only succeeded in making my sunglasses fall to the ground. 
    "What are you doing?" I asked as they ran towards the water. 
    "Having fun!" Leo exclaimed. We came into the water and I felt the water barely brush my butt, causing me to screech. Suddenly I was thrust into the air and I flailed my arms before cold water enveloped my body. I gasped as I came up from he water. Kyle was laughing like crazy and Brooke and Leo looked as if they weren't sure how I'd would react. I laughed and splashed water at them.
    "You guys suck, you know that?" I said jokingly. They nodded and smiled as we continued hanging out in the water. We had an hour left, and Brooke decided we should do chicken fights. I got on top of Leo's shoulders and Brooke got on top of Kyle's. 
    "Don't let me down Leo. I'm very competitive." I warned. Leo laughed as Brooke yelled go. I immediately grabbed onto her forearms and we laughed as Kyle and Leo shook from jostling each other. We laughed at everyone's silliness. Finally, I decided to end it. I grabbed Brooke's shoulders, but she had other plans. She reached over and tickled my sides and I lost my balance. At the same time Kyle had jut made Leo loose his balance. We fell as Brooke and Kyle cheered. Leo fell on top of me and we popped up inches from each other's faces. I smiled up at him and he smiled back. Suddenly he was leaning in. Before I could react he placed a kiss on my cheek. I widened my eyes. 
    "Sorry for falling on you." he said. Suddenly there were oohs from Brooke and Kyle. 
    "What are you two looking at?" I asked. 
    "Oh, nothing." Brooke said, stifling a laugh. "Kyle, were you looking at anything."
    "Nope, nothing. Nothing at all. And would you look at the time. It's time to get back to the camp."  Kyle said. Kyle glanced at Leo than me before nodding and then grinning. We walked back to our towels and I dried off before slipping on my sweatshirt and shorts. We went back to the meeting point at the entrance to thee 711 across the street from the beach. We got there in time to see Jared, the counselor directing beach and shopping activities. We waved and sat on the curb. 
    "You guys are the last people here. Everyone else is inside buying stuff before we leave. Do you want anything?" he asked. 
    "Ooooh, I want a slurpee!" Leo exclaimed. 
    "Why so excited?" I asked, confused.
    "I've never had a slurpee." he explained. We all  looked at him in shock.
    "You've got to be kidding me." Brooke said.
    "How have you never had a slurpee dude?" Kyle added. He just nodded and went into the store. All the other kids had exited the store and two minutes later Leo came out with a Coke slurpee. 
    "Alright, let's head to the bus!" Jared shouted. As we walked Leo came up to us.
    "How is it?" I asked. 
    "What?" he replied dumbly. I rolled my eyes.
    "The slurpee, ding-dong!" I said.
    "Oh yeah! It's awesome. How did I go so long with out trying this thing?" Leo said. We all laughed at the fact that he looked like a two-year old who just spotted an ice cream truck. Once we got on the bus, Kyle and Brooke immediately ran ahead to take two seats next two each other. Leo glanced at me and Brooke just smirked as she gestured to the available seats next to her. We sat down as the bus started up. It began to rumble towards the school that was ten minutes away. We talked a little about our annoying teachers  and stepped out of our bus. As we walked into the building, Brooke nudged my elbow playfully. I poked my tongue out at her. We reached the fourth floor and separated to our rooms. As soon as our door shut Brooke opened her mouth happily. 
    "Oh my gosh!" she said. "Do you even realize how adorable you guys looked together. I mean, I thought Leo liked you as a friend. Jesus, you guys are going to look so cute. Kyle saw it too. When Leo kissed you on the cheek. I have never gotten so crazy over something. Dakota, he is so-" I placed my hand over her mouth. She continued jabbering on, her mouth muffled, before rolling her eyes and shutting up.
    "Are you done yet, Brooke?" I asked, annoyed. She nodded and I lifted my hand off her mouth. "Now, what are you talking about?" 
    "Leo likes you...a lot!" she said. I widened my eyes. She had to be lying. I was in the friend zone because of Leo. He liked me as a friend. Just a friend. But he did kiss me on the beach. I felt a warm sensation come through. I had someone who liked me as more than a friend. I had beaten fate. I could finally find love. I started squealing in delight as me and Brooke pranced around the room in happiness. We looked extremely ridiculous and cliche but we didn't care. Soon the counselor pounded on our door yelling that it was dinner. We laughed and ran off to dinner, where Kyle and Leo sat away from us. I looked at them in confusion, but they avoided eye contact. As we were in line, Leo was behind me. I glanced at me but he looked nervous. I nudged his shoulder and he looked up.
     "Are you okay?" I asked. 
    "Yeah...umm...can I ask you something?" he said nervously. 
    "Yeah." I said, suspiciously. 
    "Can I talk to you at my balcony later?" he replied. I nodded and he smiled in return. I sat back with Brooke and we chatted a little bit before our counselor said it was time to go. You know that feeling you get when you are really nervous and you just get that feeling in your stomach. Not butterflies, but more like these horrible feelings about meeting people or taking a test. That's what I was feeling as I went out onto the balcony. I was sure he would reject me. Say it was an act of friendship. I felt that in my gut. I didn't want that to happen though. I wanted him to hold me in my arms. I wanted to be loved. I was tired of it. I stepped onto the balcony and there was Leo waiting on his. 
    "Hello..." I said awkwardly. 
    "Dakota, can you climb over to my balcony?" he asked, avoiding eye contact. 
    "Yeah, sure." I said, then hopped over, carefully, to his balcony.
    "Listen, Dakota, when I kissed you on the cheek, it felt like an act of defiance. I started having feelings for you on the first day, but this voice in my head kept telling me to stop. I didn't know what to do. At the beach, it popped into my mind, but the voice yelled no. I went against it, but only a little. I wanted to give you a proper kiss, but my mind could only get your cheek. God, you probably think I'm crazy..." he said, running a hand through his hair. 
    "Leo, look at me. I don't think you're crazy." I said, and I meant it. I knew what was going on. The Council of Fate was trying to stop him. Leo looked down at me, since I was a bit shorter.   And then I did something I usually don't do. I got up on my tiptoes and kissed him. Mind you, I've never kissed anyone. Ever. So I just kind of...put my lips on his lips. Leo was stiff. And let me tell you: Kissing is awesome. Even if I had no idea what I was doing. Leo obviously  had, because he moved his lips against mine, placing his hand around my waist. We just stood there, kissing until he pulled away. 
    "Leo, do you like me as more than a friend?" I said. He chuckled.
    "Yes, I think I do." He said. Suddenly Kyle pounded on the door.
    "Yo, boss says its lights out!" he said before opening the door to see Leo holding me. We sprang apart and went to either side of the balcony. Kyle wriggled his eyebrows. "Well, well, well. Look what we have here." 
    "Oh, shut up Kyle." I said.I climbed out of the balcony and went to my own. 
    "Bye, Dakota!" Leo and Kyle said simultaneously. I laughed and went back into my dorm.
    "What's up?" Brooke asked casually, but when she saw the look on my face she ran up to me. 
    "You're lips look plumper. You see, I've only seen that when-" I cut her off.
    "Okay, I kissed him. Leo, I kissed him. And he was my first kiss too!" I exclaimed. Brooke squealed but then there was a pound on the door. We made faces of shock before stifling laughter. We both agreed to shut ourselves up and got into bed. I couldn't help but smile as I closed my eyes and fell asleep. I had done it. I had escaped the friend zone. Suddenly as soon as I drifted off my eyes popped open. I looked around at my surroundings. I was sitting in a wooden chair that had soft velvet cushions, but the arm rests were cold as ice. The whole place looked like a big court room. I glanced up. Oh god.
    Sitting at a long wooden table raised by a platform were ten people. They all looked to be twenty, but I knew they were well over 6 billion years of age. Actually, much more. The one in the center smirked at me. She had red hair, piercing green eyes, and wore red lipstick, wearing a business suit. The others consisted of men and women, also donning business suits. I had only ever remembered the one in the middle, only because she was the Fate of Love. The others controlled different fates. If you haven't realized by now, I had just been sent to the Council of Fate. And I didn't exactly know why.
    "Well, well, well. If it isn't little Dakota Fenway, or should I say, Little Miss Friendly." the woman in the middle began. I had named her Scarlett, but I recall her saying her name was Catherine. 
    "What did I do this time?" I said, surprised. 
    "Dakota Fenway, I think you know what you did." Scarlett said, bored already.
    "No, no, I really don't." I said, furrowing my eyebrows. 
    "Do you know why I became the Fate of Love, Ms. Fenway?" Scarlett said, completely ignoring me. She didn't even wait for me to answer. "I was a beautiful girl, and just as I fell in love with someone, I was murdered. On my wedding day. I was murdered by the previous Fate of Love in 1560. She saw potential in me. I am new here, but I know what it's like to be in love."
    "And what does this have to do with me?" I asked.
    "Oh, nothing. I just love telling that story." this resulted in groans coming from the other Fates. "Anyways, you are here because you got Leo to fall in love with you."
    "I'm not following you." I said, confused. 
    "He was not supposed to fall in love with you, Ms. Fenway. He was supposed to fall in love with...someone else." she explained.  
    "What do you mean 'someone else'?" I asked, holding back tears. 
    "That's confidential information." she explained. 
    "Fine, so what are you going to do? He fell in love with me! He kissed me! And there is nothing you can do about it. Nothing!" I yelled.
    "No need for yelling." Scarlett said, holding her hand up calmly. I sighed and crossed my legs. "Now, time goes by quick in the court room so let's make it quick. You broke a rule.You changed the course of your fate, Dakota. And unfortunately, there are no warnings. We believe that for people to stop, they must undergo the consequences the first time to persuade them to never do it again." She pulled out a book and wrote something down. "Alright, it has been done. You may go." 
    "Wait, what did you do?" I said frantically.
    "Oh Dakota, you'll find out. You will surely find out."

 

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