Annette is at camp with her sister Jo Styles and her friend Krysta, and her boyfriend James. This short story is what happened that weekend.


1. Yucaipa (Short Story)

          It was 2:30 Friday afternoon. The exact time my mother told Jo and I we had to be ready to leave so we could pick up Krysta and James. Actually, I think we were supposed to be at their house at 2:30. Who knows? Jo Styles, the older sibling, had to drive her car to the mechanics, so once we loaded the car she left.

          As a young student of the driving world, I got to practice for the five minutes it took to get to Krysta’s, where both Krysta Danns and James Figueroa were waiting. I also got extra practice because my mother had forgotten her license halfway down our street. When we arrived, we found that we had to be creative in applying too much luggage to car. We got it all to fit, but leg room wasn't in the contract.

          Despite being stuck in the car from 2:30 to seven-something with only two stops in between, I had my movies to keep me company. I was actually shocked that my DVD player lasted so long because the battery won't hold much of a charge anymore, and my car charger gave out long ago. By the time we arrived, I was about ready to scream “Land!” and kiss the ground. The cool air was refreshing, considering valley weather is in the high 80s, 90s, and even the 100s.

          Familiar faces and a photo booth greeted us at the check in, and orientation was short, considering we skipped half of it to go find the cabin. We were located in Elmhurst... I think. Unpacking the car included two to three trips up and down a slope from car to cabin, and carrying bags, boxes, and pillows.

          Before settling down, we decided we wanted to go back to the mess hall. Krysta wanted a movie from Jo and I wanted hot chocolate. The mess hall was our only access to WiFi on the whole mountain, making me want to invest in T-mobile, Verizon, or MiFi. Saddening all of us on arrival was the lack of hot chocolate. Further investigation involved eating cheesecake, and slower WiFi than we needed for transferring and purchasing movies.

          Deciding to leave her phone in the mess hall, Krysta and the rest of us headed back with a board game, one you might know - monopoly. Sadly, it was after 11 at night, and everyone was tired from the long day. Krysta and James pestered each other. Jo was being rude to me. I wanted to stop everything, but I couldn’t. At one point, Krysta hit James.

          The slap stung his face, but didn't faze him. The couple had had another fight, and they were still going, right in front of me and Jo. Unfortunately enough, we were all tired, but stubbornness kept us from going to bed before midnight. We played monopoly, and the tired air had us easily angered and tossing money and die back and forth.

          I turned in by 11:30, but Krysta and James went to watch a movie, and I didn't know what Jo was up to on her electronics. I played my music on my ear buds, my eye cover covering any light from movies and electronics. It was probably midnight when I drifted off to sleep.

          I woke to sweat and heat burning my skin. I kicked off my two extra soft blankets, and I lay in the cool of my sleeping bag, listening to the sound of water boiling in Krysta's humidifier. I debated whether or not to check the time.

          Krysta woke up a little after I did and went the bathroom. Right after, James did too. Jo slept through all the noise, but I was awake the whole time. I was awake before them.

          They started talking to each other about something. I could barely hear them, but I felt like they were going somewhere. “Where are you going?” I asked, quietly. “We’re not going anywhere.” Krysta said. “I can’t find my pillow.”

          I lay in my bed, secretly jamming out to my music. No one knew I had been awake since 4:50, even though I had talked to Krysta and James just moments before. I listened to Krysta and James talk about whether or not they should go to breakfast - no of course. I decided I wouldn't wake them up in the morning like I had originally planned.

          In the morning, I stole away to the bathroom with my clothes and tried to get ready as fast as I could. I looked in the mirror at my auburn dyed hair and brown eyes. Another pimple had appeared by my nose. When I was getting my shoes on, Jo woke up and asked me where I was going. I told her to wake up because the wake-up bell rung already. She told me I couldn’t go anywhere without an adult. Young, sixteen year old Annette Styles couldn’t walk to breakfast on her own… poor me.

          Jo took forever to get ready. She brought her guitar with her when we left for breakfast. After breakfast, she played it and we sang together while waiting for the tie-dye activity to get started. We played “I Just Can’t Wait to be King,” “House of the Rising Sun,” “Let it Go,” and other songs that she knows, but I just hummed along.

          We were unaware we were supposed to bring stuff to tie-dye, so they gave us each a face cloth and a handkerchief to tie-dye. Jo had some great ideas about where to tie her knots, but I personally think mine came out the best.

          Today was Apple Pie Day. The camp had baked several apple pies to serve them at lunch, and over two hundred people came. Some from the camp like me and Jo, and others from Summer Camp or from the town, came for lunch and apple pie with ice cream.

          After lunch, everyone decided to go to the little town halfway down the mountain. There were different apple pie and apple cider shops, the best fudge ever, candy shops, stands selling handmade crafts, food stands, and more. When we got back to camp, Jo and I wanted to do a Drum Circle, but no one supplied drums, so we played guitar and sang. Some people even complimented us! Afterwards we went to crafts and made lanyards. After dinner, we got to go to a campfire. We sang songs and melted marshmallows for s’mores. Then we sang “s’more songs, played s’more music, and had s’more fun.”

          When we got back to the cabin, Krysta, James, Jo, Jackie (who arrived this morning), and myself played Life. The funny thing was, Krysta and James had made up so quickly the other night that everything was happy tonight. It was around midnight that Krysta said she was hungry. She had eaten around three and skipped the Mexican food dinner. Thankfully, she had gotten service in one corner of the cabin, and ordered a pizza, despite the rule of no food in the cabin.

          I had gone to bed at eleven, and heard in the morning that the pizza came around two in the morning. I woke up at seven and smelled a faint odor of pizza. Surprisingly enough, Krysta woke up too. I had opened the cupboard to find a large pizza box hidden there. We packed before and after breakfast, cleaning the room as well, and arrived at the town at 9:45. Then we spent two hours in the town, and at the bottom of the hill getting lunch and going to the bathroom.

          We got home in another two hours. Way better than driving for five hours. I was happy to be home, but I was also sad. I loved it up in Yucaipa. It was like a dream.

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