“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ~Benjamin Franklin
Welcome to Wednesday! Woohoo – We’re officially halfway through the work week!!
Without further ado – Enjoy the second installment of “Experiences From Camp”!
… The group of Campers numbered around 100. Kristin glanced around several times and noticed the youngest looked about 13 and it went up to college-age, possibly mid-20s. She was surprised to see the age variation, but also pleased. One of her hopes was to make a good number of friends to stay in touch with after their adventures, whatever those may be. She eyed a few potentials: a girl with similar animal print tastes, a guy in a surf shirt, a girl with a slight peace sign obsession, plus a girl who appeared to be an astute scholar in college. And then there was Brennan, of course.
After 15 minutes of Rainbow Plaid Guy’s announcements & briefings, the group made their way out the doors to the waiting buses. Brennan & Kristin both noticed the converted school buses with the word “Camp” adorned all over the forest green buses in every color imaginable, in every style: Graffiti, cursive, bold, italic, block, squiggly, even dots on every end of the letters. They both wondered if they themselves would get the chance to write their own version of Camp on a bus during their time.
They confirmed each other’s thoughts with their simultaneous exclamation: “Whoa, that’s so awesome!”
After their unison outburst, though, they both sheepishly looked away and blushed. This was getting awkward. Hopefully, they both silently prayed, they would keep up their conversation and the awkwardness would dissolve quickly.
Seat assignments weren’t necessary since the three buses were all headed to the same place. But Rainbow Plaid Guy insisted, in a very high-pitched, frazzled voice to be orderly with their luggage storage underneath and then attempt to make single file lines for boarding. This was to no avail, as a general feeling of elation, excitement, and hormones took over instantly and bedlam ensued, and the huge group dissolved into an organized chaos. The few guys in the group, about 20 in all, took over loading the luggage. This act of chivalry thoroughly impressed Kristin.
Brennan whispered in her ear, “Save a spot for me?”
Kristin jumped, startled by his breath tickling her ear. As she heart thumped wildly by his sudden, and daring, act she smiled broadly and said, “Of course, for the nicest guy here.”
Meanwhile the girls held spots in line in the hopes of sitting next to new girlfriends or potential crushes. Kristin noticed that several girls, particularly the younger ones, were visibly fawning over a few of the guys. A small number were whispering back and forth, and giggling like mad. Almost immediately Kristin’s thoughts rushed back to Brennan.
She glanced over to him as he wrestled with one of her bags and the peace sign girl’s enormous suitcase. “I really, really hoping that none of them are thinking about Brennan,” she thought defensively, with a twinge of jealousy.
She snapped out of the thought just as quickly. “What is wrong with me? I’ve known him for maybe 45 minutes and I’m already becoming defensive? Retract the claws and green monster eyes, Kristin. Geez. It’s not a contest.”
However, she really couldn’t help it. He basically singled her out in baggage claim, and she felt he was special because of that alone. Besides, when he’d whispered in her ear a few minutes before, she could tell that he was only leaving her side to help out. There was a ton of luggage, after all.
Kristin really couldn’t blame the girls whispering and trying not to stare. A good number of the guys were in excellent shape, though there were two or three that looked a bit overweight. No matter though, all of them immediately fanned out in evenly-numbered groups to reduce the three mountains of backpacks, duffle bags, suitcases, and laundry bags thrown at the curb of each bus.
After what seemed like forever, Kristin was snapped out of her daydream of Brennan (Who else?) by the man himself. He tapped her on the shoulder, motioning with his thumb that their line was starting to move toward boarding the second bus.
The bus was old, but clean. Kristin was flooded with memories of the old, yellow buses with their dark green seats and occasional rips exposing fluffy white stuffing that bounced her along the country roads to her schools back home. She shared the visual with Brennan, who nodded and grinned.
The back of the bus was basically full. Brennan whispered to Kristin, “Those kids,” with a shake of his head and a chuckle, “they’re already hooking up back there, I know it.”
Kristin’s heart leaped forward at Brennan’s off-hand “hooking up” remark.
“I’d like nothing better.”
She suddenly gasped in horror and her hands flew to her mouth as she realized her thought had escaped as words to Brennan. She flushed a furious red and stole a glance at Brennan’s face behind her in shame.
But Brennan only laughed and responded, “Hey, you never know. I certainly wouldn’t mind ‘hooking up’ with such a beautiful girl like you.”
Kristin immediately noticed the huskiness in his voice that she hadn’t heard before. She was surprised at it, but not put off. Some of the guys back home had tried to come on to her in a similar way, but Brennan sounded genuine for some reason.
Kristin’s flush disappeared as her smile appeared from ear to ear. “Is this seat good with you?” She pointed to a seat toward the middle of the bus that wasn’t overrun with hormone-crazed kids.
Brennan nodded sincerely and held his hand out toward the seat. “After you, milady.” Kristin gleefully sat down next to the window as Brennan took the space beside her. Somehow, Kristin gathered, she knew that she wouldn’t be staring out that window like she had for so many bus trips to all those camps in the past. She shivered with excitement as Brennan started to ask her what movies she’d seen since school had gotten out for the summer. She listened intently as she wondered if this was as close to heaven as she could get, on that bright early June day in the arrivals lane of the airport in Bangor, Maine.
The bus ride passed way too quickly, and Kristin dreaded the bus stopping, for she knew that she wouldn’t be sitting next to Brennan any longer. At the same time, though, she couldn’t contain her excitement, because she knew they’d be at Camp by then and all the adventures lay in wait.
Kristin and Brennan made good use of the bus ride. The elapsed time, from the arrivals lane of Bangor International Airport to the check-in cabin inside the Camp gates, was a total of two hours and thirteen minutes. Not that Kristin or Brennan was counting or anything like that. No sir. Brennan used the stopwatch feature on his diving watch to time it, just out of curiosity. And they didn’t stare out the window, except to glance every few minutes at the changing scenery. The airport and downtown Bangor gave way to two interstates and a jumble of state routes and highways before the bus came to a wheezing stop.
Thanks to technology and the shock of almost-constant Wi-Fi for the first hour, they shared music, YouTube videos, movie trailers, and each other’s Facebook pages. Kristin was impressed, though not put off, by Brennan’s only mild obsessions with video games, Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel, and Wicked. Brennan was happy to hear that Kristin disliked romantic comedies and was totally into kung-fu movies, Marvel, medieval history, Stephen King, and certain horror movies.
“My kind of girl,” Brennan thought eagerly as Kristin chattered on about the Die Hard movies and wondered what Stephen King would next release.
Everyone looked up and around, even though entrenched in the back with whatever activities they had been engaged in for over two hours. There, about 50 feet in front of the bus windshield, was a grand sight.
A huge sign stretched long and high above the entrance to the dirt road, with the words “WELCOME TO CAMP” carved into the weathered wood. The massive trunks, the size and shape of telephone poles, were carved and painted like totem poles, with different animals from top to bottom. Cameras were pulled out and started flashing immediately. Kristin pulled out her Canon Powershot and snapped a couple, while Brennan fiddled with his iPhone.
Kristin wondered if he was using Instagram, but then she realized there was barely any phone service here, which meant there was a slimmer chance of having any shot of getting Wi-Fi. So she chalked it up to just the camera, but who knew. She was pleasantly surprised, however, when Brennan turned the camera lens toward them and put his left arm around her shoulders.
“Say cheese!” Brennan snapped the picture and it dropped obediently into the waiting cube on his phone. He saved it and, turning away from Kristin for a minute, he secretly smiled and made that picture as his newest wallpaper, banishing “The Dark Knight Rises” to join the old wallpaper club.
As Brennan pressed the button to turn off his phone, the bus doors clanged open and Rainbow Plaid Guy appeared front and center, with a hearty “Welcome to Camp, everyone!”
I hope you enjoyed this week’s installment!
As always, I welcome any comments. Feedback is most appreciated. I know it helps my writing!
Come on back next week for more!
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂