( A night with my best friend 🛌)
✍️ Chapter Twenty-Five✍️
“Just pack anything…clothes to keep you warm at night though. You said you were going to get a tent, is that still happening?” Sav asked on the other end of the line.
“Yeah, I’m going shopping right now.” I told her.
It was Friday morning. Because of the bank holiday, schools were closed. That was why Ryland had chosen this weekend to go camping. We were to leave today in the late afternoon.
I had a knack of leaving things to last minute; I was packing everything right now. I couldn’t blame myself for being late though. I was extremely busy this week with school.
“Good. I already have a sleeping bag, you need get one for yourself. And food; something that will last. Ryland said that they had food but I wasn’t sure.” She told me.
I heard my mother’s call downstairs
“Alright. Just text me the list so I won’t forget.”
“Seriously you should have done this, ages ago.”
“Well sorry, I had other things do.”
“Whatever. Just be ready by four. Remember, Ned’s driving us.”
“Yeah-yeah.” I hung up the phone before she could lecture me some more.
I took my small bag and ran downstairs. I locked the house door before running to my mother’s car where she was waiting inside.
“Did she tell you what you need?” She asked me as she began cruising out of our driveway.
I buckled my seat belt, replying her with a nod.
“You should stop leaving things to last minute. I always tell you this.” She shook her head but she was facing the road.
“I know, but I was really busy.”
“You didn’t even tell us about this trip until yesterday. What if Teddy said no?”
I smiled, remembering how uncomfortable my father was yesterday when I brought up the trip. He immediately asked if there was going to be boys. He went on and on about the dangers of the woods, telling me to not wander off… etc. That had been his version of permitting me to go.
“I would’ve still convinced him.” I grinned.
She shook her head again, but this time a smile contorted in her lips.
“I think he only agreed because you’ve been all about school-school-school this past few months. He wants you to have a break.” She said.
I shook my head. ” I went to some parties. I hung around too.”
“You know what I mean.”
“Mom, getting into medical school is not as easy as it was in your time. I need the credentials and if it means doing the extra just to get in, well—”
“I know.” She nodded, cutting me off. “I know and I’m proud of you, Keya. I have no doubt at all that you won’t get into any of those colleges you applied to.”
I shrugged. “Any will do fine just as long as I get in.”
“Speaking of credentials, I talked with Dr Wesley and he agreed to let you in to that internship.”
I was genuinely surprised. I mean, it was just a few months ago when I made the decision to get into medical school. My decision was mostly based on how my mother loved her job—she inspired me—and also based on how I kept on acing my science subjects with straight A’s.
When I told my parents my decision, they didn’t take me seriously. When I asked Kelly if she could talk to one of her good friend, Dr Wesley, that I was interested in the internship he was holding during the summer, she seemed reluctant and doubtful that he would accept me since I will be fresh out of high school with little experience. Her doubt made me doubt too. But, she was mostly worried about me sacrificing my summer. She kept putting it off, saying some plans might come up in summer to prevent me from doing the internship.
I clasped my hands excitedly as what she said sunk in. “Thank you, thank you!” I hugged her despite the fact that she was driving.
She laughed but then her face clouded with regret. “Are you really sure you want to this?”
“Yes, mom. I mean I’ve watched how you help others and I want to do that too.” I answered her, suddenly feeling whimsical.
“Oh, poodles.” Her lips trembled. “This is a really big deal. It won’t be too late to revoke. You really don’t have to do it. You have to enjoy this upcoming summer, it might be the last one you spend here.”
“I know, but—”
“Because even if you become a chef or an artist or just took a gap year, we’d be proud either way.” She interrupted. “Think about it, Key. Really think about what you will be sacrificing.”
I sighed. “Okay, how about after graduation I’ll tell you my final decision.”
“Dr Wesley will still hold that place for you. And graduation is in less than a month, Keya.” She glanced at me quickly before facing the road.
“I know, mom. Your version of saying a lot could happen in less than a month.”
She smiled but didn’t offer any more as she pulled over the parking lot next to Decathlon, the store suitable for outgoing activities.
Just in time, I received Sav’s text containing the list of what to get as we entered the store.
But, even with this list I had in hand, Kelly decided to take over when she urgently moved the shopping cart to the direction she wanted.
At first she went to the clothes section and although I already had clothes for camping wear, she still bought me more.
“Mom, I think I have waterproof pants in the house.” I protested. “I remember packing them.”
She ignored me as she added the pants into the cart. Next, we went over to the cutlery section where she added a thermos, Tupperware, plastic spoons and forks—we had all of these items in the house for crying out loud. But, knowing my protest won’t get taken into account, I went along with what she got.
We moved to the sleeping bag isle where we were trying to decide which sleeping bag was appropriate.
“This one looks strong.” I suggested pointing at any sleeping bag I saw.
“No, you need—”
“Fancy seeing you guys here.” It was Kyle’s gruff voice that cut her mid-sentence.
Instantly my breathing momentarily stopped, my heart missing a beat as my head wiped around to see him. Like a freight train barrelling forth, his presence destroyed my composed demeanour.
“Kyle? What are you doing here?” I asked, narrowing my eyes slightly.
He grinned snidely. “I forgot I didn’t have a sleeping bag.”
“Oh goodie. You’ll help us Kyle, sweetie. We don’t know which bag to go for.” Kelly piped in, taking Kyle’s arm and dragging him to the isle.
“Hmm.” He pretended to be thoughtful.
My mother bit her lips in thought too as she stared at the choices.
They were not serious. I silently fumed. A sleeping bag was a sleeping bag. Give or take they were all sort of the same.
“I think you should go for double instead of single. You never know how much room you’ll need.” Kyle said to Kelly but, because I was right behind her, it seemed like he was saying it to me when our gazes locked.
I hid how his look wrecked me inwardly as I narrowed my eyes at him. Exactly what did he imply with that statement? That I was fat?
“Perfect!” Kelly exclaimed, grabbing the pack into her hands. “It might get cold and this is perfect to conserve body heat. Maybe you and Sav could cuddle together.” She said absentmindedly as she read the information in the pact.
Kyle looked at me, giving me his knowing smirk. My mother was unaware of the innuendo she presented in the sentence.
She took another similar sleeping bag and added them to the cart. Kyle and I both knew the other was for him. Although he looked reluctant he had learned from previous experience never to argue with Kelly when she bought him things. That’s why he had avoided ever going shopping with us when we were younger.
“Poodles, take the cart while Kyle and I see what else you need.” She pushed the cart into my hands and linked arms with Kyle as they walked away from the isle.
After getting the tent—bigger than necessary—the cart became full and heavy to push. I lagged behind while they chatted off.
I tried to catch up with them, so that I could hear their conversation because their voices became lowered and their faces turned sombre. Kyle looked back at me and instantly I knew from the look that were discussing the subject of, Robert Reyes.
I blatantly slowed my steps. Kelly looked back for me because her hands were laden with unnecessary stuff she was getting.
“So, have you heard back from any colleges?” I heard her ask Kyle as I caught up with them.
“No, not yet.” He replied.
“Hmm, you’re in the same boat as Keya,” she commented.
I felt him tense. His eyes caught mine and I knew Kelly’s statement was further from the truth. We were not in the same boat.
I knew Kyle wouldn’t be able to get into a college without funds. As of right now, he was using those funds to keep up with the house bills.
I wanted to ask him if he applied for any scholarships, but I couldn’t ask this at this moment, not when my mother was here. I knew Kyle didn’t want my parents to know about his financial difficulties. Hell, I knew he didn’t even want me to know. But, I wasn’t a fool. I figured it out long ago.
Knowing where Kyle’s thoughts were headed, I decided to change the subject.
“Have you packed everything for the weekend?” I asked him.
His lips pulled into a small smile. “I did everything on Monday.” He said this as way to rub in my face that he was more prepared than I was.
“You need to teach Keya about preparation.” Kelly said. “Do you know I only found out yesterday about this trip?”
“Really? I guess it’s typical of her.” He said, his face wiped from any sadness. I guess I was glad that he was now laughing with my mother, even though they were laughing at me.
We headed over to the cashing point. The girl who was scanning our stuff was giving Kyle that gawking glance that told me very well how she was inwardly stripping him down from head to toe.
Kyle made it worse for her by flirting with the poor girl whose cheeks were so beetroot red, I was sure she was going to combust any second.
I didn’t know how I felt watching them. I admitted there was a hint of jealousy there. The green monster was making me resent him and his good looks. But, I was being ridiculous, I knew I was. I had wanted us to friends, didn’t I? I was getting exactly what I wanted.
Although my body somehow longed for him and every time he was near that craving would escalate; I knew right now he had forgotten we’d ever shared that moment. I hated myself because I was feeling like a used cloth. Like I was now one of those hopeless girl in Kyle’s list of women he slept with.
“You could blow up this whole store with that look.” Kelly snapped me from my reverie. “What’s wrong?”
I shook my head, “Nothing.” My tone was laced with distaste.
She stared at me narrowly then shifted her face at where I was shooting daggers with my eyes.
“If you say so.” She smiled secretly as if she just solved a long puzzle, as if she knew something I didn’t.
She moved away from me to pack the things in the cart. Kyle turned to face me with smirk. He left the girl as he approached me.
“Ouch. I can feel your jealousy shooting laser beams behind my back.” Despite his sentence he was grinning.
I glared at him. “I’m not jealous. Why would I be jealous?”
His face was light with his amused smile. “Keya, its your immediate denial that just proves you are.”
I glowered, looking away from to stare at the girl he’d flirting with. “If anyone is jealous, it’s that girl who is now giving me a dirty look.”
“Her name is Ashley. She quite a hot thing isn’t she.” Instead of looking at her as he said this, his eyes were studying me.
My insides boiled with revulsion. I hated this feeling. It blinded every reasonable thoughts.
“Well then, you’d suit each other just fine. Did you get her number?”
He smirked. “Maybe.” And for added measure he winked at the girl when she caught his eyes.
It hurt. I didn’t know it would hurt this deeply. I never cared who he dated before. Why now? We agreed things wouldn’t change between us. I had accepted it wouldn’t, I guess I was wrong.
I nodded at him, trying to lose this resentment in my face.
“Can I ask you something?” Kyle suddenly asked.
I forced myself to look at him. “What?”
“Why are you jealous?” He seemed genuinely interested to know.
“I am not jealous!” I hollered. Taking deep breaths, I forced my feet to move away. To continue with this conversation will be torture.
He laughed. I hated how his laugh gave me butterflies, hated how his eyes sparkled appealingly as he did so.
“I’ll see you in a few hours.” I heard him say.
I mumbled incoherent words, leaving him in that spot as I walked over to take the cart from my mother’s hands along with her car keys. I left her because she was wanted to speak to Kyle.
I stomped away from the store and headed over to the car. Once everything was inside, I was tempted to just drive and leave her. I waited, however, settling in my seat with my arms crossed.
I watched as she chatted briefly with him and then leaving him laughing, she scurried over to the car.
I didn’t ask her what she told Kyle nor did I even speak when she drove off with a permanent smile on her face.
I was being ludicrous, I knew that. But, the compulsion to fume took toll on me. The thought of seeing him later onward made everything worse.
✍️Authoress Ricky ✍️
To be continued…
Let pack our things for the camp too😉.