Riley couldn’t sleep. She tossed and turned in her bed.
“Well, I like Jordan, but he’s-he just blanks out whenever I try to speak to him in more than just a simple sentence.”
She reflected with a tinge of frustration and disappointment. Sure, she liked Jordan. He was a great kid. Athletic, funny… a great family… but although he made her laugh, he wasn’t all too bright. Rille’s thoughts drifted over to Hiro Hamada. Now Hiro was almost the complete opposite of Jordan, besides the fact that he was a great kid too. He seemed to be a legend. Rumor had it that he had built his own robot army. That was half-beliavable, Riley decided, because he had already graduated from high school even though he was only 13. She had run into him a few times on the street. And when I say “run into”, I literally mean “run into”. Riley shrank beneath her covers at the embarrassing memory. She had been trying to beat her record of how fast she could get home from school. A thing that she did all the time with Amy, a girl that lived down the street. She had been running as fast as she could, and to really looking where she was going, and ran headlong into Hiro who had simply been minding his own business. Riley’s cheeks burned. She tried to think of something else besides the embarrassment. Hiro was very smart, and unlike Jordon, could understand her perfectly. And the way his black hair lay tousled across his head sent shivers down Riley’s back. She smiled, picturing his grinning face. She knew that she somehow had to see him again. With this thought, she fell quietly to sleep.
“Tip, what’s with all the glamour?”
Tip’s mom asked, looking at her daughter’s curly brown hair all pulled back and dressed up. She sighed. her little girl was growing up so fast.
“You think I look good?”
Tip asked, twirling for the full 360º view. She pulled her backpack tighter around her shoulders, jittery, nervous, and excited at the same time.
“Of course, Tip. You always look good.”
Tip smiled. Her mom smiled back. Tip’s smile faltered.
“Mom, what if they don’t like me?”
“Don’t be silly Tip, of course they’ll like you!”
“But Ashley and Micah…”
Tip started, but her mom interrupted her quickly.
“Common. Don’t let a few mean girls get you down. Besides, Summer Camp is nothing like 7th grade. You’ll like it. I promise.”
Tip smiled again. If her mom was this determined, then she was bound to like it.
She said, hugging her mom. Noticing the clock on the wall, her mom yelped:
“Oh my goodness! Tip, you’ll be late!”
Tip hurriedly picked up her suitcase, straightened her backpack straps and headed out the door with her mom. On the way out, Tip gave a farewell pat to her cat, Pig. Pig meowed.
Tip and her mom ran out of their small apartment and drove to the bus station.
Penny smoothed out her striped leggings. Ever since quitting her acting job, she had been a lot happier to spend more time with Bolt. She looked out the window at the fields they were passing by. She then looked around the kids on the bus going to Summer Camp. She hoped no one would notice her and recognize her. She hated when that happened. Then they would fuss over her, ask questions, want her autograph and picture… She hated it when people did not treat her like she was a normal, ordinary, 12-year-old girl. Penny took out her bag from underneath the seat in front of her. Carefully, she pulled out her old-fashioned polaroid camera out of it’s case, and set it on the tray table in front of her. She ran her hand across it’s smooth surface, reflecting over all the times she had used it with Bolt after filming had finished.
“Woah, is that a real polaroid?”
Came a voice from right beside her. Penny looked up, alarmed. Sitting next to her sat a boy with an obnoxious, blond, spiked-up hairdo, wearing old-fashioned circular glasses, a white collared shirt under a blue sweater vest, with red, baggy shorts, white knee socks and brown shoes.
He pushed up his glasses, grinned and stuck out his hand.
“Hi. I’m Lewis.”
Penny hesitantly shook his hand, trying to avoid eye contact, lest he should realize who she was.
She said. Lewis pointed at her tray table.
“Is that a polaroid?”
“May I see it?”
Penny gave him her precious polaroid as he turned it over in his hands, studying it profusely. He looked back up a moment later, readjusting his glasses and handed Penny back her polaroid.
He concluded, and turned to his own tray table where he scribbled some stuff down in a composition notebook and drew, what Penny thought was, a very accurate picture of her camera. She sighed and stared back out the window at the rolling hills speeding by. At least Lewis hadn’t recognized her.
Riley slumped down in her bus seat. She was in a bad mood. This morning they had run out of caramel puffs, and she had to eat toast for breakfast, her shower was cold, and at the last minute she learned that Meg was not going to come to Summer Camp this year, and to top it all off, she didn’t get the window seat. She crossed her arms and buried her head in her lap. Riley sat there a few moments, fuming. She heard the buzz of talking kids and the whirring engine. She imagined the wheels of the bus going round and round. She smiled at the memory of that certain song, and learning it when she was really little. It also reminded her of the big drive from Minnesota to San Fransisco. Riley buried her head farther into her lap until her forehead touched the fabric of the bus seat.
“Are you okay?”
A voice said as she felt a tap on her shoulder. She sat up. There sat Hiro in the seat next to her, his eyebrows knit in concern. His eyes suddenly lit up.
“Hey, you’re that girl that ran into me last week!”
Riley’s cheeks burned as she smoothed out her static hair.
She answered. Hiro smiled. Riley smiled back.