Tip hesitantly entered her cabin. Her suitcase made a soft thump as it hit the wooden floor. She inhaled deeply, then coughed the scent right back out. The room smelled like old people and moth balls. She wrinkled her nose, then noticed the paper sign crudely taped onto the door. It read:
Tip found a bunk and a single bed inside. Since she was the first one in, she hastily took the single bed.
“Finders keepers, losers weepers.”
Tip sat down on her bed, unzipped her backpack and took Alex and Alice out. They were stuffed animal Booves that Oh had made for her after her mom taught him how to sew.
It had taken forever, but Oh really had a knack for manipulating needle and thread, considering how clumsy he normally was. Tip squeezed the stuffed Booves, missing Oh. She had been foolish to think that he could have stayed with her forever…
“Only three kids? This must be a small camp.”
Came an inquisitive voice. Tip stuffed Alex and Alice back into her pack. She turned around to see an auburn-haired teenager girl walk in. The moment she saw Tip, though, she looked at the floor.
she said quietly.
“I didn’t know you were in here.”
Tip watched as she quietly took the bottom bunk, still not showing her face. Tip admired her outfit, as well as her brown boots. She caught a glimpse of the girls’ face. Definitely not ugly like Tip thought it might be, with hiding her face and all. A faint smile played at the corners of the girls’ mouth. After a while of awkwardness, She finally looked up. After a moment more of silence, which to the girl, seemed to confirm something, she smiled.
“Hi. I’m Penny.”
She turned towards the sign on the door.
“Are you Garchuety?”
She asked hesitantly. Tip sighed.
“It’s pronounced gra-tu-it-ty.”
Tip shook her head like it was no big deal. This happened all the time. Penny plopped her suitcase down onto the floor. Next, another, laughing girl stumbled into the cabin. She had shoulder-length not quite blond, but not quite brown hair, a yellow jacket, and some jeans on, which Tip thought must be uncomfortable in the summer.
“‘A box of quackers’! Ah, good one!”
The girl finally noticed the other girls in the room.
She burst into gales of laughter for some reason. Tip crossed her arms. The girl noticed and straightened.
“Uh, sorry, I’m just-that was a long bus ride.”
She said, wiping her eyes.
“Anyways, I’m Riley. Hi.”
She concluded, waving again. There was an awkward silence, but Tip broke it.
“Hi. I’m Gratuity, and this is Penny. Nice to meet you, Riley.”
Riley smiled. She walked over to Penny then gasped. Penny looked really panicky for a second as Riley continued:
“So how’s Bolt?”
Penny stuttered. Riley laughed.
“Just kidding! It’s just that you remind me of this one character in a TV show that my best friend likes.”
Penny said, laughing a little, and looking really relieved. Riley placed her suitcase near the bunkbed. After everyone was settled, they all went to the dining area to eat lunch. As the waiters and waitresses served the food, Riley, Penny, and Tip conversed.
“Who did you sit by in the bus?”
Penny asked Riley.
“I sat by this really smart kid named Hiro.”
Tip inwardly laughed. That was a weird, yet awesome name.
“Oh, I sat by another really smart kid named Lewis.”
“He kept drawing in a notebook.”
“Who did you sit by, Gratooty?”
Riley asked Tip.
“It’s pronounced gra-tu-it-ty.”
“I slept the whole time.”
“Hey, wait, I think I see Lewis over there!”
Penny exclaimed, pointing across to another table.
“Hey, he’s sitting by Hiro. I bet they’d really get along together, being smart and all. You know they say that Hiro’s made his own robot army.”
“I heard kids whispering about Lewis, saying that he’s invented a bunch of stuff.”
They continued to talk, and were discussing school schedules when the waitress set down their food. Bread, salad, a little custard, and some broccoli soup. Penny started eating quickly. Tip was famished. She began eating as well. Riley, however looked like she was going to puke.
“I think I have to go to the bathroom.”
Riley explained as she excused herself from the table, clutching her stomach. Tip looked questioningly at Penny. She shrugged her shoulders. A few moments later, Riley came back.
“Sorry about that, guys.”
She apologized. She ate her food but avoided the broccoli soup. After Tip finished, she looked around and spotted Lewis talking to Hiro. She could hear snippets of their conversation.
“Yeah, I should show you when we get back to our cabin.”
Lewis was explaining.
“I’ve got all the details and the blueprint in my notebook.”
Hiro was listening to Lewis during the entire conversation. Sometimes his mouth was open, sometimes he was nodding, and even other times he was offering suggestions and ideas. Tip had no idea what they were doing, except for the fact that they were boys, and that she never quite understood boys. She turned back to her table to see Riley and Penny laughing. She smiled. Her mom was right. She was enjoying Summer Camp already.