Ashley Q: Blue
Ashley A: Pink
Ashley B: Yellow
Ashley T: Green
Vince looked around the bus for a seat, ending up next to Greg, who was asleep against the window. The Ashleys sat in the two rows next to him, which he would typically be annoyed about but he was momentarily distracted by his guilt. He looked out the window and watched TJ standing all alone as the bus drove off. He let out a deep sigh.
"Aww, poor Vince. Missing your BFF already?" Ashley A asked mockingly.
"Little lonely TJ," Ashley B joined. "All by himself since his friends all ditched him."
"Lay off," Vince snapped.
"Oops, I think we struck a nerve," Ashley Q said sounding snarky.
"Well I'd be mad too if you ditched me for the summer," Ashley B said to the girls.
"Please," Ashley T chimed in, "you'd be the one ditching us."
"And you so wouldn't feel bad about it." Ashley A laughed. "If anything, you'd be rubbing it in our faces."
"Well, I guess Vince just isn't as mean to his friends," Ashley T directed towards Ashley B.
"Can you guys just leave me out of this?" Vince interjected.
"Please," Ashley Q looked at him with a smirk. "You're the one that started this conversation."
"Yeah, if you weren't looking so sad about leaving TJ alone, we wouldn't even be talking."
"Yeah, that'd be a shame," he said sarcastically.
A paper wad hit one of Ashleys, which redirected their attention towards the guy that threw it. Vince was able to get his CD player out of his bag and listen to music for awhile before being interrupted again. He saw them trying to get his attention and he debated just ignoring them but curiosity got the better of him.
"What?" He asked, lowering his headphones around his neck.
"Pick a color," Ashley Q said, holding out a cootie catcher.
"What? No," he replied, a little confused by the offer.
"Uh, yes," Ashley Q refused to accept his answer.
"It'll take your mind off your guilty conscience," Ashley A offered.
"Plus it's fun!" Ashley T added happily.
He rolled his eyes and pointed to the blue square, watching as Ashley Q folded it back and forth.
"B-L-U-E. Pick a number," she instructed. He picked 8 and watched her fold it eight times as she counted allowed. "Pick another number."
"1-2-3," She unfolded it and he leaned forward, slightly curious to see his result. "You will have a very successful shopping trip this summer."
They all laughed but he wasn't happy with his results. "Wait, no! Give me a new one!"
"That's not how this works." Ashley B stated.
"Yeah, you can't just change your results." Ashley T agreed.
"Besides," Ashley A said. "You wear the same thing like all the time. I think you could use a shopping trip."
Vince glared at them, frustrated that they pulled him into this dumb game in the first place just to give him a lousy prediction.
Ashley Q rolled her eyes. "Fine," she said, holding it out again for him to choose.
This time he chose green, nine, and five, watching Ashley fold it, awaiting his new prediction. She couldn't suppress a giggle when she opened it.
"What? What's it say?" He demanded.
"You will have your first kiss this summer," she read allowed, causing Vince to feel instantly embarrassed by the answer.
"These are all just dumb, girl predictions, aren't they?"
"No, they're summer-themed," Ashley A corrected.
"Yeah, neither of your fortunes were just for girls," Ashley B agreed.
Ashley Q whispered something to the other Ashleys and they all started laughing again. He was getting so annoyed sitting next to them.
"Whatever," he crossed his arms. "It's not like any of those are real anyway. You just made them up."
"You don't believe they'll come true?" Ashley B asked in shock.
"These are, like, foundational for predicting the future of kids everywhere," Ashley A told him.
"Yeah and if you're lucky, both of your predictions will come true," Ashley Q said before adding, "even though you cheated by picking twice."
The Ashleys started laughing again and Vince turned away from them, putting his headphones in. There was no point in arguing with them. Although he did feel a little uneasy about his predictions. They were probably just dumb things the Ashleys made up, but what if they were right? What if they did come true? He hoped if it was really true, he would at least only have to keep his original prediction.
Ashley Q motioned for the other Ashleys to step to the side with her after she quickly made her way off the bus.
"Oh my gosh, oh my gosh," she said excitedly, before lowering her voice. "I am so in love with Vince."
The Ashleys reacted all at once with squeals, shock, 'no way's, and simultaneously said, 'scandalous!'
"I could totally tell you were crushing on him on that bus ride!" Ashley A said proudly.
"That's why you kept wanting to talk to him," Ashley T realized.
"And he's in Detweiler's group," Ashley B pointed out. "Totally enemies of the playground!"
"It's so Romeo and Juliet!" Ashley A squealed.
"It's so romantic," Ashley T said dreamily.
"I know, right? But I have to make him fall in love with me," Ashley Q said seriously. "So I need your help."
"We are so on it, right Ashleys?" Ashley A asked.
"Right," they said simultaneously.
"Ladies!" One of the cheer coaches called. "Over here for check-in!"
After the Ashleys had gotten settled in their cabins (cabins! With, like, rows of beds!), they went to a pavilion and listened to the camp leaders give a welcome-to-camp speech that included introductions and the rules. Ashley saw Vince sitting with the rest of the baseball guys. It made her glad that it seemed like more of a general camp for everyone that they would later split into the baseball and cheer groups for daily activities. It made her even happier that they were not only sharing a dining hall, but also eating meals at the same time. When they released them for lunch, Ashley Q told the other Ashleys she was going to go talk to Vince and she instructed them to delay a little in getting to the dining hall.
She ran up behind him as he walked along the gravel path with the rest of the crowd.
"Alone again, LaSalle?"
He turned to see her and rolled his eyes as she slowed down her pace, walking by his side. "Yeah, I guess. What about you? Shouldn't you be with the other Ashleys?"
"Ashley A forgot her lipgloss in the cabin," she lied without missing a beat. "I told the other Ashleys I'd save them a seat."
She was practically drooling over him, amazed that one bus ride could change so much. He and his group had been annoyances to the Ashleys the whole school year but that was different now. He was so cute! Not to mention fun to mess with. She remembered his reaction when he got that kiss prediction. Even if he didn't believe in it, she knew how cootie catchers worked. And while she could only guarantee his original prediction coming true, she was really hoping to make the second one come true too.
"And here I thought you guys always traveled in a pack," he commented.
"I could say the same about you and your friends," she started. "So why'd you split up for the summer anyway?"
"Like you care."
He sighed. "I feel bad about ditching TJ, but he just doesn't get it. We have to think about our futures. For me, that means training to be the best athlete I can be."
"I totally get it. Why do you think we're at cheer camp? Like, if we don't start now, we'll never make the JV team. And if we don't make that, we won't make Varsity, we'll never win competitions or go to college to cheer. It makes total sense to start now."
"I never knew you cared so much about cheerleading," he sounded surprised.
"Duh! Cheerleaders are always the most popular girls in school!"
"So that's why you're doing it?"
She thought about it as they entered into the cafeteria and walked to the line in front of the trays. "Mostly. I do like cheerleading though. The chants get a little annoying but the outfits are adorable, the pom-poms are fun, and getting to do some of those moves— backbends, cartwheels, flips. That part's cool."
"Well they're already throwing you up in the air, how hard could it be to flip while you're up there? Seems like it's mostly for the popularity."
"Um, try very hard! You wouldn't last two seconds trying to do those moves." She shot him a dirty look as they grabbed trays. "And don't tell me the baseball thing isn't at least a little about popularity. Admit it, Vince. You want the glory."
He smiled because it was true. "Well, maybe a little."
She looked down at the food selection. "Ugh! Spaghetti? How do they expect us to stay lean and fit if they're going to serve us this garbage? I'm going to find a salad bar."