"All right," I said as I slid into the front seat of the van. The plastic bag in my hands rustled sharply against its contents as I pulled out a bag of red vines. Then I tossed them into the very back where Aaron and Brandt were sitting. "Those are for you guys."
"Yes!" Aaron cried out. I heard the sounds of ripping plastic.
"Hey, don't hog it all!" Brandt whined. "You're supposed to share!"
"Now, now, children," Melanie chided mildly. She caught the box of Milk Duds I tossed to her. "Thanks, Wanda."
"No problem," I said as I handed Jared a jumbo sized bag of Cheetos in the driver's seat. He took them from me with much enthusiasm.
"Ah, you're amazing Wanda!" he said gratefully as he ripped the bag open with his teeth.
"Hey!" shouted Ian indignantly. "What about me?"
"Calm down," I said with a smile. I pulled out a box of brownie bites and pitched it in his direction. "I got these for you."
His face lit up. "Have I told you how much I love you today?"
I smiled as I settled into the front seat and dug into a package of Twinkies for myself. "No, but that counts just fine."
Melanie reached forward for the bag in my limp hands. I handed it to her readily as I stuffed one of the Twinkies into my hungry mouth. "What else did you get?" she asked around a mouthful of Milk Duds. She reached her hand into the full bag and rummaged around.
Aaron and Brandt peeked over the top of her seat as Ian leaned in closer to see. "What's that?" asked Brandt.
He pointed. "That, in the box," he said. Then he reached over the seat and pulled it out of the bag.
I turned around in my seat and watched as all three boys in the back turned bright red. When he finally realized what he was holding, he threw it back in the bag as if it were diseased. I chuckled lightly to myself when I saw Ian's expression of intense horror.
"Why'd you only get one box?" Melanie asked.
"Souls usually only take one at a time, so as not to waste," I said.
She nodded. "Okay."
"And it was kind of embarrassing, buying them from a male attendant," I added as an afterthought. "I didn't want him to think I had a heavy flow or something similar."
"Gross!" Aaron and Brandt both shouted.
Melanie and I both turned our bewildered glances at them. "What in the world is your problem?" she demanded of the two boys in the backseat.
"Those were tampons!" Aaron spat, as if the word itself were some kind of poison.
She raised her eyebrows. "Yeah. So?"
"Do you know what tampons are used for?" demanded Brandt.
Mel and I both rolled our eyes. "No, I didn't actually," she said sarcastically.
"I think I should probably get a box at every stop," I said thoughtfully. "I read somewhere that if women stay together for any extended amount of time they start to have the same cycles. If that's true, we should probably start stocking up."
I stopped talking when I realized that both Aaron's and Brandt's eyes were about to pop out of their sockets. Ian turned completely white, almost as if he was going to be sick.
"What do you mean, 'they start to have the same cycles?'" Jared asked from the driver's seat. He didn't look at all confused; in fact, he looked a little horrified.
"We all start to menstruate at the same time," I explained. "You know…have our periods at the same time?"
"WHAT?" the four males shouted in unison.
"Yeah," I said, acting as if nothing were wrong at all. I actually found the situation a bit humorous, and judging from the look on Melanie's face, she did as well. "I figured that since mine was going to start next week, we should start getting ready, just in case."
"We don't have room for you stupid crotch plugs!" Brandt sputtered. "We could be using that storage space for something else, like actual food!"
Melanie's eyes narrowed. "Watch what you say, Brandt," she said very coolly. "It's bad enough that we all menstruate at the same time. You take away our tampons and we can make your lives a lot more difficult that they need to be."
Aaron was lost in the horrifying images. "Oh God, could you imagine? All the chicks in that stupid cave, cranky at the same exact time?"
They all shuddered. Melanie and I just rolled our eyes.
"Boys," we muttered at the same time.
"You said next week, right?" Jared asked warily.
"Yes," I replied.
"Agh, this is going to suck."
"Hey, you're not the ones that it happens to," Melanie snapped. "A little compassion for the feminine mystique would be much appreciated."
"How can we be compassionate when about fifteen women are ready to castrate us all at the same time?" asked Ian gloomily.
"What if we just stuck them in the game room until it's over?" Aaron asked thoughtfully. "Then they could come back when it was finished?"
"It's not a disease, you guys," I sighed. "You've been around us when we've had our periods before."
"Yeah, but we didn't know about it," Aaron pointed out. "Now that we know, we're never going to un-know."
Melanie went back to searching the bag. "What else is in here?" She stuck her hand in and started rummaging around the bottom. Then she pulled out a much smaller box than the one that held the tampons.
Aaron, Brandt and Ian were curious in spite of themselves. When they realized what it was, Ian turned tomato red as Aaron, Brandt and Melanie all started snickering. "Wow, Ian," Aaron smirked. "And here I was, thinking you were a gentleman."
"Ribbed for her pleasure?" Brandt read aloud. "Kinky, Wanda."
I frowned. "Those aren't for me."
Ian shot me a funny look. "Then who are they for?"
"Melanie," I replied simply.
The van came to an abrupt, screeching halt.
"WHAT?" Melanie and Jared both yelled at the same time.
I turned in my seat and fixed Melanie with a questioning glance. I thought she would like these. "I was just passing by the contraception aisle in the store when I saw those particular ones, and I remembered something. Remember, Melanie? You were wondering—"
"Okay, that's enough!" she shouted, her face lit on fire with embarrassment. "I don't think they really need to know that story!"
My face fell. "But I thought you'd like them. Are you angry with me?"
She sucked in a deep breath. "No, I'm not. I'm just…I'll take care of this myself from now on, okay? But I appreciate the thought, Wanda."
I bit my lip but nodded. "Suit yourself."
"I think from now on, we need to make a list of the things you'll get," Jared said as he gently nudged the van back into movement. His face was a deep shade of scarlet, and it probably had nothing to do with the sun setting before him. "You take too many liberties."
I shrugged. "Fine. But the tampons are going on the list, whether you like it or not."
The boys groaned and I grinned to myself. This felt like home.
A/N - Just a random one shot because the idea seemed funny. Reviews are greatly appreciated!