- Age 5 and 7.
"Megan, they're here!" Her mother cooed, shifting the camcorder to her baby girl. "Your new friends!"
Megan glanced at the blue van doubtfully, pulling her ponytail. "Mommy, they're boys. Boys have cooties." She stated in a tone that suggested everybody knew that.
The red light on the camcorder blinked, and Mrs. Meade laughed. "These ones don't." Megan stared at her, pouting, but nodded. Her head snapped to the car again when she heard the doors click.
They slid open. Megan held her breath, her mouth slightly ajar.
The first boy to slide out was pudgy with stringy brown hair. A second boy followed out, slightly less pudgy, with blond hair. They laughed together, an obnoxious noise that made Megan want to cover her ears. Another toddler followed out, and yet another. Silently, another boy with dark, nutmeg hair jumped out, landing on his toes, balancing.
"Mommy!" She tugged on her mother's sleeve. "Mommy, they're all boys!" She cried, a horrified expression replacing her tense one. Her mother chuckled.
"Boys, get in a line!" Their mother, Megan assumed, demanded. They slipped haphazardly into a wobbly line, still talking amongst themselves. Their mother bent down, patting Megan's head. "Hey Sweety, I'm Mrs. McGowan, but you can call me aunty. Now..." She turned to face her sons. Her husband walked up to her, 2 more kids slung from on his back and arms. Her finger pointed to the first kid, the tallest of the crew, the one who just came up to her blown-up stomach. "This is Evan, he's 7. Be careful of him." She murmured to Megan, winking. Evan laughed out-loud, an irritating note. "This is Finn." The blond boy waved timidly and half-heartedly, clinging to Evan's side. "Those two are double trouble." Their mom sighed, slipping her hair behind her ear. Finn and Evan let out a bark of laughter and exchanged a round of high-fives. "Oh, and Finn is 5."
Megan was immediately cautious, especially of their closeness. She could practically smell the danger.
"This is Sean. He's 10." The dark haired boy's eyes slid up, but his face never left the floor, like he was looking over a pair of sunglasses. The skinny, wiry boy next to him socked him in the arm, and he retaliated, rubbing his arm. "Cut it out, Doug." His mom snapped. He cowered. Another small boy clung to her side, holding on for dear life. "Miller, come out honey." He looked up at her, nervous. "Oh well, it's ok. Miller's 5 too. He's got autism."
Autism? Megan wasn't sure what that was.
"We're staying for a week." She smiled at her friend's daughter warmly.
Megan nodded, squeezing her teddy bear Mr. Boogie, and sucking her thumb.
"Mommmmmmyyyy!" The young girl with hazelnut-colored hair screeched, tears welling in her eyes. "MOMMY! EVAN STOLE MR. BOOGIE!" Her voice rose to an octave unknown to man, and the boys plugged their ears, doubling over with laughter, save for Sean, who was rocking in a chair, staring at the television with bored eyes. Sobs wretched through her body, and she ran to her mother.
"Evan!" Mrs. McGowan scowled, grabbing her son by the arm. "What did I say to you before we came?" Evan hid his gap-toothed smile behind a hand.
"You told me to be good." He snickered, and Finn ducked under the table to hide his tears of mirth.
"And?" His mother hissed.
"Aaaw! Fine!" He crossed his arms, pouting. "Here's your stupid bear back!" He thrust it at Megan, whose tears dried immediately. She grabbed it back, cradling him in her arms.
"And what do you say?"
"Sorry!" He replied snootily, sticking his nose up and marching out of the dining room.
"I'm sorry about that Megan." She said, helping her up, and apologizing to Mrs. Meade.
Just 4 more days. Megan thought to herself, clutching Mr. Boogie like he a lifesaver.
"Go away, Evan." Megan shouted at her door, staring at the rattling knob.
"I'm not Evan! How many times do I have to tell you?" He pounded. "I'm Finn!" The bronze doorknob shook violently again.
"Really?" Megan asked quietly, pressing her ear against the door.
"Really! Now let me in!" The door shook again, continuing to rattle.
"Ok..." She replied, unsure. Finn and Evan were alike... They even sounded alike. She popped the lock, and The door shot open.
Evan cracked with laughter, slamming the door and locking it. Megan gazed at him with terrified eyes. "You're so stupid!" He howled, jumping onto her bed. "Just like all girls!"
Megan's eyes teared up. She struggled not to scream. "Get off my bed!" She spat, yanking the covers.
"Aaw, you're such a party-pooper!" He stuck his thumbs on his head and blew a raspberry. Megan clawed at her blue sheets. Finally, after what seemed like hours to her, she fell to the floor in exhaustion, tears of frustration pooling at the corner of her jade-green orbs. She stifled her sobs so they weren't as noticeable.
He must have noticed her sniffling, because the creaking springs stopped slowly, and he slid to the floor. "Are you crying?" Megan shook her head. "Aaw, c'mon, don't cry." He edges closer to her. "Did I hurt your feelings?" She didn't look at him. "I'm sorry." She turned away, staring at the door, her eyes red. "Hey, I said I'm sorry!" He growled impatiently, tapping her on the shoulder.
Megan curled up, looping her arms around her knees, praying for him to leave her alone. Her prayers were answered.
"Fine!" He snarled, getting up and letting the door crash behind him.
A breath of relief escaped her lips. 2 more days.
"Megan? Dinner!" Megan crawled down the stairs, awaiting her doom. Flying spaghetti was not her idea of dinner. Neither was Evan sitting next to her and rolling out his tongue to show her his mashed up roll. Like he was now.
"Seeee?" He said through a mouthful. Megan dodged the flying crumbs. "Food!" The table of boys cracked up. "Seafood!" Megan cringed, managing a lopsided smile.
Halfway through the meal, she noticed Evan sending her side-glances. "Stop it!" She muttered under her breath, pinching his elbow as hard as she could. He squeaked before returning to his pasta, never looking at her again.
Tomorrow's the last day! Megan's insides flipped with glee. Finally!
"WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP!"
Her eyes fluttered apart like butterfly wings, squinting against the broad light. Something blurry blocked her view of the ceiling. She blinked, rubbing her eyes.
Evan loomed over her, his face centimeters away from hers. She shrieked, pulling the covers up.
"Hahah!" He laughed, sitting back. Megan peeked over her covers, blushing.
"Get out!" She demanded, pointing to the door. Then she smirked inside, shifting her finger to the window. Evan noticed, and his jaw dropped.
"I hope you fall out!" Megan scream-laughed, jumping up from her bed and bouncing on her bed. She landed with a thump on the floor. She turned to look at Evan, grinning. His entire head was red, and she cocked her head. "You look like a tomato!" She smirked.
"What's wrong?" All tones of amusement left her body, and she stared at him uncertainly.
"I just saw your undies."
She screeched at the top of her lungs.
"Evan, Finn, Sean, Doug, did you guys get all your stuff?" Their mom hollered, looking towards the house. Megan gazed out the window.
"Yeeaaaaah..." They all yelled back in unison. The sound of stomping reverberated against the house, and all the boys flew out the door together. "Mom, I gotta do something." Evan said, pointing back to Megan's home. "Wait a second."
Oh no. Megan slid from behind the window, covering herself with the curtain.
"I see you." He deadpanned, swiping the rough material away. "I just wanted to say bye."
"Ok. Bye." Then she turned to leave.
"Wait!" He grabbed her hand, and she attempted not to squeal and shy away. "I saw this in a movie." He coughed. "Don't forget me."
"Wha-" But she was stopped mid-sentence when the boy in front of her leaned forward and pressed his lips against hers. Whhhaaaaatttt? Her mind screamed, but she didn't jump away. Her eyes widened in shock. Evan backed away, still holding onto her hand.
"Ok." He blushed. "Bye." He inched away, waving, before gliding out the door and leaving Megan in a state of utter-confusion. That boy just kissed me, I think. The thought swirled in her mind. Evan McGowan. Fat, pudgy, mean Evan McGowan just kissed me.
Then she blacked out.
- 2 years later. (7 and 9.)
"Megan, guess what?" Her mom cooed, leaning against the railing off the door. If she smiled any wider, the top half of her head would fall off.
"We're having tuna salad for dinner?" Megan guessed absent-mindedly, scribbling her summer math homework against a piece of scratch paper.
"Noooo. Guess again." Her mother crossed her arms, tapping her fingers.
"Umm... I don't know. Tell me." She spun around in her chair, stopping when she was in front of her mom.
"The McGowans are coming again!" Megan's mom clapped excitedly, staring at her daughter with elation. Megan blanched, but slid on a smile.
"Oh, that's great! When are they gonna be here?" She said timidly, hesitating. I'm not sure I really wanna know...
"They're gonna be here this afternoon!"
Oh my god. Please don't let me throw up. Please. Please. She would've clasped her hands together, but her mom my think something was up. "That's... awesome!" She smiled. This sucks! Her mind reeled.
"I know! So get ready!" Her mother spun, leaving the room.
Megan waited a minute, to make sure her mom wasn't coming back. Then she spun around again, facing her mirror. Her face was the color of A4 paper, and her smile dropped like a bomb.
"Heeeeey, what's up!" The boys sniggered, high-fiving each other and running into the room like it was their house and not hers.
Megan eyed them, forcing herself not to break down in a pool of tears. There was Evan- still as obnoxious as ever, but not quite as pudgy (But still pudgy. Always was, always will be, Megan thought to herselfe.). Finn was taller than him now, a little more thin and wiry than his older brother. His blond hair fell in front of his eyes, and he shook it every so often to get it out of his crystal-blue eyes. Megan fidgeted, sitting straight up on the couch. Evan plopped down beside her to the left, and Finn to the right. Both of them yawned, stretching their arms and sliding them behind Megan, who immediately stiffened.
"Soooo, how's it going?" Evan sneered, picking his feet up and landing them on the coffee table in front of him. Finn followed, inching closer to Megan.
"How've ya been these past 2 years?"
Megan swallowed. Suddenly the room was spinning. "I've been... good." She choked out, sliding to the edge of the couch.
"Cool." They both said in unison.
Somethings wrong. Megan's intuition told her, and she hurried to jump out of the couch. But too late, when she jumped out, the came down on her with pillows. Laughter followed, and she was swamped with pillows.
This is going to be a long week.
"Hey, Megan!" Doug peeked from behind the wall, and motioned for her to follow with a finger. Megan placed her pencil on her clipboard and got up to trail him. "We got a new puppy this summer. We brought her over 'cause nobody at home can take care of her. Her names Daisy."
"Oh. Cool." She was led into the playground, and Doug motioned for her to go by the tree.
"She doesn't like when too many people crowd around her. She's really shy." He gestured for her to move forward. "Go ahead. She's really nice- doesn't bite at all." He smiled, and Megan's eyes flicked to his mischevious grin. He was missing his two front teeth.
"Thanks." She walked uncertainly to the tree, glancing around. Her flip-flops slapped against the twigs, leave, and grass. "There's nothing here." Glancing up to check with Doug, her eyes roved over the area he was just standing in. He was gone. "Hello?" What's wrong?
Then it hit her. She rushed to jump out, but was just a second too late. Just as she leapt into the air, the boys screamed Now!, and she was caught by the ankle, hanging from the tree. Thank god she was wearing jeans.
"PUT ME DOWN! NOW!" She hollered, waving her arms. The boys laughed deliriously, on the verge of crying. "I'm serious!" Thankfully, her hands were still brushing the ground. She curled up (Thank you, soccer... Megan said to herself, glad for her flexibility.) and pried the knot apart, sliding out. Her hair flew in the wind, and she picked up the closest item to her. A wifflebat. Good.
"Evan, c'mere please." She cooed, placing her hands behind her, along with the bat. Evan glanced at her, his eyes sparkling. At that second, she almost felt guilty. He had nice eyes. Really nice eyes. Her hands loosened.
"What now, sissy?"
"I need to tell you something." She smiled, cocking her head. Her ponytail swung in the wind. Natural nutmeg highlights lit up in her hazeulnut hair. Evan pranced over, leaning towards her.
"Finally falling for my charm?" He smirked, leaning towards her.
"No. Just the opposite." Megan snarled. Evan glanced at her with confusion. Megan lifted the bat above her, and it dawned on Evan. His eyes widened, and he froze, paralyzed. "I'm sick of you!"
The bat rained down on him, and he was knocked into darkness.
"Megan!" Her mother shouted, lecturing her daughter, who stood soberly. "How could you do this? I'm ashamed of you! How many times have I told you violence is not the answer?" Hysteric, her mother stomped around her daughter.
"He hung me upside down, mom! I'm tired of him!" Megan screamed back, cracking her knuckles. "All he ever does is be mean to me!" A sob caught in the back of her throat.
"But you can't hit someone! It's wrong!"
The closet door banged open, and Megan stormed down the stairs.
She glared at Evan, crossed her arms, but said meekly. Her voice cracked over each syllable. "I'm sorry for hitting you, Evan." Scowling, she looked away.
He smiled. "I didn't know you liked me that much."
Megan stared at him in confusion. Oh my gosh. I hit him so hard, he'll be dumb forever!
"People hit each other if they love each other." He grinned, his straight teeth beaming up at her.
She smothered a gasp. "WHAT! You're insane! You've finally lost it!"
"Nope." He sat up in his bed. "You just really really like me!"
"You're an idiot!"
"Wow! You love me that much!"
"NO!" Megan hollered.
She hadn't noticed the whole time that Evan was creeping up to her. When he caught her by the shoulders, she jumped.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm gonna kiss you." And then he did.
She jumped back, fell against the cupboard, and stood up, shaking. "What was that for?" She screamed, stomping her foot.
"You're mine now." Evan sneered, crossing his own arms.
"You've lost your mind!" Megan screamed, racing out of the room.
~*~ Present Day
And now here she was, standing across from Finn with her hands on her thighs, knees bent like she was doing a wall-sit. He smiled at her, and she couldn't help but grin back. Any moment, the frisbee would come flying over their heads, and she'd be the one to grab it.
Her eyes flickered to Evan, and she caught her breath. His irises darkened a shade, and Megan's momentary bliss turned into uncertainty.