AN: I apologize profusely for not updating for so long. Crap happened. But. Here's a much longer chapter than the past three have been (it's literally 5 words shy of 1,300). And uh. Just a heads up. This is a chapter that's a flashback to before the crash. I originally wrote it in present tense, realized it should be in past, went back and changed it. Hopefully, I got all of it. If I missed any and it doesn't make sense because of that, I apologize. Just leave a review and/or PM me and I'll try and change it ASAP. Also, the next chapter (which I have about 300-400 words of it written), will be another flashback chapter, and it **should** be up within the week.
DISCLAIMER: No. I do not claim any rights to Percy Jackson.
I stood on my front porch, my bare feet on the cool wood. A slight breeze ran through the air, jostling the green leaves that covered the trees, giving the scene an unrealistically calm effect. My eyes narrowed down, and I stepped off the porch, my feet slamming against the cement front walk to the driveway, where my car sat. I flung the driver's door open, and sat down, fuming. Tears stung my eyes, and I glanced at myself in the rear view mirrors, taking in my appearance. Messed up brown hair and light green eyes. I tore my gaze away from the mirror to glare absently at the shut garage door in front of me.
I stuck the keys into the ignition, and started the car; immediately the radio started up, and some crappy pop song came playing out of the speakers. I groaned, grabbed some CD case and stuck the CD into the player. A few seconds later, the sound of a Shinedown song filled the car, and I backed the car out of the driveway, my anger receding slightly.
My bags for camp sat in the trunk of the car, where I'd had them for the past week. I'd been prepared to leave for camp at any time, in case something like what just happened did happen. I'd been hoping to leave on a happier note, but I knew that that was just an empty thought. Not one time had I left for camp happy. Not even once.
A few minutes later, I pulled into another driveway. The home of the annoying near-identical brothers, Travis and Connor Stoll. I got out of the car, left it on, and walked up to their front door. I rang the doorbell, and attempt to calm myself before one of them comes. The door was flung open, and Travis appeared. "Hey, Katie," he greeted me, a grin on his face.
"Hi. Get your bags. We need to leave for camp now," I responded, a touch of anger in my voice.
The smirk slid away, and worry entered his eyes. "What's wrong?"
I glared at him, the rage at my father boiling up again. "Nothing," I snapped back, "just get your bags for camp."
Holding his hands up in surrender, he said, "Okay, fine. Come inside while I get Connor?"
I took a second to ponder this before I nodded sharply, and he opened the door to let me enter the cool interior of his house. Knowing where to go, I took the few steps to enter their living room and took a seat on one of their couches while Travis ran off to find Connor and get their bags. A few minutes later, he returned with Connor in tow. They had their backpacks slung over their shoulders, and I gave a slight smile to Connor in greeting; in return, he enthusiastically said, "Hey, Katie!"
I rose from the couch and followed to the two boys out of their house and over to my still-running car, entered, and waited as they deposited their bags in the trunk. Travis entered the seat next to me, smiled, and gave me a hug. "What's wrong?" he whispered in my ear.
I said nothing, slightly shaking my head before I pulled back from the embrace. Connor then slid into the backseat of the car, and took one look at us before he groaned. "Ugh, come on you too! Not where there are innocent eyes."
I laughed, but Travis retorted, "If you're talking about yourself, you're hardly innocent."
After a couple of hours with the Stolls in my car, the anger at my father had completely dissolved. It'd been replaced by my annoyance at the two hyperactive brothers now seated in my car. With the way they kept needing to stop for food and bathroom breaks, we'd be lucky if we made it to camp sometime this month. But I shrugged and bore it; traveling with the two of them might not be the best arrangement, but it's better than on my own. And besides, the two are my best friends. None of my siblings seemed to be able to understand it, given that the Stoll brothers enjoyed pranking our cabin. But I smiled at them and said, "They're not that bad."
Of course, none of them knew about my crush on Travis. The only person who knew about that was Connor, and he'd been sworn to secrecy. He still, of course, dropped not-so-subtle hints, but Travis, being the clueless moron he was, never seemed to understand them.
What I didn't know, however, was that Travis also liked me. And that the only person he'd confided in was Connor.
Watching the two idiots in front of me is like watching a really bad soap opera, only a lot less dramatic and I can't make fun of it and - actually, forget the soap opera analogy. It's just super annoying knowing that they both like each other, but still unable to do anything about it. They'd both sworn me to secrecy on pain of death.
Seeing as I didn't have a death wish, I'd readily obliged to this. But that didn't stop me from hinting at things, and trying to force them together. They still remained resilient. I was just about ready to give up my self-appointed job of getting them together, when an idea formed in my head. The only problem was, was that it'll have to wait a little while. A mischievous grin started to from on my face, and that was when Katie's voice broke through my planning.
"Uh uh," she said, glancing at me in the rear view mirror, "I do not like the look on your face. What are you planning?"
I struggled to regain a neutral look, but was unable to completely smother the smirk. "Nothing!"
Katie's eyes narrowed slightly before she shrugged. "If you say so."
The next few hours passed uneventfully. I was sitting in the back, formulating my plan to get Travis and Katie together. The two might like each a lot, but they're both too blind and dumb to notice. This was going to be hard to accomplish, but hopefully, given the right nudging, they'd see it.
Katie announced that we have to stop for the night, and pulled into the parking lot of a small hotel. We exited the car, and entered the building. Katie immediately headed over to the front desk, while Travis and I hung back, taking in the decor and listening to the conversation Katie and the receptionist were having, only a few words of their conversation flowing over to us.
When Katie walked back over to us, she was holding two room keys, one of which she handed too Travis, and the other she kept for herself.
We went back out to the car, and entered so we can get some dinner before turning in for the night. The large, golden M marking a McDonald's shone like a beacon, calling us into the fast food restaurant. As Katie had paid for the hotel rooms, the food was on Travis and I.
After we'd ordered, we waited the few minutes it took for the food to be ready for us. Sitting at one of the tables, we all quickly inhaled the food before standing and leaving once more.
Back at the hotel, we seperated so Kate could go to her room, and Travis and I to ours. After a short debate over who got which bed, we both changed into our pajamas and collapsed onto our respective beds. I went over the plan once more in my mind before allowing the sweet darkness of a dreamless sleep to take over.