Chapter 3

I’m On My Way To Camp P.O.S.SUM
Posted on 03/31/2022
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“Cameron, will you please put the book down and talk to ME?!?” Maye, my sister, asks, “You’ve been reading for the entire trip!”

“I’ve been reading for two hours, not the entire trip,” I reply.

The trip to Camp P.O.S.SUM took four hours. I’d only been reading for two, and we’d been in the car for two and a half. The first thirty minutes I looked out the window, then that got boring and I decided the world of young wizards was better.

“Maye, let your brother read, I mean, he doesn’t have to constantly talk to you,” Mom says.

“Mom, that’s the thing,” Maye says,” He never talks to me, other than to correct me when I don’t do something just so.”

“Maye, I don’t like to talk to you because the topics we always talk about are… well… um… er… questionable.” I say,” I mean, I don’t doubt the government will take America into another war, unlike you.”

“Well, it’s still a good conversation topic,” says Maye, always trying to defend herself and her points.

“Okay, but could we at least choose something more… for our age?  Like, ‘Which is better, cats or dogs.’ We don’t need to be so political.”

“Mom, you see what I mean, he’s always correcting me!” Maye says

“Then if you don’t want me to correct you in the first place, leave me alone!” I say as I go back to reading.

.                                        .                                        .



*Slam*

I’m awoken by the slamming of our car door. I guess I fell asleep in the last hour of the drive, because I know I got a good thirty minutes of precious reading time. Now that I’ve fully woken up, I can see that we’re at a rest stop. “Might as well get something to eat,” I think, as I see it’s noon. We still have another thirty minutes, and then we have to get settled, and that’s going to take at least an hour.

As I walk in, I see that Maye is at the freezers, picking out a drink, trying to reach for the Sprites, which are on the top shelf, which she is too short to reach. I walk over to her and grab a Sprite and hand it to her, then go to grab myself a Coke. 

When I turn around, Maye’s still standing there.

“What?” I ask.

“Nothing, just waiting on you,” she says, rather matter-of-factly.

“Okay,” I reply.

I walk past her and hear her footsteps behind me. I go over to get a Hershey’s bar. Maye gets herself a pack of Skittles. We walk over to the checkout to pay.

“Six eighty-six,” says the cashier.

We fork out seven dollars and hand it to the cashier. He gives us back fifteen cents, an obvious mistake.

“Here,” I say, handing him back the nickel,” It’s supposed to be fourteen.”

“Oh!” he says, realizing his mistake and handing us four pennies.

.                                       .                                       .

When we get back into the car, Maye is staring at me in disbelief.

“What?” I ask her.

“Why did you do that? It’s just a penny difference, it’s not like they’re going to miss it,” she says.

“I don’t like mistakes,” I say as I go back to reading.

Mom gets into the car in a huff.

“4.32 for a gallon of gas! It’s insane! I paid 51.84 for twelve gallons of gas! Why are gass prices so darn high!” She says, clearly ranting to herself.

“It’s just because Russia wants Ukraine under their control again, ” Maye says, not understanding that the question was rhetorical.

I decide not to listen and so I open my Coke and Hershey’s, then go back to reading.

Fifteen minutes later, Maye’s phone starts going off like crazy. *Bing* *Shwoop* *Bing*  *Shwoop*

Her phone goes off again and I slam my book down.

“Maye, who’s texting you?” I say agitatedly.

“It’s Aleya. She’s curious where we are. She’s waiting for me at Camp P.O.S.SUM,” Maye responds.

I don’t have anything to say to that, so I decide to go back to reading.

Ten minutes later, Mom says,” Cameron, put your book down for five minutes and get ready to get out.”

I dog-ear my page and put the book down and look out the window, looking for Camp P.O.S.SUM. When I finally see it, I can see Maye sitting on the edge of her seat out of my peripheral vision. I can tell she’s getting more and more excited by the second. I take a final bite of my Hershey's bar and pack everything back up in my backpack.

As soon as we are out of the car, I hear my sister scream, “Aleya!”

“Maye!”

I look in their direction as they’re hugging. Then they start talking and I’m too far away to hear, so I decide to start getting our bags out of the car.

When I’m done, Maye’s standing right beside me with the girl. Aleya, I’m assuming, is blushing ever so slightly, looking nervous. Must be how she acts around everyone new she meets.

“Hullo, I’m Aleya,” she says. 

She sounds British I think.

“Hey, I’m Cameron,” I say, slightly nodding my head.

“My cousin, Milo, is over there,” Aleya says, turning to Maye.

“Come on, Cameron,” Maye says, grabbing her bags, “We’re sharing a bunk with them.”

Slightly confused, I follow her to Cabin 3. She and Aleya talking all the while, and me just following them there.

When we get there, Aleya leaves by saying, “I’ll see you all later, when you’re all settled in.”

When she’s gone, I turn to Maye, “You never told me she was British.”

“There was no need to tell you, and if I told you, I knew you would just brush it off.”

“Then why didn’t you tell me she was so cute?!?” I ask- almost screaming.

“Wait, wait, wait, what! You, Cameron Joseph Carithers, have a crush on my best friend, Aleya Carlien Smith?!?” Maye says,” I’ve got to get started on a ship name! How about Caleya, or Alameron? No, no, no, Caleya is SO much better!”

“I never said I liked her, I just said she’s cute,” I say, exasperated,  “And, also, her middle name’s Carlien?”

“Oh, nevermind that. You still think she’s cute, and that little thing could grow into something SO much more!”

I finish unpacking and walk out, slightly embarrassed that I told her that I thought Aleya was cute. I mean, she rocks some ripped jeans. And the pink tank-top doesn’t look bad. 

No, I tell myself, don’t get distracted by a girl. I am here to learn and expand my knowledge. That is IT!

I CAN NOT believe I let myself get distracted this early on.