A story about friendship and adventures in middle school. A small sampling. Please review.
It was an early summer's day and the weather was absolutely perfect. The sky was practically clear with a few sparing clouds that drifted across like tiny islands amid a crystal blue sea. The warm air blew softly down over the cobblestone streets of my tiny neighborhood which stood just at the outer edges of San Miguel de Allende. I was only 13 at the time, and had never found outdoor activities very interesting. As a matter of fact, I was in the living room attentively watching the television when the phone began to ring.
I picked up the phone and answered it with my personal trademark greeting, "Ya'llo?"
"Hey, man. Are you all set for tonight?" It was my close friend Damian calling.
"Of course I am," I replied lying since I hadn't even considered what I might need for the night's event. "But just to make sure, let's go over the things I would need to take with me."
"So you haven't packed anything yet, have you?" he asked with an as-a-matter-of-fact tone of voice.
"What do you mean by that? Of course I have."
"PJ, you can't fool me. For that matter, you can't fool anyone. Face it, you're the worst liar."
"Ok, fine," I said sounding defeated but quickly followed to the issue of the call. "Anyways, tell me what I need to take. I've never gone camping before."
"Well, you'll need some extra clothes, some soap, and a sleeping bag..."
"No duh," I interrupted, "What I meant by that was what things, out of the obvious, do you recommend I should take."
"Ah, well you should have specified."
"Don't start with me! You know I'm good at arguments. You've seen I've had plenty of practice with my brother and sister."
"Ok... Ok... Cool down I was only kidding around. Well I've already got my stuff ready. You'll probably want to take a towel and a pair of swimming trunks just in case we decide to go for a dip at the lake near by. Ah, and definitely take some water with you, although I think Toshio's mom will be bringing plenty. No need for food or a tent either. I just got off the phone with Tosh, and they said that we should meet up at the camp site at three o'clock."
We spoke for a little bit more about school and how it felt great to be finally on vacation, and all the other great activities we might end up doing throughout the summer. Damian had been the first friend I had made when I first arrived to San Miguel. I can't quite remember how it was that we met but we found common ground almost immediately. Throughout the school year we would spend hours talking about astronomy and physics. We were quite the nerds, although he didn't look like one with his mushroomed sandy hair and lack of braces, glasses and acne. I on the other hand was your stereotypical, straight-out-of-the dictionary geek. I had just gone through my growth spurt so I had school pants that reached just below my shins. My father constantly refused to buy me new ones saying that I would only out grow them in a matter of weeks.I shouldn't forget the huge glasses I wore that seemed to have a mind of their own as they constantly slipped down to the tip of my nose. And I can't put aside the wonderful decision my father made by adding the final touch to my outfit by having me visit an orthodontist on a regular basis to tighten and retighten a set of lovely braces. To top it all, I was just starting to see the first signs of acne on my forehead. I was definitely no prince charming.
Damian and I would usually meet up and spend long hours playing video games. I usually went over to his place because my room was kind of crowded, smelling of sweat and dirty laundry, as I shared it with my older brother. But more importantly, I preferred visiting Damian because he had an internet connection... It was the newest thing to hit the town and I found it both amazing but quite boring as it took forever to see something new pop up on the the screen. He also had a Nintendo 64 with the new Star Fox video game which included the rumble pack. I hadn't bought the video game system yet, and both my parents refused to waste their money on it.
It was already past noon and there was no use wasting more time in front of the television. So I ran up a flight of stairs into my bedroom which smelled rather stagnant as neither of the windows had been opened to let the air flow. I quickly got a hold of my red backpack and tossed in a change of clothes, a swim suit and a towel. Just as I was about to head out the closet, I spotted my baseball mitt out of the corner of my eye. I quickly went back in, turning the light switch back on. I put a couple of baseball mits, a baseball that had probably seen better days and a tennis ball just in case my friends refused to play with the baseball into the backpack. As I walked out, I also got a hold of my black wooden bat which was leaning up against the door simply begging to be taken along for the camping trip.
I let my backpack fall onto the green quilt that covered my bed and started to zip it up. At this, my brother Andy entered and saw that I was just about ready to head off.
"Did you remember to pack your toothbrush?" he asked.
"No. Thanks." I raced over to the bathroom to pick up my toothbrush and some toothpaste ("And you might as well get mine, while you're in there.") and my brother's toothbrush, too.
Andy would be joining us as well, so as I came back into the room he had crammed in a couple of his own things into my backpack without even bothering to ask. We were practically ready. I went down to the kitchen, filled up a sport's bottle with some water, and stuffed it into my backpack which was ready to burst.
By now it was nearing three o'clock and my mother was already busy in the kitchen seeing what she might cook for dinner. She already had spoken with Toshio and Aurora's parents and was more than happy to take us to the camp site. Meanwhile, my brother was still upstairs combing and styling his straight brown hair which strongly contrasted my wild curly brown hair that looked more like a puffball. Andy had started behaving this way since the day he got with his girlfriend during the school year. Although they had already broken up, the habits my brother had picked up while he was dating her hadn't changed. After about quarter of an hour, he finally decided to come down. Amazing what a girl can do to the way you act when your hormones are raging.
We promptly jumped into the car and my little sister Christy came along for the ride; however she couldn't stay as she was still too young to spend the night with boys, even with adult supervision. As I recall she was rather disappointed frowning most of the way there. She called shotgun and sat next to my mother. It was the least we could let her have as she was probably going to spend a rather uneventful night at home.
The campsite wasn't too far off. About a mile south of my neighborhood and directly after the railroad crossing. The entrance to the camp grounds was just a rusty old sign set next to a pine tree. We headed for the area furthest from the entrance and nearest to the largest clearance. As it was June 25th, San Miguel was pretty abandoned by the tourists that usually infested it and there were only two RVs and a young couple that had set up camp several yards down and behind some mesquite trees and bushes. I'm sure they had their personal reasons for seeking such private ground.