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Snapshots of My Summer
Its summer and I’m trying to take a nap. Its midday and I’m in my clothing strewn room with the blinds drawn shut trying to take a nap. I have four summer assignments to do that I should have started already and I’m trying to take a nap. I should be at cheer practice right now but instead I’m trying to take a nap. I give up on my nap and get to work cleaning my room, doing my summer assignments, and practicing my cheers. I shouldn’t be doing this much during the summer right? What happened to those days where naps weren’t merely occasional guilty pleasures, but instead scheduled everyday?
It’s as I am trying to answer these questions that I realize that my summer didn’t start out this way. Not even close. My summer started out with lazy days lying by the pool which would later turn into playing a game of fugitive or capture the flag once the sun went down. There would be nights that my friends I would just lie underneath the stars and contemplate life’s most challenging riddles. On days we were bored, we would create adventures for ourselves to the pitch of a child’s wild imagination. It was a summer filled with no make up, no work, and best of all no worries.
When I try to look back on my summer though, some of my most prominent memories aren’t the ones centered on me kicking back with my friends, but rather the ones of us throwing stuff. To be more specific, water balloons, eggs, and toilet paper. You name it we threw it.
Before you jump to conclusions, we weren’t delinquents nailing random cars that would pass by us on the main road. We were in a prank war of epic proportions.
This prank war had been going on for a while now, before summer had even started in fact. It involved us girls against boys from the rival school and had started with a silly water balloon fight. No one was on a certain team when it started, but by the end of the water balloon fight it had become the Sisterhood against the Brotherhood.
That water balloon fight had later escalated into wild car chase which had later caused for a change of more deadly ammo. Eggs. Eggs were too damaging though, so the Sisterhood decided to get a little creative and saran wrap one of their cars. The Brotherhood was ruthless though, and they decided to bring out the eggs again. We were forced to call a truce for the time being. Or at least that’s what they thought.
It was the last day of school and we had all finished our final exams. Walking out of the classroom doors I could feel the energy, that air of relief that was shown on every kid’s face that I passed. I myself felt weightless, like I was a large helium balloon that had been set free by an unwilling kid. I was no longer tied down to anything and was allowed to roam wherever I pleased.
Walking down the main hallway already empty of kids, I drifted towards my friends who were waiting. They themselves had that special glint in their eyes.
I came up to them and asked “Ready to go?”
They answered with an affirmative yes and we all walked out of the school into the parking lot. As soon as we waltzed out the school doors for what would seem like the last time, our ears were assaulted with the sounds of horns blaring and kids shouting their final farewells. It was definitely summer time.
We rushed to my suburban, probably one of the last cars in the parking lot by the time we reached it. Jumping in, rolling down the music, and blaring the party music we drove the 5 minutes it took to get to my house and immediately started filling water balloons.
We had this system down pat from our past prank war experiences. Savannah would fill them up at the hose, I would tie them, and Ella would gently place them in the bucket. Like a well oiled machine, we had churned out 100 water balloons in no time.
Today though, the water balloons were for different reason. There was going to be a huge end of the year water balloon fight down at a nearby park that everyone was going to. We were already running a little behind.
“Hurry up!” I called out.
“We are, we are,” replied Savannah with the same tone of urgency.
We finished with the last balloon and then tossed the buckets carrying our precious ammo in the back of my car. Driving off, we passed by the school again. It was strange to see the school so devoid of life, so empty, but it was even more strange to think about how in less that three months we would be back starting our Junior year.
I wondered how school had the power to stretch time. Three days of school could sometimes feel like two weeks of endless note taking and studying, yet during the summer a week passed barely felt like a captured moment at best. The saying “Time flies when you’re having fun,” popped into my mind at that moment. If only it could be reversed I thought. If only time could fly by when you were bored out of your mind.
It was close, but by the time we pulled up to the park all we saw was the wake of destruction left behind by the war that we had just missed. The entire field behind the park was littered with little colorful pieces of plastic and kids were walking back to their cars dripping wet as we pulled up.
Dismal, we didn’t even stop to say hi to our other friends before we were headed back home to release our disappointment in the form of our wasted water balloons.
It was as we driving back to my house that I realized that maybe these water balloons wouldn’t have to go to waste after all.
Turning to Ella I asked, “Hey. You said that the Brotherhood wanted to come over right?”
Confused Ella replied, “Yes?” drawing out the end to point out that she had no idea where this was going.
“And we have water balloons right?”
“It would be a shame to waste these balloons that we worked so hard on right?
“Yeah it would!”
Starting to get the point, smiles started to creep up on our faces as we planned for the attack. Ella texted the Brotherhood to tell them to meet at my house. Once there, plan Alpha Omega Delta would initiate.
As soon as we got home, we hid the water balloons in my car under a blanket and assumed a façade of normalcy. A couple minutes later the boys came rolling in.
“Hello boys!” I cheerfully called out from my perch on the sidewalk. “Long time no see!”
A little confused, probably as to why we were all sitting on the sidewalk, Calvin, came up to us and asked, “So what’s the plan?”
I explained to him how we all wanted to go to the park to hangout because there was nothing to do at my house. Nodding and agreeing with our plan to reconvene at the park, they never suspected a thing. All of the Sisterhood loaded back into my car and all of the Brotherhood hopped in their own cars. In no time, we were off to the park for our second time that day.
“Okay everyone, here is the game plan.” Once we were back into the safe confines of my car, I started mapping out what everyone’s role would be.
“Geneva, Catherine, Ella, and I will distract the boys at the park once we get there. From that point, Erin and Savannah will stay behind to grab the water balloons and carry them behind the hill. Once we get the signal that the water balloons are safe, we will meet behind the hill and attack okay?”
Everyone nodded their heads in unison and prepared for their roles.
We arrived at the park again and started surveying and mapping out where we would hide our ammo. As we were scanning the grounds, I noticed that instead of a group of high school kids, there were now middle school kids running around everywhere. It turns out that they were having an end of school bash. This didn’t seem to be a big concern. As long as the kids stayed out of the way we would be fine.
After searching for about 2 minutes, we found a hill just far enough away from the park that Erin and Savannah would not be seen. It was perfect timing too because right then the boys arrived.
Ella, Catherine, Geneva and I got out of the car first and started to beg the boys to go swing with us on the swing set. Sure enough, they came. Walking towards the swing sets, I cast one last glance back and saw no sign of Erin and Savannah. I hoped for the best.
After twenty minutes of swinging though, I started to worry. I wondered what could possibly be taking them so long. The boys were getting anxious to go do something else but I knew that I had to keep them occupied. I was about to go looking for them when all of a sudden a little boy walked up to us at the swings. He looked to be about 12 and had a suspicious smile on his face.
He timidly went up to one of the boys who had just finished swinging and tapped him on the shoulder. He whispered something in the older boy’s ear and then ran away back to his friends.
Questioning, I asked, “What was all of that about?”
The boy himself had a perplexed look and said,” That little boy just told me that there were two girls on the other side of that hill who were planning to water balloon us.”
My face went pale and I stammered, “Oh. He must have no idea what he is talki ng about.”
“No, I think he did. Come on boys lets go check it out.”
The rest of the boys started to get up and walk up the hill where I knew Savannah and Erin were.
I tried to run in front of the boys and stop them, “No you guys don’t want to do this! That little boy was probably lying!”
They ignored me as if I wasn’t even there. There was no stopping them. I fell behind along with my girls, realizing that the moment the boys saw what was hidden behind the hill it would be game over. There was no way that Savannah and Erin could take on all five of the boys.
All we could do was watch as the boys trod their way up the hill. When they were almost to the top, they started to charge and yell. They sounded like a pack of wild hunters closing in on the kill. I closed my eyes anticipating Erin and Savannah’s shrieks at any moment.
The yells stopped just as suddenly as they had begun. I opened my eyes. For some reason, the boys had stopped right at the top of the hill. I wondered why. In a split second, the boys turned around and were funning down the hill at an incredible pace. It only took a matter of moments before I saw why.
Behind the hill, it wasn’t just Savannah and Erin like I had previously thought. It was an army of twenty plus kids wielding water balloons and yelling at the top of their lungs. All hell broke loose.
The kids were charging at the boys like angry bulls, pelting them with an angry array of water balloons. Among the throng of kids, I saw Erin and Savannah screaming like army generals telling the kids what to do. The boys tried to desperately escape the hail storm of water balloons but to no avail. They were out numbered. The boys were soaking wet and cowering in the corners of the playground at the park before the kids even ran out of water balloons.
After we were all done laughing and gasping for air, I finally pieced it all together. Erin and Savannah had asked the middle school kids running amuck the park to help aid them. They had sent that little boy, who I thought was a snitch all along, to be a decoy to get the boys to come to them so they could attack. It was brilliant.
The boys wouldn’t recover from the post traumatic stress until much later. Sitting around the campfire at my house late at night, they would later come to realize how crazy it had truly been. Images still run through all our minds to date of the armada of kids and how glorious and they looked coming over the hill, descending like a wild Indian tribe with no boundaries.
Gathered around the campfire with all of my friends that night, I never would have thought that I would have seen my summer fly by that fast. I guess that it’s only human nature to think that some things will never come to an end.
At the same time though, I never would have thought that my summer would have turned out as wonderfully as it did. I never would have thought that I would have made as many friends that I did and I certainly never would have thought of all the life changing experiences I was able to go through.
Now that summer has ended, in some ways, I’m glad that there is school. Without that painful reality check, we might take for granted all the joys that summer and friendship can bring. And even though I may find my sense of reality returning faster than I thought this year, I know that all I have to do is think back to those nights with me and my friends around the campfire to get that feeling of summer back.