Amber & Andrew

January 18, 2012
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Two years ago, I was in New Jersey visiting my grandparents at their shore house. My cousin Amber and her family had rented a house in that same development, and we were really excited about it. During the week of July 4th, we drove down to Dennisville. Amber and I rode with my aunt Linda and my grandma, while my grandpa drove Amber’s annoying brother, Andrew.
Of course, we reached Holly Lake long before my grandpa did. We knew that whenever Andrew went on a car ride, he insisted on stopping at every store he saw along the way to buy chips and soda.
When they finally arrived, Andrew leapt out of the car with his DS and said: “Amber! Katie! This place is awesome! We are gonna have so much fun! We can play Xbox, and we can go to the arcade, and we can go swimming and...” He kept talking, even though everyone was too busy unpacking the cars to listen to him. “Yo, Dad, can Curran come over this weekend?”
Amber groaned. “We haven’t even been here ten minutes and you’re already asking if your annoying friends can come over!”
“Shut up, Amber! You’re just jealous because you don’t have any friends!” Andrew yelled.
They kept arguing with each other until our aunt Linda walked up to us carrying a cooler, several towels, and Andrew’s water gun. “There’s a party tonight at the development pool,” she said. “It’s going to be really fun. There’s going to be karaoke and food, and the pool and arcade are going to be open until midnight. The party starts at seven, so I figured we could head over now. Are you ready?”
Less than ten minutes later, our golf cart was loaded up with everything we needed for the party. Even though it was almost six o’ clock, it was still really hot, and the pool was crowded with people. In the pavilion, tables and speakers were being set up around the arcade machines. As soon as we parked the golf cart, Amber ran into the pavilion and looked into the crane machine.

“That stuffed penguin is so cute!” Amber said, pressing her face up against the glass.
Andrew rolled his eyes. “Those things never work,” he said. “You’re never going to win that stupid penguin so don’t waste your money.”
“Shut up, Andrew. I’m going to try anyway.” Amber began slipping quarters into the machine. It lit up and the crane started to move.
“God, Amber, you’re like the dumbest person ever! I hope you have fun throwing your money away.” He shuffled over to play air hockey with our aunt.
Less than a minute later, Amber turned around, screaming, “I won it! I won it!” she shoved the penguin in Andrew’s face. “See, Drew? The penguin is all mine!”
Andrew pushed it away. “Shut up, Amber! It’s easy to win stuff out of crane machines! They’re stupid anyway so stop thinking that you’re so cool just because you won a stuffed animal out of one!” He stomped away, and we both knew that he was jealous.
Gradually, it got darker out, and me and my cousins started getting anxious for the party to start. Andrew was being annoying, so Amber and I hid in the bathroom to escape from him. We threw her penguin back and forth aimlessly until I accidentally tossed it into the toilet.
“Well,” I said. “I guess that’s the end of the penguin. Sorry, Amber. I’ll give you quarters to win a new one if you want,”
Apparently, Amber had other ideas. I watched in shock as Amber stuck her hand into the dirty toilet and pulled out the stuffed animal. The smell coming off of it was horrible. I continued to watch as Amber turned on the sink and began washing it with hand soap and water that smelled like rotten eggs.
“Um, Amber,” I interrupted, choking on the stench. “I think it would be easier for you to just win a new one.”
Before she could respond, her mom walked in. She obviously didn’t expect both of us to be in the bathroom at the same time.
“Hey girls,” she said cheerfully. “What are you two doing in here?” Her face fell. “What in the name of God is that horrible smell?!”
Amber told her mom the story of how I threw the penguin in the toilet, but her mom was too busy yelling at her to listen.
“Amber! That’s disgusting! Why would you stick your hand in a public toilet? Now it smells so bad in here that no one is going to be able to use the bathroom!”

When she finally finished yelling at us, we went back outside. “I don’t think that could have gone any worse,” I said.

“It just did,” Amber said, as Andrew walked over to us and started dancing. She covered her eyes with her hands. “I can’t watch him! It’s killing me!” she joked.

For once, to my amazement, they didn’t get into an argument. I was speechless, because Amber and Andrew were known for getting into fights about stupid things like wrestlers, juice boxes, Andrew’s friends, and Target.

The crowd suddenly went quiet as a voice echoed across the pavilion. “Okay, it’s time for karaoke! Who wants to go first?”

Amber and Andrew watched in horror as their mom, dad, and our aunt walked up to the microphone. I laughed as the music began to play and they started singing, while Andrew and Amber just stared at their parents in shock.

“You’re embarrassing yourselves!” Andrew shouted at his mom, but she couldn’t hear him because the music was so loud.

“Shut up, Drew, they’re having fun,” Amber said. Before the party was over, their parents sang at least five songs. The three of us were laughing the whole time, and it turned out to be one of the best parties I went to that summer.





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