Mary's Song (Part 4)

By , Spring Grove, IL
When I woke up, it was only seven-thirty, but I made my way out to the kitchen anyway. I looked in each and every cabinet until I found what I was looking for; pop tarts. When we were on vacation, my parents didn’t really care what I ate, so we always had a huge stash of junk food somewhere around and I got away with eating pop tarts for breakfast. I made myself a mug of coffee, only half way full with coffee and the rest of the way full with creamer and milk because I don’t like black coffee. When I was ready to go with my mug and pop tarts in one hand, I opened the back door to go out onto the deck that faced the lake. From this cabin, I saw a different view that every other year. The back faced a totally different side of the lake, while the old one faced the bay of the resort; this one faced the other side that took a good five minutes to get to by boat. Looking around, I saw the clear blue sky, with the sun already high in the sky, and the lake was as calm as could be. It was peaceful. There was a slight breeze, but it felt good against my skin because I was only wearing a tank top and an old pair of practice softball shorts that I wore to bed the night before. So there I sat, in one of the white plastic chairs with my feet up on the railing, looking over the lake eating my pop tarts and drinking my cream/milked down coffee. It was a good start to a good day.
Even when I was done eating, I sat there just looking at the lake, taking it in, never wanting to forget it. But at last, I sighed, and went back into the cabin to see what my parents were up to on this fine morning. I opened the back door, and noticed that there were dishes drying on the counter, and something on the table caught my eye. I walked around to it, and picked up the piece of paper laying there.

Me and your father went out to town then we were planning on going out fishing right away so we won’t be back until later. Have a good day sweetie!
Love, Mom

So, I had the whole day without worrying about my parents. This really was going to be a good day. I went back into my room, gather my stuff and headed into the bathroom to take a shower. The showers here were never the best ones around, but I guess they were okay because they got the job done. I was in and out in a matter of fifteen-twenty minutes. I made my way back to my room and plopped my bag on top of my bed to see what I had to choose from for the first official day at the resort. I had four pairs of shorts, all different shades and three were short and one went down to my knees, and I had two pairs of jeans that I could always roll up to my knees, along with my yoga pants too. I had a few different shirts to pick from. I had about ten tank tops, six regular t-shirts, and a few more that required a tank top underneath them. After looking at everything for about ten minutes, I decided on pulling out my longer pair of shorts, and one of my favorite tops, a gray speggti strap tank top and a blue halter tank top on top of it. It was perfect for the weather, and I had been dying to wear it but it was always too cold back home to wear it.
Once I was dressed, I went back into the bathroom and took a brush to my hair, making sure it was all brushed through, and reaching over to turn on the straightener. Brushing my teeth while it warmed up, I then was able to put my make up on half way before I could use the straightener and start with my hair. I never liked straightening my hair while it was wet, but I wasn’t about to go walking about the resort with my hair looking like a mess, so I sprayed extra heat protector on and slowly started with my hair, one chunk at a time. It took me like twenty minutes to finish with my hair, but it was well worth it because I liked my hair and I don’t want to see it fried off. I leaned over in the mirror to put my cover up, eye liner, and mascara on, then called it a day. Walking out of the bathroom, I tossed my stuff back into my room and grabbed my flip flops and headed out the cabin door. I took a few steps, then felt in my pocket for my phone, and continued on my way because I had thrown it in my pocket sometime along this morning.
Looking at my phone, I saw that it was only eight thirty and, in thinking from last year I knew the girls weren’t up yet, so I headed down the road towards the point. I might have considered stopping at Kevin’s cabin, but I knew he always went out for a run in the morning and got back at nine so I didn’t bother to see if he was there or not. I didn’t know about Page but I thought that since she only had a few days left up here with her mom that I would leave her to come out whenever she had the chance.
Every cabin was full this week, so I wasn’t surprised to see a few stray people or couples walking up and down the road as I made my way down, though I think they were surprised to see someone as young as me up this early. I said hello and waved to everyone I passed and they returned the favor by saying hi or waving back. About half way down the hill, I looked over between two of the cabins and saw the fire pit, and knew that I wouldn’t be going to the point, but to my own little rock. There was enough space between every cabin so I didn’t have to worry about people freaking out if they saw a girl they didn’t know go past their window. Making my way down the hill, I came upon the fire pit, and walked over to the water’s edge, looking out over the lake, trying to see if I could find my rock. After only a second of looking, I spotted it, and headed over towards it, stepping over the tall grass, to one rock, to my rock.
The lake was still as calm as can be, so I didn’t have to worry about getting my butt wet if I sat down on it or anything. I took my seat, pulling off my flip flops and placing my feet in the water on the little rocks that were just below the water surface. This was just one of the big hang outs for the craw fish, so every once in a while I would look down to make sure nothing was about to attack my feet. For a moment I wished that I brought a book from my bag down, but then I was so absorbed with just looking at the lake I soon forgot about the whole book idea.
I don’t know how long I had been sitting there for or when I even first started hearing something behind me, but when I finally did look back, I saw Kevin, sitting on the rock right above mine; the one I always used to get to my rock. “Fancy seeing you here,” He said, with his famous smile starting to appear on his face.
“Well I was here first, so I think it should be me saying ‘Fancy seeing you here’ not you,” I pointed out, and he gave me a look that said I had just ruined his totally awesome joke. The look he always gave me whenever I pointed out the obvious.
“Well, thank you Captain Obvious,” He snorted, trying to hold back his laughter that was already coming through.
I smiled up at him, and slapped his knee with the back of my hand. “You’re welcome Major Smart-a**” And just like that the two of us burst out laughing like there was no tomorrow. When I looked back up at him again, I noticed that he was wearing black basketball shorts that had his school logo on one side, with an old shirt he had ripped the sleeves off of. He hadn’t even changed from his running yet. When I looked up at his face, I saw his cheeks were still flushed from running, so he had to have just gotten here.
“So what are your plans for this fine morning and early afternoon?” I heard him ask, his voice breaking through to my thoughts and I looked back up at him.
I thought about it for a second. “Well I’m doing pretty much whatever because my parents are out on the boat all day and won’t be back until later so I don’t have anywhere I’m supposed to be,” When I caught his eyes, I saw something there, something that told me he had something going on in his life and that it was stressful, but I had no clue what. I could see it there though, his eyes were still a deep sea green color, but I could see a hint of wariness, confusion, and a little of worry mixed in.
“So no one would mind if we hung out at my cabin until we went down to the games later on today?” He asked, a little of the wariness drifting out of his eyes, but the confusion and worry stayed where they were. I had never seen him like this. Whenever I saw him he was always so carefree, never thinking about back home while we were on vacation. I picked up that motto from him a few years ago.
I looked at him, cracking a smile, and he made one to meet mine. “Nope, no one would miss me, but where are your parents going to be?” I asked. Although I had never really talked to his parents one on one, I knew they were strict about some things, and I knew that they never really liked it when he started to like a girl he meat on vacation because they would leave a week later and never see each other again. Except for me. I was the only person he ever saw year after year besides the resort girls. My parents had the same deal with Kevin.
He shrugged. “When I stopped to see if you were down here my dad went up to the cabin right away and he was going to go with mom into town to get some food for the week,” He wiggled his eye brows, looking at me expectantly and I just burst out laughing.
“Yea, no. But I guess I could stop by as long as no minds,” I added, and he jumped up from the rock reaching a hand out to me. I took it, and I was reminded of last night when I totally freaked at the howl we heard and reached for his hand. Even now, it felt warm in mine, and I have to say I kind of like it, my fingers laced around his. Although it only happened for a second just so he could help my rock to shore.
The two of us took our time walking back up to his cabin, not taking the road but walking along the water instead. When we finally did make it up to his cabin, I noticed that the one car they drove up here was gone; meaning that his parents left for town already and it would be the two of us in the cabin. He steered me in through the door, sitting me down at the little kitchen table, as he pulled out a pan, and opened the fridge. He looked at it, then put the pan back and reached into a cabinet and pulled out a pop tart package. I giggled a little and he gave me a look. “I had pop tarts for breakfast too,” I said, and he joined in with me, our laughter bouncing off the walls. Once he got his pop tarts together and a mug of coffee – after offering me some that I turned down – we made our way onto his deck that was in the back of his cabin like ours. Our two cabins were only so far apart, and we pretty much shared the same view of the lake, but even if I was staring at the same view I was staring at earlier, I still found it festinating. The two of us picked up on our mindless chatter, leaving no room for a silence to fall between us, something that has never happened with us before.
My relationship with Kevin was different than what I had with Cam. With Cam, we always seemed to be fighting about something lately, or not telling the other something, and I hated it because I had grown up being so close to him, and now I wasn’t. With Kevin, we only had this one week in the year, and I think we both knew enough that we should treasure each moment we had together no matter what. Cam and I had been at ends lately, and I found myself wanting nothing more than to just walk away from him, with Kevin, I just sat there and talked to him, never wanting it to end. I even found myself drifting to the topic of Cam again, and once I realized it, I totally switched the topic on him and he gave me a confused look.
“Mary, is there some reason you are totally avoiding the topic of Cam? I mean you told me about everything yesterday. Right?” He asked sounding confused and unsure of whatever he heard me say yesterday.
I gave him a small smile. “Yea, I told you everything yesterday, but I don’t want to worry about Cam for the one week that I see and get to spend with you. Sure, I wish I could worry about him a little more, but I don’t want to do that and waste my time here with you,” I said a matter-of-factly.
He gave me another glance, then turned back to the lake. “Well, if you ever want to talk about it, even when we are here, you can tell me. It won’t be wasting our time either, because we will be spending it together, just in a different way than we normally do.”
I gave him a nod, and then we turned back to our high school sports and experiences in sports and teachers we liked or really hated. We talked until the sun was high in the sky, and even then, we didn’t really stop. The only thing that really made us look at the clock was when there was a knock on his cabin’s front door. “Kevin! We are getting ready to start the games! Get your butt down to the beach A.S.A.P.!” I heard Meghan’s voice echo through the cabin, and come around it.
Kevin turned back to the door. “Yea, I’ll be down as soon as I eat and shower!” He called not even bothering to get up out of his chair. After a few quit moments, he looked at me and grinned. “Looks like we are late for the afternoon games,”
I shrugged. “It’s not like we haven’t been late before,”
“Yea, but we haven’t been late because we were hanging out, before,” He wiggled his eye brows again, and I had to hold back my laughter.
I got up, and tapped the back of his chair. “Come on, you heard her. We are late as it is, and you still need to shower for Pete sake!” I tried to keep my voice serious, but in the end I ended up bursting out laughing, and Kevin’s rang out with mine.
“Yea, well I haven’t showered because you haven’t left for me to be able to shower,” He shot back, still laughing.
“Well then, you go shower, and I’ll go back to my cabin, eat, and meet you at the games,” I added starting to walk through the back door, into his cabin, and out the front door.
He got up and followed me inside. “Sounds like a plan, bro,” He said, showing me to the door. I said good-bye, and he went back inside as I made my way over to my cabin. Once inside, I went straight to the fridge, pulling out lunch meat, and some cheese sticks. As I was making a sandwich, a strange thought came to mind. What if I liked Kevin? Like, what if I liked liked him? How would our vacations be then? What would we do if it turned out that he lives in New York or somewhere far away? But just as quick as this thought came to mind, another one popped in too. Wait, why are you thinking about Kevin when you like Cam?
Yes, it’s true. I have turned into that girl from all the story books who falls in love with her one guy best friend. But really, why did I still like Cam after everything he has put me through this past year? This past month!? Yes, I knew I did little to help fix it, but when I had first tried, I was just so fed up with him that I couldn’t stand him, so I just gave up. But in all this, I had never let go of the fact that I liked him. Whenever I pictured someone with me, it was always his face that came to mind, always his hand in mine, always his presence near mine. It was just how it turned out to be. Ever since my seventh grade year, I have had this pathetic little girl’s crush on him, when he didn’t even notice it in the first place.
In the course of this deep thought process, I had finished my sandwich, and looked at the clock. It was already almost three in the afternoon. Man, how long was I at Kevin’s? How long had I sat here at the kitchen table just thinking about Kevin and Cam? I discarded both thoughts not even trying to figure it out, shoving my feet into my flip flops, and heading out the door.
I didn’t know if Kevin was already down at the beach, or if he was still getting ready, so I didn’t bother to stop and see just in case he was still getting ready, and I made my way down the road by myself. In the last few moments along with my thoughts, my mind turned to what it would be like if Cam was up here with me instead of Kevin. What would it be like back home if I only saw Cam up here? What would my relationship with Cam be like if I only saw him once a week up here? All the what if questions were driving me insane, and I thought back to last year and the year before that, and I don’t ever remember questioning anything like I had been so far this year. And it was only the first full day here!
As I came around the corner, I saw everyone at the beach, even Kevin, and they all came running towards me. “Finally! We thought we were going to have to start without you! Where have you been all morning?” Meghan asked, reaching me first, followed by Kevin, Molly, Page, and Hannah.
I looked, at Kevin, and he smiled at me, I smiled back and nodded my head. “Oh, you know, around,”
“Okay, she has officially lost it. Anyway, let’s get the games started!” Meghan announced as we all laughed and made our way to the beach.
Dividing everyone up into two teams, it was Kevin, Page, and I against Molly, Meghan, and Hannah and we were going to play our annual first game of capture the flag. In past years when Page hasn’t been here, it’s usually just Kevin and I against the three Mathew’s, but since Page is here, we adopted her onto our team. Normally, our games lasted only half an hour or so before one team finally gave up, and we started a new one. But this game went on forever. No kidding, when it was finally over and I checked my phone, it was already six o’clock. We started at like three! In the game, we had some close calls, when both Kevin and Page were in jail and I had to get the, or when the Mathew’s almost found our flag. I have to say, this is the first time I ever felt something more than normal whenever I ran into, or touched Kevin. It felt, warm and nice, but it was wired because I have never felt like this towards Kevin before. So farther into the games, I realized what it was, and I was more aware and tried not to run into Kevin at all.
When the games ended, we won, all six of us were too tired to start another game, but no one had to leave for dinner yet, so we sat down in the sand and just talked. This wasn’t like last nights’ talk, it was more of funny stories of what happened to us last week or four years ago. Whatever came to mind. When I was telling them about this one time when I was little, and we were out on the boat, my dad had the live well open so I could play with the fish we had in there. Well, he decided that it needed more water, so he started to fill it, but the noise of the hose scared me, so I fell into the live well. It was only a second before my dad pulled me out, but apparently I was holding on tight to one of the blue gill we had caught so when he pulled me out, the fish came with, jumped out of my hand, and back into the lake. My dad was already laughing from me falling into the live well, but he just laughed even harder when the fish went back into the lake. At that point in the story, Kevin, who was next to me, was doubled over laughing so hard, and I could see that he was about to cry because he was laughing so hard. The girls were laughing too, but they weren’t laughing to the point of tears, but it was still a good story.
Then to top it off, my phone started to ring, which startled me and made me jump five feet in the air from where I sat. That just made everyone laugh even harder, so when I answered it, I couldn’t talk because I was laughing too hard. My mom had called me to tell me that she had dinner ready, and that I should start making my way back up to the cabin. The six of us called it a night, for the beach part at least, and decided to meet at the lodge at eight thirty, nine o’clock. Since we all ate dinner around the same time, we walked Page back to her house, and then the five of us started up the road to the lodge and Kevin’s and my cabin. We started talking, just small talk, and then by the time we got to the lodge, the Mathew’s parents were in the door telling the girls that dinner was ready. Kevin and I said bye, and kept walking to our cabins around the corner.
“So, what are you going to do tomorrow morning?” Kevin asked, just as the Mathew girls were out of ear shot.
“I don’t know, why? What do you have in mind besides the usual?” I fired back, wondering what he could be thinking about.
“Well, I was wondering if you would like to come running with me tomorrow morning because my dad is going out fishing early and I figured that I could use a partner,” He didn’t try to hide that fact that he was looking down at me, but I didn’t look back at him. What is going through his head? He has never asked me to come running with him, even when his dad goes early morning fishing.
But, it was at least an hour alone with Kevin, all to myself. How could I say no? “Sure, why not?” I was a good runner, I did cross country in middle school, but quit because I was in marching band in the fall in high school. I still ran at home sometimes, so I could use the incentive to go running with Kevin. I even had everything I needed; running shorts that I sometimes wore, tank tops, and gym shoes, so I was good to go.
He smiled, and I finally got the courage to look at him. “Great, I’ll stop by your place at like six thirty tomorrow morning then, bright and early,” He laughed as we came to his cabin.
We said our good-byes and I went the rest of the way to my cabin, the one next to his. When I was through the door, I took off my shoes, and plopped down in one of the kitchen chairs. Dinner with my parents is always eventful because my dad is a huge joker and will use almost anything you say or do against you and make fun of you for it. I didn’t have his good skill at it, but there were a few situations that I could easily turn funny because of the talent I got from my dad for it. Tonight however, his humor that was almost always aimed at me, was aimed at my mom, so I got a break for the night. But I still had a hard core ab workout from laughing so hard and so much. When dinner was done, table cleared, and dished washed and put away, the three of us headed up to the lodge. Usually the parents stayed at the cabin, went out for late night fishing, or went to someone else’s cabin to do something. But when my parents were out shopping, apparently my parents ran into Kevin’s parents so they planned to get together tonight at the lodge and play some ‘grown up’ games. I didn’t fully understand what that meant, but I had some ideas and from them I really didn’t want to know.
When we got there, I found that I was the last one from my group to arrive. I took my normal spot between Kevin and Meghan. As I sat down, Molly pulled out the cards, and I felt something brush my leg. I looked over to see what it was, and Kevin winked at me. I didn’t really know what to make of it, so I just gave him a weak smile, and Molly saved me by throwing me my cards. The first game we play is always spoons so we sat at a round table with five spoons in the middle. Everyone starts out with four cards, and the object is to try to get four of a kind like four fives, four jacks, or four twos. Once you get four of a kind you reach for a spoon and the person left without the spoon is out and a spoon is removed from the center. In order to switch out cards, someone starts with the deck and pulls cards from it, taking one they want and rejecting the ones they don’t. The ones they don’t want go to the next person in the circle and so on. When I play this game at home, people are always slow paced, but here with six teenagers, we speed through a deck so fast we can finish a round in less than three minutes.
Once we get done with spoons, we move onto left, right, center. This one is a dice game, with special dice that have an L, R, and C along with one two or three black dots. Everyone starts out with three pennies and one person has both dice. You roll the dice and if you get two L’s then you pass two pennies to your left. Two R’s then they go to your right, two C’s they go to the center pile, one of the letters, then one goes to each space, or if you get any of the dots then that’s how many pennies you get out of the center pile. This game lasted longer for us, because it took a while for everyone to lose all their pennies, and we played a few rounds too.
Last but not least, we played Kemps. This game is one that Kevin taught me way back on one of our first vacations together. You get a partner, and sit across from them, and everyone gets four cards. Once you have cards, everyone takes turns going off to the side to make a sign with their partner. Then one person places four cards from the deck, face up, into the center of the table, and you switch out our cards until you get four of a kind. Once you get four of a kind, you do the sign that you and your partner came up with, and once they notice it, they have to yell Kemps. Whoever gets Kemps first wins. This game always keeps us entertained the longest, I’m not sure why, but we always play this one until right before we all leave at like eleven or twelve. Of course, I’m always partners with Kevin, and we usually win every game. Over the course of the years that we have been playing this game, we have only had to come up with two signals. One we used for two years, and one we have used for the rest of the years. So we never had to come up with a new signal because no one knew ours to begin with, so why change something that’s already working for you? Our sign is before the game starts, we always find each other’s feet under the table. Then once it starts, mine is always on top of his and when I get Kemps, I tap his foot, and when he gets Kemps, he always starts pulling his foot away from mine. No one else has their feet under the table because they always want to beat us so they sit up with their feet under their chair, when really, they should be doing the total opposite. When Kevin first came up with it, I thought it was going to be one of those things that everyone would figure out the first time we tried to use it. But long behold, it worked and we just haven’t gotten around to changing it.
Tonight we went extra late because it was the first night we played, and because our parents were all up at the lodge anyway. All four of our families – Page’s parents ended up coming up too – were up here too so we didn’t have anyone of them calling us back to the cabin at a certain time. By the time that we were done with the game, our parents weren’t done talking so we hung out in the little game room that they had, and we sat and talked, much like the night before, just more light hearted. Kevin sat next to me, but instead of just sitting next to me, he sat in such a way that his leg was right next to mine, touching it. Yea, I was used to the closeness because that’s how Cam and I were before my freshman year, but with Kevin, it was odd because he had never done anything like this before. I didn’t do anything right then and there because I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, so I left it be and pretended like I didn’t notice that anything was different.
As far as I could tell, none of the girls noticed it, and if they did, they didn’t show it. We sat in that little room for what seemed like forever, but was only about an hour so it was about one thirty when we went out to our parents. Convincing them that it was time for all of us to go home, we went our different ways, not having to walk anyone home because we all had our parents to walk with us. When I was on the deck waiting for my mom and dad, Page came up behind me and whispered something in my ear. “What’s going on with you and Kevin?” She sounded intrigued by the two of us and the thought that we were dating, but we weren’t and when I turned and gave her a shocking look, so gave me a confused look back.
“What do you mean what’s going on between me and Kevin?” I asked more confused at why she would be asking that when I told her that we were friends that first day we were at the lodge.
She shook her head. “When he sat down, I noticed that he was touching your leg with his and I didn’t think anything was going on, so I decided to ask. What do you think he’s trying to do?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t think you guys noticed that he was sitting so close to me. Do you know if the Mathew’s noticed?” I asked, kind of nervous because Page had noticed.
“Yea, Meghan did at least. She asked if you had told me anything about it, and I told her no, but that I could ask.
“Oh great. Well, he asked me to go jogging with him in the morning, and I said yes, so I guess I’ll have to meet up with you sometime after I get back. I’ll text you then come down by you so he doesn’t find me in any of my normal hide outs.” I looked up to make sure no one else was over hearing what we were talking about.
She nodded. “Yea, sounds good. See you then!” She called, just as her parents came out the door and started making their way back to Dunn’s Inn.
My parents shortly followed, so the three of us made our way back to our cabin, being the last ones to leave the lodge. I told them about our games and they told me a little about their ‘grown up’ games and said that I was too young for the rest. I laughed to myself because there was so much they thought I wouldn’t understand, and yet, here I stand and I understand it pretty well. But whatever, it didn’t really matter to me. Three of us ended up splitting ways and going into our two rooms right when we got back to the cabin because we were too tired to talk or anything. I had just enough energy to change into pajamas then crash in my bed after turning off the light. Closing my eyes, the last thing I thought about was the way Kevin sat so close to me when we moved into the little game room in the lodge.





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