Jensen is a 12 y.o. kid that goes on a trip with the school. During this trip, and with the support of his friends and family, he'll discover things about himself that he didn't know, and grow up to become a more complete person.
The next morning was absolutely chaotic. I didn't know why, but there was a lot of movement at breakfast in the hotel. The teachers just kept talking through their mobile phones, and all the girls were whispering. I knew something was wrong, but I just didn't mind enough to investigate it. After breakfast we were gathered in one of the meeting rooms at the hotel.
"Morning, girls!", greeted us Mrs Morgan, the other teacher who was taking care of us. She was a bit older tham Miss Cooper, but also nice.
"I don't exactly know how to say this gently", she added. "It seems that some of the boys have screwed it and they are in a big trouble now."
We looked at each other, wondering what that would be.
"For what I know", Mrs Morgan kept talking, "someone from the hotel discovered that some of them were smoking joints in one of the rooms"
Even I gasped when we heard that. Our school was definitely open-minded and tolerant about many things, but drugs were just not one of them.
"The police is already involved", she added. "We haven't been able to talk to any of the boys yet, but we have spoken with Mr. Scott and Mr. Murdock", those were the other teachers in the trip, "and no one will move from there until the situation is resolved."
It seemed quite serious. I got my mobile and started texting Joey and Kevin what happened and if they were all right. I was pretty sure they wouldn't be involved in any way, I already knew they totally hated drugs, just as I did, but wanted to know if they were in serious trouble. The only one time that I even tried to smoke a cigarette, Kevin reprimanded me so hard that I finally started crying. As I said, he seriously overprotected me. I sure didn't expect an answer soon, anyway, as the police would have probably kept their mobile phones for the moment.
"So, for the moment all the boys will have to stay at their hotel, while you girls will continue with the trip as we planned. I'm truly sorry about the boys, I'm sure that most of them are absolutely innocent of this and have nothing to do with drugs, but we can't do anything else until everything is clear. It just wouldn't be fair for you girls to have to stay here too, as you have nothing to do with what happened."
She kept on talking, but I no longer paid attention. It wasn't fair. I didn't do anything at all, I had been looking forward to this trip for so long, and now I'd just have to stay here because some stupid boy decided to fuck it up, while the girls were still on their way. It was definitely not fair.
I went towards Miss Cooper, nearly with tears in my eyes, while Mrs Morgan kept explaining what thy were doing next, and answering to the girls' questions. I wasn't brave enough to ask out loud about me, but I definitely needed to know.
"Miss Cooper, please...", I quietly called her attention.
"Are you OK, honey? What happens?", she asked me worriedly as she saw my sad face.
"Do I really have to stay here? It's just not fair!", I asked her, really concerned
"Why on earth would you have to stay here, Jen?"
"Well, Mrs Morgan said that all the boys would have to stay here for a while"
"Oh, sweetheart! but that doesn't go for you! of course you will be coming with us!"
My face lit up almost instantly when hearing that, and I hugged her happily.
"There, there, baby, it's OK!", she hugged me back. "Now go get ready, we'll have to leave soon"
Although Miss Cooper and my mum weren't exactly best friends, they were quite close since when I was in 3rd or 4th grade. There was an accident then, and unfortunately my sister Erika was involved. It was nothing really serious but she kept staying in the hospital for a while. Miss Cooper was very concerned about Erika, and she ended up visiting her almost every day. Since then, Erika even calls her "Aunt Sue" when we are not in school. I preferred to stick to Miss Cooper, though. I was very worried too at the time. I almost couldn't even sleep some of the nights. I remember I needed lots of hugs and cuddling from her and from mom back then, and constant comforting and telling me that everything was going to be all right. Miss Cooper started calling me baby then, but in a nice way, and I kind of liked it. Whenever I needed a hug for any reason, she was always there. As I said, she was definitely my most favourite teacher.
So I went back to our room, to start gathering my things. Erika was already there, and she was as happy as I was that I could continue the journey with them.
Our next stop was Crystal Lake. It was a really lovely place, with a small island in the middle, row boats, and clear water. There were some small forests around, and all of it was encyrcled by some low mountains. There were small log cabins on one the sides of the lake in which we were going to stay for the next 4 days, 4 girls per cabin. Hopefully the boys would be able to join us there soon.
The trip to get there wasn't particularly exciting, I kept mostly to myself and my music. One of the girls that were in the park yesterday, singing with Joey and me, tried to engage me into some conversation, but finally gave up after being unable to extract more than monosyllables from me. She seemed nice, though.
My sister and her friends were fixing each other's hair. They had just braid Ash's hair and were starting to get bored when my sister waved me to go with them. I didn't exacly know what they were up to, but could easily imagine.
"Jen, please, let us do your hair!", asked Erika.
"Yes, please!", added Ash in support.
Sarah didn't really say nothing, but the grin in her face said it all. I looked at them with suspicious eyes.
"Oh! come on Jenny! don't be that hard!", she pouter. "Don't make us beg!"
"Hmph... OK", I finally nodded, sighing. I couldn't really stand Erika looking at me with those puppy eyes.
So, I ended up with some really cute pigtails. Miss Cooper said they suited me. I just found them funny, but I kinda liked them.
We finally got to Crystal Lake. We got out of the bus and waited for Mrs Morgan to arrange whatever that was needed for us to get our cabins. For obvious reasons, Sarah, Ash, sis and I were going to share one.
I had to seriously go to the little boys' room. Even though the bus had toilets, as long as it is not an emergency I usually prefer to go to a proper bathroom. I guess some of the girls were also like that, because as soon as we got out of the bus, half of the girls went there. I was glad I didn't have to wait a queue. I went directly for a stall, as I always do. I don't like urinals, and I definitely don't like people around when I go. I cleaned my hands, smiled at the mirror when I saw my pigtails again, and went out, not without receiving some wierd looks from the men in the room.
I started walking towards our group again, when saw a girl staring at me. She seemed a bit younger than me, probably 10 or so. But to be honest, with the pigtails, I probably seemed a bit younger than myself, too.
"Are you a boy?", she asked me, with a funny look on her face. I just nodded.
"You don't seem like a boy, you know?", she stated.
I just shrug my shoulders.
"You can talk, can't you?", she asked me, with a worrying look. I nodded again.
"Are you sure?", she added, with that funny look on her eyes again.
"Yes", I finally answered with a monosyllable, which brought a smile to her face.
"You don't talk too much, do you?", she kept asking. "My name is Emily", she introduced herself, offering her hand.
"Jen", I answered, making an effor to shake it slightly.
"Don't worry, shy one", she added with a grin. "I don't bite, you know?". I just nodded.
"Jenny! Come!", shouted my sister from where the bus was, shaking her hands in my direction. "Come on! Hurry up!"
That got me another funny look from Emily's eyes, and another shrug from me as a reply.
"Are you sure you're a boy?", she laughed.
I just had to go back, so I nodded, and tried to say goodbye to her.
"I... I have to go", I finally said, pointing at my sister and her friends.
"I hope we'll see each other later? You seem nice, you know?", she asked me, and I just nodded back. I liked her.
I got back with my sister, got my luggage, and followed them towards our cabin. Mrs Morgan had already told them the way and given them the key. They were just waiting for me.
"Making friends, huh?", she asked me softly.
"Yeah, she's Emily, I like her", I answered.
Ash hugged me silently, acknowledging my shyness, which finally turned into a group hug.
"You'll get over it, Jenny, don't worry", added Ash, comforting me.
"I hope so, Ash", I finally said, giving her another big hug.
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