Written by: TVM (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Year two and I am not ready to begin yet," I grumbled as I came out of the bathroom stall next to Chloe's. "Are you?"
"Yes and I'm glad to get away from my annoying ass sisters," Chloe said as I giggled. Her sisters had tortured her all summer, usually with my help, so I can't blame her. Another girl came into the bathroom, and with the door open a bit I could swear I saw a blond head that I knew very well, Mindy's, though this girl's hair was curly and the girl walking next to her had black hair.
"It couldn't be them," I said aloud.
"Who?" Chloe asked.
"I thought I saw Mindy but the girl had curly hair," I said.
"Mindy and Cindy are supposed to be in today," Chloe noted. "If you wanna go look and make sure you can. I'll meet you back in the waiting area."
"OK," I said, exiting the bathroom a minute later and scanning the room but finding no one but Holly's familiar face.
"Hey!" I said as I sat down by Holly in the terminal waiting area. "Any more word from Eugene the useless father?"
"Said if I don't bring you by on the way back to see him that he's taking me to court," Holly said as we both laughed. "He's turning out to be as bad Mom with his idiotic demands."
"Thankfully Mom is still tucked away in looney town with no chance she'll ever get out," I said as Holly nodded her head in agreement. "But I guess we better keep the old man happy and stop by and see him."
"Nope," Holly said. "He has no visitation rights and he hasn't gone to court to get them because he knows we'd tear him apart. Don't worry about it."
"WOW!" I said. "You almost sounded, for a second, like you cared about me."
"I love you," Holly said as she cupped her hand around the back of my neck and kissed me dead on the lips. "I've been trying to prove that all summer."
"WOO HOO!," Chloe said as she appeared right behind us, having seen the whole display. "I've been wanting to see that for months."
"Hush," I said to my girlfriend as Holly gave her a knowing smile, something that used to piss me off but now makes me wanna laugh. "When is the airport shuttle leaving for Thief River Falls?"
"It just did and we missed it," Chloe said with a smirk as she sat down beside me and kissed my lips. "Hope you brought your walkin shoes."
"Stop lying to me," I said as I poked Chloe's tickle spots and made her jump.
"OK, OK, just stop abusing me," Chloe said as Holly laughed.
"You're gonna be sleeping alone if you keep that shit up," I warned her as Chloe grinned.
"You can come stay with me," Holly said to Chloe as they shared a knowing grin.
"And you two won't mind if I spend the night with our Resident Advisor?" I asked. Holly's eyes snapped up to meet me. "What? She not into you as much as you assumed?"
"Maggie and I are fine," Holly said.
"Have you kissed her yet?" Chloe asked.
"Yes I have," Holly said. "Slow is not bad."
"Slow won't get you laid," I said as Chloe and Holly laughed.
"PUNKY!" Came the squeal that made my head spin back and my heart skip a beat as I saw Mindy coming towards me. I jumped up as she dropped her bag and almost knocked me down with a hug. The smile on my face told the story, I'm sure, of how much I had missed my best friend this summer. She whispered in my ear. "I missed you like crazy."
"Me too Scooby," I said as our eyes met and foreheads touched. I noticed for the first time that her hair was now curly instead of straight. "Love your hair."
"You like it curly?" she asked.
"Uh huh it's looks adorable," I said as she now inspected my own hair, which now sported several different colors in my usual spike job.
"Nice change Punky," Mindy said as she played with my hair until I pushed her hands away. "Next summer I'll just come home with you."
"Excuse me?" Chloe asked as I looked to see her standing beside me. Mindy hugged her too.
"I missed you too," Mindy said as Chloe smiled. "Longest summer ever."
"Well now we can hangout all we want," I said as Mindy hugged my arm and laid her head on my shoulder.
"I can't wait," she said simply. "Play some XBOX 360?"
"I'm sure you'll talk me into it," I said as she giggled. Cindy, a loaded down with bags Cindy, appeared then from behind a pair of double doors and gave her sister a look that meant business. But this was a different looking Cindy as she was now sporting jet black hair in place of her trademark blond. It certainly made a striking statement of change.
"Melinda Erin Sullivan I am not your baggage handler," Cindy said as she tossed all the bags down in a heap at my feet. "Seeing Molly can wait 30 seconds."
"I haven't seen her in 2 and a half months and you had your two best friends in L.A. for two whole weeks this summer," Mindy pointed out. "So bite me for wanting to see my best friend."
"Shelby not giving you enough Ice Princess?" Chloe asked as everyone laughed, even Cindy.
"I'm just saying you've grown up a lot and you should be responsible for your own bags," Cindy said to her sister.
"And so have you," Chloe said to Cindy as she ran her fingers through Cindy's jet black hair. "This is new."
"You like it?" Cindy asked nervously.
"I do," I said as Cindy smiled at me. "Matches the blackness of your soul."
"This coming from the girl with all the colors of the rainbow on her head," Cindy said as we stared each other down. Finally we both started to laugh. "Maybe this year we can be friends?"
"We are the Mintz," I said as we bumped fists (terrorist fist bump for you Fox "News" viewers). "By the way this is my sister Holly."
"Hey," Holly said briefly before Chloe interrupted her with the announcement that the airport shuttle was ready to leave. An hour later we were headed north to Thief River Falls and all of us were looking forward to finally being able to settle back in for a few months. Mindy sat beside me with Chloe and Holly across the way and Cindy sat with a new girl whose name I hadn't yet learned.
"What is that?" Mindy asked as we saw the sign that welcomed you to Thief River Falls.
"What is what?" I asked.
"The sign up on the hill that says coming soon," Mindy pointed as I looked and read the following rather odd announcement, "Future Home of Twilight Hills Academy."
"What is Twilight Hills?" Mindy asked as I shrugged. Cindy came up to join us as she knelt down beside me.
"Did you see that?" Cindy asked as she pointed to the same sign that was now off in the distance.
"We were just wondering what it was," Mindy said.
"Twilight Hills Academy is a new private school opening up on the other side of town," Holly said as everyone looked to her. "No one heard about it?"
"They're renting the space where Eddie's used to be as a main office for now and the converted the old warehouse on Beaker Street into a temporary campus," Holly continued.
"Why does a city of 9000 need two private schools?" I asked.
"The town's mayor has plans to make Thief River Falls the magnate for private schools in the area," Holly said. "Looks like Mintzler will be getting some competition."
"Well this certainly is an interesting beginning to the new year," Cindy said as Mindy, Chloe and I agreed whole heartedly.
So you been wondering how I spent the summer (with exception of two weeks in Los Angeles with Laney and Cindy)? Working at Fast Eddie's Eats with my Dad, Harold. Now in a new location just next door and greatly expanded from the previous space which was tiny. Even with the expanded space we usually had standing room only at lunch and dinner, which forced Hana Peterson (Cindy's softball teammate), Megan, Holly and me to work non-stop on most days. The pay was pretty good though. And Sarah (Maxie's GF) now running the place as the Manager made it a great place to work.
"So when are you gonna marry me?" Mel asked as I poured him another cup of coffee.
"I'm only 15, Mel, I can't marry you even if I wanted to," I said.
"If your pops says it's OK you can," Mel said as I gave him a questioning look.
"If you don't leave her alone I'm gonna give you a ketchup bath," Megan said as she came up behind me.
"I'm sorry honey lamb," Mel said to Megan as I laughed. "We've got a date tonight, I forget."
"Keep on dating me in your mind," Megan said to him as I laughed harder. "Saves you money, huh?"
"Sure does," Mel agreed as I took a seat at the counter with the place being mostly empty at the moment. Sarah came out of the kitchen and joined me.
"Bet you're ready for school to begin, huh?" Sarah asked.
"Mixed emotions," I said. "Dying to see Cindy and Laney again but dreading the workload of a Sophomore."
"It's not that bad," Sarah said. "I made it through pretty good."
"I will too," I said as the bell above the door clanged and signaled the arrival of the oh-so-gorgeous, Hana Peterson. "Hey girl."
"Do you know my Dad is nuts?" Hana asked as she joined me at the counter.
"What did he do now?" Sarah asked.
"Ole Chin-Li got the bright idea that I should go to the new Twilight Hills Academy," Hana said. "I told him no way."
"Why did he want you to go there?"
"One of the people on the board of directors is a friend of his," Hana said. "And it's a bit cheaper."
"Glad you're not going to," I said. "When are you moving back on campus by the way?"
"I just got done packing before I came up here," Hana said. "Get my last paycheck too."
"You're not getting paid," Dad (Harold) said from the kitchen. "Eddie said so."
"Not funny Harry," Hana fired back as he laughed and walked off into the kitchen in pursuit of her money. Another clanging of the bell above the door signaled the arrival of someone else. I turned to see who and nearly wet my panties as I saw Laney complaining to her father, Captain Bryant, about something. Her back was to me as I stood.
"Dad come on I wanna see Shelby and Cindy," Laney whined. "Can we just go?"
"You can wait 30 more minutes to see your girlfriends," Captain Bryant said.
"No I cannot..." Laney declared.
"Why not?" I asked as Laney looked back and said, "Because I wanna see... SHELBY!"
"LANEY!" I squealed back as she ran over and almost knocked me down with a hug. "What are you doing in here?"
"I work here just like I told you," I said as she grinned and looked up for the first time at my new hairdo. "What?"
"When did you have that done?" Laney asked as she played with my newly curly and multi-colored strands.
"A few weeks ago," I said and expecting her to now give me the line that Dad had when he saw it and asked, "Who did that to your head?"
"I love it," Laney said as I smiled. "Sexy!"
"Laney!" Hana squealed as she came out of the kitchen and ran around the counter and hugged her. Captain Bryant and Dad were now sitting at a table talking. "When did you get in?"
"A few minutes ago," Laney said and stepping back as she looked Hana up and down and whistled as I giggled. "Gorgeous!"
"Not so bad yourself," Hana said as they exchanged knowing grins.
"When are you guys planning to go back on campus?" Laney asked.
"We can go now," Hana said. "I was up there earlier and it looks so much different."
"And we three are roommates this year," I announced as Laney grinned and linked her arms through one each of mine and Hana's. "And what do you mean it's different Hana?"
"You haven't been on campus yet?" Hana asked me.
"Been avoiding it," I said as Laney giggled.
"They've remodeled Oliver-Stanton Hall," Hana said. "The rooms are now beside of each other with a walk-in closet along the wall where the bathroom used to be and the bathroom is just off the entrance. And the bedrooms are straight ahead as you come in instead of being off to the sides."
"Be nice to not have to go through the bathroom to get to my bedroom," Laney noted as we walked towards the front.
"Go on we'll bring your stuff up later," Captain Bryant said as the three of us came up front to ask if we could go on to the campus.
"Hold on my phone's ringing," Holly said as she whipped out her (newly purchased) cell phone as me, her, Mindy and Chloe reached the front door of Keller-Montgomery Hall. "Hello?"
"I hope we got rooms next to each other," Mindy said as she stuck her face to the glass to look inside.
"I hope they put you in the basement Rittle Rindy," I said as she laughed.
"Wittle Mowwy," Mindy said in reply as I laughed too.
"What do you mean you just kicked me out of my apartment?" Holly asked into the phone. I quickly moved next to her and listened as my spiteful father gloated about how he got his pension back and had got Holly kicked out of her apartment when he told her landlord about Holly only being 18 and a convicted felon (surprisingly it's not true).
"... Now are you reconsidering letting me have custody of my daughter back?" Eugene (my scum bag father) asked.
"Go to court and try and get it you bastard," Holly said.
"Well it'll be easy pickings once they find out you're homeless and jobless," Eugene said.
"What do you mean jobless?" Holly asked as my blood started to boil in anger as Chloe and Mindy giggled about something from not to far away.
"I'm gonna do your boss, Mr. Castle, a favor and inform him of your criminal history," Eugene said. "That should fix you're ass good."
"Dad, I don't have any other way to get by," Holly pleaded as she began to cry.
"You do what I want and this all goes away," Eugene said. That's when I had heard enough.
"Dad? This is Molly," I said as I took the phone. "Why do you hate your own children?"
"I am simply trying to make her give custody of you back so we can be a family," Eugene said in a calm voice.
"I don't wanna be your FUCKIN FAMILY," I raged as I screamed into the phone. "I hate you."
"Just hang up he's too damn fucking stupid to listen," Holly said. "He's just like mom."
"I am not just like your mother..."
"Look, Mom, leave Holly alone or you will be sorry," I said into the phone.
"Stop comparing me to your mother," Eugene said. "I have consistently defended you against her vicious attacks."
"Like the time you held me while she tried to kill Megan?" I asked. "Is that your kind of defense?"
"I didn't want you getting hurt," Eugene said.
"And when I did kick you in the balls and attacked Mom I nearly killed her," I reminded him. "Any more lies you wanna tell, Mom?"
"I told you to stop calling me that," Eugene said.
"You gonna ground me?" I asked in an innocent voice.
"What Daddy? What are you gonna do?" I asked. "If you do anything I'll say you raped me."
"Shit!" Holly said as Mindy and Chloe stopped giggling and now listened intently.
"Get her fired and find out how fast they lock you up," I said. "Remember you're on probation already."
"I love you..." Dad cried.
"And I hate you," I said, "I hope that hurts."
"Remind me not to cross you," Holly said as I closed the phone.
"I wasn't kidding I do hate him," I said as all four of us made our way inside and were met by Maggie.
"Welcome back," Maggie said.
"Thanks, it's nice to be back," Holly said with a giggle as she joined Maggie and the two hugged.
"I was talking to them," Maggie told Holly with a point to the other three of us. "How was your summer?"
"Too long," Mindy said.
"Great," came my and Chloe's in unison reply.
"Mine was too," Maggie said as she smiled at Holly.
"Can you two stop eye-fucking and show us to our rooms?" I asked as Maggie laughed and Holly glared at me.
"Lighten up, she's just trying to get a rise out of you," Maggie said to Holly. "You do the same thing."
"Thank you," I said. "I'm glad someone finally sees that."
"And you don't realize how bad some of your smart ass comments hurt," Maggie said to me. "Knock it off."
"I think I'm in love," Holly said as everyone laughed and followed after Maggie as she led the way to the elevator and up to the third floor. Then, to my surprise, we headed down the hall to my and Mindy's old rooms.
"We got the same rooms?" I asked Maggie.
"Not quite," Maggie said as she pointed down the hall to what used to be Bre's old room, "That's your new room Chloe. Freshly painted and new TV installed."
"What about me?" Mindy asked as we now stood in front of what used to my door.
"This is it," Maggie said as she pointed to my old door. "And Molly yours in down there."
"My new room is Mindy's old one?" I asked. Maggie confirmed with a head nod.
"Interesting," Chloe summarized as I rolled my eyes and wondered what could be going through her mind.
"Very," Mindy chimed in as Holly and Maggie walked off back to the elevator laughing.
"Why is this so interesting?" I asked.
"Because..." Mindy said as she turned her back to me and moved against and in front of Chloe. "...Chloe is here and you're there and I'm in the middle. MMMMMMM."
"Very MMMMM," Chloe said as she touched her forehead to Mindy's and the two giggled.
"You two can have each other," I said as both of them laughed. "And speaking of having each other, where's Dakota?"
"Said she'd be in tomorrow," Mindy said simply. "I miss her like crazy."
"Me too," Chloe agreed as all three of us lugged our bags to the right door.
"Not me," I said as both laughed. But truth be told I actually did.
I had just arrived in the dorm after parting ways with Mindy at the Center Court and made it my dorm to find the place was a hive of activity. It had also been totally changed. Opening the door and finding that I was first one there I looked at the re-constructed layout and groaned. The bathroom was now just to the right of the main door, the bedrooms were now directly across the room and side by side, and a large walk-in closet to the left was where the second bedroom and bathroom used to be. The small kitchenette (fridge and hot plate) was on the counter by the window.
"Well this certainly isn't a pleasant development," I said as I dumped my bags into the common room and sat down on the sofa. The new 32 inch RCA TV with DVD player was a nice surprise I noted. Hearing footsteps coming down the hall I turned to look back and saw Shelby as she came in. She gave me a strange look as she hugged me and kissed my lips. "What?"
"I missed you like crazy," Shelby giggled as she kissed me again and I happily wrapped her in my arms. I had never missed someone so much in my life.
"It's only been a month and I missed you so much it's crazy," I said as she smiled. She ran her fingers through my newly dyed black hair and giggled. "What?"
"This is gonna take some getting used to," Shelby said about my hair. "When did you do this?"
"I sent you pictures," I reminded her as she giggled. "You hate it?"
"No, I like it," Shelby said as I smiled and noticed for the first time that her hairdo had changed. "You like?"
"Who did that to your head?" I asked and jumped away as she smacked my arm in protest as I laughed. "I heard your Dad say that."
"I heard your Dad say that," I said. "It was funny. But I like it."
"You better," Shelby said simply as we touched foreheads and smiled at each other. "At least now we can spend every minute together. Make up for lost time."
"Well maybe not every minute," Shelby said as Laney appeared at the door and squealed as she saw me and ran across the room and hugged me. "I just lost my girlfriend."
"No you didn't," Laney said. "I love to share though."
"I'm up for that," I said as Laney hugged me and we, trying to get a rise out of Shelby, shared a nose-rubbing Eskimo kiss. "MMMMM!"
"Mushy Princess good kisser," Laney giggled.
"Fine you can have her...," Shelby said as Hana (Peterson) came in and giggled as she was met by Shelby with a hug. "...I'll take this gorgeous creature."
"Maybe we can trade off from time to time?" Laney asked as everyone laughed. Hana blushing.
"I've never confirmed that I'm into girls," Hana corrected us.
"You play softball so of course you are," I said as Hana laughed.
"Anyway," Hana said. "I saw Maxie on the way up."
"Where's she been all day?" I asked.
"She was helping Eddie clean up a little at home," Hana said. "You know Maxie stayed in his and Darlene's spare room over the summer?"
"I did," Hana giggled.
"I wasn't talking to you," Shelby said as her and Hana started trading pokes. Maxie, a tired looking Maxie that is, appeared at the door and dumped her bag just inside.
"I am so tired," Maxie said.
"I missed ya partner," I said as we shared a hug.
"Me too, I'm glad we're all back together," Maxie said as all five of us met in the center of the room. "Oh yeah, Laney, I got something for you."
"Me?" Laney asked as Maxie went to fish something out of her bag and handed it to Laney a moment later. The white plastic bag slipped off to reveal a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi. "UMMMMM... thanks?"
"This is for the bottle of wine I stoled off you," Maxie said. "Just wanted to say I'm sorry."
"That's OK, I forgave you already," Laney said as she hugged Maxie. "We're cool."
"Who wants to order a pizza and share Laney's gift?" I asked as I plucked it from her hands and backed away as she grinned and came after me and just like that the chase was on. Some things never change.
"How did I end up with the room right next to yours?" Alisha asked as we arrived on our floor, finally, after two flight delays and numerous other setbacks.
"Because you are my girlfriend," I said as Alisha grinned. She was too, officially, although her family was not to fond of the decision. "Membership has it's privileges."
"Just because you let your hair grow and you look absolutely adorable does not mean you can buy my love Calista," Alisha said.
"What does my hair have to do with me buying your love?"
"Because you let it grow out for me," Alisha said as she slipped into my arms. "Sexy as hell too."
"Still doesn't explain how I'm trying to buy your love."
"You think you have to buy me stuff to keep me happy," Alisha said. "You don't."
"And I don't think that," I corrected her. "I wanted you next door so I can get laid more easily."
"MMMM yeah. In that case it's OK," Alisha giggled. "Cause Alisha always hot for Calista."
"Can you please call me Cally? I hate being called Calista," I asked.
"I love your name and I will use it because I love it," she said. "Just because your father uses it to piss you off don't mean it's not pretty."
"Good point," I agreed. "If I took that away from him he'd lose it."
"Exactly," Alisha said as she kissed me and followed that with a yawn. "I'm tired and ready for bed."
"Me too," I agreed amidst my own yawn. "I still wanna go and see Molly and Chloe though."
"Can't we do that tomorrow?" Alisha asked. "They're probably tired too and already in bed."
"Could be," I said with another yawn. A door opened across the hall just as I opened my door and dropped my bags inside.
"Huh?" I asked as Alisha disappeared inside her room and down the hall came a very cute blond. "Yeah?"
"I'm Allison Lohman," the blond said.
"Nice to meet you," I said. "You new here?"
"You don't remember me, huh?" Allison asked.
"I used to play first base for Bemidji," Allison said. "We played each other."
"So now you're gonna play for Mintzler?" I asked.
"That's why I'm here," Allison said. "Recruited for that purpose actually."
"Mintzler is recruiting people to play sports now?" I asked in confusion.
"Ever since Twilight Hills Academy lured away Veronica Lake and Kelly Markee," Allison said.
"Shrek?" I asked (referring to Veronica) as Allison laughed. "She's going to Twilight Hills?"
"It was in the paper," Allison said. "All about the Thief River Falls recruiting war."
"So they got Big V who can hit the ball a country mile but has the personality of a serial killer and Kelly Markee, who can play outfield and hit herself. So they're gonna play for Twilight Hills Academy and in exchange we got you?" I asked as she again laughed.
"Looks that way," Allison giggled.
"We win," I said as both of us smiled and knew the upcoming season was gonna be very interesting. Though the recruitment wars were just starting.