More than 24 hours went by with Mike and Tory being awful. I couldn’t believe I was excited for Arthur, Liam and Patricia. Tonight was the annual O’Malley (my dad’s last name, not Arthur’s) kickoff to summer bash. We skinny dipped together in the ocean and then made a huge bonfire. I would skip s’mores this year, but I had a substitute: wheat thins with carob and banana!
Suddenly, my mom told me she was disappointed in me. She wanted me to stop with my health nut craziness, at least for our short time at the beach house. But I didn’t care! Everyone else could eat pointless calories. I would look great naked tonight…in the dark.
As soon as the sun left the sky, my family began our annual tradition. Arthur and Liam, along with his new girlfriend Patricia, arrived only moments before. I was taken back when I saw Patricia, who literally looked exactly like my brother, but shorter and with breasts. They matched their eyeliner and black nail polish.
But I realized their arrival put a wrench in my plans because I knew Liam would make comments that would keep me from looking cool in front of Mike and Tory. I figured as long as Tory didn’t start telling Mike the truth about what happened with Melody. I told him that Melody and I both mutually decided to stay friends. When in reality she said that she doesn’t see me as more than a friend. If Mike found out about this it would destroy the image I’m sure he has of me being a ladies’ man. All I had to do was let my mom and Arthur dominate the conversations all night.
“Johan, are you ready?” my mom called to me. She stood on the shore with a coverup on. Arthur walked over to her in only his swimsuit. Patricia and Liam followed them, while Mike and Tory chose to stay on the porch. At the same time, we all pulled off our clothes. The inky black night made it impossible to see anything except for shapes. On the count of three, we dove into the dark waves and swam out to a point where we couldn’t stand. The cool refreshing water made all my stress float away…until I swam back. When I came back to shore, I noticed Mike and Tory had stolen my clothes.
Everyone else’s clothes stayed in place, except for my Cape Cod sweatshirt and black shorts. I grabbed a few leaves and put them over my private parts before scurrying in the house. I didn’t need any of the neighbors seeing me again.
When I got back into the house armed with leaves, I marched right up to Mike and Tory. They sat on the couch in the living room and dangled my clothes in front of me.
“How dare you, Mike!”
The two couldn’t stop giggling, like I had something embarrassing on my face. So I took one hand away and touched the entire surface. Nothing. This only made them laugh harder. Finally, in between giggles, Mike said “You’re. Holding. Poison. Ivy.”
“What???” I yelled, letting the green leaves fall to the floor, revealing my entire body in the process.
Just then my mom came into the house. “Johan, again!?” I’m sending you to therapy before your dance program! Why do you keep willingly pick poison ivy every summer? And to think you almost endangered your friends!” I looked down to see what she had been talking about. Apparently, the swelling already started, making me all red and blotchy in an uncomfortable area.
“Well at least you have a protective coating over it, Johan”
“Not the time, Mike!”
“Johan, go take a shower. Mike and Tory, go outside please so I can clean the entire downstairs. Liam and Arthur are setting up the bonfire.”
I took the stairs two at a time and peaked out the window to see Liam and Patricia handing s’more materials to Mike and Tory. He said something that made her burst out laughing and then helped her blow out the fire that started on her marshmallow. Great, everyone else seemed to be having a better night than me.
After a long shower, my mom made me coat my entire body in rubbing alcohol, which she said might stop the poison ivy from getting bad. But after everything, I was determined to join the group by the bonfire.
I got down there to find Tory and Mike making each other s’mores while Liam and Patricia sat there emotionless. I sat next to my friends by the fire. But I must have put too much rubbing alcohol on, because as soon as I sat down my skin started to burn.
“Um guys, I think my skin is starting to burn,” I yelped.
“Oh, don’t worry Johan. I’m sure you’re just getting fire poisoned.”
“No, seriously. I feel like I’m on fire! My mom made me cover my body in rubbing alcohol!”
“Then why would you go by the fire?” Tory asked.
Mike ushered me away and then dumped his water bottle on me, which at least stopped the burning. But my shirt was soaked through and the temperature dropped since I came out of the ocean.
“I’m going to bed,” I yelled out at the crowd.
“Jeez Johan, chill,” Liam said. “It’s just a little water. Don’t be a baby.”
“I am not a baby!” Without another word, I ran back inside, went to my room and put on dry clothes. I hopped in my bed and tried to get a good night’s sleep. But I heard the back door open and close. Mike and Tory talking kept me awake until an hour later, I finally drifted off.
As I slept, I dreamed about how the day should have gone. I would arrive at the beach and Mike and Tory would greet me by saying something like “Thank god you’re here. We were so bored without you here. We didn’t know what to do and had nothing to talk about.” Then I would make a joke about Mike and Tory would crack up. We’d all decide to go swimming. I’d rip off my shirt to reveal my herculean body and both of them would ask how I do it. I’d then start a swimming workout while they just played near the shore.
That was what I remembered when I woke up the next day and realized we still had five more days of this.