Changing rooms have always been a conundrum for me, and now the problem’s only gotten worse. I can’t go inside of the girl’s changing area for obvious reasons, but I can’t go into the boy’s changing area either since Petya could also be in there and ready to jump me and commit murder- I mean, I guess I could get Memes to block the door and let people that aren’t Petya in, but then what’s she gonna do when she inevitably blocks Petya and he goes and complains to an adult? And she can’t come in with me to stand guard for the same reason I can’t help any of the campers put on their dang sunscreen.
Good thing I didn’t have to deal with that at all today, because Petya inexplicably called in sick last night and wasn’t at camp at all!
I tumbled into the shallow end of the lake, my yellow wristband prohibiting me from entering the deep end. There wasn’t that much to see at the deep end, anyways, just a floating raft of foam that kids used as a makeshift diving board. I didn’t bother to take the swim test required to go in that section- I hadn’t been certain on Monday whether or not I would have enough free time after the newsletter to go swimming, so I’d skipped it.
Memes immediately swam over to me, three younger girls hanging off of her arms and dragging her down. She brushed a wet strand of hair out of her eyes, making one of the girls lose their grip and hang awkwardly onto the kickboard they’d brought with them. “We’re not allowed to have phones with us here at camp, right?”
“Hello to you too.”
The younger girls giggled. Memes shrugged one of them off, dumping them into the water. I took a few steps back, eyeing the ghostly blue circle flickering underneath the waves a few feet away- I’ve always been deathly afraid of pool filters of any kind after an incident five years ago where I’d swum up to one while underwater and hadn’t expected it and got startled and almost choked on water. Sometimes, if I get too close to another one of those damn filters, I’ll feel the insides of my nose burn like I’d snorted half a lake’s full of germy water.
Memes glanced at the filter and then back at me and then exploded in laughter. “Of all the things at camp to be scared of, you choose the filters?”
My face flushed. “Uhh…”
Memes wiped her forehead with the back of her arm, trying not to laugh again. One of the younger girls complained about the water being too cold- Memes splashed the girl’s backside, giggling again as the girl yelped and swam back to her assigned buddy. “You’re the weirdest person I’ve seen here all week.”
“I’ve seen worse.”
“Really?” Her eyebrow shot up. “What?”
“Well…” I wracked my brain for an incident, finally dredging up something half-remembered and just barely living on in camp legend. “A few years ago, the camp was doing a medieval theme, and we’d invited this Viking guy to come and teach us about his weapons. It was alright, except for when he decided to test his axe against his wooden shield and ended up slicing his hand open instead.”
“Hand machine broke?”
“No, he was alright in the end. Ended up getting stitches, I think.”
Memes looked around her. Several of the pinkies had joined in the lake- our swim times must have overlapped- and were now floating towards the two of us. She turned back towards me. “Did you see the shooting star yesterday evening?”
Is Liv in the hospital right now? I would assume so. I didn’t hear anything yesterday evening or this morning, and I haven’t gotten a single chance to check my phone today, what with walking all the way between the Houndbus cabin and Allonsy just to miss the morning’s planetarium presentation in the art hall closet. I think there’ll be one tomorrow afternoon. I sure hope so.
But I digress.
I shook my head, hoping that Memes couldn’t tell I was lying. “I was busy with summer school work.”
“How- how could you miss it! That thing was, what-” she made a circle with her arms like she was emulating a fat person, then opened them wide- “the size of Allonsy? We rarely get shooting stars here! Certainly none that huge!”
“Uhh…” I coughed. “I think an asteroid that big would have disintegrated upon hitting the atmosphere. Or at least broken up midflight. Something that huge would have made at least the local news.”
Memes splashed me, getting water in my eyes, water that stung even after I rubbed my eyes to get it out. “Come on. You always ruin the fun. At least make it interesting for me if I have to follow you around all day.”
Later, in Allonsy, I sat at the side of the main room with a wet bandanna draped around my neck with the fan blowing on medium speed. It wasn’t unbearably hot outside, but the temperature was definitely creeping up to “maybe the weather service should call a heat advisory” levels. You know, like last year at camp, where half of the units literally collapsed in the Houndbus cabin just to soak up the coolness of the floor tiles before watching the homemade films they’d all pieced together over the week.
Click, drag, paste. Click, drag, paste. Click, drag, paste. It was a bit repetitive uploading every single image I’d ever taken at camp to the camp website one by one, but the Director had demanded it, and it was a good excuse to not have to sweat underneath the canopy of trees on the flat and watch kids whack each other with the yoyos they’d gotten early that morning at the opening flag ceremony.
My phone buzzed in my backpack, wedged in between my water bottle and where my camera hung without a battery, which was hooked up to an outlet somewhere behind me. I slid it out, grunting when I remembered that I’d set it to not show anything on the lock screen, and punched in the twenty-digit password I’d changed it to last night.
Mom: Shelley’s at hospital right now. Serlis awake. Will tell more later. Do you want to go to hospital tonight? Will understand if no.
Liv’s already awake? That… that was quick, I thought.
I worked on the picture uploading for a few more minutes until I got a response from Mom- service was spotty up there, and I’d disabled fetching texts over wifi a long time ago due to security problems.
Hypoxia from space travel. Little nubbin tube in nose like cancer patients. Minor injuries. Nothing serious. Should be able to go home on Saturday. Media will be gone by time you come.
News are gonna have fun tonight
I think the text cut off. I’m not sure. Mom was never the tech-savvy type.