The week ended with difficulty. Holly couldn’t wait to see Shaun again. One summer, back inBoston, he had come to stay with the Callahans for an entire month, and they had clicked instantly. Now, the idea of meeting him strangely excited her. Though they kept on chatting on Facebook, she really wanted to see him again.
On Friday evening, Holly was chatting with Susannah on the internet, waiting for Jeannie to come back from one of her friends’ house. The doorbell rang, but she didn’t get up, being too absorbed in what Suze was typing—that they were coming in exactly four weeks. She also asked Holly to keep an eye on the property news, and keep her informed about any good house up for rental.
‘HOLLY!’ someone called from the hall.
‘COMING’ she shouted back, typed a hasty goodbye to her sister and went out. She could hear people laughing in the lobby. She peeked out, and saw a lean white-blond guy standing there, talking to Randy and Matt.
‘C’mere’ Randy said, noticing her.
The white-blond guy turned his head towards her. He had deep, haunting emerald green eyes, and was about six feet tall, the same as the twins. His hair was splayed all over his forehead. She saw a glint of disbelief in his questioning eyes, as if he was floored after seeing her there.
‘Oh my God!’ he whispered in disbelief, ‘Holly’
‘Shaun!’ her eyes widened in joy as he recognised her.
He gave a lopsided smile, and came ahead to give her a bear hug. She nearly jumped into his arms. Matt’s face was completely blank throughout the exchange, as if it was set in stone. Randy nearly cried out in consternation—why did everyone else except him know this girl so well? He felt a bit awkward that she knew his introverted cousin so well.
‘WILL YOU HELP ME?’ another voice shouted from outside.
Shaun hurried outside. Randy gave Matt a strange look, but he didn’t return it—he was too busy staring at Holly’s face. Shaun came back, dragging a couple of huge bags, and his younger brother Brettie followed, carrying three bags. They dumped it in the lobby, and Brettie went out to get one more bag.
‘That’s a lot for a couple of days’ Matt commented in a steely voice.
‘Well…actually’ Shaun said in a guilty voice, ‘mom took away the house keys, and all seven spares with her, so that we couldn’t go back till she comes back.’
‘She thinks that we’re going to throw booze parties while she’s gone’ Brettie wheezed, breathless, ‘God, a little trust would help.’ Holly laughed at that, ‘From what I’ve heard about you, you’re very capable of doing that.’
‘So…you’re going to stay here…for an entire month?’ Matt asked in a blank voice.
‘Yeah…’ Shaun apologised, ‘four weeks, a week give or take. What does it matter anyway? I mean, you’ve got Holly staying here for a month, and we are just two more to the pack of teenagers here.’
‘We’re going to have a blast!’ Randy said, overjoyed, ‘Boy, that party’s a good idea. Let’s throw a party soon’
‘C’mon in, man. I haven’t seen you in like…five years.’ Holly dragged Shaun in.
Randy helped Brettie take the bags inside the house. They were too busy planning their booze party to care about Matt. He groaned heavily as he shut the door and followed them in. He knew instinctively that something was going to go wrong…