A car horn sounded from outside. Jumping up in relief, I grabbed my bag and on my way out of the room, I said, “Drew’s here; let’s go.”
My enthusiasm for escaping the room and the commentary from Lea was short lived when I hurried down the stairs and towards the front door. Nancy and Drew were sat in the front, arguing over something I didn’t know about, and to be honest, at that second I didn’t care either. In the back seat closest to me, Jensen sat. He acknowledged my presence, I knew he did by the way his eyes rushed back to focus on the seat in front of him, and the way his ears had perked up at the sound of the door opening. But he didn’t look anywhere near me until Lea came running behind me.
“Hello good people!”
Putting their argument on pause, Nancy and Drew looked over at us and grinned with a little wave. I stared at Jensen, waiting for him to make eye contact with me and he eventually did. His smile was forced when he opened the door and scooted over to the other side. Lea nudged me, mentally ordering me to sit next to him.
Sighing internally, I got in and then put my bag on my lap, trying not to groan at the weight [which Lea had so kindly forced upon me to carry].
“Do you want me to…?” Jensen offered, gesturing at the bag but I shook my head at him, smiling. He didn’t return the smile and didn’t make any more polite offers as he turned his head away and stared out the window.
“I’m so excited!” Lea chirped happily as Drew started the car. “This is my first camping trip with friends in ages.”
“Yup, it’ll be really fun,” Nancy said and smiled at Lea through the rear-view mirror. “It’s a shame that Jet can’t make it.”
“Oh no, he’ll be there. He’s just taking his own car.”
The two girls went on to discuss the overnight camping trip we’d planned, and the taste of nature that we would get to experience. We’d all planned on camping near the woods, which as dangerous as it might be assumed to be, really wasn’t as it was a popular camping destination. Since it was a bit farther away from the city, Jet had proposed the idea that we might be able to do a bit of star-gazing and even volunteered to bring his telescope (to which Lea had reminded us that her boyfriend was so positively dorky). Nancy had just started talking about constellations she’d hoped she’d see but I wasn’t even slightly interested in listening.
With Jensen giving me the cold shoulder, and Lea on my back I knew that this trip was going to be everything but ‘fun’.