Group Gathering

When everyone had finally arrived in the garden, it was 12:06, a full hour and six minutes past the scheduled time. The tiny patch of land that was dubbed the garden was so small that just the seven bodies that occupied the space were almost too much. Ress, Maddie, and Nami were lucky enough to have claimed the three yard chairs, while the others, now including Ameya, rested on the grass. The group chattered like the birds in the trees above them, until Nami sat up in her lawn chair.

"Guyyys, be quiet!" She urged, "Don't you remember the reason we’re all here right now?"

When more than half the group shook their heads no, Nami stood up and dragged Ameya off the ground.

"Her!" She reminded everyone.

Matsuko stood up next to them. "This is Ameya, she’s new here."

Ameya shuffled nervously and waved.

A chorus of "Hello" followed the gesture.

Nami leaned over and whispered to her, "Introduce yourself!"

"Oh, uhm," Ameya sputtered, "My name is Ameya and I'm fifteen years old."

The sitting portion raised their eyebrows and mumbled among themselves.

Awkward silence followed until Maddie sprung up from her chair,

"WOOHOO! I'm not the youngest anymore!" she punched the air with her fist.

"Congratulations loudmouth, sit down." Ress told her.

"Who are you calling a loudmouth?" she spun around to face him.


"At least I don't spend all day inside playing videogames."

Ameya stood watching awkwardly while the two duked it out on the grass, Carnias scooting away as fast as he could.

"Is anyone hungry?" Dion interjected from behind the lone bush.

All heads turned, and he took that as a yes.

Nami helped him lay out a blanket nearly as big as the garden itself. Matsuko yelled at Ress to get his hands out of the picnic basket, and Ameya stood standing all the while.

Once everything was laid out,
Everyone but The young girl sat down.

"Hey, come here." Matsuko called, patting a spot next to her on the blanket. Ameya agreed and sat down, relieved to have someone invite her into the group.

Dion sat with the basket in his lap.

"I made sandwiches, packed grapes and lots of chips. There's only one peanut butter and banana sandwich and that's for Nami, so don't even try to fight over it. The rest of you get ham and lettuce. I brought mayonnaise if anyone wants it."
And with that he set the basket in the middle of the blanket and watched as the grouped dived for it like a pack of hungry wolves, save Matsuko and Ameya.

Nami was the first one out of the squabble, three sandwiches in hand and a bag of chips gripped in her mouth. She sat down next to her sister, handed her a sandwich, then reached across to hand one Ameya.

"Thanks!" Ameya smiled. She was starting to come around to the odd group.

When everyone was settled, Maddie broke the silenced "So, you're from America, eh?" She said, biting into her sandwich.

Ameya nodded. "Yeah, North Carolina."

"Ey! My cousin was from there," Ress perked up, "got run over by his brother on accident, hahaha."

Dion frowned at him, "Ress that's not funny..."

"Yeah,don't talk like that in front of Ameya." Added Maddie, popping a grape into her mouth.

Ameya smiled nervously, "Oh, no, I'm fine..."

"He's totally rude, don't take him seriously." Matsuko leaned over and told her.

"You'd be better off ignoring him." Carnias chimed in, looking down at his sandwich in disgust.

Ress smacked him in the side of the head and the little blonde boy cursed at him in German. Dion tried to calm the two down and Nami had grabbed an extra bag of chips and was stuffing her face with them. When Maddie realized they were her chips,she stood up and stomped her foot. Soon everyone but Ameya and Matsuko, who's head was in her hand was fighting with each other in one way or another.

She took in a big breath and shouted over the ruckus,


As if someone hit the button on an invisible remote control, everyone frost and returned to their usual places. Matsuko sighed.

"Now, lets try again, introduce yourselves. Nami, you start."

Making a face as she tried to swallow the mouthful of potato chips, Nami coughed and said, "Uh, I'm Nami and I'm 86 years old. Also..... I like purple and dragons."

Where are you from...?" Matsuko prompted.

"You know where I'm from we're sisters silly." Nami giggled.

"No, tell HER." Matsuko pointed a long finger at Ameya.

"Oh I'm from Japan."

Ress sat up straighter and cleared his throught, "I'm Ress, I'm -- years old, I'm from Australia and I like video games and football."

"Yeah, yeah," interrupted Maddie "No one cares about you." She was --, she informed, and was from Britan. Carnias cleared his throat and announced he was --- and from Germany, and Dion said he was from Mexico and wasn't quite sure of his age.

Matsuko spoke last, "I'm 89, from Japan and I'm Nami’s older sister."

"Yup so that's all of us." Finished Ress.

As everyone finished off their lunch Ameya sat quietly next to the sisters, who were chatting with each other. How were they eating when everyone here is dead? Did she even need to breathe?

She figured shed ask Matsuko later.

"Hey, Maddie," Matsuko started, "Ameya needs a place to stay and Nami and I don't have room in our apartment. You're a girl too, and you live alone, what would you think about letting her move in?"

Ameya sat up straight at the mention of her name.

"Oh, yeah that's fine. It could be kinda fun actually." Maddie agreed, twirling her right ponytail with her finger.

Ameya waved her hands in front of her, "no, no, you don't have t--"

"Nah, it'll be great, trust me!" Maddie reassured her, scooting closer.

"Great." Said Matsuko, brushing her long dark hair behind her ear, "That takes care of the living situation."

Maddie stood up and brushed the grass off her shorts. "C'mon, stand up I'll show you my place." She stuck out a hand.

Ameya took it and stood up. The two started walking towards the door to the apartments, and Matsuko called, "come see me at four and I'll take you shopping for clothes!"

Ameya nodded. Everyone here was so nice, maybe death wasn't so bad after all.

The End

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