(Haylee’s Point of View)
The rest of the vacation completely flew by. We went on tour a couple more times, seeing different parts of the Grand Canyon, each tour being more exciting than the last. I got to know Jackie even more, and we became best friends. By the end of our Grand Canyon adventure, I had learned to trust her just as much as I had trusted Riley before the truth came out.
I even started to pay more attention to Dan. He certainly wasn’t giving up on me, but knew better than to even start thinking about a serious relationship between us. At least I hope so.
Before I knew it, we were packing our things up and hooking the car to the camper. Jackie and Kyle’s car got fixed, so they packed up as well and came to our campsite, ready to head off on the long car ride back to Pennsylvania.
“Well, guys, we all set and ready for another adventure?” Chris asked once everything was settled.
“You bet! We’ll follow you, since we have no idea where we’re going.” Jackie smile, her eyes lighting up.
“Okay. Let’s get a move on then!” Chris said, hopping in the driver’s seat with Dan navigating, just like the early morning that we had started the road trip. I was busy writing in my notebook, scribbling down what all had happened yesterday.
Chris drove until we stopped for lunch, Kyle and Jackie close behind. Switching out, Dan began to drive with me in the passenger seat. We were nearly to the campsite when I heard something familiar on the radio. Turning it up, my eyes widened.
“Daniel in the Den!” I said, nearly jumping out of the car.
I could see Dan’s eyes widen, too. “How…” He searched for words, clearly stunned. “How is Daniel in the Den on the radio? Hurry, wake Chris up!” Turning around, I shook Chris’s shoulder.
“Chris! Wake up! Daniel in the Den’s on the radio!”
“Whaa?” He asked, but his eyes turned as round as two full moons when he recognized the song.
“What’s Daniel in the Den doing on the radio?”
“That’s what we’re trying to figure out!” I exclaimed.
Dan just shook his head. “This is terrible.” He said with a nervous laugh. As soon as the song was over, he turned the radio back down.
“Unbelievable.” I said, beaming.
“Heh. You’re telling me!”
“Oh, take this exit here, then the campsite is seven miles down.” I said, looking at the GPS.
We were at the site in no time, Jackie and Kyle parked next to us. We didn’t have any room for them to sleep in the camper, so they agreed that sleeping in the car was fine.
The next two days were just a big blur as well, with nothing but jammed up traffic to excite us. On the fourth day, Chris started us off, bright and early. He drove until lunch, when they switched out, and Dan drove the final stretch home, Jackie and Kyle following.
“We’ll drop you off first if that’s okay with you, then we’ll unpack everything from the camper tomorrow.” Dan said, glancing at me.
“Sure, I’ll just grab my stuff out of the back once we get there.” It was getting late; the sun was just barely visible over the horizon, the sky set aflame with shades of pinks and oranges and reds.
Soon, the trees started to get familiar, along with the houses and roads. Just as we were about to pull up beside my house, I realized how homesick I actually was, missing every last inch of my beautiful house.
“I’ll help you with your bags.” Dan and Chris said in unison. I laughed.
“You can both help me with my stuff.” I said, smiling. I opened the garage door and walked into my house, turning the alarm off. Everything was just as I left it.
All three of us carried my bags up to my covered porch, where we said our goodbyes until tomorrow.
“Thank you both for this amazing vacation. I really enjoyed it.” I gave Chris a quick friend-hug, then turned to Dan. I hugged him for a bit longer, enjoying the feeling of his arms wrapping around me.
“See you later.” I said breaking away from him.
“See you.” He said, walking off of the porch. Jackie and Kyle just pulled in, Jackie getting out of the car to gather her things.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, ‘kay, Kyle?” I overheard her say.
“Yep. I’ll text you.”
“Alright. Bye.” Dan and Chris had driven off to their own homes by now, Kyle following. I showed Jackie where she would sleep, and where she could unpack her things.
I attempted to start a conversation. “So are you sure that there’s nothing going on between you and Kyle?” I said, letting a smile creep onto my lips.
“Are you kidding?” She said, looking at me in disbelief. “Kyle’s been my best friend for over two years, and he’s practically the sibling that I never had. I can assure you, there’s nothing going on between us.”
“Okay, okay.” I said, leaving her to unpack. Just then, I got a text from Chris. Multiple texts, actually.
Pulling my phone out, I saw that he sent me a bunch of pictures. All of them were of me and Dan. I nearly dropped my phone on the hardwood floor. He had snuck over five pictures of us together, either smiling or something else. None of them showed us deliberately posing for the camera.
I grinned, deciding to save all of them.