That one thing I dread most: Summer camps
That one thing I look forward to the most: Summer holidays
That one thing I always end up doing during summer: Summer camps
Not that I don’t like the games and activities a summer camp can offer, but somehow, they never really end up well for me, because whenever there’s a monkey around in the same room as you, nothing really ends up well.
My lungs feel like they’ve been crammed into a tiny container. The moving heads, the laughs, and the chatters are choking.
“Can’t you just sit still for a minute?” Gregory, who’s sprawling on his back, remarks disapprovingly.
Everyone’s sitting in their own circles, chatting and joking loudly, while the monkey, he’s been laying on his back since the very first minute we arrived at this hall, whistling and more often than not, singing like nobody’s around.
I pull in my knees, “Shouldn’t you be twirling your monkey tail around while making some new friends?”
“And let it ruin the fun of the ice breaking game later?” Gregory wiggles his finger, his stare still glued to the ceiling.
Even now, I still have the unbearable urge to choke him. If it weren’t for him, my name wouldn’t even be on the camper list this very minute. See, it’s a pretty long story but… if he didn’t take up this camp, then HIS mom wouldn’t have bragged about it to MY mom, and MY mom, wouldn’t have made me come. End of story.
It’s a stupid chain reaction. It happens all the time.
“Hello,” a boy around my age greets us, before settling down next to Gregory, who shoots straight up from the floor that very second.
“Yo,” he nods at the stranger, a bit too enthusiastically.
I raise a brow, “I thought you said you don’t wanna make new friends?”
Ignoring me, Gregory clasps his hands excitedly, “Great! Now we have three in a group. At LAST we can have our very own circle…”
With that, he instructs and gets us to sit in a circle. A very tiny circle.
The new boy turns his head to me and beams, “Hi.”
“Hi back,” I reply, starting to feel a little annoyed by Gregory’s excitement, which, based on my past experiences, is an omen of trouble and mess.
“I’m Greg,” monkey offers him a hand shake, and the new boy takes it politely.
“Jack,” he says, and turns his attention back to me, “You?”
Tossing his head back like a horse, Gregory waves dismissively, “Oh her? She’s got a name that matches her personality so, so much it’d scare you.”
Course, here it comes. That monkey shit is coming up again. See? This is what Gregory’s excitement leads to. Monkey shit.
“Her name’s Bitch.”
I smile at John, “It’s okay, John, I understand how it feels to be around a monkey as well.”
“Umm… my name’s Jack.”
“My name’s Jack.”
I stare at him for a while, my brain going numb and I feel my cheeks furiously heat up. “Oh. Sorry.”
Gregory snorts, flashing me a disdainful look.
“Wait,” I lean forward a little, “Your last name doesn’t happen to be… Sparrow, does it?”
I watch and wait as Jack pulls in his brows, and chuckling slightly, he answers, “No.”
“Oh,” I look away, disappointed.
Pointing at me accusingly, Gregory complains, “That’s an epitomic favouritism, I say! You could’ve said Frost instead of Sparrow.”
I point back, “You could’ve watched more grown up movies instead of old DreamWorks films!”
Realising that both of us probably look like two kids in a stupid argument, I drop my hand quickly and look down.
Dipping his head slowly, Jack whispers, “But I watch DreamWorks films too.”
I look up, “Yeah… I do, too.”
God this is such a useless conversation. “This is stupid,” I point out.
“No, YOU are stupid,” Gregory reasons.
Jack leans forth, his hands on his laps, “Actually, guys, my last name’s Dawson. Jack Dawson.”
His face sagging, Gregory hooks a thumb towards Jack and asks me, “I suppose he’s the stupid one now?”
“Yeah,” I nod, though fully aware of how rude that’d be to a new friend.
His grin growing wider, Jack holds in his laugh, and gestures towards me instead, “You haven’t even introduced yourself, new friend.”
I snap my fingers, “Oh. Yeah. Sorry. My name’s Sandy. Full time student, part time zookeeper. I particularly just look after monkeys, actually, and one of ‘em is here with me today,” I motion at Gregory, then at Jack, “Say hi to Jack, pet monkey.”
Gregory’s eyes narrow at me, “I’d punch you if you weren’t a girl, Sandy Baker.”
“I’d still punch you even if you were a girl, monkey,” I confess.
Glancing between us nervously, Jack cuts in, “Alright! So… are you guys related? Siblings? No? Cousins?”
I feel insulted. And apparently so did Gregory the monkey when he snaps his head to Jack incredulously.
Me. Gregory. Related.
I fix my glare on Jack, “Repeat it again?”
“Um…” Jack knits his brows, “I asked if you guys are related.”
Gregory shakes his head, “Dude, you do realise you just put Charlie Chaplin to absolute shame, don’t you? Do you even know how hilarious you sounded? Me and a bitch. Howwwww, on earth would it seem like we’re related, huh?”
“Well… you guys seem to be doing everything together. You even arrived together.”
I snap, “THAT’S because I’m a zookeeper! I told you that. And I look after monkeys. So it makes perfect sense to-
“Shut it, bitch.”
I don’t know why I did it, but I pushed myself up, my hands already crossed in a defensive mode. Unwilling to be looked down upon, Gregory quickly gets to a stand, making me the one now, who’s being looked down upon by HIM. Helly crap.
Hastily, Jack gets to his feet as well, squeezing in between us while softly pushing us apart, “Hey, hey… easy there… what’s with the monkey and-
“What about monkey again?” Gregory growls.
“Would you cut it out with your monkey shit?” I scowl.
“IF you cut it out with your stupid Swiss Roll shit.”
“I hate swiss rolls.”
“By gushing about the new swiss roll flavour in town EVERY DAY.”
Jack manages to squeeze in again, “Hey, you guys-
I don’t know how, when, who, what, and why, but the next thing we know, Jack’s on the floor, his face kissing the tiles and his stomach on my feet. Actually, I guess I know the who part. It’s me.
I tripped him.
I have no idea how, but it seems every time someone gets to my nerves and when I happen to be in a standing position, someone will always end up getting tripped over. By me.
Maybe I stomp my feet when I’m fed up, I don’t know.
“What a move, Swiss Roll… WHAT a move… now look what you did!” Gregory exclaims, quickly gaining the attention of the other campers.
Groaning, Jack grudgingly turns onto his back, his face a… bloody mess. He holds onto his bleeding –probably broken- nose, wincing and grimacing all the way.
Gregory raises both hands, “Guys I swear I’ve got nothing to do with this!”
“EVERYTHING’s got to do with him!” I point at Gregory, then realise it’s mostly my fault so I drop my hand again.
“What’s going on here?” a voice booms, and the crowd parts way, revealing the stern face of one of the camp leaders.
Heaven and Hades please forbid I take up any summer camps, ever, again.
That one thing I avoid doing most: Accidentally tripping people when I’m upset
That one big, mega talent of mine: Accidentally tripping people when yours truly is upset