a short story by Clara Renner, 24′

Zip! I closed my suitcase, then rolled it out into the hallway and down the stairs. It made a thud with each step I rolled it onto. “Can we keep this house quiet for ONE SINGLE second of the day?” Mom yelled from the kitchen.
“Yeah Caleigh,” Spencer said once I dropped my suitcase off at the front door and came into the kitchen.
“Spencer, you’re louder than me and you know it.” I said.
“No I’m not!”
“Yes you a—” But mom stopped us with an exasperated sigh.
“Guys seriously. Spence, are you packed yet?”
“Um, no. I am eating a granola bar.”
“Yes, I realize that. After you are finished, go get packed. OK?”
“Fine,” Spencer said. Mom looked at her watch.
“Oh, just about time for me to start making dinner. Caleigh honey, can you do me a favor and pack for Avery? Dad’s not home yet so I am going to need you to pack for her.” Mom handed me a list from behind the kitchen counter. I stood still, waiting for her to talk some more. “Take it. Please.” I slowly picked my hand up from my side and took the list. I stared at her. Why am I always the one packing for my two year old sister? I have other stuff I want to do. Not pack for her. I thought. My mind jumped out of my thoughts.
“Avery’s going skiing?!” I said, surprised.
“Yeah. She will be fine.”
“Are you kidding?! Come on, she’s two. She’ll hurt herself.”
“Just get her packed, and we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
“But—” I started. But mom gave me a look that read, just do it. I obeyed and headed for Avery’s room. Up the stairs, down the hallway, and into her mind blowing room of pink. I saw Avery, standing in her crib with pink elephant footie pajamas. “Hey Ave, I’m going to pack for you.” Avery frowned. I had seen this before. My dad packed for her all the time and he always said the same exact thing I just said. Him and I always knew what to do when this happened. It meant Avery wanted to help pack, too. “Alright. Come on,” I lifted her from her crib and put her on her carpet. Pink, of course. I got her suitcase out of her closet and set it down. I sat. “Ok, first thing.” I looked at Avery’s list. “Snowsuit.” She’s been out in the snow?! I thought. SINCE WHEN. “MOM?!” I yelled.
“Yes?! You know what? If you want to talk to me, come downstairs.” Mom yelled back. “It’s time for dinner anyway. Come. Bring Avery, too.” I looked back at Avery.
“Are you hungry?” I asked.
“Ya!” Avery said. I smiled.
“At least I won’t have to pack for you. We did not even get one thing done on the list. Daddy’s better.”
“CALES!? COME ON.” Mom yelled again.
“WE’RE COMING!!!!” I said. I stood up and took Avery’s hand. “C’mon. Let’s go.” I tried to speed walk, but Avery kept stumbling. Eventually, I gave up and let her crawl. How is SHE going to ski when she barely knows how to walk? I thought. When we got to the dinner table, I picked Avery up and put her in her high chair. Mom sighed.
“Caleigh, I told you to not let Avery crawl. She needs to learn how to walk.”
“Sorry. I was getting annoyed. She can’t even speed walk. So how is she going to ski, exactly?”
“I told you to DROP IT. OKAY?” I groaned and fell into my seat. I rolled my eyes.
“Okay.”
“SPENCER COME ON TIME FOR DINNER!” Mom yelled up the stairs. She did that a lot. A LOT. Spencer came jumping down the stairs, skipping two steps at a time. “Come on dude. You know better, that’s not safe. Especially right before we go skiing. I wouldn’t,” Mom said. But Spence was already at the bottom step.
“Ok! Got it,” Spencer said. “I will not do it next time!” He grinned and sauntered towards the dinner table.
“Alright. Dad’s not home yet so we are going to have dinner ourselves.” Spence groaned.
“Whyyyyyyy!” He yelled up towards the ceiling.
“Spencer. Stop. You will be FINE.” Mom reached over and put a hamburger bun on Avery’s plate. “Here you go Ave–e.” Avery drummed on the hamburger bun. She started laughing. Spencer rolled his eyes.
“Avery’s SOOOO weird.” He said.
“Aw, Spence, she’s just a baby. She does not know much. Oh, yes, I just remembered. We need to talk about packing. You know, get everything organized.” Mom said.
“But we’re having dinner.” Spencer said.
“Yes, and that’s why we need to talk about it. Spencer, are you done packing yet?”
“Yes.”
“Ok, good. Do you have… let’s see. Oh yes, your toothbrush? Toothpaste? Flossers? Snow pants? Stuffed animals? I’m just naming the important stuff. Um… ski goggles? Ok. I think that’s all you needs. What about you, Cales?”
“I’m packed.” I said.
“Ok great. Do you have your toothbrush? Toothpaste? Flossers? Snow pan—”
“I got all of that.”
“Ok then. Spencer and Caleigh, go upstairs and get ready for bed. I’ll be up in a moment. I looked at my watch. 6:44. I headed up the stairs with Spencer. He disappeared into his room. I walked down to my room, went in, and put on my pajamas. Then I went into my bathroom and brushed and flossed. After I was done, I checked in on Spencer. I peered into his room and saw him brushing his teeth in his bathroom.
“Hey dude. Almost ready?”
He turned around.
“Spforts?” He said while he brushed his teeth.
“Yeah, sports.” I said. Sports was a thing we did on Friday, when we didn’t have anything else to do. All of our other afternoons were filled with sports practices and games When we had a slightly early dinner and got ready for bed, we played a sport until it was actually time to go to bed. When Spencer was finished, we headed down the hallway and down the steps to the backyard. “What are we doing today?” I asked Spencer.
“I don’t know, it’s your turn to pick.” He replied.
“Ok, I say a good old game of soccer.” So we played soccer. I was better than Spencer, but it was still fun to play with him. My main sport was soccer, but I also played field hockey and lacrosse. His main sport was football, but he also played baseball, basketball, and soccer.
Our time playing soccer was done, and I was all snuggled in bed and ready to go to sleep.
“Good night.” Mom said.

I woke up the next morning. The sunlight was streaming through my windows. The bright sunlight burned my just-opened-eyes. I rolled onto my side to check my clock. 7:08. Well, time for me to get up. Adrenaline rushed through me. I walked to my dresser and put on some clothes. Then I walked to my bathroom to brush my hair and put it up in a high pony. Downstairs was a jungle gym. Spencer was throwing clothes ( I honestly had no idea why), and mom was rushing around, yelling. “Spencer! Pick up those clothes.”
“WHY?!” Spencer said.
“Because I said so.”
Dad rushed upstairs to grab his suitcase. “Go help yourself to some food, dude.”
Mom said. “Just get some cereal or something. I don’t care.” Spencer’s blue eyes widened.
“Ooh! Lucky Charms!” With that, Spencer scrambled towards the kitchen. No one really seemed to notice me, not even Dad who flew past me on his way upstairs to supposedly grab his suitcase. I was going to make a run for the kitchen. If I was in the middle of eating, Mom would not ask me to get Avery out of bed. Especially today, when she was rushing around, almost tripping over Rascal, our golden retriever puppy. I looked both ways, like I was crossing the street, and sprinted into the kitchen. Phew. I thought. I opened the pantry and pulled out Froot Loops. I got a bowl, a spoon and milk, and I sat down next to Spencer, and started eating. Once I finished, I cleared my plate and headed upstairs to grab my suitcase, even though I put it by the front door yesterday. Dad said it “somehow” got upstairs again.

“When are we going to be there?” Spencer asked.
Mom sighed.
“Dude, please stop asking. We’re going to be there when we get there.”
“Yeah, you asked about two minutes ago.” I said. “Do the math. What is 20-2?” Spence scowled at me.
“It’s vacation. We don’t do MATH during vacation.”
“There’s math all around us. You do division ALL THE TIME. Like when you had to split 10 cookies up among 5 people, just like you did at your birthday party.”
“Huh. Interesting. NOT.” Spencer said, and looked away, out the window.
“Spencer, whatever. We’re almost there anyway.” I said. All of a sudden, Avery started crying. Mom banged her arm on the arm rest.
“She’s getting car sick. Here Cales, give her this brown paper bag. I packed a lot just in case.”
“No. Why do I have to do absolutely EVERYTHING for her? I’m not the mom in this family, YOU ARE!”
“Caleigh. Please. settle down.” I couldn’t settle down. My body surged up with anger.
I flailed around in my seat. My arms went flying and I slapped Avery in the face. Oh shoot. I thought. It was by accident. I couldn’t help my arms. They were out of control. Avery started crying even harder. Mom shot her head around to me, then Spencer. Her face softened when she looked at Avery. “Aw, Ave-e, come here. Are you ok? Yeah?” Avery settled down and finally, we pulled in to the condominium parking lot.

“Come on guys, let’s play.” Alice said from the top bunk. She moved her straight dirty blonde hair away from her face. Alice was my best friend, and she had a little brother named Dylan. Spence and Dylan were best friends too. She had an older brother in 9th grade, who was super nice. He was sleeping in another room. Avery was sleeping with my parents.
“I already got the ball!” Dylan threw the penguin stuffed animal at Alice’s face, just missing.
“Oh, I’m gonna get you!” She hurled the stuffed animal back at him which conveniently to hit him in the stomach. This was a game we played with them. We had a peeps layer, and there was a bunk bed and two twin beds, up here, in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. I was on the bottom bunk, and Spencer was on the other twin bed.
“Here, Dyl, pass!” Spencer said. But Dylan was holding his stomach like he was about to throw up. He dramatically did a flop in the bed. He threw a weak pass to Spencer. “Thanks bro!” Spencer chucked the penguin at me. I caught it before it went to my face. I threw it up to Alice. She chucked it at Spencer, making him fly on his bed because the penguin hit him in the face. “Ow! What’s your problem Alice?” He made a disgusted face at her.
“Guys, lights out.” Alice’s older brother William walked into our room. He walked over to Dylan and tucked him in. “Night buddy.” Alice laid back allowing the whole bunk bed to shake. The bunk bed wasn’t very sturdy.
“Hey watch it. The top bunk could fall on me any second now, and I would die, and it would be your fault.” I said. Alice laughed.
“You’re exaggerating. Why would it fall on you?”
“Well, because these two beds are just stuck together with gum.” Alice peered down where the two beds were stuck together.
“Oh, geez they are.”
“Yeah.”
“No they’re not. They’re actually stuck together with nails but someone put gum there stupidly,” Spencer said, like he was Albert Einstein.

“Come on, come on, come on!” I opened my eyes. Spencer was standing at the edge of my bed. I looked around. Dylan was sitting on his bed rubbing his eyes. Alice was not in the peeps layer. Probably brushing her teeth. I pushed my blankets back and wandered over to my suitcase grabbing my outfit. “Mom says it’s going to be really cold, so she said to bundle up.” Oh great, I thought. Best time for a 2 year old BABY to be out in this weather.
“Ok,” I said. I got dressed, brushed my teeth, and staggered down the stairs. The smell of fresh chocolate chip pancakes filled the room. I inhaled. “Mmmmmmmmmm. Smells so good.” I said.
“These pancakes will also taste good.” Dad said.
“Definitely.” Mom came down the stairs with Avery in her arms. She set her down in her high chair.
“Good morning Spencer.” She said. Spencer looked up from the game on his iPad mini that he was playing with Dylan. He looked at Avery and her high chair.
“Does she really have to sit next to me?” Spencer asked. Mom sighed.
“Yes. This is where the high chair is going to go, and you just happen to be sitting there.” Alice and I were sitting across from them.
“Dude, can you see?” I said. “You realize that Avery’s the only baby in this condominium. Where else can she sit? She doesn’t quite reach the table top when she sits in a chair.”
“Caleigh, stop.” Mom said.
“Breakfast is served.” Dad said. He brought a big steaming pile of pancakes. My mouth started to water as my eyes fixed onto the plate. Dad set it down, and I instantly grabbed at the biggest, most chocolatey and puffiest pancake on the plate and dug in.

Soon, we were at the ski place. I put on my skis. I was ready to go anywhere I wanted for awhile.
“C’mon Alice,” I yelled, not turning around.
“Boo.” Someone put their hands on my shoulders. I jumped.
“Hey.”
“Let’s go,” she said laughing.
“Where?”
“Valley Run. Good to start off with. Hope it’s not too icy.”
“Yeah, ok. Let’s go.” We headed towards Valley Run. Soon, we got on the chairlift and we were heading up the mountain.
“Where’s Avery?” Alice said.
“Um, I don’t know. She could be anywhere.”
“Do you think she’s cold?”
“WHY do you ask this? She’s barely two. Of course she is.” That moment, I started thinking. I was cold, really cold. I shivered.
“You ok? You look cold,” Alice said, “do you want to go back to the lodge after this?”
“We can’t,” I mumbled. “We have to stay out remember?”
“Oh dang it. Well, I’m co—” I looked forward. I hadn’t realized I had been looking at Alice the whole time.
“BAR UP!!” I screamed.
“What?” She said in a panicked voice. She looked forward. We were at the point where you were supposed to get off, and we had not even put the bar up. I looked at the person who was operating the chairlift. Idiots these days! She was on her phone! “Stop chairlift, stop!” Alice yelled. If we didn’t get off soon, we would be goners!
“One, two, three!” I yelled as we pushed the bar up. We were on the verge of going the opposite WAY. “Go, go, go!” I said. We pushed ourselves off of the lift. At least I THOUGHT Alice got off. We were too late. I went slamming into a wooden fence, and Alice still hung from one arm on the chairlift, about to go off a cliff, still hanging from one arm then having to ride the whole way down hanging from one arm. “Alice! Let go!” She obeyed and went sliding down on her back until her head was on my skis.
“Both of our faults.” I laughed and helped her up. “By the way, I checked my watch and my dad says to meet at the bottom of the slope.”
“Good to know. Now let’s get going.” We slid down the slope smoothly. The furious wind caught my face. I took a deep breath. So colllllddd.
It was getting dark now, and the wind was picking up speed. We were all together. Still outside in the cold.
“Sweets, take Avery. She’s better off with you and Alice.” Mom told me.
“Oh, ok. But the thing is we’ll only be going on bunny slopes. Me and Alice were going to do a black diamond.”
“Caweey.” Avery said. She hugged my snowpants. I couldn’t resist. She was too adorable to deny.
“Ok, ok.”
“Great.” Mom said and skied away with all the adults. Alice grunted.
“Weird-o’s.” She said.
“Bye bye. We’re going on some moguls.” Spence said. And Spencer and Dyl skied away.
“Hey, wait up. You guys cannot go by yourselves. You guys are only eight.” William hurried after them.
“So—”
“WAAAAAAAAAAAA” Avery cried.
“Oh geez. What’s the matter?”
“Cold.” She said. I looked at Alice.
“We cannot go back to the lodge. The parents would kill us.” Alice explained.
“Yes. I agree.” I looked down at Avery who was clutching my hand. Her tears were almost frozen to her face. “We have to do something. Soon she is going to freeze into an ice cube and so am I.”
“Don’t forget about me.” Alice said.
“Maybe if we take her on one J bar run, she will feel better. Now let’s go.”
We hurried over to the J bar. It was a treacherous journey. We rode up.
“I have a question,” Alice said, “Avery wasn’t freezing to death when your mom had her.”
“Good point.” The snow bit my face. I took a deep breath. “Ok. Let’s do this.”
If I got on a longer slope, I tell you, I would’ve dropped dead. But Avery would’ve dropped dead earlier. She was as still as a statue, not moving as snow blew at her helpless little face. “Alice. We need to get her inside. NOW.” We took our skis off and headed towards the lodge. I picked Avery up.
“Uh— I don’t know if this is a good idea.” Alice stammered.
“It’s life or frostbite. Literally.” Alice pushed open the doors of the lodge. Warm air came shooting in.
“Wait! Wait,” Spencer said. He and Dylan came racing through the lodge doors. Alice held the door open for them. Not closing the door, she said,
“Guys? If you’re here… then where’s Will?”
“Skiing double black diamonds with the parents. He said we were skiing too easy slopes. Even though we were skiing black diamonds with moguls. He doesn’t like moguls. I tell you, he has no taste in skiing. Anyway, he made a deal. Because he wanted to go ski double black diamonds, and we wanted to get warm. So we both wandered off into our destinations.” Spencer took a breath, “we weren’t expecting you guys.” Spencer looked up at me with his big blue eyes. All this time, Alice was holding the door open.
“That’s not called a deal.” I said.
“Whatever.” A random adult dude who was standing by us looked up from his phone.
“Hey blondie with bangs,” the dude said in a taunting voice, “you mind closing the door? And by the way, I do not like dirty kids getting in my way, so beat it.”
“You know what?” Alice said with sass in her voice, the mysterious dude folded his arms across his chest, “you don’t OWN this place. In fact, I’m welcome to hold this door open for as long as I would like.”
“Yeah person.” Spence said. Spencer and Dylan high fived. The random dude looked like he was about to pounce. This was getting ugly. I started fidgeting with my mittens.
“Except,” I cut in, “Avery’s still cold, Alice, and you leaving the door open doesn’t help.” Alice sighed and let go of the door.
“You can go with Avery and get warm, and the boys and I will fight the random dude.”
“N—” I start.
“Hey,” the mysterious dude says, looking up from his phone. “I thought we were done.”
“Oh, no we’re not.” Alice says, menacingly.
“Alice—” I complained. I grabbed her arm. She shook it off.
“I’m as old as you, and as responsible. You go, I’ll be fine.”
“Geez Caleigh,” Dylan says, “Alice isn’t going off to World War Two. She’s staying to fight with a dude.”
“Yeah, but there ISN’T going to be any fighting. Are you guys crazy?”
“Hmh.” The mysterious person said. “Where are your parents.”
“Are you a guard? At a police station? Because you seem like a real—” Spencer started. That was it.
“SPENCER!” I grabbed his arm and he stumbled behind me up the stairs.
“Hey—” Spence stammered. We got to the benches and I flew him down.
“Dude, what were you about to say?”
“Um… uh… because you seem like a real um… person.” Spencer finally put out. I folded my arms.
“Tell me the truth.” I raised my eyebrows. “Even ‘because you seem like a real person’ is rude. Does that dude seem to you that he is NOT A REAL PERSON?”
“Well he’s um,” his eyes darted around the room. “He’s angry at us because he’s weird.” Was I going to agree with him? Was I going to fight with the dude? I did think it was funny.
“Guys, what are you doing?” Dylan came sprinting up the stairs. “Come quick, because I don’t want to leave the dude behind because he’s leaving soon and I want to get the last laugh.” Dylan was grinning from ear to hear. “Alice is watching him— just, come on!” Dylan threw his head back and wailed.
“I’m ready Dylan.” Spencer said. He was also grinning. He stood up, and headed toward him. And they left together, down the stairs, stumbling in their ski boots.
“Wait— what?” I said in a panicked voice.
“Looks like your little bro ran away,” someone next to me said, half laughing. I glared at him. He smirked. I turned around again and headed down the stairs. I gave Avery my phone to keep her entertained and distracted, and she sat on the stairs.
“Oh yeah? A weapon? Seriously? You’re going to hit me with a SKI?” Alice said. I hid behind the corner, watching Alice, Dylan, and Spencer, fighting with the mysterious dude. I had to cover my mouth to keep from bursting out laughing. The sight was humorous. The dude was standing there, with one bright green ski in his hand, ready to hit Alice. He had some problems. I could NOT believe this was happening. And I could NOT believe our parents SERIOUSLY didn’t notice we were missing from the slopes. I turned the corner and came toward the “fighting scene.” “Huh, huh.” The dude said. Another one of these creeps. It took me some strength, but I finally ripped the neon green ski from the dude’s hand. It was really heavy, because, well, I guess, because, he was, well, him. I rose the ski up in the air and banged it down, trying to hit him. He got out of the way, just in time. I was just about to strike again, when the dude tried to pull the ski out of my hand. We went back and forth, back and forth, until the dude used all of his great strength to try to pull it away from me. He didn’t exactly pull it away from me, well, he pulled the ski WITH me. I wasn’t surprised, I wasn’t that heavy. I flew across the lobby. It seemed like minutes, hours, days, that I was flying. I felt like a feather, being lifted up by the wind. Crack! My helmet smashed into the cold, hard floor. The mysterious dude stomped his foot on the floor real hard.
“Oh, stupid me! You have a helmet on! Ahh.” Alice somehow thought what he said was super funny, so she started giggling. It’s not like she WANTED to stop, because she was standing there, laughing her guts out, like she was in her own world, and no one was around to bother her. Well there was. The dude. I looked up at the mysterious dude from where I was sprawled out on the floor. He was getting angry. I could tell, even from where I was, at an ant’s eye view. He clenched his fists, and bounded towards Alice. My eyes widened. I tried to get up, to stop him because I had some time. They were at the opposite ends of the lobby area. I tried to pick my head up, but I just slammed it back down. My head was still spinning. Well I was useless. But Spencer was there to save the day, like Superman, the show he watches all the time. He sprinted to the dude, kneeled down, and put one leg out, while the dude was still sprinting to Alice. He had his eyes stupidly focused on Alice, not the floor, or even half and half. He soon came to Spencer, tripped, and flew across the room at 100 miles per hour. I was expecting the dude to be helpless and crash through a window, but instead, he put his hands out to stop himself. “Uh!” The dude said when his hands hit the window. He fell face first onto the hard cream-colored tiled floor. Just to let you know, he did not have a helmet on. Ouch. Immediately, Alice broke out into a loud, and, quite evil laugh.
“Alice…” I complained. “Don’t laugh.” I sat up and looked over at the dude. He was clenching his fists, and his face was about as red as a tomato. But, he was still lying face first, like he was in love with the floor or something. He still looked ready to jump up any moment now, and tackle Alice once and for all— but he— wait… he wasn’t going for Alice, he was going for Spencer!
“OH YEAH SPENCE THAT WAS AWESOME!!!!” Dylan shouted.
“I KNOW RIGHT?!??!” Spencer shouted back. The mysterious dude lifted his body off the ground and stood up. He calmly brushed dust off of his winter coat. I thought this was the end if it. I thought he was going to give up and be on his way. He sauntered towards his ski that he dropped to the ground. The neon green one. Everyone was just staring. Alice, Dylan, Spencer, and I. Frozen, watching. He calmly walked towards Spencer with his ski, thankfully facing down. He got to Spencer, lifted his ski, and shoved it up Spencer’s coat. This is what it looked like: the dude holding both ends of the ski, and Spencer dangling from it. He had to tilt his head back because the ski was coming through the other side. The ski was coming out both ends of his coat, and if we zipped the zipper of his coat down, he would crash onto the floor. Alice got down on the ground, and quietly crawled like a baby up to me.
“Unzip his coat.” She whispered. “I’ll catch him when he falls.”
“Alright.” I whispered back. I didn’t know what the dude was doing, because he was not moving. He was just standing there, with Spencer dangling from his ski. Alice helped me up, and I staggered to Spencer. Dylan joined in this movement. He did forward rolls like a spy would do on a mission, and I almost burst into laughter. But he was swift, not making a sound. He finally finished his rolls, and dove in between the dude’s legs. The dude didn’t notice. I was stunned. I shook my right leg, and almost fell. I did the same with my left leg. Alice was covering her mouth to keep from laughing too hard. I glared at her. She just smiled. Dylan was still in between the dude’s legs. I did not know what he was up too. He wasn’t even doing anything. I tiptoed over to where Spencer was hanging by the ski. But I wasn’t ready yet. I was still behind the dude. Dyl put his hands out. I motioned sternly to put his hands back, but he didn’t seem to see me. He was ignoring me. He was— oh! He was putting his hands out to save Spencer from falling on the floor! I tiptoed the rest of the way to Spence. The dude noticed me. But he just laughed his evil laugh. He was laughing because he did not notice Dylan, and the dude thought Spencer was going to drop to the floor with no one to catch him, and, without his helmet. But he was wrong. I gripped two of my fingers around Spencer’s zipper and pulled down. Zip! Spencer dropped. Dylan caught him swiftly and with Spence in his arms, he moved out from under the dude’s legs. As you probably wondered, Spencer was longer than the dude’s legs spread apart. Dylan and Spencer did not make it. Spencer crashed into his legs, with his head and feet. The dude literally did a split. But before he did gymnastics, Spence and Dylan were out. Dylan was still holding Spencer like a baby, and the dude was still in a split, when the door to the lodge flung open and four adults plus a teenage boy walked in, shivering.
“Uh-” Alice said, not sure what to say. “Fancy meeting you here.” Alice stammered.
“Well HELLO, Alice honey! How are you?” Alice’s mom said.
“Um uh just fine how are you? Heh, heh.” Alice’s mom looked across the room to Dylan. Who was still holding Spencer. Not looking down, he dropped him right there. But Alice’s mom didn’t seem to notice.
“Hey, Dyl!”
“Um, hi.” I looked at my mom. She picked up Avery in her arms and gave my phone back to me. She looked across the room to the dude. Her eyes widened.
“Mike! Is that you?” I was SO confused. “Mike!” I was about to faint. She KNEW this dude!?
“Oh! Chloe. How are you? And Spencer! Hello!” My mom made her way across the room to the dude who’s name is supposedly Mike.
“Caleigh! This is Mike… Him and your dad were roommates in college!”
“That’s wonderful.” I said, lying.
“Oh Mike, hey buddy.” My dad made his way across the room to him. Mike awkwardly stood up from his split, trying to act casual.
“Would you like to come over for dinner tonight? Are you with anyone else? Children?”
“N-no. No kids.” Mike shuddered. “Just me.”
“Oh well that’s a shame.” Mike gulped.
“Uh yeah. A shame indeed.”
“Well then, come on over!” We will meet you at our condominium. Room 235.” My dad said.
“Ok. Bye.” Mike picked up his one bright green ski and headed out the door. He obviously looked uncomfortable.
“And WHY are you letting him come for dinner?” I asked.Dad sighed.
“Caleigh, don’t be rude.”

Knock, knock, knock.
“Mike’s here!” Mom said, excitedly. Well I wasn’t excited. Neither were Alice, Spencer, Dylan, and probably Avery. I didn’t know though. Mom opened the door.
“Hey! Come on in. Please take your shoes off and make yourself at home.” Mom gestured towards the couch. On Mike’s way over, I gave him the evilest smile I could get out of myself. Haha. That will teach him a lesson.
“Hey Caleigh, want to play soccer?” Alice said.
“Where?”
“Oh, you know, right in the living room. Mike, I hope you don’t get too disturbed.”
Mike’s face turned bright red and I could imagine steam coming out of his ears. I know what Alice was doing. So I played along.
“I would love too!” I exclaimed. Mike clenched his teeth. This was going to be good. Alice took out her sky blue soccer ball that she got yesterday in one of the shops in our resort, and we began to play. We passed. Right in front of Mike. Haha.
“Time for dinner everyone,” mom said.
“Ok.” We sat down at the table and began to eat the spaghetti. Pasta was my favorite.
“Na na na!” Avery said. She had knocked over her sippy cup filled to the top with grape juice. It was open. But it gets better. Everyone here knows that if she spills, everyone stands up to avoid getting hit. Well everyone except for Mike. Grape juice spilled all over his best clothes. A suit and tie.
“Nooooooooooo!” He screeched. I closed my mouth really tight so I would not laugh. Then, really harshly, he said to Avery, “I will get you. I will beat you until—” Mike started. Mom gasped.
“How dare you, Mike! She’s only a baby!” Mike grunted. I rushed over to Avery and picked her up out of her high chair, and cuddled her in my arms.
“Aw, Avery…”
“You know what? GET OUT.” Mom said.
“Ok,” Mike said carelessly. “Bye.” And with that, he stood up, still covered in grape juice, and headed out the door. When the door shut, mom immediately turned to us 5 kids and said,
“What happened? Why was Mike in a split when I walked over to him? Dylan, tell me. Why were you holding Spencer like he was a baby? And why did you immediately drop him?” Spencer rubbed the place on his head where he hit it.
“Um because—” Dylan stammered.
“It’s a long story…” I said,
“It all started when Alice held the door open for too long…”