Chaper Six: Another Dinner

I awoke to someone serenading my bedroom from beyond the door. And by someone I mean a chorus of someones. Over the four (and for some of them less) days we'd been here, Fred, Edwin, Marguerite, Jude, and Valentin seemed to have become a group, and without noticing it I had signed up to be a member. It made sense, I supposed. We were all about the same age, and that seemed to be the deciding factor in the social groups of Eleanor and Derek's combined extended families. The outlier was Edwin. I couldn't figure out what he was doing hanging around with us. The nineteen-year-olds had formed their own group, and he was closer to their age than to ours. Maybe Marguerite was more seductive than her older sister.

At any rate, I stopped their serenading and the group informed me that dinner was going to be grilled out back and we should just help ourselves and sit down wherever. When they said wherever they seemed to mean with them, though, because we walked as a group to get food and then we all sat down together and there didn't really seem to be a point where I could wander off to find Hannah. I felt a little uncomfortable without her. The only person in the group I was closed to was Fredrick, the sight of Marguerite bothered me, the existence of Edwin made me want to scream, and Jude and Valentin were nice but not really worth it. I wished I could go sit with the younger teenagers, who seemed to be having fun and laughing. Then again, to an outsider we must have looked like we were having fun and laughing too, and I'm sure most of us were.

Marguerite was delighted to be anywhere near Edwin, and she kept trying to say intelligent things that would make him like her and get him to pay attention to her, but he seemed determined to be polite to everyone and listen only to whomever was speaking. Which, of course, caused Marguerite to try to speak all the time. I found this obnoxious in the extreme, but it only seemed to amuse Fred and Jude, who kept whispering jokes to each other that Edwin and Marguerite couldn't hear. Valentin seemed to be trying to catch my attention, but I ignored him. I wasn't here for any sort of actual interactions. Appreciating some of the guys as eye candy was one thing, getting involved was something else entirely.

I finally lay back in the grass and let the sounds of their conversation flow around me, which was where I was when Hannah showed up. The group immediately tried to include her. Hannah was a little withdrawn with people she wasn't close to, but they were very friendly. In my mind I imagined an amorphous blob digesting an unsuspecting animal.

It was getting dark when someone suggested going inside to the basement and playing games. I wasn't sure what sort of games they meant, and I didn't really want to know, or play, or spend time with anyone. I excused myself and went to go stand on the porch. Standing turned into sitting after a while, and then pacing.

"What are you thinking about?"

I couldn't see the owner of the voice in the dark, and I wondered if it was the same person I had talked to my first night here.

"I don't even know."

"That's acceptable." There was a pause. Then he said, "Do you want to play Ghost?"

"Okay... B" I tend to pick B for begin, or S for start, or something like that. It's just the way my mind works.

"L"

"E" Bleary would land on him.

"M" Maybe I hadn't thought this through enough. This game was more fun with three players anyway.

"I" It didn't seem like I had much of a choice.

"S"

"H... okay, I have a G. I guess it's my turn to start again. S"

"Q"

I hate Q's. But the only thing that could possibly come after one was a U, so... "U"

"E"

"A" Maybe he'll give up and say L.

"M"

"You're really good at this."

"I actually memorized the list of wins. It wasn't really a fair suggestion."

"Cheater."

"Forgive me?"

I wasn't feeling forgiving. "Not at the moment. I'm going back inside." Maybe the other kids my age would cheer me up.

A/N: I don't really like this chapter, it's kind of filler and I just don't like it, but I did get it up quickly. Thanks again to anyone reading/reviewing, and here's an explanation of ghost for anyone who doesn't know how to play:

Players take turns saying letters. You get a letter in the word 'ghost' whenever you spell a word three letters or more, and you lose entirely if you spell 'ghost'. If you say a letter and your opponent doesn't think there's any word that starts like that they can challenge you and if you can't come up with a word you get a letter, if you can they do.