This story is rated PG-13 for some select chapters. This isn't one of them. This chapter is rated PG.
"I can't wait!" I said to Jay over the phone, throwing my running shorts into the suitcase. "Who are you picking up again?"
"My friend Dante. But that's like, next week. not like him. Maybe. He's really cool, ." Jay's deep voice said.
"Um, OK. Sure. God, I still have so much to pack!" I rummaged around in my drawer, looking for scrunchies I wanted to bring. The drawer was so messy and so full of stuff, I quickly gave up and scooped up almost everything in it, putting them into one of my many cosmetic bags.
"I'm already all packed. Everything is loaded in the car." I heard him turn off the stereo in his room.
"Hopefully you have a lot of extra room. I'm warning you, I have a lot of things. I don't travel 'light.'" I tossed my bras and underwear into a duffel bad that had flowers all over it.
"Bronwyn! Supper!" my mother's voice rang up the stairs.
" I gotta go Jay. See you tomorrow at like, 7 a.m. right?"
"Yep. Peace." We hung up, and I moaned. If he was picking me up at seven in the morning, that meant I had to get up at about 5:45 a.m. But excitement for what lay ahead took over, and I smiled, running down the stairs.
"Sitting down at the kitchen table, I said, "What ya doing dufus? Er, I mean Ben." I gave my little brother an affectionate pat on the head. He looked up from his book and said, "When are you leaving?" I grinned. "Tomorrow. Seven o clock."
"You're going to be gone the rest of the summer, right?" he put the book he had, and I nodded yes. He exclaimed, "Yes!" and smiled widely, leaning back in his chair. "I have the whole summer to myself. No sister to bother me, because she will be with her boyfriend, driving across the country." "Jay's not my boyfriend!" I protested. "Jay and I are-"
"Best friends. Yea, yea, yea. I know." He rolled his eyes. My mom set the steak in the middle of the table, surrounded by the other silverware. The smell of cooked meat was delicious. My dad sat down at the head of the table, next to my mother and I.
"Well, this is our last meal with Bron for a long time." He said. "Ben, put your book away." My nine year old brother sighed, reluctantly putting the book down.
"A toast." Dad raised his water glass. ""Bronwyn, I hope you have a fun and safe trip going to Bev's house, and at Bev's house. To road trips and vacations!" Dad smiled, and mom got all teary-eyed. She had finally given into letting me go on this trip with Jay. I had been begging to go since the day he asked me, a cold, snowy day way back in the beginning of winter. She finally said 'yes' two and ½ weeks ago, when I had finally convinced her I'd be safe, happy, and safe, safe, safe. Dad was amazed I'd talked Mom into letting me go on a road-trip, across the country, with a boy, who's my best friend. He thinks my destiny is to be a lawyer now.
Later that night, my mom knocked on my door. "Come in." I said, putting my new bikini into the suitcase, and she eyed it with a disapproving look, then sat on the edge of my bed.
"Honey, I know you and Jason are very good friends." She began, and I groaned inwardly, knowing what was coming. "But, well, that could change very easily. I want you to be-" she paused, searching for the right word. "Careful. Not just with Jay, but other people too. There are a lot of good people in the world, and a few bad people. Please, watch out for those few. Jay might not be with you at all times, like in hotels and things like that." I bit my lip as a wave of guilt washed over me. Jay and I had the money for two different hotel rooms, but we weren't planning on getting two. We were good enough of friends to stay in one hotel room. With two beds, of course. We wanted to save the money, for 'just in case' instances, or if we just decided we wanted to splurge.
Mom continued with her lecture. "You know how to protect yourself, I know. And you have your-"
"Whistle." I held up the white whistle, which I was supposed to blow if I was in trouble. "Whistles- red, white and blue. I'm patriotic." I held up two more, and she smiled.
"You have your-"
"Pepper spray. All three bottles. Check."
"And you know that screaming for help is the best way to get attention if you needed it.