The crimson oversized tee barely fits in my duffel bag as well as my other nescesities. The cotton fabric tries to escape the luggage. I fit my journal and ink pen as well, though there's very few pages left.
"Do you have everything?"
Mom asks, her lips curling into a sweet smile. I nod, zipping up the duffel, revealing the clear, puffed imagery of silver stars on it. I slide the silver strap on my arm.
"Show a smile."
Mom suggests. I sigh and fake a small one concealing my 'resting bitch face'. I walk down the hall, spotting dad cooking something on the pan. It's scent makes me smirk a bit. His glasses fog a bit with the steam coming from the pan, making me snicker softly. Judging from the distance that I find myself, it seems like he's cooking a frittata. I hear mom's footsteps behind me and feel her hands knotting my tangled strawberry blonde champagne hair.
I misplaced my comb. She combs my hair quickly, but carefully. She finishes, then examines me, checking for mistakes.
"You look beautiful. Perfect."
"Oh thanks." I reply.
"Are you sure you'll need to bring your phone? you'll be out in the nature all the time."
"Yes. Who knows? I might wanna listen to music or take some pictures."
"Alright then. But don't lose it, and stay out of trouble, ok?"
She instructs, placing her hands on my shoulders as I look up at her tall figure with long, wavy blonde hair and brown eyes.
"I won't. Promise."
Dad hands me the food. It's a frittata and it looks delicious. I place my bag on the table in front, and slip on my knee-high black converse.
"Jussy, you've got yer stuff and washed yer hands right? Ye want'a be clean for camp lass."
"Close to godliness."
Heading to the parking lot floor, we stop by our black Toyota, depositing my heavy luggage in the trunk. Across from us is Anita, with her hands full of grocery bags and her ginger hair tied back in a messy bun. It loks like raising 3 kids is too much to handle. Mom's head darts up, noticing her figure.
"Anita! Good morning!"
She waves from the car, smiling brighter. Anita's head turns, walking her way towards us. I groan, walking around the car trying to open the door.
"Good morning Bexely! How are you?"
"Fairly well. Justice is starting summer camp today and everything's going smooth back home."
"My daughter. The girl who you always see writing and visiting to buy your shop to buy muffins."
Mom replies sternly with a bit of surprise in her tone.
"Oh right! I'm so sorry!"
The women continue discussing their lives as I walk around to open my side of the carseat. It unlocks, bringing a smile to my lips.
Anita exclaims, turning to face me happily.
"Oh hi. How are you doing?"
I ask, scratching my head.
"Hi love. How am i doing? honestly not the best. My mental health has been going crazy and my kids can be a handful. Life hasn't been very nice to me lately."
I freeze awkwardly, raising my eyebrows.
"Um... sorry to hear that."
Having no clue how to respond, I turn my feet. Though in my mind I was frustrated with the response, especially knowing that she can't remember me or my name.
"But, how are you doing? I heard you're going to Brenowa Camp! a friend of mine's daughter said that it was very fun and beautiful."
She asks, with a fake smile. I start to become more anxious the more I chat with her.
"I'm doing fine. Uh... look, I'm gonna be late... so- I gotta go."
"Oh right! bye Justice!"
The ginger woman turns to face Mom, returning to their chat as I hop into the carseat. I gaze at the car ceiling with the tupperware filled with the frittata in my hands. My lips don't have the energy to curl into a smile. Thinking about Brenowa Camp makes my heart squeeze in pain.
"Are you alright, Justice?" Mom asks.
"Average." I reply, still looking at the grey cushion above. She does the same. The car starts. We're on our way to hell.