Table of Contents
GROSSET & DUNLAP
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Library of Congress Control Number: 2006002439
eISBN : 978-1-101-04094-2
Sorry I haven’t written more, li’l bro. But you know how much I hate to sit still. And there’s always so much to do at Camp Lakeview. B-ball. Swimming in the lake. Soccer. Moonlight hikes. And some pretty great pranks have been played already this year. The most extreme ones since Jordan and I started coming here. Wow, I can hardly believe it’s our third summer. (Jordan says hi and says to go next door and scratch Cougar’s belly for him, because his parents always forget how much Cougar loves belly scratchies.)
A couple days ago, I had this tree-climbing contest with Jordan, and I almost fell. Don’t tell Mom! I won, so it’s all good. Except the next day, Jordan beat me in this game we invented. Bike-broom polo. We’ll teach it to you when we get home. You’ll go ape over it.
With the tree and the polo included, that makes the overall score for the summer—Priya 43-Jordan 41. I so rule! Except that, okay, Jordan has been ahead of me a couple times in this summer’s private Who’s-the-Most-Extreme Challenge. We’ve always managed to keep it a secret from the counselors in the past, but this year there have been a couple-few visits to the nurse. There was even some hoo-ha about how I could have broken a bone after someone not-cool saw me in the tree. If I had broken one, you know what that would have meant? I’d be even with you and Jordan in bone breaking. (And Mom would say stupidity!) Because, as you know, I’ve had two broken bones in my almost twelve years on the planet, plus that thing that time with my tooth. What’s that Dad says? The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat? I still say the thrill was worth the agony of the teeth. ’Cause I did conquer that empty swimming pool with my skateboard. You know it.
How’re you? How’s the all-star team? Getting to play at D-land, that so rocks. I miss you, but with my best friend here, do I really need my annoying little brother around? (Just kidding. Jordan’s my BBFF. That’s boy best friend forever, in case you don’t know. But you’re my BBF. Best brother forever. Duh.)
I can’t wait until Friday. That’s when the whole 4th Division is heading off for our long weekend—5 days!!!—in Washington, D.C. There are a bunch of different activities to pick from, with pairs of counselors chaperoning each one. Jordan and I have already made a zillion plans. We’re definitely going to do this thing called Sites on Bikes. That’s where you bike around all the monuments. (Do you think it’s possible to scale the Washington Monument? Because how much insane fun would it be to rappel down that thing? insane fun would it be to rappel down that thin&? Just kidding. Mostly. I mean it would be fun, but even I’m not that deranged.) And we’re going to spend one whole day in the National Air and Space spend one whole day in the National Air and Space Museum. Of course. Two astro-nuts like us couldn’t miss that. There’s also this dance-cruise thing on the Potomac River the last night that everyone has to go to. I’m not so into that. But Jordan and I will find some way to make it fun.
Gotta go. Time for swimming.
Your favorite (and, okay, only) sister,
Priya Shah swam toward the big wooden raft out in the lake part of Camp Lakeview. She loved to lie on it until she started to get just a little dry. Then dive into the cold blue-green water. Then dry. Then dive. Then dry. Then—
Get hauled straight to the bottom!
Something had her by the foot and was dragging her down, down, down. Make that some
! Jordan played this trick on her at least once during every swimming session. She did a fast flip-twist-roll, the combo that she always used to get free from Jordan’s power grip, and shot up to the surface like a bubble in a can of Coke.
Jordan popped up next to her about a second later. “You need some new routines,” Priya told him.
“I’m thinkin’ we need more B.T.L.,” Jordan said.
If you didn’t know Jordan, you might think he was saying he wanted more bacon, tomato, and lettuce sandwiches. But Priya knew Jordan and the way Jordan’s brain worked. To Jordan, B.T.L. could only mean one thing. The Beyond the Limits section of the National Air and Space Museum.
“We already calculated how much time we can spend at every exhibit we want to see,” Priya reminded him as they treaded water across from each other. They’d been planning the museum part of the D.C. trip almost from the moment Dr. Steve announced it.
“I know. But B.T.L. has the full-size space shuttle cockpit simulator. I need more minutes with that,” Jordan told her.
“Fine. Just don’t take them away from the Clementine. It—”
“I know, I know,” Jordan interrupted. “The lunar exploration vehicle that went from drawing board to space in two years.” Jordan knew how her brain worked, too. “But, Priya,” he continued. “I’m tellin’ you, that doesn’t mean that you can make one in your garage.”
Priya splashed him with one hand, using the other one to keep treading water. “Can I just say—duh?”
“I know how you think,” Jordan insisted. “Some day I’ll come over and it will be like that scene in
You’ll have a fork and a phone and a bunch of other garbage and you’ll be trying to put yourself in orbit.”
Priya lowered her mouth into the water and shot a stream at him. “The Clementine was unmanned.”
“Fish poop in that water, you know,” Jordan informed her.
“So we’re both swimming in fish poop,” Priya answered.
Jordan stared at her for a second, a disgusted expression crawling over his face. Then he cracked up.
“I see you and the boyfriend found a new place for a private conversation,” Gaby commented as the 4C girls headed back to their bunk after swimming.
Priya rolled her eyes. She knew Gaby just called Jordan her boyfriend because Gaby knew that it drove her bonkers. But she couldn’t stop herself from exclaiming, “For probably the five hundredth time, Jordan is my friend. Period. Friend. Nothing before it. Friend. Friend. Got it, Gaby?”
Gaby raised her eyebrows. “Okay. You and that boy who is your friend seemed to have an awful lot to talk about today. And it didn’t seem like you wanted anyone else listening in, since you were talking while treading water away from everybody.”
“Yeah, that’s why you two climbed to the top of that tree the other day, right?” Grace teased. “So you’d have privacy to tell each other how much you loooove each other.”
“Don’t be stupid,” Priya said, but she smiled. At least Grace was just being goofy. Not trying to start trouble, which was what Gaby seemed to live for.
“It’s not stupid. Trees are the classic place for romance.” Brynn slapped her hands over her heart, her green eyes bright with laughter.
“What are you talking about?” Alex, the bunk’s own Mia Hamm, asked, kicking a soccer ball along the trail in front of her.
Brynn smiled. “Haven’t you ever heard that rhyme about being in a tree? K-I—”
“S-S-I-N-G!” everyone finished with her.
“We were C-L-I-M-B-I-N-G,” Priya told them.
“So you’ve never even thought about kissing Jordan?” Gaby asked.
“I haven’t ever thought about kissing
. Jordan hasn’t ever thought about kissing anyone, either. It’s grosser than drinking fish poop,” Priya insisted