Sunburn, Something that sort of resembles Chapters Two and Three....
I hate this part. It needs revising, and I just HATE it. However, I just went back and found much begging and pleading for the next part of Sunburn in the comments on the first post. So I'll swallow my pride and throw this out there. Not much is written after this, please note...right NOW I am mostly working on a re-writing of Snow White called Mirror, Mirror...which will appear on AP at a later date. Thank you.
“Hey, Aunt Jodie has a visitor?” Cody said, frowning as his mother pulled into the driveway. Sitting in front of the garage was a very nice dark blue sports car.
Maggie didn’t answer him. She was too angry with him still to speak to her son.
“Huh. Well, I guess she does,” Cody said, sighing. “Weird. She hates unexpected visitors. Great. She’s gonna take it out on me all day, and if she feels sick, she’ll—”
“Cody, shut up!” his mother snapped. She parked the car and they got out, walking up the porch steps rapidly and stiffly, like an enraged robot.
Cody walked on ahead of his mother, figuring he may as well be a sweet little son and open the door for her. He yanked it open, hoping Aunt Jodie wouldn’t yell at him for banging the door. “After you, Mom,” he said.
But his mother had just stopped, staring into the house, a look of horrified shock on her face.
“Mom?” Cody said, confused. He looked into the house, and his jaw hit his chest.
Staring back out at them was Peter Ryan…Cody’s dad.
Cody and Georgie sat next to each other on Aunt Jodie’s immaculate white couch. Georgie felt a little stunned, like she’d been smacked with a pool noodle. Cody’s dad. He was…back. Wow. He was pretty good-looking. Like an older, buffer, more scruffy version of Cody. After giving it some thought, she decided she should recommend to Cody that he grow a soul patch. He’d look amazing.
Cody was just mad and confused. How dare his dad just waltz back into their lives like he’d never totally torn them up and betrayed his mom!? And yet he couldn’t help feeling fragilely hopeful that his dad might really come back to stay…that things might be ok again.
“So…yeah…after I got your e-mail about the whole thing, I thought I’d…come up here,” Mr. Ryan was saying to Cody’s mom, looking rather nervous and agitated. One would hope so…after all, he’d left his wife and son penniless about six years before with absolutely no notice, and had just now showed up at their current place of residence.
“Um…okay,” Maggie said, blinking a few times. “It’s…it’s good to see you again, Peter. But…why?”
“I want to make it up to you and Cody. I want to help,” he replied.
Maggie looked shocked. “Um…you do? How?”
“Well, these two are in huge trouble, right?” he said, gesturing towards the two teenagers sitting on the couch.
Aunt Jodie snorted loudly.
“There’s an understatement,” Mrs. O’Kay said.
“So, I thought I could take them to my beach house for the summer. Keep ‘em out of trouble and keep an eye on ‘em. Give them some real good, constructive, character building things to do. Kind of like a summer camp just for the two of them,”
Cody and Georgie’s mouths fell open in shock.
Mr. O’Kay frowned. “I don’t really want to reward their behavior by letting them spend the summer together,”
Mrs. O’Kay looked thoughtful. “But…Paul, keeping them apart didn’t help last time. As soon as they started spending time together again, they trashed a pickup truck!”
“She has a point,” Mrs. Ryan said hesitantly. “I mean…maybe the only thing that will help is giving them good things to do,” She turned to her husband. “But…I don’t know, Peter. You’ve…” She looked down at her skirt, picking at the hem. “…Been gone. They’re…a handful. I don’t know,”
“I understand,” he said with admirable humility. “I’m…sorry,”
The awkwardness of the moment was suffocating.
“You mean another whole summer without my two favorite kids in the world?” Uncle Jeff finally asked, looking concerned. “I don’t know if I could live through that again!”
Georgie and Cody grinned at him.
“I know this is really sudden,” Peter said. “But its really just because I want to prove to you I’m ready to come back, Maggie. And I want to spend time with Cody. And Georgie. Gosh…its amazing you two are still hanging out together!”
They silently stared back at him.
Mr. O’Kay got to his feet. “I’m not okay with this,” he said firmly. “I haven’t seen you in a long time, Mr. Ryan, and I really don’t like what my daughter gets into with your son. I’m going to need some proof that this is a good idea. And after that I’m going to want to think about it,”
“Understood,” Mr. Ryan replied, smiling. “I wasn’t thinking of taking them out to the beach house until next month. I promise that I’ll take good care of them,”
Mr. O’Kay nodded. “Thank you. If we can talk about this some more…well, maybe it isn’t such a terrible idea. But the last summer they spent together was disastrous, so we’ll have a lot to discuss,”
Mr. Ryan nodded, too. “Of course,”
“Hold on!” Cody shouted.
Everyone turned to look at him.
“Look…you are all deciding this for us! I haven’t seen you in over five years,” he pointed to his dad. “And I don’t even know if I want to spend a whole summer with you! In case you forgot, Georgie and I are people, with feelings and thoughts, even if we are complete idiots! Don’t we get any say in this!?”
Maggie’s eyes bored into her son. “No. Not after what you did, Cody. You don’t get a say in anything for a long time,”
Cody crossed his arms over his chest and glared at the arm of the couch.
Georgie looked down at the floor, upset. “Cody?” she said quietly.
“What?” he asked.
She looked up at him. “I want to spend the summer with you. No matter how that happens.”
Georgie stood in front of the beach house, her suitcase lollygagging behind her, feeling small.
It was an impressive beach house. It was very large and very beautiful, with a large front porch with a swing. It was a cheerful but not sickening shade of yellow, and the shudders were painted white. The roof had dark gray shingles and a window at the very top that made Georgie think there was an attic. The walk up to it was wide and smooth asphalt, surrounded by a small but lush green lawn.
The beach stretched out for what seemed like miles. The wind was warm. The sky was periwinkle blue.
“Hoo doggy,” Georgie breathed. “This is gonna be interesting,”
“You remember everything we talked about, Georgina,” Mrs. O’Kay said sternly. “And we’ll be calling every day, three times a day. We clear?”
Georgie nodded solemnly.
“I still think this is the wrong way to go about this,” Mr. O’Kay grumbled. “All she wants is to be with that Cody kid, anyway,”
“I think Peter can handle them,” Mrs. O’Kay replied. “Otherwise I wouldn’t have agreed to this,”
Mr. O’Kay grunted noncommittally.
Georgie stood there, shuffling her flip flop on the sandy path. “So…um…bye. I love you, Mom.”
Mrs. O’Kay wrapped her daughter in a firm hug. “Be good. If we hear anything we don’t like, we’re coming to get you. Understood?”
Georgie sighed, and nodded against her mother’s chest. “I’ll miss you.”
Mrs. O’Kay let go, gave Georgie one last frown, and walked back to the car. “Goodbye, Georgina.”
Georgie watched her go, feeling shocked and unloved. That was the very first time her mother had said ‘goodbye’ without saying ‘I love you’, too.
Mr. O’Kay bent down and took Georgie by the arms. His blue eyes stared straight into her brown ones. “Listen to me, Georgina. You have to improve. This is just about your last chance. I know you and Cody have been friends for years, but if the two of you can’t stay out of trouble, you won’t be together. Ever. Do you understand?”
Georgie looked away. “Yes.”
“Look at me, Georgina. Do you understand?”
Her eyes snapped back to him, and an angry, defiant glare crossed her face. “Yes. But you don’t. You’ll never understand. You aren’t my dad.”
She pulled away from him and stomped up the path without looking back.
Cody met her at the door. He looked pretty nice in rip-offs and a white sleeveless shirt.
“Hey…you ok?” Cody asked, observing her glare.
“Fine,” Georgie muttered, her face relaxing into a sad pout.
“Looked like you and Paul there…”
“Yeah. Forget it. I don’t want to think about it again for the rest of the summer.” She looked around the beach house. “Wow,”
It was nice. The room the front door led into was obviously the living room. It had big windows with lots of sunshine, bamboo floors, and big, squishy, comfortable looking chairs. There was a coffee table in front of a large stone fireplace. A plasma TV. Even what appeared to be a Wii station.
Past the living room was the kitchen. It was fully furnished with stainless steel appliances (Georgie hadn’t even been aware they made stainless steel toasters!), and had an island surrounded by padded barstools.
The staircase was in the living room. Beyond that was a hallway.
“That leads to the laundry room, computer room, and basement,” Cody said.
“Wow,” Georgie repeated. “I didn’t know your dad had this kind of money,”
“Neither did I,” Cody replied. He sighed. “I don’t like being here.”
“Really?” Georgie asked, taking his hand.
“I don’t feel safe,” Cody muttered. “I don’t want him to leave again. And I don’t see how he could stay.”
“You can make him stay,” Georgie said confidently. “He’ll love being with you so much, he’ll never want to leave again!”
“How can you know?” Cody asked, looking down at her.
She smiled. “That’s how I feel with you,”
“Hey, kiddos!” Peter cried, coming into the living room with enough gusto to be God’s gift to exiled teenagers everywhere. Both Cody and Georgie resisted the urge to uncharitably inform Mr. Ryan that once you hit thirteen, being called kiddo was beyond humiliation.
“How’s it going? Good to see you, Georgie! Your parent’s coming in?”
Georgie shook her head. “No. Paul has to work. Mom has to get back to the kids.”
“Ah. That’s a shame. We’re gonna have a blast, aren’t we?”
They shrugged silmutaneously.
Peter stared at then, looking a little scared and confused. “Um…yeah! What do you want to do first? Snack? Movie? Pinball? Eh?”
“I should put my stuff away,” Georgie said. “And…we’re here to be punished and reformed, right?”
Peter stared at her. “Right. Of course. Cody! Wanna…show Georgie her room?”
Cody nodded. “Sure. Come on Georgie,”
They headed up the stairs, and came to a long hallway with two doors on either side and one at the very end.
“Ok…that door,” Cody pointed to the one at the end. “Attic. Its actually pretty awesome. You’ll love it,”
“Cool,” Georgie nodded.
“These two doors,” Cody said, gesturing the right. “The bathroom and Dad’s room,” he pointed to the right. “Me and you,”
Georgie walked down the hall to the second door, enjoying the marvelous creak of the bamboo floors beneath her feet. She opened the door to her room for the summer, and took in the sight.
Bamboo floors with one very big, squishy-looking coral colored rug on the floor.
Coral, floaty drapes on the three big, sunny windows.
A double bed with a beautiful orange, coral and yellow quilt and about five pillows.
A white desk and matching night table.
A large closet, opened to reveal empty hooks and racks.
Georgie stepped in, looking around, smiling a little. Only one thing could make it perfect though. She looked up at the ceiling, and was disappointed. No glow-in-the-dark stars. Just a ceiling fan.
“What do you think?” Cody asked, leaning against the doorframe.
Georgie tapped her lip ponderously after dumping her things on the floor. “I guess it’ll do. It lacks the finesse of glow stars, but, hey,”
“You can’t have it all,” Cody said, shrugging.
Georgie sighed heavily, and flopped out on the bed, partially to test for squishyness, partially because she felt exhausted by life in general at the moment.
Cody looked at her laying there, gazing up at the starless ceiling, and suddenly felt himself tilting. She looked so…cute. Had she always been that cute? Did her hair always fall sideways over her face? Had her freckles always popped out that far?
“This isn’t right,” Georgie said sadly. “I don’t know how my parents agreed to this. What are we doing here?”
“They’re out of options, I guess,” Cody mumbled. “Maybe they’re giving up on us,”
“How unfair,” Georgire murmured. “But I feel like we’re being rewarded for what we did!”
Cody slowly walked into the room. “Yeah. You complaining?”
Georgie sighed again, closing her eyes. “I guess I just hate getting something I don’t deserve, whether its good or bad. Is that weird?”
Cody laughed a little. “Sounds like pure Georgie to me,”
She smiled a little. “You’re my best friend.”
“And you’re my best friend,” Cody replied.
“Forever?” Georgie opened her eyes and looked at him. She was wearing makeup. Mascara, blush…the works.
Cody looked at her, feeling a little sad. When did you get so big, Georgie?
Georgie finally smiled a real, relieved smile, and looked up at the ceiling again. “Will you check for monsters under the bed? Just to be safe?”
Cody chuckled. “May as well,” He snuck carefully up the bed, and crouched down beside it.
“See anything?” Georgie asked, pulling herself up onto her knees and looking down at him.
“Nothing,” Cody replied. “Wait…what’s this? No! No!!”
Georgie laughed and three one of the pillows at his head. “Ooh…what is it!?”
“It’s a dust bunny!” Cody cried dramatically.
“Heaven preserve us!” Georgie gasped, clutching her heart. She leaned forward, trying to see the soap opera unfold, and toppled foreward onto Cody.
“Ouch!” she cried. “Sorry! Sorry!”
Cody grunted, and rolled over, frowning up at her. “How much abuse can one back take?”
Georgie patted the top of his head sympathetically. “Sorry, Cody. I slipped,”
He smiled at her. “You’re pretty freaking adorable, you know that?”
She smacked his head harder. “Am not. I’m just a lowly midget fifteen year old,”
“Ow…you’d think as your best friend, you’d be nicer to me!”
They looked up, and saw Peter standing in the doorway, staring at them. “You…settled?”
Georgie gently picked herself off of Cody’s legs. “Not yet. Cody was looking for monsters under my bed,”
“Oh.” Peter appeared to have no possible response to that.
“Don’t worry,” Cody said. “Only a dust bunny,”
“Oh. Well.” Peter cleared his throat. “Why don’t…you get…finished, Georgie?”
“Sure,” Georgie said, wishing the thick cloud of awkwardness would disperse. “By the way…thanks for having us over the summer, Mr. Ryan,”
“You’re…welcome,” Peter said, and hastily vanished.
Cody and Georgie glanced at each other.
“Wow,” Georgie said. “He has no idea how to coexist with teenagers, does he?”
“Yeah. I don’t remember him being that lame and awkward when I was seven,” Cody replied. “I guess its not surprising. He’s been…gone,”
Georgie nodded. “I should finish getting unpacked,” she gestured to the pile of her stuff.
“Want some help?” Cody asked, picking himself up off the floor.
Georgie laughed. “Do you really want to help me put away my underwear and sort my socks?”
Cody snorted. “Well, when you put it like that…I’ll see you later,”
He left slowly, backing out of the room, watching her. She was still Georgie. Just…older. Prettier. More everything. It scared him a little bit, in a good way.
Afterwords: Help me out here....thoughts? Feelings? Anything you hate? SAVE ME!!!