P h a s e 5 : Not Part of the Plan

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“You are such a liar!”

I scowled playfully at Vanessa as we made our way down the food line, trays gripped tightly in our hands.  You know the stereotypically terrible food that students were usually served at school?  Well, this was what this was.  Food wasn’t nearly as terrible at my school as it was here, but I finally understood why characters in novels always hated the food in their schools.

Because it was complete shit.

“No,” Vanessa drawled as a cafeteria lady slapped a pile of I-didn’t-even-know-what onto her tray.  “You’re obviously going to love it.  Isn’t this food gorgeous?”

I rolled my eyes, accepting the pile of mystery food on my tray.  Maybe when I felt more comfortable here I’d talk back to the cafeteria ladies for making such crappy food.  But, for now, I wanted to just eat my supper with Vanessa and Ty.  Will would probably be there, but I’d never talked to him, so he didn’t count.

“The most beautiful thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on,” I replied sarcastically as we moved down the line.  The rest of the food wasn’t much better.  I couldn’t help but wonder how the camp managed to get such great cabins but such crappy food.  Honestly, I’d rather have a step down on the cabins in order to get some decent meals.  I mean, this was a little ridiculous.

Vanessa snorted at me as we made our way toward a table.  The cafeteria was set up like a regular cafeteria.  I didn’t expect any different, really.  Groups of people sat at tables, chatting as they ate their food.  You’d never be able to tell that this was a place where the screwed up got sent.  Well, except for the fact that everyone here was people that I didn’t associate myself with at school. 

“Babe!” Ty called out, waving as Vanessa and reached the table.  He grinned, pulling out a seat for her.  His eyes flick to me and his grin turned into a snicker.  “Oh hey there, Jessica.”

“Hey yourself,” I drawled, plopping into the seat next to Vanessa’s and dropping my tray carelessly onto the table.  Vanessa settled beside me and winked.  I winked back.

“I see you’ve been introduced to the wonderful food of Camp Sunshine Brooks,” Ty mused, gesturing to my tray.  He himself had his own tray of “food,” and he was eating it contently.  How long did it take to actually like the food here?  Or to at least stop staring at it in disgust.  “Come on, Jess.  Take a bite.”

I glanced at Vanessa and then my eyes slid back to Ty.  “I’m not a big fan of eating cow shit,” I said coolly, plucking my fork up from the side of the tray and poking the main course.  It was a brown pile—probably meat.  Probably. 

“Come on, Jess,” Ty repeated again, wriggling his eyebrows.  “Eat the shit.  I dare you.”

“Well, since you dared me.”  I snorted, rolling my eyes.  I couldn’t believe he was still calling me Jessica.  I thought he would have forgotten about that by now. 

I sighed deeply, plucking some of the mysterious meat from the tray, bringing it toward my mouth.  I had to get used to it sooner or later, so why not now?  I mean, I had peanut butter back in my suitcase that I could use to get rid of the taste anyway.  But I needed to eat something.  I was starving.

I grimaced as I plopped the meat into my mouth, swallowing quickly as the gooey contents touched my tongue.  “Dammit!” I shrieked as I swallowed, trying my best not to gag.  “That’s gross.”

“Then why are you eating it?”

I looked up, freezing when I saw Will standing in front of me, a scowl on his face.  He snorted meanly at me before sitting down next to me, his elbows reaching for the table and his chin leaning on his fisted hands.  He stared at me intently, as though waiting for me to say something.  Which made sense seeing how he’d asked me a question.  “Uh,” I muttered, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand.  “Because you have to eat in order to survive?” I asked, proud that some attitude came out in the tone of my voice.  Arabelle would have at least been partially proud.

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