"Let's go to the beach."

It was the first day of summer and my first day of freedom: my parents' punishment had meant no texting, calling, hanging out with friends, or watching TV for the past three months. June 15th, the day after the last day of school, was the first day that I had woken up with my phone on my nightstand by my bed.

I had immediately called Jess, who hadn't been punished nearly as severely as I had been, despite the party being at her house; she was denied phone privileges for three weeks. It had originally been two months, but her parents had caved after her incessant complaining.

I had tried that tactic, but instead of getting my phone back, I had simply been told to go sit in my room and do my homework so that my parents didn't have to hear my voice anymore.

They were less of pushovers than Aunt Emma and Uncle Patrick.

When Jess picked up the phone, she hadn't even said hello, but instead immediately went to what we could do with our first day together in three months.

"The beach?"

"There's a crazy amount of people heading to Sylvan Beach today, and they're staying all day. Into the night, if you know what I mean."

"I don't think that the first thing I should be doing with my freedom is potentially getting it taken away again."

"You won't get it taken away, you big baby. Just tell your parents the truth. You've been locked inside of your house for three months, you've definitely learned your lesson, and you're ready to go out and be with friends again. There's nothing bad about that. They'll probably feel guilty for their super long punishment and they'll let you do anything."

I thought for a second. My parents weren't crazy, they would probably feel bad for the fact that their youngest daughter had spent her last three months as a sophomore in her house doing homework and playing Monopoly by herself when no one was home to play with her.

"Alright." I agreed. "I'll ask them."

"Sounds good." I could hear Jess bouncing around her room as she talked, "Did I tell you that I got my license after school yesterday?"

"No, holy crap!" I exclaimed, "That's awesome, Jess."

"Yeah, my parents were pretty happy about the fact that I passed. I think that they expected me to never get it."

"I expected the same thing."

"Such faith in me. I love it." Jess responded. "Anyways, if I don't get a call from you, I'll expect that your parents said yes and you're coming with. I'll pick you up at 11:30 and we'll head over."

"Great." I nodded, "I'll go ask."

I hung up the phone and took a deep breath. Jess coming at 11:30 gave me just over an hour to convince my parents that I was totally fine to go to the beach by myself. And if convincing them didn't work, then guilt-tripping was a great alternative.

"Hey, Mom? Dad?" I called out to the house at large, walking down the stairs. My mother wasn't in her usual spot by the fridge in the kitchen, which was odd. I walked around the main level of the house, wandering from room to room until I got to her office, which she hardly ever used. She was sitting in the chair behind her laptop, typing furiously, her reading glasses perched on the tip of her nose.

"You look about eighty." I laughed as I let myself into the room. "You know that you can actually push them up your nose, right?"

"Too much effort." My mother shook her head, her fingers continuing to fly over the keyboard. "I need to get this sent in to your father's security before tonight's concert."

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