twenty-eight

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CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT.   ON THE ROAD AGAIN

THE SUMMER BREEZE FELT BLISSFUL ON HER STICKY SKIN

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THE SUMMER BREEZE FELT BLISSFUL ON HER STICKY SKIN. The humidity was near unbearable but the strong, cool breeze made it almost tolerable. The bright, baby blue t-shirt that boasted the logo of Camp Know-Where clung to her sweaty back and became stained around the armpits. The smell of baked beans and hot dogs wafted through the air, telling a story of a summer of fun and freedom. Her eyes slowly closed and let her muscles loosen the tension. "Dork!" A loud shout knocked her out of her daydream. "You joinin' us for lunch?" The ever so sweet Dustin smiled up at his older sister. "Or are you too busy dreaming about Steve? 'Oh, Steve. I miss you so much, Steve. I love you, Steve.'" His attempt at mocking her voice fell short as he fell into a fit of giggles.

With a roll of her eyes and a raise of her middle finger, Jenny's cheeks began to heat up. In that moment, she wished she could blame it on the dimming sun. It had been true, she missed Steve - it was the same story every summer, but this one was different. The summer of 1985 was different for everyone, especially Jenny and Steve. This time she had been Icarus and had tasted the sun in his kisses - and now she craved more and more. "More hot dogs?" She called back with a slightly irritated tone. Her taste buds had grown sick of the bombardment of hot dogs, baked beans, and mashed potatoes.

Her slim, tan legs carried her over to her younger brother with a playful smile and a bouncy walk. As soon as the two siblings fell in tandem, Jenny's arm sling around his shoulders. "God, you're growing too damn fast. Maybe I'll put weed killer in your shoes or somethin'." A giggle escaped her lips as Dustin shoved her back. His fist slammed into her side, forcing a groan from her. "Fuck you." She mumbled as they neared the mess tent.

As soon as the doors opened, the voice of a boy called out. "Jenny!" A young boy with dirty blonde hair slicked back with product came jogging up to her. The Henderson siblings traded frustrated glances before Dustin left to join his friends. "We're about to have dinner. Becky and I - well, mostly me - were wondering if you wanted to eat with us? It's totally cool that you eat with the kids, but... I mean, it's the last day and all and I thought it'd be cool if you-"

A soft laugh stopped the boy in his tracks. With a tan finger, she pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose. "Greg, I really appreciate the offer, but I think I'll stick it out with Dustin one last time." After gently squeezing his shoulder, she squeezed past him and grabbed a tray as soon as she neared the cafeteria buffet. As the group of kids and teens pushed past in a line, the cooks scooped food onto their plates.

As soon as she got out of the line, Jenny looked around for her younger brother. A long arm shot up in the middle of the crowded cafeteria, grabbing her attention. Long legs carried her towards the arm and met the bright eyes of Dustin. "Hey, bitch-face." Jenny greeted as she took a seat next to him.

"Hey, ass-head." Dustin retorted as he immediately dig into his mountain of mashed potatoes.

"What're you, Roy Neary?" Jenny laughed as she gazed at the mashed potatoes. Sticking her fork in and scooping out a chunk of his potatoes, she smiled and popped them in her mouth. "Maybe you'll contact their ship with that radio thing you made."

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