5. First Trip

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The rest of the week flew by fast. On Saturday, I woke up feeling excited and slightly nervous. It was time to go find the owls! Even though I still had plenty of time before I was supposed to meet Max, I jumped out of the bed and hurried to the bathroom. I was just too excited to sleep in.

After taking a shower, I dressed quickly and grabbed the huge pile of papers about our project. I had done a lot of research already, and I even wrote a long essay about the origins of barn owls, even though Max had told me we'd to do it together. I couldn't help myself. It was the best school project I'd ever had, and I'd been bored during the week.

I was hoping we'd see a glimpse of the owls, but since they were nocturnal, our chances were slim. After moving in the city, I had been camping two times, and I found the abandoned barn just outside of the city on the second trip. I'd found feathers and droppings all around it, and after a few hours of waiting in the dark night, I finally saw them.

I went through all the papers again to see if there was something I could do before actually seeing the owls, but I found nothing. I sighed and put the papers away, grabbing my camera instead. My grandpa had given it to me for my birthday last year, and it was literally the only thing I hadn't broken yet. I checked it one more time before putting it safely in my bag.

Then I exited my room, and heard my parents making breakfast in the kitchen, being loud and lively like teenagers. It was always nice to hear Mom giggling at something Dad was doing or saying.

I kept my eyes on the floor when I stepped into the kitchen, making loud enough sounds so they would notice me. It was a habit of mine to make sure they knew I was close by, so they'd stop doing things I wasn't supposed to see. My parents sometimes forgot they had two sons in the house now, even after all these years. It was cute and gross at the same time.

"Good morning," Mom said cheerily, and I finally lifted my eyes from the floor.

They were being decent, which was good.

"Good morning," I told them both, and sat down at the table next to my dad.

"Are you excited?" he asked with a smile.

"Yes!" I smirked, grabbing a bagel.

Mom chuckled and patted my shoulder while sitting down in front of me.

"Do you think Max is excited too?" she asked.

I may or may not have talked about him a lot during the past couple of days. They knew all about him already, even though they had never met him.

"He's not so interested in nature. He wants to be an architect," I told them. "He has never been camping before."

"Yes – I remember you mentioning that," Dad said. "I hope he likes it, or it will be hard for him," he added.

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