“Ugh! Why the hell did they put him in my cabin?!” Twelve-year-old Matt Hooper groaned. He was sitting next to Jeremy Preston, whom he had known from the last three summers at Camp White Lake. The boys were almost exactly the same age, with Jeremy being two months his senior.
Jeremy rolled his eyes and crossed his caramel-toned arms. “Whatever, at least your brother isn’t doing smack,” he hissed.
“What’s smack?” Matt innocently asked.
Jeremy sighed deeply. “Never mind. My point is, Mikey isn’t that bad. I mean, he’s old enough to know when not to be a shithead.”
Matt wasn’t so sure. Mikey had just turned nine a week ago and he still wet the bed. He wasn’t the worst, as far as little brothers go, but Matt worried that Mikey would want the top bunk and end up peeing all over the unsuspecting kid in the bunk below him. Matt also wasn’t looking forward to sticking up for the kid all week long – he wanted to make friends and do his own thing. And there were definitely a lot of things going through his mind lately that only Jeremy seemed to understand. He brushed the auburn hair out of his eyes that was poking out the front of his back-turned baseball cap.
“Hope you brought sun screen, you pale freak,” Jeremy jabbed.
Matt smiled; Jeremy had a thrillingly cruel way of speaking to his good friends and Matt knew he was on Jeremy’s good side when he poked fun at Matt’s ginger hair, or his too-skinny frame, or the inhaler that asthma dictated he needed. Matt also knew how to cut Jeremy down where it hurt, but he was too afraid to bring up Jeremy’s family and the fact that they lived from welfare check to welfare check. The only reason Jeremy was able to come to camp was because the pastor at his church paid for him to go.