Six girls lounged in a sea of sleeping bags draped across a couch and two chairs with the excess spilling onto the floor. A bowl had been overturned and the remnants of their popcorn were working their way deeper into the fibers of the carpet. A Twister mat couldn’t be forced back into its box, so it had been balled up and pushed into a corner where Scrabble tiles fell out of a propped box and mingled with the pink and blue people from the LIFE box with the poorly mended lid. A few of the girls kept their fingers splayed and blew on them to dry freshly applied nail polish.
Tina lay on the sofa with her eyelids fluttering. Emily nudged her and Tina’s eyes flew open.
“Looks like it’s past someone’s bedtime,” Abby said with a chuckle. Jen and Carly laughed quietly too.
“Sorry guys,” Tina said with a yawn. “I thought that the sugar from the ice cream and cake and those cookies would be enough to keep me up but I’m crashing hard. Just ignore me if I fall asleep.”
“Will do,” Cindy said. And Tina put her head down and quickly fell asleep to the amusement of her friends.
The rest of the girls played Truth-or-Dare for a while but they had known each other too long and none of them proved creative enough or daring enough for the game to offer the desired level of entertainment. The few instances that did elicit some excitement also elicited a visit from Abby’s parents encouraging and then ordering the girls to quiet down.
So they put on a movie that they promptly ignored in favor of gossip.
“Did you see what Terry wore the other day? I heard they were gonna send her home but when she started crying in the principal’s office they let her change into her gym clothes.” Jen covered her mouth as she laughed quietly.
“I would be so grounded if my parents even found something like that in my closet, let alone if I wore it out in public,” Emily said, shaking her head at Terry’s nerve.
“Still, at least Terry has what it takes to hold something like that up. My sister said she’d let me borrow some of her tops but right now they make me look ridiculous. I hate being a late bloomer,” Abby whined.
“You are not alone. We’re all late bloomers here,” Carly pointed out.
“Well, almost all of us,” Emily whispered. She raised her eyebrows and nodded her head in Tina’s direction. They all strained to see that Tina was still unconscious. Tina continued breathing deeply and steadily.
“I half expected her to talk about how she got a boob job for her summer vacation,” Emily hissed. The girls did their best to stifle their laughter as they continued their whispering.
On the couch, Tina gently rolled over in her sleep so that her back was to them and they couldn’t see her eyes were open.