It was the summer holidays, and I wasn’t too excited about that because we go to Aunt Doe’s every summer.
It’s not that I don’t like Aunt Doe- that’s not the reason I don’t want to go. It’s her daughter, Celia.
We’re the same age but Celia looks a lot older than me. That’s probably because of the clothes. Celia shops on her own but I’m not allowed to so Mom picks my clothes.
Every time I go to Aunt Doe’s, Celia stays in her room and only comes out at mealtimes. She always brings her phone with her when she comes out so she will be occupied and doesn’t have to talk to me. She thinks I’m too young to hang out with her.
So anyway, this morning, Dad woke me up early and said that we weren’t going to Aunt Doe’s because she had to go to Japan for a work trip. We were going to Shelly Beach! But the downside was we had to take Celia. I asked Dad why Celia couldn’t go to Japan with Aunt Doe but he said kids weren’t allowed to go.
I packed my bag in a few minutes and climbed into the car. We were going to have breakfast at Aunt Doe’s. We left the house and reached in twenty minutes.
Aunt Doe cooked us bacon and eggs and then she left for the airport. Celia followed us to the car. I stared with jealousy at her. She was wearing a black T-shirt and really short black shorts and rainbow leggings. Her black sport shoes even had tiny heels! A glittery keychain in the shape of a skull dangled from her bad. I felt cheap in my yellow shirt with a smiling sun.
It took us three hours to get to Shelly Beach by car. Celia just mumbled ‘hi’ to me when we met. She didn’t say anything to me after that. She just stared at her phone, snickering now and then.
We still had five minutes to reach Shelly Beach. I got out my packet of pizza-flavoured chips from my bag and offered it to Celia. She glanced at it.
“Uh… no thanks,” she said.
And I awkwardly bit into a chip.
We reached Shelly Beach and it looked amazing. The sand was so soft. The sea was so blue. There was even a Popsicle stall and accessories stall!
We rented a guesthouse and went inside. It was pretty welcoming and it had four rooms. There was one that had sunshine spilling out of the windows into the room and I was going to pick that when Celia plopped her bag on the bed and made the room hers.
After that, we had a picnic on the beach. We sat under a huge palm tree and Mom handed everyone tuna sandwiches and glasses of lemonade for lunch. I could hardly finish my sandwich as I ate the whole bag of pizza-flavoured chips.
After lunch, Mom said we could wet ourselves in the sea so I changed into my swimsuit. Celia took off her shoes and her leggings and just wetted her legs while looking at her phone. So I put on my goggles and swam. Celia put her phone away and watched me because I look silly when I swim. My legs would stick out and my hands would splash about. I noticed her looking at me and stopped swimming. I went to her and pulled her right into the water.
“Hey!” she shouted.
I thought she might be angry at me for getting her hair and clothes wet, but she laughed. And then, we had the first good time in forever, splashing and laughing at each other.
After the swim, we went to the guest house to dry and change. Then, we went back to the beach and bought some popsicles. Mom chose watermelon. Dad chose chocolate. Celia chose strawberry and I chose a lychee, strawberry and grape flavoured one. It was really yummy.
We went to the accessories stall with Mom and there were lots of things there. Mom bought some green earrings that looked like rocks, Celia bought a bracelet with blue star beads that glowed in the dark and I bought seashell hair clips.
Then, we went back to the guesthouse. Dad had gone to sleep. Celia looked in the fridge. She grabbed a can of coke and downed it. I grabbed some orange juice.
“Don’t take too much food,” said Mum. “We have to pay for what we use.’
At dinner, we went to a restaurant and ordered pizza. Celia and I got the giggles when the waiter had a large droopy nose. I know it wasn’t kind of us to laugh but I couldn’t help it.
We had a midnight feast and we quietly raided the fridge. She stuffed ourselves with snacks and then we watched funny videos on Celia’s phone.
“You’re so lucky to have a phone,” I sighed.
“You’ll get lucky too,” she said. “I heard your mom’s getting you a phone for your birthday.”
“What? How did you find out?”
“Your mom told my mom and my mom told me.”
“Well I’m glad to get a phone if it means I’ll get to watch funny videos my whole life,” I said and we both laughed.
We didn’t sleep one wink. We had a treasure hunt instead. And then, we played a game. We had to touch Dad and then scramble back in bed before he caught us. It was Celia’s turn first. I stood in the doorway and watched as she crept into Dad’s room and touched his arm. He woke up and she managed to run back and throw herself on the bed. I ran to my room too. I could hear Dad groaning as he got up.
“What happened,” he said.
Dad checked my room and Mom’s and then he checks Celia’s and went back to bed.
“Probably I imagined it,” said Dad.
It was my turn to go so I went to dad and touched his arm but he wasn’t asleep and he caught me.
“Aha!” he said. “So it was you who were playing games. I think you better sleep with me.”
He locked the door and I had to lie down beside him. I heard his snoring which meant he had fallen asleep. And I also heard something else. There was a click and the door swung open. Celia beckoned to me with a finger on her lips. I quietly got up from the bed and tiptoed out of the room. Celia shut the door and we ran into her room giggling. Then, we watched more funny videos on her phone until dawn. I sneaked back into my own room before Mom and Dad got up.
I overslept until lunchtime but Celia slept longer than me. Mom didn’t understand why. I think Dad knew we were awake all night but he didn’t say anything.
Mom was packing her clothes and I asked her why and she said we were leaving because Aunt Doe was back and wanted to see Celia. I was disappointed because that meant I had to say goodbye to Celia but Mom said we were going to stay at Aunt Doe’s!
So we packed our stuff and headed to the car.
“Goodbye Shelly Beach,” whispered Celia and me as we drove out of sight.
We drove straight to Aunt Doe’s and she had made some Potato soup with pickles. Celia and I said we were full after one spoonful even though we didn’t eat breakfast. Dad ate the whole thing and even asked for seconds.
Celia began planning all the things we were going to do this summer together and we’ve made a long list. It was really sunny and Celia suggested we go outside and we did.
As I gazed at the sun, smiling, I thought about how much fun a cousin can be.