"Do I have to go?" I asked.
"Yes!" Henry rolled his eyes at me. "We've been planning this since we got out of high school! We can't miss it!" I nodded reluctantly.
"I really miss seeing Ashe and Anna... but they're friends with Marco..." Henry and I grimaced. Marco hadn't gotten along with either of us since I broke up with him. The twins, Ashe and Anna, had been best friends with Marco since kindergarten.
Henry said, "I want to see Haylee, she was always fun." I nodded my assent. The problem is, Haylee and Anna always argue, and it would end with the two of them ignoring each other for weeks. Henry seemed to be thinking about the issue too. I groaned in frustration.
"This is never going to work! All of us don't like one person or another, there's no way for all of us to hang out!" I yawned as I finished my sentence. An exasperated sigh fell from Henry's mouth.
"I wish it could be like it was in high school... you know, before the relationships between people in our group..." said Henry. Anna and Haylee hadn't worked out. Ashe, of course, had sided with his twin Anna, enlarging the rift between everyone. Marco and I never would have been happy together. The problem is, I'm friends with both Haylee and Anna but the three of us never hang out anymore. Everything was better when we had Olivia.
Two years ago, all of us and our friend Olivia were planning on spending the weekend at the cottage. We had gone every year since middle school, and wanted to continue after high school. Then Olivia passed away after drowning in the ocean while on vacation. It changed everything... she had been the one to keep peace and hold us all together.
"Hello? Kayla? Are you still there?" Henry's voice startled me, and I resumed packing my clothes.
"Yeah," I said, "I was just... remembering some stuff..." I trailed off.
"Me too.." said Henry, looking at the floor. My best friend of ten years hugged me with one of his arms. I smiled a bit and his smile was equally sad. All of us had loved Olivia... even now, two years later, it still remained in my head.
I zipped up my small suitcase as Henry finished packing his backpack. Pulling out my phone, I tested the group chat letting everyone know we were about to hit the road. Almost immediately, Anna, the coordinator, replied with a thumbs up.
"I'll bring our stuff out to your car if you pack the snacks for the trip," Henry spoke as he picked up his bag and my suitcase. I nodded and then tossed some granola bars and crackers into a grocery bag. I grabbed my keys off the counter and walked out to my car.
Henry was casually leaning against the back of my car, his phone in his hands. He looked up as I approached my car.
"I'll drive and you can sleep. You had a really late shift last night."
"Okay, if you're sure," I replied gladly. I took my pillow from the trunk and plopped down in the passenger seat. Henry sat in the driver's seat and started the car. I immediately blasted the A.C. before leaning back. I fell asleep quickly.
I woke up and blinked a bit, trying to stretch. Suddenly, there was an enormous bump and our car was pushed forward.
I woke up from my dream, my heart racing. Sweat dripped off my face.
"Hey, are you good?" Olivia asked. On the sand beside me sat Anna and Olivia.
"I'm fine, I just had a really scary nightmare... it was almost like real life, but Olivia.. you were... well, dead," Olivia's face paled. "Henry and I got into a car crash and then I woke up. We were on our way here." both of them gasped a bit.
Anna said, "That is really scary..." Olivia shivered despite the warmth of the sun, and nodded. We sat in silence for a moment before Anna spoke. "We all a got a pretty good tan, maybe we should take a break and go swim." She looked longingly at the cold water. Olivia and I stood, a bit less enthusiastic about the chilly ocean. Henry, Marco, Ashe, and Haylee were already in the water. Each of them had a squirt gun and acted as though they were five. Haylee ran out of the water to meet us.
"You guys should join in! It's really fun!" Water dripped off her one piece, and she looked back at the ocean.
"We were about to go for a swim," I said. "But we might not if the water is too cold." Olivia nodded in agreement. Anna rolled her eyes teasingly.
"I'm going to go with Haylee," Anna said. "You two should come!" Olivia and I remained at the edge of the water. Anna grabbed a full squirt gun, and aimed it at my face. "Please?" Anna asked. Olivia and I simultaneously shook our heads. "Well, it seems I have no choice," Anna pretended to sigh regretfully before blasting me in the face. I had no time to dodge and my hair was soaked with the salty seawater. I jumped, laughing.
"Oh, it's on!" Olivia shouted. We each grabbed a water gun and started squirting everyone. I was completely wet in minutes. Ashe picked me up and threw me into the water. All of us were splashing in the water, enjoying our last year of high school. I couldn't help but remember my dream. It was eerily similar to real life, the main difference being that it took place three years from now. I had dated Marco, which was weirder than Anna and Haylee dating. Oh, wait...
I opened my eye once more, this time I was at the dinner table. All of us were sitting at the table in the cottage. I could tell it was the year after high school. We all finished up when Olivia stood up.
"Guys, let's go for a night swim!" Olivia suggested. We all excitedly agreed. Once we were all swimming, Olivia was sucked underwater. We could occasionally hear her yelling. I was too far away to do anything. We all started to get pulled out and we quickly swam to shore. Ashe came out last.
"I tried to save her... she slipped out of my arms..." he said. We sat in stunned silence while Marco called the local police. Haylee called Olivia's parents and explained what had happened. All of us were hurt beyond imagination. Haylee and Anna started hanging out more often, Marco got angrier and short tempered. Ashe almost completely stopped talking.
I went to sleep that night, horrified. Olivia's body had been found floating the next day. Everyone was devastated by the loss of the fun, bubbly girl we had all loved.
When I opened my eyes again, I was in the cottage. I checked my phone, and the date was a week after Henry and I had left. I stood up and walked to the kitchen where Anna was making sandwiches at the counter.
"Hey! You're awake! You've been sleeping since you guys got here. Are you feeling okay?" I laughed.
"Yeah, I'm good. Just really tired. I had some dreams about Olivia..." I looked out the window of the cottage, where we would all be spending the weekend. Anna looked at me sympathetically.
"It's okay. We're here now, we might as well enjoy ourselves, right? Hopefully we can all sort out our arguments," Anna said. I smiled at Anna.
"That's true... I can't wait to go swimming!"