Chapter One
Happy Camp

“Are we ready to go on our hike, happy campers?” I yelled out.
“Yes ma’am” The happy campers yelled back.
“Ok! Everyone line up behind happy leader Jessica!” I walked to the back of the line, ready to start the hike. I watched as happy leader Jessica led the hike. She was always the front leader because she never got lost.

“Ok! Everyone stay in line as happy leader Alex does a head count.”
I started walking beside all the happy campers.
“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10! Good job girls. We haven’t lost anybody.”
“Ok girls! Buddy up and go explore. But make sure we can see you!”
I watched all the girls buddy up. Caitlyn with Jennifer, Beatrice with Alicia, Juliet with Emma, Cassandra with Sandra and Penelope with Tracy. Me and Jessica sat down on the ground and watched the girls scatter. They loved exploring time.
“Hey, have you heard?”
“Have I heard what?”
“Have you heard about the really cute happy leader in cabin B3?”
“Well, he’s really cute and just your type…”
I cut her off right there.
“I’m not going to date him.”
“Look. I know you’re still heartbroken about what Chris did to you, but you should move on. He’s a jerk. He doesn’t deserve you!”
Chris is my ex-boyfriend. He cheated on me, so I broke up with him. But, he was my first love and I don’t know if I’ll find another.
I glanced down at my watch. The fifteen minutes were up.
“Ok girls! Line up!” I made my voice as loud as it could go.
Four little pairs came back.
“Where are Juliet and Emma?” Jessica’s voice was worried.
“Happy leader Jessica! Happy leader Alex! ” Emma’s voice sounded like there was something wrong.
“What’s wrong? Did Juliet fall in the lake? Is Juliet hurt?” My voice sounded extremely worried. I looked around, trying to find Juliet.
“No.” Her voice sounded the same
“What’s wrong?” Jessica’s voice was a lot calmer than mine.
“Juliet and I were walking, when we saw this man climb over then fence with a can of spray paint.”
“Jessica, call the police. This man trespassed and has plans to vandalize.” My voice was calmer and more serious. “Emma, take me to this man.”
“Yes ma’am!” She did a little army salute and started running back off the trail. I followed her, but stop dead in my tracks. The man was a teenager, probably same age as me. He had sort of long brown hair and beautiful eyes. Stop! What am I thinking? He’s a trespasser.
“Hey!” I tried making my voice sound angry.
He turned around, dropped the spray paint and started running.
“Come back here! We’re calling the police! If you run, you will get in more trouble than you are in now!” I was still trying to sound angry.
He stopped and turned around. He slowly walked up to me and looked me in my eyes. I think my heart skipped a beat.
“Lis…lis…listen. Please don’t call the cops.” He was stuttering. I didn’t know if that was because he was afraid of the police or if it was just normal for him to stutter.
“It’s too late. My friend already called.”
We stood there in silence just staring at each other.
“I’m sorry.”
“All trespassers say that.”
“I truly am. If you get the cops to drop the charges, I’ll volunteer here for the rest of my summer.”
He would be across the camp if he volunteered. But I wouldn’t get to see him. I had an idea.
“Deal, but you have to be a leader on the girl’s side.” This way I could see him everyday.
“I what?”
“I’ll get all the charges dropped. You’ll just be in the system for trespassing.”
“We have a deal!”

I walked back to the trail with Emma and Juliet.
“I couldn’t get signal here. We’ll call the police when we get back.”
“No need.” I said smiling. “I agreed to drop all his charges, if he was a volunteer leader on the girl’s side.”
“That’s evil. I like it.” She said, smiling with her evil smile.

“Excuse me Warden. May I have a word with you?”
“What’s wrong Alex?”
“Well, can I tell you inside?”
“No problem.”
We walked to the Warden’s cabin. I entered right behind him and walked to his office. The only time that I had been in his office, was last year when Sally gave Jenna a black eye.
“What seems to be the problem?”
”When our little campers were exploring, two of them came across a trespasser with spray paint.” I paused to see his reaction.
“Did you call the police?”
“No. Jessica’s cell phone did not have signal.”
“But you will call the police after this, right?”
“No. I made a deal with him. I agreed to drop all charges if he agreed to come work as a volunteer camp leader…on the girl’s side.”
“Good punishment. He will not get to see other boys. Good job Alex.”
I nodded. Everyone thought that I had thought of this as a punishment, when really it was so I could see him again.

Chapter Two
New happy leader!
Today, he was coming back. I was so excited. He would be in one of the other cabins and I would get to see him at the campfires and group activities. I looked thru my cabin’s window and saw a red car pull in. I saw him step out. I also saw a woman step out. My heart sank. He had a girlfriend. But, as they walked closer, I realized that the woman was way older than him. She was probably his mom.
I couldn’t hear what the warden was saying. Suddenly the warden pointed to my cabin. I thought he was just saying who had found him, until he started walking to the cabin. He was going to be a happy leader in this cabin! Cabin A7!
“This will be your cabin, Derek.”
I stepped forward.
“Hello Derek.” He didn’t look me in the eyes.
“So you’re the trespasser?” Jessica said as she walked in.
He looked her right in the eyes and nodded. Why hadn’t he looked me in the eyes?
“Right now, the happy campers are on free time. They will be back in ten minutes. Just enough time for you to get settled in!” the Warden clapped after the last part.
“And remember Derek,” Derek turned to face Jessica, who was now speaking. “Be happy!”

As the girls ran into the cabin, I sat them all down in a circle.
“Do you girls remember someone trespassing?” I said looking at Derek. He turned away as soon as I laid eyes on him.
All the girls nodded.
“Well, he is here, volunteering as a happy leader in our cabin. Everyone give a happy welcome to Derek, your third happy leader!”
“Happy welcome happy leader Derek!” all the girls said at the same time.

“It’s time for arts and crafts!” Jessica said looking right at Derek. He didn’t turn away like he had when I did that.
“Everyone line up!”
Jessica was in front and all the girls line up behind her.
“You will be the middle leader.” I said grabbing Derek’s arm. I led him to the middle, between Emma and Sandra, and placed him there.
“Now, whenever we stop somewhere, like at a steep hill and the girls have to get down it, Jessica will climb down first and you and I will stand at the back helping them climb down.”

I walked over to the billboard to see what craft we were making today. It was friendship bracelets. I grabbed the container that said friendship bracelets and turned around. I saw Jessica flirting with Derek! I had to tell her that I liked him. And soon! I walked over to the table and put the container down between Derek and Jessica.
“Ok happy campers! Today we are making friendship bracelets!”
All the girls screamed with joy.

After I had finished explaining how to make the bracelets to the girls, I grabbed Jessica by the arm.
“We have to have a emergency happy leader’s meeting now.” I said with anger. Why was I angry? It’s wasn’t like she had known that I liked Derek.
She was about to grab Derek, when I said “Girls only.” She nodded and got up.
“Derek,” she said still flirting. “Please watch the girls while we’re gone.”
I directed her to the girl’s washroom.

Once we were inside and I had made sure nobody else was, Jessica looked worried.
“What’s wrong Alex?”
“Please stop flirting with Derek.” I said, almost begging.
I bit my lip.
“I like him. Like a lot.”
“You have a crush on him? Alex, if I had known I never would have flirted with him.”
“I know Jessie. That’s why I told you. So you wouldn’t flirt with him and so he wouldn’t have a crush on you. Although, it seems he already does.” I sat down beside the sink.
“What do you mean?”
“He never looks me in the eyes and always seems to be watching you.”
“Are you kidding? Alex, when I was flirting with him, he kept asking questions about you.”
“Like what?”
“Well, he asked me your name, your age and what you like in a guy.”
“And what did you answer?”
“I answered, Alex, 16 and that you like a guy that is not a trespasser. He looked a little disappointed after the last answer.”
“Jessie! You probably ruined my chance with him!”
“Don’t worry. If he really likes you, he will try to make it up to you.”

When I walked out of the washroom, I realized that we had been in there for ten minutes.
I saw all the girls finishing up there bracelets and saw Derek fighting with his. It was all tangles and somehow wrap all around his hands. I laughed to myself.
“Help me.” He said to Jessica.
“I can’t. I suck at it. Ask Alex. She’s the expert.”
He slowly turned to me, looking nervous.
“Can you help?”
“Yes. First, we have to untangle this.”
“I already tried. It got even more tangled.” He said looking sad.
“Did you try this?” I said grabbing his six strings and gently pulling on them. They came untangled.
“Wow. Now I feel stupid.”
“It’s a rookie mistake.” I said smiling.


Publication Date: 03-14-2012

All Rights Reserved

I dedicate this book to my mom who encouraged me to follow my dreams. Without her, this book would not be done.

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