This is going to be a disaster (For guardj and DragonGypsy
The RV bounced and wound along the narrow road. It wasn't the newest, or the nicest of RVs for sure. But it was What Charles could afford the rental on. And so it was what they had. They hadn't been planning on RVing the whole trip for sure. And there was some camping gear in the back. But the RV was to start them out. They'd be hiking out for a little, from the RV park, and setting up some tents. But for now, they all had some nice air conditioning, as they wound the little mountain road. They hit pothole after pothole, as Charles' driving wasn't good enough to keep them out of them. As he drove, charles argued over the radio station, with his friend Andrew, like they were both children.
"Man, nobody likes alternative"
"Dude. It's better than that rap shit. I don't even know what they're talking about."
"Oh cause that whiny shit is soooo much better. I'm sure everyone wants to get a big huge downer at the start of their vacation, right?"
Somewhere in the middle of the RV, Matt tried his hardest to tune the two out. He hadn't been the closest with Charles for a while. They used to be really close, but now, they didn't hang out that often. They'd gone to two different colleges. And now Charles spent all his time with this 'Andy' clown. Matt didn't like Andy, because he suspected the guy was on some drugs. Plus he just acted like a jerk.
There were other things though, to occupy Matt's attention. It seemed like Charles had managed to drag his girlfriend along on this trip, much the same as he'd dragged Matt. He hadn't wanted to come along originally, but Charles had played the 'we never get to hang out anymore' card. And so here was Matt now, stuck in this RV, with a bunch of people he didn't know. At least, on the upside, some of them were pretty. He had known Melissa for a pretty long time, but he wasn't too familiar with Tracy. And he'd never met the Ana girl at all until now. So at least there was some promise of some pretty good company on this trip. Though he still suspected he'd only been invited along to make sure everyone else had a good time, given his out doors knowledge.
"Man, can you believe those two?" He said aloud, to no one in particular, but then turned to the group of girls, which were relaxing near the back. "Can you believe those two?" He repeated, as he made his way toward the back of the RV. "Like a couple of kids." He wandered back toward where the girls were, snagging a bottle of water out of a cooler on the way to the back of the RV. "This is gonna be soooome trip huh?" He smiled and shook his head slightly.
((Hey there. Sorry this is kind of short. I thought I'd just kind of introduce the characters, and we'd develop them back and forth a little on the road trip for a few posts, so we had a pretty good idea of what's up. Also, I'm going to be going out of town, starting Friday morning, and getting back Sunday evening. So it will probably be Monday before I can get a reply to you, if you get back to me on this before then.))
Glitter and Sarcasm
"Oooooo," Tracy moaned quietly, the only response to Matt's question when he made his way to the back. She had her head clutched between her hands as she bent over in her seat, resting her elbows on her knees. The sounds of the two guys up front arguing back and forth was the least of her problems at the moment, even the sounds of the radio had pretty much faded from her senses as the RV bounced and rattled over the road.
"Why couldn't we be dropped in by helicopter? Surely that would have been better than this!" She moaned, looking a tad green. At least they had air conditioning, otherwise she probably would have already lost the bit of granola bar she'd eaten today. Just brilliant, why did she have to seem so sickly and no fun in front of the guys?
Melissa, knowing full well how embarrassed Trac was, beamed at Matt as he moved to grab a bottle of water. The least she could do was try distract him from how miserable Tracy was, wouldn't want to damage chances this early in the trip.
"They're always going off together like that," She said, rolling her eyes with a grin, "Give it long enough and they'll start agreeing, whereupon one or the other will catch themselves and change positions. You watch, give it another twenty minutes and they'll be defending the station they're bashing!"
Leaning back in her seat she shrugged, shaking her head lightly, "Children is a good word for it, but don't tell Charles I said that, he'd start in on how spoiled and pampered I am in retaliation."
Much as she'd shuddered at the idea of camping out in the middle of nowhere, miles and miles away from any kind of conveniences, she'd begun to think it was maybe going to be a fun trip after all. She'd been really surprised when Charles had told her he'd managed to convince Matt to come, they hadn't hung out in ages.
"Some trip is right." Tracy moaned lightly, feeling stable enough to sit up and brush the hair out of her face, attempting a wan smile. In an attempt to save face she decided conversation might be good, besides, perhaps it would distract her from the bumpy road.
"So Matt, what are your plans after this trip?" It was a horribly cliche question, but for the life of her she couldn't think of anything more interesting to say, what with the car sickness and nervous flutters from all the cute guys.
Ana watched the others silently, watching how they interacted and what they talked about. She still wasn't completely comfortable with the whole idea, not really knowing anyone. She'd hung out with the girls a couple times, but that was when her cousin was around, and she'd been able to kind of fade away into the background and be forgotten. What had possessed her to come on this trip at all she wasn't sure, though she suspected it had something to do with the fact that, not only did she not want to hang around watching her cousin puke into the toilet all week, but she wanted to make new friends and this was the first real chance she'd gotten since coming to the US.
Catching herself lapsing into her analyzing mode, something she did when she wasn't quite comfortable, Ana attempted to shake herself out of it, straightening up a little bit and listening more closely to the conversation. Perhaps if she acted a little bit more outgoing it would be easier to have fun and become part of this group.
"Perhaps someone should put some opera on," She suggested with a half smile, acutely conscious of the accent that heavily tinted her words, "Then there would be nothing to argue about, as we'd all be able to loathe it! Unless. . . some of you happen to like opera." Her nose wrinkled at the distasteful thought.
Glancing around as the others continued to talk among themselves, Ana let herself watch them all again for a brief moment. Maybe, just maybe this trip would turn out to be fun . . .and maybe she'd have friends at the end of it.
Matt frowned a little. Poor Tracy. He wasn't sure if it was motion sickness or what else it could be, but she was obviously not feeling good. If it was motion sickness, he could most certainly understand that. It seemed like Charles thought this thing was a bump seeking missle, jostling them around almost constantly. He'd learned long ago how to kind of let go of it, and just go with the bouncing, but he knew it was an aquired skill, and not one that a lot of people had had the opportunity to develop. He'd been the same way his first few road trips in one of these big monsters. He chuckled a little at her comment about being air lifted in by helicopter.
"I get what you're saying, but I bet that'd be even worse on you, you know?"
She had nothing to be embarrassed about. Matt was a pretty easy going guy, and he understood how she could be ill. Nevertheless, he got what Melissa was trying to do, and so he changed his focus, to listen to her teasing their friends up front in the driver's and navigator's seats. "Yeah, I can believe that." He said about her comment about them just arguing for the sake of doing it. "I remember me and Charlie used to do the same thing. I guess some things never change huh? Well... sorta." He wasn't the one up in the front with his old friend any more.
Up front, the two were comparing various musicians in different genres, trying to determine which ones had sucked and which one hadn't, and therefore which genre of music had better musicians and was, by extension, better. But anyone who stopped and tried to listen to their conversation for more than a few lines at a time, would quickly determine they weren't using any kind of actual criteria, or standards, and that most of what they were saying sounded like pure nonsense. Matt shook his head a little. If anyone was looking close enough, they'd see a little nostalgic gleam in his eye though. On some level, this old ritual was comforting.
He turned to Tracy at her questioning. "Well, I'm still in classes part time right now, until I finish up my degree. Which will probably be a little while, based on the fact that I can't seem to pull more than a class every semester, around working. Probably around a year left, if things keep going the way they are now, you know? What about you? I know we've met a couple of times, but I don't really think we know eachother all that well."
"Dude, that's such bullshit!" Andy spoke loudly from up front. "There's no way you can even say that. And besides you've gotta... hey, uh... that last turn wasn't on the map."
"Andy, you're holding the map upside down man." Charlie looked over to the passenger's seat, and flipped the map in Andy's hands.
Oh, well shit... that makes sense. Yeah, you're cool then on the turn."
"Man, you've been holding the thing upside down, for how long? And just now the roads aren't lining up?" Charlie laughed loudly. "It's been cool for the last couple hours man? Really? Im not sure you're the best person for this job."
"Oh, shut up!"
Matt just sighed. He wasn't sure Andy was the right man for handling the navigation either. But whatever. He was pretty sure Charlie wasn't the right man for handling the driving, if Tracy's slightly green around the gills complexion was any indicator. Quickly he looked over to Ana, having heard her speak up for the first time in quite a while. She'd spoken to the girls, but not to the entire group. She made an opera joke.
"Hey, that's not a bad idea. At least if we can't all agree to be happy, we can all agree to be unhappy. Cause, no. I think you're right. Probably none of us would enjoy that." He laughed lightly. "Um, wherever that water bottle came from, can someone toss me one of them?"
He'd been hard to convince about this trip in the first place, and he was still a little skeptical to be honest with himself. He wasn't as good of friends with Charlie as he used to be, Andy was probably a pill-head, and Melissa, while a sweet girl, had been known to be rather averse to the outdoors in the past. But, at least Tracy and Ana were both cute, and presumably single, since they hadn't brought boyfriends along. And they both seemed pretty nice.
Suddenly the RV came to a screeching halt, fishtailing a little bit as it put on the brakes.
"What. The. Hell? Bro." Andy yelled, from the passenger seat.
"Dude. That totally should have been a left. You give shitty directions." Charlie stabbed at the map with one finger.
"You take shitty directions!" Andy slapped Charlie's hand out of the way, and pointed at something else on the map. "See, that, right there! That's where it said we were supposed to be headed. And that's totally a right!"
"Not if you had the map upside down, man!"
"Oh. Yeah. I see what you did there."
Matt shook his head again. He was really hoping he wouldn't have to be the one to solve this. He'd like to keep hanging out with Tracy and Ana for the duration. But he didn't have the best feeling about that.
Glitter and Sarcasm
This was the perfect opportunity for Melissa to slip away. It might have been kind of obvious, but if anyone questioned it she could always blame it on the fact that the guys in the front were making so much noise she'd had to go investigate, and if that meant leaving Tracy to talk to Matt, well, it was just a bonus all around!
"I'm going to see what the big deal with the map is," She murmured to Ana on the way by, also handing Matt a bottle of water on her way by, then carefully gripping anything solid that could help keep her upright while the RV continued to bounce and sway.
"That sounds like a lot of work," Tracy answered, tucking a piece of hair behind her ear as she took a deep breath, feeling a little better while she studiously tried to ignore the jolting of the vehicle.
"I don't have many plans for the summer, basically just hanging out and taking a break from all my college work. My parents will probably try convince me to take some extra classes, but I don't think I'm going to. I've had enough of lessons and reports and essays for awhile without having to worry about them during summer break as well!" She shook her head, as though she couldn't imagine why in the world she'd want to fill up her summer with . . . . actual work.
"My family is actually planning on a trip to the Dominican Republic for a cruise in a couple weeks, I'm hoping to meet some of the international travelers and maybe learn some new languages." In actuality she was really looking forward to perfecting her tan by the pool, but she had intended to seek out some foreign travelers. It always helped to make connections, they might come in useful later when she was finally allowed to travel the world by herself.
"I don't know what I'm going to study this coming semester, I'm halfway through a music degree, but it just . . . isn't me anymore." She couldn't figure out if she was rambling too much. Perhaps she was nervous and trying not to sound to shallow . . . or perhaps she was just attempting to make a good impression and saying whatever came to mind. Honestly, he was so cute she definitely didn't want to alienate him this early on in the trip.
Ana listened to all of it with a degree of interest, but didn't insert herself into the conversation, feeling more comfortable just to listen for the time being. She did offer a friendly smile when Matt agreed with her about the opera. She was actually finding it rather hard to follow both conversations, the one between Tracy and Matt, and the one coming from up front, something about a map and turns and such. She would have had better luck if she just focused on one, but it was all so interesting she couldn't help trying to take in absolutely everything.
"You guys sound like to caterwauling tomcats," Melissa called out as she finally made it up to lean against the back of one of the chairs. "What the heck is going on? We're not lost are we? Because if we are, I'm so going to kill one of you." She hated car rides that ended up lasting an eternity because of a wrong turn take. "You had the map upside-" She was cut off abruptly when Charlie hit the brakes, jerking the vehicle to a halt and effectively throwing Melissa off balance enough to end up sitting in the aisle.
Eyes snapping she pulled herself into a kneeling position, leaning forward in between the two front seats and smacked Charlie's arm as the two guys continued to argue.
"Gee whiz, lead foot a little much! I'm going to have to separate the two of you if you keep this up." Glancing between them she considered her options before holding out her hand for the map, "Hand it over Ands and get out of my seat."
And Melissa bailed on the them. Not really the most subtle, but he wasn't exactly complaining, he'd take the excuse to spend more time with Tracy and Ana. Though, seemed like Tracy was the more social one. Ana seemed nice, just... maybe kind of withdrawn. Though he couldn't really blame her, she didn't know anyone here. She was probably doing good not to just be sitting alone in the back of the RV.
He nodded a little to Tracy. "Yeah, I guess it is kind of a lot of work. But it's really important to me, you know. Once I get my degree finished up, I can start my own business, and that's kind of always been a dream of mine. I can definitely understand your wanting a break though. Especially if you're a student full time. I only manage a class, maybe two, in a semester, around working. Honestly, while I was a little skeptical about coming here, I'm starting to think a vacation might be just exactly what I need."
He listened as she talked about her up-coming trip to the Dominican Republic. That sounded like fun too, but he'd never be able to afford something like that. At least not for a while. Maybe once he got his business license, and got an office open, he'd start making the kind of money to take trips like that. "Yeah, that does sound like a lot of fun. I'm not sure our little adventure here in the RV will be able to even come close to matching that." He hadn't realized Tracy came from such money, that they 'made a habit' of globe trotting, and cruising, and meeting other international travellers, as a lifestyle. He was impressed for sure, but doubted, as he had said, that she'd really find herself all to impressed with their little camping trip this week. Hopefully she'd not be TOO bored. He continued nodding, just listening to her as she talked about her next semester, and how she had been persuing a music degree, but just wasn't feeling it anymore. He got that. A lot of people didn't know what they wanted to do with themselves for a while. He was one of the fortunate onese, got have found a knack for design early on. "Yeah. Music's cool, but only if it's something you really like. Were you wanting to be a performer? Or a writer? I'm not really sure what all music things are out there. Maybe something else altogether?"
"Aw, Mel', it's not my fault." Charlie looked back at his girlfriend as she stepped up between where he and Andy were sitting. "If my navigator wasn't such a dumbass, we'd be fine. And I wouldn't say we're... 'lost'. I mean, not exactly. We know exactly where we are... just... It's that where we are... isn't where we want to be. We'll figure it out though. Lets see, if we turn around, now, take this road back, and turn off the highway at the next road up, that looks like we'd be back on track, right?" Charlie was trying to sound calm, but he was actually getting kind of frustrated with the trip. His slamming on the brakes had been a fair indicator of that.
Charlie laughed a little when Melissa kicked Andy out of the navigators post, and Andy gave him the finger and thumped him on the back of the head as he made his way back to the middle of the vehicle where everyone else was sitting.
"Hey, ladies, how are you doing? Enjoying your trip so far? Don't worry, we'll be back on the road in no time. I may not be a good enough navigator to make up for Charlie's awful driving, but I'm pretty sure Melissa will be able to get him under control." He took a seat next to Tracy, and smiled at her. "We got any beer in that cooler you guys keep getting into? I sure could use a drink after all that crap." His attention shifted to Matt. "What's up Mark?" They'd only met a few times, but Matt was sure Andy knew his name, and was just being a dick. "Hey, either of you ladies been been out camping like this before?" Andy continued talking, like he'd been in the conversation from the start. "Not really my thing, but it's a cool enough trip I guess. It's an excuse to drink and make fire, I guess. Plus it looks like the scenery's gonna be pretty nice out here." He was obviously ogling the two as he made the 'scenery' comment, so there'd be almost no way to interpret it as thinking he'd been talking about any kind of real appreciation for nature. Matt just shook his head a little.
Glitter and Sarcasm
Settling into the seat Melissa smoothed out the map, a slight frown on her face as she concentrated on trying to figure out where they were. It didn't work too well and she kept twisting the map around in an effort to figure out where Andy had thought they were, and where they actually were.
"So where are we then? Because I can't figure out how we got here at all, are you sure he had it just upside down? Maybe he had it upside down and backward . . .or something . .. . " Great, she could just see this turning out to be a wonderful trip.
"I'm sure you could use a vacation, all that work won't be any good if you burn out from too much stress," Tracy nodded, intrigued to hear that he was going to start his own business. Most guys she knew went to college, and the minute they came out they either trotted around the world doing whatever they wanted, or they got a job at a grocery store stocking shelves and carrying bags to peoples cars. That he already knew exactly what he wanted to do was quite refreshing to the guys she knew.
"I wanted to be a singer first, but unfortunately I don't have the voice for it," She shook her head, nibbling on a peppermint she'd dug from the bottom of her purse. It seemed to be helping her upset stomach, which was a relief of immense proportions. "So I started writing, which was fun for awhile, but then I began to notice all my work mirrored things that had already been done. And I'm not exactly thrilled to end up copying other people, so that kind of fizzled out as well."
Ana's gaze swung from the two to Andy as he made his way back, sliding into the seat next to Tracy and speaking to Matt. She cocked her head slightly at the usage of the wrong name, but didn't mention it, feeling it wasn't her place to correct such a thing.
Even so, she rather wished he'd stayed up front, there was something about him she didn't particularly care for, especially when he went on and made an only thinly veiled suggestion about 'scenery'.
Tracy, on the other hand, didn't seem to mind, the appearance of another cute guy simply brightening her smile a bit more as she beamed at them both.
"Oh it's fine, other than the bumping around," Tracy said, twisting a strand of hair around her finger as she divided her attention between the two guys. "I haven't been camping since I was little, so I have no recollection of how much fun it was." It couldn't be that bad, could it? People did it all the time and even went so far as to rave about it, surely she could last a couple days. At his scenery comment her eyes dropped slightly, eyelashes fluttering as a slight blush tinted her cheeks.
Rolling her eyes Ana curled more comfortably in her seat, turning her gaze out the window and wondering just where they were, not that it would help her, the area was totally unfamiliar to her anyway.
"Drink and make fire?" She questioned after a moment, glancing back at the others, the image of a hairy caveman lounging next to a tiny, smoking fire. "In that case remind us to douse you in alcohol and set you on fire before shoving you in a bears den for the evenings entertainment." Her look was completely innocent as she said it, accent laced words spun in such a way to sound as though it was simply a lighthearted tease. Veiled underneath it though was a slightly dry, sarcastic expression.
Odd, that everyone kept saying this camping trip wasn't their thing. If no one wanted to be here, what had enticed them? Was Charlie that good at wheedling people into things?
Returning her attention back out the window her gaze roamed the landscape, finally fastening on the majestic peaks of the mountains, a spark of excitement, the first spontaneous emotion to cross her features since joining the group that morning. Since she had decided to ignore Andy, and Tracy was quite taken with both guys, that left just one person to ask her question.
"Are we going up there?" She asked Matt, glancing over her shoulder and pointing out the window, the glimmer of excitement still briefly shining in her smoky eyes. Not that anyone would have known, but she'd been dying to go rock climbing on an actual mountain since stepping foot off the plane.
"Okay, well I'm just gonna turn around, and go back the way we were. I feel like that's our turn there. It said on the directions we'd have to make a left, like, back up the road. So if we didn't ever see a left on the map, it's cause Andy had it upside down. We turn around, and we'd be looking for a right. I'm pretty sure that's the first step. Of course, that's provided he really had it upside down, and we were going exactly backwards. If he had it like... sideways or something... Man I don't even know for real then."
Matt listened to Tracy. She didn't seem like she really fit with this particular social circle. Nice girl, but she seemed way richer than probably anybody else here. Maybe even some of them put together. Not that that was a bad thing necessarily, just that it made it hard to identify with a lot of what she said. Still he nodded and listened. He could understand her moving away from music if she felt like she was just copying other people's work. He could understand that desire to create. It was part of what had drawn him to design in the first place.
But then Andy was suddenly back joining them in the common area, and asking about alcohol already. All of thirty seconds out of the cockpit, and he was already begging alcohol. Matt shook his head, and studied the two ladies' reactions to the new arrival. Tracy seemed happy about him, but Ana not so much. He thought Ana had pretty good taste.
Andy, meanwhile, laughed a little at Tracy's comment. "Well, yeah. Sorry 'bout all that bumping. Man, Chuck's just a bad driver. Like I said, I was trying to keep him on the straight, but it was like he was playing whackamole with the dips and holes and stuff, you know?"' He cracked a smile looking her up and down a little bit better She was cute. "Man, I dunno. I thought it sounded fun. Its not like I've camped out a whole bunch, but I mean I did it a couple times. Like I said, it can be fun, you just gotta know how to have a good time, and you can have a good time just about anywhere."
Matt didn't recall him ever having said anything like that, and he just shook his head a little. Suddenly Ana reinjected herself into the conversation. Matt laughed aloud at her comment about lighting Andy on fire, and stuffing him in a bears den. Yeah, she definitely had good taste in people. Andy, meanwhile just stared at her, stunned. Yeah, it sounded innocent and teasing, but for someone that didn't know eachother, that was still a really harsh thing to say.
"Damn, girl." Andy was a little wide-eyed. "Why you gotta be so mean? Im just trying to make this trip a little more fun. My boy's back here boring you to death and shit. Im just trying to put some life in this party is all."
Up front, Charlie and Melissa had arrived at some conclusion, and the RV was pulling back out, and getting underway again. Matt smiled a little as they rocked back against the seats, glad that they were making progress. The sooner they got there, the sooner he could set up camp and find some kind of peaceful place further away from Andy than being cramped up in the RV. He'd said he was skeptical of coming along on the trip, but in all honesty, he was really just skeptical of spending the weekend with that jerk. Everything else had seemed like a good time. He liked the outdoors, camping, hiking, all of that. And he did like the idea of getting to hang with Charlie again after they'd not been as close this last year. Plus the two girls were both cute, and seemed really sweet. Andy was really the only problem he'd had. But once they were out in the field, he'd be happy. Of course, he'd probably have to keep everyone together, and he'd probably be the one that helped everyone get tents up, and kept the fire going, but that was all fine. He was good with that, since it was things he was comfortable with.
Since Tracy seemed satsified to talk to Andy, which he found a little disappointing, he looked over to Ana, whom he'd decided had a bit better taste in people. At that time, she asked him about the mountain. He smiled. "Well, I think we'll be camping at the foot of the mountain. We've packed a little climbing gear, to do some exploring too. Nothing too severe, probably just a few hundred feet worth of moderate slope stuff." He smiled a little bit. "So, Ana. You've been kind of quiet up to now. Why don't you tell me a little bit about yourself?"
Glitter and Sarcasm
"You don't think a human torch being chased by an annoyed bear would be fun?" She asked innocently, rather pleased she'd managed to shock him, he'd deserved it after that 'scenery' comment. Besides, the inner mischief in her hadn't been able to resist and she wasn't sure she would have been able to stop herself from mentioning it even if she wanted to.
It didn't really matter, while she wanted to have fun on this trip, winning favor points with people she'd already taken a disliking to wasn't on her list of important things to do. If they annoyed her they were probably going to know it at some point, no need to tiptoe around the subject.
"Ah well, it is just bound to happen that tastes in entertainment are different." Shrugging lightly she switched her focus to a friendlier, and definitely more polite, figure as Matt answered her question.
She got the feeling he didn't particularly care for Andy either, especially when he'd outright laughed at her flames and bear quip.
"She's just teasing Andy," Tracy attempted to smooth things over, leaning a little closer and dropping her voice into a whisper, "She is French, after all, who knows what kind of queer things they do for fun." When the RV started moving again she sighed slightly, leaning back against the seat and propping her foot up on the cooler resting on the floor.
"This ride can end any time now," She muttered, "Do you think we'd make just as good progress if we walked? I don't know how much more of this bouncing I can take."
"I hope we can do some climbing tonight," Ana said, a tad wistfully as she glanced back at the mountain, envisioning the peaceful, majestic wilderness and all the fresh air.
She hadn't expected him to actually attempt to draw her out into conversation, she'd taken Tracy for a more interesting sort than herself, expecting the other two girls to keep up a running banter with the guys, leaving herself to kind of fade into the background and just observe everything.
It was kind of nice that he asked, but also made her a little uncomfortable. Not because she didn't want to talk, she just hadn't gotten over the general feeling of unease around people she knew nothing about.
"Shall I give you the whole 'Charles Dickens' approach?" She asked, tilting her head slightly as a flash of amusement lit her eyes. "No, I would run out of words and get frustrated if I tried explaining my entire history. What would you most like to know?" She had an excellent grasp on the English language, but despite herself, every now and again, the words became rather elusive, dancing just beyond her grasp. When that happened it was usually when she was experiencing some sort of emotional stress. Nervousness didn't tend to affect her too much, simply making her accent a little thicker and, perhaps, making her have to listen a little more closely to interpret what the other person was saying.
"I am visiting a cousin for the summer while my parents are traveling." Was the simplest explanation of what was really going on, but she didn't delve into that any further.
"I have never been to America before and it is all rather exciting. This are so busy here, people go at such a fast pace. . . do you ever slow down?" She couldn't help the question. Since arriving she had noticed how utterly busy people were, always rushing about in their vehicles to get to the next thing. At home people liked to take long walks or bicycle rides. Whereas here people seemed to replace a leisurely walk in the fresh air with a rushed trip to the gym.
"The openness is beautiful, so wild and . . .rugged I think the word is. Home is beautiful as well, but in a different way." It was then that she realized she wasn't exactly telling him anything about herself, more saying what she had observed than who she was.
"But I am sorry, this is not what you asked." She bit her lip for a second before grinning almost sheepishly, "What was it you wanted to know about me? I do better if there is a question asked to get me started."
Matt laughed again as Ana twisted the metaphorical knife. Andy might not find the image of himself burning and running from a bear to be all that amusing, but Matt thought it sounded like a pretty good weekend. Andy just looked at her like she had gone crazy.
"Jesus, you're really out to hurt somebody. We're gonna have to keep an eye on you at all times, huh? Not that I'll mind that. I guess youre right. Entertainment means different things to different people. Some of those things are kind of fucked up though, I guess."
"She better be teasing." He said to Tracy. "This is gonna be too long a weekend for people to be trying to be hostile and shit."
Matt just smiled a litte at the absurdity of the whole thing. He'd heard Tracy's 'she's French' comment, and thought it was kind of inappropriate, and not kind, but he decided not to address it, in case Ana hadn't heard it, so as to avoid her feeling hurt by it if at all possible.
"I know we're going to be at the RV park by dinner time, so we'll be setting out for the site then. I don't know if there's much in the way of hill climbing, on our route, since I didn't select any of our courses for the trip, but I know there won't be anything like any actual stone face climbing. Maybe later on, perhaps tomorrow, we can search around for a good spot to do some climbing. I wouldn't mind getting back in practice myself, since it's been so long." He chuckled a little, and then spoke a little louder. "And no Tracy. we wouldn't make better time walking. I think we're actually rolling between thirty and forty most of the time, so unless you're an olympic sprinter..."
But then he turned his attention back to Ana. He listened to what she was saying. Perhaps she wasn't answering his question as directly as he'd thought she would, but the nature of her observations did tell him something about herself. She seemed like a quiet, contemplative sort, which was fine with him, he'd rather talk to someone who actually had something to say, than just listen to someone blather on for the sake of hearing themselves talk. He nodded understandingly, as she said she'd run out of words trying to explain herself all the way. Perhaps his question had been a bit to vague. He had forgotten, he supposed, that she wasn't native to speaking English. 'Tell me about yourself' was a colloqialsim in the English language, but he should have remembered that English was her second language, and that she may interpret his question too literally.
"No need to run out of words, or to be frustrated. It's merely smalltalk. Learning about eachother, to pass the time, and to help ease any potential stress associated with spending so much time with eachother over the coming weekend." He liked her accent. It gave her voice a very pleasant and melodic tone. He nodded a little at her observations about the cultural and the social differences between France and the US. "So you've never been here before? Your English is quite good. You speak better than some native speaker's I've met." He cast eyes over to where Andy was sitting. "Either way, it's good you came along with us. And yeah, there's a lot of rushing around here. But it's not necessarily like that everywhere. Metropolitan areas tend to be more fast paced, filled with people who never seem to have enough time in the day. But if you were to have visited one of the more rural areas, you'd see a different culture altogether. I grew up in the Mid-West, where everything kind of plods along at a much slower pace, and people take the time to actually interact with and get to know eachother." He smiled at her comment about the open-ness, and the beauty of nature. He had to agree. There was something about being out here, that wasn't like being anywhere else. "Yeah. I love the out doors. I used to spend a lot of time in the mountains. But it's been a while. That's part of why I was so keen on coming out, you know? I just missed it."
And she redirected the conversation. "No, thats fine. It's not exactly what I asked, but hearing your train of thought, does tell me about you to a degree. As far as specifics, I cant really say. What are some of your hobbies, interests, activities? What do you do to pass the time? That kind of thing."
Glitter and Sarcasm
Ana simply shrugged and smiled slightly at what Andy said. She almost said they could play hide and seek instead, with him ending up hiding all night, but figured she better stop now before she made outright enemies.
Besides, she didn't feel like talking to him anymore, not when a perfectly reasonable conversation was coming from Matt. He seemed much more friendly than the others, and didn't seem to mind that her English wasn't the greatest, or the fact that she'd kind of gone rambling a little bit after his question.
"Never," She shook her head, "A close friend of my mother's spent a couple summers with us when I was little, so I had the chance to develop some English. My father is the type that does not think you need to change, so we spoke only French and he didn't seem interested in arranging a tutor to teach me, but when mother's friend visited he didn't seem to mind." Her father was rather odd that way. If it wasn't needed at the moment, then it might as well not have existed. But the second Charice had stepped foot into the house he had seemed entirely welcoming to the idea of his daughter learning English in order to communicate with their guest.
"I can see why you would miss it," She nodded, glancing back out the window for a minute. "You like to spend a lot of time outside then? I do too, I've worked at a stable for the past couple of summers in order to get out of the city." Not that it was all that far from the outskirts, but it was still countryside. Cocking her head slightly her eyes were puzzled, "What is in the Mid-West? I have studied the US map, but I have not yet been able to correctly place all the states in their proper place."
"When I am finished with all my chores at the stables it is allowed to take some of the stable horses out to exercise. It is very relaxing to ride along the trails in the evening, very quiet and peaceful. When I am at home most of my time is spent studying and chasing after the dog. . . or cleaning up the basement when I accidentally blow something up." She couldn't help the amused grin and the slight shake of her head.
"Where do you live now? I heard you tell Tracy you work a lot, in-between the courses you take. What are you going to school for?"