The dog park was a new addition to the Windenburg countryside. Levi immediately took to the obstacle course, trying his best to get Boris to cooperate. Boris wasn’t quite as interested. Beth and I watched from afar, chucking whenever he got frustrated at poor Boris.
Her and I just had some much-needed girl talk; I tried my best to keep the conversation about anything but that kitten that was back at home. “So how are you liking school? You’re in middle school now, right?”
Beth nodded, as she kicked a few rocks on the path, “Yeah I am. It’s okay. I don’t really like doing the homework though. I just wish it could be recess all day. But we don’t get recess in middle school.”
I laughed and put my arm around her shoulder, “Yeah, I miss recess too. But you’ll get used to it. And hey, homework isn’t so bad. You just need to find a topic you enjoy.”
She rolled her bright green eyes, “I enjoy recess, Violet. I just said that.”
“What else do you like?” I smiled at my little sister. She kind of reminded me of myself when I was her age- although I was a bit more studious.
“Camping! Mama tells me that I should go to the camp that you worked at one summer. What was it called?”
“Uhm- Tall Pines. It was called Tall Pines,” I answered, my stomach dropping. I hadn’t thought of that place in a long, long time..
“Yeah! That one. I don’t know if I’d like being so far from home though.. Did you like it there?”
“Well..” I started slowly, picking my words one by one as the memories came flooding back, “For one, I was a counselor, not a camper, so my experience was a little different but.. yeah… yeah I did like it there,” my voice came out softer than I intended.
“It was.. probably one of my favorite experiences in high school,” my throat started feeling dry, “And I made a lot of, uh, friends there. I still talk to some of them, sometimes..”
There was no way Beth knew anything about… about Jordan. Her questions had nothing to do with him. But that didn’t stop the sinking, hollow feeling in my chest from returning, as it always did when I was reminded of him. It had been so long since I thought about everything that happened that summer. I took a deep breath, sucking back in all the thoughts and feelings that were threatening to take over. I shoved them back down, deep, where they belonged.
“I- I think you’d have a lot of fun there, Beth. You should go.”