I had to hand it to Ginny. She really helped me keep my mind off Mala. With the archaeology club, we had all this work to do on the weekends so I couldn’t mope around the house, wishing I was with her and wondering what she was doing with that scumfuck instead.
We’d cleaned up Deadgrass Isle last weekend so this Saturday, it was time for us to explore. Ginny was determined to find some old piece of junk that the museum could display.
When I arrived, to my surprise, one of my friends, Hudson Parris was there, too. “Hey, man. What are you doing here?” I asked.
“Saw a sign up for the archaeology club and thought I’d check it out.”
“Really?” I said, not believing my luck. I thought none of my friends would ever join a nerdy club like this one. I didn’t even mention it to him. “Alright, dude.” We slapped hands.
“Let’s find some seriously valuable old junk that we can pawn and make a lot of cash!” I joked.
“You know it!”
Hudson raised his eyebrow. “So…why are you here? You’re interested in archaeology?”
“No, dude, not really. But, I don’t know…Ginny Malcolm invited me and they do a bunch of cool stuff for the community.” I shrugged. I really never thought about it before. Just needed to take my mind off things, but I didn’t want to go into that with Hudson. The less I talked about Mala the better.
“Hey, guys,” Ginny said, raising her finger. “Want to go up the lighthouse? It’s open.”
“Want to check it out?” I asked Hudson. “I’ve never been.”
“Sure. Let’s do it.”
I followed Ginny, Todd Monteira, and Dusty up the stairs to the balcony. The view was breathtaking. We could see the whole island from up here as well as most of the town. Brindleton Bay was such a cool place to live. I never wanted to leave. I was thankful my folks let me stay. So much better than the smog filled place of Del Sol Valley.
“Hey, check out those trails,” Todd said. “We should explore some of them. I’ve been here a thousand times but never noticed them.”
“That’s a great idea, Todd,” Ginny agreed.
I noticed the sun getting higher in the sky. It was almost lunchtime and I needed to get back for the football game. The San Myshuno Llamas were taking on the Bridgeport Bears. It was an old rivalry and I never missed a game. “Hey, I wonder if we could climb up to the top of this thing.”
But there were no stairs leading up to the light itself.
After we descended the tower, we found the hiking trails Todd was talking about.
And Ginny was constantly digging but finding nothing.
The further we walked, the more dead grass we found. Probably why they called it “Dead Grass Isle”. Not a very inventive name.
“Hey, guys, look at this path,” Ginny said. “It goes down to a weird place. I see headstones.”
She was right. We discovered an old cemetary right there on the isle full of old guys from the pirate days.
It kind of gave me the creeps but Ginny thought we’d found a treasure. It wasn’t even on the map in Deadgrass Discoveries, the museum here.
After Ginny talked the museum director’s ear off about the cemetary, I told everyone I had to go since the football game was about to start. Hudson had to babysit his little sister so he said good bye. Ginny told me she loved the San Myshuno Llamas and so I invited everyone over. Todd brought his girlfriend, Melina, too.
My grandfathers were thrilled. After I introduced everyone, Granddad asked, “Are you kids hungry? We can do a barbeque if you want.”
God, grandparents did live for this stuff. But I loved it. Having them here, wanting to make me and my friends happy was one of the best feelings.
“No, Granddad,” I said. “You don’t have to go to all that trouble. We’ll just make popcorn and get some drinks.”
“How about we whip up nachos then and bring them upstairs for you. Won’t be any trouble. Honest.”
Ginny said from behind me, “That sounds wonderful, Mr. Day. If you don’t mind.”
“Happy to do it. Now you kids run along and us old guys will take care of everything.”
Once we got upstairs, I’d totally forgotten about all my dad’s awards. I mean, they were there like they’d always been and I rarely even thought about who my dad used to be back in the day. Of course, now he was set to be a huge movie star, but that hadn’t really hit yet. And…I don’t know…he’s my dad. So, I’m not used to people freaking out over him.
But Melina squealed. “Oh. My. GOD! Your father is James Sanderson from the Heart FREAKING THROBS? I’ve downloaded all their albums. I’m a sucker for throwback boy bands.” She sighed dreamily.
Ginny patted her head. “It’s going to be okay. Breathe, girl, breathe.”
Melina went on, “And James is the hottest one of them all. Wow. To be in his house with all these Simmy awards. I think I could die right now and be happy.”
Todd didn’t look too thrilled with his girlfriend’s ravings about my father. Couldn’t blame him.
“Yeah, well, the entertainment room is in here.” I tried to push them along. I didn’t want Todd to get upset.
Todd had to literally tear Melina away from the trophies. It was like she was drooling over them.
We made some popcorn and Melina seemed to settle down a little (although it didn’t help that Heartthrob memorabilia was everywhere.
Turned out, the San Myshuno Llamas obliterated the Bridgeport Bears. All four of us had a freaking good time. And what was even better? I didn’t think of Mala even once.