Allie was given a ride back home from camp by Martha, who was generous enough to drive her home, and she ran into her house and without a word, gave her mother a long hug. Alexandra kissed her on the cheek and said, "Oh, we've missed you so much, dear!"
"How was camp?" Paul asked her.
"Hold on a minute," Allie said. Then she went out to thank Martha for giving her a ride back home. "Thank you, Martha. I'll see you next year." She waved to her.
Martha blew a kiss out to her. "I'll anticipate your arrival, Allie. Take care, love," and then she drove off.
"Camp was really swell, Daddy," Allie replied with a grin. "The kids were great, and the play was terrific! We put on Romeo & Juliet."
"Oh, that sappy stuff with a lousy ending, huh?" said Paul.
Allie laughed and said, "Don't worry, Daddy. We did our own version and made it a happier ending for the children's sake."
"So we've heard," said Alexandra. "Paul and I wished that you could have invited us to come watch the play."
"I'm sorry," said Allie. "I didn't think you two would be that interested."
"Of course we would have been!" said Paul. "Your mother and I would always find the time to come see you when you're doing something really important. What, are you ashamed of us or something?" he added jokingly, and Allie just laughed.
"Next year, I'll invite you guys to see the next year's performance. I promise," Allie said.
"Marvelous, honey," said Alexandra. "Quincy and the others have asked about you."
"I know," said Allie. "I've written to them while I was away."
"We're certain you did," said Alexandra. Then she had a clever smile on her face, and she said, "Honey, I think you'd better go out the backyard. Your father and I have a little surprise for you." She gave a wink, and Paul chuckled.
"A surprise? Wow, this is very unexpected."
"Just go on out there and see for yourself, doll," Paul said, still chuckling. Allie gave her father a suspicious look as she went out her backyard, and was amazed to see Quincy, Betty Jane, her friends, and a few of her classmates out there in the backyard. They were all wearing their swimming suits, and have seemingly surprised Allie a welcome home party with a pool party.
"Surprise!" they all shouted, and Allie was so flabbergasted that she couldn't even speak for a minute.
"Welcome back home, Allie," Quincy said as he jumped into the pool and took a huge splash.
"You guys did all this........for me?" Allie asked, awestruck.
"Allie, we understand that you forgot to let us know that you'd be away working at camp for a month, so we decided to throw you this welcome home party as a surprise," Betty Jane said.
"And also as a gift for all your hard work," Laura said.
Mary-Anne nodded. "Yeah, you've probably gone through quite some hell working with those spoiled, rotten-apple kids, teaching them a thing or two about acting, being on stage, and all that other wonderful crap. So this is just a little reward from all that stress and tension so you can just relax your mind, and we will definitely be the first members on your beach club list."
Allie felt really grateful, so she gave Betty Jane a hug. "I just wanna thank every single one of you," she said. "And I wouldn't say I've gone through hell, though. In fact, I'd say I've gone through quite..........an adventure instead. Such a peachy keen experience for me. I really missed you guys very much, though."
"So do we, Allie," said Laura.
"Surprisingly, so do I," said another guy, and Allie looked up and saw it was Jacob, Quincy's younger brother. Quincy had invited him on account that Jacob would keep his trap shut and not drive Quincy up the wall with his constant mentioning of Quincy's feelings for Allie. Jacob was sort of a pest, being that he was in the seventh grade.
"Yeah, Jacob misses you too," Quincy said. "He wouldn't even shut up about it."
Allie giggled and said, "Why, thank you, Jacob."
Just then, Alexandra came out to the backyard and said to Allie, "We also have another surprise for you..........a welcome home barbecue!"
"Gee, you really went all out for me, huh?" Allie said, amazed.
Paul came out, holding a tray of hamburgers and hot dogs. "We wanted to surprise you with an early Fourth of July celebration," he said. "Hope you don't mind." He gave her a wink.
And at that moment, Allie joined in on the fun, which was especially for her. The music started playing, everyone else began diving into the food, and Allie went inside to quickly change into her swimming suit so she could take a splash inside her own pool, which she hadn't been able to do for a whole month. It was a great day for all of them.
Allie had started her beach club on the Fourth of July at the beach and invited everyone from school, especially all the teenagers who lived around the block. Even grown-ups were welcome to visit for a while and family members as well, but it was mostly open to all the teenagers and younger children. There were stands of free snacks and refreshments, and beverages, a tanning booth, music playing on the radio, beach chairs, a volleyball net, and umbrellas where you could relax under, and just read or something.
Betty Jane, Laura, and Mary-Anne were sunbathing, and everyone else was playing in the water, having snacks, playing volleyball, and doing their own thing. Allie was helping herself to refreshments when Quincy came over and gave her a little surprise and said, "Gee, Allie, this is a really swell beach party that you've put together."
"Why, thank you, Quincy," she said. "You're all welcome to come over whenever you feel like it."
"It definitely beats going away to camp for a while, huh?"
Allie chuckled. "Not even close."
Just then, Jacob came over to pour himself some milkshake. He waved to Allie and said, "Hey, Allie. Neat party you're throwing here."
"Thanks, Jacob," she said.
"You need help pouring your milkshake?" Quincy asked him.
"Nah, it's okay; I got it," said Jacob.
"You're welcome to have some snacks too," Allie said to him. "They're all free, so you don't have to worry about having money or not."
"Ah, I'll be back for some more," Jacob said, then grabbed his milkshake and went about his own way.
"He's a really nice kid," Allie said to Quincy.
"Try living with him at home. Trust me, Allie, it's impossible---with an I.M. possible." And Allie just laughed.
Quincy poured himself a scoop of fruity-flavored ice cream and went to sit underneath an umbrella to relax himself. Jacob then came up to him and sat next to him on the ground. He said, "Quince, I wanna talk to you."
"What do you want?" Quincy asked.
"Forgive my curiosity, but how do you talk to a girl the same way you talk to Allie?"
"What does that mean?" asked Quincy. And then it hit him---his little brother was crushing on a girl.
"Well, you see, there's this one---her name is Judy, short for Judith, and......." Jacob pointed to a girl with long brown hair styled into pigtail braids who was sitting by the water, just staring into the ocean. "She's that girl over there."
"You think she's pretty, huh?" said Quincy with a small smile.
"Pretty much. She's the new girl in my class, and all the boys think she's really something---and I mean something! And I can't even talk to her. So I wanna know, how do you do it with Allie?"
"Well, you see, Jake, Allie and I have known each other for quite a long time now," said Quincy, "and you know, she's not that hard to talk to. If you can make her laugh, then you can do anything. Making girls laugh is always a starter, 'cause you know, then she'll become more drawn to you and all that other stuff. And just talk to her about anything she knows, you know."
"Like what, really?"
"Like you know, what her favorite color is, and stuff. Get to know her a little bit, then you tell her about yourself, and whatever, you know? But you must remember to be a good listener. Girls don't like it when guys go on and on about themselves. She'll think you're a narcissist."
"Yep, got it," said Jacob. After a moment's pause, he asked, "What exactly is a narcissist?"
"You know, one who's stuck-up and such."
"Kinda like you sometimes?" Jacob smiled.
"You got that right, buddy."
"Anything for you, Jake."
Everyone stayed at the beach until 10:00 in the evening, where they all watched the fireworks, and Allie and Quincy shared one of their passionate kisses underneath the bright, colorful explosives, marking the sixth anniversary since the beginning of their story. And for the rest of that summer, Allie manned her beach club whenever she could, and even invited her parents and some other grown-ups and neighbors, relatives, as well this time. Then pretty soon, it was the start of junior year. Everyone couldn't stop talking about Allie's amazing beach club over the summer, and within that first week of school, Allie had gained instant popularity for creating the best summer ever for all of them.
Betty Jane was sending out invitations to everyone for the Halloween party at her house on that Thursday evening. Without hesitating for a minute to think, most people accepted the invitation, especially Allie. She said, "As long as Quincy's invited, then so am I."
When Halloween arrived, all everyone could talk about was the party at Betty Jane's house. Allie couldn't wait for the party tonight, as she wanted to go with Quincy. However, there seemed to be one minor problem.
Quincy met up with Allie that day after school before she could stay for the book club, and said, "Hey, Allie, I wanna talk to you before you go."
"Okay, sure. What is it?" she said.
"I'm really sorry, but I don't think I can make it to the party tonight at Betty Jane's."
"Really? Why not?"
"I promised my folks that I would take Jacob trick-or-treating with his friends, and I don't wanna risk getting into trouble for letting an almost-fourteen-year-old go wandering off by himself so late in the evening. I hope you understand."
Allie seemed disappointed but tried not to show it. "I was really looking forward to spending this night with you."
"I know, Allie. I'm really sorry. I could bribe someone to take little Jake and his friends trick-or-treating........but I'm not really that conniving, you know what I mean?" He chuckled, and so did Allie.
"It's okay, Quincy," she said. "I understand. I guess some things are just much more important than spending quality time with the girl that you truly like." She tried not to sound a little cynical, and without another word, headed off to the book club. Quincy knew right then that he'd blown it with her.
That evening at around 7:00, most people started showing up to Betty Jane's house. Laura and Mary-Anne were already there, dressed up as Mary Ann Summers (Mary-Anne) and Ginger Grant (Laura) from the television show, Gilligan's Island. Alexandra was driving Allie over to Betty Jane's house. Allie was dressed up as Snow White.
Once they arrived at the front of the house, Alexandra said to Allie, "Well, Snow White, you know the rules of partying---no drinking excessively, and no doing anything you aren't allowed to do."
"And let me guess---mind my manners, right?" added Allie. She chuckled.
"Correct. Manners are everything, Allie. Anyway, good luck and have fun, and arrive home as soon as you can."
"Thanks, Mama. Love you," Allie gave her mother a hug, and her mother gave her a kiss on the cheek.
"Love you too. Have fun," Alexandra said and then drove off. Allie rang the doorbell, and Betty Jane answered the door for her.
"Welcome, Allie," said Betty Jane, who was dressed up as Tinkerbell. "You're just in time for the fun."
Allie tried to look as cheery as possible, despite still being disappointed that Quincy couldn't make it to the party. An hour into the party, Allie suddenly caught the sight of Quincy with Jacob and his three friends. Quincy was dressed up as a vampire. She made her way through the crowd to Quincy, and said to him loudly enough, "I thought you said you couldn't make it tonight."
He replied back, "Well, I worked out a simple solution---bring Jake and his friends over so we can still have fun together tonight."
"Aw, you did that for me?" She smiled.
"Yes, Allie. I couldn't bear to let you down."
"You're the best." She reached out to give him a hug.
"Careful, my fangs," he said playfully, and she laughed and gave him a playful punch on the shoulder.
Jacob said to Quincy, "I thought you said I was gonna receive some candy here."
"Let me make a deal with you, little squirt," Quincy said. "I'll pay you ten bucks if you promise not to tell Mom and Dad that I brought you here."
"Twenty," said one of Jake's friends.
"Oh, what the heck? Thirty," Jacob said.
"Fine, thirty it is," said Quincy.
"Deal." Jacob shook hands with Quincy. "Deal. I'll keep my mouth shut."
"Good boys," Allie said with a laugh.
Quincy shrugged. "Ah, I wouldn't exactly say good........." He trailed off as he and Allie started kissing.
For the rest of that evening, everyone was having a real blast. The music was loud enough, and every fifteen minutes or so, Betty Jane received visits from trick-or-treaters. And most of the time, the music was so loud, she couldn't tell when she had visiting trick-or-treaters. Some of the guys were drunk, such as Quincy's friends, for one instance. Allie and Quincy decided to share a moment to themselves up in Betty Jane's room, which Allie noticed looked a little different since the last time she'd been to Betty Jane's house.
"Wow, she got her walls painted pink," Allie said.
"You're a good observer," Quincy said.
"I've been to her house for a sleepover once, back in middle school. It was me, her, and Mary Beth."
"Sounds like quite a long time, huh?"
"Yeah, I suppose." Allie sat on the bed and smiled to herself.
"You were friends with Mary Beth?" asked Quincy.
"She wasn't too bad. She seemed to be the more mature one, out of her and Esmeralda."
"So I've heard."
"I've heard from Betty Jane that she, Esmeralda, attended boarding school and now Catholic school. All the way in San Francisco."
"Have you ever heard from Mary Beth yet?"
Allie shook her head. "Not in such a while. I hope she's doing okay."
"She probably is," said Quincy. He sat down next to Allie on the bed, wrapped his arm around her for a minute, and said to her softly, "You look very stunning tonight for a Snow White."
"Why, thank you," she said. "And for a vampire, you don't look too bad yourself."
And at that moment, they kissed. They kissed for what seemed a really long time, which was as passionate as their kiss on the Fourth of July. They shared a beautiful, erotic moment. Allie took off her Snow White shoes, and he took off his shoes and now were lying on the bed, embracing their moment even more. He felt her legs, which were creamy white and smooth as a baby's skin. After that moment of silence, she said softly, "This is the best night I've ever had. I knew I wouldn't be here without you."
"And I could say the same thing," he said.
Suddenly, the door opened, and Betty Jane turned on the light and gasped when she saw Allie and Quincy sharing their moment on her bed. She was very surprised to see them, and they were also surprised to see her.
"Whoops," Allie said. "I guess I better put on my shoes right now."
"Betty Jane!" Quincy said, trying to act surprised. "What a........surprise."
"Oh, I'm so sorry!" she said. "I didn't even know you two were up here. I came up here to find you and let you know that we're getting ready to bob for apples downstairs, if you two wanna join. But I can see that you two lovebirds are doing something really important right now." She had an amused look on her face.
"It's okay, Betty Jane," said Allie. "We'd love to come downstairs, but in a minute. Quincy and I will just watch."
"Yeah, there's nothing that screams fun more than apple bobbing," Quincy said.
"Yeah, I'm not gonna risk choking on a piece of fruit," Allie said with a chuckle.
"Well, great." Betty Jane said. "It starts in three minutes. Something worth taking pictures of." She giggled and then went back downstairs.
"Well, shall we?" Allie asked Quincy as she put her shoes back on.
He grabbed her hand and said, "We shall." And they went back downstairs to watch the apple bobbing.