Chapter 1 ~ ’Can We Go?’
Emilie Cherveaux, Joy Hailey, and Katherine Lark stood before Emilie’s mom one sunny California day in the Cherveaux kitchen.
“Mommy, please can we go on a camping trip?”
Mrs. Cherveaux had always found it hard to refuse her only daughter, also because she was the youngest of eight; all were boys except for her.
“Will someone be going with you?” Mrs. Cherveaux asked.
Joy looked at Katherine and Emilie and answered slowly, “Not at the moment, Mrs. Cherveaux.”
“We hadn’t thought that far ahead yet,” Katherine put in honestly.
Emilie thought for a moment, then her face lit up happily.
“What if we ask Matthew to come with us?” she asked her mother excitedly. Matthew was Emilie’s favourite brother who was nineteen.
Katherine quickly added, “And Adrienne Lesching.”
Emilie looked pleadingly at her mother, “Would that be alright, Mommy? Please?” Mrs. Cherveaux thought for a while. Matthew and Adrienne were both very reliable and she could trust the two to take care of her little girl. A small smile played on her lips.
“Yes, you may go on a camping trip as long as Adrienne and Matthew can go with, alright?”
Emilie hugged her mother tightly. “Oh thank you ever so much, Mommy!”
Joy and Katherine each gave Mrs. Cherveaux a hug in gratitude and said in unison, “Thank you, Mrs. Cherveaux!”
The girls ran out of the house and hopped on their bikes and rode down the street. At Adrienne’s house Emilie almost fell off her bike in her excitement to tell Adrienne. She ran to the Lesching’s front door,
“Adrienne!!” Emilie knocked on the door. She was literally doing a happy dance on the front steps. Adrienne opened the door to see three happy faces on the doorstep.
“Adrienne, we want to go on a camping trip, but Mrs. Cherveaux said someone older had to come with us and she said if you could, and it was alright with you parents, you and Matthew could be our chaperones. Can you do it?” Katherine burst out.
Joy added, “Please would you?”
All Emilie did was stare pleadingly at Adrienne who smiled at them.
“For how long?” she asked.
“A week” Katherine answered.
Adrienne stood quietly for a moment before ducking inside for a couple minutes. When she reappeared she asked, “When do you want to leave?”
Emilie looked at Joy and Katherine who nodded at her. “Tomorrow afternoon, about one o’clock.”
Adrienne grinned at them. “It’s settled! Go find your brother and ask him!”
“But don’t you have ballet?” Joy paused.
“Not this week, I have a break.”
The girls ran to their bikes whooping with joy, Adrienne grinned after them and then she went inside.
“Matthew! Matthew!” several voices called his name from outside the shop. He walked outside and found his sister and her friends sitting on their bikes.
“Mom said we could go on a week-long camping trip, but she said we needed chaperones and we asked her if you could be and she said yes.”
“We’re gonna leave tomorrow afternoon,” continued Joy.
“And Adrienne is coming with us too!” added Katherine.
Matthew frowned “Girls, I’m sorry, but I have to work next week.”
“What?” Emilie looked deflated.
“Matthew, you can go, I was going to give you the week off anyways.”
Matthew turned around, “Are you sure Gramps?”
“Yes I’m sure, son. Now hand me that grease towel and run on home with the girls, and don’t to forget remind your mother that it’s dinner at your house tonight.” Their grandfather winked at Emilie.
Matthew handed his grandfather the towel and hurried after the girls.
Emilie waved at him, “Goodbye Gramps! Thanks for letting Matthew off!” He waved back at her.
“So girls, what’s the plan?”
“We’re gonna go shopping for food this afternoon, pack tomorrow morning, and leave at one o’clock” Emilie replied as she skipped along with her bike.
“We’re gonna sleepover tonight too!”
“We’re coming after dinner” added Joy happily,
Matthew asked them, “How are you going to shop if you’re riding your bikes?”
Katherine answered him, “Your mom’s taking us.” Emilie nodded in confirmation.
Matthew walked over to Emilie, “I still can’t believe you’re old enough to go on camping trips.”
Emilie laughed, “I am fourteen.”
Matthew smiled, “You’ll always be little to me.”
Joy and Katherine laughed at him.
“What?” he cried, “What’s so funny?”
At the Cherveaux’s house the girls dropped their bikes on the ground and ran after him. Matthew turned around and tried to tickle all three of them, but only succeed in getting Emilie.
“Okay that’s enough, us girls have us some shopping to do or we will be late for dinner. Matthew, it’s a casserole so please put it in around five o’clock.” Mrs. Cherveaux walked over to the girls and gently pulled Emilie, Katherine, and Joy up from the ground. “At 350 degrees alright?” she looked at Matthew.
He nodded his head and winked. “Yes Ma’am.” He turned and walked inside.
“Matthew!” Mrs. Cherveaux continued.
“Yeah Mom?” he stuck his head out the door,
“Aden and Angelo will be home soon from work.”
“Alright girls off we go!”
“Wahoo!” the girls raced to the car.