Chapter Description: Matt has a change of attitude.
The trip started out just as I had expected.
Mom and Dad tried to make us sing songs in the RV on the seven hour trip to the middle of nowhere. When I tried to switch the radio to something not ’Happy playtime songs’, Mom yelled at me.
"That kind of music is not appropriate for children!" she said, as if I had killed someone. That must have been mortifying for Alex, being called a child. I didn’t realize at the time she was talking about me.
Alex had not talked to me for the whole ride. He sat by the window sulking. Mom and Dad made us leave our electronics at home, because "Thats not what camping is about". So, Alex just had to stare out the window.
Alex and I never really bonded as brothers. He was born when I was five, but I never wanted a brother. He annoyed me, went through my things, and he would never be interested in my interests. I blocked him out.
Finally, I akwardly tried to talk to him. "So... How is middle school?"
He looked up at me. "It’s ok, I guess. I’ve got straight A’s."
"That’s cool." I said. I was going to continue the conversation, but he got up and went to the bathroom.
I sighed. At least I tried.
I had expected the campsite to be in a campground, but it was in the middle of nowhere. There was nobody around us.
"Why don’t you boys take a swim in the lake?" said Dad. "Me and mom will make dinner."
"I’m fine." I said. "I would rather take a nap."
"Aw, c’mon sport." said Dad. "It’s not like your getting any younger"
Mom gave him a look. "Fine." I said. "C’mon Alex."
The ’Lake’ was more like a kiddie pool. Tons of little kids were jumping in and splashing around with their floats. I swam a few laps back and forth, trying to keep up my physique. Alex just sat reading a comic book.
The lake was doing wonders for my body. It was so refreshing, such a change of pace from the hot sun.
After a few minutes, I called out to Alex. "Water’s fine, come join me!"
"Nah." he called out. "I’m just going to put my feet in." I frowned. He needed to enjoy this with me.
I swam up to him and splashed him in the face.
"Hey!" He yelled. But he didn’t chase after me. He just got out, and began to walk home. What a party pooper.
When I got back to the trailer, Alex looked different, at least to me. He was asleep, but he had... I don’t know, changed. His features seemed rounder, his cheeks a little bit rosier.
"Let him sleep." said Mom. "Besides, don’t you have some summer homework to finish?"
I looked at the table, where there was a pamphlet that said "Grade 9 summer reading"
"I almost forgot!" I said. How silly of me. Wouldn’t want to start off high school on a bad foot!"
As I continued my reading, I vaguely heard mom and dad talking. I couldn’t quite hear them, but I wasn’t really listening anyway. I wish I had, but it wasn’t making sense to me.
"-So why hasn’t Alex regressed? Why only Matt?"
"it says here that ten minutes in the lake loses 1 year. Maybe he didn’t go in for long."
"well, we’ll make sure they both go in tomorrow. They’ll be toddlers again by nightfall"
I couldn’t really hear the rest, or care, because I fell asleep. I couldn’t wait for another day of camping!