World of Quiet Enlightenment
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Thursday, August 13, 2017

"My cousin is sleeping on the couch. So be as quiet as you can. If you want, you can use the shower in my mom's bathroom." Sylvester whispered as he quietly opened the door. Maya nodded and tiptoed into the master bedroom. Sylvester went to the fridge and started making two sandwiches.

He silently cursed himself when the sound of a plate touching the counter caused Cameron's eyes to pop open. Sylvester didn't say a word, but instead continued to make the sandwiches.

"Want one?" Sylvester asked as Cameron yawned and rubbed his eyes.

"No, thanks. The thought of eating food you've touched is terrifying." Cameron said as he got up and headed for the main bathroom.

"Suit yourself. And… aren't you going to close the door?" Sylvester said.

"Why? I'm only peeing."


Cameron finished his business and noticed that he could still hear water running even after washing his hands.

"Hey, Sylvester. Is your mom home?"

"No, why?"

"I hear a shower going. I was just curious."

Sylvester's eyes widened a bit as he tried to think of a way out of this situation.

"Uh… that's the next-door neighbor. He's a germaphobe and he showers four times a day."

"Well, okay then. So, is it weird being back home after being gone for so long? Especially after what happened."

"Not really. It's like nothing ever changed." Sylvester said as he put the finishing touches on the sandwiches. He heard the water stop and seized the opportunity. After waiting for a few minutes, he picked up the plate and headed for the master bedroom.

"I'll be watching TV in there. Mom blocks the good channels on my TV." Sylvester said before quickly going into the room.

"What a weirdo." Cameron said as he grabbed the living room TV remote and surfed around for something to watch.

"Here you go." Sylvester said as he handed the plate over to Maya. She happily started chowing down on the food as Sylvester sat there, thinking.

"You know, some of your stuff is still here. I'm going to see if I can find you something to wear. I'll be back in a second." Sylvester said as he quickly popped out of the room.

After closing the door to his mother's room, he just as quickly went into his room and closed the door. Cameron noticed this and shook his head.

"Totally a weirdo." Cameron uttered to himself as he continued to watch TV. After about three minutes, he found himself getting bored.

"I wonder what funny stuff Aunt Jodie keeps in her room." Cameron thought to himself as he was sure that Sylvester was going to be in his room for a good long while. He got up and opened the door to the master bedroom and was surprised when he heard a shriek.

Further north, two vans full of people were parked at a hotel in a small northern California town. Two men walked out of the front of the building and to the group.

"Okay, here's the room assignments. If you don't like them. You can trade. Kidding." Harlow said as he held up four room keys.

"Us grown-ups will take the double king room." Mr. Frasier said as he took one of the keys.

"Orson, you and Kenton can stay together. This will be fun." Harlow said as he handed Kenton a key. Orson sighed as quietly as possible.

"Olivia, you and Mia can share a room. Just don't get too crazy. The last time you two had a sleepover ended with my homeowner's insurance rates going up."

"Hey, how I was supposed to know that one can indeed light a toilet on fire?" Mia said as Harlow handed Olivia a key.

"I guess that just leaves you two to share a room." Mr. Frasier said as he handed Calvin a key.

"Actually, Toby, why don't you trade with me so it'll be me and Calvin in a room?" Orson said. Toby shook his head and glared at him.

"Come on, Orson. These two behaved on the ride and I think they'll be just fine together for a night." Mrs. Frasier said as she rustled her younger son's hair.

"Toby, can you give me a hand with this bag?" Olivia asked. Without hesitation, Toby walked over to the van and got it for her.

"Pup, help her friend with her bag." Orson commanded. Calvin blatantly rolled his eyes at his older brother.

"Calvin. Don't push me today." Orson sternly said.

"Come on, man. Don't be a prick." Toby said as he put a hand on Calvin's shoulder. Without another word, Calvin grabbed a bag and the two carried it to the girls' room in silence.

"Whew, that was a workout." Toby said as the two boys got their own bags and went into their own room. Calvin didn't say anything, but rather closed the door a bit rough, causing Toby to look at him with concern.

"Are you okay?" Toby asked his best friend.

"You have the nerve to call me a prick. You've been the one making me your bitch for the past week." Calvin said as he crossed his arms.

"I know… I know… I'm sorry..." Toby quietly said.

"I know that something is wrong. I want to know what's going on with you. I want to know if you're okay. You promised to not bottle up your problems when you came back from Boston, remember?" Calvin said as Toby sighed.

"I… I can't..." Toby said, completely ready to have a meltdown because he really needed to talk to somebody.

"Toby, please. Even if I can't help you, I don't want you to deal with whatever problem you're having by yourself. We're in this together, right?"

Without saying another word, Toby wrapped his arms around Calvin and whispered a single phrase in his ear. At hearing the potential news, Calvin's mouth dropped open.

"Oh… Oh… Oh no." Calvin said as they sat down on the edge of one of the beds.

"Please, please, PLEASE do not tell Orson. She doesn't know if she is or not. And if so, she's not going to tell him until we get back to Maine."

Calvin nodded and sighed. Toby put his arm around him.

"If she is… Orson is going to have to give up this internet thing and get a real job. They're going to need the money..." Calvin said, starting to freak out a bit.

"And that way of thinking is precisely why we're not going to tell him. Because he's got enough on his mind right now and he doesn't need this clouding his ability."

"But what about Arizona?"

"Like I said, if she is pregnant, she's going to tell him when we get home. So, we can at least enjoy this vacation together. Well, at least the ones who don't know."

Meanwhile, Kenton and Orson made their way to the room that they shared. Having his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend as a roommate was the last thing that Orson could have possibly wanted on this trip.

"Hey, thanks for taking care of Olivia." Kenton finally said, not sure how else to break the ice.

"She's a nice girl who takes care of herself. I almost feel bad because if this thing pans out, singers don't make very much money. It kind of puts a wrench in any future plans." Orson replied.

"I know the feeling. I remember when I told her that I wanted to be a professional basketball player. I had just started High School and I thought that I could rule the courts." Kenton said with a small laugh.

"And how did she react?"

"She didn't laugh. She didn't question it. She went to all of my games, up until she moved..."

"Well, that's good. She's been quite supportive of me doing this. So, are you still going for that?"

"Nah. I broke my ankle last year and decided that it was better to concentrate on my studies." Kenton said as he sighed.

"But it's nice to dream, isn't it?"

"Yeah. Back when you're younger, everything just feels like it's a dream. Then you grow up and you wake up into reality again."

Orson didn't have a response to that. He just sat back and smiled knowing that Olivia was indeed a supportive person.

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