Chapter 9

Taylor got up and looked around.
“Hey Phyllis, are you sure there’s enough room for all of us?” Taylor asked, looking at the hut.
“I don’t see why not.” Phyllis said.
“If there isn’t, I’ll sleep over against that tree.” She said, pointing.
“That’s not fair. If there isn’t enough room, I’ll sleep over there.” Taylor said.
“I’ll be fine.” She said and smiled. Zac made no hesitation to dive in and find a spot to curl up into a ball nearest the fire.
“I call dibs.” He yelled, raising his arm in the air. Taylor just looked at him sharply.
“What? I called dibs.” Zac said and made a funny face. Ike found a spot and lay on his back to get comfortable. Amanda found a corner and huttled into it and started to close her eyes. Taylor took the empty spot and sat there. He watched as Phyllis walked over to the tree and sat down, resting her head against the trunk of it. He didn’t want her to sleep out there by herself. He got up and walked over to the tree, as she was just about to close her eyes.
“Can I join you?” He asked.
“Go right ahead. But when you get tired, go sleep in the hut.” She instructed.
“Why don’t you take my spot?” He asked.
“I’m capable of sleeping out here.” She said.
“Aren’t you cold. You’re furthest from the fire.”
“I’ll be fine Taylor. Don’t be so concerned. If I can sleep in the same room as Amanda, I think I can sleep here.” She said sarcastically as she made herself more comfortable.
“I suggest you go and get your spot before Zac makes it his own.” She added.
“I just feel like sitting here for a moment.” He smiled.
“Whatever.” She said and closed her eyes.
“Uh…Phyllis?” Taylor quietly said.
“Call me Phyl, what?” She asked, not opening her eyes.
“Would you mind if we talked or are you tired?” He asked.
“I’m just resting my eyes, they’ve been bothering me lately.” She said and took her glasses off.
“I was wondering how old you were?” He said.
“Isn’t that funny, Zac was wondering the same thing.” She said raising her eyebrow but still with her eyes closed.
“We can play twenty questions.” She smiled.
“What’s the answer?” He asked.
“Take a wild guess.” She said.
“Uh…14?” He asked.
“That’s your second question and no, I’m not 14.” She said.
“Older?” He asked.
“That’s your fourth question and yes. I’m 16.” She said.
“16?” He was a little shocked. She sure didn’t look like it. She acted like it but he wasn’t sure if she wasn’t just mature for her age. She seemed to even act older than that.
“Next question Senor.” She said.
“Uh…Where are you from?” He asked.
“Nothing like hitting the hard ones.” She laughed.
“I’m from New York.”
“Okay…is Amanda your sister?” He asked. With that Phyllis started laughing hysterically.
“I take that to be a no.” He smiled.
“People seem to think we look like each other or something. I just don’t see it.” She said.
“Fourteen more to go.” She said.
“I don’t want to delve too much.” He said.
“Why? I’m game.” She smiled.
“Alrighty then.” Taylor said taking a deep breath.
“If only Zac was awake, he’d have some really hard questions to ask.” Taylor said.
“C’mon, I know you can come up with some hard ones by yourself. Hit me with a good one.” She said, moving slightly.
“C’mon, either come up with a question or go back to bed.” She smiled and opened one eye.
“How gross can I get?” He asked.
“That’s a question, thirteen more.” She said.
“I don’t care really.” She added.
“Uh…” Taylor stammered again.
“Hi there. Did I hear something about being ‘gross’” Zac said, walking over.
“Oh, hi.” Taylor said, wishing his brother really wasn’t awake.
“Your brother is trying to come up with some hard questions for me.” Phyllis said, opening her eyes. Zac plopped himself down immediately. He leaned over to Taylor and whispered in his ear.
“I’M NOT GOING TO ASK HER THAT YOU SICKO!” Taylor yelled in his face. Zac just smiled slyly.
“Repeat what he said.” Phyllis said, leaning in close.
“Uh…he uh…”
“Yes.” She said.
“Are you…uh…”
“Uh what?”
“uh…uh…virgin?” Taylor said almost inaudible and looked away. Color started to spread across his face and it felt hot to the touch.
“Say that again.” She said.
“I couldn’t hear that.” She added. By now, Zac was doubled over in hysterics at his brother’s embarrassment.
“Ha! He…Ha!…Wants to know…if your…a VIRGIN!” Zac said between laughter.
“I am.” Phyllis quietly said.
“Okay. I think you should go to bed now Zac!” Taylor said, grabbing Zac by the arm.
“HEY! I’m not tired.”
“Yes you are. Your EXHAUSTED!” Taylor said as he dragged Zac to the hut.
“I can’t believe you! I could murder you!” Taylor said, tightening his grip on Zac’s arm.
“Sorry, she didn’t seem to care. You wanted to know didn’t you?” Zac laughed.
“NO! GO TO BED!” Taylor said and let go of Zac’s arm. He walked back to where Phyllis was. She had a smile on her face astonishingly.

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