Authors: Cylin Busby
“Hiâyou must be looking for Tom,” he says. “Tom?” you ask, then remember that's what people call him at his new school. “Um, right.”
“Yeah, you're the girl from the hallway,” the guy says. “I'm Travis. Come on in.” When you walk into the room, the first thing you notice is piles of skiing and snowboarding equipment all over the place. These guys are definitely not neat freaks!
“Hey!” Mitch says, obviously happy to see you. “I hope you're not still locked out,” he jokes. You look into his dark blue eyes for a second and feel funny, like you can't breatheâthe same way you used to feel last year every time you two hung out.
“Naw, we finally got into our room,” you say, looking away fast.
“Cool, so go grab your stuff and come ski with me and Travis,” Mitch says, picking up his hat and gloves. “We'll meet you at the chairlift in ten?” he asks.
“Umâ¦” You think for a second. You came to find out if Mitch really has a girlfriend, but you don't feel comfortable asking him with Travis standing there. Plus, you did tell the girls that you'd ski with them. But maybe if you ski with Mitch, you can find a way to talk later? Finally, you say:
When you're getting changed into your ski clothes with Molly and Sierra, you can't believe the amazing outfits they brought to ski in.
“Wow, you guys are serious,” you say, looking them over when they're suited up.
“You like it?” Molly says, spinning around in her fitted red-and-black snowsuit. “I think Sierra's is way cooler,” she admits, pointing to Sierra's fitted white suit with a big black belt.
“Come on, get ready and join us!” Sierra says, pulling a puffy white hat down over her dark, pixiecut hair. She looks adorable!
“I don't know, you guys, I was just going to rent a snowsuit. I don't think you're going to want to be seen with me!” you laugh.
“Why rent? I have an extra jacket that would fit you,” Sierra says, digging through her huge duffel bag. In a minute, she pulls out a funky silver jacket and tosses it to you. “Try it on!”
You slip into the jacket and look in the mirror. It's short and fitted, coming only to your waist, with
a high collar that hugs your neck as you zip it up.
“Hot!” Molly says. “You
You do look pretty goodâwho wouldn't in this thing? It probably cost a fortune! “This is too nice to wear skiingâ¦,” you start to say to Sierra.
“Please,” she says, “I have, like, five more at home.”
And Molly nods to you, mouthing the word “rich” when Sierra can't see.
“So what do I wear with it?” you ask, looking down at your jeans.
“Those look good,” Molly says. “But you might get cold.”
find any rental ski pants to match that jacket,” Sierra says, pointing out the obvious. “So just wear your jeans. You look hot. And that's what matters!”
You know that you would be warmer wearing a snowsuit, but the jacket does look cool. And who knows, maybe you'll run into Mitchâor Zacâon the slopes. You think for a minute, thenâ¦
You race down the hall to Mitch's room, and knock on the door. A tall guy with buzz-cut short dark hair answers. “Hi,” he says, smiling down at you. “Do I know you?”
“Oh, I'm a friend of Mitch'sâis he here?” you ask, out of breath.
“Who is it?” Mitch says, coming around the door. When he sees you, his face lights up and he grins. “Hey, what's up?”
“I need, well, we need some help, in our room,” you start to explain. “There's this bed thingâ¦.” You feel yourself getting all tongue-tied again.
“A bed thing?” Mitch's roommate says, laughing. “Maybe I can help!”
Mitch smiles. “I've got it, Travis,” he says, then turns to you. “Lead the way.”
Your face is so red at this point, you can hardly look at him as you walk back to your room. “It's called a Murphy bed,” you say quietly. “It's, like, in the wall.”
When you get to your room, the door is openâ and Heather and Carrie are sitting on the Murphy bed! “We did it! There was a latch at the top that needed to be unhooked,” Carrie explains.
“Hey, Mitch!” Heather says. “So cool to see you!”
“Well, I guess my work here is done,” Mitch jokes, then he turns to you. “My friend Travis and I are about to go snowboardingâdo you want to come with us?”
You look over at Heather and Carrie, who are busy pretending that they aren't listening to your conversation with Mitch. You were about to go skiing with them, and you know it would be rude to blow them off for a guy. But then again, you haven't seen Mitch in monthsâand you would love to catch up and hang out with himâ¦.
You go down the hall to search for Mrs. Bulow, and on your way, you run into DanâHeather's crush.
“Hey,” he says. “How's your room?” “It's good, but we've got this problem. I'm looking for Mrs. Bulow; have you seen her?”
“No,” he says, leaning against the wall, “but I'm glad I ran into you.” He grins.
“Why?” you ask him, confused. “Is there something you needed?”
“Sort of,” he says, and pushes his blond hair back from his face. “I just wanted to say that I still think you're really beautiful, and I still like you. I can't help it.”
You're shocked. “I thought you had a crush on Heather,” you say to him.
“Not really, I mean, honestly, I just started hanging out with her to get closer to you, and then she sort of started liking me, soâ¦” He looks up at you. “Look, I feel like you've never really given me a chance. I know we had that one dateâ”
“I wouldn't call that a date!” you laugh,
remembering the day you went to a movie with him.
“Yeah, that movie
really terrible,” Dan laughs. “But we still had fun, right?”
“I don't knowâ,” you start to say, but he cuts you off.
“I'm ready to give it another chance”âhe looks at youâ“to give
another chance. If you are.”
You remember, for a split second, how you used to feel about him, when you first met. What
go wrong between you two?
“Let's go skiing together, right now, just us. Let's hang out and see what happens,” Dan says.
“But I think Heather might really like you,” you argue.
“We'll deal with that later,” Dan says. “Come on, please? Just give me one chance, then I'll leave you alone.” He leans in close to you and touches your hair gently. It does seem like he's really into youâ could it be true that he was just using Heather to get close to you?
You look back over your shoulder to be sure that no one has seen you two together, then you decide:
You race back to your room, and throw on your ski clothes with a quick explanation to the girls. “Mitch asked me to meet him for skiing, so I'm going,” you say as you dash out the door.
“Have fun,” Sierra says in a sarcastic tone. You can tell that she doesn't like the ideaâmaybe he does have a girlfriend, but so what? It's not like it's a date or anythingâ¦right?
By the time you get downstairs, rent some skis, and get out to the chairlift, it looks like Mitch and Travis have been waiting awhile.
“What took so long?” Mitch says.
You don't know what to say, so you just shake your head. “Sorry.”
“The line is a mile long now,” Mitch sighs. “Let's just go to the T-bar,” he says, huffing over through the snow with his skis. But when you get to the T-bar, it looks scaryâyou're supposed to balance your entire weight on this metal bar and sit just right so that it pulls you up the mountain.
“I don't know about this,” you have to say. “What happens if I fall off?”
“It's not cool,” Mitch says seriously. “They have to stop the whole thing until you can get on again. So don't fall off.” He looks up to the front of the line impatiently.
“This line is long, too,” Travis points out. “I noticed,” Mitch says. You had forgotten what a grump he could be sometimes. This is one side of Mitch that you haven't missed at all. Suddenly, you're wondering if maybe you should have just gone skiing with the girls.
“If you're not into this, I'll wait on the chairlift line with you,” Travis says quietly. With his close-cut dark hair and deep brown eyes, he's handsome in an almost movie-star way.
You have missed Mitch, and you do want to spend time with him, but the T-bar is a little scary. Plus, it really seems like he's in an awful mood. But do you dare to ride the chairlift up with his friendâ some guy you hardly know?
“I love this jacket,” you tell Sierra. “But I think I might freeze my butt off.”
“Yeah, sometimes you have to pick being warm over looking hot!” Sierra laughs.
“I'm going to rent a snowsuit. See you guys in a few minutes,” you say. When you reach the lobby, you can already see the line for rentalsâit's really long! Ugh. After you've been waiting for a few minutes, someone comes up behind you.
“Hey there,” Zac says, shooting you a big metal grin. “Long line, huh?”
“Definitely makes me wish I had my own ski stuff,” you say, watching other kids make their way out onto the slopes.
“I'm not a good enough skier to have my own stuff,” Zac admits, walking forward as the line moves. “Actually, once I get my gear, I'm going over to take a ski lesson with that guy Bryce Karrâyou know him?”
“That name sounds familiar,” you say, racking your brain.
“He was in the Olympics a few years agoâhe didn't win the gold medal, but he's still really amazing,” Zac explains. “Hey, do you want to come and take the lesson with me? It's in half an hour. I think your friend Heather has signed up for it, too.”
“I'm supposed to meet Molly and Sierra once I get my stuff,” you say.
“Molly is a great skier,” Zac says. “Are you sure you'll be able to keep up?”
“I don't know,” you say. You don't want to be a drag.
“So come take this lesson with me instead,” Zac says. “We can hang out, or whateverâ¦” Suddenly, he starts getting all shy and silly.
You would like to hang out with Zac some more, but the slopes will be open for only a few more hours. If you take a lesson, you can kiss your chances of skiing with your friends good bye, at least for the rest of the day. So it's cutie Zac and the ski lesson, or hanging out with your new friends. You look over at Zac and tell him:
“I think I will borrow your jacket, if it's okay with you,” you tell Sierra.
“Of course! Borrow whatever you want,” Sierra says.
“Okay, let's go!” Molly grabs your hand and pulls you out the door. You stop off at the rental desk to pick up a pair of skis, then meet the girls outside at the chairlift.
“Can we all get on at one time?” Sierra asks the guy running the chairlift.
“Well, I'm not supposed to let more than two on,” he says, glancing around. “But okayâjust don't tell anyone!”
The three of you squish onto the chair, and as it pulls you up, suddenly you're over the mountain, looking down on everyone on the snowy slopes. You're having a blastâand you feel so sophisticated in Sierra's silver jacket. “This is so fun. Thanks for letting me stay with you guys,” you tell the girls.
Sierra puts her arm around your shoulders. “The
best ski trip ever!” she says. “Come on!” You all jump off the chairlift as it comes to a stop and make your way over to the head of an easy trail.
“We'll start slow, to warm up,” Molly explains, pulling her ski goggles down over her eyes. She pushes off and goes down the slope, and you follow. But it's not as easy as it looks. You feel your left ski pulling out, so you try to bring your foot back in andâ
âyour skis cross each other, and you go toppling over them!
“Nice one!” Sierra says, laughing. She slides to a stop and helps you get your ski boots hooked back on. “Okay?” she says when you're ready, and guides you down the mountain. It's amazingâ the cold air in your face, the feeling of being fast and light as you move over the snow. The only problem is that your jeans are soaked from your fallâand they're sticking to your legs with an icy grip.
“Yuck, my jeans,” you say, pointing them out to Molly when you two meet her at the bottom of the mountain.
“That looks uncomfortable,” Molly says. “Do you
want to go change?” You think about it for a second. You do want to be warmer, but you don't want to miss a second of the fun. Plus, you love this silver jacketâdo you want to have to give it up for a bulky snow coat?
“I'll try the T-bar,” you tell Travis. “How bad can it be, right?” you laugh.