Authors: Cylin Busby
“We weren't helping,” Heather starts to explain. But Mrs. Bulow puts her hand up. “No excuses! Let's go inside and call your parents to come and get youâyou're both going home, and possibly facing a suspension from school as well.” As she leads the way back into the lodge, you take one look back at the van, stuck in the ditch. Maybe you should have gone to karaoke instead!
Want to try this night over again? Go back to Chapter 39.
When you show up to meet Alex for sledding, you're so embarrassedâthe only snowsuit they had left at the rental shop was two sizes too bigâ and in bright orange!
“Wow,” Alex says when he sees you. “That looks, um, warm.” He grins at you and pulls a hat down over his spiky hair.
“Please don't say anything,” you beg him. “It was the last one they had.”
“I can see why,” Alex jokes. “Seriously, though, as long as you're warm, that's all that counts.” He picks up the toboggan and leads you over to the side of the bunny trail, where along, slow hill descends in front of you.
“Hey, this is perfect for sledding,” you say, noticing that the outside lights are snapping on as the sun goes down.
“Even better for
sledding,” Alex says, putting the sled down. He climbs on and motions to you to join him.
“On the same sled?” you ask.
Alex nods. “Come on.”
You sit down in front of him on the sled and he goes to put his arms around you. “I don't really like small girls anyhow,” he jokes, struggling to get his arms around your puffy snowsuit. You glare at him over your shoulder, but suddenly the sled moves and you're racing down the hill. “Whoo-hoooo!” Alex hoots close to your ear, and holds your waist tighter. You love the way his strong arms feel around you as the sled skids to a stop.
“That was great, let's do it again!” you cheer. “Now for the hard part,” Alex says, standing and pointing up the hill.
“We have to walk back up?” you ask. “Yup. And I think I need something to fortify me,” he says, and before you can say anything he leans in for a quick kiss, touching your lips softly.
When he pulls away, he looks into your eyes for a second and pushes your hair back from your face. “I think I can safely say that you are the first girl in a giant orange snowsuit that I have ever kissed,” Alex laughs, taking your hand and leading you back up the hill. And you think you can safely say that night sledding is your new favorite sport!
That night, you feel like you still can't get warm, so you bring a big blanket down to the lodge fire and curl up under it. Everyone around you is chatting, eating popcorn, and having fun talking about the day out on the slopesâexcept for you. You're still too bummed that you wore your jeans skiing, and that you were too embarrassed to go sledding with that adorable guy Alex when he asked you. You've decided that tomorrow morning you're going straight to the rental shop to get a snowsuitâno matter what it looks like. You're not about to ruin your whole trip over some fashion trauma! Who cares what you look like on the slopesâyou came to have fun!
“Hey, what are you thinking about?” you hear someone say, pulling you from your thoughts. It's Alex, looking so good in a dark sweater that matches his eyes.
“Oh, I was justâ¦,” you start to say. “You're still cold?” he asks, sitting next to you and taking your hand in his.
“A little bit,” you admit shyly. “Hey, I thought you were going night sledding?”
“I was, but the girl I wanted to go with blew me off.” He grins at you.
“I'm sorry, honestly, I was just thinking about that,” you tell him. “If you want to know the truth, I just didn't want you to see me in a big dorky rental snowsuit.” You look down at your blanket, too embarrassed to look at him.
“Why? You're so cute, who would even notice what you're wearing?” he asks softly. “So, tomorrow night?”
“You're giving me a second chance?” You smile. “As many chances as it takes,” he says, putting his arm around your shoulders. You smile and curl up under your blanket. For the first time all day, you finally feel toasty warm!
When you meet the guys down at the rental shop, you can't believe how lucky you are! Mitch looks amazing in his blue snowboarding jacket that matches his eyes, and his friend Travis isn't bad-looking either, with his super-short buzz cut and cool sunglasses.
“Hey, guys,” you say loudly, and waveâyou want all the girls in the shop to know that these hot guys are with you!
“You know what size board you need?” Travis says, looking over at you.
“I bet the Burton Fifty-six would work,” Mitch says. “I don't know, a lot of girls like to use a kid's boardâsofter flex, easier to trick onâ¦.”
You look at the two of them like they are speaking some foreign language.
“What do you usually use?” Mitch asks you. “You
snowboarded before, right?”
You answer him honestly and say:
“Yes, I've snowboarded before.”
When you get down to the rental shop with Heather, you're still a tiny bit bummed that you turned Mitch down. Oh well, maybe you'll get a chance to see him later, and you know better than to choose a guy over your friends!
“Hello, ladies,” a guy behind you says to Heather. “What's your poison today?”
“Huh?” Heather looks at him blankly. “He means are you skiing or snowboarding,” the guy's friend says.
“Oh, we're skiing,” Heather says. “What about you guys?”
“I'm snowboarding,” the redheaded guy says, “but my wimpy friend here is skiing. You want to go ski with these girls?” he teases.
“I wouldn't mind,” the blond-haired guy says. “Hi, I'm Jim, and you'll have to excuse my friend here, he doesn't get out much.”
“Well, you can join us if you want to. We're just renting some ski clothes, then we're going to hit the slopes,” Heather says.
You're next in line, and the girl behind the counter says, “What size are you? Shoe size, too, if you need boots.”
And you're suddenly horrifiedâyou don't want to say your size in front of these cute guys! You're so embarrassed!
You make up an excuse to step out of line.
You decide to just say itâyou have to get your ski stuff!
“I'm sorry, I just can't,” you tell Travis, and he backs away from you.
“That's okay,” he says. “I get it.” “It's just that Iâ¦,” you start to explain, but Travis puts his hand up. “Don't worry about it, I'll get out of your way once we're off the chairlift.” He looks so glum.
When the lift stops, you hop off and head over to meet Mitch, and Travis heads for another trail without saying anything to you.
“Okay,” you hear yourself sayâand can hardly believe you're going to do it! “Just let me grab my stuff and I'll meet you downstairs.” You can't really feel too bad about it, after all, he
like you firstâeven Heather knows that!
When you get back to the room to grab your coat, Heather gives you a confused look. “Where's Mrs. Bulow?” she asks you. “You couldn't find her?”
“Ohâ¦right,” you start to say. You forgot all about the bed, and trying to find Mrs. Bulow.
“Where are you goingâoutside?” Carrie asks, pointing at your jacket.
“Actuallyâ¦” You think fastâwhat can you tell them? Do you tell the truth, that you're going to meet Dan, or make something up?
You decide to make something up.
You want to tell Heather the truth.
“I know how to snowboard,” you tell Mitch, but inside you're secretly hoping that you're good enough to keep up with him and Travis. After you pick up your rental board, the three of you head over to the chairlift. When it's your turn to get on the chair, Mitch steps up beside you, leaving Travis behind. This will be the first time you've been alone with Mitch in months, and you can feel your heart start to beat fast!
“I'm glad you decided to come with us,” Mitch says. “I know you had plans with your friends and everythingâ¦.” He looks down, and his brown hair falls over his eyes.
You're glad, too, but you don't know what else to say, so instead you just point out the skiers on the slopes below you. “I love the chairliftâthis is my favorite part. Just being up here, looking out over the mountain and everythingâ¦” You feel like you're rambling.
“Yeah, I know what you mean,” Mitch says, catching your eye. When it's time to jump off the chairlift, you silently hope that you can get your
back foot into your board and not look like a total amateurâand you do it on the first try! “Nice,” Mitch says, noticing. “That's not easyâyou really have snowboarded before.”
When you reach the snowboarding trail, he asks, “You want to lead?”
“Sure,” you say. But once you get started, you wish he had gone first, so that you wouldn't feel his eyes on your back, watching your every move. You try to build up some confidence as you make smooth S-curves down the mountain, and you're careful not to grind too muchâyou know how annoying it is to board behind someone who's totally chewed up the snow.
When you reach the bottom, Mitch slides up beside you. “You're really good!” he says, grinning, and you can tell he's impressed. “Hey, let's race the next run.”
You want to say yesâand you're pretty sure you can keep up with himâbut do you really want to race against your crush? What if you win, and he's a sore loser? Or worse, what if you totally wipe out and make a fool of yourself?
You say yes to the race with Mitch.
You'd rather not race against your crush.
“Actually,” you have to admit, “I've never snowboarded before.”
“Oh great,” Mitch says. “You're just going to slow us down then.” He looks angry, and you're so hurt. You thought he wanted to hang out with you!
“I can help you,” Travis says. “Let's rent a board and I'll give you a quick lesson,” he says. Your eyes meet his for a second, and you feel your face getting warm. Why is he being so nice to you?
“I don't know,” you say, “I don't want to keep you guys from having fun. My friend was telling me about this ski lesson that she was going to take, so maybe I'll just rent some skis and go join her,” you tell him.
“It's not a big deal,” Travis says, shrugging. “Really, don't listen to him,” he adds in a whisper. “Everyone has to learn sometime, right? Why not now?” You're about to say something back to Travis when Mitch cuts in.
“Come on, if you're going, let's do it. I don't want to miss out on any more slope time,” he says.
You look from Mitch to Travis. What is going on here? You wanted to spend time with Mitch, but he's being a real jerk, and Travis is being so sweet. Taking a lesson from him would probably be a lot of fun, and you do want to get to know him better. But he's your crush's best friend! You feel really confused. Maybe this whole snowboarding thing is just a recipe for disaster? Maybe you should just forget these two and go join Heather at the lodge ski lesson?
If you decide to say goodbye to the guys and head to the ski lesson, go to Chapter 23.
If you'd rather stay with them and snowboard, go to Chapter 61.
“Oh, Iâ¦umâ¦have to go to the bathroom,” you say suddenly, and dash out of the rental shop.
“Hey, wait!” Heather yells after you, but you keep going. You just couldn't say your size in front of those guysâit's too embarrassing! After a few minutes in the bathroom, you go back into the shop, but your friends have already picked up their stuff and gone. You get back into the lineâwhich is now really longâand call Heather on her cell.