We sat around an old, faded brown picnic table trying to avoid getting splinters in our hands. The sun was hot on our backs and small beads of sweat emerged on our sunscreen covered shoulders. All of our faces were sporting huge, ear to ear grins; true, genuine smiles. Four of us laughing and talking about how amazing grade 6 was going to be.
Mikayla lifted her sunglasses into her curly brown hair that always seemed to be in her face. “I can’t wait for next week when we all go to camp and really have fun before school starts.” Her comment is followed by agreement and happy remarks from Holly and I who were both so excited to go to Dallas Valley. We started to share some stories of what we think would happen with great anticipation. Our smiles got bigger, if that was even possible. I looked over at Kylie, she was being oddly silent since she’s usually the one who never stops talking. She kept playing with her long blonde hair as if she was nervous and her face didn’t show the same smile as the rest of us. “What’s wrong Ky?” I asked. Holly gave her a playful elbow to the shoulder, “Yeah Kylie, you getting nervous and want to back out?” she said jokingly. We all gave out a little chuckle. Kylie just put her head down and continued to play with her hair. We all immediately stopped laughing and our emotions went from happy and carefree to concerned.
Kylie quietly gave us a response. “I can’t go anymore” she still didn’t look up at us. “Well why not?” Mikayla asked back to her as she put her sunglasses back over her hazel eyes. “My dad said we can’t afford it and that I have to stay home to watch my siblings while he picked up extra shifts to be able to pay the bills.” Kylie said, her eyes still glued down and her face starting to turn a light pink. We all went silent; nobody knew what to say. I had never had an issue like this, my parents never said anything to me about any financial problems and I was never denied the opportunity to do something I wanted. It seemed money was never a problem to me.
“Well then we all won’t go.” I said giving a little nudge to Mikayla sitting beside me. “Yeah Kylie we wouldn’t want to go without you” Mikayla chimed in. “You know what it probably wouldn’t be any fun anyways” Holly said to her. Kylie looked up and gave a little grin. “Thanks guys.”