They stood around the parked cars in the driveway of the corner house, waiting for some forthcoming moment. Three of them busied themselves with packing the cars, while the remaining person worked on the engine of a car. Five months ago, they occupied the same spot with a vague plan but an idea nonetheless. Within hours, their getaway would be the first step toward two weeks of unforgettable events.
Bryan, Rachel, Hillary, and Brett all held their own reasons to go on vacation for a couple of weeks. Overworked both physically and mentally, Bryan currently suffered from the most severe form of burnout, somewhat like a mid-life crisis in his early twenties. Rachel’s home life bred negativity and it sickened her to great lengths living in that way. In his current lifestyle of continual, never-ending work, Brett found nothing but misery and boredom in his company. Unbeknownst to the others, Hillary’s situation played out similarly to Bryan’s, but – as far as everyone was concerned – she simply wanted to experience something new. And of course, this trip meant spending quality time among friends for all of them.
“Okay, we all know that Bryan is going to be the first person in Denver, so why don’t we make him leave a few hours after the rest of us? I’m sure he’ll only beat us by an hour or two then.” One of the boys spoke.
From behind the raised hood of his car, Bryan looked around it at the comedian. “Brett, you are so hilarious. For your comedy, you get to help me check out Rachel’s car next. How’s that sound?” He disappeared behind the hood.
Rachel entered into the conversation. “All right, let’s stay focused here. We’re all packed, right? The cars are good to go. We’ll leave by noon, right?”
Bryan, Brett, and Hillary nodded.
“So tell me again why Carrie isn’t going?” Rachel questioned, looking over in Bryan’s direction.
Bryan stayed out of view. “Well, I don’t really have a great explanation for you, but she wants to spend this time with Chris. I’ll leave it at that.”
“Well, that means that you don’t have anyone to drive with, since you two always go wherever as a pair and nothing else. Are you going to be okay on your own?” Rachel asked with sympathy.
His response was quick. “Yeah, I’ll be fine.”
“Wait,” Hillary interrupted. “I’ll go with you. You’ll need someone to keep you awake for sixteen hours, right?” She gave Bryan a slight smile.
He thought for a moment and then said, “Sure, why not?”
About an hour before noon, the four friends checked everything for the final time before their departure. All of their bags were packed and in the cars; the cars were fueled up. The main drivers, Bryan and Rachel, were ready for the long haul. Beforehand, both had agreed to drive the entire distance from California to Colorado with only four or five quick stops along the way.
Five minutes before noon, the group gathered outside to head out. A familiar face greeted them just before they reached the vehicles.
Carrie stood calmly. “Hey guys, sorry I’m late. Am I still invited on the trip?” She looked directly at Bryan as she questioned the group.
Quickly, Rachel spoke up. “Yeah, put your things in my trunk.”
“I’m going to go with Bryan though.” She said as if Rachel had said something crazy.
This time, Bryan responded. “Actually, Hillary wanted to go with me. Since I thought you weren’t going with us, I said she could.”
Carrie hid her dismay, put her bags into Rachel’s car, and got in.
On the twentieth of December at noon, the five friends departed from their hometown for a destination that lay over a thousand miles away. Already, the trip had started on an unusual note.
Bryan drove onto the freeway with Rachel right behind him a few minutes after the two groups departed. As soon as both cars were up to the speed limit, Bryan turned to Hillary and smiled. “You haven’t driven with me before – like this, at least. Watch this.” He winked and floored the gas pedal.
His car, with its 300-horsepower engine, lurched forward. Within seconds, the car sped passed 100 miles per hour. Bryan didn’t stop there, however; a few seconds more and the car’s speed maxed out just above 150 miles per hour. He held that speed until Rachel and the others disappeared behind them.
Close to a minute later, Bryan slowed down to the speed limit and looked over at Hillary. He started to laugh because her eyes were closed shut and her hands were over them too.
“Hey, it’s over now. I promise.” Bryan continued to smile.
She moved her hands from her eyes, opened them, and looked at the freeway in front of them. “You are psychotic! How can you do things like that? We both could have died!” She was genuinely scared, so he changed his demeanor quickly.
“Hill, look at me…” When she did, he continued. “I’m sorry. I promise to never do that again, okay?”
She nodded her head and they continued along the freeway for quite some time before they spoke again.
In Rachel’s car, the other three members of the group were chatting away about general subjects. This was Rachel’s first time going out of state on her own; Brett wanted to try snowboarding. Soon, however, the topic of conversation switched to Carrie and why she decided to go after all.
“Well, Bryan invited me when he first started to plan this trip, and I agreed to go when he asked me.” Carrie explained. “I know he thinks we’re almost together or something like that, but I just don’t know. A few days ago, Chris asked me to stay in town and spend some time with him. I wanted to and then I changed my mind.”
Neither Brett nor Rachel had a response to Carrie’s explanation, so they changed the subject and continued driving.
Two hours of awkward silence passed from the speeding incident until Bryan and Hillary conversed again. He still felt dismayed for his actions, but he knew that the silence couldn’t last for forever.
She broke the silence with an explanation for her earlier display of fear. “Sorry for earlier – I just don’t like high speeds. My grandmother died in a car accident when someone who was speeding collided with her car. You know, her death just shook me up, so I get scared when people drive fast.”
Bryan didn’t know what to say. In somber situations, he never did fare too well, so he just continued to look straight ahead at the open highway.
Breaking the silence, Hillary spoke in more of a whisper, “Hey, Bryan…?”
“Hmm?” He didn’t expect her to say anything for awhile.
She took a deep, silent breath. “What is going on with you and Carrie?”
“Guys, let’s make our first stop soon. We need gas, right? We’ve been on the road for like four hours now.” Carrie disliked long drives.
Rachel didn’t want to. “If we stop this early, then Bryan and Hill are going to get there way ahead of us. I can’t let him get too cocky with his driving skills, now can I?”
Six hours after they had left California, Bryan pulled off the highway somewhat near the Nevada-Arizona border. The two friends abandoned their packed sandwiches and opted for an actual dinner at the first diner they could find.
Stepping out of the car first, Bryan met a wave of cold air that didn’t bother him, but he knew it would chill Hillary. He opened his trunk and pulled out the jacket that he planned to use in Colorado to protect himself from the snow. As soon as Hillary got out of the car, he walked behind her and placed it around her shoulders.
“Here, this will keep you warm.”
She looked at him with a half-smile. “Do you expect this to keep you warm when we get to Denver? This isn’t going to do a thing…you’ll freeze to death.”
“Thanks. Thanks a lot.” Bryan frowned and walked away toward the diner.
Although they stopped only briefly for gas earlier, Rachel assumed Bryan was too far ahead to catch up to. She unknowingly passed the exit he had taken only minutes before. Rachel, Carrie, and Brett continued along the highway toward their destination, still around ten hours away.
“To answer your question from before, there’s not a lot going on between us. Carrie has her little boyfriend Chris, so that puts me out of the picture unless something happens between them. That’s not a deal that I’m willing to accept. I guess she believes that she can still control me either way.” Bryan stated between bites of food.
Hillary swallowed her food and frowned. “Why do you let her do that to you in the first place?”
“Her and I have been great friends for a couple years now. It was inevitable that we would start being attracted to each other. I just don’t have it in me to just throw her out of my life.” Bryan sighed.
She flicked a French fry at his forehead, which hit its mark. “Hey, mister, don’t be like that or I’ll hurt ya.” She began to laugh.
Surprised, Bryan laughed too.
For the remainder of dinner, the two spoke very little. Prior to today, the two were not exceptionally close, more likely than not due to the fact that they were never alone together. They typically interacted when the entire five member group spent time together. Whatever the cause for their disconnectedness, it didn’t matter. For once, the two were spending time together.
With ten hours left in their drive and at least an hour behind Rachel and the others, Bryan and Hillary needed to continue with their drive. They got to know each other during the drive.
“You might be afraid of going fast, but I’m afraid of things going too slow. I figure that if I spend my life in an idle position, then I’ll never pick up speed to achieve anything. I guess I’m just self-destructive with certain things. I know how dangerous a habit it is to floor it and keep going.”
“Well, I’m here to stop you from doing anything stupid then. I think I can take ya. You’re not as tough as you might think.”
“Is that right? We’ll find out sooner or later.”
“Come on, Bryan. I’m a woman. Not only do I have intuition, but I’m intelligent too. That’s a lethal combination of traits, and you know it. I don’t think you can handle me.”
“Is that right too?”
Bryan started to laugh but became serious soon after. “Hill…?” Before she could answer, Bryan’s phone began to ring in the center console. He picked it up and looked at the caller ID.
He sighed and answered the call. “Hello?”
“You guys are already in Utah? No, we’re almost in Arizona…about an hour behind.”
“Sure, we’ll talk when we get to Denver.”
“Yeah, I’ll hurry up. See you in a few hours.”
He ended the call and looked at Hillary with a mischievous smile. Promptly, he slowed his car from 70 miles per hour to just under 60 miles per hour. Hillary smiled at him, and they continued driving.
Some hours later, Bryan received a second call – this time from Rachel.
“Don’t worry, Carrie and Brett are passed out. It’s just me on the line.” Rachel said in a soft tone.
Bryan responded. “Hillary’s out too. What am I supposed to do?”
“For the hundredth time, Carrie is using you and nothing more. You know that, I know that, and everyone knows that. She just seems to think that only she knows it.” Rachel was angry. “And you must also know that Hillary has a thing for you. I’m just surprised it took her this long to start showing it. Then again, Carrie has been in the way the entire time. Heck, she’s in the way of your life. Don’t get rid of her as a friend, but ditch her as anything more. In your mind, she might seem perfect, but in your brain, you know she’s like a poison to you. I can’t be anymore blunt about this. Bryan, you need to do this.”
He sighed. “I know about Hillary, but I don’t know what to do about her or Carrie. Rach, you know how long Carrie and I have been like this – a year is a long time, in my opinion. I can’t just throw away a year of my life from my memory. There were good times that outweigh the bad ones.”
“Carrie has Chris. Don’t ignore that fact.” Rachel countered.
Bryan frowned. “…You’re right…I’ll see you in a few hours.”
Slowly, Hillary opened her eyes and was surprised at the sight in front of her. The windshield of the car was completely covered in snow. Turning her head toward the driver’s seat, she realized that Bryan wasn’t there. A sense of panic gripped her but was soon soothed.
Bryan opened his door, sat down, and quickly closed the door before snow could flow into the car. In his hands, he held a cup of coffee that he handed to Hillary. “You won’t believe it, but – in Colorado – they have this white stuff that makes it pretty cold. They also make this warm drink that makes it pretty warm. I don’t know about you, but I am shocked.” He shot her a quick smile and turned on the car, driving away from the coffee house.
“How far are we from the place we’re staying at?” She questioned after taking a sip of the coffee.
Bryan shrugged. “We’re somewhere around two hours away. It’s six o’clock right now, so we’ll be there around eight o’clock, if we don’t get stuck in the snow.”
“That’d be horrible!” She half-shouted.
He faked a frown. “Because it would be so horrible being stuck in the snow with me, right? I know you’re pain. I’d hate to be stuck with me too, except I am all the time. I always have to be with myself. Wait, what?”
“Hush.” She said nothing more.
Bryan looked over at her and nonchalantly spoke, “Say, I have been awake for almost a day now, so I might not remember saying this after I pass out at the house for the rest of the day and most of the night. Would you like to go out for dinner, just the two of us, tomorrow night?”
“What about…” She began.
He cut her off. “What about who?”
He quickly responded. “I don’t know anyone by that name at the moment. No sleep – it kills the memory, you know.”
She ended the conversation without a word; she just smiled.
Far ahead of them, Rachel and the others had arrived at the house at seven o’clock. Rachel headed straight for a bed, while the other two began to unpack and set up their rooms. Soon after, Brett and Carrie lit the fireplace and continued on with other tasks.
It was a rather large house that belonged to a family friend of Brett’s. For some reason, they hated the snow but refused to move from Denver. They argued that relocating would be too much work, yet they did so every winter. In Brett’s and the others’ minds, it didn’t matter because they got the four bedroom home all to themselves for at least a week.
Slightly over an hour later, Bryan pulled up to the house and walked in with Hillary and their suitcases. None of their friends were in the den with the fireplace, but it still burned warmly. Hillary walked over to the couch and lay down, while Bryan walked through the house and looked for Brett.
Eventually, he found him in one of the bedrooms. “Brett, what’s the room arrangement?” He asked quietly for he knew that Rachel was sleeping somewhere in another room.
Brett responded in an amused tone. “Well, there are five of us and four rooms. Rachel demanded her own room, I want my own room, and Carrie wants to share a room with you. So here’s the deal: you get the main bedroom with Hill. She’ll sleep on the bed, and you’ll more than likely sleep on the ground.”
“I hate you guys sometimes.” Bryan feigned anger and walked back into the den.
As he walked over to the couch, Hillary sat up and gave him room to sit down.
“I guess we’re sharing the main bedroom for the next week.” He said as he took a seat. Exhausted from the drive, he stared into the steady blaze in the fireplace in front of him. “Well, I’m going to go and get some sleep in a few minutes. Do you need anything?”
“Actually, yeah.” She responded. “Can I borrow your car for like an hour? I want to go and look for some things.”
He stood up and headed for the bedroom. “Yeah, sure, but if something happens to my car, I will force you to sleep out in the snow the entire trip.” Bryan called from the hallway before he walked into the room and closed the door behind him.
As she grabbed his keys and walked out the door, Carrie walked out of her room. Sneakily, she headed for the master bedroom and tried to open the door. It was locked. Carrie frowned and headed into Brett’s room.
“Why is Bryan sleeping in that room? He’s supposed to be with me.” She stated.
Brett’s answer didn’t please her. “Well, I decided that he and Hillary should share that room. Plus, it has the most comfortable bed and he drove all day and night and morning to get here. He deserves it.”
“Why are they so close all of a sudden?” Carrie was angry. “They barely talked to each other before yesterday, so it doesn’t make any sense! We all know that Bryan and I are basically a couple.”
Brett and Carrie were best friends, just like the rest of the group, but he also knew the tension between Bryan and Carrie. “No, you guys are basically nothing of the sort. You almost ditched him and this trip for some other guy. This is an important time for him. It’s the only break he has had in the last eight months, and you can only cause him more stress.
“What? Do you think I’m using him or something? You and I both know that that’s not the case. I could never do something like that to Bryan.” She spoke defensively.
Bryan stood up and began to walk out of the room for some form of food in the kitchen, but he left one last comment with her. “Carrie, I don’t know what you’re doing with Bryan, but eventually, he’ll move on from you. He has the chance right now.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll be back in a few days with plenty of time to spend with you. Bryan just wanted me to go on his stupid little trip with him, and I agreed a few months ago, so how could I end up not going? You know?” Carrie lay on her bed with the phone on speaker on her stomach.
Chris’s voice was harsh. “Does that guy not get the picture? He spends way too much time with you, and I don’t like it. Why don’t you just get rid of him? That would make everything so simple.”
“That’s for sure.” She replied. “Well, if this trip ends up being as big of a bust as I think it will, then I’ll just get on a plane and fly back to California to spend a better time with you. But hey, I have to go. Everyone should be ready to go somewhere soon.” She hung up the phone and looked for clothes to change into.
Their conversation had not fallen on silent ears, however; it had fallen upon silent lips.
Around noon, Hillary walked into her room – Bryan was slumped on the bed, staring at the ceiling. With a smile, she walked over to the closet and hung up something covered in a bag. She lay with her chin on his stomach and began to stare out the window in front of her.
“We’re still on for dinner tomorrow night, right? I have a surprise for you.” She grinned without turning her head.
Bryan responded. “Of course! We’ll find someplace nice and have a great time.”
“Hey, I think everyone else wants to go for lunch soon. Brett said something about it when I walked in. Rach is finally awake too.” Hillary stated.
Just then, Carrie and Rachel walked into the room. The latter merely smiled, while the former nearly winced at the sight of Bryan and Hillary.
Carrie quickly corrected herself. “We all want to get lunch in about half an hour. Brett says there’s a really great local place that serves just about everything imaginable, so we’re going there.”
Rachel continued along the same thought. “Yeah, I’m dying. I haven’t eaten since we stopped for the last time this morning outside of Colorado, so get yourselves out of bed and get ready.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Bryan waved them out of the room.
Unhappily, Carrie left. Rachel followed after her more cheerfully and closed the door behind her. Once again, the two of them were alone. Such an uncommon event prior to their trip had started to become quite a common occurrence. It was a delightful surprise for the both of them.
Bryan gave a slight groan. “Hill, I don’t want to move from this bed! I just want to sleep for another day. That would be perfect if you ask me.”
“Hey, I really want food! And I’m not going to go without you, not that any of us would.” Hillary quickly formed a plan. “I won’t let you be a shut-in in this bedroom all day just because you’re so tired.” She started to act out the sight of a baby crying and started to laugh. “Get up!”
Bryan shrugged off her attempt to get him out of the room and closed his eyes. “Make me.” He challenged her.
She thought for a moment and then responded quickly. “If you get ready for lunch, then I’ll give you a kiss.”
This statement surprised Bryan and he opened his eyes. “What?”
Wordlessly, Hillary sat up on the bed and looked at him. She moved her face a few inches from his and smiled. Blatant confusion showed on Bryan’s face. Despite his nervousness, Hillary leaned within an inch of his lips. For a few moments, she feigned moving closer before she quickly moved away and jumped to her feet.
“Maybe next time you’ll just get up and get ready. Who knows, maybe you’ll actually get a kiss then, but not today!” She smirked and left the room.
Bryan watched her disappear from sight and dropped back down on the bed. Confused, he stared at the ceiling and wondered what had just happened. A minute later, he stood up and got ready for lunch.
That night, the group came home from lunch and a great deal of traveling around the city. As soon as they walked in through the door, everyone disbanded for the next hour. Bryan went to look for wood for a fire, Brett and Rachel went to their rooms, Carrie went for a shower, and Hillary prepared some food for the rest of the night.
From the front door, Bryan called out to Brett. “Hey, where’s the firewood?” He dreaded the answer he received.
“It’s outside on the other side of the house in a small shed. Don’t worry. It’s nice and sunny outside.” Brett chuckled from the hallway.
Without retaliating with a smart comeback, Bryan opened the door and prepared to walk out into the snow. Just as he moved to take a step outside, he felt someone grab his hand and stand next to him. Surprised, he looked to his side.
“I can’t let you go out there all on your own, now can I?” Hillary smiled wide.
Hand in hand, they walked into the freezing snowy weather. Right away, the snow whipped around their faces with great ferocity. It took only a minute to get to the back of the house, but they were extremely cold by then. Bryan grabbed as much wood as he could hold in two arms. Turning around, he realized that Hillary was shivering much worse than him. He put the wood down and moved over to her.
“Don’t argue with me.” He half-shouted with a smile as he pulled off his jacket and put it around Hillary. Bryan laughed. “You look like a koala. Let’s get back inside.”
Once inside, he sat Hillary down in front of the fireplace as he lit a rather large fire. He ran into his room and returned even faster with a blanket, which he spread around Hillary. Still, she shivered quite a lot, so Bryan sat down with her and held her in his arms.
She grinned through clenched teeth. “Hmm. I think it’s a little chilly outside.”
“You think so?” Bryan hid the worry in his voice.
About a half hour later, Hillary warmed up and stopped shivering. They both stood up slowly. Hillary went to finish preparing food, while Bryan headed out to grab another armful of firewood. As fast as possible, he ran out the door and to the back of the house, grabbing the wood and sprinting back to the open door.
Hillary stood in the doorway, and he almost ran into her trying to escape the cold. Stuck outside, Bryan almost considered pushing her through the door because it was so cold, but he didn’t need to. Nearly as fast as Bryan had sprinted to and from the back of the house, Hillary kissed him, smiled, and walked back into the house toward the kitchen. Dumbfounded, Bryan walked into the house and dropped the firewood by the hearth and sat down near the warmth of the fire.
That night, the five friends sat around the fire and shared past memories with each other. Many of the memories were jovial, while some of them were downright depressing. Nonetheless, they were mostly all shared experiences that brought the group even closer together. Once, Bryan fell off of his roof. Another time, Rachel walked straight into a pool while waving to someone she liked. The chuckles and laughs were widespread that night. A couple years ago, Carrie and Brett rear-ended each other with their cars. Six months ago, Hillary was tricked into believing she ran over a hamster. While the memories flowed through their minds, so too did time through the night. Eventually, Hillary fell asleep on the couch and Brett and Rachel went to their bedrooms to sleep.
Carrie and Bryan were alone for the first time since the trip started. Quietly, she whispered to him. “Hey, we need to talk.” She grabbed him by the arm and led him to her bedroom.
Once inside, she closed the door behind them and sat down on the bed. Bryan stayed near the door, but she stood up and tugged him onto the bed with her. Uncomfortable, Bryan stared at the wall in front of him.
“Bryan, look at me.” She said as she pulled his chin toward her. “What’s the matter? You’ve barely said anything to me this entire trip. You’ve spent the whole time with Hillary. I feel neglected.”
He looked into her eyes and then straight through them. “Why do you even care about what I do with Hillary? You shouldn’t feel neglected. I’m the one that was almost ditched for Chris.” He hid the scorn from his voice.
“What? Don’t worry about Chris. He’s just my friend.” Carrie spoke with concern. “That’s all he is.”
Bryan half-laughed, but he wanted to walk out of the room.
“This isn’t a joke. He is nothing to me.” She looked straight into his eyes. “Chris means nothing to me. You’re the only person that I need. I promise.”
“Okay.” Bryan said half-heartedly.
Carrie sensed his disbelief. “Look, let’s talk about this tomorrow. For now, let’s just get some sleep. Okay? We’ll settle all of this as soon as we wake up. I guarantee it! You’re mine.”
Without giving him the chance to stop her, she pulled him onto his back and turned off the light. Carrie walked back to the bed and got under the covers, placing her head on Bryan’s chest. She raised her head once and kissed him on the cheek before settling down again. Soon after, she fell asleep.
Bryan stared up at the ceiling and wandered through the thoughts in his mind. In the forefront of his mind, he wondered if he could take Carrie’s words as the truth. He pondered the thought for a few moments and searched for an answer. As he thought intently, his last two days with Hillary appeared in his mind. He thought about the drive, the dinner off of that exit with the strange name, their arrival at the house, their shared room, the fire, and Hillary nearly freezing. Currently, their quick kiss appeared in his mind and played over again too many times to count. So five minutes after Carrie fell asleep, Bryan slipped out of the bed and left the room.
He proceeded to shower if only to wash away his thoughts of Carrie and the kiss she placed upon his cheek. Afterwards, he felt refreshed and his mind cleared. He put on fresh clothes to sleep in and he grabbed a blanket as he walked out of the room.
Hillary still slept on the couch, but she awoke as he stepped into the room. Carefully, Bryan put the blanket over Hillary and moved over to the fire to add wood to keep the blaze going. She moved to give him room to lie down on the couch with her and they fell asleep together without any words exchanged – two smiles, however, occurred.
The next morning, Brett woke up a few minutes before eight o’clock. He attempted to get off the couch without disturbing Hillary, but he failed. She turned her face to his and told him to stay there for a bit longer. As an incentive, she kissed him – this time for longer than a split second. Bryan didn’t count the moments, but he was able to return the kiss this time. He put his arms around her and fell back asleep.
An hour later, Hillary woke up and nudged Bryan until he too was awake.
“Hey, Bryan?” She sounded both drowsy and nervous to him. “What did you and Carrie do when she took you into her room last night? I’m sorry to ask, but I woke up as you were leaving the room.”
Bryan responded in an exaggerated tone. “Well, she took of my clothes and…”
“Don’t joke about that!” Hillary was angry at his childish remark. “What really happened?”
“Well…” Bryan thought for a moment. “What do you want to hear?”
“I want to hear the truth!” She exclaimed.
He held her tighter between his arms. “I was thinking about you the whole time. Nothing happened between Carrie and I. If you want me to lie, then I will, but I’d rather not.” He explained. “Hill, you’re the second best thing in the world to me. That’s a promise.”
“Oh, what’s number one? Carrie?” She remarked.
He frowned but kept his soft tone. “Actually, the best thing in the world to me are you and I – us.”
Playfully, Hillary hit him on the shoulder with her fist. “You’re going to have to work for that. Since I know how you feel now, you have to earn it.” She kept a serious tone, broken only by occasional lapses in demeanor when she started to giggle. “You can start by lighting the fire again because it’s freezing in here. Afterwards, you need to get dressed while I make everyone breakfast. Got it?”
Bryan thought about pushing her off the couch, but that seemed a little too mean. Instead, he jumped off the couch and picked her up in his arms. Heading into the bedroom, he tossed her onto the bed and escaped into the bathroom to shower before she could catch him.
While Hillary prepared breakfast for everyone, Rachel walked into the kitchen and smiled at her. “I know what happened last night with Bryan and Carrie. You know too, right?” Hillary nodded and she continued. “Well, Carrie is going to be pissed when she wakes up and he isn’t there. Whatever you do today, don’t end up in a room alone with her. She might kill you.” Rachel stated before bursting into laughter.
“Oh, I can handle her.” Hillary responded.
Rachel brought up a new subject of conversation. “Are you excited for your date tonight with Bryan?” She said while nudging Hillary with her elbow.
“You could say that.” She replied.
Rachel shot her a slight smile. “Do you need any help with breakfast?”
“Would you mind setting the table?” Hillary asked.
Rachel nodded and grabbed dishes and silverware. “I suppose Bryan and you will sit next to each other. That leaves Carrie on the end of the table and Brett and I in front of you guys.” She continued placing things around the table. “Why did it take you this long to make a move for Bryan?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” Hillary questioned. “This is the first time we’ve ever had the chance to be alone for more than a few minutes. Carrie always has him close by her side, whether or not he wants to be there.”
“Well,” Rachel started. “How long have you had feelings for him?”
Hillary paused briefly before responding. “Hmm. Since…”
Thirty minutes later, breakfast was ready. Carrie was the last person to the table, but she sat down and asked Rachel a question right away.
“Hey, can I borrow you car around two?”
Rachel looked perplexed. “Why do you need it? I thought we were all going to do something together today. Brett wants us all to go have fun in the snow. Actually, he just wants to throw snow at people.” Brett smirked at this statement.
“I need go somewhere. Can I just have your car then?” She pleaded.
Rachel didn’t respond, but she tossed Carrie her car keys and continued eating. Carrie too began to eat the steaming breakfast. The group – minus Carrie – still planned to travel out to an area that Brett used to have snowball fights in as a child when he visited. Right away, the teams became boys versus girls. Each side was confident they would end up the victors.
After their meal, everyone changed into their warmest clothing and set out for Brett’s great snowball fight location for the snowball fight. Only Carrie was left behind to take care of her business that none of them knew about.
At three-thirty, Carrie sat in Rachel’s car, awaiting something. Within ten minutes of her arrival, someone stepped into the car and she drove away.
“How was your flight?” She asked. “Let’s get lunch.”
Rachel, Brett, Bryan, and Hillary returned to the house around five o’clock. Ready for some rest, Brett and Rachel headed straight for their rooms to lie down, while Bryan and Hillary briefly planned out the next half hour. Hillary showered and dressed first as Bryan took a nap. Afterwards, he showered and dressed. The two of them were dressed fairly formally: Hillary wore the dress she had bought the day before and Bryan wore dress clothes. According to Bryan, they had reservations at a great local restaurant that served just about everything. They eventually left the house and headed to the restaurant with high hopes for the possibilities of the evening.
“What? No, you can’t bring him here. I refuse.” Brett said firmly.
Carried sounded distressed. “Why not? He came all the way here, and I’m not going to tell him to stay at a hotel. That’s a waste of money when he can stay here!”
“Except he can’t stay here because I know what you’re trying to do. Get him as far from here as you can!” Brett shouted.
Angry and combative, Brett and Carrie sparred over Chris’s presence at the house. Brett knew that Carrie flew him out to Colorado to make Bryan as jealous as possible, so he wasn’t about to let her get away with it. On the other hand, Carrie argued that she only brought him there to have a good time during the trip, since Bryan was with Hillary most of the time. Rachel entered into the fray of the argument and sided with Brett from the start. The two of them were set on defending Bryan and Hillary. Regardless, Carrie pressed them harder to allow Chris to stay in her room at the house.
Eventually, Chris and Rachel gave in to Carrie’s demand.