Friends ForNever

Friends ForNever by Katy Grant Read Free Book Online

Book: Friends ForNever by Katy Grant Read Free Book Online
Authors: Katy Grant
one of the newbies near the front of the group stopped. “Wait. I think I can hear running water.” We all paused and listened. The sound of a little babbling stream came through the trees.
    â€œKayla gets the prize, since she was the first one to hear it,” announced Rachel. Erin dropped back so she could walk next to Nic and me. “Be ready for the signal,” she told us. Nic and I nodded.
    We cut through the trees until we came to the falls, which were tiny by most waterfall standards. The drop from the top of the rocks where the falls formed to the pool of water below was no more than ten or twelve feet.
    â€œI was expecting something a little bigger,” Brittany admitted.
    â€œSee why these are called Angelhair?” asked Rachel, pointing to the way the rocks made the water pour over the edge in threadlike streams.
    â€œOkay. What’s my prize?” Kayla wondered.
    â€œWe throw you in!” shouted Rachel, rushing at her. When she said that, Erin, Nic, and I rushed forward too, and we grabbed her by the arms and legs before she knew what was happening.
    We carried her down to the edge and started swinging her back and forth over the water as she screamed her head off.
    â€œOne . . . two . . . ,” yelled Rachel, and then on three we laid her down gently in the damp moss by the stream. A newbie always got this joke played on her, because the rest of us knew to keep our mouths shut.
    The newbies who were watching all cracked up over the sight. It took them a couple of seconds to figure out the inside joke. Kayla sat up and heaved a sigh. She still had a look of terror on her face. “Now I’m wet,” she said, inspecting the moss underneath her.
    â€œThis is a great home for Nellie,” said Rachel, slipping her backpack off her shoulders and unzipping it. She took out a glass jar with an orange newt inside. “I had to catch this little critter yesterday. Remember? It had a part in last night’s skit for evening program.” We all watched while she unscrewed the lid and shook it gently. The little salamander crawled out and paused on the carpet of moss before disappearing under a rock.
    Everyone was peeling off shoes and socks to wade into the rushing stream. “Hey, Darcy, Nicole—come on in!” called Brittany. She stood in the stream with her arms stretched out, desperately trying to keep her balance on the slippery, moss-covered rocks.
    â€œSure!” I yelled. I couldn’t wait to let the cold water cool off my sweaty feet.
    The water was so numbingly cold that it made my legs ache all the way up to my knees. I could feel the pull of the current swirling past my ankles. We waded and splashed around till we were soaking wet. It was so much fun, but I looked around and realized that Nicole was still sitting alone on the bank. I didn’t even notice that she hadn’t followed me in.
    â€œAren’t you getting in?” I called to her. But she just shook her head and didn’t move.
    I felt like I should get out and go sit with her, but this was what we came for. Yeah, the water was icy cold and the rocks were so mossy and slippery that it made wading pretty treacherous, but nobody really cared. I stayed in for a few more minutes, then got out and grabbed my shoes.
    â€œIt was great! Really refreshing,” I said, sitting down on the bank by Nicole. I wiggled my wet feet into my dry, dusty socks.
    She didn’t say anything.
    â€œWhat’s wrong?”
    â€œNothing.” She watched the water spilling over the rocks and wouldn’t look at me.
    â€œYou sure?”
    Nic nodded. She did that sometimes, got moody and quiet. I knew something was wrong, but I wasn’t sure what. Did it annoy her that I’d spoken to Brittany? That seemed like such a trivial thing. Or was it that I’d gone in with everyone else instead of staying with her? Or something else completely, maybe even something that had nothing

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