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Setting Friday Free (A Buzby Beach Novel) Chapter 10

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DW is a veteran, a father, a husband, and a teacher. He's published 9 YA/NA novels thus far. The story you're reading might be next.

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Mid-afternoon rolled around. Garrison and his friends decided they'd done enough schoolwork for a Friday afternoon.

"Why don't you all come over to my place?" Garrison suggested. "We'll hit the pool, order some pizza, and chillax for a while. Maybe hit the U20 Club later?"

Calvin nodded and said, "Sounds good to me. I'm working the 11 to 7 tomorrow, so don't have to worry about rushing off to work."

"Are you sure your parents won't mind us dropping in uninvited?" Mariah asked as she packed up her books and notebooks.

Garrison laughed. "My dad lives in Raleigh. My mom lives at Wrightsville Beach. We're going to my house at Buzby Beach."

Laurel stood up and picked up her book bag. "I can stop by for a little while, but I'm working 6 to close tonight. If I want to swim, I'll have to swing by the house on my way. My uniform is there, too."

Garrison held out his phone. "If you'll put your number in my phone, I'll text you with my address and the gate code."

Laurel took the phone and frowned at Garrison. "I need a gate code."

"Blame my grandparents," Garrison said. He stood and finished zipping his backpack closed. "They installed the electric gates and alarm system."

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"What about y'all?" Garrison asked Mariah and Calvin. "Do you need to stop and change on the way?"

"Nah," Calvin informed his friend. "We keep bathing suits and towels in the car in case we decide to make a quick run to the beach after class."

"I need to call my mom and let her know I won't be home until later," Mariah said. In response to the three pairs of eyes focusing on her, she added, "I don't have to report in. I do it as a courtesy because I don't want her to worry, okay?"

Garrison shrugged. "I didn't say anything."

Mariah rolled her eyes.

"Let's get this party started, then," Calvin said. He pushed his chair under the table and headed for the door.

Less than an hour later, all four freshmen gathered in Garrison's kitchen after getting the nickel tour of the house.

"You mean to tell us," Mariah said, gesturing to take in the whole house, "with all this room, you basically live in just this part of the house."

Garrison nodded. "Kitchen, laundry, bathroom, breakfast nook, office, library, family room, bedroom, what else do I need. There are three bedrooms and three bathrooms on the second floor. The two closed-off rooms down here are a formal living room and dining room. I never use those.

"Why don't we go outside? I'll show you around the pool."

He led his friends out the French doors from the family room into the four-season sun-room, from there to the deck running the length of the back of the house, and down the steps to the pool deck that surrounded the nearly Olympic sized in-ground pool.

"Wow," Laurel whispered. Then louder, she added, "Your grandparents must have loved to swim."

"My great grandparents built this pool," Garrison explained. "This place was their summer home. My great grandmother loved swimming but not in the ocean. I've heard stories about the big parties they would have here every Fourth of July."

Calvin put his towel down, ran to the deep end of the pool, and jumped in as he hollered, "Yea, Great Grandma!"

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The splash of Calvin hitting the water jolted Garrison into remembering his unexpected swimming guest for the last two days. How could I have forgotten about Friday?

He scanned the pool, the parts of the yard he could see, and the tables at the deep end of the pool for some sign of her. There was no evidence of Friday's presence. Garrison looked at the spot in the wall where the gate was. From where he stood, the boy couldn't even tell there was such a gate.

Garrison rubbed his eyes and shook his head. Maybe she was just a figment of my imagination.

"Are you okay?" Laurel asked. She climbed into the pool while he'd been searching for signs of Friday.

"Yeah, I'm all right," Garrison assured her. "Just some sweat in my eyes."

"Then jump on in and cool off," Laurel told him. "I don't know how, but the water is nice and cool. This late in the summer, it should be warm."

Garrison walked down the steps into the water. "I've noticed how cool the water seems to stay. I'll have to ask the pool guy about it. Maybe it's some gadget my grandparents had put in to make it more refreshing or something."

"Whatever's doing it, I like it?" Laurel said. "I think I'll swim a couple of lengths."

The friends spent some time swimming and floating in the pool until Laurel's phone started playing "Closing Time" by Semisonic.

Laurel glared in the direction of her phone. "There goes my alarm." She turned towards Garrison and said, "Sorry, Garrison, I have to go. You mentioned there was someplace I could shower and change."

"Yes, there is," Garrison said. He followed Laurel as she climbed the steps out of the pool. "The cabana house is right over here. There are showers and towels inside. I think there is even some shampoo and soap in one of the cabinets."

"I don't suppose there's a hairdryer," Laurel joked. She picked up the tote with her work uniform in it.

Garrison laughed and said, "There is, actually. I've never used it, but I suppose it works."

Laurel ran her hands through her hair. "If it doesn't, I'll just have to let it air dry."

She went through the door Garrison indicated. Calvin and Mariah joined him on the pool deck, where they began drying off.

Mariah asked, "How many shower stalls are there in the cabana house?"

Garrison thought for a moment and then said, "Two showers stalls with dressing areas and sinks, and there are two toilets."

"Do you think Laurel would mind if I went in and used the other shower?" Mariah asked.

"I wouldn't think she'd mind," Garrison told her. "Each stall is like a private room. If Laurel's taking her shower, she might not even hear you come in."

"Even so," Mariah said. "I'll knock and ask her if she minds me barging in."

Calvin nudged Garrison and said, "While the girls clean up, why don't we order the pizza?"

Garrison's story continues in Chapter 11

© 2020 DW Davis