Chapter Six - Hate by hand
Mealtime was always chaotic at Camp Pawa, but breakfast was usually the worst meal of the day. Still sleepy campers could be more than a little testy at times, coupled with the more awake and very excited ones, it really made for a interesting time indeed.
Among the throng that packed the dining hall this morning, sat the group from Cabin Nine. They all seemed to be calmer than most in gathered for breakfast, and that was saying a whole lot. Hijinks aside, they were the more quiet of the tables
Mandy sat beside Lori and Allison this day, tucked away against a far wall. The popular girls usually took all of the good seats at the tables, making the lesser ones in the cabin sit in virtual shadows, ignoring them would be easier that way... it seemed to be saying.
She could still hear their whispers, all still debating who was gay or not... her name was one of the more spoken with this topic. They talked about it at great length, thinking that no one could hear them over the din of breakfast. They were wrong about not being heard, Mandy was able to hear every snobbish word being spoken. By how each girl was talking about it.. it was clear that Isis was the main one of the bunch who seemed to have a problem with that particular topic, which was no shock either. Her homophobia was legendary by now.
Mandy wondered what business it was of these rumoring girls, for them to be actually speculating on such a thing. By things already known, Isis and her group really was not liking even the thought that even one of their cabinmates could actually be in fact... gay. They had their suspicions about even her, but she payed no attention to that.
Mandy snuffed to herself, and her mind thought on these girls. Given the fact of just who these girls were and what the dark haired girl knew about each one of them,. The basic fact that they were going on and with their speculations and prejudices, was not a really big surprise to her in the first place.
It did not really matter to Mandy either way that Isis and the others were constantly gossiping about anybody that was deemed different in their eyes, or if they would end up knowing that she was ‘a dyke’... she simply knew she was never to be apart of the ‘in’ crowd anyways and that made her not letting them get to her in any way.
It had taken a long time to come to terms with herself, it had been especially hard after CC had passed away, she was not about to let some bleach blond camping snobs get to her... that was one of the things she had taken away from her relationship.. To be who you are and to fuck with everyone else.
The girl just took it in stride, simply going back to ignoring them, which was one of the biggest pastimes she knew she would have to do here at camp. With the snooty pack all in her cabin this year, it was going to be more than a way of life. She giggled, as the girls were just simply to her.. ridiculous
The girl turned her attention to eating her scrambled eggs and pan-fries in almost silence, as the little surprise meeting she had with the Camp’s head person the night before swirled in her mind. It seemed like she could not totally shake what had happened on her first night here, or how the woman had acted to her once she was standing on the dock with her. It was still very much, a very unsettling thing to her, the woman’s odd behavior and everything else were locked firmly and deep into her memory.
Mandy little flight of the mind was abruptly snapped back to the world of reality by a very boisterous Lori speaking to her.
" Hey... are you awake over there?" The girl said, already looking at Mandy like she was strange or something.
" Uh...Yeah... why?" She asked, wondering what the girl wanted.
Lori leaned in closely, her face only inches away from Mandy’s.
" Looked like you were sleep-eating those eggs or something there..." The girl commented, adding. " Trust me on what I am going to say...Sleep-eating won’t make those eggs taste any better.".
Mandy giggled and looked at her friend.
" Maybe my brain is still in bed somewhere, hiding from this breakfast." She quipped, giving a smirk.
" Maybe so... you might wanna check under the bed when you get back to the cabin to see where it is..." Impishly the girl poked fun at Mandy.
" Funny... very funny." Mandy replied, rolling her eyes at the girl’s dry sense of humor.
Lori laughed, and turned as someone tapped her on the shoulder, not even replying to Mandy’s counter-quip. Reluctantly, the dark haired girl turned back to her meal, and making a face. She eyed the food on her plate, and was wondering if eating in her sleep just might make it taste better than it did.
Allison, who normally was so quiet that it made Lori’s before time of being the silent one seem like a roaring crowd of thousands at some stadium, tapped Mandy. The dark haired Mandy turned, really very shocked seeing who it was that had tried to get her attention..
" Mandy... Allison said, her voice barely reaching to be audible over the hall’s noise.
It was the first time in years that Allison had spoken directly to Mandy... the girl with the thick glasses always had been the stereotypical bookish wallflower, and had never really spoken except when spoken to. This was totally out of character for the girl.
" What is it?" She asked of the plain bookworm.
The girl paused, seemingly waiting for a little bit of a lull in the crazy noise that the dining hall held.
" Sometime today... could you meet me so we can... talk?" Said the girl, her voice hesitant and polite all at the same time.
" Talk?" Questioned Mandy, a little more than shocked at the girl’s request. " You want to talk with me?"
" Yes... if you would not mind." She said. " I must talk to you."
The very over polite girl seemed very keyed in on wanting to talk, the serious tone that was held in her soft spoken way told that right off the bat. Mandy was curious at the girl’s request, but was willing to heart the girl out.
" When would you like to meet with me." Asked the girl.
" How about right after breakfast?" Mandy suggested
" That will be fine... I will meet you out at the boathouse, near the lakeshore..." She said, then her face showed that their conversation was now over.
The girl went silent again, seemingly diving back into her own world right after the last word had passed her lips. Mandy wanted to know why she had been asked to meet, but decided that she could wait to find out.
With breakfast over, the every camper scattered back to their cabins, to await the start of the activities for the day. Some did not directly go back, while others lingered in front of the Dining hall to talk.
With more than an hour before all of the activities started, Mandy headed straight to the boathouse that was just past her cabin, to meet up with the shy and very reserved Allison. Ever since the girl had asked her to, she was curious with the why.
Allison was waiting on the far side of the boathouse, the one that was closest to the lake itself. Where Mandy found the introverted girl sitting, nobody would have seen her from the direction of the camp. She went up to the girl, who had her face buried in a book, as usual.
" I’m here..." She said, being careful not to startle the girl.
Allison looked up and closed her book with a gentle movement. The girl adjusted the thick rimmed glasses she had on, her face turning very serious as she looked right at the arriving girl. Mandy just waited for whatever it was that she was there for to come out.. expecting anything and everything.
After a few moments, Allison finally spoke.
" I have some disturbing information that I have known you really might need to know ...." The girl in the glasses said. " After thinking on what I have for you for awhile, it became even more clearer to me that this information you needed to know, before you had found it out by yourself."
" Go on.." Nodded Mandy.
The girl readied herself, looking straight into Mandy’s face with none of the shyness that usually clouded this girl’s who demeanor
" I first have to ask you... a kind of a personal question..." The girl started, with bluntness that really was surprising.
" You have a question for me... a personal one?" Mandy said, tilting her head at the girl.
" A quite serious one at that." The girl said so monotonly.
Mandy looked at the girl, wondering what the girl was wanting to know from her. She nodded and waited for the question that was about to come. The girl was to the point with her question.
" Are you gay?"
The girl, who was always been in the background and never been one to even doubt things out loud, now she was being so direct with her question. Mandy was more than just a little shocked at the absolute directness she had been asked.
" Why would you ask that?"
" What I have to tell you... has a direct bearing on my question..." The girl said, her voice was so analytical in its way, but had a all over feel of great emotion..
" What you have to tell me... has some sort of bearing on knowing if I am gay or not?" Eyed Mandy.
" Let me just first say that whether or not you are a Homosexual, does not matter to me personally in any way...you are who you are... I just need to know this little piece of information before finally revealing anything, so I can gauge what you might think of what I have...."
Mandy paused for a moment, knowing already that she was not about to hid who she was from this girl. One thing for sure was that Allison was truly needing to know, and there was no ulterior motive seemingly attached to it.
" If you must know...I am a Lesbian." Mandy said, as it was still a little uncomfortable for her to admit it, even after all the time that had passed since she had realized it.
The girl nodded, her mind seemingly dropping into thinking mode. She suddenly nodded to herself, almost as if she had been having some sort of debate with herself. Standing from where she had been sitting on a overturned boat, she pulled a piece of paper from her dark colored jean jumper skirt.
" Then you really need to read this." She said, handing Mandy what she was offering to her.
Mandy took the paper and looked at it. It was apparently a long, handwritten which had been xeroxed. The paper, which were two pager, was simply put a diatribe against homosexuals and other people which listed the many reasons that homosexuals should not even be allowed to come to Camp Pawa. It listed how repugnant it was, that gays were freaks and should be forced to undergo something that would get them to be normal.. rather than to be against what God and society should be.
Under all of the hate fueled words, was scribbled down a long list of names. Mandy was blown away by what was there, as she saw Zack’s name listed, as well as her own... even CC’s name was among the list of over thirty.
Seeing CC’s name there, boldly marking her out as a ‘flaming dyke’, made the short girl mad as hell. Mandy could not believe that someone could pass judgements and call people evil and wrong like this, and all because of the fact that they did not agree or even accept that people were different.
She looked up at Allison and shook her head, her shock and disgust was clearly written all over her face.
" This is person who wrote this is against gay people, and they seemed to be outing people left and right." Said Mandy.
" Told you that you needed to see it." Allison said, making a face.
" Where in the hell did you find this pile of shit?" Asked a offended Mandy.
Allison sat herself back down on the overturned boat and looked at the short, dark haired girl. The look in her eyes mirrored what Mandy was feeling at this point.
" My younger brother, who is also at camp, got that handed to him just after campfire last night...." She started. " He said that another list and manifesto, similar to that one, was given out last year as well... it was all the same, bashing every single homosexual kid that were at camp."
" Who would be behind this filth?" Said Mandy, already looking over the list a second time.
" I have my suspicions to the whom the author or authors could very well be..." Said Allison, letting a long sigh out. " I am firmly opposed to what has been written in that sickening and disgusting letter... and I just knew you needed to know."
" Who do you think it is?"
Allison looked right at Mandy, her unflinching stare told volumes without a sound, yet she seemed ready to bring up her suspicions.
" If I had to take a educated guess by what is written there..." Said Allison, who paused at that moment.. " I think it’s Isis and her group, along with some of the others that hang with her here at Pawa."
" You think so?"
" It is a firm possibility that Isis could have...." The book worm said, adding. " I have overhear many times in just one day how they talk among themselves... they talk exactly as that letter says."
Mandy looked at the paper in her hand, and made a grumbling noise. Allison’s suspicions were hers as well. With the way this was written is such a hatred fueled, and so exacting way, she could see that Isis could very well have authored such a thing. She was not sure either, but she would not put it past the girl.
" Thank you." Said Mandy, turning to head back up the hill to camp.
She noticed Allison had nodded back, but was not even moving to do the same. She just left the girl there to the quiet of the lakeside.
As Mandy returned to the cabin, she now was faced with a dilemma, what to do about this letter, and the authors of it. She felt sickened by what the letter had said, but now a little fearful to... not knowing who was so against people like her.. made her wonder just who her enemies might be. After being attacked by Raven the year before.. she was now worried about the actions of a bunch of homophobic people... they would exact some damage just because she was different.
She thought of telling Councilor Olivia, and showing the note also... but she knew even that might be dangerous. She just planned to ponder on the situation, and hoped that whatever she was going to do, would be the right thing.