The sun was shining, the sky was a vivid, clear azure, and the grass was green and touched with fresh dew. It would have been a perfect day, if only Vermont wasn’t repeatedly whacking my head with the latest election results.
“Dammit, Virginia, I thought you were smart!” Whack.
“Ow! Stop that!”
“Not until you tell me why,” Vermont said through gritted teeth, “your stupid, stupid citizens voted conservative AGAIN!”
“There’s nothing wrong with being conservative!” I yelled back, shielding my face from an especially vicious blow. “It just means that-”
“Your citizens don’t like change,” Vermont said. “If they had it their way, they’d be living in the eighteen thirties, wouldn’t they? Or better yet, the eighteenth century.”
“Of course it doesn’t!”
“Then why,” Vermont asked, “are you wearing a shirt with a quote from The Declaration of Independence?”
I flushed crimson. “The Declaration is timeless! And you’re getting off-topic, anyway.”
“You’re right,” Vermont said thoughtfully, before going back to hitting me.
“Why do you hate conservatism so much?” I gasped.
“It’s backwards!” Vermont cried. “A backwards, ignorant philosophy!”
“What’s a backwards, ignorant philosophy?” Georgia had entered the room, swinging her usual basket of peaches and quirking an eyebrow at Vermont.
“Conservatism!” Vermont spat, stabbing a finger at Georgia. “You’re stuck in the nineteenth century, all of you!”
I stared, half amused and half horrified, at the large splat of sugary yellow juice that was currently dripping down Vermont’s forehead. Georgia, eyes flashing, hefted another ripe peach into her palm and drew her arm back.
“Say that again,” she hissed. “I dare you to say that again!”
Vermont’s face was burning red. “You- you threw a fruit at me!” he spluttered incredulously.
Georgia nodded. “And I’m about to throw another one, darling,” she said. “Unless you take that back.”
“Take what back? That you’re all backwards idiots? Yeah, right.”
Vermont growled and started fishing around in his pocket. “Okay, I don’t usually pick fights with girls… but you are so on!”
“Dudes, a fruit fight? Awesome!”
I groaned. As if Vermont and Georgia weren’t acting childish enough. Now California, the six-foot-one three-year-old, had to walk in.
“This is not a fruit fight,” Vermont said stiffly. “This is an exchange of political opinions.”
California blinked. “Is that why you have smashed peaches in your hair?”
“Not the point!” Vermont snapped. “California, we have to convince these idiots that they have to vote liberal!”
California shook his head sagely. “Georgia. Virginia. Conservatism is not cool, man. Hey, can I throw fruit now?”
Vermont heaved a dramatic sigh. “California… for the last time, THIS IS NOT A FRUIT FIGH-”
He was interrupted by a flying peach, which caught him straight in the nose, causing California to dissolve into snickers. Until he, too, received a face-ful of fruit juice.
“Sorry, guys,” Georgia said sweetly. “But I really don’t appreciate you telling us what to do. Right, Virginia?”
I gave her a thumbs-up from the corner I was currently pressed into.
“We don’t appreciate you acting like idiots!” Vermont screamed. His eyes looked dangerously close to popping out of their sockets.
“Say that again!” Georgia screamed back. “Say it- OW! CALIFORNIA, YOU IDIOT!”
“Sorry,” California said, shrugging. “But the chance was there, man, and it was way too good to pass up.”
“YOU CAN’T JUST GO THROWING ORANGES AT PEOPLE!” Georgia’s expression was murderous, and the vivid orange juice streaming down her forehead did nothing to improve her appearance.
“OH, LOOK WHO’S TALKING NOW, PEACH-HEAD!” Vermont yelled.
“PEACH-HEAD? YOU’RE THE PEACH-HEAD, AND YOU’VE GOT THE HAIR TO PROVE IT!”
“CALIFORNIA! GIVE ME THAT ORANGE!”
“VIRGINIA!” Georgia screeched, turning to me. “Help me out here!”
And that is when I lost it. I took a deep breath, stood up, and grabbed the bowl of wax fruit I kept on my side table.
“IF Y’ALL DON’T SHUT UP RIGHT NOW, I WILL THROW EVERY PIECE OF THIS AT YOU! AND IT’S WAX, SO IT’LL HURT!”
All three of them stared at me, dumbfounded.
“ENOUGH ARGUING! EVERY STATE VOTES THE WAY THEY WANT TO, BASED ON THEIR PEOPLE’S BELIEFS! THROWING FRUIT AT EACH OTHER IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE ANYONE’S MIND! SO JUST LEAVE IT ALONE, WILL YOU?”
Silence. Dead silence.
“Virginia has a point,” Georgia finally admitted.
Vermont gave me a long look before holding out his hand. “Okay, I shouldn’t have-”
“Beaten me up with the election results because of the way we voted?” I smiled wanly.
“Sorry,” Vermont said. “No harsh feelings?”
I hesitated for a moment before taking his hand and shaking it. “None at all.”
“Great!” California chirped. “Because there’s something I’ve really, really been wanting to tell you guys for the last three minutes.”
“Yeah?” Vermont asked.
“I wanted to tell you,” California said, “this.”
Two peeled oranges came hurtling toward us. I managed to duck mine, but Vermont wasn’t quite as lucky. His hit him right in his chin – the only spot on his face that hadn’t been covered with peach juice.
Vermont’s eyes blazed. “I’LL KILL YOU, CALIFORNIA!”
California laughed. “Oh, Vermont. All is fair in love, war and political debates.”
I grimaced as I watched Vermont chase California around my room and knock over half my furniture in the process.
“Babies,” Georgia scoffed.
“I think,” I said faintly, “I’m going to vote Liberal in the next presidential election, just so that Vermont won’t go homicidal on me again.”