Suzanne stood with her hands on her hips as she supervised the construction. She pushed her bangs off her sweaty forehead and pointed to the pile of rusted corrugated roofing.
“Patty, grab one of those and take it to Abby.” Patty quickly obeyed. “Nina? You doin’ ok up there?” Suzanne shielded her eyes from the sun to see Nina perched atop a ladder.
“Yepperdoodles,” Nina waved her hammer.
The sound of pounding nails mixed with their chatter as the four best friends worked together with one goal in mind; to build the perfect hide-away in the woods. Someplace where they could go to share secrets and dreams, not to mention hide from their brothers.
All four ‘girlz’ were the firstborn in their families and each had a little brother. “Let’s take a break,” Suzanne cupped her hands over her mouth as she hollered.
Nina slung her hammer into the loop on her cut-off overalls like a real carpenter. Patty primly sat down on the moss covered ground and sorted through her knap-sack. The others gathered and quickly did the same. Everyone pooled their snacks into a neat pile.
“I’ll say grace, if you don’t mind.” Abby’s tender-heart always led the way spiritually.
Nina pulled her ball cap off and crossed it over her heart like her daddy always does at ballgames for the national anthem. Patty folded her hands like they do in Sunday School. Suzanne simply nodded to Abby to give her the go-ahead.
“Dear Jesus,” Abby prayed with sincerity, “Thank-you for this beautiful day. Bless our lunches and the hands of our mom’s that prepared them. Amen.”
“My step-mom didn’t make my lunch. I did.” Nina seemed offended that Abby would assume that everyone’s mom made their lunch.
“Whatever,” Suzanne’s firm tone put an end to the little squabble as she passed around an insulated bottle of lemonade.
Nina took a long swig and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “I think the clubhouse is shapin’ up quite nicely.”
Patty accepted the bottle and wiped the top with a napkin. “I like it, too. Can I make some curtains for the window?” She sipped a bit of lemonade and passed it to Abby.
“What window?” Abby asked as she took a drink. “Looks more like an extra door, just not all the way to the ground and kinda skinny, too.
“We’ll call it a window. Yes, Patty, a curtain there would be nice.” Suzanne’s voice of leadership always took control, “We need a club name, any suggestions?” She took a long drink from the refreshing lemonade.
“Girlz Only,” Abby suggested quickly.
“Pfff,” Nina responded in disgust, “a bit overdone, ya think?” She rolled her eyes and looked to Suzanne for support.
“Let’s try to be a bit more original,” Suzanne settled Nina down and patted Abby’s knee.
“Can we do an acronym? I like acronyms,” Patty dabbed at her mouth with her napkin. Quiet little Patty’s eyes lit up so brightly Suzanne simply couldn’t squish this idea.
“Ummm…” Nina readjusted her cap and scratched her head, “What’s an ac-ro-nym again? I didn’t do too good in English.”
“Too well,” Abby corrected.
“Shut-up,” Nina threw a grape and bopped Abby in the forehead.
The two made faces at each other, exchanged a few names and threw more grapes before Suzanne finally had enough. Snap. She snapped her fingers just like her mom does when she fights with her little brother.
Nina jumped up. Abby ducked. She thought Nina would lunge towards her next.
“That’s it,” Nina snapped her fingers. “Everyone stand up.”
Abby and Patty, born followers, stood up quickly. Suzanne looked at Nina as if a mutiny were in the works.
“Come on Suzanne, work with me here, girlfriend.” Nina emphasized the slang term of affection with a side-to-side bob of her head.
Suzanne stood and Nina promptly organized them into a row. Suzanne was first and assumed it had been because she was the leader of the group. Nina put herself beside Suzanne, then Abby and Patty. Perfect order of personality types, Suzanne decided.
“See it?” Nina asked eagerly. “Suzanne, Nina, Abby and Patty, the SNAP Girlz,” Nina bobbed her head, placed her left hand on her hip and gave a quick sassy snap.
“All in favor?” Suzanne announced.
In unison, the foursome imitated Nina’s movements and cheered, “SNAP Girlz.”
Nina shoved her hands in her pockets and grinned, “Guess I’ll remember what an acronym is when school starts.”
“Yepperdoodles,” Patty giggled.
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