We Build a Grounded Treehouse is the thirtieth chapter of The Gift of a Best Friend. It was first published on November 12, 2016.
The party we had to celebrate Luke and Annabeth joining our family was fun. My whole family from both my mommy and daddy’s side came over to my grandparents house. We had cake, cupcakes, and ice cream, and music.
Luke met his other half-siblings—my aunts and uncles—and they all hung out and talked for a while. They even went and played basketball in the court downstairs, then sword-fought in the arena.
Toothless was playing with Zon. She was the only one out of Fiskerton and Komodo that seemed to like him. It was probably because they both can fly. But I also think that it’s because Zon is a girl, and Toothless is a boy. And she seemed to also like when he breathes fire. The animals all played together.
Annabeth and I played with Peter, Whitney, Johnathan, and Elizabeth in the pool, on the swings, and on the trampoline.
It was a really fun party.
A couple days later, Annabeth, Emily, Luke, Toothless, and I went and played out in the field behind our house. Luke and Emily were still acting weird toward each other.
We came across a really small house that was half broken. We went close to it. A door was broken down and we looked in it. There were a lot of spider webs in it.
Annabeth screamed and hid behind Luke.
“It’s ok,” he assured her. “There doesn’t seem to be any spiders on them.”
“Right now, anyway,” Emily said.
Luke picked up a big stick off the ground and knocked the spider webs down with it. But there were too many of them.
“I know,” I said, having an idea. “Toothless, can you burn the spider webs away with your fire?”
He nodded from my shoulder.
“Don’t!” Luke and Emily yelled, their eyes wide.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Jasmine, this whole thing is made out of wood,” Emily replied. “If Toothless breathes any fire on it, it will burn, and so will the trees around us. And any animals here could get hurt.”
“Oh. Sorry. Don’t use your fire, Toothless.”
Luke looked at the small house again. “This would be a cool place to hang out.”
“Yeah,” Emily agreed. “A good hide out too.”
“Like a tree house?” Annabeth asked.
“Something like that.”
“Can we build one?” I asked.
“If our parents say we can,” Luke said. “Maybe we can tear this thing down and rebuild it.”
“Let’s go ask.”
I ran all the way home and the others followed me.
I asked Mommy, Daddy, and Grandma, and they said we could. But we had to draw some kind of blueprint for it. We had no idea how to.
During the weekend, Luke, Annabeth, Toothless, and I went to camp and told Cassandra about it.
“A tree house on the ground?” she asked.
I nodded. “Can you help us with it?”
“Sure. What do you need help with, exactly?”
“We need to write some kind of blueprint for it,” Annabeth said.
Cassandra gave us a big smile. “A blueprint? Oh my gods. I would love to write you one for your grounded tree house.”
“Ok,” Luke said. “You’re going a little crazy.”
“Well, you know why I am, don’t you?”
“Uhh . . .”
“Luke, I’ve told you like a hundred times.”
“What?” Annabeth asked.
“I want to become an architect someday,” Cassandra said.
“An architect? What’s that?”
“It’s someone who draws designs and constructs the plans for buildings.”
“That sounds boring,” I said.
“Yeah,” Annabeth agreed.
“To you,” Cassandra said. “And probably also to Luke since he didn’t remember me telling him so many times.”
He smiled oddly. “Sorry.”
“It’s ok. I don’t really expect you to understand, but I like it. So could I make a blueprint for your tree house?”
“Sure,” I said. “We need one.”
“Yes,” Cassandra cheered. “Now, I’m going to need to see the area of where you plan to build that so that I can make a thorough drawing of it.”
“Uh, do you have to?” Luke asked.
She narrowed her eyes at him. “Yes. Why do you ask?”
“Well . . . there are a lot of spider webs there, which means that there are spiders there too. And I know how afraid you are of them.”
“Oh. Good point. But how am I suppose to design it if I can’t even see it?”
“Would pictures help?”
“I guess. But they’d have to be professionally taken.”
“I can do that, then I can bring them to you, and you can decide on the measurements for it.”
“Ok. But make sure you take pictures of what’s left of that and the measurements too.”
“Alright. I’ll be waiting for those pictures.”
Luke sighed in relief. Cassandra was confused by him. She looked at me and Annabeth for an answer, but we were just as confused as she was.
“Luke, are you ok?” Cassandra asked.
“Yes,” he replied. “Why?”
“You’re acting weird.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Yes, you are. You’ve been acting this way for over a week now. Is something wrong?”
“No. I’m fine.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, Cassandra. I’m fine. Honestly.”
Luke clearly wasn’t fine. We could tell that he wasn’t, and if we could tell that, then Cassandra could too. But he obviously wasn’t going to tell her.
“Ok,” Cassandra said.
After we went back home, I asked Luke what was wrong and why he wouldn’t tell Cassandra, but he just told me that he didn’t want to talk about it and to leave him alone.
I didn’t want to, but I did.
Luke took a lot of pictures of the old, broken down house, Grandma developed them for him, Annabeth and I measured it and we took them all to Cassandra.
She looked at them all, then she started drawing the blueprint. Annabeth, Toothless, and I watched her. She finished it a few days later, and me and both of my families started working on it.
We went to the store and bought everything we needed: wood, paint, pipes, and wires. Within a week, we drilled and painted and decorated our new grounded tree house.
We painted the outside of it blue, and the inside orange. There were two floors: the first floor a living room with a couch and a TV, a popcorn maker, a small refrigerator, a microwave, a sink and a bathroom. On the second floor, it was basically a bedroom with three beds, three nightstands and a lamp on each of them. There was also a ceiling fan and we put a couple of windows in too.
It was so cool.
Emily, Luke, Toothless, Komodo, Annabeth, and I stayed in it the first night.
We watched a funny movie, listened to music, and played a couple games. Then we went to bed. All of us, except for Luke, slept in the beds upstairs. Luke slept on the couch. Later during the night, I woke up to Emily making noises.
I watched her get out of bed and go downstairs. A minute later, I saw a bright light go on. I think it was the TV.
I got out of my bed and went to the edge of the stairs.
I saw Emily go through the channels on the TV with the remote. While she did that, she sat down on the couch, right on top of Luke.
“Oh my God,” Emily said, standing up quickly. “I’m so sorry, Luke. I forgot you were there.”
“It’s ok,” he replied, sitting up on the couch. “Are you ok?”
“Yeah. I just couldn’t sleep. It’s a little hard for me to in a new place. So I usually watch TV until I fall asleep.”
“Ok. Since I’m already up, can I watch it with you?”
She sat down right next to him on the couch.
I smiled. I woke up Annabeth, Toothless, and Komodo and brought them over to watch. They didn’t like it, Annabeth especially, but I didn’t care.
We watched Emily and Luke. Emily turned the channel on the TV, and whatever was on the next channel, she and Luke stared at it.
“What are they watching?” Annabeth whispered to me.
“I don’t know,” I whispered back.
I listened closely and heard some weird noises on the TV. A girl kept saying “Oh, God. Oh, God. Mmmm, yeah.”
It didn’t make any sense to me, but the look on Emily and Luke’s faces was funny.
After a few minutes, Emily turned the volume down and changed the channel. Then she looked at you. “I don’t get you.”
“No one usually does,” he replied. “But what do you mean?”
“Luke, do you like me or not?”
“Do you like me? In that way?”
“I, uh . . .” He sighed. “Yes.”
“Then why do you keep coming close to me, then back away? I know that we’re brother and sister now, but not biologically. It wouldn’t exactly be wrong for us to be together.”
“Emily, that’s not why—”
“Then why are you doing this to me? You just said you like me. I like you too.”
Emily leaned into Luke and kissed him.
I smiled. I knew they liked each other, but why was Luke afraid about it?
They kissed for a few minutes, then pulled away from each other.
“We should try to get some sleep,” Luke said.
“Yeah,” Emily agreed.
They both laid down on the couch together and pulled the blanket over themselves. Then Emily turned off the TV and everything went dark.
“They kissed,” Annabeth whispered.
“I know,” I whispered back with a smile on my face. “Wasn’t that good?”
“I guess. Can I go back to sleep now?”
“Yeah. Let’s go.”
We got back on to our beds and slept for the rest of the night.
Sorry this is a day late, guys. I got sick and didn't feel so good. But here's the chapter! I would totally love to have a grounded treehouse of my own, wouldn't you?
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- Luke Castellan
- Emily Hollinger
- Peter Hollinger (mentioned)
- Whitney Saturday (mentioned)
- Johnathan Saturday (mentioned)
- Elizabeth Hollinger (mentioned)