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A person holding a house key | Source: Shutterstock
A person holding a house key | Source: Shutterstock

I Booked a $2,000 Rental for a Group Trip, but No One Paid Me Back Their Share of the Cost – They Didn't Get Away with It

Salwa Nadeem
Jul 09, 2024
12:59 P.M.

Excitement for their weekend getaway turned into frustration as Sarah's friends dodged paying their share of the $2,000 cabin rental. Little did they know, she had a plan to make sure they didn’t get away with it.

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Every year, my friends and I plan a girls' weekend getaway. We take turns organizing, and this year, it was miy turn! I was excited to find the perfect spot: a cozy cabin nestled right on a sparkling lake.

We all squealed with delight when I sent the pictures.

A woman using her phone | Source: Pexels

A woman using her phone | Source: Pexels

The place looked like it came straight out of a magazine. It had a cozy cabin with a fireplace, stunning views of the lake, and even a hot tub.

The total cost was $2,000 for the three-night stay, which amounted to a very reasonable $250 each for our group of eight.

"Since I went ahead and booked the cabin, I covered the upfront cost," I told my friends. "But to make things easier, I'd appreciate it if you could all pay me back before the trip. Does that work for everyone?"

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A woman sitting in a living room | Source: Midjourney

A woman sitting in a living room | Source: Midjourney

"Sounds perfect, Sarah!" Mary chimed in first. "Thanks for taking care of that."

"Absolutely, no problem at all," echoed Ella.

"Great, that works for me too!" chimed in Brittany.

One by one, everyone around the table agreed.

"Yep, sounds good"

"No worries, I can do that."

The confirmations rolled in. It seemed everyone was happy to handle their share and promised to pay me before the trip started.

Easy peasy, right?

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Wrong.

Close-up of a woman's face | Source: Midjourney

Close-up of a woman's face | Source: Midjourney

As the trip approached, the easy peasy turned into oh-so-frustrating.

First, it was Mary. "Hey Sarah," she chirped, "my car needs new brakes, so I might be a little late on my payment. I'll get it to you next week."

A week later, it was Brittany's turn. "Ugh, student loans are killing me this month. Can I hold off until next payday?"

"I just need to wait until my next paycheck," Melissa told me.

Weeks went by, and as I reminded them to pay back, they came up with more excuses.

Close-up of a phone in a woman's hands | Source: Pexels

Close-up of a phone in a woman's hands | Source: Pexels

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Each excuse was new and none of them overlapped. It seemed like they were together in this.

Then came the radio silence. Nada. No texts, no calls, nothing from Ella, Dana, or even reliable old Lisa.

By the week before the trip, I was out $2,000 and feeling completely used.

The same people I called my "friends" had indirectly refused to pay me back. The people I trusted the most had suddenly decided to team up against me.

Why were they doing this?

A serious woman | Source: Midjourney

A serious woman | Source: Midjourney

Had I done something wrong? Or was this an attempt to see how I would react to such a tricky situation? I didn't know what it was, but it was making me super angry.

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I knew I had to do something drastic, something that would make them understand I wasn't a doormat.

As a result, I decided it was time to teach them a lesson they wouldn't forget. Now, I'm not one for confrontation, but this was ridiculous.

The night before the trip, I took a deep breath and picked up my phone to execute the first step of my plan.

A woman using her phone | Source: Midjourney

A woman using her phone | Source: Midjourney

I sent a group text, bubbling over with fake excitement. "Can't wait to see you all at the cabin tomorrow! Gonna be the perfect weekend getaway!"

Little did they know, I had a devious plan brewing

The next morning, I woke up extra early and hopped out of my bed. Throwing on clothes, I raced out the door, eager to transform the cabin into our own little haven.

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At the grocery store, I pushed my cart down the aisles.

A grocery cart filled with goods | Source: Pexels

A grocery cart filled with goods | Source: Pexels

A giddy smile appeared on my face as I filled it with fresh fruit, cheese, and enough snacks to satisfy an army. I even got the best selection of wine and juices. I wanted to make sure my friends were well-fed and taken care of.

After paying for the snacks and drinks, I got back into my car and drove towards the cabin. It was even more beautiful in person, the sunlight glinting off the lake like a million diamonds.

I stocked the fridge with everything that I had bought.

A woman putting something in the fridge | Source: Pexels

A woman putting something in the fridge | Source: Pexels

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I even prepped a bonfire for that night, complete with cozy blankets and marshmallows.

The place looked perfect. I knew my friends would have the best time of their lives here.

But here's the catch: I took the keys and the garage door opener with me when I left for an "errand."

Before locking the cabin, I texted all my friends that I was out for an urgent task and would make it there by the time they arrived. They trusted me, just like I did when I asked them to pay me back.

However, they broke my trust, and so did I.

A woman holding a key | Source: Midjourney

A woman holding a key | Source: Midjourney

If they wanted to have a good time in the cabin, they had to follow my rules. They had to earn their weekend getaway.

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I wasn't going to let them have a good time when all they did was ignore my texts and calls.

By lunchtime, my phone started blowing up. Frantic texts and calls poured in from my friends.

"Hey, Sarah, we're here at the cabin, but the doors are locked!" Ella said.

"Did you forget something?" Mary asked.

A woman holding her phone | Source: Pexels

A woman holding her phone | Source: Pexels

I kept my cool, replying with a simple, "Oh no! So sorry, guys. Must have left the keys at home. But hey, the good news is I'm on my way back now!"

Was I on my way back? No!

I was sitting at a nearby cafe, sipping on my favorite iced latte. I enjoyed reading their texts as they reached the cabin one after the other.

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After I sent the last message, the frequency of their texts dropped. They felt relieved I was on my way back, but the truth was entirely different.

A woman in a coffee shop | Source: Midjourney

A woman in a coffee shop | Source: Midjourney

As their short-lived relief faded, they started calling and texting me again. This time, their messages were way more desperate. Some of my friends were angry, while others were struggling not to lose their temper.

"How can you be so forgetful, Sarah?" Lisa asked.

"I can't believe you're making us all wait like this!" Dana said. "I thought this was supposed to be a fun trip."

Finally, I decided to drop the bomb.

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A woman looking outside a window in a coffee shop | Source: Midjourney

A woman looking outside a window in a coffee shop | Source: Midjourney

I sent a calm message: "Look, I'll be happy to come back and let you all in, but only once everyone has sent over their share of the rental cost."

Silence.

Then, a flurry of activity.

Apparently, the prospect of a luxurious weekend getaway suddenly trumped car troubles, student loans, and all the other excuses they'd cooked up.

My phone buzzed with Venmo, PayPal, and Zelle notifications as payments started rolling in.

Within an hour, every penny was accounted for.

Close-up shot of a phone | Source: Pexels

Close-up shot of a phone | Source: Pexels

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"You guys could have done this before!" I said to myself before grabbing the keys and heading back to the cabin.

Their eyes lit up as soon as they saw my car. Some walked toward me, others to the door.

"Sarah! Finally!" Mary exclaimed, relief evident in her voice.

I stepped out of the car, keys in hand. "Oh, so now I'm 'finally' here? How convenient," I said, my voice dripping with sarcasm.

The group fell silent, guilt spreading across their faces.

A serious woman | Source: Pexels

A serious woman | Source: Pexels

"Look, I'm sorry," Brittany started. "But you have to understand, I really—"

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I cut her off. "No, Brittany. You all made excuses. I trusted you, and you took advantage of that."

Lisa stepped forward, trying to mediate. "Sarah, we messed up. But can't we just put this behind us and enjoy the weekend?"

"Enjoy the weekend?" I scoffed. "After you all made me feel like a fool? After I had to practically blackmail you to get my money back?"

"We didn't mean to hurt you," Ella said softly. "We just didn't realize—"

A woman speaking to her friend | Source: Midjourney

A woman speaking to her friend | Source: Midjourney

"Didn't realize what? That $2,000 is a lot of money? That friendships are built on trust and respect?"

A tense silence fell over the group. For a moment, I thought confronting them was a bad idea. I thought they'd say they didn't want to be there anymore.

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I stood my ground despite the fear, letting the weight of my words sink in.

Finally, Mary broke the silence. She wrapped me in a giant hug.

"Sarah, I'm so sorry about the car thing. You were totally right to be mad."

Brittany chimed in, "Yeah, me too. I'm sorry. We're all sorry."

A group of friends hugging | Source: Pexels

A group of friends hugging | Source: Pexels

They all finally realized what they had done.

I took a deep breath, looking at each of them. "I'm glad you understand now. But remember, respect is a two-way street."

We may not be planning any luxury cabin getaways anytime soon, but at least we'll be doing it with a renewed sense of understanding and responsibility.

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This whole experience definitely made for a memorable story, even if it wasn't exactly the relaxing weekend I'd planned.

But hey, sometimes the best lessons come wrapped in a little frustration and a whole lot of determination.

What do you think?

A lakeside cabin | Source: Pexels

A lakeside cabin | Source: Pexels

Here's another story you might like: Eight hundred dollars plus. That's what Jack's "boys' night out" bill came to, and he expected his wife, Lora, to foot it. Waitress Melanie, witnessing Lora's despair, concocted a bold move to ensure Jack's night didn't end as he planned.

This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided "as is," and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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