by Dean Posion
the Prologue to my novel title Jamie
Camp, the best part of my year. It’s always nice this time of year in Georgia. The sun was just going down and there was a breeze that was just the right temperature. It was perfect for the annual end of camp bonfire.
I grabbed my blanket and headed out the door. My plan was to head down the small dirt path to meet my best friend by the two maple trees at the top of the clearing. As always I didn’t stick to my plan, I found myself side tracked and wondering down the banks or the river. Something about the way the sun hit the water made me want to take a picture. I dug in my bag for my camera and realized I had left it on my bunk. So I opted for the next best thing. I sat on the log bench next to the dock, pulled my sketch book and color pencils out my bag and started to draw.
I was putting the finishing touches on my picture when I herd my name
I didn’t have to turn around to know that it was my best friend Brittney calling me. I looked up at the river and noticed for the first time that the sun had fully set and I was probably missing the bonfire.
I closed up my sketch book and put it back in my bag. I took a deep breath before I turned around to face Brittney. I knew from experience she’d be leaning up against a tree with her arms folded glaring at me.
I stood up and grabbed my blanket still avoiding her gaze and walked back up the bank. I tried to keep walking past her and go down the small path but she stopped me with a hand on my shoulder
“Do you have any idea time what time it is? I’ve been all over this camp looking for you!”
“ Britt, you don’t have to yell I’m right in front of you. And no I have no idea what time it is.” I shifted my weight from one foot to the other. “I got distracted.”
“We should of came and got you from you cabin.”
The word we made me remember why I left my cabin so early. I was suppose to meet Brittney and my other two best friends then go get something to eat from the mess hall.
“Oh! Britt I…”
“Don’t worry about it we figured you got distracted. We bought a boat load of snack so we’re all good. But we should go the bonfire should start in a few minutes.”
She threw her arm over my shoulder and we walked down the path to the bonfire in silence. The best thing about knowing some one since you were four is that they know when you don’t feel like talking.
When we finally made it to the bonfire my other two friends, Alexandra and Kelsi, yelled at me for making them walk around the camp ground when they could be sitting down watching the boys. I just unrolled my blanket and pretended to listen to them like I always did. Brittney was the only one to notice that I was in my own little world today. She started to giggled into her soda bottle
“Why are you laughing?” Alex demanded.
“She’s obviously not listening to you guys just let it go and lets enjoy the bonfire” Brittney’s eyes never left the band setting up on the stage as she talked to Kelsi and Alex
“humph” Alex sat down on her blanket
“Whatever” Kelsi sat down in between Alex and Brittney.
I enjoyed the quietness of my friend for a while. I looked up at the stars took a deep breath to further relax my already calm façade. Summer was always a time for me to just relax and escape the craziness in my life.
When I looked back down I noticed the girl sitting in front of me was shivering. After the sun had set it did get a little colder but my sweat pants and hoodie kept me at a solid temperature during the night events.
I leaned forward and tapped her on the shoulder. She turned around and smiled at me.
“Would you like to share my blanket with me?” I asked returning her smile.
I was almost always the over prepared in my group and brought two of everything. This was no different when it came to my blankets.
She got up and sat next to me. I pulled the blanket over our laps just as they lit the bonfire. Throughout the whole night we talked about the bands that were playing and the summer camp in general. It was nice I never have theses conversations with my friends because I usually know the answer to the question before I even ask it. Worst think about knowing some one since the age of four, there’s hardly anything new to talk about.
After the bonfire she helped me fold my blankets back up and pick up the trash while my other friend went off to flirt with the band
“Your friends always like that?” she asked after we dropped some wrappers in the trash can.
“No just most of the time. But I’m stuck with them so…” I shrugged
“Shevy!” Kelsi waved me over to them
“I think you friend want you.”
She handed me my other blanked off the ground. “Thanks for sharing you blanket with me”
“No problem. I’ll see you around.”
She waved and we walked in separate directions. My friends were waiting for me in semi circle which I closed when I joined them.
“You up for some late night swimming?” Alex asked me
“No I think I’m going to go get some sleep we do have to leave early in the morning.”
“Such a goody, goody” Kelsi said
“Well lets see if this goody, goody wakes you up in them morning.”
“Yeah Shevon’s right we do have to get up early to get on the bus. I think I’m going to head back to my cabin.” Brittney chimed in “You guys should go too.”
“We will.” Alex said then added “After one swim come on Kelsi lets go”
“Bye guys” Kelsi called over her shoulder as the walked to the lake
Brittney and I walked back up the small path towards the cabins
“Hey do you know that girls name? You know the one I was sharing a blanket with” It had occurred to me halfway to the cabins that I never got her name.
“Uh…I don’t actually. I think she’s local her parents are here almost every weekend.”
“huh,” I said not really hearing the rest of Brittney’s story about how she’s glad her parents don’t come see her on her mini vacation. I nodded when I need to and made it look like I was paying attention but I was back off in my own little world.
I got back to my cabin a laid across my bunk. My three other cabin mates were still out so it was quite. I took advantage of the silence and closed my eyes. I let the world around me disappear and it was just me alone. I ran my summer back in my head. My eight weeks of bliss as I like to call it. Cabin parties, and water fights. Swimming, and drawing. It was happiness from beginning to end. The only down about summer camp, leaving.
The next morning, I was standing off to the side leaning against a tree while all the others were saying emotional good byes. The other down side of summer camp is that this is my last year. Facing that reality made me wince in pain. I knew this happiness was going to have to come to an end, but why so soon? Can’t I have one more summer of joy? Can’t I have something to look forward to throughout the year? I knew very well the answers to these questions would be no. So I enjoyed it while it lasted. I drifted away from the busses, the hugs, and the parents rushing their children, so I could be alone for one last moment.
I walked over to the river and sat on the log bench and took a deep breath. The smell of the outdoors overrode my system and made me forget who I was for a second. I let my eyes shut and took another deep breath. This was the last time I would ever smell this wonderful aroma and I wanted to enjoy it while I had a chance.
My thoughts were interrupted when I heard foot steps on the rocky bans of the river. I opened my eyes to see it was the girl I had shared me blanket with last night. She was staring out over the lake and leaning up against the dock. She didn’t notice me so I went back to relaxing.
After a few minutes I realized that this must come to an end before I missed my bus. I opened my eyes back up with a sigh and to my surprise I was completely alone. When did she leave? Did I fall asleep? I got up and rushed back to where the buses were. To my relief everyone was just getting on the bus. I grabbed my bag off the ground and meshed into the line next to my friends.
“Where have you been?” Brittney asked me. She had been the only one to notice my absence.
“I went down to the lake. This is the last time I’m going to see it.”
“I’m going to miss this place.”
“I know what you mean.”
We got on the bus. I had the window seat. Brittney was next to me and Kelsi and Alex was in front of us. It’s been the same arrangement for the past six years and has never changed once. Before the bus had even pulled off the girls were talking away. I tried to pay attention but I found my self looking out the window searching. Looking all around to try and see her. I had no idea why I felt the need to say good bye. I’d only talked to her at the bonfire but I needed to know her name.
As the bus pulled away I knew that I would never see her again and it didn’t matter. I was driving away from peace and happiness. Leaving my serenity behind me as the camp disappeared out of my view. I knew I would have to face the reality now. That I would have to go home and back to the everyday.
When I got off the plane in Virginia I was greeted by no one, as usual.
“Britt let me use you phone.” I asked when get got down to baggage claim
“Yeah sure.” she handed me her phone “Where’s yours?”
“Some where in the bottom of my bag I don’t fell like looking for it” I said dialing my house number
“That’s so like you.”
I laughed half heartedly at her comment but then stopped when my answering machine came on. I tried my mom’s office because that’s where she’s at the most. It was no surprise when she answered the phone
“Oh god you came back today?!” she asked “Shevon I had some meetings and…”
“Its ok mom I’ll get Mrs. Perla to drop me off.” I said grabbing my bag “I’ll call you when I get home. Bye.” I hung up the phone not waiting for her response.
I walked back to my friends who were standing by the door with their parents and handed Brittney back her phone.
“Can you drop me off at home?”
“Were going out to dinner come with us.” Brittney said.
“I’m felling a little jet lagged I want to go home and go to sleep.”
“I’ll drop you off Shevon.” Mrs. Perla said
We walked out the air port to the garage. Brittney put her arm around me and whispered in my ear
“Welcome back to reality.”
We laughed quietly to ourselves.