The Gothic ES-335
The class gathered around Mr. Kolar as he explained the first task. The couples would be tied together and there would be a three-legged race/obstacle course. He tied everyone's legs together. He gave us all maps and we were off.
"Ok," Hunter decided to take charged, "inside, outside, inside, outside." We awkwardly started moving forward. Soon we had gotten the hang of it. That's when we found the first obstacle.
"We seriously have to climb that?" He asked staring at the rock wall.
"Yup," I told him. He sighed. We approached the base of the wall. "Let's go. Reach up first, then grab hold." We carefully began our accent.
"I've got something to tell you, I've got news for you!" Hunter sang.
"Would you shut up already?" We'd been wandering around for a good ten minutes, inside legs still tied together. I was pretty sure we had taken a wrong turn somewhere, as we hadn't come across any obstacles or other people for a while now.
"Do you have any idea where we are?" I asked before he could start singing again.
"Maybe," he said.
"Does that mean no?"
I rolled my eyes. Suddenly he stopped and I was jerked to a halt, almost falling over.
"No duh Einstein."
"Well, you're not supposed to wander around when you're lost. You're supposed to hug a tree."
"Come again?" In my head I was screaming 'What the fuck?'
"When you're lost you're supposed to stay in one place so you can be found."
"If I did that I'd be dead by now. We should turn around and go back the way we came." I started forward, but couldn't. Right, we're tied together.
"I am not going anywhere," he insisted.
"I am NOT staying here." I insisted, fear creeping up on me.
"Then tell me your name."
"What?" I shrieked and he flinched away.
"If you tell me your
full name, I'll cooperate," he explained. I sighed and weighed my
"Fine. My full name is Christmas Eve Westfield." I gave in. He gawked.
"You're kidding, right?"
Christmas Eve? Christmas Eve? What kind of person would name their kid that? Though it is a beautiful name.
"Let me guess, you were born on December 24th."
"Nope, July 24th," she grinned suddenly.
"That's…" the gears in my head turned, "exactly six months after Christmas Eve."
"Why?" I asked. Her smile changed.
"That was not part of the deal. I told you my name, now let's go." Her tone left no room for argument. I obediently followed, silently berating myself. Stupid, she was opening up, why did you have to go and do that?
"Why?" Hunter asked. A chill washed over me as I was flooded with memories.
"That was not part of the deal. I told you my name, now let's go." I told him brusquely. I turned around and started down the path, grateful that he followed with out complaint. There was no way I was going to go into my family history. Not when I barely knew him. As we continued down the road I realized I was humming.
"They came from near, they came from far, following a distant star to where I lay," I sang under my breath.
"What?" Hunter asked absently.
"Nothing." We continued silently down the path.
It was starting to get dark and I was scared. We were completely and utterly lost. We had untied our legs a few hours ago.
"We should look for shelter," she said sounding subdued and as shy as when we first met.
"Sounds good." I spotted a large oak not far off the path. "Let's check that out." As we headed under the trees it became even harder to see. She grabbed hand, and I felt her shaking.
"What's wrong?" I asked quietly. It seemed wrong to be loud.
"Just cold." I could hear the shiver in her voice. We came to the tree. There was a space where the roots formed almost a nest.
"We need to leave a marker by the trail in case people come looking." I told her.
"I'm wearing a white shirt under these layers. Give me a sec." To my surprise she began strip. She took off her shirt then hurriedly put her sweatshirt and jacket back on. I took her shirt and trotted closer to the path. I hung her shirt in plain view, then hurried back. We huddled down in the nook, and I spread my jacket over us. She squirmed a little, then found a comfortable position, squashed against me. I didn't mind. We would keep each other warm.
I didn't truly sleep, though I dozed off a little. But that was normal for me. I became aware of him shifting under me as light streamed down. I didn't bother lifting my head to his chest. I was too comfortable.
"Shit," I sat straight up as something occurred to me.
"What is it? What's wrong?" He asked, concern shining in his eyes.
"I didn't take my AZT last night." I smacked my head with my palm.
"My meds. I take them twice a day, once in the morning, once at night."
"Oh. We should try to get back now." He moved and I shifted off of him. We stood and walked back to the path. I was much subdued, reminded of the dark side of life. We soon came across a jogger who gave us their map. It wasn't long before we made it back to where we were staying.