I guess the real reason happened was that we were stupid. If one of us had held out a hand, prevented Trevor from pulling his hood up over his eyes, if one of us had stopped Cam from pushing him, perhaps none of the following events would ever have occurred. But they did, and now I want—I need to tell someone…even if that someone is my computer. It was just past seven.

We had had supper at some Chinese place in Whistler that night—I personally didn't like it that much. It was our last night though, and despite Mr. Moss's obvious lack of experience of Whistler restaurants, we were all equally determined to have a good time. After supper we headed over to our hotel, and up to 808, the room of Josh, Trevor, Alex and Lee.

It had somehow been named our primary retreat, the place we went to hang out with our friends the most during that weekend. Yet we all managed to cram inside it; me (Rory), Jess, Laura, Becca, Tanya, Josh, Alex, Trevor, Cam, August, Eric and Lee.

We were all sprawled across the two beds in the room when Trevor felt it necessary to pull the hood of his hoodie over his head and draw the strings so tight that he was unable to see out of it. He then went jumping around the room, stumbling into various members of us, before Cam reached out and pushed him. It was an accident, Cam meant it only as a joke, never intended the result of a small shove to climb the altitude it did in only a manner of seconds.

Trevor went flying, tripped over the low coffee table and hit his head with a loud "thud" on the way down. Our first reaction was to howl with laughter at Trevor's clumsiness. Boy was that a mistake. I thought I was the only one who heard something wrong about the thud, it wasn't normal, but then Laura moved forwards and asked: "Trevor, are you okay?" At first he was laughing as well, but within seconds his face contorted with pain. Laura repeated her question when Trevor reached up towards his face and pressed his hand to his forehead. When he withdrew it, it was covered in blood.

"Holy shit he's bleeding!" Laura jumped back in shock. Josh, who had been gaming on his laptop the entire time, jumped up and ran to his suitcase, grabbed a first aid kit from it, and screamed at everyone to get out. No one did this, of course, and it suddenly dawned on me how serious this situation could get. Grabbing Jess by the hand, I ran out of the room and down the hall, dialing the number of every chaperone I could remember as I ran, pounding on doors to no response.

Jess and I made it to the lobby and we shouted at the woman at the front desk that there was a boy in our room bleeding. By now I was crying, tears running fast and hot down my cheeks, with no intention of stopping. I left Jess to deal with the front desk while I raced upstairs once again to 808, to find that everyone remained in the room, most of them doing all of nothing.

Cam was leaning back on the bed, his face ashen. He kept repeating: "What have I done?" Tanya and August sat beside him wordlessly, looking on, while Becca, Alex and Laura were attempting to help Josh clean Trevor up as best as he could. I crept into the bathroom and saw Trevor there, his face whiter than paper, clutching the counter in order to stay upright.

And there was blood; so much blood. Huge, clots of it—on the sink, counter, toilet seat, on the towels, Trevor's head and Josh's hands. I had seen blood before—scrapes on my finger, blisters, cuts, mock-blood in movies. But this outdid it all. I turned. I ran. Out of the room, too shocked to cry, too scared not to. As I thundered down the hall, I ran into Mrs. Jensen, the chaperone who had only just returned from supper. I screamed at her a garbled version of event before collapsing against the wall, sobbing.

She went into the room, what she did in there, I don't know, for I was crumpled against the wall outside, and I saw Jess and two medics from the front desk come up and enter the room. People—other students from grades nine and ten—passed our room, saw the medics, and I turned my face away in order to hide my tears. After what could have been days, Mrs. Jensen came out with Cam, August, Josh, Jess and Tanya. She took a few looks at my ashen face, Jess's uncontrollable shakes, and the panicked, guilty expressions, which donned the rest of us. She instructed us to go back to our rooms, and we all made our way down to 705—Cam and August's room.

Part of me wanted to scream at Cam for shoving Trevor, the other half wanted nothing more than to curl up in a ball and stay that way forever. Once we were in 705, Cam set about making tea for all of us, while Tanya and August sat on the bed, still with shock. Jess and I took refuge on the small footstool by the fire, shortly after being offered tea by Cam. I refused, terrified of throwing up anything I consumed, but Jess accepted a mug of steaming red tea.

This was what set me off, more than anything. The red of the tea reminded me of the blood, and was only reflected in the fading sunset outside 705's window. I cried. Silently, the tears ran down my cheeks while Josh and the others talked in hushed voices, whispered and fretted over what would happen to Brendan if anyone discovered what he had done. Eventually, Jess noticed my tears and put a comforting arm around me, which only made me cry harder.

By now Josh had noticed and, rising to his feet, he moved across the room and bustled about the kitchen, mixing things, and muttering about my blood sugar being low or something. He then brought me a glass of sugar and water though the last thing I wanted to do right then was drink it. When he pushed the glass and me and I turned away though, he burst out: "Drink it, woman!" So perhaps the stress of our situation had finally gotten to him, too. Or maybe it had been there all along, just that he knew how to hide it. I downed the glass in one gulp and grimaced at its sickly sweetness.

"Feel better?" Jess asked anxiously, but I rose to my feet abruptly and, without so much as a goodbye to my friends, left the room. Delirious with whatever adrenaline rush had suddenly left me, I stumbled blindly down four flights of stairs to our room. Sliding my key into the slot, I opened the door to find Laura, Alex and Becca inside. Somehow, I managed to make some excuse to make them want to leave the room and just in time. As they left, I rushed to the bathroom and locked the door, before vomiting that horribly Chinese food into the toilet. I felt sickly, as though there was some leech on me that was sucking all of my energy out.

Closing my eyes, I stumbled to the pullout sofa bed that Becca and Tanya were sharing before collapsing onto it. I was sure my eyes were going to give way to darkness at any moment, but I was awake long enough to see Becca come in. She paused at seeing me and said: "Are you okay?" Her voice sounded muted and far away, as though she were speaking from behind a pane of glass. I mumbled some response and she left the room. Then everything was dark.


"Aurora? Rory?" Someone was calling my name, I struggled to heave my eyelids open but it took a lot few moments before I succeeded. When I did, however, I woke to Tanya standing over me.

She asked if I was all right, and I told her I had vomited and passed out. Judging by the clock I had been out for nearly an hour. At first, she laughed at me, thinking it was a joke. Then she realized that it was anything but. She seemed to be really shocked, and kept asking me if I wanted a glass of water or anything. I declined before noticing the time—we were due downstairs with the rest of the band at any moment!

Struggling to my feet I grabbed my bag and the two of us went downstairs. I will always remember a lot of things in Whistler.

The first night, watching Transformers in Josh's room.

Wandering aimlessly around Whistler by ourselves on our free lunch hour.

But I will always remember that.

Now, it hurts to think about it.

But I will graduate high school, go to college, grow old—I will always remember that night.