A while back, I met this guy. Let's call him Dave. Yes, I know Dave is a dorky name, but it's just what I'm calling him in this story. Sorry, by the way, if your name is Dave.

Anyways, I went to a camp during the summer. It was supposed to promote youth teamwork or whatever. My mom made me go instead of taking a youth group trip to the beach. There were only a few other girls there, and only two of them were nice (one of the nice ones worked there and I didn't get to talk to her often). The campers were divided into groups by campsite, and there were two other girls in my group.

The other girls at the camp were, well, plain-looking. None of them, myself included, would stand out in a crowd. However, there was one girl in particular who didn't seem to be aware of that. She was short, overweight, and had a face like a bull dog, and yet she acted like she thought she was a bikini model or something. It's one thing to have self-confidence, but this girl was obviously delusional, because she thought she was alluring, beautiful, and better than the rest of us. She was from my group. Let's call her Jessie. Jessie would loudly flirt with every guy and decided that some schmuck she met on the second day was her boyfriend (but that didn't stop her from continuing to flirt and try to be the center of attention for the rest of camp).

The other girl in my group wasn't so bad. She was called Kayla (in this story). Kayla was fairly quiet and seemed thoughtful and intelligent. She only boy there that she was interested in was on staff. Personally, I thought her standards were too low. That guy was annoying, had a scrubby ginger goatee, and for some reason reminded me of Larry the Cucumber from Veggie Tales (in a bad way) mixed with a leprechaun. Also, he never really did anything. I think he always came to our campsite to hide from work. If there was a thoughtful, deep person within him, I didn't see it.

When Dave first arrived at camp, I heard Jessie and Kayla whispering about him in excited voices. Even I had to admit (but not out loud) that he was one of the hottest guys I had ever seen, and I'm not the boy-crazy type. I later found out that he was Vietnamese- I had thought he was Native American, because he didn't really look Asian. He played football and lacrosse at school, which I knew for a fact because other campers from his town recognized him from it. He was tall-ish and kind of buff. His hair was black, not too long and not super short. The irises of his eyes were almost black. Like I said, I'm not boy-crazy, so I disregarded his looks. I figured that he was probably a butthole jock. I automatically disliked him.

Jessie and Kayla gave up on Dave pretty quick. He didn't flirt back with Jessie (big surprise) and didn't respond to other girls' flirting, at least not in the unsubtle ways they were used to. He didn't get into fake, flirty conversations and tried to get into real conversations, which really made the other girls lose interest. They'd make feeble attempts at flirting with him every once in a while, but mostly they just moved on to other guys. Dave was a bit of a control freak, which bothered everyone. Dave was the oldest boy in our group, and like I mentioned, definitely the buffest, so none of the other guys argued to his face. I think the other guys were a bit intimidated by him.

A few days into camp, I started wearing my brother's Pokemon hat. That immediately caught the attention of every boy in camp. A bunch of average girls. One wears a Pokemon hat. Which one do all the guys go for? The one who likes Pokemon. It was pretty awesome, getting treated like a lady, having guys awkwardly trying to get closer to me in the lunch line, the other girls basically getting ignored. This was power. Jessie hadn't seen me as a "threat" before, but she hated me now. Somehow, every guy in camp knew who I was by the day after I put on the hat.

One evening, there were only four people in my campsite: two fifteen-year-old boys sitting on their tent platform with the flap open, talking, Dave, and I. The two of us stood in silence, waiting for some of our group to come back. I was wearing the Pokemon hat. After a minute or so, Dave hesitantly said, "So... I really don't know that much about you." He asked me to tell him about myself. I hate telling people about myself, but I told him my interests (Pokemon is one, obviously) and a little about my life. He talked about the things he liked, and we continued to talk, forgetting that we were waiting for the other people in our group to come back.

We moved our conversation to the middle of our campsite, using two stumps as chairs. As it turns out, he was a complete Pokemon fanatic. I thought I liked Pokemon, but he knew everything about it. The two fifteen-year-old boys (some of the ones I suspected were intimidated by Dave) occasionally yelled, "Pokemon nerds!" at us, and seemed a little disappointed when we barely even glanced at them, absorbed in our conversation. We talked about other games, books, and TV shows we liked. We talked about our hobbies, our towns, opinions, anything. The conversation never really slowed. Dave was courteous and not a jerk like I had originally thought. Jessie and Kayla showed up from the shower house after a while looking surprised and in Jessie's case, furious. They hurried past us to the girls' side of the campsite. It began to get dark, and we could only see each other's silhouettes, but we kept talking anyways. Frank, a man who worked at the camp, showed up and talked mostly to Dave for about half an hour, but then he finally left.

It was about 1:30 a.m. when Dave and I decided to go to bed, knowing we had to get up early the next morning. I made a comment about our "six-hour Pokemon conversation," and Dave chuckled, realizing that it had been almost six hours. He walked me back to my tent and said good-night sort of awkwardly and hesitated for a second, as if there was something else he wanted to say. I said good-night and entered the tent I shared with Jessie, feeling like I was glowing. I could tell Dave liked me. I know it was petty, but I hoped Jessie had heard Dave and I outside the tent.

A few nights later, Dave planned for Kayla, that guy she liked, himself, and I to sneak down to the lake shore at about 12:30 a.m. The lake was on the other side of camp, and campers weren't allowed to wander around at night. We all agreed to it. Before we left, I was having second thoughts about going. I told Dave that the trip seemed pointless. It was supposedly a stargazing trip. There wouldn't really be anything to do once we got there, I told him, it's just looking up at the sky for a couple of minutes. Would it be worth the trip?

As you may see, I was a bit slow on the uptake there.

Dave put his arm around my shoulders and got really close. He said something about how the stars were so beautiful. (That moment wasn't as creepy as I made it sound.) I then realized the actual point of the trip and my attitude immediately changed. I said something like, "Oh- oh, yeah, those stars, they're beautiful. I'm definitely going."

I knew that Dave knew that I was attracted to him, and that he used it to his advantage just then. I could see it in the satisfied, slightly smug expression on his face. But I didn't really care.

Dave, Kayla and I left our campsite, giving different excuses to those guys who had yelled, 'Pokemon nerds!' We had to walk through the pitch-black camp to get to the shower house, the place we chose as a meeting point. I especially had trouble walking through the rough path in the dark. Dave took my hand and guided me, making me grateful that the darkness hid my pink face.

We reached the meeting point and waited for the Veggie-Tale-Leprechaun guy that Kayla idolized to show up. We waited and waited, Kayla becoming slightly desperate. I felt a little bad for her, but also impatient. This guy was ruining everyone's night, first of all, and we were also standing in plain sight under the light outside of the shower house. Eventually, it was decided- to be blunt- that Kayla had been stood up. We continued on to the lake shore.

I was being very selfish at that moment. We had a glum, heartbroken Kayla with us, but I was mostly disappointed, because that meant that Dave and I would have to be tactful and not act couple-ish at all. That was my one chance to- ahem- "get lucky" with Dave, but it was ruined. We'd have to drag along a depressed girl for the rest of the night. I wasn't very focused on Kayla's feelings. I should have been.

On the way to the lake, I could have sworn I heard a bear. I was scared and paranoid, and no longer had the excited high to carry me along. As we lay on the rocky shore, gazing at the stars and talking about Kayla's favorite books and things, her seeming to be less melancholy, I continued to listen closely to the sounds around us. I was very nervous and worried then. I didn't want to meet a wild animal.

I heard a sound. I told Dave and Kayla that I thought it was a whistle. They hadn't heard anything. The next time they did hear the sound, but Dave assured me that it was a spotted owl. After hearing the sound more times, each more urgent and closer together, I said, "That's definitely not a spotted owl." I pointed out that the sound was coming from the direction of our campsite. Dave and Kayla listened to me and we headed back. I figured that everyone else had realized we were gone.

Dave said that they had seen us leave at about the same time. He joked that they must think that he's a lucky guy with two girls. That joke made me slightly uncomfortable (but I told it to some of the others in our group later).

We returned to see three fifteen-year-old boys, two of them the ones from before, huddled together in one tent. They asked, "Where were you?" in terrified voices. Apparently, when they had blown the whistle, nobody in the other tents or campsites had cared enough to get up and see what was wrong. One of them had claimed to have seen a bear's tail from behind a tree. That was unbelievably stupid. I used that against them for the next couple of days.

Later I found out that Dave had bragged about going to the lake with me to some of the other boys. His version of events were, um, slightly different. I wish the night had gone as he had claimed...

I never did get lucky with Dave. We had a lot of fun after that eventful night, and never did run into that bear whose tail was supposedly seen.

As an answer to a guest review, yes, girls usually do act this way at camp. For some reason, even nice girls turn into b tches at camp. We often think conspiring, horrible thoughts about girls we may have liked in other situations. Even when there are no boys around to compete over, such as at all-girl camps, it's still this way. I don't know why. Survival instincts that we don't need in civilization kicking in?

-Romana