Starting after my freshman year, my group, and the occasional plus one, would go to the cabin that Jake's, Amanda's boyfriend, family owned. To call it a cabin was an injustice. It was more like a large house out in the middle of nowhere. I don't know when it was built, but it was built as any other cabin would have been built in the 1800s. That, however, was the only similarity. With seven bedrooms, six bathrooms, a spacious kitchen, and a dining room that opened up to the living room, with a basement underneath it all, it was one of the biggest buildings I had ever seen. Sure, some of us had to bunk together, but I don't remember many people complaining. Best yet, there were no neighbors for miles around. The garage was probably half the size of the cabin, holding over a half dozen ATVs and four dirt bikes. And the upstairs had a few smaller rooms if anyone really got uncomfortable.
With no parental supervision, I had to lie to my mother every time I went up, but it was a perfect getaway. We could do almost anything we wanted. From the overprotective, controlling life I lived, it was heaven. I could have lived at the cabin forever. That first time we spent two weeks. I was sad when we had to go back home.
The next two years went pretty much the same. We'd go up during the summer for a week or two and then come back. The first year I shared a king size bed with Elizabeth. The second and third summer saw Danielle and I sharing a queen. It was the third summer that we spent a moth up at the cabin as a graduation present for Anna, Amanda, and their boyfriends. It was also the first time I got drunk, if you want to call it that. To be perfectly honest, I got shit-faced. Call it peer pressure or whatever, but I didn't want to be thought of as soft. I don't remember much until the following morning when I woke up hungover. That was the last time I drank like that.
"Alan," Dr. Carter interrupted. "Are you not telling me something?"
I looked at the man, for a moment I want to tear his throat out. "No," I said calmly. "I want you to have a bit of a history. Get a glance into my world. A glimpse of who these people were. Who my friends were."
I was laying on Danielle's bed, the only place in her room that wasn't a mess, watching her type away furiously on her computer. It was a week before the end of term and she had apparently left an assignment until the last minute. I chuckled and received a glare from my beautiful girlfriend.
"Maybe you shouldn't leave papers until the last minute," I teased.
"And maybe you shouldn't be so distracting," she shot back. I just stuck my tongue out at her before reaching over to grab a book. "Hey," she yelled, turning around in her seat. "That's my book!"
Again, I could only laugh at her. She was protective of her books, over-protective, even. But then I wasn't much better. I opened my mouth to say something but was stopped by my phone going off.
"Go," I said, answering the phone.
"Hey, Freshman," a female voice said lovingly through the receiver.
"Hey, Annie. What's up?" I put the phone on speaker so Danielle could hear. "You're on speaker. I'm with Dani."
The two girls greeted each other before Annie said, "Jake and Amanda wanted me to call you to say that we're spending Christmas Break at the cabin. Both of you are expected to join, of course."
"Anyone else getting a call," I asked.
"Everyone is," Annie replied. "Just bring gear. Food and drinks are on us. This is an early graduation present."
The last day of term was a Friday. I spent the night at Danielle's. It was easier and meant less explaining to my control freak mother. Though, she didn't really have much choice in the matter. I told her I was spending the night at DJ's so that we weren't searching for people before we left in the morning. I don't know what she said in reply, I was already out the door and heading to school.
When Saturday came I woke up early so I could take a shower and make sure we had everything packed before waking up my girlfriend. That girl could sleep through anything. It took me ten minutes before I finally woke her up, and she only did so after I picked her up and threw her in the shower. A few hours later, with an unknown number of bruises added to my collection, we arrived at the cabin.
We were the first to arrive, and, as such, had to open up it up. It didn't take much. While Danielle grabbed her bag, I unlocked the cabin and the garage, trudging through three feet of snow. By the time I finished unlocking everything and turning on the power my entire lower half were covered in snow.
I could hear Danielle laughing at me from just inside the cabin as I trudged my way through the snow from the garage to my truck. I didn't bother looking at her as I flicked her off.
She laughed harder. "Don't threaten anything you aren't willing to go through with," she mocked. I ignored her, locking my truck and making my way past her, leaving a trail of snow prints through the kitchen.
Anna, Annie, and Amanda were the next to arrive, their boyfriends driving their respective vehicles. Danielle and I heard them arrive while we sat in the living room, watching TV.
"We said we'd get everything," Jake said when I met him at the door. He was lugging in his and Amanda's bags. Behind him I could see James hauling his and Anna's bags and Alex hauling his and Annie's bags. Further behind him were the cars. Annie's jeep was leaning heavily towards the back. I went out to help. As I did I could see the girls pulling bags out of Anna's car.
"Think you have enough alcohol," I yelled over to them. "What about food?"
"That'd be my Jeep," Annie said. Sure enough, when I looked into the back of Annie's Jeep, there were bags on top of bags of food. I estimated we had far more than two weeks' worth of food, even if everyone else brought a plus one. I started pulling out food bags when Danielle walked up behind me.
"They bring enough alcohol," she asked.
"I was thinking the same," I said, my hands full.
It took a dozen trips to bring in all the food and drinks. Jake and Alex started drinking after everything was put away. The rest of the group filed in throughout the remainder of the day. By nightfall, twenty-two people were crammed into the cabin. And as big as the cabin was, it wasn't enough. There would be room sharing. Though, as drunk as we got the first night, I'm not sure anyone cared much.
The first week was fun. Of course, a lot of stupid shit happened, but that's to be expected. You don't add alcohol, teenagers, and motor toys without expecting stupid shit to happen. It was just a recipe for stupidity. No one was hurt too badly, though. Some egos destroyed, but no broken bones.
The storm hit the following Friday night. It had been snowing off and on all day, threatening to release its full force but never pulling through. We took turns shoveling the mile long driveway, keeping the back patio cleared, and doing what we could to get snow off the roofs of the cabin and garage. We didn't worry about the vehicles, not even Annie's Jeep. She had been smart and bought a hard top. When the storm hit we were all too tired to shovel any further, and without much light it would have been too dangerous anyway.
The snow was above the first floor windows by morning and snow continued to fall from the sky. The twins, Anthony, and Elizabeth's boyfriend, Micah, tried jumping out of one of the second floor windows but decided against it. The snow was too deep and the possibility of being buried and crushed by the snow was too real. But by midday, something had to happen.
"Hey Retsched," I yell. "How much salt do we have?"
He shrugged before going off to check. I was looking down from the second floor to where the sidewalk should have been and had, at the very least, a half baked plan. Chris, followed by Jake, walked back upstairs. "If we pour road salt here we should be able to clear a path."
Jake didn't quite catch on. "And then what," he asked.
"We clear what we can with the salt and then shovel a bit more. At least we can keep the doorways cleared."
I knew Chris agreed with the idea. Jake, however, needed some time to think. Eventually, though, he agreed. He ran downstairs to get a few other, the rest were sleeping, eating breakfast, or watching TV, and came back with five fifty pound bags of road salt. I took two to throw over the front sidewalk and told the others to do the same with the back patio.
The idea worked decently well. It melted the majority of the snow. There was more to be shoveled, and I was willing, but Annie intervened.
"It was your idea," she said. "You did the first part, now someone else can go shovel."