I picked up my luggage from under the coach and carried it down the gangway towards the small fishing boat being used to transport people across to the island. The sun was shining and the sea was calm, yet the collection of young people stood waiting to board the boat were dampening on the spirits. None of them looked happy to be there, none of them looked overly friendly and none of them looked normal. There was a girl with a shaved head, she had three piercings on her nose and a tattoo on her bald head of a gravestone. Another guy stood, he was staring at the sea and shaking violently as if he was shivering but it was above 20 degree that day. A girl stood in shorts and a t-shirt, she resembled a holocaust survivour – her bones protruding out her skin in places I didn't even know had bones. I swallowed – what had I let myself into?
“Name?” A man with a clipboard, walkie-talkie and a pen stuck against his ear came up to me. He seemed rushed and demanding.
“Age?” He referred to his clipboard,
“Mr. Benson, please leave your luggage in that pile and make your way towards the boat. Do not get on the boat.”
I obeyed, leaning against the bow and watching. I didn't expect to make any friends here, but I didn't want to make enemies by alienating myself. I smiled at a guy who had just arrived, he had brown hair and was slightly broader than the average guy. I couldn't tell if he saw, his black ray-bans preventing me from seeing his eyes. A couple of moments later he crossed the gap between us and smiled,
“Hey man,” I replied, this guy seemed normal.
“Zac,” I fist-bumped him, he smirked,
“Didn't expect it to be like this,” he said looking around, “hang on, are you waiting to cross to Camp Rebel? Or are you just...like the boat driver?”
“The captain?” I corrected, “No, I'm heading to Camp Rebel just like the rest of these people.” I assured him, he looked relieved. “Although I didn't expect to see such a...variety of people,” I pointed at the motley crew.
“Me either, what you here for?” he asked, I looked at him,
“Don't worry, you don't have to tell me. I was trying to guess, but I'm coming up blank. I mean some are obvious, anorexic...pyromaniac...emotional issues,” he picked people off and categorised them. Cayden turned back to me, “But you...”
“I signed up to this place because I'm broke and have no where to go,”
“Right...” Cayden frowned confused.
“Cayden Pandor! Cayden Pandor!” The clipboard man began calling his name, he pushed off from the boat and punched my arm softly,
“Catch you later,” he smiled.
I watched as more people arrive, a girl with dark hair and excessive make-up dropped her bright pink suitcase in the pile and then lit a cigarette. I caught another girl watching from her car, she got out and waited as her father or driver put her luggage on the heap. People started climbing onto the boat, I joined the line and found a seat on the starboard side so I could watch the rest of the people walk on. There was about 75 in total, small groups of people were stood talking but many – like me – were alone and just taking it all in.