I walked slowly down the street, head down, making sure not to catch the attention of anyone. The bitter wind had caught my hair in it's grasp, causing it to fly around carelessly. I was sure my nose would be red by the end of the walk. I hugged my notebook to my chest, making sure I didn't loosen my grip. I didn't know what I would do if I lost my sketchbook.

Cautiously, I made my way towards the wooded area down the street. I pushed away the honeysuckle branches covered with ice, and made my way towards the log. The letters R.M. + S.E. were still there. Quickly, I shoved the thought of him out of my mind and covered the carved letters with one of the blankets I had brought. The day had been warmer than some other winter days in Vermont, but it was still bitter.

The last time I had come here I was with him. We had just come back from a picnic. We took the back way to his house, and stumbled across this place on the way. Immediately, we declared it ours. Carving our initials in the fallen tree had made it official. We spent hour after hour here, together. That night, the night we found the place, was the night I had my first kiss. I remember thinking, at that moment, that there was no one else I wanted to spend it with. I had declared silently to myself that he was my first love, and he would be my only one.

But that changed a month later. And I hadn't been here since, because I knew those initials, and the surroundings would bring back memories that would only force tears out of my eyes. I didn't want that. But I came today because the last time I had come here was with Mom. I needed her in my head more than anything.

I struggled to force tears out of my eyes now, but pushed the memory of him away as much as I possibly could. Focusing intensily, I picked up my charcoals and sketched the hideout. I didn't have to look up once, because I had done it so many times before.

I stayed for hours, in my little bubble, not returning home until the sun had set.

The End

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