“The counselors must be going crazy with worry,” I said, carefully avoiding a few insects that were crawling out from under a log. The crunch of leaves was all that could be heard as we walked on. Jensen had let go of my hand a long while back but I could still feel the warmth of it, and that in a way, kept me going.
“I think we’re almost there.” Holding down a few branches of the tree, he waited for me to pass under it before following me. Stepping past a few bushes and shrubs and then…there we were.
The first thing I saw was the lake, reflecting off the rays of the setting sun in the distance. I turned and noticed that a group of campers were sat near the edges of the forest. Drew was the first to see us and he jumped to his feet, pointing in our direction.
Bailey looked in our direction and boy, did she look mad – but also relieved.
“Where have you been?” She half-shouted, storming towards us. I decided to take responsibility for the whole thing, it was my fault after all.
“We got lost,” I admitted. “And it’s my fault, I distracted Jensen and we forgot to follow after you.”
Bailey took out her phone, and started punching in a number. “Brandon! Yeah, the two of them are here now. You can tell the others to call off the search party.”
Meanwhile Nancy and Drew came over and hugged both Jensen and I to death. “We were so worried.”
“We’re alive, we’re okay,” I muttered, a little taken aback but happy nonetheless. “The insects didn’t get to me Nancy, I’m fine.”
“Would you two mind explaining to me how you even found your way back?” Bailey cut in, crossing her arms across her chest.
“Jensen has really good navigational skills. He knew his way around the forest,” I said quickly before he got the chance. “If it weren’t for him, we’d probably both be a bear’s meal.”
I had a feeling she might punish me and Jensen by making us do some of the chores but instead, a wide smile broke out onto her face. “Well I guess this calls for a campfire celebration. To our two survivors! And Sterling, don’t forget to remind me about the badge.”
“What badge?” He asked, looking stunned.
“Oh, you’ll see.” Bailey grinned at the two of us, ruffling up my hair which didn’t improve it’s already messed up condition before trudging back towards the camp. A few of the other campers came over and gave us a few pats on the back before retreating as well, leaving the four of us alone.
“So did you two have fun?” I asked Nancy and Drew.
“Oh yeah, definitely.” There was no hint of sarcasm in Drew’s voice. He gave me the kind of grin that gave me a clue that something must have happened during their little adventure. His brown eyes twinkled as he met Nancy’s gaze – who looked absolutely smitten by him.
“Anyways, we should probably go get ready for the campfire.”
“We’ll join you two later,” Jensen spoke up. “I believe I owe Ms. Payes here a canoe ride.”
A smile crept onto my lips as I looked up at Jensen, my heart warming up. “I believe you do.”