09 : SHE'S BERRY HIGH

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Camping Tip #4: So you're hungry and you see some nice looking fruit in the bushes. You think one little bite couldn't possibly hurt. And next thing you know, you're dead. Moral of the story? Don't eat random food you find in the forest. Don't be that moron.


"Wait, so your middle name is Odysseus?"

"Yeah, my dad's the professor of Classics at British Columbia," he explained, "he specialises in Ancient Greek literature and his favourite book of all time is the Odyssey, so, he wanted Odysseus to be my first name but luckily my mom talked him out of it."

"Oliver Odysseus Kaminski," I said and smiled, "it's actually pretty cool."

Oliver threw me a lopsided grin, "Thanks."

It was exactly forty-three minutes and twenty seconds since our encounter with Patricia the Bear. The four of us had eagerly continued walking because the more distance we put between us and that crazy bear, the better. We were still following the river, I could hear the rushing water a few feet away and every now and then, I saw glimpses of it between the bushes and the trunks of trees. Callie and Jack walked in front of us, they'd been discussing the daunting prospect of facing their mothers if they got back home. Callie was sure Luna was going to ban her from driving until she graduated from high school and Jack was sure, Rosalie was not going to let him go to the San Diego Comic Con in July.

Oliver and I walked behind them, our conversation was less stressful. I'd never really talked to Oliver before this trip, mainly because I tended to avoid him since everybody knew Oliver Kaminski attracted trouble. I'd seen him around school and heard about his moronic escapades that landed him in detention or the principal's office at least twice a week. After I started dating Jack last year, around the second or third week of junior year, I saw more of him since he was best frients with Jack.

"What's your middle name then?" Oliver asked.

"I don't have one," I said, "My parents thought two was enough."

"You're lucky," he said, "my older sister's called Ithaca...Ithaca Arête Kaminski."

"Seriously?" I said with raised eyebrows, "wait... Ithaca is Odysseus' home and Arête is Poseidon's daughter right?"

Oliver looked impressed, "yeah, are you into Greek mythology or something?"

"Kind of," I said with a sheepish smile. We were currently learning about Greek mythology in World Literature and everything about it just fascinated me. "So, you're dad's a little obsessed."

He laughed, "Yeah, just a little."

I smiled at him and he smiled back. It was then that I wondered why I hadn't talked to Oliver Kaminski sooner. Yes, he could be an annoying idiot but so could Callie and I still loved her. I vowed, then and there, that if we ever got back home, I'd hang out with Oliver more.

Jack glanced back, his dark eyes skipping between the both of us for a moment before he looked away. I frowned and next to me, Oliver let out a small chuckle.

"What's so funny?" I asked.

Oliver shook his head, "Nothing."

I opened my mouth to ask him what was going on but I was interrupted by Callie.

"I can't do this anymore!" she said and stopped walking so she could lean against the trunk of a tree.

I sighed, "Join the club."

This entire trip had just been disaster after disaster and I didn't know how much of it I could take. I just wanted to go home. I missed my bed. I missed my parents, I missed mom and her frantic plans for the wedding. I missed my little sister, Dione and her excited squeals whenever a new episode of Fairly Odd Parents came on. God, I even missed Minnie and her trademark eye rolls. I just wanted to go back to Vancouver.

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