The next day, I couldn't relax for a single moment.
Things were as crazy as camp permitted; an argument broke out over the last bowl of Frosted Flakes at breakfast, I yelled at the top of my voice when Tasha shoved another girl, and my cabin continued to shoot for their record of most consecutive days being last into the dining hall. On the outside, it merely fell into the pattern of the last four weeks.
Only I knew I was carrying the weight of a gigantic secret, one that swelled so huge I was convinced people could see the physical strain on my shoulders. In reality, I knew it was just paranoia; there was no way anybody could've heard mine and Seb's conversation over the pounding music last night, or at least anything more than small snippets where the tracks changed. And yet, despite this, I couldn't stop feeling as if I had the plan scrawled right across my forehead in thick, black marker.
Packing proved most difficult. The large rucksack I'd brought with me had spent the last month in the corner of the room, propped up against the wall and doing little more than collecting dust. My belongings would fit, but the hard part was stowing them away without attracting unwanted attention. Where Crystal had previously been busy, she now seemed to be constantly lurking around our shared bedroom, cross-legged on the top bunk or rifling through her own drawers. There was really no reasonable excuse for packing up everything I owned, unless she would believe a newly-acquired phobia of a sudden zombie apocalypse. Instead, I resigned myself to doing the best I could while her back was turned.
Despite the challenges our stroke of rebellion was presenting, I managed to squeeze the last sweater into the backpack before the girls settled down for bed. There had been a strange atmosphere in the dining hall when I had led them over for snack time; maybe it was the sudden realization of what I was planning to do, but a mild feeling of sadness had come over me when I looked over the ten girls bickering amongst themselves. They were in for a frantic morning the following day, when the directors would be rushing around, trying to find my replacement.
I almost felt sorry for them. Then, I remembered the look on Tasha's face as she had poured water all over the cookout campfire, and the feeling disappeared pretty quickly.
Once they were in bed, I retreated to my bedroom, shaking off Crystal with the excuse of needing an early night. It was only once I turned off the light and crawled, fully clothed, under the covers of my bottom bunk, that the reality of the situation began to set in. Seb and I were planning to run away in the middle of the night, sprinting into the unknown while leaving just as much uncertainty behind us. There was no telling how the directors would react; escapee staff were hardly something they bothered writing into the employee handbook. They wouldn't be able to reach us, not once we'd already made it as far as we could, but it was the parental aftershock that was slightly more concerning.
My mom had been mad plenty of times before, but that was on the level of breaking my curfew, or staying the night at Seb's without explicitly asking permission. Breaking out of the camp she'd forced me into was a level I was hardly ecstatic to reach.
It felt as if hours passed from then onward; the tinny voices from Crystal's laptop continued until the darkness grew pitch black outside. Eventually, there was shuffling above me, and she reached over to place her headphones on the upper shelf. A couple of seconds of battling with the sleeping bag, and the bedroom fell into silence.
I suddenly became aware of my nervous breaths, wondering if something so simple could end up being my downfall. Frozen beneath the covers, I hardly dared to move a muscle for fear of not hearing Seb outside. How was he going to get my attention? Surely he wouldn't be stupid enough to walk right in, but my best friend had also been known to do some dumb things in the time we'd been friends. He was, after all, the same person who'd once used Google Translate to write an essay for Spanish and not noticed his slip of the mouse, meaning he turned in a whole paper written in Swedish. Jolted by panic, I tried to push this from my mind and strained to listen even harder.
YOU ARE READING
Camp RunawayTeen Fiction
Seb and Ellie have three things in common: (1) They've both been forced into spending their summer as counselors at Camp Raukawee, Manitoba. (2) Approximately twenty-three hours of their days are spent listening to screaming children. (3) Given the...