Chapter Two

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Rubbing his eyes, Keith groans as he twists his torso, ruffling the sleeping bag around him. He feels last night's sleep ache at his lower back, making him groan more. Stupid camping trip. He'd be chilling in his apartment if it weren't for this. Now what did he gain? Insect bites, that's what. He's even surprised that he managed to fall asleep despite them swarming all around is face. Maybe they bit him enough to make him pass out. Now that certainly makes much more sense than—

"Rise and shine, Keithy-boy!"

The next thing Keith felt was water being poured down on his face and most of it rushed into his nostrils. He immediately sits upright, coughing and squeezing his nose to get the water out. He opens his eyes for the first time since he woke up and found a chuckling Andrew and the smiling brunette holding a water bottle beside him.

"Time to wake up bike boy." The brunette says. "Mr. Iverson's calling for all of us out in the assembly area. Gonna be late for that too?"

"I'll be right out," Keith says as he pinches his nose.

"Oh, I forgot something," Andrew says as he gets the water bottle from the brunette and pours the remaining contents on top of Keith's head. The shorter boy can only let the water roll down to his face as he clenches his jaw. "It's a little hot outside. Thought you might wanna cool off."

"Thanks." Keith says through gritted teeth. "Highly appreciated."

Andrew chuckles then fist bumps with the brunette. Both of them leaves the cabin, leaving Keith to dry his hair off as quickly as he can.

". . .as seperate groups. We meet back here by the time the horn sounds." Mr. Iverson was saying when Keith finally steps out of his cabin and joins his classmates at the assembly area. "There will be no shenanigans and everyone will stick to their groupmates. No one goes astray. You'll never know the creatures out in this forest. I'll be going with the hunting group because that's the most dangerous task there is. I'll be seeing you all later."

Everyone started moving away from the area, leaving Keith standing there in confusion. What group was he in?

"Hey."

Someone taps on his shoulder. He turns around to find a short girl with pale skin, blue eyes, and short black hair. She smiles at him.

"You're Keith right? You're with our group. We're tasked to collect wood for fire. Best we start now."

"Oh, right. Thanks."

"I'm Becka by the way."

"Nice to meet you, Becka."

"Come on. We better join the others or we might get left behind."

They started walking towards their group mates. When Keith looks over his shoulder, he sees Andrew giving him a nasty look. He shrugs it off.

"You know, while I think it's nice to have a fund raising project the university can participate in, throwing us in a place full of insects sure is a pain on the rear."

"Tell me about it." Keith agrees under his breath. "It's almost the end of this school year, why won't we give the students a hard time? Pfft! I bet that's what they're thinking."

Becka laughs whole-heartedly as they both pick up bundles of wood from the grass. His pile is getting bigger and bigger, aswell as Becka's. He's happy that he met atleast one aqquaintance before the school year ends. He never knew anyone, let alone consider someone as his friend. Except for Andrew, he knows him. He knows the guy is an asshole.

"Keith!" Becka calls. "You hear that?"

Keith listens carefully and he hears it; the horn sounding off back from the assembly area.

He stands straight, seeming a bit surprised. "So soon?"

"Who cares?! Let's go back. The insects here are ten times worse than in my cabin."

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Wiping the sweat off his forehead, Keith look from left to right to see if anyone was heading his way. When he was sure no one was there, he closed his cabin door and takes a deep breath. The sun is almost coming down and he just finished helping the others for dinner. It's only been the second day and he already feels like quiting. Boy was this gonna be a long week.

He sits down on the side of his bed and clutches the end if his white t-shirt tightly.

"Only for a little bit," Keith assures himself.

Finally, he pulls his t-shirt off, his binder next, then puts his shirt back on. He inhales a long breath and releases it after a few seconds. Maybe one day he'll get a cabin like this and live far from the noisy city. Somewhere far far away. And you know, minus the insects.

The entire room dims as the sun goes down. Keith's only source of light is the bon fire from the assembly area where everyone is gathering around for supper. He debates wether he should put his binder back on or not. He goes with the latter.


"I saw you with my girl earlier." Andrew says with his arms folded across his chest. Keith just continues finishing his food while sitting on a tree stump, a few steps away from everyone else. "I saw you talking to her. Trying to still my girl, eh Keithy-boy?"

"What are you talking about?"

"You know what the hell I'm talking about. You and Becka!"

"What about it? She approached me and we were in the same group. What the hell is your problem?"

"Becka is mine. She's my girl. Don't talk to her, don't look at her and don't you ever ever touch her."

"Hey, I don't want anything to do with "your girl", okay? If she's really your girl then she must see things that I can't because I seriously don't know what she sees on you for you to be her boyfriend."

"You better watch your mouth or I'm gonna rip it out and make sure you do."

"Drew."

Both Keith and Andrew turns their attention to the person who just spoke. Keith rolled his eyes as soon as he saw the brunette.

"Drew, what the hell are you doing? The boys are waiting at the back, I thought you said you'd be there?"

"I will be," he looks at Keith. "Just trying to make sure we're clear on some things."

Keith scoffs, "woop-dee-fucking-doo."

"Hey! I said—"

"Cut the crap Andrew!" The brunette shouts, much on both boy's surprise. "You're wasting our time on the shit that you do, man. Come on and drag your ass out there."

Andrew and the brunette both have a quiet but deadly staredown while Keith just continues in finishing his dinner. Finally, Andrew walks past the brunette, intentionally bumping his shoulder to the other. Keith and the brunette makes eye contact before he leaves.

That night must've been Keith's last encounter with the brunette because after the camping trip and the remaining days of school before summer, he never saw him hanging out Andrew and the others, or even with the large man with the yellow bandana and the short girl with glasses. He never saw him again.

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