19 - Where the Risky is Considered

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 19

         Nic stumbled into the cabin about an hour after I’d finished showering. I had the lamp on and was reading a book I had popped into my bag at last minute. I was glad I did. If I hadn’t, I’d have nothing to do but twiddle my thumbs.

         “Oh, Jass, he’s wonderful,” Nic squealed, kneeling down beside my bed and staring up at me with twinkling eyes. “It was so romantic.” She sighed.

         “That’s nice,” I murmured before putting my book down. I wouldn’t be able to read anything now that Nic was in the cabin. I looked absently out the window, struggling to refocus my attention on what she was gushing about. It was well past nine, and the teachers would come around at ten to make sure all of us were in our cabins.

         I shook myself. Nic always let me talk her ear off, and even if that didn’t happened often, it was only right to do the same for her.

         “Jass? What do you think?”

         Crap. I should answer with something generic.

         “I think it’s great.”

         She brightened, clamouring onto my bed and sitting down next to me. “You really think so?” she said. “Thanks for being so supportive. I thought you’d tell me not to, but wow, you really approve of Brendan, don’t you?”

         I blanched. “Wait, what?”

         She stared at me. “My plan.”

         “What plan?”

         “My plan for sneaking into his cabin at midnight.”

         “What?

         A smile grew on her face. “Aha! I knew you weren’t paying attention. You have that stargazer look in your eyes.”

         I hmphed. “Very funny, Nic.”

         She laughed, causing the two other girls to turn and scowl at us. “Well, you not paying attention to me wasn’t very nice, either.” She leaned back and crossed her arms behind her head.

         “So what were you really talking about?”

         “I was asking you about your opinion on Brendan,” she said with a smile. “I like him a lot, but I want to hear that you like him, too.” She paused for a moment. “Well, not in the same way I like him, of course.”

         I smiled back at her. “I think he’s a nice guy. But don’t…don’t rush into things, all right?” I glanced at her. Nic was a really nice person. It would kill me to see her hurt by a boy.

         She nodded. “Of course. I just wanted to know what you thought. I mean, if you don’t like the looks of him, I wouldn’t put boyfriend before best friend.” She tackled me in a hug.

         I felt my heart swell. I grinned and hugged her back. Before she squeezed all the air out of me, I pushed her off, laughing when she did a backwards somersault. I snapped my towel at her.     “If you haven’t showered yet, I suggest that you do so right now. The water was already lukewarm when I went in, and I’m pretty sure I was the first.”

         Nic’s eyes widened. She hated the cold, which was odd considering how much she liked Freezies.

         I lay back against the pillow I’d packed, staring up at the bottom of the bunk. Covering almost the entire sheet of wood were carvings. From AG + JB encircled in a roughly-hewn heart, to a picture of a…

         Ew. I snatched my hand back from where I was tracing the engravings.

         Not really in the mood to read anymore, I braced a hand against my bedside table and looked out the window again. I wondered if there were any coyotes around. Glancing back at the clock, I saw that it was five to ten. Almost curfew.

         Right as I was about to turn away from the window, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. A second later, two people came into sight, an adult, and a…Jacoby?

         The teacher, who I now recognized as Mr. Somersby, the other Social Studies teacher, had one hand clasped on Jacoby’s shoulder. He was marching him back to his cabin, no doubt. What was Jacoby doing out so late, anyway? By the direction they had come in, he must have been somewhere near the lake, perhaps even farther. I struggled against the urge to press my face against the glass, just to keep them in view.

         What was he doing? Was he planning his getaway? When is he going to run away, anyway? Will he come and say good-bye before he leaves? I shook my head, hating myself for even thinking it. No, Jasslyn. You said no to him, didn’t you? How can you expect him to say good-bye?

         Luckily, I was saved from my onslaught of thoughts when Nic came into the cabin a couple minutes later. I could always count on her for a distraction.

         “Hey, Jake was still out,” she remarked. She shook her hair. sending a million droplets spraying in a circle. “I wonder why.”

         I deflated and stared up at one of the many things carved onto the bottom of the bunk. It wasn’t carved very nicely, and I had to squint to make it out.

         Live life with no regrets.

         I stared, dumbfounded at the quote. It was like it had been carved there, just for me. The thought was unsettling. Someone, at some point, had thought of that quote, and had decided to mark it under this bunk bed. A faint voice in my head told me that maybe this was it. Maybe this was a sign that I needed to go with him. But what if going with him was what I would regret?

         I got out of my bunk, pulled the covers back, and climbed in.

         “I wonder, too.”

(**A/N: I am glad to say the next chapter, maybe a page in, is going to be a lot more action-y than what you've been seeing these past few updates. Also, if you noticed, yes, I did tweak the cover. Finally hauled myself off of my lazy bum (figuratively speaking) and made it so the cover was actually the recommended size. And also got rid of that white stripe at the bottom. Heh. Toodles!)

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