Chapter Forty

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The rest of the afternoon went by quickly, Jordan chatting my ear off for the majority of it. I was happy to listen, and it brightened my mood by tenfold.

Strangely, Amber seemed to have disappeared. I also noticed that one of her bags was missing. I wondered to myself if the missing bag contained all of the tricks she had brought with her. I hoped so.

I was setting up my own tent, at least the one that Amber and I would presumably be sharing. It took me around twenty minutes, trying to set up the thing by myself. I had no idea where everyone had gone by the time I finished, I didn't realise I was alone in our little camping spot.

I shrugged and grabbed my air mattress, shoving it into the tent. I had attached a pump to it while I was setting the tent up, and I was glad when I pulled out a sleeping bag. Air mattresses always end up deflating no matter what.

It was around four in the afternoon now. I had shoved all of my belongings into the tent, and I was now sitting in there. It was getting colder, so I shrugged on a large jumper.

Weirdly, I heard a shuffle outside of my tent. Then a knock, or what could be described as one, against the tent wall. Murderer. You're fucked.

I unzipped the tent and peered outside, seeing no one. I looked down and saw a note. It was folded, and had nothing written on the front. I shivered and picked up the note, zipping my tent back up.

I unfolded the note, and almost dropped it with surprise. It was a letter, written in messy handwriting, from Blake.

Blake had written a letter. Blake, with dyslexia, had written a letter.

I read through it carefully, breathing through my mouth as the freezing air numbed my nose. My heart bled with sorrow as I read through it over and over again. He had tried his hardest writing this note. The writing was so good and sophisticated, he had improved immensely. It was something he had struggled with, and he had overcome it.

I put it down and unzipped the tent again. I looked around, scanning to find him or identify his tent. They all seemed to be empty, but one. I assumed that was him, so I got up and went over.

I knocked (can you even knock on a tent?) and waited. I stepped back as he unzipped his tent and stood in front of me.

"You wrote this," I said. "for me?"

He nodded slowly, not saying anything. He face looked forlorn, and he resembled a sad puppy.

"Thank you," I said. "I guess I can-"

He hugged me before I could finish. Everyone was so full of hugs today. I rolled my eyes and grinned before returning the bear hug.

"You owe me a shitload of ice cream," I pointed out and his goofy laugh returned. "I mean it."

"I promise," he said. "I'll be your slave for weeks."

"Months?"

"Deal."

I let him go and smiled. "Your letter explains... a lot. But never a why. Why did you all...?" I couldn't finish the sentence.

"I don't know," he said honestly. "Fear. Fear of losing you. Anger. Pain. I don't think I'm the right person to be explaining this... at least I'm not the first person that should be explaining."

And I knew what that meant. Go and talk to him.

I wasn't in the mood. "The letter... I... thank you."

Because in that letter were words that even I couldn't have conjured together to flow so perfectly. Emotions and explanations, all present. It hit me in the chest, and I couldn't leave it unnoticed.

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