05 : FAT MONKEY HEART

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Camping Tip #8: Make sure you're fit enough to go camping. You should not go if you have a heart condition, or broken bones because whether or not you want to, be prepared to do a lot of walking. A lot.

        “I’m tired,” Callie whined.

        I sighed, “yeah, we heard you first the fifty times Callie, you don’t have to keep saying it.”

        “But,” Callie said and even though I was walking several steps in front of her, I knew she was pouting, “I’m–”

        “Don’t finish that sentence Callie,” I said.

        I glanced back at her and saw that she was indeed pouting just like I’d suspected.

        “Well what do you want us to do Callie?” I said, “we’re all tired, we’ve been walking for God knows how long and–”

        “One hour and twenty-two minutes,” Oliver said.

        I looked at him, “what?”

        He lifted his arm and I saw a blue watch strapped to his wrist. “We’ve been walking for one hour and twenty-two minutes,” he said, “I’ve been keeping track.”

        I peered at it, “is that a Power Rangers watch?”

        Oliver instantly dropped his hand and shoved it into the pockets of his cargo pants. He shook his head, “no….maybe…maybe not what’s it to ya?”

        I just stared at him for a few seconds. “Right…” I said slowly and looked back at Callie, “just stop complaining, this is already hard enough without you moaning every five minutes about your feet.”

        As Oliver had stated, we’d been walking for a while and none of us knew where we were. We’d started walking in any direction – because they all looked the same to be honest – in hope we’d find our campsite. I was scared we would run into that bear again but I knew Callie was kind of hoping we would because she kept saying how much she missed holding the bear cub in her arms.

        Looking back, I realize blindly going in any direction without much planning was a bad idea but we were all a little traumatized from the run in with a huge bear and hungry since we hadn’t had anything good to eat since we’d left Vancouver. So, I think we could be forgiven for acting so thoughtlessly.

        Actually, it was Oliver who’d decided which direction we should walk and we had all been stupid enough to follow him. It had escaped my mind that Oliver Kaminski never knew what he was doing. Oliver Kaminski never planned. He was a huge moron like that.

        “Okay, I’ll stop complaining if one of you gives me a piggy back,” she said with a hopeful smile.

        I didn’t even respond to her. I turned and looked ahead at the endless trees that lay before and around us. There were too many and I was getting sick of looking at them. Nearly two hours of walking and everything looked the same, it felt like we were going round in circles.

        “No one’s giving you a piggy back Cal,” Jack said. It was the first thing he’d said in a while. For the most part he’d been walking in silence with his hands in his pockets, staring resolutely ahead. He was the furthest ahead out of all us, at some point we had all started following him.

        Although I don’t know why, Jack was just as clueless as the rest of us. I’d thought about saying something to him, but every time I was a few steps away I panicked and fell back into my original place next to Oliver. I wouldn’t know what to say anyway. Things were already hard enough, I didn’t need to add awkwardness into the mix.

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