23. The Treasure Hunt

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"There are 20 tents. 11 for girls and 9 for boys. In each tent, there will be three students of same genders. You can select your own partners and submit your names to any of the faculty members." Miss. Celine announced and all of us nodded our head.

I wrote my name alongwith Sophia and Emily's and submitted it to Mrs. Dale. After entering our names in the list, she handed us over one tent and also gave us instructions about how to set it up.

Almost an hour later, all the tents were set. We three settled inside and sat down on the ground. Miss. Celine had instructed us to gather in the ground by 2pm so we had the next two hours for ourselves.

The tent was enough for three person. There was a water jug and a small standing fan for each tent which eased up the humidity inside.

After taking a small refreshing nap for half an hour, we three woke up with the sound of alarm and took turns for changing our dirty clothes. The weather was not particularly pleasant today so we decided to go for shorts.

I opted for a plum top with shorts and paired them with brown sandals. Sophia and Emily were dressed in same style, the only difference was the color.

We walked towards the ground where everyone else was assembled. All the boys were busy playing basketball and football while girls were gathered around, gossiping. Not wanting to join Chloe and her minions, we reached a corner and started playing basketball with few boys.

When I was jumping high in excitement, I felt someone's eyes on me. I looked around myself and stopped when my eyes met with Adam. He was sitting in one corner, his eyes zoomed in on me. I blushed profusely, realizing that I was jumping up and down in such small shorts.

I felt bad for him. He didn't have any friend in the school, nor did he talk much. Because of the rumors, everybody at the school ignored him like a plague. That explains why he was sitting in one corner, alone. I wanted to go to him and ask him to join us but couldn't. My ego didn't allow me to.

"Attention students." Mrs. Dale's voice erupted from a distance and all the students rushed towards her.

"For the first activity, we are going to divide you in thirty pairs. All of you will be provided with a jungle map and then you'll distribute in pairs in the jungle to find a treasure chest." she announced and cheers erupted from the crowd.

"The pairs will be selected randomly. Each of you will be assigned a number from 1 to 30 and students with a similar number will be paired up. You are supposed to come back to this same point by 8pm otherwise a search team of four faculty members will be dispatched to find you." she added.

We all excitedly picked up a piece of paper from the jar and checked our respective number.

"5." Emily spoke loudly and Sophia and I checked our number too.

"7." Sophia added.

"17." I claimed. I held my paper up and waited for my partner to find me.

After a moment, Justin ran towards Emily, saying that he was her partner. Sophia grunted when she found out that she was paired up with Chloe. Chloe had same expressions on her face. Even Noah looked troubled because his partner was a guy.

I looked around to find my partner and scrunched my nose when I found a number 17 paper in Adam's hand. He sighed when he realized that we were partners.

"Seems like you are stuck with me." he said in his deep voice.

"Unfortunately." I commented, earning a frown from him.

...

Both of us were slowly heading forwards in the jungle. The dim voices of other pairs could be heard from afar, especially the fighting ones. I looked at Adam who was silently trudging forwards without even appreciating me. With every passing second, it was becoming difficult to keep in pace with him but I tried at least.

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