Thank-you for taking the time to read another story from my often-wacky imagination. This started off as a one and done but I’ve been informed, that this isn’t all of their story.
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A shout out to my favorite ‘editor’ Thank-you for always pre-reading, giving me input and for just being a great friend!
The rain was lightly tapping on the roof of the new-to-me pop-up camper. It was far from fresh off the showroom floor. We were born the same year in fact, 1992. Every spare moment of my Fall had been spent cleaning, painting, and updating the inside. Gone was the deep maroon and faux wood grain inside. Now yellows, blues and grays lighten and lifted-up the interior. I joke around that it is my ‘she-shed’.
What it really is, is my escape pod. Escape from the world. Escape to my own version of peace. Escape from pain.
Escape back, to who I want to be again.
It currently sat on an electricity only campsite, at a state forest, fifty miles from home. Night two of the thirteen I was scheduled to be here was over. It had rained since about twenty minutes after I pulled in, popped up and set up. I was starting to go stir crazy. I was here to move. To hike. To clear my head and find myself again. Not to sit inside and read and watch movies.
Jumping off my bed, I grabbed the book that was on the small table in the middle of the camper. I had already finished one and was almost done with another. The rain seemed to be tapering off. It would be too wet to hike today, but maybe it would at least be possible to sit outside and read.
I got myself cleaned up then stepped outside, book in hand. The rain had stopped completely, and the sky was already clearing. My book was tossed back inside on my bed, cooking a real breakfast was now priority one. As much as I loved peanut butter and honey sandwiches, it was time for something different.
I went over to the fire ring. Small puddles of rain water peppered the area. Kneeling down, I watched the clouds in the sky move in a bigger puddle for a few moments before moving on with my task. After the fire ring was cleaned out, I grabbed some dry wood and got a fire going. Eggs, bacon and toast were soon in the pan over the flames. My stomach growled impatiently.
As my food cooked, I looked around the area. A few of my neighbors were all doing the same thing. The air was filling with the smells of breakfast.
My food was done cooking and I sat at the picnic table. The open area between all the sites was still wet, but soon was filling up with kids and adults playing Frisbee. Everyone seemed to have the same desire to move as I did.
I finished eating, cleaned up. Inside, I grabbed my book and sat in my camp chair. I had all the windows unzipped and open in the camper, airing it out. Slowly the sun got higher in the sky and everything was beginning dry up nicely. I made lunch and watched others do the same. The rest of the day was more enjoying the sun and watching everything continue to dry out. I went for a walk along the access road just to stretch my legs before darkness settled over everything.
The trails seemed damp, but dry enough that I should be able to get out on them tomorrow. As long as we didn’t get any overnight rain. Back at the site, I got the fire going again and made dinner.
I changed into sweats and moved my chair close to the fire to just enjoy the sun setting and night taking over. Slowly, the sounds of the other people in the area lessened and the noise of nighttime in the woods became more discernible. I sat for what felt like no time but in reality was hours just taking it all in.
Yawning, I stood up to bed the fire for the night when I saw movement out of the corner of my right eye. Looking up, the form of a girl slowly came into focus. She looked about my age. Maybe a little younger, with short wavy blonde hair.
From what I could tell, in the very dim light, she was cute. Very cute. She smiled softly then turned around and went back into her tent. I went back to taking care of the fire then walked inside the pop-up and settled myself in for the night.
The sun beaming through the window and the birds singing woke me up. I laid there for a while just enjoying the noise of early morning. Nothing beat waking up to the sounds of nature.
I finally dragged myself out of the pop-up and started the fire. Made some coffee and breakfast. As I was sitting cooking, the girl from the night before came out of her tent. She stood just outside of it, glanced my way, then stretched, revealing her bare midriff. Her belly button was pierced. My eyes lingered longer than appropriate. She didn’t seem to mind. Even smiled a little.
A moment later, she was joined by a 6-foot beast of a man. He dwarfed her as he stood up next to her and pulled her into his arms. I groaned quietly. Oh well, she was nice to look at, at least.
I turned gorukle escort back to cooking my breakfast. My eyes kept wandering over to the cute blonde one site away as she and the beast puttered around making their breakfast. More than once she caught me watching her. Each time she smiled the same way she had the night before. I needed to stop looking at her, but just couldn’t help myself.
I pulled myself away from stealing glances and went inside to get ready to hit the trails. That was why I was here after-all. Not to stare at an unavailable straight girl. I changed, laced up my boots then pulled my straight, dirty blonde hair into a ponytail.
Ten minutes later I exited and locked up the camper then left the area. Not without glancing over to the tent, no sign of the blonde or the beast.
It was roughly a half mile to the trailhead that was in my plans for the day. I walked along the access road until I located it. Clicking my tracking software on, I started along what would be a nine mile each way out and back hike.
The first mile or so was boring. Not much to see. By mile two I was walking mere feet from the river. I stopped and sat on a rock just above the bank. The white rolling foam that surrounded each rock in the water was dancing its very own ballet. The river was high from the last of the snowmelt. Only the biggest rocks were above the water line. This dance kept me occupied for many minutes.
The urge to move again hit and I got up and started back on the trail. At mile three and a half was the first of the three promised old stone arch railroad bridges. They were built in 1840 according to the literature. I wasn’t fully prepared for what stood before me as I rounded the bend. The first bridge had two high arches that plunged deep into the water. I stood there and imagined 19th century steam engines rolling along the immense structure. The tales this structure could tell me if only it was capable of speech.
After taking it in, I continued on the trail as it led up to the top. I walked along it, standing where once powerful engines rode. I turned and looked downriver. The view from this height was breathtaking. Watching the water bend with the earth, picking up power in narrower spots. Twisting and churning, becoming more powerful when needed, and calmer when not, was like watching a magic show put on by Mother Nature herself. I could have stayed there all day. I sat down right at the edge, my feet hanging over into the expanse of free air. I looked straight down a few times, but mostly just stared at the miles and miles of earth before me.
Somewhere within those distant trees was the house I grew up in, the school I worked at. The life I was trying to find my way back to. I had lost myself out there the day my twin brother died.
Every moment of my life had him in it until six months ago. How was I supposed to find myself without him? One step at a time. That’s what Jasper, my older brother, had told me. It sounded absurd to me at the time. Now, as I stared through time and space, it was a little less ridiculous sounding.
My feet began to push forward once more. The trail moved away from the river, and into the deeper woods for the next two miles. It spilled me out right in front of the next bridge. One arch for this one. I followed a worn spot off trail, to the right and found myself at the base of the bridge. If the water had been lower, I could have gotten an even better view, but the one I currently had was just fine. I sat down and took out the peanut butter and honey sandwich I made for lunch and ate as I listened to the water power its way by me. The sandwich was extra drippy, and I cleaned my fingers off in the current when it was gone.
The river was narrower here. The foam was dancing wildly, as if in a mosh pit at a music festival. I laid out in the sun as my food settled, watching the billowing clouds roll by. My eyes were threatening to close, and I forced myself to sit up.
I went back up to the trail and stood on the top of the bridge. I could feel the water powering its way to the ocean under me. This view was more trees than river as there was a tight bend just before the bridge. I watched birds in flight over the trees, soaring and gliding in perfect freedom.
A few more miles and the last of the stone arch bridges was in front of me. This one was angled in such a way, with the trail going right across it, that to see it I needed to go down a precarious embankment. It would be reckless to do this while alone.
I extended my ski pole that had been tethered to my bag and used it to clear the leaves in front of me so each step would be a little less dangerous. At one point, the only remotely safe way to continue was to turn around and go half step by half step backwardly climbing down, using the tree roots for footholds. My foot slipped at one point, but I was able to grab a tree root before the rest of my body fell.
Finally, at the bottom, was the best view I had seen all altıparmak eskort bayan day. I was face to face with the stone. The water right there with me. The grass under my feet was soft and dry. And warm. I once again laid down and when my eyes became heavy, I didn’t fight them.
Voices pulled me from my slumber.
“There’s someone down there. Oh my, do you think they are okay?”
I could hear the worry as the sound of a feminine voice made its way to my ears. I forced myself to open my eyes and sit up. I looked up at the top of the bridge. The sun was in my eyes so I couldn’t make out who or how many people were looking down at me. “I’m fine.” My arm waving as I spoke.
The same voice reached my ears again. “Oh, thank goodness. You worried us for a moment.”
“I promise, I’m fine. Was just enjoying the river and fell asleep.”
“Okay! Well enjoy the rest of your hike.”
“You too.” The silhouettes moved out of my view and headed back towards the start of the trail. I was in no rush to move, nor did I want to risk running into them on the trail, so I stayed out for another twenty or so minutes before climbing back up to the trail.
Another mile and I came upon a big sign warning not to trespass into CSX property. My tracking software confirmed this was the end of the trail. I turned around and made my way back to the trailhead.
By the time my camper was in my sightline, it was closing in on dinner time. I went inside and grabbed my stuff for the bathhouse. A shower would be perfect before cooking dinner. Upon exiting, the same voice from the bridge hit my ears.
“Hey! Was that you laying in the grass at the base of the bridge?” It was the cute blonde from last night and this morning.
Shit. She was so attractive, now dressed in a skimpy tank top, short shorts and her hair pulled up as much as the length allowed. “Yep. That was me. Sorry I didn’t mean to give anyone a scare.” My eyes wouldn’t stop wandering up and down her exposed skin. There was so much exposed skin to appreciate.
She flashed her soft smile at me just before the beast came around from the other side of the tent. “Nate, this is who we thought had fallen but was just asleep.” She smacked him on his chest as she spoke and for a split second I imagined her hand on my chest. Then shook the image from my head.
That’s not why you’re out here Bria!
The blonde walked over with her hand outstretched. “Hi! I’m Maya. This is my boyfriend, Nate.” She had a smiled plastered on her face. It was a perfect smile, on a perfect face.
I shifted my shower supplies to my left hand and shook her hand with my right. “Hello. I’m Bria. Nice to officially meet you.” Her hand was soft. So. Fucking. Soft.
Nate shook my hand next. His was not. I never understood why women wanted such rough hands touching them.
Saying goodbye, I walked up to the modern bathhouse. It was great that this place had such nice facilities. Not every state park did. Inside, I showered, my mind went to that soft hand that had just been shaking mine. Her pierced belly button. That sweet voice. Her tanned legs in those short shorts. Under the hot water I slipped my fingers between my legs. Let myself fantasize about those soft hands.
I walked back to the site, a little less pent up feeling. I went inside, but not before glancing over at the tent. No signs of Maya or the beast. Inside, I grabbed what was needed to make myself a burger for dinner. Another day or so and a trip into town to resupply my cold food stores would be needed.
Back outside I got the fire going and the grill over the top of it. Soon, a nice fat juicy burger was sizzling. I was pulling the burger off the grill and putting it on a bun when Maya and the beast walked back from the access road where most of our cars were parked. The beast had a twelve pack of Corona in each hand. Strictly speaking, alcohol was prohibited here, but I had never seen anyone get in trouble as long as things were kept in check. That seemed a bit excessive and I wondered if they would keep things in check.
Maya waved at me when she noticed me watching them. I waved back, then went back to my burger, hoping to not let on to her that I was enamored with watching her. My eyes kept glancing her way though.
Lettuce, tomato, mayo, and some left-over bacon from this morning and my dinner was ready for me to sit and enjoy. I put a couple extra tomato slices on the plate then cut the burger and dug in. I was hungrier than I realized and entirely too soon the burger, and tomato slices were gone.
The sun was starting to change in the sky. The air was getting a little cooler. I stoked up the fire then cleaned up. Once done, I pulled my chair over to the fire with the intent of spending the rest of the evening just watching the flames dance. I was caught up in the show going on in the fire ring when I heard that voice again. In the seconds between hearing her voice and turning to nilüfer eskort bayan look at her, my mind had already undressed her.
Not okay Bria.
“Hey neighbor.” She was walking over with what looked like supplies to make s’mores. I glanced at her, sweats and a hoodie on just like me, then glanced behind her. No sign of the beast.
Cautiously, I said hey back. Given that I was already imagining her naked, I wasn’t sure having her in my space was a very good idea. Not that I could exactly tell her that. ‘Sorry Maya, I’m an extremely lonely and horny lesbian and you look an awful lot like my next mistake.’
She stood in front of me now. My eyes nearly level with her chest. She didn’t appear to be wearing a bra. There was no way to stop myself from imagining what she looked like under that hoodie. “Wanna share?” She shook the contents in her hands a little as she asked me. That pulled me from my reverie.
I didn’t usually eat s’mores, but the company would be nice. I looked past her, expecting the beast to be right behind her. She gave me the supplies then went back to her site and brought back a chair. Once back, she sat down. Close enough I could smell her. Coconut. I was still expecting to see her boyfriend any second.
“He’s passed out cold. He nearly drank a whole twelve pack plus some whisky tonight.” Her tone sounded vexed, but she laughed slightly at the end. Her laugh was quiet, understated. Adorable.
She took the s’mores stuff back then proceeded to hand me a marshmallow and a stick. Then two graham crackers and a piece of candy bar. I toasted the marshmallow and assembled my s’more. One bite in and I was flooded with childhood memories of sitting around a campfire like this eating s’mores with my parents and brothers. I could almost hear my mother yelling at my older brother as he chased my twin brother around the campfire.
Two more bites and suddenly Maya was leaning over me, her finger was on the skin near my mouth. So many parts of her were currently touching me that I had to hold my breath as she moved. Her eyes caught mine as she wiped something off the skin by my mouth. I almost instinctively turned to suck her finger into my mouth.
Then she was back in her own space. “You had some melted chocolate there.” She licked the finger that had just been touching my face as she spoke. My eyes didn’t leave her as she did that. All too familiar urges and pulses were assaulting my body. I was trying to figure her out, figure out what she was playing at. If she was playing at anything.
The s’mores were gone and yet she stayed sitting just a very few feet from me as we both watched the fire slowly burn down. “Are you hiking again tomorrow?”
I turned to look at her as I replied. “Probably something short. I need to drive to town and get food.” I could wait another day, but I felt like I needed an out and wasn’t sure why.
“Nate probably won’t even be able to move tomorrow. If you hike and want company let me know.” She got up, decided that leaning over me again and giving me a small goodbye hug was a thing and walked back over to her tent. I watched her hips move with each step. Just before she unzipped the tent she looked my way and smiled again. Fuck she was adorable. And nice.
A deep sigh escaped my mouth. I briefly contemplated packing up and leaving tomorrow. I didn’t have anywhere to go though. Well, I could go home, but I wasn’t ready for the memories that lived there. Not yet. Hopefully by the end of summer I would be.
I was trying to figure out exactly what had happened. The s’mores. The finger. Her smile and now an offer to hike. I sat contemplating it all until the fire was nothing but embers, then settled in to sleep.
The sun and birds woke me again. I didn’t lay enjoying it for long, my stomach insisted I get up and get cooking.
Outside, I got the fire up and going. Then started cooking eggs. I saw Maya coming out of her tent. She did the same stop and stretch as the morning before. I did the same looking at her bare belly, then the rest of her. For a little too long. Then she looked my way, catching me watching her, and waved. I waved back then put my attention back on the eggs so they wouldn’t burn.
I looked up and she was sitting down at my picnic table. I was thrown off a little by her suddenly being in my space again but managed to reply. “Morning.”
“Nate is still out cold. This is why I don’t drink. He’s not going to want to do anything today but sit around this site.” She groaned as she spoke. “That smells great.”
I was putting my eggs and bacon on a plate. I sighed silently, “Want some?” I had plenty of eggs I could easily make more. Maybe she would get a little food on her face and I could clean it off for her.
“That’s your breakfast. I don’t want to take your food.” She flashed that soft smile again. She was adorable and she knew it.
I tried to keep myself centered, then handed her the plate. “I can make more.” I put more eggs in the pan before she could refuse the plate of food. A few minutes later, I sat down across from her at the picnic table. She didn’t start to eat until I did. I found that sweet. There was likely no meaning behind it, except for the one I was creating in my head.