“One day, I started a backpacking trip with my sister and two of her friends. I was stuck with them for the rest of the week. I’m fine with my sister’s friends, but my sister? No thank you.”
One day, I started a backpacking trip with my sister and two of her friends. I was stuck with them for the rest of the week. I’m fine with my sister’s friends, but my sister? No thank you. She takes any chance she gets to insult my brown hair and tall appearance. The date was July 23, 2019. It was 7:15, and I could see only the last speck of sun. I found a perfect spot to set up the tent because it was already getting dark, but my sister wanted to keep hiking and find the site that we had planned to set camp at.
“You are so stupid!” I exclaimed, “I am not hiking in the dark, Allison!”
She snapped back. “It won’t be my fault if you die all alone, Amilia.” Although I was hoping it wouldn’t come to that.
I stayed where I was and set up my tent, but my sister and her friends kept going. I felt unsure about staying where I was alone, not knowing how far my sister would be, but I felt more unsure about hiking through the forest in the dark. All I needed to do was to wake up early and find my sister before she left the site, but what if she goes off trail or leaves before I get there? Or what if I’m farther than I thought? As you can tell, I tossed and turned the whole night. In fact, I could only sleep for about 3 hours.
I woke up a couple minutes ago, and I was already regretting my sleep. It started raining just now, and if I woke up earlier, I would have probably gotten to the site before the rain. I am so stupid. Without another hesitation, I grabbed my poncho and started speed walking along the trail, soaking in my regret and self pity.
All of a sudden, I stopped in my tracks. There was a fork in the trail. That’s when I realized I didn’t have the map. Though I had held it for the entirety of our first day on the trail, I didn’t remember which way to go. I went with my instinct and went to the path on the left. I was walking for what felt like hours, though it could have just been minutes since I chose the path. I just kept on walking until I was half starved, but I couldn’t stop there, I had to keep walking. I walked and walked until I reached an empty campground, and thought, I must have reached the campground. Allison must have left, but I can eat here!
I knew which path to take from the campsite. I wasn’t that unfamiliar with the path. I sat down and took out a bar from my backpack and started eating. It tasted so good because I had been walking for 4 hours according to my watch, and I started at 9. After the bar, I took out my trail mix because Allison had all of our real food. After eating, I stood up and started to walk again, this time, faster, because I knew that I didn’t have much farther to walk.
I walked with intensity, no matter how tired I felt for another two hours before another thought came into mind, what if that was the wrong campsite, and I had really gone the wrong way? I still walked for another three hours until the sun started to set. I had truly given up now. The rain was dripping off of every tree in sight. Everything was soaked. I was terrified, and I realized that I had gone the wrong way. I turned around and walked and walked. There was no space on the trail to set up a tent now, so I had to walk the dark with my flashlight in hand doing exactly what I told my sister I wouldn’t do.
“Hello?!” I screamed, “Anyone there!?”
I was only answered by the sound of rain hitting the leaves and insects living their lives. I walked for another four or so hours before realizing the sun was rising, and I still probably had a long walk to go before even reaching the campsite. My legs felt like if I took another step they would snap, my stomach felt emptier than Hawkins lab, and my giant purple water bottle was emptier that my stomach! Despite how I felt, I kept walking,
“Allison?” I yelled, “Help me! Help!”
I walked for what felt like weeks before I reached the campsite. By then, my lightheadedness reached a maximum, so I got out my sleeping bag and went to sleep. When I woke up, my lightheadedness had gotten better, but I was dehydrated to a point when I thought my body couldn’t take it anymore. I had one day left before my body would die of dehydration. I needed water. I sat there feeling the rain on my head… the rain!
It’s water, so I can drink it… Right? It was my only option, so I had to try it. I sat there watching the rain drizzling into the bottle. One fifth of the way full, one fourth, one half, my throat was hurting more and more to a point where I couldn’t take it. At one point, I gave up waiting, snatched up the water bottle and drank. I knew I couldn’t waste time anymore, so I stood up and kept walking.
My legs hurt at every step even though I had rested, but I needed to get home. I walked and walked for another 2 hours until I couldn’t take the pain anymore. I sat down on the trail, drinking the last bit of water out of my water bottle. My eyelids felt like they were 20 pounds, and I sat there for another five minutes going between being awake and asleep. All of a sudden, I couldn’t take it anymore and just took out my sleeping bag and fell asleep.
I woke up in my bedroom feeling better than ever and I just stood up and went on with my normal life until I felt dripping on my forehead.
“Mom, the roof is leaking!” I yelled
That’s when I really opened my eyes, and I was still stuck in the forest with water dripping down on me. I sat up and my back ached with pain, and I cried, I cried for hours. I then realized that I couldn’t just sit there. I had to go. My water bottle was still empty, but I kept walking and walking for hours and hours. It was six o’clock when I finally sat down to eat for the first time in two days. The food tasted better than heaven. I ate and I ate until the bag of beef jerky was all gone. After I had eaten the jerky, I was still not ready to walk, but I needed to. My pace going back to the fork in the road was way slower than my pace a few days ago. I was walking much slower than before. Despite everything, I kept walking.
I walked until 4 in the morning, and I collapsed. I was next to a stream and filled my water bottle, made a fire, and boiled the water. I took out my sleeping bag and went to sleep. My brown hair looked like pom poms stuck on my head. I slept for hours and hours until I woke to the sound of chirping birds. When I opened my eyes, I was in a hospital bed and the birds chirping were actually the beeping of machines. I heard voices. It was the sound of my mother telling the doctors that Allison found me by a stream. What?
“Oh you’re finally awake, I thought you wouldn’t…” She couldn’t say more.
This is a dream, this is a dream, “This is a dream, this is a dream, THIS IS A DREAM!”
I fought my mother as she tried to hold me on the hospital bed, so I couldn’t get up.
“NO! THIS ISN’T REAL!” I screamed. “WHERE AM I? HOW DID I GET HERE? WHERE IS ALLISON?”
“Wait a second, I’m going to call dad.”
“Hello?” says my dad’s voice, I can see him on my mom’s phone screen. I can also hear a noise in the background, a crying sound.
“She woke up, Burt.”
“Great! Alison and I were just having a chat.”
“What chat?” I asked, trying to sit up
“Lie down Teresa, it’s nothing,” replied my mom.
I watched her screen turn black as she hung up, then my eyes closed, and I fell into a deep sleep.