I smiled and pulled back from her embrace just in time for the phone to ring. I rushed forward, hoping that it was Stephen, releasing me from my mother’s presence. Luckily, it was him.
I knew his voice from anywhere. “So did your mother say that it was okay?”
I felt my eyebrows pull down in confusion. “What?”
“You are going to Oregon for the field trip, right? Or are you letting your suspicion of the whole thing get the best of you?” I could hear the laughter bubbling up.
I sighed. I hated when he did this. “Hell yeah! There is no way I am passing this up.”
He laughed. “Oh okay. Good, because I dished up some information that you are just going to love!”
I stared at the phone in suspicion. “What?”
“We can bunk together.”
“Um, yeah Stephen. We should be able to. We are in college now. This isn’t some high school trip.” I said laughing.
“That’s not the only thing I wanted to tell you.” He said his tone defensive. “He was thinking of changing the field trip date to tomorrow.”
“What? Why is he so desperate to have this field trip? He can’t do that. How will he inform everyone?”
“I don’t know. But you know how my dad is. He’ll think of something.”
I rolled my eyes. I knew exactly how his father was. He would do anything and everything to get what he wanted. I sighed.
“Okay. I’ll go pack.”
I hung up the phone hesitantly, an uneasiness forming in my stomach. The image of the ravenous human from my dream ebbing up in my subconscious again, and I tried to look neutral as I half ran up the stairs to my room. When I got there I tripped over something, throwing myself headlong into the small space barely missing my headboard. I looked down at my ankle and spotted the culprit. It was a heavily wrapped box. I removed my ankle from its place embedded in one of the packages sharp corners and tore at its tough outer shell.
I reached inside and my hand came out with just a piece of paper. I grunted with disappointment as I read its contents.
I think that it is best that you don’t go on that field trip on Monday. I have a feeling that there is something more to this little trip than people realize. I know you feel that uneasiness as well. Please, stay home and keep yourself safe.
My tongue felt dry. Who had sent this? I looked around the room uneasily and then looked back at the letter. I had a feeling I had seen that handwriting before. I sighed, for the hundredth time, that night. I decided against dinner, my stomach felt like it was doing flips. I threw a week’s worth of clothes into my bag and climbed into bed.
I stared up at the ceiling unable to sleep. I groaned, turning over on my stomach. Who sent that note? There hadn’t been a return address and even if there had I didn’t think that I could have conjured up the courage to go to the person’s house. What if the person was a pedophile? I shivered at the thought and pulled my covers closer to my body. I could feel my eyelids getting heavier as the night wore on but I couldn’t sleep. The note bugged me too much. Finally around 2am I finally fell asleep.
There was a laugh to my right. I turned to look at the culprit even though I knew who it was. It was Stephen. He was in an unusually good mood considering the setting. My heart accelerated. The room was small with a few beds crammed into the small space against the wall by a window. Not just a window. The window. I tried to concentrate on what Stephen was saying.
“Oh come on Mel! He’ll be back soon I promise. Nothing is going to happen to him.”
Before I could know what would happen next a ringing noise jolted me awake. I rolled over, still groggy and turned off my alarm. Today was the dreaded field trip.