I watched shadows dance on the grass as I lie on my stomach, an old grey sweater under my chin for comfort, although the warmth of the campfire was comfort in itself, the hard ground was starting to make my arms sore. People roasted marshmallows and hotdogs talking amongst themselves, normally, I would join in but I was tired, and I kept dozing off. I titled my head and leaned into my sweater.
"Patience, I made us hotdogs for us, let's eat them in our room, we have to go to bed anyway." My friend, Nima said quietly. She was usually quiet, and never really had anything to say. She sat on a mossy log and her copper skin glowed in the light of the fire, concerned brown eyes looking sheepishly at my sweater.
"Your sweater's going to get dirty like that."
I huffed while I sat up and brushed off my sweater, it looked fine to me.
"Let's go then."
I tossed away the paper towel that held my hotdog in the general direction of the trash can. Nima and I shared a room in a cabin for our duration, we were here for a two-week camping trip for a summer class, Nima didn't want to go alone so I tagged along. It was our last night here and I was more than ready to leave. The camping trip was strictly girls-only, and the boys' would get their camping trip separately from us. The councilors had their own cabin, four students per each of the three cabins.
We slept on a bunk bed, and I got to claim the top bunk, there were dozens of glow in the dark stars glued to the ceiling at random, the first night I slept here I swore that I would put them into constellations but never got around to it. Constellations were just a map of the stars, of the planets and galaxies hundreds of thousands kilometers away.
I was wearing my grey sweater to bed, it was cold in the room, it smelled of campfire and burnt marshmallow, the smell of cool summer nights. I closed my eyes and pulled the blankets closer.
Now that I thought about it, it wasn't really a camping trip if we stayed in cabins.
I woke up to a loud tap on my window, I sat up and whipped my head around to see a hooded figure in pajama bottoms and a dark colored sweater perched on my windowsill.
"Shit, wrong room." They said under her breath, a girl from the camp?
I froze as I tried to process what was going on.
"... Who are you?" I asked hesitantly. The girl was probably from the room next to me, the camping trip was partner based and roommates were typically put together, so I never really got the chance to get to know her. I saw her around a lot though. She had her own room because her roommate got caught with a bottle of vodka - an instant suspension. All of the cabins looked the same and so did the windows, it made sense for her to mistake my window for hers.
"Sage. Can I just..." So it was the girl down the hall. Sage stepped into my room and swiftly walked across the room and out the door. The door slammed and Nami woke up startled.
"Go back to bed" I reassured her. I heard the mattress springs groan as she laid back down, Nami was known for being a heavy sleeper.
What was that anyway? I thought and found myself getting up after her, I was fully awake now and I checked the clock on the beside table, 5:18 AM. I hadn't noticed but the sky was a dark blue, and it was going to be light out in about an hour.
I opened the door to a narrow hallway lit by a night light, long shadows and dark corners made it look menacing and creepy. Light came from the farthest room down the hall and I went to it, the cool wood floor chilling my bare feet. I started contemplating whether or not to actually go into the room
"Your room stinks like campfire" The girl, Sage, said from inside. I took that as an invitation.
When I walked in the first thing that I noticed was that her room was very clean, guilt flushing me as I remembered the garbage pilling up in the corner of my own room. The second thing was that she had a pack of cigarettes in her hand, Marlbolo, the brand my grandmother would smoke as she sat outside and watched me and my siblings play in the yard.
"Your room smells like cigarettes." I closed the door, not knowing what else to do.
"You can have one if you don't rat me out." She took off her hood and held out the box to me, it was a twelve pack and there were exactly four and a half cigarettes left.
"Not that one." She said as I reached for the half one, I took a full one and put it in my pocket. She patted the spot next to her and I sat down.
"The councilor would freak out if she knew you were out at this time." I mulled, I didn't really care about getting in trouble but decided to make small talk.
"I bet she would." She hummed, stretching, "If your wondering why I was out, I was out by the lake, too stuffy in here."
Sage had a certain air to her, the cigarette stink clung to her clothes, her hair was in a messy bun, she had mousy brown hair and skin the color of milk tea. She seemed oddly comfortable with me, as if we were good friends for a long time, which we weren't, people like that always threw me off.
"I'm from Alberta, what about you?"
We were quiet after that.
Her room was pretty boring actually, instead of being clean it seemed empty. She slept on the bottom bunk, a sheet stuffed under the mattress above her, she probably pulled it down to conceal herself at night. I considered asking her what that was about. I wondered what the time was, looked out the window and decided that the sun would rise in about 20 minutes.
"Are you going back to bed?" She turned to me, tired, dark eyes looked into mine for a split second. I turned quickly to pick at my sleeve, at a lint ball hanging off it.
"No I guess not, we're supposed to be up in two hours though, no use trying to get sleep now." I'd be too tired by then.
Sage got up and looked under her bed, neck craning against the mattress as she reached for something, a white book with a purple spine. I guessed she wanted to read in peace so I got up an started heading for the door I paused as I held the door knob.
"The sun's gonna rise soon, and my roommate's scary when she wake up so I don't have anyone to watch it with... Do you want to watch?" I asked quietly, hiding behind the door. I peeked around it, expecting her to pull down the sheet above her mattress and decline. It was easier to lower my expectations.
"Not really," I closed the door, embarrassed and went back to my room, sinking into my bedsheets.
I looked at the clock, angry red numbers glaring at me. 6:10. The sun will rise in about another ten minutes, so I laid there and waited.