When I open my eyes the next morning, Kelly is laying next to me on her queen sized mattress. When we got back last night after our little “Joy Ride” as Jojo referred to the tour of San Antonio, we were all beat. Jojo, Cameryn, and Oli all slept on the sofas and a small air mattress Oli brought along. There isn’t much privacy for us up in the loft of the apartment, but it’s definitely a nice little space to cozy up in.
Kelly stirs, opening one eye and stretching out her arms. “What time is it?” She says with a yawn.
“It’s almost 9:30.” I say looking at the clock.
“Oh great, we are behind schedule. They want to go on a hike today, it will take hours just for Jojo to get ready to go.” She leans forward and embraces me. “However laying in bed with you all day seems a lot more enticing.” She says as she kisses me.
I squeal at her touch and embrace her back, then I break the kiss. “But we should go then, trails aren’t very safe to be in after dark.”
Her head jerks back as she uncontrollably giggles. “I hope it won’t take him that long!” She pauses putting her hand under her chin. “But I sure wouldn’t give Jojo the opportunity!” That sends us both into hysterical fits of giggles.
“Do you got any extra clothes for hiking? I only brought sundresses.” I ask as we get out of bed.
“Yeah sure, hold on.” She says as she begins rummaging through her drawers. “Here try these on they should fit.” She says as she hands me a t-shirt and a pair of overall shorts. I hesitate and take a step forward and a step back Kelly notices my hesitance. “It’s okay Ivy I won’t look, we can both turn our backs to each other to change.” she says as she turns around.
My face beats red as I see her take her shirt off, I turn away quickly and begin changing quickly. When I am finished I slowly turn around, peeking over my shoulder. She isn’t finished yet, I begin slowly counting to ten.
“Okay come on lets go! I’m ready for some adventure!” She squeals as we thunder down loft stairs.
She grabs a pan and a spoon from her kitchen and walks over to where the boys are sleeping. Then she proceeds to bang the spoon all over on the inside making a loud clanging racket. “Come on let’s get a move on gentlemen!” She says in a commanding tone. The boys instantly begin to stir!
“You’re an asshole!” Jojo complains as he rubs his eyes and gets out of bed.
“You love me and you know it Jojo, now come on you guys if you want to see the Mcallister Park trails!” She says as she opens her blinds. They all three groan simultaneously, as they climb up from their sleeping areas. Kelly was definitely not exaggerating about how long it takes Jojo to get ready. Oli and Cameryn were ready to go within 30 minutes, but it took Jojo almost an hour and a half. We all sat their eating toast and drinking orange juice, watching him pack and unpack items from his satchel. Until finally he had everything he wanted and could carry.
When we finally finished loading up the car, we made our way towards Mcallister Park. The boys seem to perk up the closer we get to the park.
“Which trail are you going to take us on, I hear the trails out here are really beautiful.” Oli asks.
Turning back I answer him. “Well that all depends on what kinds of trails you like, short quick trails or long ones you can take your time leisurely in.”
He opens his mouth to answer but Cameryn cuts him off. “We like the kind of trails that you can just get lost in, if you know what I mean?” He says.
“Yeah what he said!” Oli says gesturing towards Cameryn.
“Alright well, there are a lot of long trails. The best one when it comes to mind would be the Blue Loop Trail.” I say pausing. “It’s long about 6.7 miles long, but it’s definitely worth the walk when it comes to the scenery.
“Well I say yes, what about you guys?” Oli says asking all of us,
We all agreed in unison, as we pulled into Mcallister Park. We All got out and got ready for the long trail ahead.
I could tell that the boys were really enjoying themselves as we walked along the trail. There were fields of lavender growing along some of the path. I picked a piece and placed it in Kelly’s hair. She smiled taking my hand for a long while as we all strolled along. We stopped at a sign that read ’Majestic Oaks that was nailed into a tree and Cameryn ushered us all over for a photo.
There were many creeks and at a lot of the time I would catch Oli attempting to skip stones. I waited until the next time we came across a creek and I approached him.
“Can I give you a little tip?” I ask him.
He nods his head. “Yeah, sure.” He says uninterested.
“Get a flat stone like this.” I say showing him the stone. “When you throw it whip your wrist as you throw it like this.” I say as I whip the stone across the water sending it skipping and sputtering.
His face lights up. “One like this?” He asks me and I nod approvingly. He whips it and it goes even further then mine!
“Whoooo! Yeah good job!” I squeal and clap!
“Thank you!” He says smiling as he whips another.
We continue on our hike when all of a sudden Jojo heads off trail and disappearing from sight.
“Damn it Jojo what the hell are you doing now?” Kelly exclaims under her breath. “Cameryn can you please go get him?” She sighs pinching her nose where her eyes are shaking her head.
“HEY YOU GUYS COME OVER HERE!” Cameryn yells.
“YOU GUYS NEED TO SEE THIS!” Jojo yells excitedly.
“What are those two up to now, come on you guys let’s go see what they found now.” Kelly says as we follow her off into the boys direction, my jaw drops in awe when I see what the boys find.
An old run down cabin in a field, Jojo is completely elated! “This is place is perfect!” He squeals as he opens up the old wooden door, it creaks loud and eerily.
“Yeah the perfect place for a mass murder.” Cameryn remarks under his breath, as he pulls out a lantern he had stuffed in his sack.
When he lights it up the entire room is illuminated, the floor is cement all cracked and eroded. the walls are bared with chipped and flaking paint. We all take a seat around the lantern.
“Well this is a good a place as any to smoke. Nice and spacious, oh and the décor is just to die for!” Jojo says with a flick of his wrist, giggling maniacally.
“You guys I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the sun is starting to go down why don’t we smoke after we finish the hike.” I say looking at Kelly with concern.
She goes to open her mouth and Oli cuts her off. “Don’t worry about that none, I have a conceal to carry.” He says rolling up his pants leg, revealing Ruger 9 mm Pistol. He unbuckles it and pulls it out handing it out towards me. “You can hold it if you want.” He says as I lean away from him shaking my head no.
“Yeah legal in New York where you live! Put that thing away before you shoot your eye out.” Kelly says pausing to think. “We can smoke one bowl and that’s it, then we are headed home!” She says crossing her arms and staring them down.
“Alright mother! Jeez chill out!” Cameryn says as he hits the bowl, everyone relaxes. We finish smoking and Jojo stops everyone for a photo in front of the wagon. As the camera flashes we can hear a low growl off in the distance in the foliage.
“Nobody move, there’s a mountain lion over there towards the end of the clearing watching us.” Just as soon as I say it the mountain lion steps into view, its eyes shining in the lantern light. It inches towards growling louder and louder. Oli fumbles for his leg to grab his 9 mm. “Don’t move if you move it could attack us before you even pull it out. When I say run into the cabin!” I pause gauging the cougar’s attack. “Now!” I scream, I turn to run but I am too late to make iy in behind them, the cougar has closed in on me too fast. I begin to let out a scream, my scream is answered by a loud rumbling. The ground begins to shake and a tree root whips from the ground sending the cougar flying. He limps away slowly, almost cowardly. I watch in awe as the tree root settles back into the ground.
What just happened does not register and I am stuck there completely bewildered. I cannot explain to them what had happened for fear that I really do start to believe I really am a freak. So I spend the rest of the night, zoning out on all of the conversations going on. I can tell that Kelly notices, when she tries to pull me out of my shock and ask what happened. I can’t tell her, all I manage to come out with is “It was a freak accident.” She doesn’t push me anymore after that.