"Not yet." I answer
"I can get it for you if you want!" He offers. "No thank you." I say. His smile kinda drops. "Are you okay?" He asks. "It's just Corinne's been gone for a while." I say. "She's your best friend?" He asks. I nod. "I heard there was a lot of crime in your neighborhood so her parents paid for you to come here." He states.
I usually don't care if people know that I live in a bad neighborhood but hearing Henry say it made me embarrassed. I nod again. "It's Okay." He takes my hand and lifts me off my seat. "Go get a burger and I'll go find Corinne, okay?" He gives me a soft grin. I don't wanna let go of his hand. "Okay." I say. He lets go of my hand and goes toward our cabin. I hope she gets back soon.
I set down the bouquet of flowers and start to head back to the garden. It got dark fast, it was kinda scary walking alone on a path surrounded by trees but I know this place like that back of my hand. I followed the path I used earlier and admired the landscape. This is nice, I walk a bit slower to really take in the fresh air.
Then I stop.
Not to look at the scenery. But because I recognized something. Something colorful.
A bracelet. Jaiden's bracelet.
I slowly approach the bracelet. It can't be her's. That's impossible.
I pick it up.
The initials on the bracelet burn into my brain. I feel light headed. Florence.
She can't see this. I whip my head around paranoid. Did she see it already? No. Don't be ridiculous. I have to hide it. Where? I can't hide it in the cabin. She'll find it. She'll find it. I can't bury it. The rain might wash the dirt away. Maybe if I bury it deep enough? No. Burn it? The bonfire. But Florence is there. Stop. Calm down.
I put it in my pocket. For now.
I have to burn it tonight. I can't risk carrying around till tomorrow.
I have to burn it now.
I realize I've been standing around for too long. I make sure the bracelet is still in my pocket. I take a breath in. Then out.
I start walking. Slowly. What if she catches me throwing it in? She'll hate me. Or maybe she won't. Doesn't matter. She won't see me.
The closer I get to the garden the more anxious I get. I thought you could only get this tingly feeling when you sit on your leg and it falls asleep. Somehow I walk even slower.
How is her bracelet here? She was killed in Florence's neighborhood. Oh god. Did someone here kill he-
Footsteps. I tense up.
Who was it?
My nerves calm down when I see it's only Henry. "Hey, Henry!" I try to sound enthusiastic. "Hey, Corinne! Florence was worrying about you. Where you've been?" He asks being his normal cheerful self.
Should I tell him? I really want to tell someone.
No. I can't.
"I got caught up admiring the camp. It's always so beautiful." I say.
"Can't disagree with you there. This place is the best place on the planet." He smiles. "I love my job." He adds. I smile. Henry always makes me feel better.
"Shall we go?" He bows like he's royalty or something and uses his hand to motion to the path. "Yes, good sir." I say playing along and putting on an accent. We walk to the garden and as soon as Florence sees me she sprints towards me.
"CoRiNnE!!" She yells me name. She jumps on me almost making me fall to the ground. I get paranoid that the bracelet will fall out my pocket but if I act suspicious she'll ask questions. "Hey, Florence. Sorry, for making you wait." I say. She faces Henry. "Thanks." She says. "No problem boblem!" He walks off to talk to the other campers.
"Corinne, the burgers here are impeccable." She says doing a chef's kiss. I chuckle. "I know right?" I respond. I quickly try to think of an excuse to distance myself from Florence so I can throw the bracelet into the bonfire.
"Let me go get a burger and I'll come back okay?" I say. She a gave me a thumbs up as she took another bite of her burger. I take the the bracelet out of my pocket and clench it tight in my fist. I walk near the bonfire.
I look around.
Florence is busy talking to Ashley.
The other camp counselors are distracted.
The campers are eating their burgers.
I lift my fist and quickly throw it in the fire. To my delight the bracelet burns up quickly. The charm is pretty resilient but the initial starts to become illegible. I let out a breath I didn't realize I was holding. It's over.
I happily trot over to the short line to get a burger. I put whatever I want on it and take a bite. It somehow tastes better today. I turn around and every single ounce of pleasure I was feeling was replaced with dread. My stomach felt heavy. My throat closed.
Florence stood there in front of me. A depressing look on her face. She was trembling. Did she see the bracelet? Impossible it was practically gone!
We stand there in silence until I finally decide to speak.
My voice fails me. I try again.
It feels like an eternity until she answers.
"Ashley has one of Jaiden's bracelets."