Trouble in Paradise?

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Chapter Forty

The rest of the afternoon went by quickly, Jordan chatting my ear off for the majority of it. I was happy to listen, and it brightened my mood by tenfold.

Strangely, Amber seemed to have disappeared. I also noticed that one of her bags was missing. I wondered to myself if the missing bag contained all of the tricks she had brought with her. I hoped so.

I was setting up my own tent, at least the one that Amber and I would presumably be sharing. It took me around twenty minutes, trying to set up the thing by myself. I had no idea where everyone had gone by the time I finished, I didn’t realise I was alone in our little camping spot.

I shrugged and grabbed my air mattress, shoving it into the tent. I had attached a pump to it while I was setting the tent up, and I was glad when I pulled out a sleeping bag. Air mattresses always end up deflating no matter what.

It was around four in the afternoon now. I had shoved all of my belongings into the tent, and I was now sitting in there. It was getting colder, so I shrugged on a large jumper.

Weirdly, I heard a shuffle outside of my tent. Then a knock, or what could be described as one, against the tent wall. Murderer. You’re fucked.

I unzipped the tent and peered outside, seeing no one. I looked down and saw a note. It was folded, and had nothing written on the front. I shivered and picked up the note, zipping my tent back up.

I unfolded the note, and almost dropped it with surprise. It was a letter, written in messy handwriting, from Blake.

Blake had written a letter. Blake, with dyslexia, had written a letter.

I read through it carefully, breathing through my mouth as the freezing air numbed my nose. My heart bled with sorrow as I read through it over and over again. He had tried his hardest writing this note. The writing was so good and sophisticated, he had improved immensely. It was something he had struggled with, and he had overcome it.

I put it down and unzipped the tent again. I looked around, scanning to find him or identify his tent. They all seemed to be empty, but one. I assumed that was him, so I got up and went over.

I knocked (can you even knock on a tent?) and waited. I stepped back as he unzipped his tent and stood in front of me.

“You wrote this,” I said. “for me?”

He nodded slowly, not saying anything. He face looked forlorn, and he resembled a sad puppy.

“Thank you,” I said. “I guess I can-”

He hugged me before I could finish. Everyone was so full of hugs today. I rolled my eyes and grinned before returning the bear hug.

“You owe me a shitload of ice cream,” I pointed out and his goofy laugh returned. “I mean it.”

“I promise,” he said. “I’ll be your slave for weeks.”

“Months?”

“Deal.”

I let him go and smiled. “Your letter explains... a lot. But never a why. Why did you all...?” I couldn’t finish the sentence.

“I don’t know,” he said honestly. “Fear. Fear of losing you. Anger. Pain. I don’t think I’m the right person to be explaining this... at least I’m not the first person that should be explaining.”

And I knew what that meant. Go and talk to him.

I wasn’t in the mood. “The letter... I... thank you.”

Because in that letter were words that even I couldn’t have conjured together to flow so perfectly. Emotions and explanations, all present. It hit me in the chest, and I couldn’t leave it unnoticed.

But I will leave it in my heart forever. No one will ever know what was in that letter.


“Let’s go skinny dipping!” Amber cheerfully suggested.

It was dark out, and we had a campfire set up like a good ol’ cliché. We didn’t have marshmallows, but I was pretty sure that Amber had brought some. Who knows where they are now.

I was in between Jordan and Blake, and Amber was sitting with Ethan and Xavier on the other side of the fire.

And as soon as Amber had suggested that, fire alarms started ringing in my head. My eyes bulged as I looked at her with what could only be described as panic. I started mouthing obvious ’no’s and I shook my head frantically.

She didn’t get the signal.

Jordan and Blake shot up immediately, seemingly thrilled at the idea of busting out their...

Oh boy, this will be an interesting night.

Xavier, being the absolutely lust driven idiot that he is, also shot up and immediately made his way to the lake. Amber followed excitedly, and Ethan trailed behind her. He glanced at me briefly before following, leaving me sitting at the campfire alone.

I sighed, standing up. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this, nor did I want to expose my area to every underwater creature in the vicinity.

I spotted the large piles of clothes that remained on the rocks right before the tide. I moved them back to make sure that no one would lose their clothes in the water. I could see them splashing each other in the dark, and I huffed before I sat down on the rocks and crossed my arms. My ankle, still insanely fragile, was in a moon boot (a boot plaster keeping my ankle in place) so therefore I didn’t want to get it wet or ruin my injury even further.

I could walk fine, but swimming.. probably not the best idea. No one seemed to mind that I was hanging back, but I didn’t blame them. They were having fun.

It got even colder, especially without the warmth of the fire from before. I decided to stand up, before I walked back to my tent. They could enjoy their swimming, I was tired. I got ready for bed before I slipped into my sleeping bag and covered myself with two blankets. I felt the cold a lot.

I could hear their yells of excitement as I shut my eyes and listened to the sounds of the night. It must’ve been an hour before I was hearing them come back, my mind only half awake. I heard Amber giggling as she stumbled in the dark. I heard the tent being unzipped, and I thought it was Amber until someone laid down next to me. I immediately recognised the arms wrapping around my body while in the sleeping bag. It was Ethan, lying down next to me, as his large body encompassed my own with warmth.

I was half asleep, and too tired to be pissed, so I simply fell asleep.


“Stef! Stef! Fucking wake up!” I heard someone saying. I jerked my head awake, seeing Amber peeking into my tent. I then became aware of a very muscular body next to me, and I took a double take when I saw the unfortunately very attractive Ethan lying next to me, his arm around my waist. He was still asleep.

“Slowly get up,” Amber whispered. “And meet me outside.”

It was early in the morning, the sun having risen only recently. I managed to slide away from Ethan’s grasp without waking him up, incredibly confused about my inner emotions at the moment.

I spotted Amber standing by a tree, and I gave her a weird look as I approached her. “What’s with the wake up call?”

“I have my plans ready,” she said. “The equipment is over there.”

I raised an eyebrow and turned around to glance at where she had been pointing. It was a large pile of various goodies and pranks, things that I couldn’t even imagine.

My mouth opened as I let out a laugh. “How screwed are they?”

“Very.”

“Perfect.”

Amber had brought so much stuff that I didn’t know if we could even use it all. She had planned a multitude of revenge pranks for each of the four guys, and I almost couldn’t believe her as she told me of those plans.

Basically, it ended up with each of them waking up in very weird places with mysterious liquids covering them. Awesome.

“So, I’ve calculated that Blake and Xavier are very deep sleepers, while Ethan is a meh and Jordan is the lightest sleeper. Blake is going in the river, Xavier up a tree, and I’m still deciding between the other two,” she explained with few breaths.

I felt like laughing maniacally. “Let’s do it.”

First order of business was the mysterious liquids that would be dumped on each of them. Ethan was in my tent, Xavier in his own tent while Blake and Jordan had shared. This made me snap my neck up at Amber.

“So where did you sleep?” I asked with a jokingly accusing eye. “You slept in Xavier’s tent?” I gasped.

She shrugged and then coughed, clearing her throat. “This isn’t the time for this. Focus, woman! We only have a few hours!”

I let the subject drop, but made a mental note of it later. I watched as Amber pulled out cans, bottles and containers of unusual liquids and substances that should definitely not be mixed together.

“So we have,” she started. “pickle juice, apple juice, tomato sauce, mustard, mayonnaise, soy sauce, vodka and an old strawberry milkshake for the liquids/substances. And then for the ‘other’ category we have: whipped cream, melted chocolate, old cheese, rotten potato chips, honey, hair conditioner, toilet water and, finally, mouldy bread.”

“Oh my god," I said. “Where did you even get all of this stuff?”

“Various places,” she hinted, flipping her hair. “Great though, right?”

“Amazing,” I replied. “This stuff together will not be pleasant.”

“That’s the point, now help me blend some of this shit together,” she said. “But leave some for the garnish on top.”

“Gross,” I said, quickly helping her combine the ingredients together into some super mixture. The smell was absolutely revolting, and it made the both of us gag simultaneously.

“So now, we drag Blake’s mattress to the waterfront. In order to get Xavier into the tree, we have to hook his sleeping bag up there and then fill it with this shit. Then we will pour it over Blake.”

“And for Ethan and Jordan?”

“Jordan will be taking a trip to the campsite bathrooms, while Ethan will be successfully tied down to a picnic table.”

I clicked my tongue. “Perfect. How much of this stuff did you bring?” I asked, referring to the large mountain of food items that she had brought as well as the few outliers.

“A lot. Way more than this, so if we run out then we can make more,” she replied. “Now, help me grab Xavier and hook him to the tree.”

“Gladly.”

What, you thought that I was simply forgiving them without some good old fashioned revenge for fun?

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