Have you ever been so deep in a daze that you find it impossible to get out? Yeah? Well, I have those a lot. Not because I have a medical condition but because my Film Criticism class was painfully boring. I zoned out a lot and sometimes I would zone out for the entire class. Could you blame me though? My professor's voice was such a bore. He made an hour long class feel like an eternity.
"Layla!.. Layla! Snap out of it!" A familiar voice chanted snapping in my face. I shook my head and sheepishly smiled and let out a soft chuckle.
"You did it again, honey." My friend Cassidy said packing up her notebooks and laptop.
"I know, I know! I can't help it" I reply hanging my head feeling guilty. If professor Samson made this class a little more interesting than I wouldn't have this problem. But this is a required elective and I needed it for graduation. So, I would have to get through it as best as I could.
She laughed getting up from her desk. "Girl, you are lucky I take good notes because if I didn't you would be shit out of luck this semester."
I laughed with her because she was absolutely right. Without all the notes she so kindly blessed me with I would not have an "A" in this class. Its not a hard class but zoning out as much as I did can put you behind in the material.
"What would I do without you, Cas?" I said swinging my arm around her neck and giving her my best puppy dog eyes.
"I know right?" She said sarcastically rolling her eyes.
Giggling, we both grabbed our bags and headed to the cafeteria to meet up with our other friends; Sasha and Beatriz. We all have been best friends since we were in diapers. We went to the same daycare, the same preschool, the same middle school— and well you get the point. So going to the same college was only natural. I am extremely blessed to have these three girls in my life and I wouldn't change it for the world. Cassidy and I had the same major. We both were studying Film with a minor in Acting and Sasha and Beatriz were studying Journalism with a minor in Urban Studies. I know what you all may be thinking and I agree with you. We have the coolest friend group.
We entered the cafeteria and heard two high-pitched squeals coming from Sasha and Beatriz. They were two of the biggest drama queens I have ever met. It amazed me that they weren't Drama majors. They always put me in a good mood though with their big personalities. They are the ones who could truly bring me out of my comfort zone.
"Hey bitches!" Sasha said bringing Cassidy and I into a hug.
We laughed, wrapping our arms around her pulling Beatriz in aswell. The way we greeted each other would make you think that we haven't seen each other in years! We were so close that being in separate classes seemed like we were on opposite sides of the world. We weren't just best friends we were sisters.
We sat down to eat shortly after our reunion ritual. My plate held a chicken sandwich and French fries that seemed undercooked. For the tuition to be so expensive at this school the food was trash. Thankfully this is our last semester before graduation and I wouldn't have eat anything else from here. We could cook home made meals but none of us can ever agree on what we want to eat and we didn't want to waste money on eating out all the time. The food was paid for in the cafeteria so I guess I shouldn't complain too much.
"Is everyone ready for the camping trip?" Beatriz asked as she stuffed a fork full of pasta into her mouth. She moaned closing her eyes as if the food was the best thing she had ever eaten.
"Okay, the pasta isn't that bad today." We all started laughing telling her to be quiet.
"I sure as hell am! I'm ready to get off this campus for a couple of days. It's driving me crazy seeing the same buildings and people every day." Cassidy exclaimed.
We all nodded our heads in agreement. Getting away from this campus for a little while was going to be great. College is fun and all but it drains you mentally and physically throughout the four years you are here.
"Speaking of which we need to hit the store today to pick up some stuff." I stated before taking a sip of my drink.
I was like the mother of the group. Not bossy, but well-organized and I liked to have everything planned out so we didn't forget anything. After we finished eating, we cleaned our table and headed to the parking lot. Walmart wasn't far from campus and it only took 10-minutes to get there. We were there quite often. Not because it was such a short drive, but because Walmart was our play ground, We did our occasional shopping but we also played in their as well. We once had a scavenger hunt there and It was epic. But we ended up getting kicked out because we were running around laughing. I don't regret a single minute of that day and I would do it ten times over again with my girls.
"So, what's on the list miss girl?" Cassidy asked getting inside the cart while Beatriz pushed. I took the list out of my bag and started reading it off.
"We need hiking gear, bug repellent, s'mores, toilet paper, and a bunch of other stuff." I replied.
We decided to split up into groups of two given that we had a long list of things. Beatriz and I went one way while Sasha and Cassidy went another. It didn't take us long to get everything and we were currently at self-checkout. We made small talk while scanning the many items we had in the cart. Our excitement was an understatement about this camping trip. Sophomore year we decided to make this a tradition every spring break because Sasha emphasized that It was a great bonding experience for us. She said that she wanted us all to be one with nature and camping was the perfect way to obtain that goal. Thinking about that made me chuckle because she was such a hippy sometimes. After checking out all our items, we headed out of the store and back to the car. We stuffed everything in the trunk and agreed to keep it all the non perishable items in there overnight so that we wouldn't have to haul everything back down from our apartment in the morning.
It was currently 7pm and we were all in the gym working out like we usually do around this time. Outside of going to the occasional frat house or sorority parties we were pretty chill. We are seniors which meant our schedules were short with only a few classes and lots of free time. The gym was by far our favorite place on campus. It not only helped you stay in shape but working out helped you clear your mind and let loose. Here we all helped each other reach our dream bodies over the 3 and a half years we've been in college. I don't like to brag but we were all gorgeous and each one of use was uniquely beautiful inside and out.
"Do you think we will see deer when we get to the cabin?" Sasha asked.
"I think we will. If we do I hope they will let us pet them." Beatriz replied. I laughed while concentrating on doing my squats. They ask the most random questions sometimes.
After we finished our workout we went to shower and relaxed for the rest of the day. We had to get up early tomorrow morning because it was a 4 hour drive to the cabin. We put on a movie and we all cuddled up in the living room until we fell asleep.
My body slowly started to wake up and I could meekly see the sunlight pouring through the curtains. I groaned when the ringing of my alarm went off. Phone alarms were in my top five lists of annoying sounds. I patted my hand around searching for the annoying device to shut it off. When I finally found It the brightness of the screen had me squinting my eyes. Looking at the time I realized that it was 9:30 and that was enough to wake me up completely.
"WAKE UP GIRLS! IT'S TIME TO GO CAMPING!" I yelled excitedly.
Sasha, Cassidy, and Beatriz woke up as if the building was on fire. They were looking around in pure panic and this sent me into a fit of laughter. Their eyes landed in my direction and they all gave me a death glare. As soon as I knew it pillows were being launched at me. I dodge them and gave them all the middle finger. Once everyone was fully awake we all went to shower, got dressed, ate and got on the road.
We had a long drive ahead of us so we were going to take turns driving. I took the first shift. During the first 30-minutes, Sasha was listening to an audiobook, Cassidy was scrolling through Instagram, and Beatriz and I were jamming to our road trip playlist. Three hours later we stopped for gas and snacks because Beatriz said she was so hungry that her 'ribs were touching her back'. I swear that girl was so dramatic. We only had 25-minutes left of drive time and we were all jamming to the music blasting through the car. I was sitting passenger seat screaming lyrics out the window while Sasha and Cassidy were screaming lyrics out the sunroof. We were truly having the time of our lives. Several songs later we were pulling up the drive way to the cabin. It was gorgeous! Big open windows with a beautiful view all around. There was a balcony that was placed on the side of the cabin that overlooked the mountains and a river that looked calm and quite for a nice swim. There were a few boats for fishing I assumed. However, none of us fished so we would probably use them to explore the other side of the river.
While Cassidy and Sasha were swooning over the fact that we had a hot tub Beatriz and I unpacked the car and started taking stuff inside. The inside was just as beautiful as the outside. The ceilings were high and the wood smell in here was divine. A pair of antlers were placed above the fire place and the cabin was furnished with fine faux leather furniture. The kitchen has a beautiful antique island, but the appliances were all up to date. I smiled because we would be able to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner.
"This place is so damn cute!" Cassidy screamed coming through the front door.
"The river looks good enough to check skinny dipping off our bucket lists." Sasha said with a wink.
We were always up for trying new things but did I really want my bare ass in water we've never swam in before?
"Ill get back to you on the idea of skinny dipping." I replied smiling at her.
"Do you think there are bears nearby?" Sasha excitedly chirped.
"I sure hope not!" Beatriz replied.
"I can handle a deer or two but a bear hell no!" She said shortly after.
"I second that." I agreed. I possessed a lot of talents, but fighting off bears was not one of them.
"So that we wont attract any wild life lets keep all food items inside the cabin okay?" I noted looking around the room. No words were said but everyone nodded in understanding.
Day light was slowly slipping away as the sun set. It was a beautiful sight to behold from the balcony. We had just finished dinner and we were all stuffed to the brim. We were going to start all our festivities tomorrow, today was just about settling in. There were four bedrooms so we all got our own rooms which was pretty nice. Sasha and Beatriz fought over who gets the master bedroom for almost and hour. I didn't care which room I got as long as it had an attached bathroom I was fine and luckily every room had one.
"You thought about my skinny dipping suggestion Layla?" Sasha asked.
I sat in silence contemplating her question. She began looking at me with a pout and puppy dogs eyes. She knew how to hit me right in the soft spot. I adverted my gaze back to the view over the balcony trying my best to ignore her. I heard the shuffling of feet walking over to me.
"Pretty please with a cherry on top?" She whined batting her eyes.
Cassidy and Beatriz followed her lead and they surrounded me giving me the same looks.
I tried my best to hold out but I grew weak from the begging and the eyes.
"Alright fine YOLO! Grab some towels and lets go!" I said laughing as I stood up. These girls were relentless. But that is one of the many reasons why I loved them so much. They got me out of my comfort zone and I must admit I loved it.
We stood at the edge of the river buck naked our clothes laid in piles on our spread out towels. It was now dark out which was a good time to go skinny dipping because no one would be around to see us or at least I hopped their wasn't.
"On a count of three we run in." Cassidy chirped.
"1....2.....3!" We all screamed laughing and running into the cold, dark water.
It wasn't as deep as I thought it was but seeing that we aren't the tallest girls it came up just above our waists. We dipped below the water so that our breasts would be covered. It was relaxing just floating in the water. The crickets were chirping, the moon and the stars gave us just enough light to still see each other and all the stress of school seemed to have left all our bodies simultaneously.
Cassidy was humming a song as we were enjoying each other company while floating in the water. A slight shiver crept its way up my spine like someone was watching us. The crickets stopped their nightly song and I stood up.
"Girls, I think we should go in now." I hesitantly suggested.
I surveyed the area around us looking for any slight movement.
"Why what's wrong Lay?" Beatriz asked walking over to me.
"I feel like someone or something is watching us." I whispered.
She scanned the area as well looking into the darkness.
"The crickets stopped chirping as well." I added becoming anxious by the second.
Before anyone else could say anything howls that sounded too close for my liking erupted. I'm not an animal expert but I know for a fact there are no wolves in Ohio. I'm sure my heart was beating out of my chest at this point and I wanted nothing more but run to the cabin. We heard shuffling from the bushes a few yards away. I guess we all were thinking the same thing because we ran full speed to the cabin not caring about our clothes or towels. We locked the doors and windows quickly and shut off all the lights and stayed quiet. We could hear foot steps getting closer and we huddled closer together. I heard the panic in everyone's breathing patterns. I pulled the blanket from off the back of the couch and put it over us.
"It's going to be okay." I whispered. I was more so telling myself that.
We could hear whomever was out there moving towards the river. The rocks and debris from the rock driveway crunched under their footsteps. There were several low growls coming from whatever was out there. A howl erupted again and the footstep that sounded close to the river was now making its way back to where it came from. Hopefully whatever it was, it was leaving. We waited for what felt like an hour before we moved. We needed the reassurance that whatever was out there was fully gone. When we felt as it were safe we went to go put clothes on and decided we were all going to sleep in the master bedroom tonight. Piling into the bed we all laughed.
"What a way to end the first night we were here." Cassidy said snuggling into the pillow. The energy was low in the room and I could tell everyone was tired so we shut our eyes and went to bed.