Chapter 1: The Hike

"Dior! We are going to be busted by Ms. Trampton if we aren't ready by 7:00am sharp!" My best friend Izabelle scowled at me.

"Iz! Why are you even freaking out? I'm so exhausted. Just five more minutes." I pleaded drowsily, still in my sleeping bag.

"Di! Get. Up." She said with a tone of struggle, trying to dump me out of my sleeping bag.

"I don't think so…" I said desperately trying to grasp onto the sides of my sleeping bag.

She lifted the sleeping bag right side up with me hanging upside down.

"Do. You. Surrender." Iz said. It was not a question but a statement.

"Yes, yes. Now put me down!" I said, waving up my white tee from yesterday. "See my white flag?!"

Reluctantly, she dropped my sleeping bag, just like that. Sending me flying to the ground.

"Ow! That hurt!" I said, rubbing my head. "Now you're gonna get it Izabelle Bellina!"

After chasing after her around the tent and finally pushing her into a pile of wet and muddy clothes, I quickly washed up and changed into my hiking gear. It consisted of my new hiking boots, White Sierra hiking pants and a fleece jacket. I then packed my hiking pack. We were suppose to pack light, but unfortunately, the word 'light' does not fit in my dictionary. I just had too many things to pack. I stuffed in:

Three pairs of extra socks (hey, what if my boots fail me?)

A pack of matches (uh…you never know when I'll need to start a fire…)

A notebook (uh…jotting notes?)

Pen (writing, duh!)

Pocket knife (um…to commit a murder?)

Pair of shorts (to show off my belle legs.)

Three bottles of water (to prevent dehydration.)

Five packs of gum (I can't live without it.)

Flashlight (you never know.)

Lip gloss (no one said no kissing in the woods.)

My all new Canon digital cam (you never know when you can snap embarrassing pics.)

Rope (to tie bandits up…?)

First aid kit (I can be superwoman!)

French manicure set (perfect nails for every occasion.)

What else can I put in my backpack….. I know!

"Di! Ms. Trampton is on her way here! Hurry up!" I heard Iz shout from outside.

Perfect! Now I am all set.

I quickly hauled my pack over my shoulder and made my way out of the tent. Instead I fell backwards and stumbled onto my sleeping bag. I took my pack off. Why did I fall backwards….I must've put too many things in! I had practically put everything I had brought to camp in my pack! Yet I had no time to remove it, I scrambled out of the tent dragging my pack along with both hands.

"Whoa! Di, have you ever camped in your life before?" Iz asked.

"Yes," I said defensively. "When I was like uh…11 or um…maybe12…."

"You are wayyy over packed. We are gonna be climbing up hills, and you are gonna roll off backwards with that pack." Iz said, observing my pack and trying not to laugh.

"Oh, shut up. I know how to camp!" I said more confidently than I had wanted too. "This, my friend, is for highly camped uh…campers…."

"Uh huh…" Iz said amusingly, crossing her arms over her chest.

I staggered up the hill. The millionth hill. Each step a question. Why does our school have to bring us camping for our end of the year trip? Why did I put everything in my pack? Why am I out of water already? What had drove the teachers so mad as to make us hike this 20 k trail alone? Where had Iz gone?

Probably at the front, leading our class. I was the last one. Stumbling here and there with my 10 pound pack. Everyone had packed light, that is except for me. I was moaning and groaning despite my efforts when all of sudden it started to rain, no-pour!

I had fallen so much behind that I no longer saw my classmates. It was my first time camping since I was 12- that's 6 years. Who knew how big this Algonquin park was anyway? I didn't. It was my first time here. I stopped and sat on a rock to rest. My hair was soaked and my clothes were drenched. It was not pleasant wearing a drench fleece, so I took it off, leaving my white embroided tee on.

I did not bring a raincoat or anything impermeable, so I tried to hide under a tree.

"That's a bad idea." I heard a deep rich voice said the moment I was under the tree.

I turned around. There was a boy, about the same age as me, maybe a bit older. He had chocolate brown hair and matching brown eyes. He was in a rain poncho that was too big for him, and underneath the poncho, I saw a beige tee and hiking pants.

"How would you know?" I shot back rudely, really, I was in no mood for some guy to tell me what to do.

"Uh…sorry to offend you, but…have we…met before?" He asked, gazing into my sea green eyes.

I raised an eyebrow.

"No." I said flatly. "Honestly, if you're here to help and all, please proceed and stop the chit chatting."

"Uh…" He seemed reluctant. "Sure. Let me hold your pack for you."

He reached for my pack.

"What do you have in here? This thing weighs a ton." He said surprised.

"I know. Trust me, I carried it for almost half the trail, that's like at least 8 k." I said trying to keep the tone of annoyance out.

He didn't say anything; he just swung the pack over his shoulder.

"Uh…in case you didn't notice, I am still in the rain!" I said with a very annoyed tone.

"You can share my poncho with me, if you don't mind." He offered.

I took in the offer and slipped under it with him. The space where your head was suppose to go wasn't quite big enough, causing our faces to be about inches apart.

"Hey, my name's Dior, but my mates call me Di." I said introducing myself.

"Yeah, cool. Devante here."

"Oh hurry up Dior! Man, you're slow! No wonder you're ditched by your classmates." He shouted. "You're slowing me down too."

"Well, it's not my fault," I said indignantly. "My feet are killing me."

"The rain's getting bigger. I reckon a thunder storm soon."

"Yeah right." I said sarcastically.

Just as I said that, I heard thunder. I froze in my steps as rain started to roughly splash down everywhere.

"Told ya." He said knowingly. "In your face. Com'on! Walk!"

I tried, but I couldn't! My feet were stuck.

"I can't!" I shouted. "I'm stuck!"

"Jesus Christ! Gawdammit!" He groaned. "I told you hustle up, you're stuck in the mud now 'cause of the rain! Don't you know that the mud 'round here absorbs rain extremely quickly?"

"Well are you going to help me?" I shouted through all the thunder and rain.

He came closer and pulled me out of the mud, in fact he pulled so hard. He fell backwards into the mud. I tried not to laugh, but couldn't hold it. I laughed so hard, I fell to the ground. Knocking him down deeper into the mud just as he was getting up. I laughed and laughed until my stomach hurt. His face was just hilarious, covered in mud and extremely frustrated.

"You know what." He yelled after we finally got up. "We are going to be in a huge thunder storm if you continue to walk at that pace."

"I can't help it." I said innocently.

"No, you can't," He announced with a grin. "But I can."

I was just about to roll my eyes when he picked me up, just like that. Swiped me from the ground and started walking at a much faster pace. He had a strong build, I could see that. He had my ten-pound pack over his shoulders and me in his arms, yet he still walked extremely fast. I think I might've fallen right out of his grip if I hadn't clung on to his neck.

"Are you kidnapping me?" I shouted through all the racket.

"Yep! It's my job to kidnap feisty hot chicks!" He shouted back laughing as I rolled my eyes.