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I was the perfect model of teenagers; fabulous grades, wonderful musical talent, wonderful daughter and great babysitting girl. And where does this land me?
I had decided to follow a deer trail, thinking that it would loop back to the path. I was too into walking around that I didn't realize the trail disappeared until I tripped over a root.
I had no skills whatsoever when it came to living the wild. I took walks in the forest, and that was that. I expected to be home after a five minute walk so I could talk with my friends.
I tried going back the way I came, but I ended up getting nowhere.
It was now early evening and my stomach was whining for dinner. I remembered stories of people living off edible plants and killing animals to eat them, but that thought made me cringe. I was a vegetarian, for one thing. I was totally against the slaughter of animals. They're living too, we need to be more considerate of them! And the other thing was that I had no idea what plants were edible. Anyways, they weren't clean. And there was not faucet nearby.
So this was apparently my destiny. To starve in the middle of torture. As I was walking around aimlessly, my designer jeans caught on a root and tore. So, my brand new white shoes are muddy, my jeans are ripped, and I'm starving. And this is the longest I've ever been without going on my laptop. I've got friends waiting for me to talk to them! My mother is probably cooking up one of her delicious dinners right now and I'm missing it. All because of that stupid deer trail.
The sky was beginning to darken when I gave up and sat down. Starvation's not slow, is it? So I don't have to suffer that much longer?
Wrong. Darkness surrounded the forest and I was still very much alive. I probably had a million unread texts. And my favorite show was probably over by now. And there are the friends on the web that I haven't spoken to. And there's the homework. Why did I take that deer trail? Darn deer for straying off the path.
Someone singing caught my attention. I was confused. Who else was in the forest and why?
"Under the shade of the trees,
Filled with melodies,
A whole world unseen,
Something in my dreams.
The sun is saying good night,
The moons giving their light,
No one would ever know,
Of the war left untold."
It was a nice tenor voice, and the tune soothed my screaming soul to sleep. I was so lost in it that I didn't notice that the singer had stopped singing. And that the singer was standing next to me, staring at me.
"Oh!" I cried in shock, jumping when I noticed him.
"What are you doing here?" he asked me warily.
"Starving to death."
He looked at me from head to toe. "You're a long shot from starving to death," he said, starting to walking off.
"Wait!" I cried, leaping to my feet. "Do you know the way back to the town?"
I then took in his appearance. He was wearing a long black coat that blended in well with blackness of the night. He had a mop of white hair, though he looked barely older than I, with chocolate brown eyes that would melt the heart of any girl. I myself was turned off at the sight of the two bloody rabbits he was carrying.
His expression darkened as he looked at me. Could he read thoughts? "I know the way to civilization," he answered stiffly.
"Great!" I beamed. "Then you can show me, right?"
"I don't go to civilization."
My heart sunk. "Well, you could show me, right? Point me in the right direction?" I asked hopefully.
"Why are you here?"
The question took me off guard. "Huh?"
"Why are you here?" he repeated, emphasizing each syllable.
"I . . ." I stammered. "I followed a deer path and it got me lost."
He raised an eyebrow. "It got you lost?"
"Yeah, right," he said turning away.
"No, please! You've got to get me back! I'm desperate!"
"I noticed. So, give me one good reason why I should show you the way to civilization."
"Because my parents are waiting!"
I was so shocked at his selfishness. I was lost and he didn't think that was reason enough to help me! Well, I gave him a piece of my mind! "So, you're just standing there while all my friends and family are waiting for me to return! I'm missing my favorite show, can't do my homework, missing all my texts and talking with my friends, and dinner just because you're too selfish to help me! My feet are killing me, they're soaking wet as well, and my designer jeans have been ripped! I'm cold, tired and hungry, also lost, surrounded by darkness, insects and who-knows-what-else and you're just standing there because you're just too selfish to help me!" I finished my rant, breathing hard and glaring at him.
He gave me a look that was almost a snarl. "So, let me get this straight; because you're missing your dinner, friends, family, show, and text messages, and because you're tired, cold and wet because you decided to go down a deer trail, I've got to give up my evening to lead you home? Never mind the fact that I've probably got a million things to do, like getting my own dinner ready, making sure my den is warm enough and having to do something about it if it isn't, collecting my water for the evening, and preparing for tomorrow!"
"You're telling me you live here?" I asked in shock. "Who would live here?!"
"Yes, I do! I've lived here for several years, and I admit, this is the first time I've ever met such a stuck-up teenager who's wandered this deep into the forest, complaining about being away from her technology for so long. Why did you have to come here to complain?"
"You don't have to live here!" I snapped.
"Uh, yeah, I kinda do. I'm not exactly accepted in 'normal' societies like yours, merely because of who I am. Sorry if I just shattered your perfect world by saying that your perfect society actually chases people so different away!"
After a pause, I whispered, "Why does society not like you?"
"You wouldn't believe me if I tell you."
We stood there in silence. I said quietly, "Can you just point me in the direction of civi- home?"
"You're on the path," he said, turning around.
I looked down and realized I was standing on the path I had strayed from.
As I walked home, I considered his rather concise story. I realized that I always had home to return to, a place where there were people who cared about me, and I them. But he didn't. I had gotten lost in the forest, but that was easily solved. This boy had no true home. He could find his way around the whole forest, but he was really forever lost.