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Sleep, Be My Escape!
First off, it doesn’t usually suck being under eighteen, but the night I had to escape a fundraising event it did because nobody could leave the stadium unless they were eighteen with ID. Yes, that night I had ID. Unfortunately, I was seventeen. What’s more ironic is the friends who I was in the tent with were both eighteen. Yes, both were ID-less.
Let’s begin this correctly. It was that time of the year for the popular Relay for Life event. Relay includes walking around a track for hours through the night and day and fundraising for the American Cancer Society. Each team sets up an area with their tent or tents. The track where Relay was located on that year had a forest load of tents set up. Besides that, a team member has to be walking the track at all times. People are generally excited and energetic all night, walking and running. That’s the gist of it, but the entertaining parts are the things that go on between the walking. The running around with friends and partying in the tents is where it gets interesting. By partying though, I mean socializing. And lots of it.
It was one in the morning and I finally left the tent my group was socializing in to go try my hand at sleeping in the neighboring tent. I slept in-between my teammates Ian and Cam. It was perfectly fine, aside from the hideously loud music blaring through the speakers, because both of them were radiating heat like no other. So I was nice ‘n warm.
Suddenly an icy chill attacked my face as I woke to see Cam getting up.
“What are you doing?” I groaned, losing my heater for the freezing night.
“I can’t sleep,” Cam replied agitatedly, pushing his hair out of his face, “I need to go anywhere but this tent…Running may tire me out quicker, maybe.” He fumbled his cold fingers on the zipper of the tent flap, forced himself out. When Ian saw this, he immediately conformed to Cam, and rolled out of the tent too, leaving me heatless and cold.
It was finally around 2:07 AM and I was alone. It was additionally ten degrees colder. Lovely, I know. I attempted to sleep. No such luck. So there I was, just chilling in my sleeping bag doing my best to stay warm and after a while I looked down at the hazy glow of my iPhone and realized about forty minutes had past. My head sank into the damp pillow beneath me as I heard footsteps coming near.
Ian was anxiously whispering my name, “Alyssa, Alyssa…Alyssa…Alyssaaaaa!”
I let out a frustrated, “What?”
“We’re breaking out.”
That’s all it took to get me interested.
It’s not that I didn’t like Relay, but honestly I felt miserable in the cold, sleepless, and wet environment. On top of it all, I was already sick. I felt gross. I felt disgusting. I felt exhausted.
At first, the guys weren’t completely serious about this. They just wanted to see if we could leave the restless despair behind to go sleep somewhere nicer. So we tried to take the easy way out and just walk out the front. That was when the ID fiasco came into play.
After that failed attempt, we walked the perimeter of the track and saw what looked like a slit in the offset fencing left of the visitor side bathrooms and discus nets. Cam went to the bathroom and I went to go look at the slit although we knew it would be an illusion. And indeed it was cruelly, and fully fenced. As Cam was in the bathroom, Ian followed me and saw this ladder 10 meters from the slit. The ladder appeared really sketch. Its width was that of a cereal box, and it looked like a crappy, wooden ladder you’d see on a moss infested pirate ship. The desperate in-need-of-rest-zombie I was went to go stand on it. To my complete surprise, it was sturdy and steel even though it looked wooden from far away.
We snuck back to where Cam was, trying to look natural by walking at a normal human’s pace, and showed him the escape ladder. It was a little over two thirds the size of the seven foot fence. We’d have to be quick about climbing it in plain sight of people on the track and then drop down to the grass on the other side.
We walked a lap around the track, waiting for some firemen to leave the open view area of the escape site and then trekked towards the ladder as inconspicuously as possible, looking out for anybody staring at us. When the coast was as clear as it ever could get, Ian hopped the fence and ran. Two seconds after this quick descent I was up and over, catching up to him. He was booking it to Cam’s car.
As Cam caught up we all ducked into the car and cleared stage one of the escape.
It was not over. We drove out as quickly as possible, leaving our tent carnage behind to come back to later, and went all the way home to Cam’s apartment.
When we finally made it, clocking in at around 5:00 AM, we knew we were victorious. Only when you are sleep deprived will you go to these lengths, devising a ridiculous plan to get to sleep. It kind of sucks, but carrying out the plan and winning the comfort of a cozy couch does not. The spongy, soft couch was that of a god. I could not have asked for anything better.