February 1, 2012
By JKaufman BRONZE, Ada, Michigan
JKaufman BRONZE, Ada, Michigan
4 articles 0 photos 4 comments

The handsome, unshaven boy is someone he has never spoken to before. He is not the boy who had sat in this exact spot when he saw his friend nearly drown, nor the same boy who had kissed a girl for the first time, weeks before. No, this boy is a stranger.
One of the boys sits on a crudely-chopped log, under the cold, omniscient light of the moon that soaks the back of his shirt. He looks from above upon the second boy, evaluating his reality, as only one of them could be truly real.
After the dew collects and the sun rises, he will be gone, permanently. The boy who thought he would exit this journey unchanged. But as he confronts this stranger, he knows he had been wrong. The clear water, which matches his physical state but masks his inner workings, shows him who he now is. This confusing portrait, framed by the beaming moon, catches him up to speed with his own development: just moments ago he was--in his mind--the immature, capricious kid who packed the bags he sits next to; tomorrow he will carry these bags home mature and steady-actioned but mentally disoriented.
The bags were carefully packed a month earlier, but their contents had changed with the boy: photos of pets and parents had re-developed during the nighttime to photos of friends. He took only one photo home, the photo of the young boy, who was no longer real, wearing his “welcome back-Summer Camp 2011” shirt, taken the day before he arrived.
Stretching out his long legs, the boy stands up. The transformation is complete. Until next year, this is who he is.

The author's comments:
Summer camp is an incredible, life-changing experience.

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