All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
CHAPTER 5: HAYDEN
“Hey, wake up,” I heard someone murmur in my ear. I groaned and rolled over, too tired to respond. “Wake up,” the person repeated. Whoever it was began to shake my shoulder, making it pretty impossible for me to stay asleep any longer.
“What?” I demanded, sitting upright in my makeshift bed. I looked over at the person who had awakened me. It was Luke.
“Shh,” he said, raising a finger over his mouth. “I don’t want to wake Emilee up.”
I blinked a few times to clear my slightly hazy vision and looked over at Emilee’s sleeping body. “Why? What’s going on?” I inquired, completely confused.
“You and I are getting off this island. That’s what’s going on.” he told me, grinning mischievously.
I squinted up at him, not sure I’d heard right. “What are you talking about?” I asked him, glancing over as Emilee made a slight movement. Luckily, she was still asleep, although I wasn’t sure why Luke wanted her to stay asleep.
“I’m talking about us ditching her,” he pointed a finger at Emilee, “so we can escape off of this island.”
“Why are we ditching Emilee? I know she’s weird and all, but she’s been a whole lot of help. It’s not right to just leave her here all alone.” I uttered to him.
“Since when do you care about doing what’s right?” he snapped back, still keeping his voice hushed.
I bit my lip and looked back and forth, from him to Emilee. I couldn’t confess to Luke that I actually didn’t think Emilee was all that bad. Then he’d probably end up ditching both of us. He’d probably think I was some kind of freak just like her.
“I don’t, but she’s smarter than both of us. I’m sure if we give it some time, she can figure out a way to get us out of here.” I told him, trying to make it seem as if I was just using her. I didn’t need Luke turning against me.
“Yeah, I know she’s smart, but we can make it without her. And I really don’t want to be stuck working with that freaky goth if we don’t have to.” he remarked icily. “Besides, if we stick around with her, there’s no way we’ll survive. Because by the time she thinks of a plan, we’ll have already died of starvation.”
I sighed deeply, very unsure of what to do. Why couldn’t Luke just suck it up and work with Emilee? After all, she’d been nothing but nice to him since we’d found him here. She’d helped him with his wrist, she’d made a bed for him. She could’ve just told him to go find his own shelter and left him all alone, but she didn’t.
Luke had always been rude to her, he’d always made fun of her and laughed at her. He really didn’t deserve her help. Then again, either did I. I was too busy worrying about my own reputation to ever give her a chance. But she helped us both out anyways, and I wasn’t just going to leave her all alone after that. I couldn’t.
But how could I explain all of this to Luke?
“I really don’t think this is such a good idea, dude.” I said to him. “Do you even have any idea of how we’re going to escape?”
“Well no, not yet, but you and I can think of something. We can build a boat or something.” he replied.
“And go where with it?” I retorted sharply. “We don’t even know where we are! Face it, we need Emilee.”
“Need me for what?” Emilee said from behind us. I looked over to find her sitting up in her bed, looking right at us.
Luke let out an irritated sigh and rolled his chocolate brown eyes. “Wonderful, she’s awake,” he uttered bitterly under his breath.
“What’s going on?” Emilee queried when neither of us answered her first question. She looked at me, then at Luke, her eyebrows knitting together in perplexity.
“Nothing, we were just trying to think of a way out of here.” I told her, grateful that she’d woken up so that I wouldn’t have to figure out a way to decline Luke’s offer.
“Oh, well can’t that wait until morning? It’s better to try to think after a full night’s rest anyways. You shouldn’t be thinking of a plan when you’re exhausted.” she replied groggily, her voice thick with lethargy. “Just go back to sleep and we can all try to think of a plan in the morning, ok?”
“Yeah, sure,” I replied, nodding. She yawned and then laid her head back down, falling back asleep within a few seconds.
I glanced over at Luke who was sitting up in his bed, staring at me expectantly. “What?” I cried.
“She just fell back asleep. Try not to wake her up again.” he ordered. Who did he think he was? Luke couldn’t just order me around like that. No way.
“Don’t put that on me. It’s not my fault she’s a light sleeper.” I retorted, keeping my voice at a whisper.
“Whatever,” he mumbled to himself. “Now that she’s asleep, you can decide. Are you in or are you out?”
I grimaced, wishing he would just forget about his stupid little plan already. “No,” I finally said. “If we don’t have a plan, then I’m not just going to go roam around this jungle with you. I’d rather stay here, where we have food and shelter.”
He pursed his lips, glaring at me. “Fine, let’s just go back to sleep then.”
“Fine,” I remarked, laying my head back down on my pillow. I was tired anyways. So I let my eyes flutter shut, and slowly drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, I woke up to the sound of Emilee’s frantic voice. “Hayden, wake up! Come on, wake up already!” she cried.
“I’m up.” I groaned, stretching my arms above my head. I let out a deep yawn and sat up, rolling my shoulders back to loosen up my stiff muscles. Sleeping on solid ground really hadn’t done my back much good.
I looked over at Emilee, who’s eyes were wide in alarm. “Luke is gone!” she exclaimed.
“What?” I demanded, rising to my feet in one quick motion. I stepped over to Luke’s bed, which was now vacant. “Oh no,” I said to myself. I knew exactly what had happened. Luke had abandoned us to try and find his own way off this island. Gosh, why did he have to be so stubborn?
“I wonder what could have happened to him.” Emilee said, biting her lip worriedly. “What if some kind of animal dragged him off into the jungle or something. What if he’s hurt? Or…dead?”
Her last words had an eerie ring to them, and I could tell that she was afraid that it was true, that Luke really was dead. But I knew better.
“Don’t worry, nothing dragged him off into the jungle. He left all on his own.” I informed her.
“What? Why?” she inquired.
“Because he doesn’t like you, and he doesn’t want to be trapped here with you.” I confessed. I knew it was blunt, but I wasn’t going to lie to her about it.
“Oh,” she murmured, looking away from me sheepishly. “Wait, how do you know that for sure?” she asked, turning back to face me.
“Because Luke told me that he wanted to ditch you last night.” I admitted.
“So that’s what you two were talking about?” she questioned. I nodded. Now it was my turn to sheepishly look away from her. “Well why didn’t you go with him then?”
Now would’ve been the perfect time to let her know that I didn’t want to leave her behind. To let her know that I was grateful for all of her help, grateful to have her there. But of course, I didn’t have the guts to say any of this to her. So instead, I gave her the same excuse that I gave Luke.
“Well Luke didn’t have a plan and I figured it would be smarter to stay here where I have food and shelter rather than wander of into the jungle with him.” I said.
“I see,” she remarked flatly, as if realizing that she should’ve known that I was only here for the food and shelter. The food and shelter that she had provided for us.
I bit my lip, realizing that I was only causing her to hate me even more. Not that it really mattered all that much. I knew that once she figured out a way to get us off this island, things were just going to go back to normal. We’d go back home, finish up our last year of high school, and I’d go back to making fun of her just like before. Because if I didn’t, I’d be labeled as the freaky goth girl’s only friend. And there was no way I was going to let that happen.
Especially since my family had a pretty high status in Bridgeport. I couldn’t make my family look bad by befriending Emilee. Therefore, I wouldn’t.
“Speaking of food,” I said, wanting to change the subject, “mind if I open a bag of chips? I’m starving.”
She sighed and pursed her lips thoughtfully. “I guess so,” she replied. “But we have to make sure to make them last as long as possible. Who knows how long we’re going to be stuck here,”
I cringed just thinking about that. What if we never found a way off this island? I blinked a few times, trying to clear that thought out of my head. I had to try and stay positive or else I’d just end up driving myself crazy.
So, willing myself not to let any more negative thoughts enter my mind, I crouched down and made my way over to the area that we were keeping out supplies at. But when I got there, I realized that some things were missing. Including all of our chips, gum, and water.
“Oh. My. Gosh.” I muttered, a mixture of shock, panic, and fury washing over me all at once.
“What’s wrong?” Emilee asked, kneeling down next to me. She glanced over at our supplies area and her eyes went wide. “Our food and water!” she cried. “It’s all gone!”
My lower lip quivered and my hands began to quake at my sides. There was only one logical explanation for out missing supplies. “Luke took it with him.” I told her, my voice bitter. “How else would it have just disappeared like this?”
She gasped, obviously realizing that I was right. “I can’t believe this.” she hissed through clenched teeth. She began going through what was left of our supplies, strewing clothes and towels all over the ground. “He took our only sweatshirt too!”
I could feel my heart pounding heavily in my chest, the veins in my forehead bulging, my entire body trembling. I’d never felt so livid, so betrayed, so full of rage. How could Luke have done this to us? To me?
I was supposed to be his best friend! But he was obviously only concerned about getting himself off this island alive. He obviously didn’t care whether or not Emilee and I survived.
“Ugh!” I cried out, punching my fist as hard as I could into the pillow lying at my feet. “After everything you did for him yesterday, he just leaves us here! Without any food! Without any water!”
Emilee turned to look at me, managing to stay calm. “Hayden, you need to relax.” she stated tranquilly.
“Relax?” I shouted. “You honestly want me to relax? My best friend just left us here in the middle of the jungle without any food or water! He left us here to die, and you want me to relax?”
She raised her eyebrows and scoffed, “You still think Luke’s your best friend?” she inquired. “Face it, the only reason he hangs out with you is because you’re popular. And the only reason you’re popular is because your family’s rich. Luke doesn’t really care about you. The only reason he asked for your help last night is because he broke his wrist.”
I wanted to tell her that she was crazy, that this wasn’t true at all. But I couldn’t do that because I knew she was right. I hated admitting it myself, but it was time for me to come to terms with reality. I’d known Luke wasn’t my real friend all along. I just didn’t want to accept it. I liked to believe that he really was the caring, loyal friend that I wanted him to be. But he wasn’t, and the stunt he’d just pulled proved it.
“I know,” I confessed softly. Her smug attitude seemed to waver when I said this.
“Well if you know that, then why have you stayed friends with him all this time?” she queried. I looked away, choosing not to answer this question. I didn’t feel like explaining this to Emilee. I hadn’t told anyone about how I truly felt about Luke, so I definitely wasn’t going to share all of my feelings with Emilee. She was probably the last person I’d want to talk to about this subject.
Soon enough, she figured out that I wasn’t going to answer her question, so she sighed and stood up in the area that wasn’t roofed with blankets. Then she turned on her heel and started walking away from out campsite, heading into the depths of the jungle.
“Hey, where are you going?” I called to her. But she just kept on walking.