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      “Life is about the adventures you take and the memories you make. So travel often and live life with open eyes and an open heart”- Katie Grissom. For the third time in a row for two weeks every year my family and I go camping, but this wasn’t like the last two times we went, something was different.              
      As I peeked with my left eye I witnessed the rising sun casting its luminous light across the horizon onto the thick tall trees, creating a dismal but satisfying glow that stretched throughout the forest, as I started to open my eyes even more I saw the settled droplets of water on the leaves of the crooked trees surrounding me that was caused by the dew that passed over night. I got up to stretch my legs and arms, they felt sore, I started to walk around looking of my family, I couldn’t find them, their sleeping bags were gone and even their camping backpacks were gone. “Am I lost”, I thought to myself as I felt a thirst for water beckoning to my dry throat.
      I heard the sound of moving water, so off I went. As I was walking I heard the sound of birds chirping and the sound of animals furiously gliding through the dried up bushes. I tried to remember what happened last night but I had no recollection, as I came to a clearing there was a lake, it became dead silent, majestic, and across the lake I saw a beautiful girl bathing herself, but she was crying. Her beauty baffled me, her presence made the sounding glow a magical gold as the sun’s light shone onto her body, the delicate curve of her back, the sparkle in her green eyes, her tanned skin, the dark sweep of her hair and even her tears added to the majesty of the surrounding. I felt my own tears burning behind my eyes in appreciation of such perfection, she looked at me before I could compose myself, but she didn’t cry out, instead our eyes held and she smiled. I was frozen, I knew nothing about her, and yet as we stood in that pool of water I felt the most intense connection, not just to her, but to nature itself. I slowly watched as she walked to shore, I held my breath as I watched her disappear behind a copse of trees near the water, she was still crying. I didn’t follow her, I walked away, my mind was blinded and blank, I looked back with uncertainness in my heart. As I looked at the lake, mist was gathering slowly over it.
      The sun got cooler and the forest darkened. As I continued to walk along the shore to gather drinking water I saw our boat tied to the dock with my family’s bags packed inside. Abruptly I heard a scream from a distance, birds started to chirp collectively and flew furiously out of the tall trees that cast huge shadows throughout the forest, I ran towards the scream, it came from across the lake. As I made my way across I felt light headed, I felt like something bad happened. Uncontrollable tears started to rush out of my eyes for reasons I can’t explain, as I saw the beautiful girl from the lake hanging by her neck on the limb of an old crooked tree. I tried to take her down but it was too late, there was no pulse, her hands were cold as I tried to open it to get a piece of paper that was tied to it, my eyes burned as I tried to read the letter, it stated, “Why can’t I be pretty? What is it? Is it because I’m not perfect like these other girls? You had me looking in the mirror trying to analyze my figure telling myself I’ll never be good enough for no man, so I will never love no man, you know why I can’t trust no man? Because even my father left my life, I couldn’t trust my own dad! But you, I cared about you, I was always there for you, I’m disappointed you turned into everything you said you’d never be, you kept destroying my self-esteem and you didn’t even care how I feel, my heart is cold now and you are the only one to blame for this s***! I just want to feel pretty again…”
      I couldn’t move, looking at her face in astonishment I gently placed the letter back in her cold hands and stood up. I felt a drop of water rolling down from my hair onto my check, I looked up, the sky was grey, black birds flew in circles above me laughing, taunting me. “Riyad, where are you!!”, yelled voices that sounded like my family’s vocals entwined with each other, I ran to the lake, they were on the opposite side, “come over here” I said, as my voice cracked, “come look at this”, I said as they made their way through the cold lake, I ran to the dead girl, facing the opposite direction to look at my parents and brother I pointed, “look !!”, I screamed silently “what exactly are we looking at”, they said with a smirk on their faces, as I looked behind me to where the girl was, she was gone, her letter was gone even her foot steps on the muddy ground were gone. Moments after we left the island, “Was she even there or was I imagining this “, I asked myself as I waved goodbye to the employee on our way out who had green sparkly eyes, dark hair, tanned skin, and had the most amazing magical glow to her.
      “Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually manifest into our lives”-Robert Collier, July 13th, 2013 was one of the most terrifying but amazing days of my life, it was the first time I was ever lost in the middle of nowhere, the first time I had such admiration for nature, the first time I ever felt a strong connection towards someone, the first time my imagination ever became reality.
 




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