If Your Life Depended on It
Before the FallI tried to think back to where we lost our path, but all I remembered was Mason giving me nature lectures on the different birds and what animals made the markings on the ground. I didn’t know anything about camping because my family never went. My mom was always too busy with work and my dad left my family when I was six years old. My older brother had gotten into drugs, and a gang in downtown Saint Paul murdered him three years ago. Since then I have not had a male role in my life, but then God blessed me with Mason. Somehow he found something good worth reviving in my shattered life. I will be forever grateful to him for being my shoulder to cry on in the toughest of times. He was a good kid, always looking out for me and making sure I was safe. I was his top priority and he was mine. Mason is the only good thing I have, and I’m not about to let some stupid landslide take him from me.
I decided to lock away my thoughts and tend to Mason. I brought the food to him and I helped him eat since he was unable to use one of his arms. I knew he didn’t like to be coddled, but he was going to have to suck it up because I would coddle him day in and day out if I had to. My mind wandered again back to my first aid training. I should look for signs of a concussion, and I should replace the gauze every few hours to keep things clean and free of infection. I would need to keep the fire going as long as I can, and that meant leaving him again for more firewood. I decided that I would go back out when he was asleep so that he would’t notice my absence. If I went for longer periods of time and gathered more, I wouldn’t have to leave as often.
I must have looked pretty spaced out because when I glanced in his direction he was giggling slightly. I was happy to see signs of my Mason peeking through the broken shell that consumed him, so I couldn’t help but laugh along. Why was I worrying so much? Mason is a completely healthy and normal boy, without a trace of any injury or disease on his record. Of course he would heal, and that’s what I needed to believe in order to do my best for him. I cautiously approached him, trying not to bump any injuries, and I laid down next to him. I rested my head on his good shoulder, which seemed to be the only unharmed part of his body, and I let out the breath I had been holding since he climbed up onto that rock. I felt him sigh with relief that I was finally calming down, and in turn he rested his head on top of mine.
I don’t know how long we slept like that, but when I woke up the sun was just coming up over the trees. It’s rays danced around the clearing, providing an odd comfort to me. For some reason, I felt this was God telling me that Mason was going to be okay. I carefully laid his head against that bag and quietly snuck out of the clearing for more firewood. I only jogged this time, thinking that Mason was going to be out for a while. I found a fallen tree in a smaller clearing, and it seemed light enough for me to be able to drag back to the clearing. Boy was I wrong. That thing must have weighed close to 500 pounds! And worst of all, it was covered in little black beetles! I screamed and sprinted from the scene, shaking the menacing little bugs out of my hair as I ran. Mason must have heard me because when I neared the clearing, I heard him calling my name, terror heavy in his voice. I ran faster, wanting to comfort him. But I also wanted to kick myself for being so stupid. They were just bugs, and I scared him for nothing!
Out of breath, I entered the clearing and I plunked down next to him. His face was still creased with concern, but I just shook my head. He waited patiently until I caught my breath, then he asked me what happened.
“Well, I ran out to get more firewood because we were low. I was running along and I found this tree that looked like it was light enough for me to bring back. When I tried to pick it up, little black bugs came flying off of the bark and attacked me!” I exclaimed.
He sat there expressionless for quite a while. I watched him curiously, wondering why he didn’t respond. All of a sudden, he burst out laughing.
“What is so funny?” I demanded.
“Oh my gosh, Kylie, really?” he asked, “You were afraid of little, harmless bugs when out in the woods there are huge bears and wolves? That is hilarious!” he chuckled. By now tears were streaming down him face and his whole body shook with laughter. That’s my Mason, I thought. He can go from being completely serious and calm to having his gut bursting from laughing so hard. I still hadn’t found humor in my situation, so instead I looked at the joy that glittered in his emerald green eyes.