Molly Quell – I knew we were in Trouble

74

I knew we were in trouble when the rain started. Lauren only agreed to this camping trip after I asked her for months. She’d never been one for the outdoors, which I attributed to her growing up in the city. She’d never even been to summer camp.

The trip had gotten off to a rocky start. I got home late and we’d gotten stuck in traffic. On the drive, Lauren suggested staying in a hotel for the night but I pointed out that would ruin a “weekend” camping trip. Sure, we had to hike the first part in the dark, but the stars were amazing. Even Lauren agreed when I asked her.

Lauren hadn’t realised there wouldn’t be coffee in the morning but I assured her that the fresh mountain air would wake her up. About an hour in, it started to rain.

“Perhaps we could cut it short today, Todd,” Lauren suggested, checking her phone again. “The forecast says it will rain all day.”

“Lauren,” I said, “you don’t even know where we are going, remember? It’s a surprise. So how do you know if it will be raining?”

“The forecast is calling for rain in half the state, Todd.”

“Just put your phone away and enjoy yourself.”

The rain didn’t let up and when we stopped for the evening, she sat shivering under a tree while I did all of the work of putting up the tent and preparing dinner.

“Don’t you want to see how this works?” I asked her, thinking perhaps if she was involved, she would be happier.

“No, thanks.”

“You sure? It will warm you up.”

“Yeah, I’m fine.”

“I could really use the help.”

“Ok, fine.”

It would have been faster for me to set up the tent myself, but it was good for her to learn.

“See? Now you can do it next time,” I said to her when it was done.

“I don’t think that situation will come up.”

On the drive home, I thought the scenic view of the back roads would take her mind off of her wet clothes, but instead, she got car sick.

“You can drop me at my place,” Lauren said, as we neared her street.

“You usually stay with me on Sundays,” I said.

“I don’t have stuff for work.”

“Well, let’s swing by your place and then go to mine.”

“I want to sleep in my own bed.”

“Oh, you know my bed is nicer,” I said.

“Okay.”

We pulled into the parking lot in front of her building.

“Should I wait here or come up?” I asked.

She sat for a moment, staring ahead. Then she turned to look at me. “Todd, I’m staying here tonight.”

“You just agreed to come to my place.”

“No, I just didn’t want to argue with you.”

“So, I’ll wait?”

“Sure, Todd, wait. I’m going in.”

She slammed the door. I watched her in the car’s headlights. The rain finally stopped.