| Oakleaves Chapter 8
That small river lead to Thursday Bay. A quite bay which is unpopular
seeing as there is a direct shortcut to Friday Bay. (How I wish the school
week worked like that.) The only distinguishing mark was an island. I
looked at the map. It was actually shaped like the letter ‘E’. We were
headed toward it.
"This is where we camped last time we were here. Do you remember
"No dad. Well sort of."
Her chimed in, "You had this cute little pool you set up with
stones to hold the fish until we ate them. You had this one you named
Charlie that you would not let us eat. You were so upset you had to let
him go when we had to go."
I just turned to Noah, and smirked. We brought the canoes up to the
shore and got out. This was memory lane fore three people on this trip.
To Alex, Noah, and I this was just another island. However, the shape
still was a little funny.
The Chambers all had great fun reliving their last adventure into
the Boundary Waters. We on the other hand did nothing but look around at
the scenery. I did, however, see the pool that was still there. It was
funny picturing Brook pleading for the fish’s life. I shared this with my
"Oh mommy," Alex taunted, "Please don’t eat him. I’ll feed him and keep
"Shut up you!" she called out.
"No, I don’t want to let him go. Mommy, please, can we keep him."
"I’m sorry honey, we cannot keep the trout. When we get home you can
get a goldfish," I mimicked. This brought a round of laughter. Even from
"I don’t want a goldfish, I want Charlie." To stress his point, as Brook, he stopped his foot on the ground.
Brook launched herself at him. "I’ll get you for that." This again
brought laughter to the group.
We launched our boats and went around the back way of this island.
Truly, I am not sure how it happened. Suddenly they were there behind us,
then they weren’t. Both Canoes were gone. Just, gone.
"Noah, stop paddling."
"I cannot find them anywhere." Noah started looking around violently
shaking the canoe to near tipping limits. "NOAH!! Relax."
"Relax, now hold on." I consulted the map. There was an inlet that
leads from Thursday Bay to Wednesday Bay. The backside of this Island. I
couldn’t see it anywhere. All I could see was the far away shore of north
side of Thursday Bay. Now I started to get worried.
It also was approaching that lunch hour. "You glad I brought those
"Yea." He was already eating his. I looked at the map further trying to
find out where we were. "Do you know where we are?" he asked.
"Yea, well, sort of."
"Sort of," he looked skeptical.
"Trust me," I said out the ‘me.’
I started to paddle along the shore looking into the brush, maybe it was
hidden. We passed by nothing spectacular. It looked like on island, not
two. The only thing of interest was a small bay. Frustrated, I looked
across Thursday Bay. It was a far way to the other shore. "I’m lost," I
"I said…I’m lost." He turned to the front again. I knew that he had
caste his gaze downward. I could see it. I knew he would. He was feeling
depressed and scared. ‘For no big reason’ was the only thing that came to
my mind. Yea, just keep telling yourself that, your scared too. "I’m
sorry Noah. I’m sorry. We’ll be ok. I promise."
We paddled up and down the shore. The map said it was supposed to be
two islands, but it only looked like one. The only thing of significance
was a small bay. We turned the canoe around for the third time and just
"Why don’t we just go around?"
"Come on, lets go."
"Yes, again…and again…and again. I will not let this island beat me."
"Taking this personally?"
"Arrg." We started up the shore again. The bay, that damn bay, was
coming up on the left again. Noah started paddling hard toward it. "Where
are you going?"
"Trust me," he mocked to me. I went with him and we went into the bay.
"Oh my God," I muttered. The shore on the other side of the bay started
pealing away. It was opening up. "This is the way between the islands.
Holy Shit Noah, you did it." I could almost feel the giant smile on his
Once the land cleared away, I could see our island. There on its shore
were Alex and Brook scanning the sea. "Noah," I beckoned, "GO!" We paddled
hard. The ores dug into the lake. Once we maintained a good speed I
called out, "Follow my lead."
I started to hit the bottom the canoe with my ore. The sound
reverberated. Noah joined me in rhythm. This got their attention and they
waved their hands high. Once close enough I set the ore down and yelled
out. "We have come to take your island. We have come to take your gold,
your women and children, and your food. Prepare for war!!!"
Both of them cracked up but grabbed their paddles. Noah and I had
smiles on our faces as we paddled hard into the island. We crashed the
canoe into land and jumped out. All four of us started to fight with our
ores. "Hey, it’s like American gladiators," Alex said between hits.
"Well you raiding Vikings don’t seen to behaving much success taking our
island," Brooks said as she came out from behind a bush.
"We try." The paddle came from nowhere and hit me right in the gut. I
doubled over in pain, and struggled for breath. I gasped.
"Give him some room," I heard and urgent voice say. I forced myself to
relax, this has happened before. I took deep breaths, and eventually it
I rolled over and crooked out, "You win."
Noah fell by my side and rested a hand on my shoulder. "Are you OK?" he
said as he got really close. I just nodded my head. He smiled and got
really close. ‘Oh My, he is going to kiss me. Parents. Oh, fuck,
whatever.’ And that is exactly what he did. It wasn’t a big kiss, just
skilled and loving.
"Excuse me. Is there something that I should know here?"
"Moooooommmm." Brook wined, "Leave them alone." I started to laugh,
right through the kiss. I just started cracking up, and it hurt. Noah
broke off and looked at me cockeyed. I held my stomach in pain, but I kept
"Yea, there is something that should be known," I said between giggles.
"This here," I reached up and grabbed Noah around the neck, "is my
boyfriend." I pulled him down for a kiss.
"In that case, get a room." I heard her walk away.
"No really, I think you should follow my mom’s advice and get a room
We broke the kiss but stayed near each other. Alex bent down, "Dude,
sorry I hit you. I didn’t mean to."
"Dude, it’s cool. We were playing."
"Thanks, now…get a room."
"I cracked up."
"When was the last time I said that I love you?"
"Too long ago."
"I love you Noah," I said as I turned toward him in my sleeping bag. He
scooted closer to me. I wrapped him up in my arms.
"I love you too," he said into my chest.
I rolled him over on to his back and I braced myself above him on my
elbows. He looked at me quizzically. "What?"
"I was comfortable."
"Trust me so was I but…"
"Relax, it is nothing bad."
"What?" he started to whine.
"You really are beautiful." I ran my hand through his brown hair and
stared into the blue gray eyes I could barely see in the darkness. He
smiled and those creases formed again. I just shook my head. "Beautiful."
I knew he was blushing.
"Your not so bad yourself you know." He reached his hands up to my face
to pull me down to his lips. "And you taste good too. No seriously. I
love you so much. Infinitely. I am so glad that you didn’t push me away
because you hated me when I kissed you."
I chuckled. "It was a reflex. I am so glad that you had the courage to
do that. That took balls."
He looked down toward his feet. "Yep, I got them." I fell on top of him
laughing quietly. "umph," was the only thing that came from his mouth.
I stopped giggling yet stayed right where I was. It felt good to have
chest to chest. I looked, again, in his eyes. "I have a question. Do we
know what we are doing?"
"I know I do," he responded.
"I mean, we are tossing around the word ‘love’ all over the place. Do
we realize what it means, I mean, really means?"
"It means that I want to be with you for my life. I want us to be a
single heart made up of two people. I want you and I to be happy in each
other’s arms, without cares, without concerns. It means that I feel so
strongly for you that I am willing to give myself fully to you."
I looked at him, just looked. Amazed. I was truly amazed, those words
came from him. Then he looked at me, more like he was looking inward.
Thinking about something. The faintest glimmer of a tear dripped down the
side of his face. "What is it?"
"I don’t know what I am doing," he confided in me.
"Oh." I felt devastated. He was right, but I felt devastated. ‘How
dare he. This is a good thing and he is willing just to toss it away. It
isn’t right. He just this relationship.’ I rolled off to the side and
away from him
"No shit Sherlock," I spoke into the side of the tent.
I turned toward him. "You just said you don’t know what your doing.
That is the equivalent as saying that you don’t love me."
"It is not," he said with a stern face. "I never said I didn’t love
you. I just want to know what love is."
"Then what about all that shit you said earlier?"
"That’s what I thought. You were lying. Right through your teeth."
"Why are you acting like this?"
"Like what? How am I acting!"
"Shhh, I don’t want them to hear."
‘I understood his thought there.’ "How can you just go back on that." I
mocked his voice, "Love is this, love is that. What did that exactly
"Its true. It is all true."
"Then what is the problem. What is this ‘I don’t know what I am
"A feeling I have in the back of my head."
"Maybe you should ignore your head and pay attention to your heart.
What is your heart telling you."
"Its telling me to go…go, go."
"But my common sense says that I have to watch myself. What if it
doesn’t work out. I hate getting burnt."
"When have you had experience getting burnt."
"Well, when we were pushing each other away those past few months. I
didn’t just stay single." I have him an amazed face. "Girls."
I shook my head. "What makes you think that I will burn you? What
makes you think that I would even want to break up?"
"What?" I asked him.
"I’M FUCKED UP!"
"SHHHHHHHHHHH!!!" I heard from the nearby tents.
"I’m just fucked up," he repeated more quietly. He looked down at his
lap. "I shouldn’t have said anything."
"Yes you should have."
"But you mad."
"I don’t want to see you mad."
"I might be mad, or upset, but I don’t hate you because of it. I still
feel the same way that I did when you first kissed me," I could almost
taste the sarcasm
I crawled near him. "I don’t hate you. You need to work on your
priorities. Who are you going to trust Noah? Your heart or your head.
You have to decide what is more important to you. Love or the easy way
out." Then I shot at him, "If I mean anything you’ll figure that out
"Why are you going to toss that in my face?"
"I think it needs to be said."
"You can be an asshole. Little do you realize what will happen when we
get home? What about my parents? What about school?"
"Dude, first work on your feelings. Because if they aren’t sincere, if
they aren’t what you said they were then you don’t have to worry about
those other things."
"They are sincere, I do…do…"
"Do you know what I mean?"
"Yea, you don’t have to lie to me."
"Come on…," he slumped back defeated. Why did I feel guilty.
"Goodnight Noah." I rolled over on my side of the tent. He moved over
to his. It hurt. I missed him already. We weren’t broken up, but it felt
like we were. He still had my heart, but it felt like it was on hiatus.
‘Was he right? Do I know what I am doing?’ I could hear his light
breathing. I turned over and watched him sleep. ‘I know what I am doing.
I feel so strongly to him. He is funny, smart, and cute. We have so much
in common, yet at the same time, have differences.
I saw his side rise and fall. I just wanted to touch it. To feel his
warmth. I loved the feel of his skin, it was soft and felt of velvet. I
wanted to wrap him up in my arms and make him feel protected. I felt a
tear drip down my cheek.
I turned over on my side and fell asleep to the sounds of his breathing.
Later in the night I felt him crawl behind me and wrap him arm around me. I
didn’t think it is appropriate, but I was too damn tired.
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