“I can’t decide if I should smoke weed or take some Adderall,” Mika said to her roommate Sean. “Everything in my body hurts.”
“You know, you’re the only one who knows” Sean wanted to say something meaningful. While also struggling to summon any energy. “I can’t say anything, I’ve been taking stims practically every day for months now.”
Their third roommate Anna walked in with a large to-go cup filled with hot black coffee and a paper bag with croissants from the local bakery.
“Want a croissant?” She said cheerily with a phoney French accent. Popping her but down at the table. Sean and Mika chuckled.
“Oh yes, please….” Sean groaned, reaching inside the bag and pulling out a flakey ooey-gooey chocolate-filled double-baked pastry. Anna was always worried about her roomates, who seemed to hardly ever eat anything.
“I’m ok right now” Mika smiled. “How are you?”
“Oh… I’m alright; I haven’t been sleeping very well.”
“Do you ever sleep well?” Sean asked, covering his mouth not to expose a mouth full of mush as he spoke.
“Sometimes” Anna smiled, then took a large gulp of her drink. “Well, It might be a nice day outside today. I was thinking of going for a hike out to the waterfall. Wanna join?” She asked looking first to Sean.
“Nah, I gotta get to work on my paper.” He said.
“Yeah, sure, I’d love to get out of the house.
Anna eagerly started packing a bag with the essentials, snacks, water, spare clothing, some firestarter and of course, a hammock. Mika tried to do the same, but her brain was foggy. So she grabbed water, spare clothing, and some protein bars from the closet and trusted Anna to have everything else.
“Ready when you are! I’ll meet you in the car.
“Sounds good!” Mika replied; she stared at her shoebox containing all those mind-altering substances she’d accumulated over the years. Adderall, various expired antidepressants, edibles, and some mushrooms. She grabbed a little cap to nibble on and tucked the rest of the bag into a secret pocket of her backpack.
“I actually like the rain,” Mika said to Anna. Their hiking boots crinkled on the gravel parking lot as they danced around the car, getting their things organized.
“Me too.” She said as she tied back her long golden hair. Mika watched mesmerized by her beauty. She had piercing blue eyes and a petite frame, muscular from hyperactivity. Yet, even though Anna would hardly sit still, there was a peacefulness about her. She always appeared calm and centred.
For the first hour of their hike, Mika and Anna talked about how much they wished they could have a dog to take on such adventures. Then, they talked about school and work and relationships. Then eventually, they both fell silent. The second half of the hike involved hiking down a steep hill. The trail was wet, and they were in mud past their ankles. They were stepping over roots and fallen branches. They followed the orange flags hung in the trees. Along with hanging ornaments made of beer bottles and other debris, previous hikers decided to suspend serving as decorations as much as trail markers.
It was noon when they arrived at the waterfall. The rain had stopped, and the dense forest opened up to the pool beneath the crashing water. In the summer, the waterfall would be crowded with people swimming. However, the trail is too treacherous in the winter, and the water too cold for swimmers.
“It’s nice being the only one’s here,” Anna said.
“Sure is” Mika sat down on a mossy rock, her butt already drenched and muddy from sliding down steep sections of trail.
“Hey, Mika?”Anna sat down beside her. “Do you want some mushrooms?”
“Nothing, it’s just I was going to offer you the same….” Mika and Ana smiled into the eyes of each other. “It’s the best therapy.”
“I agree… nature walks and plant medicine...”
“Woah, Anna, look!”
Across the pool of water, a mother deer and her baby were staring over at them.
“Oh, they’re so beautiful.”
The girls watched in awe; minutes passed, and the deer were still just sipping water, paying no mind to their observers.
After the girls had some lunch, they began their trek back. The hike out was surprisingly easy compared to coming in. Navigating the puddles and roots was easier when going up compared to their slide down.
“I wish I could feel at peace like this every day,” Anna admitted to Mika on their drive home.
Mika was surprised. She had always seen Anna as this perfect woman, always active, productive and centred.
“Me too” Mika said.
“I’m happy you and Sean have ADD too.” It makes it easier, I feel like you guys get me.”
“Anna, we adore you."
“When I’m done with my degree, I want to be in nature, doing what we did today as much as possible.” Mika announced.
“What are you going to do?”
“Take people on adventures. Take them hiking, camping, kayaking, anything.”
“That sounds perfect.” Anna sighed, “I wish I knew what I wanted to do.”
Again, Mika was surprised, to hear Anna didn’t have it all figured out.”
“I just hope I can actually do what I need to do to get there.” Mika said and Anna understood.
The girls returned to find Sean still busy at his computer.
“Hey, guys… I’m just about done here; how was the hike?”
“It was wonderful"
“Yeah so beautiful"
“Damn, wish I could have joined; I wrote a 6-page paper today. It was due two hours ago, but I’m about to hand it in.
“We’ll have dinner ready by the time you’re done,” Anna said.
“I love you guys.” Sean replied. “I’ll roll a joint?”
“What a team,” Mika said, going to give Sean a quick shoulder rub before helping Ana put together dinner. She sighed quietly to herself.
“Home at last…”