The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window. I thought it was weird, but my classmates had discussed challenging themselves to stay in the “haunted house” overnight. I wasn’t surprised that they chose tonight considering the full moon. I decided to check on them in the morning and hear the ghost stories I’m sure they would be excited to share. My last summer home was just beginning and losing out on all the summer fun was not on my agenda.
The sunshine wrapped me in warm arms as I lazily avoided opening my eyes. The big window in my room had always been my safe haven. I looked out from my second-story sanctuary and watched people go by on the street or the animals go in and out of the woods that were across the street. I loved the mornings when the window envelops the whole room in a hazy yellow glow.
I thought of my friends and finally open my eyes and looked out the window toward the trail that leads out to the abandoned cabin. A little stream of smoke rose into the air. It looked like my goofball friends probably made it and had a nice fire going to warm the morning chill. I lazily pulled on my jeans and headed out the door ready to hear all the stories I'm sure they were dying to tell someone.
The trees glimmered with the spring dew sending rainbows through my peripheral vision. When I finally broke through the trees expecting the sight of the dilapidated cabin, I am surprised by what I saw. Up on a ladder was a rugged-looking man. Sweat slid down his tanned and muscular torso. I was instantly in awe. The cabin, once in total disrepair, was beautiful. The man was putting on the roof and must have put in a lot of effort to fix the walls that were leaning in broken like the stem of a rose handled too rough.
The man turned shocked to see he had an audience.
“Oh, hi,” he murmured shyly, as he turned away and reached for his shirt.
“Hello,” I reply, as I hoped my friends did not bother this handsome gentleman last night.
“Is there something I can help you with?” To my disappointment, He pulled his shirt over his head.
“Um, yeah… Sorry. I thought this cabin was abandoned and my friends were supposed to be staying in it last night. I was coming to find them. I hope they didn’t bother you at all.”
“It was abandoned until recently when I inherited the property. Instead of building one of those gaudy things popping up I decided to just fix this up and live simply. My name is Parker, would you care for some water?”
My head swooned. This man was ruggedly handsome and devoid of all vanity. I could hardly control the furnace of heat rolling over my body. This man is my dream, and I could use a little romance before heading off to college. He couldn’t be that much older than me, but he seemed so mature.
We sat for hours our conversation flowing and my heart bubbling over like champagne in a newlywed's flute. By the time the last fingers of sunlight fought to hold onto the mountains, I felt like I knew Parker better than I knew my family. I looked into his enticing green eyes I was sure he felt the same way. Our first kiss made my heart explode into a million stars matching the sky above us. Fireworks danced between our bodies as the passion of my virgin experience twisted the shape of the world focusing only on one place, Parker’s eyes, full of lust and love. My image reflected in his eyes was a beautiful Aphrodite.
I spent every moment I could with Parker, with him I was strong and capable. He taught me about tree identification, how to chop a log, where to place a proper fox trap, and how to smoke fish in homemade smoking shed. With every new thing, I learned my friends and the typical summer activities faded into another life.
I learned so much about this forest that I had never known before, and this man made me feel like I could do anything. After every lesson in survival a lesson in love. My mind and body flourished in this man’s large, strong, capable hands.
My friends began getting impatient with my lack of communication. My best friend, Ashley, showed up on my doorstep on the 4th of July.
“Where the hell have you been?” She demanded.
“I have been exploring the woods, trying to figure out what I want in my life.” My world was changing so quickly and partying and acting like the kid I was only two months ago was not something I wanted to go back to. I had a better future waiting for me in those woods. This person in front of me represented everything in my past I was happy to let it go so I could move forward on my new path.
“Come out with us tonight, we miss you,” she begged. I was not doing it. Nothing in this world was as important as my connection to the woods and this amazing man. I would not explain myself I finally knew who I wanted to be. After only two months of knowing this man, my whole existence made sense.
“Not tonight but meet me out at the abandoned cabin tomorrow at noon,” I wanted someone to meet the man that made all future plans I had irrelevant.
“What are you talking about? That cabin burned down the night we were supposed to go stay the night. The cops said it was arson, it about burned down the whole forest. Haven't you read the paper? It’s all over the news! They just caught the guy….”
“No. That can” be true...” The look on her face stole the words from my throat.
“Dude, are you ok? That place is gone. I’m pulling up the link now”
The screen burned my eyes.
Popular teen hangout burns followed by a picture of the once immaculate field now mangled by fire. The headline made no sense. I looked out my window to where I had seen the smoke two months ago.
The world disappeared in a black mist rolling across the beautiful memories of the last two months. I did not hear anything else she said. I dropped through the floor straight into my grave. There is no way, I thought to myself
I felt my body start running and the distant sound of my concerned friend as she called my name. The sun-filled forest watched me. The trees stood like sentinels at the gates of hell. The normally short stroll felt like I was running through a never-ending purgatory. Finally, I saw the thinning of the trees up ahead.
I can smell the charred ground.
How is this even possible. My mind a million bees buzzed trying to escape from my broken mind.
I slowly crept around the last large tree that blocked my view and collapsed. The beautiful home I had laughed in, relaxed in, and lost my virginity in was now gone. I sat in the middle of the crumbling logs of what I imagined yesterday was my future home, rivers of tears fell between my fingers that gripped at my face like I was clawing my way out of my grave.
I looked down and noticed a small hole. The foundation disintegrated as if it were sand falling through the eye of an hourglass. Time itself was hoping I would find the secret hiding just under the surface of the slab.
I finally got a hole large enough to reach both hands in. I felt around and found a large smooth object. I pulled it out. Although it is bone, I know the shape. This is him. Parker. The only man I have ever loved. I lay in the mid-day sun. Holding the bones of the man that just the day before held me in his bed.
About the author
I was an amazing writer, and my journalism degree killed all creativity. I am working towards finding my voice again so my personal development book for weirdos will sound like me! I love being able to explore my creativity! Here on vocal+!