We were lost.
Due to a cruel prank played by a group of unbearably mean girls in our school, Ryan Matthews and I were lost in the woods. I couldn't say exactly why they wanted to prank me, but I knew exactly why they tricked Ryan. A few years before I ever met him, he was mauled by a dog and the left half of his face was nearly torn off. He could still see out of his left eye, but the attack left him horribly disfigured on one side. I pitied him because ever since his accident, kids in our school had been calling him a circus freak. Even the nice kids called him that.
He stood beside the bank of a small river, looking as though he was trying to find a way out. I sat on a cold rock, watching the crystalline water float by in front of me. I was just as anxious to get back home as he was, and with as little hiking as I could manage. We'd decided on a mutual silence because neither of us liked the other very much at all.
I couldn't believe I was so stupid, I should've known better than to think they wanted to invite me along because they liked me. I should have known something was wrong when, out of no where, they invited me to go with them to a "party" and then blind folded me.
"It's part of the party," one of them told me. "You get blind-folded and we take the blindfold off at the party!" Yes, I truly was stupid.
The only thing that was a comfort to me was that Ryan had fallen for the trick too.
"Are you going to help or what?" Ryan snapped viciously, like an angry tiger slamming its claws against the metal bars of the cage. I lifted my gaze from the stream and turned my attention to him. The sun had fallen across his scars and the bits of red skin in between, reminding me of his deformity. "We'd get out of here faster if you got up and helped me."
"You seem to be doing a pretty good job of it," I murmured. He gave an irritated huff before turning his back to me. I waited at my spot in silence for a short time after he turned away from me, and then eventually decided to do what he said. There was something surprisingly nice sounding about not fighting with him.
Standing beside him, I did my best to see a way out. The only thing I could see, though, were the towering trees above us and the stream heading in both directions. There was nothing there for me to see that he hadn't already seen. I stood beside him, purposefully being a pest so that he would want me to leave him alone again. At first, I didn't think it would work; but he, eventually, told me to go back to my rock.
He didn't say anything more to me once I sat down. I had a feeling he knew as well as I did that we were stuck, he just had a harder time admitting it. I began to wonder how long it would be before he sat down near me and admitted that we were lost. I was so sure he would, in fact, that I began to think about clever things to say when he finally realized it.
Just as I'd expected, he came and sat near me. By the look of defeat on his face, I could tell that it was finally sinking in that we were lost.
I tried not to stare at his scars; but it was harder than you would think.