It was an exquisite day near the end of June. The sky was clear and I was ready for anything. At least, that’s what I thought. The annual camping trip was that night and we were already trying to choose our own tent buddies. For people that had been at camp for a while, this was like a choosing ceremony that decided if you would be with a total loser or a popular kid. I was lucky enough to get two of my friends with me in my tent. Jack and Caleb were friends of mine, but Caleb was one of my close camp friends that I shared my deepest secrets and played basketball with. Who knew that a great barrier would come between us that night?
There were only a few lousy parts of the day or so I thought. One of the horrific parts was that I was also in a tent with a kid named David. He had no other tent to go to. Sure, I felt bad for him, but I didn’t feel as bad once everyone realized that he smelled like urine and never took a shower. Also, he was a social outcast, and Caleb, Jack, and I planned to stay up the whole night talking and he wanted to just, “GO TO BED!” as he put it. Also, Itamar and I were hoping to be in the same tent, but we weren’t. I felt happy for him though, because he also lucked out and got to be with good friends of ours.
All the boys in our age group were herded along by counselors into the old camp cafeteria or the בית אם כתן. There were rumors about that place that made a lot of the boys want to pee in their pants, but they weren’t very scary to me. Still, we were a little bit shaken when a golf cart came and picked up all of our sleeping bags. Then, all the campers and counselors in the boys age group set out on foot for the campsite which was in the middle of the woods. We finally got there after about a half an hour of walking. Then the boys in my group and I had to start setting up our tent. It was hard and boring work, but we had to do it or we would have to sleep on the cold forest floor. Dinner came around and all of our stomachs were growling. Dinner was pasta and vegetables. Nobody liked it, because we had it every year, but there was nothing else to eat so I didn’t complain.
After dinner and s’mores, we all went to our tents. At least, most of the campers did. Caleb, Jack, my friend Jonah, and I all went deeper into the woods when the counselors fell asleep. We found a bullet shell which shocked us. We ran all the way back to our tent and the counselors never found out. I thought that the night’s troubles were over, but I was very wrong. Jack started playing minecraft on his iPad. Caleb and I started watching Jack play on his iPad while David was shouting at us to go to bed. Caleb weighed a lot and he could get pretty wild at times. When he got wild, he did stupid things. Anyways, he started sitting on me and I didn’t like that one bit. I rolled over and he flopped onto the ground. Then his fist connected with my head and the world started spinning. I punched his lips and nose and blood started gushing out. It was strangely beautiful in a way. Obviously, there was no way I could win this fight because Caleb weighed three times as much as me and was much stronger, but I still put up a good fight.
We started rolling around, and Jack called for a counselor to come and help break us up. I had it pretty bad: a bloody nose, scratches on my stomach, everything. Caleb wasn’t that good himself though. One of the counselors bandaged us up. I was very mad at the time and didn’t talk him. We went back to the tent I went to sleep with wounds. When I woke up, I was going to make Caleb laugh, but then I remembered what happened the night before and bit back my words. Caleb cried for a bit while he was getting dressed. He asked if I would ever forgive him, and I didn’t answer. I almost wanted to, but I couldn’t. After praying, I just couldn’t hold it in anymore. Who knows how many good friends you’ll have in your lifetime. I told him that it was ok. We became friends again, but it taught me that you never know what could happen in the flash of an instant and you must be ready for anything. Reality is harsh, but it is very real.