I looked up at the stars. Jackson and Caleb had already been sleeping for a while, but I couldn't fall asleep. After Jackson and I's conversation before he fell asleep, I had a sick feeling in my stomach.
I had lost everyone I loved, except for Jackson and Caleb. They were great, but it wasn't the same. You love so many people, but only certain people do you really love.
I heard a rustle in the bushes, crawled into my lean-to and grabbed my bow. I pulled the arrow back and aimed at the bush. There was more rustling for a while, without anything showing itself. Finally, the rustling stopped, but that meant that I wouldn't get any meat. Or whatever it was.
I laid my bow down and walked back to my spot. I laid down and continued my star gazing. It was beautiful, but so upsetting. My father, my mother, my grandparents, my brother. They were all up there. Plus the rest of my family.
"Missy?" This time it was Caleb. I must've woken him up when I went into the lean-to.
"What, Caleb?"I asked. I wasn't tired, but I would've preferred to have just stuck to my thoughts.
"I'm sorry about your family...But we lost ours that day, too, you know,"Caleb replied. I closed my eyes and sneered, but just to myself.
"Well, at least you have Jackson. Right? I have nobody. And you two don't count. You may be close friends, but you're not family,"I said. Caleb was quiet after that and I could tell that he fell back asleep. It took a couple of hours, but finally I was asleep, too.
I woke up to the sound of a fire. I pretended I was still sleeping for a couple more minutes to see if I could hear anything. Sure enough, I heard a conversation of Jackson and Caleb's.
"We need to do something for her." Caleb.
"Because. When I tried to talk to her about what you told me, she said that we have each other, but she has no one. We don't count."
"Darn right we do! Who does she think she is? Saying that we don't count."
"She was looking at the stars. And she said that her parents told her that everyone that has passed away before us are the stars. She used to look at the stars with her brother. How would that make you feel?"
"Glad that I'm alive."
"No, you would feel lonely and upset. And you know it."
"No, I wouldn't. I would be glad that I'm alive. Either you die or you're happy you're alive. If you're not happy, then I guess you're not meant to be."
"You're just denying the truth. And you're being insensitive."
"No! Stop denying it, when you know it's true. I can tell Missy has been going through some stuff."
"I said, conversation. Over." I could hear Caleb sigh in defeat and then walk to the fire and sit down.
"I know you're awake,"Caleb whispered. He had a way of knowing things that Jackson would be oblivious to. I opened my eyes.
"What's Jackson doing in my lean-to?"I asked, hoping that he didn't know I heard their conversation.
"Finding some knives to throw at trees to blow off some steam from the conversation that you overheard." Dang it! I got up and sat down next to him by the fire.
"How do you know things like that?"I asked. He picked up a rock and tossed it from hand to hand.
"Like what?"Caleb replied. I took the rock from him and then tossed it back to him.
"Like how you knew I was awake, how you knew I heard your conversation....How you know what my feelings are before I do?"I asked again. Caleb caught the rock we were tossing back and forth and held it. He put it on the ground and grabbed three more.
"This one is the town people. This one, you, off in the woods. That one, Jackson, in the town stealing. This one, me, sitting in one of our lean-to's, eating berries. Since I don't do much, and no one notices me, I notice them,"Caleb explained. It was upsetting, because it was kind of true. Yes, we noticed him, but we almost never gave him our full attention. He just kept to himself.
"Jackson doesn't know,"I stated. Caleb looked back at the rocks and nodded.
"Alright, I threw some knives and put them back. Don't ask why, I'm still mad. Don't ask why I'm mad, because I'm still mad. What are you making for breakfast?"Jackson asked. His question was directed at me, but I looked at Caleb.
"I stole some eggs yesterday from a birds' nest. We could make those and then cook some more of Missy's deer,"Caleb replied. I smiled and looked up at Jackson. His face was as cold and frozen as stone.
Caleb wasn't completely sure how to cook the eggs, but I helped him and soon enough, we had a full-on breakfast of eggs and venison.
"How does it taste?"Caleb asked. I still had a mouthful, so I gave him a thumbs up.
"You cooked the venison way too long and my egg isn't cooked enough,"Jackson snapped. Caleb and I looked his way as he shoved the food in his mouth.
"Oh, I'm sorry. But it looks like it tastes really good to you. Unless over-cooked and under-cooked means perfectly cooked now,"I retorted. Jackson stood up, scraped the rest of his food into the fire and walked away, in the direction of his lean-to. Caleb and I laughed and gave each other high-fives.
Caleb and I finished our breakfast and then laid down, our stomachs full. We both had an egg and two pieces of venison. We both laid there until we heard Jackson come walking into our camp.
"Lazy bums! Get up, we need to go into town. All three of us,"Jackson said. I looked at Jackson; was he crazy? There was no way that I was going into town where those town people killed our people.
"Sure, I'll go." It was Caleb! A million thoughts were racing through my head, none of them very kind.
"Heck to the no! That is not happening! Do you want to get killed today?"I asked. Jackson shrugged and started walking towards the tree line, Caleb following.
"Hey! Wait up! We agreed we would never go alone!"I yelled. I could tell that Caleb smiled, especially when he completely stopped to wait for me. Jackson just kept on walking.
"What's his problem? And why does he want us to go into town?"I asked Caleb. Caleb shrugged, but I could tell that he was hiding something. When we got into town, I was surprised.
Jackson took us on the day that they had their big parade for something called "St. Patrick's Day." In the forest, we don't have these so-called "holidays" and "celebrations". You celebrate when another forest baby is born. Then there aren't any more celebrations. Or holidays, for that matter.
"Jackson! Jackson!"I hissed. Caleb and I were at the edge of the woods, while Jackson was just about to waltz right into town.
"What?"Jackson asked. He whipped himself around to look at us. I was going to yell at him, but instead I screamed. A town man had just sneaked up behind Jackson and stabbed him in the stomach. Jackson dropped to his knees.
I wanted so badly to save him, but I also wanted to live. I grabbed Caleb's hand and started dragging him towards the lean-to. We kept on running and running, and the town man was chasing after us. We started running in big circles, and finally the town man stopped.
"You got away this time! But I got your friend. And next time I'll get you,"the man stated. He put his knife in his pocket and walked towards the tree line, while Caleb and I walked to my lean-to. We both collapsed next to what was the fire, now a pile of embers.
"I guess we're the last forest people to live..."Caleb trailed off. I nodded, and we agreed that even though it was upsetting, what Caleb said was true.
That night, Caleb and I had more venison for dinner and then laid down under the stars.
"I can't believe he's gone. Wait! What if they saved him? To make us go back into town?"Caleb exclaimed. I looked at him and we both knew what we were doing the next day.
I fell asleep looking up at the stars, knowing how proud my parents were of me.