Just As We Learnt

Written in response to: Set your story in the woods or on a campground. ... view prompt


Sad Holiday Friendship

“Saphia! Eric! Don’t wander away now!” Mrs. Rosier cried as she and Mrs. Chandler watcher Mr. Rosier and Mr. Chandler put up the tents.

“Mummy!! We’re just going to see that rabbit hole by the river!!” Eric cried back, looking annoyed.

“Saphia” Elysia Chandler called out “Help me make some sandwiches and then we can eat them in front of the campfire”

Saphia stood there, looking longingly at the rabbit hole as Eric ran towards his mother.

Then she sighed and turned around as well.

“Kids! The tents are done!! Why don’t you go take a look!” Adrian Chandler chuckled as the kids ran over.

They were camping at willow woods. The Chandler’s and Rosier’s always met every five years for an annual camping trip. It was Eric’s and Saphia’s first time. They had been looking forward to the trip all summer. They would set up tents, cook by the fire, go river rafting, bird watching and the last, most importantly, they would make a birdhouse and hang it on the tree to mark the camping trip. The birdhouse tradition had been there since Adrian Chandler and Samael Rosier’s parents’ time. And they intended to carry it on.

Saphia stared at Eric, so obedient. She didn’t understand why he listened.

“Saphia, momma asked us to pick sticks for the fire” Eric said with a slight lilt.

Saphia grabbed his hand, and they ran into the woods.

They searched the never-ending forest floor for sticks. They worked silently, enjoying the lovely forest sounds.


“Yes, Eric?”

“Will you marry me when we grow up?”

“Of course, I will!”


Five years later

“Eric!” Saphia ran towards and gave him a hug.

“Saphia! Its great to see you too!! It’s been so long” He laughed “Mother says we are old enough to go about by ourselves”

“That’s lovely! No, more silly rules!” Saphia giggled.

“You’re right and wrong Saphia” Mr. Rosier said “There will still be some rules”

“But we’re ten!”

“Only ten”

Saphia sulked. She wanted to be free. Free from rules. Just herself and Eric.

Mrs. Chandler said kindly- “Darling, don’t sulk now. The trip just began. Why don’t you help daddy set up the tents”

Saphia pursed her lips and ran after her father. She would have to make the most of the trip. They won’t have it for another five years. But when she was fifteen, she would have no rules. That’s what she hoped. But whatever happened, she could spend time with Eric. She remembered her promise five years ago. It seemed sensible at that time. But now, she questioned herself. Eric would never hurt her. Eric would do anything to make her happy. As long as Eric was there, she would anything.

“Saphia” Eric asked “I wish we could camp out more”

“Me too!” She sighed “But according to the tradition we have to go only every five years”

“Oh, never mind let’s go and have fun” Eric chuckled.




“You’ll remember your promise, right?”


Five years later

“Saphia! Get off your phone right now!” Mr. Chandler scolded.

“But daddy, I just want to use it for another ten minutes. I need to update my quickstagram story” Saphia yelled back; her eyes glued to the phone.

“Eric will be here any moment now”

Saphia looked up as she heard Eric’s name.

“I guess”

A car drove through the path. Eric sat in the front while his father drove. He was glued to his phone, talking to someone enthusiastically. She stood on her toes. He had changed over the last two years. It had been two years since she had met him. He had let his auburn hair grow long till his shoulders. A faint mustache appeared above his lips.

She stared unsmilingly. She had changed as well. Her hair had been dyed pink in the tips. She was much taller than before. The woods bored her. She could be back at her room making her next blog post.

Eric climbed out of the car, pocketing his phone. He stared at Saphia. There was no impulse left to go ahead and hug her. Like they used.




“You’ve changed”

“Yeah, you too”

“Cool hairstyle”


They stared uncomfortably at each other as their parents sat a not very far away laughing and catching up. They now were like two strangers staring at each other for the first time. Like no memories existed behind those eyes.

“So, I’m sorry about your mom” Eric began.

“You don’t have to be, she’s gone”

“How’s Mr. Chandler’s health?”

“Not good. The doctor suspects cancer is getting him the bad way too”

There was pregnant pause. Saphia’s eyes filled with tears.

There was not more to be said.


Five years later

Two figures sat at Willow Woods’ camping spot. Two sad figures.

Saphia had her arm around Eric. They had gone through a lot. Together.

It was the first time they had come camping without their parents. Sad things had happened over the five years. Death, sadness, and depression. Eric and Saphia only had each other.



“What do we do now?”

“I don’t know”

“We’re lost”

“In the woods”


“Saphia” Eric said getting up.

“Yes, Eric?”

“Remember your promise you made to me all those years ago”

Saphia stiffened.

“Will you fulfill it?”

Saphia let tears slip from her eyes. Memories going down with them. All those happy times.

Eric held his hand out, eyes full of hope.

Saphia reached forward and put her hand in his.


Ten years later

“Mommy!! Why can’t I wander on my own?” Little Millicent Rosier complained.

“It’s not safe darling” Her mother Saphia Rosier replied tenderly.

A family of four were setting up camp in Willow Woods- Eric, Saphia, Millicent and Gowen Rosier. They wee here on their annual camping trip. It was Millicent and Gowen’s first time. Millicent and Gowen complained about not being let to go off on their own.

“Papa…Why can’t we go?” Gowen grumbled.

“You’ll understand my boy. Just as we did through the years”

“Just as we learnt” Saphia murmured under her breath.

April 27, 2022 06:51

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