Somewhere With You

By: Britney King


The girl seemed unfazed. “Well, I guess that’s one way to thank the person who just saved your life. Oh, by the way, you’re welcome.”

Jack shook his head and turned back toward the hill. She followed. “Hey! You never told me your name.”

Determined not to be seen with the girl as they made their way back to the center of camp, he picked up his pace as best he could given his injuries. “My name? It’s ‘as good as dead’ now.”

“Oh, come on, lighten up. Look on the bright side, will ya. You have at least one friend here now. That has to count for somethin’, doesn’t it?”

He turned on his heel and pointed his finger down at her face, vaguely aware of the onlookers. “Let’s get something straight here, all right?” He motioned at her and then back at himself. “You and I… we are not friends.”

Her face fell, but even Jack was impressed by how quickly she recovered. “Well… I just thought… I don’t know anyone here… and… well by the looks of things, it doesn’t seem like you have many friends… at least not anyone willing to stick their neck out for you, anyway. So, it appears to me that you could certainly use a friend or two.”

Jack allowed the corners of his mouth to turn upward ever so slightly, which he was pretty sure didn’t go unnoticed by the girl. She was young but smarter than she looked, he thought. And this would be just the first time of many that she would surprise Jack Harrison with her wit.





The following morning Jack received a pink slip requesting that he report to the camp counselors office. He entered the rickety shack and frowned when he saw the culprits who’d caused his black eye sitting beside one another looking none too pleased. Wonderful. This is exactly what he needed.

Mr. Thomas stood from behind his desk and motioned Jack in closing the door behind him. He motioned to the empty chair. Jack stood ignoring his wordless request. He knew what was coming, and he wasn’t going to make it any easier than it needed to be. The best thing to do in this situation is to remain quiet and composed, saying nothing at all.

Jack stared at the floor. Mr. Thomas peered over the rim of his thick-rimmed glasses. “So… Jack… do you want to tell me what happened to your eye?”

Jack shrugged. “I tripped.”

Mr. Thomas glanced at something on his desk. Jack’s eyes instinctively followed.

“Uh huh. I see.”

Jack squinted a little in an attempt to get a better look at the colorful object the counselor was eying. “Look, I’m on A.M. dish duty today… so if it’s all the same to you, I’d better get to it.”

The older man cocked his head to the side. “Jack, tell me… do you have any idea how poison oak could’ve made its way underneath the sheets of three of our campers beds. I mean… that’s a pretty atypical place for poison oak to grow, wouldn’t you say?

Jack considered the question for a quick second. “Well, we are in the woods here… so I guess you never know…” Jack was guilty. He knew it, and the counselor knew it. How he knew, Jack didn’t know. But that wasn’t the point. The point was to be as vague as possible, to give as little information as he could get by with—without either admitting or denying his guilt.

The counselor let out a quick, tired sigh. “Here’s the thing, Mr. Harrison… I had to send one of our campers to the emergency room this morning due to a severe allergic reaction. The other two are sitting out there waiting for their parents to pick them up until... until they have recovered. Now, usually, I wouldn’t have thought too much of this other than that it was an unfortunate incident. After all, as you’ve mentioned, we are in a heavily wooded area. But then this morning these showed up, coupled with a note.” He scooted the items across his desk toward Jack. “Do you want explain these?”

Jack stared at the Polaroid’s but didn’t dare touch them. Damn. He met the old man's gaze head on. “What’s there to explain? What’s that saying? A picture is worth a thousand words? Yeah, that’s it… a picture is worth a thousand words.”

The counselor leaned back in his chair and folded arms. “Jack, I can’t help you if you’re not willing to let me. But you can’t go around putting people in the hospital. Do you hear me? This is very serious. Bullying will not be tolerated here at Camp Hope. If these boys are bothering you, then I expect you to come to me. But you cannot continue taking matters into your own hands. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

“Completely.”

“Mr. Harrison, one further question… do you have any idea how these pictures might’ve gotten into my office? They came with a note… a very demanding note. But with no indication of who the sender might be. You see, it’s my job to know exactly what goes on here within my camp, and if something is going on that I need to know about, I do not intend to be informed via a Polaroid photograph. Surely, you can understand my position, can’t you? The trouble is that I just want to ensure that our little photographer understands it, too.”