Sam sat for the last time among the basalt tidepools she had come to know so well that weekend. Her eyes followed ghostly crabs climbing past anemones, but she didn’t see them. Even on the climb down from the campsite, when her hands gripped the sharp ridges left as the lava cooled, she thought only of Lisa’s soft tanned skin and all the places on that slender body she would never see again, let alone touch.
Sam had been so pissed off about sharing a tent with a cheerleader.
“Experienced campers need to take care of newbies,” the youth leader had apologized.
Lisa, however, turned out to be anything but new to the woods. They had spent the past two nights discussing edible and medicinal plants by flashlight; Lisa even knew legends about salal that Sam had never heard. Late Saturday night, Lisa had claimed to be cold and slipped into Sam’s sleeping bag. The hours that followed had been the best of Sam’s life.
They would never be repeated. Lisa had kept her distance at breakfast, and Sam knew she was a good Christian girl who couldn’t be a lesbian. Nor could a cheerleader befriend a freak who used a notepad to communicate with people but talked to plants and animals.
Sam breathed deep of salt and kelp. One perfect night would have to be enough. She rose and began the climb back to where the other girls were packing and laughing.