Exams were finally over, and I had all kinds of thoughts about how I would spend my summer holiday. It was my final year of college and my last summer with my friends, most of whom we would have to part ways since I was a foreign student and planned to travel home after my last semester. My girlfriend, Bella, short for Anabel, had that look of expectation toward a great summer when she saw me. As I drove to my apartment after parting ways with my friends, she talked about all sorts of things including how we planned to spend our last summer holiday. Her long-time friends had planned this camping trip that would last three days, and we had been invited. It was a couple’s retreat, the kind that would allow us to make some good memories for our last summer in college.
Bella’s friend, Liz, finally confirmed the date we would make our trip. The destination was her family’s cabin in the hilly sides that overlooked the town where we schooled. The following Saturday morning, as scheduled, we made our way to the hills following a long stretch of tarmac that snaked its way disappearing into the hills. The other two couples had already made their trip, and we would meet them there. The hills had a great canopy of trees that enveloped them, and the cabin was hidden in the forest of trees. It was a serene haven; I thought as we approached the destination. I could see why Liz’s parents had been fascinated by the property when they decided to buy it. Listening closely, I could hear the gushing of water down a river that was close. Most likely, there was a minor rapid or a waterfall; I told Bella as we unpacked our bags from her Mini Cooper.
We were greeted by two guys who Bella was quick to introduce. “This is Andy and Mark, Andy goes to Parkinson’s College, and Mark is a first-year intern at Liz’s father’s company. I was quick to deduce that the tall and sturdy guy that was Mark had to be the boyfriend to Liz. I had yet to meet Andy’s girlfriend.
“Hi, I am James,” I replied in greeting.
They were generous to help us with our luggage as the driveway and parking were a small distance from the cabin. When we made our way to the cabin, Liz and her friend, who I later came to identify as Melany, were making waffles for breakfast. The smell of waffles and coffee filled the entire cabin and satiated us with hunger. Bella was a more familiar to the residence and quickly settled us in and made our bed. Meanwhile, I made myself familiar with the guys as we waited for breakfast to be served.
“I hope you guys are famished because it’s going to be a long day in the hills,” Liz spoke as she made her way into the dining area. I came to learn that they guys had planned a boat ride on the small lake that was fed by the river. It was going to be fun. Around midday, we left the cabin tugging the boat behind our car along the small rough path of pebble and stone to the lake. The ladies had packed lunch and some picnic paraphernalia. We were all clad in swimsuits and ready for fun. The sun was up; the sky was clear and the weather was perfect. It was one of the best days of summer I would come to have in my life.
We pushed the boat into the lake and helped the ladies hop on as we paddled gracefully into the lake. When we were far enough from the bank, we chose a perfect place to swim and dived into the cool waters. Melany was not a great fan of deep water, or rather she was not too good with swimming, and begged to remain on the boat. We played in the water and took different turns telling stories on the boat until evening. By noon time, everyone was tired, and we planned a campfire with some food and drinks to celebrate the coming together of friends. After burning a few mash mellows, we retired to the cabin because the forest was cold and foggy and we needed some shelter. We drank, played various games, and told stories throughout the night till the morning light peeked at us from the shallow openings on the cabin walls. “It had been a night worth remembering,” most of us thought as we retired to bed, tired and weary.
The following day was fast in passing since most of us woke up sometime after lunch. We spent the day indoors, without much activity. My girlfriend and I talked about all sorts of things including the dreams and goals we had for each other and ourselves. She asked me about how I felt since I would have to travel back home after school, urging me to get a job in town instead of leaving. It was a tough decision, I contemplated as I hugged her in comfort, but I would have to cross that bridge when the time arrived. As we parted ways the following Monday morning, I thanked everyone for the wonderful company they had accorded us over the weekend. We would have to repeat everything together again; we all agreed as we waved each other goodbye. Liz and Mark were left behind to clean up and wait for Liz’s mother who would come to pick her up. It was a great vacation for me, probably one of the best summer vacations I had while in college.