In the Dark

I’m not sure what woke me. But when I opened my eyes, it was still dark outside the tent, and the only thing I could hear was the creak of branches in the light breeze. I was tempted to roll over and go back to sleep, but then I realized I was alone in the tent. John’s side of the air mattress was empty, the blanket thrown to the side.

I went through the options in my head; he’d gone to piss, he couldn’t sleep and wanted a cigarette, or he heard something and went to check it out. You’d think I wouldn’t have to add the last one, but John’s sense of self-preservation wasn’t at its peak most of the time. And he’d rather have a cool story to tell with a few injuries than sit in the tent and hope it went away.

But anyway, I hoped it was one of the first two.

So, I sat in the tent and waited for several minutes. Because if he went to piss, he’d be back and second now. And if he’d gone to smoke, it was only a few more minutes to do that.

But the minutes crept by and I had to admit that it couldn’t be the first two options.

Except that left the third option, and I didn’t think I was brave, or dumb, enough to follow him out into the woods.