I awoke for what seemed like the fiftieth time today, tasting a bile taste in my mouth. I didn’t know how long it’s been. I was resting, my back up next to a tree. My memory flowed in like a waterfall, when I noticed a reddish-orange bandage tied around my left arm.
“Oh wow, you’re awake. You feeling, okay? Don’t move,” said a rushed, female voice. I assumed it was Holly.
“I’m okay,” I croaked. I cringed at the fact that Charlie had to save me. I couldn’t believe that I was the one that incompetent enough to not realize that I was losing blood.
“Where did Will and Charlie go?” I asked, looking at Holly. She bent down next to me and started to untie the shirt.
“Back in the plane to find supplies, communications, anything. Even another person, maybe. Hey, I’m going to take this bandage off and wrap it with real gauze now that it’s stopped bleeding. I think it’s better if you didn’t look, or just focus your attention somewhere else.”
Oh, was my attention focused somewhere else. I admired this stranger’s dedication to help another stranger. She seemed extra beautiful to me in that moment. Her face was illuminated-the rays of sunlight shining through the dark branches of the trees.
“Why are you staring at me?”
I realized my mistake soon after. I stuttered, trying to find a good reason to explain why I was staring at her like a boy with a crush.
“I have a boyfriend, you know,” she explained.
“I have a girlfriend,” I replied a little too quickly. The thought of her made a lump in my throat.
She raised her brows and laughed, while she was wrapping the bandage around my arm.
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We saw Will and Charlie from a distance, while we were resting under the trees. I felt useless during that time. I’m the one that should be saving lives. Not them. I’m the cop. They’re civilians. My thoughts and confidence was at an all-time low.
Meanwhile, Will and Charlie looked to have things all wrapped up. Whatever happened in the early afternoon was patched up.
“Any news?” Holly asked, standing up. I couldn’t stand up. I felt weak compared to them. Especially Charlie. I wondered how Charlie had gotten out so easily. I mean, I understood Will, he looked like he could withstand anything, but Charlie was a bit of a skinny guy.
“No news is good news, I guess,” Charlie begun solemnly, “No more survivors. Comms are all busted, and the only food we could find were snacks for a regular plane ride. Nuts, candy, nothing really to live off of for more than a couple days.”
“We’ll have to find water, then,” Will stated.
I spoke up in the conversation, my voice still hoarse. “I think we should gather firewood. Lots of firewood, hoping it doesn’t rain out.”
Charlie took my comment and considered it, chewing on his broken, black, fingernails. “Good idea,” he started, as if he was the commander of this small group, “Yeah, good idea. If we want to be warm by nightfall we should start collecting. Duncan, can you stand?”
“Good. Me and you are going to search for some wood. Holly and Will, go collect some water using these bottles that we found on the plane. We’ll meet back at sundown. Don’t get lost. If you do, follow the smoke emitting from the plane, then walk where the tip of the plane is facing.”
We were all surprised at the amount of thought Charlie had put into this. Or maybe he hadn’t, and he was just a born leader. I guess the gravity of our situation hadn’t hit us yet, and the adrenaline of just barely surviving a plane crash was still pumping through our systems. Either way, we all followed what Charlie said to do.
We all wanted to survive.ns188.8.131.52da2