The whole walk to the light source took us a couple of minutes. And all that time, Luke kept his arm around my shoulder. If felt him getting colder too, but luckily we finally arrived.
It was a small wooden cabin, really cozy. The light we saw, was coming from a lantern pole, outside the house. Inside the house, it seemed to be completely dark.
Luke was walking around this -what seemed to be- abandoned house. It almost gave me the creeps. 'Shouldn't we just go back?' I said. 'Wait. I could call Mandy! She can give us the number and they can pick us up here!'. I clearly didn't want to enter this house.
But unfortunately, Luke didn't seem to be convinced. 'We can try the doorbell. It's probably 1 pm, quite logical that it is dark in there. Maybe the people who live there are just asleep. And by the way, Mandy and her group are probably somewhere in the woods as well. So we can't reach them either.'
I hesitated, but Luke took my hand and pulled me with him to the front porch.
'Are you sure?' I asked. 'Maybe there's some old creep living there, and...'
Luke interrupted me. 'No. You are cold, it's getting dark, it's late..' And before I could stop him, he rang the doorbell.
After 20 seconds, nobody had opened the door.
'I think we should leave now', I said and turned my back.
Luke looked around. 'And go where? We don't know the way, it's dark...'
Then we heard a cracking sound behind us, and as we turned around, the door slightly opened. Halfway it stopped, and we heard an old women. 'Wh-who is there? Please, don't hurt me! Who are you? And what are you doing here, at this time?' The women still hid herself behind the door.
Luke tried to reassure the old lady. 'We are just two teens, we're on a camp, nearby your place. Only we got lost and we're really cold. And my phone doesn't have any battery, so we were actually hoping...'
The door opened and a friendly looking women around the age of eighty smiled at us. 'I see.' She looked at me. 'Oh dear, you look so cold. Well, you can both come in, I will take care of you.'
I followed Luke and we entered the house. It was a cozy, wooden bungalow. There was wood burning in the fireplace, so it was pleasantly warm.
'You can follow me', she said. 'I will give you some warm clothes. You can dress up, meanwhile I will make you both some hot chocolate.' And we followed her up the stairs.
She showed us the guest room, and took something out of a closet. It was an old-fashioned turtleneck sweater. And for Luke, she had a knitted sweater, but Luke told her he was fine.
I took the sweater, and the women went downstairs.
We were both quiet for a couple of seconds. I was actually waiting for him to turn around so that I could pull on my sweater.
Luke didn't seem to understand that, and tried to break the silent moment: 'Well, at least it's an adventure, right?'
I smiled back awkwardly, and didn't know if I could ask him to turn around for me to pull on the sweater.
But his cheeks turned red. 'Oh, I'm sorry. I will just..uhm..' He turned his back to me, and I pulled on the sweater.
I'm done!', I said.
And as soon as Luke turned around, he started laughing. 'I-I'm sorry, haha, you just look, uhm.. stunning. That's probably the right word.'
I looked at myself in the mirror, and started laughing as well. I looked absolutely terrible. But since I was finally warming up, it didn't really bother me. Which was actually pretty weird, because Luke was with me, and I normally would've felt really ashamed.
'Chocolate is ready!' We heard the women and we walked downstairs.
We sat together by the fire, and she introduced herself. 'Well, my name is Pam, I didn't even tell you yet. What a shame! However, who are you?'
'I'm Hanna, and this is Luke', I said. 'We are both joining a camp, and we were doing a game in the woods. Only we ran away because of animals we heard, and we got lost.'
The women really seemed to feel for us. 'Oh sweethearts, you must've been so scared! At least you can call from here, and eventually I could drive you back to the camp location. Whatever you want.'
'That's really kind of you.' Luke said. 'And thank you for the hot chocolate and everything. I finally start to feel my toes again!'
Pam laughed. 'And what about you two? I assume you're in a relationship, am I right? I remember me as a kid, falling for this boy named Marc. I remember our first date, our first kiss... everything.' She smiled. 'Enjoy your time, because it flies away before you'll even notice it's gone!'
I felt my cheeks turn really red, and in the corner of my eye, I saw Luke smiling a bit uncomfortable.
'Oh no, did I say something wrong? I'm sorry, I really though you were a couple!'
I didn't want her to feel guilty, so I said: 'No, don't worry. Indeed, were not in a relationship. But, were just, just..' I didn't know what to say. Should I say 'friends'? Maybe Luke would find that a bit odd.
But he finished my sentence already. 'Were just good friends, that's all'.
It was not his sentence that made me feel my blood rush through my veins. It was the way he said it. And he probably thought I wouldn't notice it, but I was almost sure that I saw him blinking at Pam while he said it.
What did that mean? Was he saying 'She thinks we are friends but were actually not?' Or was he saying 'Were friends now, but if it were up to me, we would be more than that?'
No. Not that last one, that's for sure.
'You know what? You can go upstairs Hanna and change back to your own outfit. And then Luke can wait here. Are you okay with that?' Pam asked.
We both agreed, and I went up the stairs to pull on my own clothes.
Pam followed me and as soon as we were in the guest room, she gave me one of those 'I know how you feel' looks.
'What a sweet, gentle friend you have!' She whispered 'Don't tell him, but I feel like he's in love with you!'
I sort of laughed. 'Oh no, I'm sure he isn't.'
'Why not? You guys would make a great couple. But I guess I'm a little to old to understand young love. Oh, you can dress up, I'll wait for you downstairs!' And she left the room.
I laughed in myself. Luke and I...as a couple? No way. But what if Luke actually told her so...?
After I had dressed up, I went down the stairs and Luke and I followed Pam to her car.
'Oh... there's only one problem. I don't have a backseat in my car, so I'm afraid you'll have to share a chair. But I don't know if that's actually a problem'.
I didn't quite know what she meant to say with that, but I just ignored it.
Luke held open the door for me. 'Ladies first!'. And I got into the car.
Pam whispered at me. 'What did I say? A real gentleman!'. And I just smiled.
Luke got in the car and told Pam the adress, and she started driving.
I was practically sitting on Luke's lap. It was kind of awkward, but for some reason it also felt really good. His hair tickled and I could feel his breath in my neck. Lady Antebellum was playing in the background. It gave me a special feeling, I had never experienced before. And everybody was silent.
It wasn't so far away, and we arrived at about 2 pm. We thanked Pam for everything she had done for us, and she left already.
We stood there for a couple of seconds, and suddenly it escaped from my mouth. 'Thanks for not leaving me alone tonight.' And I felt dumb immediately after I said it.
But Luke looked me in the eyes. 'No problem. I like spending my time with you.' I could hear he meant it.
'Me too', I said. And I meant it from the bottom of my heart.
New chapter, hope you like it! xx