Maybe it was a bit presumptive of me to think that Loretta wasn’t capable of the confidence I had placed in her. Either way, the more I came to know about her, she seemed like a person worthy of my trust. It is rare, on this myriad road of life. that we come across other people that seem to share a true passion for truth, absent of complete selfishness. There is no doubt that, first and foremost, every thought is derived from a particularly selfish obsession with survival. If an action would lead to immediate extinction of the organism, what would be the point of performing said action?
I had all my equipment laid out in front of me, my journal open, and the rock specimens scattered everywhere. I could not have possibly been at a more vulnerable moment when I heard a rustling coming just outside my tent. At first, it sounded like it may have simply been Loretta wandering into the woods to relieve herself, when I specifically made out the sounds of a conversation between two people. I suppose it was only a matter of time before somebody else came across our private campsite, but at this hour?
All the thoughts of being discovered came rushing upon me. My heart started pounding against my rib cage. I recklessly gathered anything I could find and shoved it into the bags around me. I slowly dimmed my light until there was no more illumination left. In the silence, my breath sounds were so loud that I sounded like a dog panting. Barely a minute had passed in this condition, when I could hear the sound of footsteps coming closer to the tent. I could make out, through the tent, the shadows of people walking. I braced myself for the worst and sat there, not knowing what the outcome of this stressful moment would be.
To be continued…