We ignored the trespassing signs and decided to climb over the rickety fence. There was no one in sight, and it looked like nobody had come through this area in a long, long time. We also knew that if anyone asked, we could easily just say we were lost – afterall, we were in a way lost already. The map flew out of the open window only a few short hours before, and we hadn’t had a chance to get a new one.
We began walking along an old path that had been overgrown with all the surrounding vegetation. For a brief moment, I wondered what explorers thought when they went to new and unchartered areas, and then allowed that thought to leave just as quickly as it came – this was no Robinson Crusoe trip and my city-girl side was being too loud. We were, afterall, only a few kilometres from the car.
I followed his footsteps as he led the way through the thick path. I wondered if his legs were getting scratched like mine from all the growth surrounding us. I didn’t want to be a spoiled sport and ruin any of this, so I kept my mouth shut, but I really hoped that we would get there soon. I also fleatingly wondered how I would be able to walk back through this brush on the return trip. Oh please, let there be another path back to the car, I said to myself.
Up ahead, he all of a sudden stopped on the path, grabbed the camera, turned around and snapped a shot. I don’t even know what he took a picture of. He pointed the camera my way and snapped a few more. I turned around to see what was behind me, and didn’t seen anything in particular. I turned back towards him.
“What’s going on?”, I called.
“You look heavenly, that’s all”, he said.
“Give me a break, I look like shit and I need a bathroom” I replied.
“Princess, do you need me to build a toilet for you before you can go?”, he sang out.
“Come on.. help me out… everything here is itchy, are you sure there isn’t poison ivy here?”
He switched gears, saw the look on my face and helped me find a half-decent spot away from the potential itch and scratchy areas. He wandered back towards the path to give me privacy and when I was done and returned, he picked up the camera and began snapping again.
“Are you taking those strange pictures again?” I asked looking at the strange angles he seemed to be using.
“You getting any good ones?”
“You look fabulous. You’d look even better if….”
“I look best with clothes, my Prince.”
“…with the emperor’s new clothes, Princess” and with that, he walked up to me and said, “close your eyes, I have a surprise”.
I had no idea what to expect, and obeyed with a bit of anxiety and anticipation. I felt his hands on either side of my face as he said softely and tenderly, “Princess, you look beautiful, but you stink.” I opened my eyes wide, just as he began to run from me, as he yelled “Last one into the lake…. is last!”. It was only now that I noticed the path had changed and the clearing before me showed a crystal blue-green lake that sparkled like none other I had ever seen before.
I used my sprinter legs and kicked it into gear.