Rosie gently nudged George in the ribs as they pulled up at the side of the woods, "George we’re here". He moaned and fluttered his eyes open. Sitting up, he pulled the earphone from his ear. "Thanks for the music, I dread to think what would have happened without it." He said smiling at her. "It’s okay, I was happy to help." She returned a smile.
As the whole junior class exited the bus, Rosie found Annie and Jake both wearing grins. "What?" She asked suspiciously.
"Oh come on!" Annie drawled, "You must have felt something when George sat next to you, you looked very friendly with each other."
"Well I guess..."
"You were sharing earphones! You barely know him and you were sharing earphones!" Jake joined in.
"He felt sick! I was only helping him out."
"Aha I’m sure." Annie spluttered. Why did she tell her friends anything? Although, Rosie did like the contentment she felt on the bus. At first she was nervous but then she realized she could just be herself; something that she only felt with her best friends.
The mass of teens gathered at the side of the road; chattering away to their own little group of friends. "Okay kids we're going to get off the road and find somewhere we can tell you your groups and what we’re doing today." Mr. Hughes told them.
"They’ve chosen our groups? Well that’s annoying." Jake started as the trio set off.
"I know, I just hope we're all in the same one." Rosie replied.
"I think we’ll be okay if we’re not together though, people know we’re campers they’ll suck up to us so we do everything." Annie stated.
"Now that will be fun." Jake smirked, thinking about the prospect of manipulating those he didn’t like.
About 100 m into the woodland came a small clearing where the teachers stopped and signaled for silence. This time Mrs. Mallory talked, "Okay I’m going to read out the groups, I don’t want anyone complaining, there is a reason why we have put you in these groups." The three exchanged glances. "Right, there are five groups of six, so here we go. Group one: Amy Beach, Jay Shelby, Richard Cole, Chloe Kingsley, Michael Roe and Helen Booth. If you’d just wait till the end to get in your groups please."
She responded to the instant corruption of the silence, "Group two: Nick Jones, Mia Finney, Louis Thackeray, Ben Ashburn, Sophie Daley and Kat Malin. Group three: Jake Copping, Ben Hardy, Annie Greyson, Hayleigh Vern, Fran Yates and Sean Nickson. Group four: Rosie Greenward, Harry Jones, Nicole White, Olivia Hatswell, Peter Thompson and George Smith." Rosie’s head blocked out the rest of her speech, she was in the same group as George, without Annie and Jake, she was paralyzed. Oh my God! Her inner self screamed. This was what she secretly wanted to happen all along: to be alone with him; no one else causing distractions.
Each group was assigned a group leader, so Rosie walked alone, leaving Annie and Jake behind, over to Mr. Hughes with a smile on her face - he was the best teacher in her mind. As the rest of the group assembled, she felt a warm presence by her side. It was him. "Hey," he said softly.
"Hey are you feeling better?" Rosie replied.
"Loads, thanks to you."
"Okay guys from now on we are like a family, any activities we do, we do together okay? Once we get to the camp we are going to set up our tent; it’s quite big," he gestured down to the huge sack that laid next to him. "It’s got three compartments: two will be the boys and girls rooms - boys I’m afraid you’ve got me and the other larger compartment which is more just an open space is where you will have your free time. Any questions?"
"Erm yes... Sir, do we not get to see people from the other groups in our free time?" Rosie asked, worried that she wouldn’t see Annie or Jake for the whole trip.
"We’re having a bonfire every night, that’s when you will be able to see your friends, but after that the teachers decided it was too much of a hassle having you all out of your tents when it’s dark." Mr. Hughes replied.
"Okay." Wow she thought, she was going to be spending a lot of time with George. "So who wants to help me carry this up the err... very steep long hill? George, Harry how about you two, I’ve heard you’ve both got some muscle." Rosie silently agreed as George made his way to Mr. Hughes.
The group started climbing the hill to the left of the clearing, some students finding it difficult, others finding it very easy. There was a low hum of all the panting going on, it slowly grew louder as they progressed up the hill, none of it though was contributed by Rosie, who was one of the few who was inhaling and exhaling normally. Rosie looked around; she had reached the top first so took a moment to take in everyone’s appearances. Helen Booth who wasn’t even halfway, looked like she had been working out in a gym for 2 hours and in need of a cold bottle of mineral water; Nicole White looked surprisingly okay being somewhat of a nerd, Rosie didn’t expect her to be striding to the top, without even breaking a sweat. Well that’s one less dead weight in the group she thought.
And then there was Annie and Jake, taking a surprisingly long time to climb the somewhat easy hill for them. Rosie only had to look at their expressions to understand why - they were both laughing and gazing at each other. How they weren’t together was beyond her... Feeling like she was intruding on their moment, she turned her gaze away now to a search for one person only, but she couldn’t find the face she was looking for.
Where was George?
"Wow, Mr. Hughes! I don’t think you needed our help, we are one of the first to get to the top!"
"Ha-ha! I guess you’re right, you two helped the pace though."
"We’re here to help Sir." Harry grinned.
"You two can go and relax now for a bit, I need to get some pictures of the teachers; their faces are hilarious." Mr Hughes said before striding away.
"Yeah later mate, I need to find a tree I’ve been dying to go since we got here." Harry ran off.
George was alone. Glancing around, he saw a girl with long wavy brown hair that kept getting caught by the gentle wind, propelling through the trees. 'Wow', he thought when she did, she get that beautiful... Snap out of it George it's Rosie. But who is she looking for? Well whoever it is she can’t find them - he summarized from her disappointed expression. She looked a little lonely too and George had an urge to talk to her, so decided to stop staring and actually keep her company.
"Hey." A familiar voice started from behind. Rosie jumped out of her skin, turning around at the same moment causing her to trip towards him. She didn’t hit the ground with a thud like she anticipated; she just hit a soft, warm, comfortable yet solid wall. George was embracing her, letting her in. Rosie savored the moment his beautiful scent swirling around in her nostrils. She had to pull away from him now or she would never let go. He set her steady on the ground and greeted her with a smile, "Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you," George said.
"It’s okay, I was just watching everyone getting up the hill, I guess I got too interested."
He smiled cheekily, "It is quite funny seeing some people’s expressions."
She returned a laugh, "Anyway, how did you get up so quickly?"
"Mr. Hughes is a lot stronger than you thought." He replied quickly.
"Not just him." Rosie muttered back and glanced at him. George was looking forward smiling secretly trying to hide his expression. "Did you hear that?" She asked anxiously.
"Yep." George replied simply. Oh my God he heard my life is over. Rosie could feel her face flush and she slapped her hands up to her face to cover her embarrassment. "It’s okay, it’s good to know that I impress you with something, seeing as my running isn’t good enough for your high standards."
"Hey!" Rosie bolted her head to look at his, "I told you to take it as a compliment if you remember and you still owe me for letting you borrow my earphones, so I would be nice if I were you!" Rosie felt comfortable, relaxed. She felt right. "I guess you’re right but I could swear I remember listening to some heavy metal." Her answer to that - a glare. "I will find a way to repay you though," his voice now mellow but serious. "Thanks." She said smiling daring to look up to his face.
What a mistake that was. Greeting her was a big pair of friendly chocolate-brown eyes gazing down at her. Wow he really was a picture of pure beauty. Rosie always thought she exaggerated a bit in her thoughts but now being up close to him it was real and very true. Look away Rosie, look away don’t get trapped by his looks. Too late... He was returning the moment with a smile.
"Do I have an interesting face?" He surprisingly questioned.
"Err, not as interesting as you would hope." She tried.
"Why look at it for so long then?" George quizzed.
"Because I was trying to find something that I could compliment, I didn’t succeed..." She drawled dramatically.
"Oooh burn! Nicely played Miss Greenward." Rosie was proud in that moment as well as amazed that she covered it up so well. Then their conversation was interrupted by a sudden roar from Mrs. Mallory, "GATHER IN YOUR GROUPS! GROUP TWO TO ME PLEASE!!"
"Right kids, it’s time to set up camp." Mr. Hughes said once we had all arrived.