Camp Pawa: The lake of diamonds and memories
By Jd Wheels
"The sequel to Camp Pawa."
** I own all the characters and places and events written in this book, and it is an original Yuri story.**
The sun of summer was warm and inviting, as Lake Pawa shone like a star in the brightness of the light. A new season of camp was now on tap, and the past school year was a memory for all. Busses carrying all the campers were now arriving one after another.
The thin figure of Olivia Stern, one of the chief councilors of Camp Pawa stood near where the cabin postings were hung on the main bulletin board, waiting for the rush of this years Campers.
In not too very long, the deluge arrived. The woman watched as kids leaped off of busses and hurried over to see what cabins they would be in. The summer was now officially starting for her at that second, the ‘hoard’ had arrived.. Camp Pawa was officially alive and kicking..
The woman stood silently, watching all of the smiling faces unload from the large vehicles, obviously watching for campers she would recognize from years gone by. She did see many faces that were familiar to her, and that seemed to make the lady smile a little. The exuberance and out and out excitement that children were showing was making her feel good that she was here for the four weeks the camp would be going.
She stood there, as other councilors helped the young ones gather bags, and check for what cabin they would be in this year. It was going smoothly, just like they had planned it to go in the first place.
Someone in the unloading crowd caught Olivia’s eye right off. A short dark haired girl had stepped off of one of the busses, one that she recognized right off the bat. The girl was unmistakable, even after such a long time since seeing her last. This camper was one of her favorite ones from past years, yet she had never let that little bit of information go past inside of herself.
The woman walked over to the girl, with a very cheery voice.
" As I live and breath... It’s Mandy Thayer." She said, recognizing the dark haired girl, waving as she made her way over.
Mandy was older than the last time Olivia had seen the girl. She had not grown taller any, still not even reaching five foot in height, but the girl’s compact body had honestly matured and blossomed into early womanhood in the two years since she had seen her.
Looking the girl over, she noticed other changes. Mandy’s long hair had now grown nearly past her waist in a lovely curtain of dark tresses, and was silky and full. The girl had definitely grown into a fine young woman
Olivia then curiously noticed something that made her a little upset. In the eyes of Mandy as she stood there, while kids whizzed passed, something was showing the extent of the girl’s maturity. It was a older look hung in those brown orbs, almost gone was the child like twinkle. It was as if the girl had been gone a lifetime.
Mandy smiled, as Councilor Olivia greeted her with a warming smile.
" If I am not mistaken... It has been a long while since you graced Camp Pawa with your presence?" Asked Olivia.
" It has been very long..." Said the girl back softly. " Things have not changed here one little bit."
" No, No... it has not..." She said. " The place has had a few new coats of paint and other things, but it has not really changed."
" I don’t know if that is good or bad yet, but it is nice to see the place still here anyways."
Olivia looked at the girl for a moment, as if her mind was working on something.
" I was just thinking back here... I am remembering that you were not here last year...." Said the councilor, thinking out loud. " So it seems that makes it almost two years since you came last."
" Yeah... that was the last time I was here, Miss Olivia." The girl said, with a strange sense of flatness.
" That would make you sixteen, right?"
" I am.... that makes me a real Senior camper now..." Said the girl, giving a little smile with her statement.
Olivia nodded, as the girl was right. At sixteen, the girl would be a full fledged Senior Camper this time around. That fact was going to make the girl a sort of assistant councilor to the younger campers at Pawa. Most kids never returned to be the seniors after awhile, but the girl had. Olivia was glad for that, senior campers help the overworked and overwhelmed counseling staff.
Olivia then noticed the girl’s face had become almost drawn into a sad look. She looked at the young one’s face, and studied it for a few moments.
" Doesn’t the thought of being a senior camper agree with you?" She asked, puzzled by the sudden turn of mood of the girl.
" It will be a new experience, Councilor..." Said the girl, her words drawing off.
" Are you not looking forward to camp then?" The woman asked, the sullen faced girl causing her a little bit of alarm.
Mandy sighed, and looked at the woman. She shook her head.
" It’s not camp or anything like that, Miss Olivia... " She said. " It is great to see the Camp again, hopefully connecting with friends we have not seen after so long... but..."
" Then... what is it?" The lady asked, still not grasping the why from the girl.
The long haired girl looked at the woman, there were a few tears in that gaze she was giving. This shocked the woman more than ever.
" It is the reason why I never came last year, Ma’am." Mandy said. " It was because of CC..."
Olivia quickly remembered the beautiful and very outspoken goth girl from that year, the one that had ended up being the girlfriend of Mandy. She looked at the girl in front of her, wondering to ask what it was all leading to.
" I remember Crystal, er, CC from that year still ..." She smiled. " You two met here."
" We did, Miss Olivia....Met and fell in love..." Began the girl, her face now becoming really downcast.
" Did she not want to come this year... is that why your sad with it?"
" She passed away last year." The girl replied vacantly.
Councilor Olivia felt like a huge weight hit her, she was so stunned by the news she had just gotten. She had never heard of any campers of her’s dying before, but now it had just leapt out at her. She collected herself, and made eye contact with the girl.
" She died?" Said the woman, her voice showing the extent of her shock at this.
Mandy took a purpose filled breath in, as she could tell the woman had not heard what had happened. She swallowed hard, knowing that she would have to tell the woman what had happened.
" We left Camp that year, and we were happy... Going to the same school and everything, we were so in love... even my parents were tickled with her, after getting over the shock of finding out I was gay..." She started, choking out the words a little. " Thanks to her family, and her also... "
" That was a great thing..." The woman commented.
" I was glad for the support of my parents with that. They even said that they had noticed I was a little different since I was little" The girl said, with a very little smile.
" I know your parents... they love you so much... I had a hunch that they would have come to terms with it." Olivia said. " So what happened to CC?"
The girl swallowed really hard, and to the councilor it was as if the girl was fighting to come out with the right words. She purposely let the girl work through it
" We were still together and strong through out the school term and everything, then just before the summer last year, she got sick."
" Really sick..." Mandy said, her tears welling in her eyes faster than they had been." So very sick in fact..."
" What happened?"
The girl paused to collect herself better, the words were obviously very hard to actually come out with.
" She started to have many nose bleeds out of the blue and then began to feel so run down that she could not get herself out of bed... she ended up missing almost a whole month of school."
" Was it the start of something?" Olivia asked.
Mandy nodded her head, her body now seemed to tremble a little.
" I really thought that something was not right, but she would not go to the damn doctor. After fighting me and her parents every step for that month, CC finally agreed to see her doctor." The long haired young girl then stopped right there, her face then fell emotionless like stone. " I had a sinking feeling that something was really wrong with CC."
" Was it?"
Mandy looked down for a moment, as if she was reliving the situation over again right there.
" We found very soon that she had leukemia... And they advised us that it was advanced, but hopefully it was treatable. " Mandy said, her voice was toneless as she paused. " She went through a long round of chemotherapy and other treatments, but that ended up making her only sicker than she already was... She lost so much weight, her hair came out all in less than a week and the cancer was still getting worse and worse..."
" Nothing was working?" Inquired Olivia, scared to hear what she already had figured out.
The long haired girl shook her head, tears were now running down her ivory skinned cheeks as she looked right at the woman. The answer was already painted on Mandy’s face, but Councilor Olivia waited quietly as a church mouse for the remaining words that were going to come.
" She got continually worse, and I watched her whither away little bit by little bit...until she ended up weighing less that I did..." The dark haired girl shuttered and closed her eyes for a second. "...CC battled like a lion every step of the way, finally her body gave out and she died just before new years last year..." The girl finally said. " I was there... holding her hand as I had been doing."
Olivia felt her own flood of tears loading in her eyes, and felt her sense of sadness coming with knowing what had happened. She thought of CC for a flash of a moment, then she found herself looking at Mandy’s pained face.
" Oh, Mandy... I am sorry to hear that..." Said the Councilor. She fought to say something positive, but what sure that nothing would really comfort the girl... no matter what she could say. " So you’re here to have a break or something?"
Mandy shook her head as she composed herself, wiping a tear from the ivory skin of her cheek. Shifting on her feet, Mandy lifted her head high with a deep breath, then straightened her back.
" CC asked me before she died, to come back here and enjoy Camp one last time... in her memory, with our memories..." Mandy said, then breaking a smile as she thought on the girl. " to come here, where the two of us had met... fell in love... promising to simply hold those things close to me and enjoy one more time before I go into my final years of high school."
" I think that you are so brave to actually do that for CC." Tentatively smiled Olivia.
" Could I do anything else?" Plainly said Mandy.
" No..." Was the lady’s only reply.
The woman could see that Mandy was torn by being here. Her mind drifted back, remembering her own first love with a boy named Troy she met long ago, when Camp Pawa had been first founded and she was simply one camper. The love she had for the lad was intense and seemed to be only a second away. All of the memories of it all flooded back to her, vibrant and almost fresh.
She thought on it for a moment, then she felt her heart sink. The lad had moved away after they had left Camp Pawa. They did write for about a year, then the letters became fewer and fewer. Finally, they all had stopped all together, she never saw him again. She went to camp for the next few years, in hope that he might have been there, but never did.
Olivia did not understand the girl liking girl thing, she had told herself that many times, but she did have some insight that helped. Whether gay or straight... love was strong, complete and could be painful. Seeing that type of pain on such a young girl’s face touched her heart, no matter what orientation the girl was.
Olivia watched the girl’s face, as she did understand the girl’s reservations about being here. She could clearly remember her feelings the next year she had been back, but also knew that this would be wholly different.
" So we should get you to up to your cabin, and ready you to help out around here." She said, trying to be as positive as she could be.
" That is why I am here." The girl said, seemingly pushing her emotions aside..
" You’ll be a one hell of a Senior Camper this year..." Winked the lady. " Just try to have a blast with it... if you can."
" It will be different being a senior..." Mandy said, her voice now holding a little tone of hopefulness. " Different in so many ways!"
Olivia nodded and pointed to where the bus drivers had started to unload the busses underbellies of suitcases, duffle bags and so many tied up boxes for the waiting kids.
" I’ll go look up where you’ll be bunked..." The woman said. " An’ I’ll take you there straight off."
Mandy smiled and nodded, seemingly taking the woman’s words to heart The girl walked off to find her suitcase and other things, disappearing in to the crush of Campers that mulled everywhere while getting their own stuff as well.
Olivia went to find just what Senior cabin the girl was placed in this year, hoping a little bit that it was with her group in Cabin Seven. She giggled, knowing that she had not even seen that list, something she should have done when arriving the other day to set things up.