Everyone stood up after each other, picking out their bags or suitcases, then resuming their seats on the logs. Some people clutched their heads and winced while searching through their bags. It fell silent for a while. It was a few moments before anyone spoke, finally Fernando frowned, “I don’t remember anything before being in science class with this new teacher â€“ but this backpack is mine. How do I know that but not why I got on that stupid plane?” He gritted his teeth, tossing an item from his suitcase. “It doesn’t make sense!” He cried, his palms on his forehead. “I don’t understand!”
Hannah moved to sit next to him, Alex gladly swapping places. She rubbed his back as he rocked back and forth visibly distressed. Wren had decided to sit on the sand instead, next to her bag. “There’s something wrong with all this.” She stated loudly.
“Obviously!” Fernando shouted, “We’ve been in a fucking plane crash!”
Wren scowled, “I’m talking about our apparent and collective amnesia, Fernando.” She countered, calmly. “It’s above unusual, it’s downright unheard of. All of us firstly not being able to recall anything about being on the plane and secondly why we were even on the plane in the first plane is just amazing. It goes to proves my theory.”
“What theory?” Cyrus asked, disbelievingly.
“That someone has done this to us.” Wren answered.
“What?” Everyone exclaimed at once.
Alex scoffed, “God please! Don’t tell me you’re one of those conspiracy theorist nuts?”
“She’s got a point though.” Riley mumbled, shrugging.
“What?” Alex shook his head, “No way.”
“Yes way.” Wren argued, standing up. “Someone did this to us, it’s the only explanation!”
Tazeline, Hannah and Ari had said nothing. Tazeline stood up as well, rolling her eyes and flinging her backpack on. She started to walk away, but Alex, Wren and Riley were too invested in their argument to notice. Fernando was busy still freaking out and Ari and Cyrus just sat on their logs, talking and tending to the fire. “Where are you going?” Hannah called out to Tazeline, earning everyone’s attention.
Tazeline turned around only briefly, “Away. I can look after myself; your bickering is annoying and I’d rather not have to sit here and listen to your ridiculous theories.”
“See!” Alex cried, pointing at Wren. “She agrees; your theories are stupid and false.”
Tazeline scoffed and turned back around to continue her walk. Hannah was torn between going after her and staying to make sure the other didn’t accidentally kill themselves. Standing up, she sighed, frustrated. “Dammit. Alex and Wren, was it? Shut up! I am going after her. Cyrus, can you just look after the fire and make sure no one gets hurt or lost?”
“Sure.” He replied.
Alex and Wren instantly sat down, but glared at each other. “I’ll be back in the morning at the latest if it gets too dark to see on my way back.”
Everyone nodded and Hannah grabbed her backpack, shoving a small container of food she’d brought in her suitcase into it. “Tazeline, wait!”
Fresh leaves patted her feet as she ran to catch up to the other girl.
When she did catch up, they walked in awkward silence for a few minutes.
“What are you doing, Hannah?” Tazeline asked, her tone dry and irritated.
Hannah frowned, “What do you mean?”
Tazeline stopped abruptly, her body going forward a bit as it caught up to her feet.
“I mean, why are you out here right now? Why are you following me? I don’t need your help.”
Hannah was at a loss of words. Why had she followed Tazeline into the woods? Was she just worried for her safety? Or was it something else? They’d only just met, and she admitted to herself she admired her already. She liked the way she held herself â€“ like she could protect herself, like she was meant to be respected or else. Hannah liked the way she spoke too; her voice the embodiment of confidence and very attention capturing. She seemed to know what she was talking about. And she took no negativity from anyone. Hannah furrowed her brows. “I know you don’t need my help. I followed you because I like you.” Dawning on what that sounded like, Hannah’s face flushed. “I- I mean, you’re my type of person.” That sounded worse. “I- I want to be your friend.” At least, Hannah thought. Hannah frowned, embarrassed.
“You do that a lot.” Tazeline said simply, continuing walking.
“Do what?” She frowned again.
Tazeline laughed and Hannah smiled, “That! You do that little face where you look like a constipated kitten.” Tazeline started laughing, clutching her stomach as she did so. Hannah grinned, not having smiled like this since before waking up in the plane.
They laughed for a few more minutes before settling down, “I wish I could remember at least a bit from before the crash.” Hannah confessed, pushing a branch out of her way as they walked.
“So, do I.” Tazeline agreed, “But I guess we’ll just have to wait. It has to come back sooner rather than later.”
She nodded, “You’re right. Hey, it’s pretty dark,” turning around, Hannah pursed her lips, realising all at once how tired she was. “Where should we sleep?”
Tazeline smiled, stopping dead in her tracks, and pulled off her backpack. They were in a clearing in the forest, albeit a tiny one. Hannah sat down on the soft, green grass, wondering what Tazeline was doing. “I must’ve come prepared for a camp or something.” She mumbled, dragging out a sleeping bag. “We can share it, seeing as…” She eyed Hannah’s bag with one judging raised eyebrow. “I am betting you could not fit a sleeping bag in that tiny thing?.”
Hannah laughed, “Hey! I have a suitcase back at the fire.”
“Well, it’s a bit too late to go back there and get your non-existent sleeping bag.” Tazeline sassed back, a small smile on her face as she rolled the sleeping bag out, putting her clothes underneath the top as some sort of pillow, she had clearly camped before.
Hannah huffed in mock annoyance, “Fine.” She crawled into the sleeping bag, Tazeline slipping in beside her and fell into a fitful sleep.