Somewhere in the darkness of a moonless night, I woke up partially, maybe passing from one sleep phase to another, and I recalled that I relocated to his tent. If I were not so tired, and not wanting to wake up any further, I would go back to my own tent. I would have made too much noise, though, and I wanted to fall back asleep anyway. I repositioned myself and closed my eyes to resume my slumber.
I heard the Lumberjack rolling over, too, and maybe that’s why I awoke. I heard the soft clicking sound of a zipper, and opened one eye to make sure no one was entering the tent. I couldn’t see much in the darkness, but the tent appeared secure.
The zipping sound continued. Maybe he was too warm and adjusting his temperature by removing his outer layer. I tried to ignore his movements, pretending to be asleep, and hopefully to be asleep shortly. But as I listened to the increasing sound he was making, it sounded as if he freed himself entirely from his sleeping bag. The fact that my brain took time to make this deduction bothered me as I didn’t want to get my mind working, I wanted it to shut back off.
But it didn’t follow my request and next began evaluating the temperature. I found the air to be refreshing, but not so invigorating that I wanted to be exposed to it. I like being bundled at night and I kept my bag up around my neck. Maybe nature was calling and he was going outside. If so, I would be able to get back to sleep as soon as he left. I could also relocate back to my tent while he was gone, but mostly I wanted to just go back to sleep, so I just kept my eyes closed waiting for his exit. Annoyingly, I was now debating my options of staying in his tent or going back to my own and I was aggravated with myself as I really did not want to be awake enough to consider either.
Nonetheless, I continued to listen, but I didn’t hear him opening the tent to go outside. He hadn’t fumbled around for the flashlight. Maybe he was going to use the lantern out by the campfire ring. He still hadn’t unzipped the entrance, so I was hoping he would get going soon.
I listened, and for a moment it sounded as if he was taking off his shirt. It wasn’t that warm under the covers, so maybe his clothes were more uncomfortable than he made it seem earlier when he made fun of my pajamas. But the sounds continued and I heard what sounded as if he was likewise removing his jeans. Despite telling myself I shouldn’t peek, I failed to resist the temptation to open my eyes to watch, but all I could see was him moving about unidentifiably as a dark shadow in the tent.
The next sound and movement, though, startled me and my level of consciousness began to increase. He grabbed onto my sleeping bag and pulled the bottom of it at an angle towards him. He seemed to be fumbling up its length, and I wondered, suddenly, if he reconsidered my sunset offer. My heart picked up speed and I was suddenly no longer concerned about falling back to sleep. If he did change his mind, I might be better off slipping off my moose pajamas just in case. I probably should have asked him what he was up to, but I was still only partially awake, and a little curious to see what was unfolding in the darkness.
When he finally reached the top edge of my sleeping bag, he located the zipper and began tugging on it, fumbling, trying to get it started. I was still equally challenged by the tightness of my bag in successfully removing my pajamas, and while I tried to shimmy out of them, he got a hold of the zipper and the rapid clacking of its metal-on-metal sounded loud against the otherwise silence between the two of us.
He unzipped the entire length, freeing my knees and allowing me more flexibility in removing my pajamas. I presumed following his undressing that this was his intent despite the lack of any real specific indicators from him since we arrived in the forest, but when he grabbed hold of my clothing and completed the task for me, I knew exactly what his intentions had become.
NEXT: Ghost Stories – Part 44