This story is one of the June Writing Challenge entries that was chosen to be a featured story.

He pulled the old map from the shelf, a dust cloud following it. He spluttered, then the cheeky grin returned to his face. She was going to love it.

It was 2am. Robin climbed up to her window and gently raised it. He clambered in and carefully stepped around the assorted range of travel memos on her window ledge, then proceeded towards the sleeping girl. He gently shook her, whispering, “Hey, Ivy,  wake up,” into her ear. Finally she woke and gave him a sleepy smile, the ones that only he received. Robin helped Ivy get up and grab some spare clothes and then led her back out the window, and towards the blue minivan that was catching the moonlight at the sides.

He let her rest across the back seats whilst he drove towards the dark silhouette of the forest, carefully avoiding all the bumps in the road as not to wake her. At around 3am, they arrived, and he began to set up the surprise. At 4am, Ivy woke with Robin lying next her, snuggled up on one side of the sleeping bag. She looked up and saw the shadows of rain droplets that sat on top of the tent, and realised that Robin’s hair was slightly damp. She felt to her right, where she usually put her book for those mornings when she woke too early, and sure enough it was there. He’d remembered all her favourite details. As she turned back to look at him, he’d began to stir and soon she saw his bright blue eyes looking towards her.

“Good morning,” he said with a half grin, half yawn. Ivy shuffled over to the side of the sleeping bag, feeling the warmth of Robin, and nestled into his shoulder. Her glasses, which the one thing he’d forgotten to do was take them off her face, began to steam up with their combined breaths. The sun started to shine through a crack in the tent door. Robin had driven them to the edge of the forest, where the lake sat in all its glory. The birds began singing their morning songs, and the deer started to arrive in their families, little fawns stumbling behind their powerful parent does. She exhaled. He exhaled. They exhaled.



Maya Reber
Age 14

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