Several of my kids went to summer camp a few weeks ago. They went to the same camp I grew up going to. A place called Hume Lake. Isn't it a beautiful lake? It always bring back memories of the first time I attended camp there when I was eleven years old. Most of the memories are wonderful, but I had one night that really gave me a scare.
We arrived at camp and were given a very small cabin. It had 4 bunk beds, very close together. My friend Janice and I grabbed top bunks, right next to each other and put our pillows head to head so that we could chat at night.
However, Janice wasn’t the night owl that I was, and the first night she went to sleep very quickly. In fact the whole cabin was asleep and I laid there listening to every sound.
It was a just a bit annoying at first, but she kept getting louder, and I started fretting about ever getting to sleep. Somewhere in the back of my mind I seemed to remember that if you plugged someone’s nose, they would start breathing through their mouth and stop snoring.
I needed her to stop snoring.
I reached over and grabbed her nose and held it. She didn’t wake up. Lo and behold, when I unplugged her nose, she was no longer snoring. Oh good, now I could get to sleep!
Then I started to listen and I realized that I didn’t hear anything. Nothing at all. I started to worry.
What if I’d held her nose too long?
What if I’d killed her?
Remember I was only 11 years old. I really thought she might be dead. Now, I desperately needed Janice to be awake. I wanted to know that I hadn’t committed murder.
I thought about trying to wake her up, but what if she didn’t wake up, and someone else did? Then they’d know, that I knew, she was dead already, and they’d suspect me. Isn’t that awful? I was trying to figure out a way to get out of the crime I might have committed.
Then I started to wonder...what if they fingerprint her nose?
Seriously, I did.
Oh no, I thought. They’d find my fingerprints and I’d be put in jail. My parents would visit me and shake their heads. My mother would cry. My mind was really getting the better of me.
After contemplating my life in prison, I started to cry. Quietly, of course, I didn’t want to wake anyone up. If they found her dead in the morning, they might not suspect me! Talk about wanting to cover your tracks. Guilt was strong, but self-preservation was stronger.
The awful thoughts went on, but I finally drifted off to sleep...with my friend's “possibly” dead body, laying right by me. Yes, it was a fitful sleep, to say the least.
I woke up the next morning after everyone else... as I’d been awake half the night. Janice was alive and well, getting dressed and telling me I needed to get up, it was almost time for breakfast!
I never told her about her brush with death…or about the fact that I wasn’t really a very good friend. It sure made me realize a few truths about myself though, and I wasn't very proud of them.
And if someone is snoring now?
Well, my husband might tell you that I have a mean kick to get him turn over on his side, but I can guarantee that I’m not going to be the one plugging anybody's nose :-)
We’re headed to a shipboard wedding on The Queen Mary this Saturday. I’ll try to take some photos while I’m there and bring them back to share.
Have a wonderful weekend.