Survivor Niiiiiiight

Watching the golden butterfly as it picked its way across the window screen and I relished in the delight that it had ignited. I was amazed that such a tiny creature was capable of charming me. I couldn’t suppress a smile.

I sat down and completed my documentation. I closed the binder and looked at the paperback book sitting on the desk. I reached for it, pushed my chair back and kicked my legs up onto the desk. I turned to the first page and launched into the story. I was reading! It had been YEARS since I had read for pleasure! I became so absorbed in the story that I hardly noticed as the sun set and the twilight had commenced.

I heard the group of LITs come up the back stairs and stopped to look up as they paraded past the office. I looked up to see Marie.

“Everyone say ‘Hi’ to Nurse Anne!” Marie called out to the group.

“Hi Nurse Anne!” The LIT boys bellowed.

I gave a little royal wave as they trooped past the door.

“OK gentleman! We are going to go to the staff lounge and tonight’s leadership talk is entitled ‘Don’t limit your challenges. Challenge your limits.’” I overheard Marie telling the guys. “We have talked about how you cannot grow when things are easy. You need to push yourself past your preconceived limits in order to discover what you are capable of. You may surprise yourself…” I heard her voice trail off as the group entered the staff lounge.

I suddenly remembered that tonight was Survivor Night for the LITs! My interest was piqued. I sat up and tucked the paperback into my pocket and locked up the office. I padded quietly down to the lounge door and peeked into the window. All the LITs were sitting on the couches and chairs in the lounge as Marie was standing in the middle of the room.

“I want you to think about one of the most challenging things you have ever done in your life to date. Think about it. What was it?” Marie paused. “Were you successful in meeting the challenge? Why or why not?” Marie paused again. “How did that make you feel?”

I focused on the guys and noticed that they all had thoughtful expressions on their faces. I also realized that a few of the guys, including Malcolm and Scott, were wearing pants, hoodies and hats and seemed over dressed for a summer evening, whereas the others were wearing their usual t-shirts and shorts. I guessed that some of the LITs had piled on the layers earlier in the evening as they suspected Survivor Night would happen that night. They were prepared for sleeping outdoors, unprotected, on the island.

“Would anyone like to share?” Marie asked. Tony raised his hand. Marie nodded and motioned to Tony.

“The hardest thing I have ever done was go to France last summer for a French immersion experience. I went by myself and had never even flown on a plane. I stayed with a French family and they were not allowed to speak to me in English,” Tony explained.

As I stood quietly and listened to Tony recount the difficulties of his language immersion experience Dane snuck up beside me and held his finger to his lips. I suppressed a giggle.

“Hey there!” I whispered. He was wearing a kitted cap, a jacket, jeans, and hiking boots. “You look completely prepared for a night sleeping under the stars.”

Dane nodded and winked at me. “Survivor night commences in T minus 5 seconds.” He whispered and held up five fingers. One by one he folded his fingers down and I silently clapped my hands together.

Dane roughly pushed open the staff lounge door with a bang and yelled with his hands cupped around his mouth, “SURVIVOR NIIIIIIIIGHT!”

And all hell broke loose.

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