I could not have felt more awkward!!
I held my breath as the wordless conversation continued. Apparently the unidentified canoodling couple hadn’t noticed me. Thank goodness!
I ever so carefully took a tiny step backwards and waited silently. Nothing. I took another step backwards and waited again. Nothing. I turned and as quietly as possible I tipped toed off the gazebo, jumped off it onto the dirt path and hightailed in through the bushes and back to the main house. As I stepped onto the deck to open the door I briefly glanced back. Nothing. Whew!
I trudged upstairs to the health station, opened the door, grabbed my book, flopped down on the chair and kicked my feet up.
I was ten pages along when the campers trickled in for their bedtime meds and were completed in record time. I spent a couple of minutes setting out the breakfast medications. I wiped down the counter and the desk (where I had kicked up my feet) and was just about to close up shop when I heard footsteps approaching, so I stopped to listen. I was pretty sure they were headed my way. I stopped with my hand on the door knob and watched the shadows approaching.
Around the corner came senior counsellors, Ben and Liz.
“Hi Anne!” Liz cheerfully greeted me.
“Hey Liz, what’s up? Do you need me?”
“Actually yes!” Liz said.
“Come on in then! What can I do for you?” I asked as I pulled the door open for them to enter.
“Ben and I managed to get scraped up pretty badly.” Liz indicated their shins and palms of their hands.They both had abrasions that were oozing small blood.
“Ooooo!” I sucked in my breath as I shivered. “That looks like it’s probably stinging badly, eh?”
“Yup,” Ben responded and nodded. “Can we clean them up and put some antibiotic lotion on?”
“Sure you two!” I agreed and reached for the tube of ointment as they grabbed paper towels and soaked them in cool water. They gently patted at the abrasions, removing the dirt and debris as I watched. Liz was helping Ben get a tiny rock that was lodged into the palm of his hand and I observed how gentle and caring her manner was as she tried to remove it. That’s when I noticed a small dried leaf buried in her hair.
“What happened?” I asked as I squeezed some ointment onto q tips.
“We were doing some planning for afternoon instructions when we heard something.”
“I think it was that bear that keeps coming around to check out the compost bin.” Ben added as he looked at me with grave concern.
“We heard it in the gazebo and then when we stood up to peek in there, it bolted through the bushes. We were both so scared that we turned to run and we lost our footing and rolled down the hill.” Liz explained, wincing as she rinsed her palms under the tap.
“We both slammed into a tree which saved us from rolling into the lake, thankfully.” Ben added.
“Yikes! Shall we add some acetaminophen to the regimen too?” I inquired as I opened the cupboard and reached for it.
“Nah. I think we will be OK.” Ben said as he rinsed his hands under the tap while Liz was applying the ointment to Ben’s shins.
“Well just let me know.” I said as I closed the cupboard and leaned on the countertop.
Liz stood up. “There we go. All done.” She turned to face me and grinned. I smiled back and that’s when I noticed the very fresh appearing hickey on her neck.
My face flushed.
I realized that I was the scary bear.