It’s the summer of 2012. I’m at Allaso Ranch, my church’s camp/retreat. The weather is amazing. It’s the end of June. The sun is out, there’s a breeze coming off the lake, ruffling my hair and pulling at my t-shirt.
It’s dessert on the beach. All the campers are standing on the shore of the lake in the warm sand, cookies in hand. We’re socializing, munching, and enjoying the relaxing atmosphere. It’s perfect, except for the fact that all the campers are middle schoolers.
To put it lightly: I don’t miss middle school.
My friend Addi and I are standing talking to one another during dessert. We have been best friends since preschool (and still are!) and have gone to camp together for over five summers. This particular summer the other girls in our cabin were complete idiots, so we spent most of our time just talking to one another and bonding. This has made her one of my closest friends.
During this particular dessert we were standing about 15 feet away from the aforementioned girls in our cabin. The other girls were all awkwardly flirting with a group of boys. It was so uncomfortable to watch. Addi and I spent half of our time talking about serious things and half of our time glancing over and laughing at them.
One boy in particular who was cuter and less awkward then the others (which isn’t saying much) was going around to each girl in their little pack and doing trust falls with them. He wouldn’t preface it with anything, just said “Trust fall!” as he turned his back and fell backwards. Every girl caught him and laughed at how silly and adorable he was. I think he just liked having girls put their arms around him, as they did to drag him back up to his feet.
Addi and I laughed at his awkward attempts to flirt and talked about how glad we were that we weren’t stuck in all that.
We moved on to another conversation (I don’t remember what). All of a sudden that one kid came up in between us and said “Trust fall!”
Addi and I were standing just a couple feet apart. Far enough away for him to stand comfortably in between us but close enough that neither could manuever around to catch him.
And for the record, he was definitely closer to Addi (though she disagrees).
The kid landed flat on his back in the sand and gravel. Sand flew everywhere, covering his shirt. He flopped awkwardly with his arms flailing, feet bouncing. He hadn’t even tried to catch himself or stop himself from hitting the ground. That’s how sure he was that we were going to catch him.
We just stared at him. Didn’t even help him up to his feet. We watched him fall and when he hit the ground we made eye contact with one another.
“I thought you were going to catch him,” I told Addi.
“I thought you were,” she responded.
We stared down at the kid.
“What are you doing?” I asked him. In my head I was thinking, “Dude! We were in the middle of a conversation! What idiot tries to do a trust fall in the middle of a conversation, perpendicular to the person who is supposed to catch them?”
He didn’t say anything, or if he did, I can’t remember what it was. He jumped up to his feet and ran off to his friends, brushing the sand off his back as he went. From what I remember, his face was red, like a sunburned tomato.
“I guess we aren’t too trustworthy,” I commented as he left.
None of the boys talked to us for the rest of the week. We had made it clear we weren’t interested in their shenanigans.