The drive takes us two hours until we reach the designated starting spot. We park our car and grab our things, checking Sam’s car twice to see if it’s locked. When we’re satisfied everything is in order we start our hike. We walk side by side and talk about insignificant things. We both avoid the elephant in the room or rather the woods.
I wonder how she is doing. Marisol and I sure aren’t friends but what happened to her isn’t something I would wish even for my nemesis. No one deserves that.
I check my watch and it says one p.m. I look around to see where we could rest for a bit and eat a sandwich before continuing our hike. I see a large rock and a log to my left and stop Sam from walking further.
“What is it? Do you need me to take this?” he asks and points at the grocery bag I’m carrying. I smile and shake my head.
“We should rest a little and eat a sandwich,” I say. I point toward the area I saw before and he nods. We put our backpacks down and I rummage through the bag for two sandwiches and two water bottles. As we eat he keeps glancing at me. “What?” I ask.
“I love you,” he says out of nowhere. I smile at his admission.
“I love you, too,” I reply. “Sam, you do realize that I know that wasn’t what you wanted to say,” I say and take another bite. He nods.
“I kept thinking about what you said. About your dream,” he says serious and I nod. “Bobbi, I promise you, you won’t lose me. Even if I would decide to go with you mountain climbing I wouldn’t go until I’m ready. And obviously I wouldn’t start with one that is clearly not for amateurs,” he tells me.
“I know that, Sam. Logically, I agree and understand and I know that I’m overreacting,” I say and he shakes his head.
“No, you’re not. I know the feeling. I feel the same way about you. But you recently experienced something traumatic and you’re still struggling with the aftermath of those events. It’s okay to feel the way you do and if there’s anything I can do to make you feel better, tell me.” I nod.
We stop talking and continue eating, but I know this conversation isn’t over. If I would be on a mountain right now with Scott he would say to suck it up and get on with it. We would have a serious talk, but it wouldn’t last more than ten minutes and it wouldn’t come up a second time. The two of us just aren’t wired that way. But with Sam… Things are different with Sam. He listens to me, he helps me and he supports me. I know I can count on him no matter what.
After we finish eating we get up and resume our hike. We are about an hour away from the cabin which is good. It takes a while to heat up the place. Unlike before, Sam grabs my hand and holds it in his, rubbing small circles around my knuckles. I keep glancing at him and he seems deep in thought. He never pushed me into doing anything I didn’t want to, even though at times I could tell he wanted to ask me something. I decide to just ask him.
“What’s on your mind, baby?” I ask and he looks at me. He closes his eyes for a moment and then looks at me again.
“Are you still planning on going to Argentina? I’m not trying to talk you out of it in case you want to go, I’m just wondering,” he explains quickly, remembering our first conversation. I smile.
“To be honest the idea of going isn’t as appealing as it used to be. I thought about it a lot, but to be honest I might postpone it for later. The ideal time to climb Aconcagua is between December and March and even if I don’t climb it this season there’s always time to do it later,” I say and squeeze his hand a little. He smiles at me and I can tell he is happy that I don’t plan on going anymore.
At first I thought I was doing it for him, telling myself that my decision would put his mind at ease, but truth be told it puts my own at ease. Sam is right. What happened on Everest this year was traumatic and the nightmares I keep having are definitely taking a toll on me.
“Honey, whatever you decide, know that I will always support you,” he says and raises my hand to his lips and places a soft kiss on the back of it.
“I know. And I support you,” I say and return his sweet gesture.
We finally reach the cabin. I search for the key in my pocket and pull it out. I quickly send Sam in the back to turn on the generator, which was prepared by the company who owns this cabin, while I unlock the door and enter the room switching on the light. Daylight is streaming inside, but the forest around the cabin prevents the cabin to be sufficiently illuminated just by it. We set our backpacks, as well as the cool box and grocery bag down and I let Sam inspect the cabin.
“Babe, this place is awesome,” he says in awe of the sight before him. I smile to myself.
“Yeah.” I walk over to where he looks over the queen sized bed.
“Now I get why no one else could have come with us,” he says grinning.
“That’s not all,” I say and wrap my arms around his waist.
“Is that so?” he asks raising an eyebrow and giving me a crocked smile.
“Yup. Follow me, baby,” I say and let go of his waist and grab his right hand in mine. I pull him up the wooden staircase where a hot tub and the bathroom are located. The moment he sees the tub his face lights up.
“We’re going to use this?” he asks hopeful.
“If you are a good boy,” I say teasingly and wink at him.