The summer will begin like it always does, with me wandering the grounds of Camp Alpine Lake alone. It’s the first day of maintenance week, when all the counselors arrive to get the place ready for campers. But I’m the only one who can come early.
No one else gets to experience how the cabins smell like cedar and lemon when they’re empty, not yet filled with other counselors or twelve-year-old boys who don’t know about deodorant. How the sun bounces off the lake when there aren’t any swimmers bobbing in the lap lanes. Or how you can stand at the edge of Creepy Cliff and scream, loud and long, listening to your voice echo all across New England.
There’s a new normal at Camp Sweetwater, and that normal is normal.
Ghost don’t appear in our bonfires now, screaming for justice. All the lifeguards at the lake are actually alive. There are no cryptic French whispers at night. And extremely important: shower curtains, towels, razors, and blackened wood just sit there, not doing anything.
Corryn Quinn, my best friend, and I made sure of that.