Young, Dumb, and In Love by Dev Snider-Smith

A 15-year-old in love can be summed up in one word: Stupid. Stupid is what I was in 2015 when I decided to blow off studying the afternoon before my most important final to go hiking in the woods with my boyfriend. 

“Don’t worry, babe. I’ll protect you” he reassured me. 

My hero! I thought as we headed into the car packed with him and others. Stupid is also what I felt as we got lost for hours in the dark. The pitch black surrounding us made every twig snap sound like a predator making us prey. Hours dragged on and the taste of sweat and dirt in my mouth was all I could conceptualize. The fear that my mom was going to be mad was more intense than the fear of never finding my way out. The smell of rain foreshadowed the slipping and sliding that led to my friend’s ankle being broken, causing her to need to be carried. With five dead phones, a pair of broken shoes, and no service, tensions rose quickly. “Babe, everything will be okay! I will protect you!” 

“Nick, if you don’t shut the fuck up right now I am going to lose my mind.” Silence filled the rest of the time until a singular bar was reached and the cops were called. Red and blue lights meant freedom for all of us. We may have made it out of the woods, but my relationship did not.

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