I left you in quite a suspense last time, didn't I? Well, I guess I should finish off my encounter with the strangers...
Cliff went all protective and gave the man a rather deep bite, which thankfully also served as the ideal distraction to give me a few moments to analyze the strangers. The woman shrieked in horror and immediately tried to stop the man's foot from bleeding with the help of her scarf. I tried to interpret their intentions as I examined their attitude, the woman was worried yet strongly determined to help her friend, curly black hair fell on her shoulders perfectly complementing her brown eyes, which were reflecting a mixture of confusion and terror. If I had just met her on the street I would say she looked mean even wicked but her tender attitude and determination to lend a helping hand proved me completely wrong. I moved on to the man who was now clutching his foot in pain, his face was changing through a bunch of expressions: first, he was surprised, then curious, and very alert, then... well... just in pain...
Those people didn't look really bad, maybe they were here to help me?
I spent a few minutes staring at them as the man recovered from the bite Cliff had given him. When everything looked under control, I spoke: "who are you and what do you want?" Oops, did I sound too harsh? Probably, because their expressions changed to a sort of 'what is this tone, young lady?' manner; I quickly changed my tone as I introduced myself and cliff. The woman was immediately intrigued, she asked me where my parents were and I replied that my dad was in the forest with the other members of the tribe and... I didn't feel like telling them about my mom but it looked like I had already said enough, the man repeated the word tribe as if he hadn't heard it well and the woman beamed probably thinking that I was making up stuff like all the other teenagers. They asked me whether they could join me in my shelter and I agreed, the woman told me that her name was Naomi and that her husband was Noah, they lived in the city and they were enjoying a promenade in the park when they saw me heading to the forest with cliff and followed me; when I didn't look very happy about the idea of them being at my heels, Naomi added a little sheepishly that they were just curious. Noah finally talked in a low yet surprisingly silvery voice, he asked me how long I've been living here and how I managed to survive alone. It was a piece of cake, answering the questions and I wasn't paying much attention to what I was saying... I wanted to know who they were and why they were asking so many questions. When they seemed done with their queries, I smiled timidly and asked: "why do you guys want to know so much?" Naomi burst out in a genuine laugh and Noah grinned, even I felt warm and happy "I'm so sorry Tara, it's just that we were scared and fascinated and puzzled to see a girl alone in the woods" Naomi said in a honeyed tone I answered with a smile and explained that I wasn't alone, Cliff was with me, I also loved living in nature and I had spent my childhood learning how to defend myself.
The topics of conversation changed and the more I got to know Noah and Naomi, the more I started to admire them. Noah was a biologist striving to help as many animals and plants as well as terminate climate change, Naomi was an archaeologist who discovered and travelled to various places before settling in the city, I told them about the volcano and my concerns for it, they seemed excited about the fact that I wanted to help. I also told them about the tribe ways... they showed utmost sympathy and started to answer some questions I had about how things worked.
When it started to get dark, they asked me whether I would like to stay with them at their place for a few nights, the humble proposal was very tempting but I told them that I would be more comfortable in my shelter. Naomi seemed a little unsure but Noah respected my decision.
The following morning, Naomi and Noah turned up again with... pancakes!!! I had never tasted them before and I didn't know what they were but as I took a bite out of the circular-shaped cake, I melted! It was soft and fluffy, it was sweet and warm only when I finished devouring about six of them, I whispered 'GENIUS' making Noah laughed. We took a walk together and Cliff seemed to like Noah now, the pair were very funny.
Life was becoming rather good but I knew- just too well- that it wouldn't stay like this forever, I had to get back to my tribe and I had a feeling that this time, I would be coming back with a change, for real.
I'll write to you next time,
as soon as I finish my pancakes!