I'm driving in my mom's car with Holt to Graves Mountain where we are going apple picking. Unfortunately, it's a bit late in the year and there are way too many people about so we decide to move to a remote area of the orchard. We get in the car again, but this time Holt gets in the driver's door and refuses to let me drive. Not feeling like arguing this time, I direct her to another part of the orchard.
We get to a hut where they are selling various apple products (juices, apple butter, etc.) and there is a man yelling at the woman behind the window. He is dirty and his long dark hair rests on his soiled tank top. His gut protrudes over his blue jeans that barely reach his calves. Finally, the woman comes out of the shack and starts berating him on how educated she actually is and runs the man off. I tell her that she is my hero, a point that Holt contends. She insists that I merely admire her and that isn't really my hero. I ask her if it really matters.
We get back in the car and this time I get behind the wheel. I take off down the dirt road, speeding past other parked cars, looking for somewhere more remote. At this time, I wish I was driving my Blazer down these roads. I wonder if I would be able to spin out, do a 360 degree revolution, regain control of the car and continue on. I decide not to try because there are trees and other cars present.
Eventually, we come to this building that is a school for animals. It's a place where captive animals are taught how to live in the wild again. However, there are settings that are very similar to classrooms, the only difference was that they were outdoors.
One was specifically designed for primates. It was located along the side of a small hill that was sheltered by a small overhang that extended from the main building. There was a grassy area for them to sit and study flash cards and an instructor stood at the front hanging flash cards from strings.
Inside the building I find a large number of people. It's almost like a college campus. Walking around, I run into Caroline (I haven't talked to Caroline in over 5 years, so to have 2 very vivid dreams about her is pretty significant) inside and mingle a bit. She notices that I'm a bit "sad" and starts inquiring why. I try to deflect the questions and just tell her that it's personal and that I'd rather not say in front of so many people. At this point, I notice another guy who is trying to compete with me for Caroline's attention. Physically, he is a lot more attractive than me, but he is also incredibly immature. She humours him.
Later, I find her again and sit down on a couch. We are joined by one of her friends and starts engaging us in conversation. The both of us give her a look that politely says that we want to be left alone. She gets the hint, smiles and leaves us to ourselves. I start to explain that I was sad because I helped ruin a friendship that was incredibly important to me. I said I couldn't go into detail just yet, but it had been on my mind a lot. She says she understands and lays down on the couch, putting her legs across my lap. We sit and watch TV for a bit in the lounge.
I get up and pass by the laundry room and find someone taking some laundry out of the dryer. They try and tell me to finish folding the clothes. I basically tell them to piss off and keep walking. As I am walking, I am given a package that was sent to me by some doctor. I open it and I find that it is a bunch of samples of various cosmetic and health products. They send their brand and a national brand for us to compare. The package includes cotton swabs, toothpaste and some sort of anal cream. I am at a loss for the last product. To confound matters, it's not just one tube, but an entire box. The product is definitely geared toward women and one use that stuck out was to apply it after a bike ride. I have a laugh and show it to people.
I debate whether or not to tell Caroline the true reason for my melancholy. I was afraid that she would look at me differently if she knew. I feel I should, partially to get it out of me and partially because she was a good friend. I approach her as she is talking to a group of friends. Our eyes meet and I smile and use my finger to tell her to come here. She excuses herself and joins me. We walk around the "campus" together. I forgot how tall she was and remember how much I liked walking around Virginia Tech with her. It always made me feel like a bigger person standing next to her.
I tell her that I was sad because I had gotten drunk with a friend and slept with her. That the act made me feel guilty and even though I wasn't solely to blame, it hurt to lose such a valuable friend in that way. She smiles at me, neither with pity or trying to hide her own disgust. She just smiles.
We go back to the dining hall and get in line. There are benches along the wall, so we sit down as we wait. Someone puts my copy of Dodgeball into the DVD player in the common room and we all begin to watch the special features. We watch deleted scenes of a scene with a bunch of kids at some lake. We also watch a few practical jokes the cast played on each other which were preserved on the DVD.
As I watched the TV, Caroline started talking to the guy ahead of us in line. She place her left hand on my leg and just let her fingers stroke my knee. I set my hand down on my leg and she took it in her hand. She rested her hand in mine and laid it on my leg. She let her fingers intertwine with mine.
It felt good that someone cared about me.