A gentle breeze blew through the dried autumn leaves, and a foggy mist engulfed the cluster of cabins. The crisp cardinal leaves cascaded down the lofty redwood trees. Each cabin was perfectly placed around the mother tree; that's what we called it when I last came here with my friends for our meetup. But something was off, the whole essence of the campground was off. What used to be a field full of youngsters buzzing around like buzzy bees was now bland, and dismal, as if the balance had shifted, and the camp had adopted a strange, eerie vibe. I relived my childhood memories, fishing at the lake, almost falling off our boat, and having a great time making jokes. Simply going back to my childhood and enjoying ourselves together was something I hadn't felt in ages. Even after all of this pleasure, nothing compared to our campfire, it was like we were kids again, with nothing to think about, nothing to worry about. But today, something was off, there wasn't the bright, joyful attitude. Then it hit me: all of this joy and celebration had blinded me, and had diverted my attention away from what was wrong.
There was a cabin, but unlike the other cabins surrounding the mother tree, which were vibrantly colored and alive, this cabin lacked something. It was run down, almost as if it had been there for centuries, although it wasn't there the last time I visited here. It couldn't have been constructed and deteriorated in the last ten years. Every cabin had been here for over thirty-five years; my parents met here, and even my grandparents met here, and they had always talked about the five cottages surrounding the mother tree; no one mentioned another cabin. I got out my phone to see if there were any images of this weird cabin, but there wasn't a single one.
I approached the cabin, eager to learn more. I felt something calling to me the entire time, warning me that something was wrong. My heart was telling me to go, but something else was telling me not to, warning me of the danger ahead. Every cell in my body was screaming no, but I pressed on, carefully opening the creaky door, not wanting to notify the danger inside that I was there. I stepped in quietly, each footstep carefully placed so as not to set off any alarms. As I continued down the corridor, I came across a photograph of me and my family. When I glanced at the other frames, I noticed a photo of me and my buddies. I looked around and saw hundreds of photos of myself and the people I cared about. I dashed out of the cabin, looking for someone, anybody to talk to, but no one was there. I dashed back into the cabin, hoping to find more. I gazed at the photo of me and my family and watched as everyone I cared about fade away. When I went over the images again, I noticed that everyone was gone and I was all alone.
Slowly, the entire cabin began to collapse, the creaky floors disintegrating, the old walls crumbling, and then the roof fell right above me.
"AAAHHH," I cried as I jumped out of bed.
I dashed out of my room, searching for some clue that it had all been a dream. I looked around and saw that every photo was still there, that all my friends and family were still there, that my entire life I had been a loner, the loose end of the friend group, the loner of the family, but now it would all change. I would no longer be the family outcast, I would not only attend family gatherings, but I would also organize them. I will no longer be the friend who always cancels plans, instead, I will make the plans and always show up. For the past twenty-four years, I have lived by thinking about myself first, then about others. Now, even if there isn't enough place for me, I'll put everyone I love and care first.