Bald Face - Mikaila Cloutier '17

As I stood tall for the first time since I began, I felt a surge of power come from inside me. The sky was not clear and the air blew cold. I looked around and quickly realized that not only had I made it to the top with little struggle, I was also very hungry. Me being me, I expected a five-star meal with cool drinks on the side. However, my expectations were crushed with a peanut butter and fluff sandwich, an apple, a small granola bar, and water that I received at the beginning of the hike. Although this wasn’t much to what I was thinking, I still plowed it down my throat in a matter of three minutes.

***

“Mikaila, it’s time to wake up,” Mom said quietly.

“I know Mom,” I said angrily under my breath as I threw the covers off my shoulders.

This was the day that my aunt planned a hike with me. Too early in the morning. She told me that it would be in New Hampshire with a few of her friends. I only wanted to do this to get some hardcore exercise; I get quite lazy during the spring and summer and needed it.  

I looked up to the ceiling in my room. My not-impressed face was plastered on. My air conditioner was still going and I could already tell it was going to be a humid day. Why did I tell her I would go? I wasn’t quite sure the answer of that; maybe because I’m too nice to say no, maybe my mind knew I needed to get out of Harpswell.

I got up from my bed and looked around my messy room. I picked out a pair of rainbow lace underwear, black sports bra, black under armour short, and a Cook’s Lobster House t-shirt. My hair was messily thrown up into a bun. I gathered the necessary items: my phone (of course), a blanket, my camera, and a positive attitude (saving for later, though).

My aunt was in the kitchen ready to go as I stepped out of my room. At that time, I regretted my decision. I love my aunt, but she’s just too much sometimes.

“HI MIKAILA!! ARE YOU READY??” she loudly speaks excitedy, “I hope you’re ready for a long hard, hike!”

I stare at her and proceed to the door, out the garage, down the walkway, and into her car. Expressionless, I slide into her low Civic and wrap up in my blanket. I knew this was not going to be a quick ride so I fall asleep.

***

Panting, sweating, feeling tired as ever, I waddle up the steep trail. As I expected, my thighs chafe and my back is sweating brutally. My aunt won't let me be the caboose so I follow her three surprising old friends and my aunt follows me. I always feel like nothing is more hard than hiking a mountain after being inactive for a while. My struggles show by tripping over rocks and complaining every five seconds.

“How are you feeling Mikaila?” one of my aunt’s friends ask me.

“Oh, just dandy,” I reply out of breath. “How much longer to the top?”

“We’ll get there eventually,” she teases. At this point I am not tolerating teasing so I glare out towards the heavily dense forest and stomp up the trail.

***

At last, the top of the mountain is visible. A bald face on a forested body. Three hours later, after all the hardships, I am almost at the top. I am strong. I am powerful. I am enduring. My pace picks up because I know that I can reach my goal. I scale small boulders that feel like vertical cliffs to me. Climbing with my legs bent and hands on the ground like a gorilla, I don't think about the aches racing through my body. I don't think of how exhausted and thirsty I am or how I have to do this all again except going down. I think of my achievements.

I get to the top and I am the most powerful woman I have ever been. Then I realize that I'm hungry.