All night I hiked through the woods, following trails sometimes and making my own on occasion. It took most of the night to get to where I had been cutting that tall grass for my sail. There was still a little more to go, and the sun was already rising. Just a little while longer. I was beginning to falter in my step often. I needed to sleep. Finally I came to the residence where I was offered to stay. It took me by surprise for more than one reason.
As soon as I stepped through the woods, into the sunlight, I heard them cheering. Huhana, The Chief, their daughter Nahini, someone I didn't know, and - my favorite - Akolo. They were all there and cheering loudly, happy I had made the choice to stay with them. I looked around, the house they offered was beautiful! It was build as close to the ocean as they could get. What a view it must have. There was a great breeze and a perfect shallow water area for bathing, or fishing. This place was amazing. I did a double take when I followed the shoreline. I saw Akolo and Huhana standing there, with my raft. My raft was here! Those stinking survivors weren't going to take it! Huhana approached me. "Hello Citryne, we are so happy you are here. I hope you like your new home. It is our most popular hut." She told me. I couldn't believe that this was meant just for me.
From a distance I heard Akolo say to me "The Chief sent us to get your raft, we moved it here for you." I told him thanks, that he didn't know how much I appreciated that. Akolo winked at me and said "You can show me later." Huhana interjected then "We are so happy to have you among us. Here, I have finished your sail." She handed me a box and then studied my face. "Please, I can see that you are tired. Save this for later after you have gotten some rest. We will all be here when you awake. Go up to your hut and sleep well." "Thank you, I am tired. I am very happy to be here with you as well though. See you in a little while." I waved to Akolo and went up the hill to find my room. As I was going through the house, I tried to note what it was like. The only thing that registered was that there was only one room. It was meant for me and just me, that surprised me. It really did not take but two minutes for me to fall asleep when I hit the bed. As I was drifting off to sleep I realized I was just slightly upset that Akolo was not laying with me falling asleep too.
While I slept Waiata made himself quite at home. I had tried explaining to him before we left that he could come with me or stay. At first I did not think he understood, but then he followed me through the forest. I'm glad he came with me. He seemed to really enjoy this new place too. Pretty soon Waiata was up in the trees doing his Orangutan thing. He staked his new territory pretty quickly and found the best banana tree. I was awake before long, refreshed from a nap. Though I had just woken, I was still slightly tired. I was eager for nightfall, so I may sleep again. Right now though, there were things to do. I had a new sail to put on my raft! I walked out of my room and heard some voices. My village family was still here as they had promised.
I stepped out and said hello to each of them, first Nahini, then Huhana. I greeted Akolo a little differently, and even flirted with him a bit. He was just so easy to talk to, and get involved with. I found myself lost for words often though because he was such a distraction. A good one. Actually I used flirting as an excuse to get as close to him as I could. His scent excited my senses, and his skin was so warm to touch. I shook my head slightly to bring myself back to reality. My mind had been drifting somewhere else whilst talking to Akolo. I had a sail to attach, so I carried it down to my raft. It worked beautifully. It fit just right, and there were no holes. A wonderful sail, made by a wonderful woman. I would never have been able to make anything close, I was sure. As I stood back and surveyed it, giving it a thumbs up, I thought to myself "One step closer to remembering who I was." Then from somewhere I heard Akolo's voice as if he was standing next to me, thought he wasn't. "Citryne, it is time to stop looking for the past. Live in this moment. Here.... now." It was like he had heard my thoughts and answered with his own. Just then Chief Manave stepped around my raft and startled me.
"I apologize." He said "I did not mean to scare you." "It's okay, no problem." I breathed, trying to settle my nerves back to where they were. "I came to say that I'm glad you are here. Glad you chose to stay with us. I see though, that your raft needs a rudder. My people can make one for you, and if you do a task for me, I will have them do so." He then began into a short story about his old village "Our Old village was abandoned because of a curse. This curse took many lives, so we fled. In our haste to leave though, i left my sacred drum in a basket there. Would you go get it?" I gasped. "A curse? ... Sure, I guess I could do that for you. It would be the least I could do, with everything you have done for me." I said tentatively. "But, why me?"
The Chief continued, "My Shaman Amanaki will not allow villagers back to the old village, lest the curse take another life. He may allow you though, because you are an outsider." "So the curse can get a chance at me??" I said, pretty on edge now.
"I did not say it would be easy... do not worry though. Shaman has always been a little too suspicious." Chief Manave said. He was trying to comfort me as best he knew how, I guess. I sighed and thought about my raft. He was right, I would need a rudder to steer. I had to have one. "Alright, where do I find the Shaman." "Creepy Hollow" He said. "Great, fantastic. Why couldn't it be somewhere like 'Pleasure Cove' or 'Chocolate Cave'? Something like that?" I sighed again. "How do I get there?" He described to me the way to go. Stating that it was not hard, just keep going a certain way through the woods until I see some guards. I agreed to go as soon as I had eaten. There was still plenty of daylight left, I should be able to make it back before dark. I hoped anyway. I was looking forward to a good nights sleep, it felt like I hadn't had one in weeks.
For my early dinner I cooked up my famous steamed Cod over an open fire. Soon I was stuffed, and could no longer stall my leaving. I started my journey through the woods in the direction Chief Manave had gestured. It did not take long for me to come to the clearing that the Chief spoke of. With the guards. They made me a little nervous, but I stepped up to the biggest one standing as tall as I could. I was trying to imply that I was not afraid. I think he might have seen through that though because he smirked every so slightly. Then he let me pass, without a question as to why I was there. The next area I entered made me stop. This had to be the place, it must be the Shamans place. It felt as though my flesh was trying to jump off my bones. I had to be there. I took a big deep breath and looked around for someone resembling a Shaman. Then I wondered, 'What is a Shaman supposed to look like?'