The forest was looking beautiful today, but then again, it rarely wasn’t.
Two people, both of them around fifteen years old, walked together through the forest. One, the girl, was named Flora; she was a bright, energetic girl, who loved nature of every kind; she was one of those types who took hiking trips every single weekend. The other one’s name was Cheren, and in direct contrast, he would much rather sit home and study, or play the occasional ‘brain-rotting’ video game, than dare to ever venture outside
. Despite their vast differences, Flora and Cheren were absolutely inseparable friends, and today they had finally gotten permission from both of their parents to explore the White Forest near to her home.
It had been Flora’s idea. She did things like this all the time. So much, in fact, that it had begun to take over other aspects of her life too. In all the years Cheren had known her, for example, Flora had never exactly been one for high fashion; ripped-up shorts and hiking boots were perfectly acceptable alternatives to the short skirts and fur-lined imported… footwear things that most other girls in their school wore. (He could never for the life of him remember what those things were called. Gogs? Egus? Gyiyg? Whatever.) She was always excelling in gym class because of her amazing strength and stamina, while Cheren was left skulking along in the back, passing the class only for his ‘determination and good attitude’ — which, he knew, translated directly to “You’re really awful at everything physical, but we’re not allowed to fail you because of that, so have an A for effort.”
Cheren had nearly lost sleep over this trip, and had gotten up at the crack of dawn to pack his bags. His mother had twirled her blonde hair worriedly, not wanting to let him go out and take even this tiny risk, but Cheren was the type of boy who simply refused to let go of an idea when it had rooted in his head (even if he pretended that it was stupid). And once that happened, he had been allowed – however grudgingly – to tag along with the brunette on her adventures through the nearby White Forest. Of course, it hadn’t taken him too long to realize that his mother was only hoping to get Flora to pass the baton to him, hopefully getting him out more instead of locking himself in his room all day.
(Amusingly, the part that he didn’t notice was that there was actually a gambit on Flora’s side too: walking around out here always made her feel better, so maybe it would do good for Cheren’s boringness and ‘let’s stay inside’ attitude.)
Had Flora actually gone through Cheren’s bag (which dwarfed in size compared to hers), she would have noticed a number of exceedingly painful hiking faux pas — seriously, who brings a book on a hiking trip? What’s worse, it was one of those omnibus ones that were the size of a brick, and probably weighed about the same. Flora, up to this point, had apparently failed to realize just how non-extensive his hiking experience was; Cheren, who stubbornly refused to ask if they could rest for a moment, was definitely not helping.
After several minutes of walking in comfortable silence, Flora brought something up. “You brought food, right?”
“Yes, I did.”
She nodded. “Good, so did I. It’s not exactly high end cooking, and I know this will be deeply upsetting to you, but we should have enough between us to carry over to lunch. And maybe dinner too if we need it.”
“Dinner?” Cheren raised his eyebrows. “You never mentioned anything about dinner.”
“Well, no, but it’s kind of expected,” Flora responded, suddenly awkward. “I mean, packing enough for an emergency, but also enough so that you can actually walk around without all that weight. It’s something that you just think about… well, that I think about.”
“…Oh.” Cheren started scuffling the dirt. “Well, I guess I should call my mom if we get in that situation.”
“Yeah. That would be a good idea.”
They kept on walking for a few minutes, now without the comfortable atmosphere, until Flora’s face broke into a grin and she sat down on a rock. Cheren tried not to look too relieved as he dove for a log nearby. Despite his best efforts, Flora clearly noticed the tiredness he was giving off, and she chuckled slightly as a backpack was set on the ground next to her. From out of it, she pulled two baloney and cheese sandwiches, wrapped in wax paper. Each one had a little fleur-de-lis scribbled on it — Flora liked to call that strange lily symbol her ‘trademark’.
Upon unwrapping the sandwich, Cheren realized quickly that the bread was wet. “…Wow, great sandwich-making skills there, Flora,” he said with the usual snooty undertones to his voice, though of course he didn’t mean it. “Au jus, much?”
“Pick-y.” Flora smirked and took a bite of her own sandwich, which was also damp. “This is a perfectly good meal. I bet whatever you packed didn’t even stand it all the way out here.” In response, Cheren rolled his eyes, but he didn’t challenge her this time — mostly because he knew she was probably right. In order to find distraction in something else, Cheren stared out at the forest while he ate; eventually, he noticed a horde of Sawsbuck trotting en masse through the trees. He thought
he was being pretty chill about it, but if the look on Flora’s face was anything to go by, he still had a ways to go.
“How do you like it out here?” she asked, a tone of superiority (however joking) ringing in her voice.
“…It’s alright,” he said at last. “I finished all of my homework yesterday, so it’s not a problem.” He was surprised to hear her laugh out loud.
“Whatever you say, Cheren! Whatever you say.”
Primarily something silly I did for a school project. The name 'Flora' is used in place of Black or White because my player character had that name.