Finally, finally, finally! I may have been overhyping this cabin trip a wee bit at this point, but… it’s finally here!
I thought I was going to lose my mind during the over-three-hour-long drive it took to get here - there’s only so much entertainment that Aiden and Moira can offer me when I’m trapped in a pocket for that long. But then we exit the car and I pop my head outside. I take in the expansive oranges and browns of the trees, the sound of squirrels chattering, the smell of wet leaves, the refreshing crisp fall air in my lungs… Yup. This is exactly what I was looking forward to.
The cabin itself looks positively picturesque. It’s two stories tall with red cedar walls and a deep green roof. It’s well surrounded by trees and is even bigger than I imagined from the photos I’ve seen, and yet it still looks so quaint and cozy. As much as I hated having to move all the time in my adult life, I’ve spent so much time in one spot since I’ve been shrunk, and the change of scenery is so appreciated.
The three of us have gotten here slightly before the Ignacios, so we’re able to settle in for a little bit, taking a brief tour of the bottom floor together. The living room is cavernous, even to my giant friends I’m sure, taking up the entire two stories and sporting massive windows. In comparison the kitchen and bedrooms feel almost cramped, but of course that’s speaking relatively since to me everything’s still very vast. Once we’ve taken a look at all the rooms, Moira brings me with her so that we can check out the upstairs while Aiden unloads luggage from the car. Up here there’s an open loft area that contains a bed and looks out over the living room, along with one more side bedroom and bathroom.
Moira sets me down on the bed so that we can chat while she starts unpacking her backpack. I’m doing a whole lot of staring at my surroundings, my head twisting this way and that to take in the rest of the loft. There are a couple of couches up against the window and opposite banister, a pool table, a mini fridge. This palace of a cabin is a lot to take in.
“Sooo. What do you want to do first?” Moira asks me, looking entertained by all of my wide-eyed wonder.
“I don’t know!” I say, a little breathless. “Umm, since it’s too windy for a campfire, maybe we chill inside and play Magic tonight?”
“Hell yeah. Oh, and I brought some spa stuff! I’ve got face masks, a body scrub, nail polish…” She’s pulling the items out as she lists them, separating them into a smaller bag for later.
“Sounds great.” I grin and let myself collapse back onto the covers so that I can stretch my limbs. “I don’t know why the car ride felt that exhausting, my legs are all sore. I’d love to have some spa time soon.”
“Especially with the hiking we’ll be doing tomorrow,” Moira points out, “We’ll be nice and primed.”
I laugh. “You mean the hiking you’ll be doing. I get to hitch a ride.”
She pauses in her unpacking to join me, resting her arms nearby on the bed as she smiles my way. “Hey, you have to go on long hikes on the daily. You probably deserve to relax more than any of us.”
“Says the workaholic,” I scoff, sitting up so that I can scoot closer and touch her forearm. “I’m glad you’re finally getting a vacation, Mo.”
“Me too… I mean, I do need to get a little bit of work done… I’ve been slacking on making social posts lately…”
“Moiraaaa,” I sigh.
“Well, this sure feels cozy!”
We’re interrupted before I can further scold my friend for bringing her work to the woods. I thought I’d heard creaking come from the stairs and sure enough - Aiden’s made his way up to the loft as well, taking his first look around at the furnishings.
Moira flinches, not having noticed what I’m sure were much more subtle sounds to her. She pulls away from me to turn towards him, sitting back on her heels as she quickly recovers and says, “Isn’t it? This’ll be the perfect spot for me.”
Aiden takes another minute or so to poke around at the nearby rooms while Moira and I wrap up our conversation. Then he comes back to where we are and offers his hand to me, laying it onto the bed cover.
“You want to come set up your space, Eve? The others should be here soon.”
“Sure!” I get to my feet and hop aboard. It actually feels particularly nice in the warmth of his palm right now. I can sense the fact that we’ve traveled further north, the air is chillier here. I’ll need to unpack my jackets and socks first and foremost.
We knew that we picked the smallest of the bedrooms, and it’s even more cramped than we had anticipated. I’m fine of course, but my poor boyfriend has trouble maneuvering around the bed. He focuses on taking everything out of my bag first - we’ve brought my bed, toilet, phone, one of the shelves to store clothing, and a ladder in case I need to reach the ground. I unpack my garments onto the shelf, and then raise an eyebrow at Aiden when I notice he’s not unpacking much of his stuff at all.
“Can’t find a spot to put your clothes?” I ask.
“Eh, it’s only three nights. I’ll live out of the suitcase.”
“Fair enough. I guess when you’re camping in a tent you probably have even less space.”
“Mm-hmm. I don’t mind this at all.” He plops down onto the bed and smirks as he brings his face closer to the nightstand. “And I especially don’t mind being in a tight space if I’m crammed into it with you…”
We’ve barely had time to start making out before we’re interrupted by a car door slam outside letting us know that the second half of our group has arrived. I catch a glimpse through the nearby window at the Ignacios exiting the car. Star is looking cute in her cable knit sweater, Diego seems comfortable in shorts and a T-shirt despite the chill… and there’s Camila, looking like a movie star as usual. Her perfect waves are pulled back into a ponytail, she’s wearing a fashionable skort and crop-top, wedged knee-high boots with a fur lining, and designer sunglasses perched on top of her head.
I find myself rolling my eyes at how out of place she looks, and then I berate myself. Be nice, I think. I’ll be seeing her from today - Thursday - until Sunday morning. Plenty of time to, um… bond. Maybe this weekend we’ll finally hit it off.
The six of us gather at the entrance and I’m able to greet the others from my partner’s shoulder - even Camila shoots me a smile, which I gratefully return. Everyone trickles in their luggage bit by bit as they find their home bases for the weekend. Diego and Star will be sharing the main bedroom downstairs, just next door to Aiden and me, and Camila will be staying in the side bedroom upstairs by the loft.
I hang out with Moira in the living room as my boyfriend gets roped into helping Camila get her three suitcases up the stairs. I try not to think about how the two of them are alone upstairs as I make plans with Moira to join her in her yoga practice tomorrow morning. Eventually we’re all gathered again in the living room, and I’m reassured when Aiden gently yoinks me from behind so that I can sit with him on one of the couches.
“So!” Star exclaims once we’ve all caught up on how our drives went and have shared in our excitement for the weekend. “Since it’s so windy tonight, I’m guessing that’s not great for the campfire?”
“Probably not,” Aiden says apologetically, “I can try to make it work, but it’s probably not the safest. Forecast is showing that tomorrow night should be way calmer, mind if we switch my dinner plans with yours?”
“That’s fine! We’ll go start working on the stew then, yeah? So that we don’t eat too late.” Star turns to her husband for confirmation.
“Aye aye, cap’n!” Diego says as he stands.
I wave as the couple leaves for the kitchen, and I find myself sighing as I drop my arm again. I’m actually starting to feel a bit overstimulated at this point, if I’m being honest… I’ve gotten more used to hanging out with multiple giants at once, but rarely are we all in the same room at the same time, especially in such a new and exciting environment. It’s going to be a long night of festivities, so I eventually decide that I might need a little break before the food’s ready.
“Can you set me down?” I call up to Aiden from my spot at the crook of his elbow. “I just want to grab something in our room real quick.”
“I can go get it for you,” he says, brow furrowing as he looks down at me.
“Nah, I’ve been doing a lot of sitting today, I should stretch my legs. I’ll be right back.”
He hesitates for a beat longer. It hasn’t been that long since our close call back at the apartment. We’ve gotten into better habits since then - I’m much more careful about lining the walls now if I’m ever on the ground, and we’ve had zero issues since. Everyone else here has been briefed about how to watch out for me too. But still, I’m sure that moment where he thought he had almost stepped on his girlfriend still has him rattled.
“Alright, yell if you need anything,” he says, scooping me off his arm and extending his hand to the floor. I’m sure I don’t need to point out that as soon as I’m no longer in the living room he probably wouldn’t be able to hear me. It’s the thought that counts, I guess.
Camila, who has been discussing one of her classes with Moira, trails off as she notices what’s going on opposite to her. I step onto the ground, grateful for my heavier duty socks as I can feel a layer of cold radiating from the hardwood floor. She locks eyes onto me and raises one eyebrow.
“Aren’t you worried about running into a spider or something?” she asks with a small smile on her face.
I glance up at her and feel a little dizzy. Even at home, looking up at Aiden from down at his feet, as if he truly was a skyscraper, is enough to make my insides squirm. And now the unfamiliar hulking furniture, the towering group of titans, particularly the dark-eyed beauty who already makes me feel rather uncomfortable… Yeah, I’m starting to rethink this plan. Oh well. I can push through.
“I’ll be fine,” I say, feigning confidence best I can.
“There shouldn’t be as many bugs around this time of year anyway, not in this area,” Aiden adds reassuringly.
Not wanting to extend this exchange, I quickly make my way towards the nearest wall as they resume their conversation. It takes me almost ten minutes to get to our room and climb up the ladder to my little camp on the nightstand. I change into a slightly warmer jacket to justify why I came here, and then I take a few minutes in the quiet to steady myself. I knew that a lot about this trip was going to be a bit intense. But I’ve got this. I’m going to have a fun evening and a fun weekend. I’ve been looking forward to this trip so much, and I know it’s going to be worth it.
I slip back out into the hallway when I start feeling mild tremors that are growing in strength. And then I notice a shadow up ahead before seeing a colossal figure turn the corner. Oh jeez, it’s Diego. He must be taking a break from cooking to go grab something from his room. Just a 150 foot giant heading towards me, no big deal…
He quickly notices me walking alongside the wall, his smile growing in acknowledgement. He slows down as he gets closer and asks me, “Need a boost? Or you’re good?”
He’s honestly so tall that I’m not sure he’ll be able to hear me very well from the floor, so I just flash him a double thumbs-up and he seems to get it. He keeps moving, and so do I. That’s pretty cool, this ability to coexist so seamlessly. I don’t plan to wander around on my own all that often - hell, in a place like this, I’m sure bugs really are more of a concern than they are back at the apartment. But it’s nice to know that I have the option of keeping some independence if I need to grab a snack or something.
By the time I get back to the living room, I can tell Aiden’s been casting frequent glances towards the hallway. He notices my movements and straightens up with a smile, and I wave before hurrying to him. He plucks me back off the floor, and once he’s set me onto his knee, I sit with a tall back full of pride. I know my little trip was so minor, but I kinda feel badass from it.
Things really pick up soon after that, and we end up having a blast this first night. We gather around the dining room table for the hearty stew that the Ignacios made in the cabin’s cast iron Dutch oven. We discuss the hiking trails that we plan on checking out tomorrow. We play a lighthearted party game all together, and then we eventually meander to the living room. Aiden gets a fire going in the hearth while Moira fetches apple cider for everyone, and soon we’re sprawled around in a circle, half of us on chairs and the other half on the floor as we chat.
I do bristle a little as Camila sits on the ground particularly close to Aiden and I, leaning against the couch right next to his legs. I think I saw a couple of subtle frowns from the rest of the group in her direction, but everyone regains their composure so fast that I question whether it even happened. I get over it very quickly.
“So does anyone have Halloween plans?” Diego suddenly asks.
“No” is the general consensus, and Star immediately follows that up with, “We should dress up and go somewhere! Like, as a group. It’d be fun.”
“Hmm… What should we dress up as?” Moira wonders.
Diego points his finger in my direction. “Well, what should Evie be? Let’s start there.”
I startle, pulling my legs into my chest self consciously as I shift back on the couch armrest. “Oh, I don’t have to be part of this,” I say, feeling embarrassed.
Star leans forward as she urges, “No, you have to be! Think about it. Halloween might be the only time of year you can be out in public and people won’t question it.”
This thought makes me pause. I’ve gotten so accustomed to hiding. The thought of being out in the open in any capacity, pretending to be a toy as part of someone else’s costume, is a little scary at first. But the more I consider it, the more I think it might be freeing too. Finally I relent, “I guess that’s true… Uhhh… Maybe I could be a fairy or something?”
“You could be Tinkerbell?” Aiden suggests with a smile. I’ve been gradually having him watch all of my favorite childhood movies since he missed out on a lot of the classics as a kid. Due to his particular interests, he was quite familiar with Peter Pan, but recently we decided to watch it anyway.
Moira seems excited by the idea. “Oooo, yeah, we could be a Peter Pan group! That’d be so cute.” She nods in our direction. “Aiden, I guess that makes you Peter?”
“Hmm…” he muses, and I shiver with pleasure as he runs a finger along my back while he thinks. A playful smirk lights up his features. “I kinda want to be Hook, actually. Then I could pretend I’ve captured you in a lantern… you know, if you ever need a break from any crowds.”
I laugh. “Uh huh, pretend, sure. I just won’t read too deep into the fact that you want to be the villain.”
The others chuckle, but meanwhile I’m already daydreaming about this potential opportunity for my boyfriend to dress up as a sexy pirate. Camila jumps in with uncharacteristic eagerness as she beams over towards her cousin. “I think Diego should be Pan. Green tights and everything.”
We all laugh even more at this casting choice. But Diego’s completely unphased and agrees heartily, “I have noooo problems being the main character!” He swoops his arm around his wife to pull her in closer. “I guess that makes you my Wendy, darling.”
Moira turns to Camila with a giggle. “You want to be a lost boy with me?”
Everyone seems eager enough that this plan might actually happen, and I start feeling more and more excited about the prospects. We end up discussing a group trip to Disney World too while we’re on the subject, which would be so expensive and logistically complicated that it probably won’t happen, but it’s fun to dream. It’s so nice that everyone’s in this good of a mood, and the number of times that I get interrupted due to simply not being heard is at an all-time low. We don’t stay up very late since we’re all tired from the drive, but man what a wonderful first evening this was.