I squeezed Grace's hand as we got off the plane. This was exciting. We had just gotten married and were now on our honeymoon. We had decided to go on a trip to the Amazon rain forest. We were both excited about this trip. We went to the hotel and prepared for our tour into the forest. We packed our backpacks with water and snacks, and a few important items like a knife and other things we might need. Holding hands, Grace and I walked up to our tour guide, who was waiting for us at the hotel. He led us to his jeep. We sat in the back next to each other while our guide drove, talking about some probably very interesting facts, though I didn't hear what he said. I was too distracted by the beautiful girl sitting next to me.
We entered the forest and it got dimmer. I pulled out my camera and started to take pictures. I turned the camera and started taking pictures of Grace. She laughed and punched my shoulder, and told me to take pictures of the forest, not her. I, of course, didn't listen.
We were probably three or four hours into the forest when things went wrong. There was something in the road. A big creature or something. I didn't have time to figure out what it was before our driver swerved to avoid it. We went off the road and drove into a rock and the jeep flipped. I was knocked unconscious. Everything going black.
When I woke, I crawled out from under the overturned jeep and I couldn't figure out how long I had been unconscious, because the sun was hidden by the trees so it was hard to tell how much time had passed. I remembered Grace and I started to panic. I climbed underneath the jeep and found Grace unconscious. I carefully unbuckled her and got her out of the jeep. I laid her on the ground, checking her pulse to make sure she was alive. Thankfully she was. I brushed my hand through her hair and said a quick prayer to myself, hoping Grace would be okay.
I crawled back under the jeep to find the driver. But he was gone. I looked around, not sure what could have happened to him. I looked around the surrounding brush to see if he was there. There was no sign of him. I heard Grace stirring and I rushed back to her side. She looked groggily at me, and I grabbed her and pulled her close.
"What's going to happen to us, Andrew?" She asked me.
"I don't know Grace," I said, "but we'll figure it out. Somehow..."
We decided to try and flip the jeep, but it was too heavy. Our efforts were helpless. It would take a miracle to get it upright again. It started to get dark and we did our best to set up camp. In the back of the overturned jeep, we had found a few extra supplies and tools. There was some containers of food, put there for emergencies like this. We also found a machete, which I used to cut some wood for a fire. It wasn't the best way to do so, but it was better than nothing. I used some matches we had brought in our backpacks to start the fire.
We ate some food and I held grace in my arms and told her to get some sleep. I watched her beautiful face as she slept, happy I was with her, and not alone. Something in the woods made a snapping noise and I jerked my head in the direction I thought it came from. The movement woke up Grace and she looked up at me.
"Is everything okay?" She asked.
"Ya," I said, "its nothing"
In a few minutes, she fell back asleep, her steady breathing calming and relaxing. I tried to stay awake and keep watch, but I eventually fell asleep, with Grace held tightly in my arms.
I woke up early the next morning, with Grace still fast asleep. It was still mostly dark, with faint light escaping through the trees. I looked around the camp. At first, I didn't see anything out of the ordinary. But then I noticed a big dark shape sitting by the jeep. I jumped in surprise and Grace stirred but did not wake up.
I stayed as still as I could, trying to stay calm. I looked closer and tried to make out what it was. My eyes widened as I realized it was a huge gorilla. It was holding one of our backpacks, digging through it, and dropping things on the floor. It gave up on its search in the backpack and dropped it on the floor. It stood up and I marveled at the size of it. It was at least 8 feet tall, which I had no idea gorillas could grow that tall. It moved to the jeep and reached underneath it. It grunted when it found nothing.
To my surprise, it grabbed the side of the jeep and effortlessly flipped it upright. I gasped in shock, and Grace woke up with a start at the noise of the jeep. She saw the giant gorilla and let out a small squeal. She scooted closer to me and hugged me tightly. The gorilla looked at us for a moment, then turned away and started searching through the jeep. It collected a few things it found interesting, but we couldn't tell what the items were. After a few minutes, it collected all the stuff it had found in its huge hands and walked away into the forest. Grace and I just sat there in stunned silence, too scared and amazed to make a single move.
Once there was a little more sunlight, we began to take down camp. We packed what few items we had into the jeep. After we had cleaned up, we sat down for some breakfast. We talked a little as we ate, mostly marveling over the adventure we had just had with the gorilla. Grace leaned against me as we sat on the hard ground. She had rarely left my side since the accident that left us here. I was thankful for it. I was glad I had her there to comfort me. She held my hand at every possible moment, only letting go when one of us had to use both our hands.
After we finished eating, we climbed into the jeep. I muttered under my breath, hoping the jeep would still run. It took a few tries, but I was able to get the jeep started.
I started to put the jeep into drive when Grace said, "Andrew, stop."
I did what she said, and looked at her questioningly. She just pointed and I looked in that direction. About thirty feet away, partially hidden in the trees was the giant gorilla. It just sat there looking at us curiously. Grace waved at it in a friendly manner, and it just continued to sit there. Then it slowly raised one of its huge hands and rocked it back and forth.
"Wow," I said to myself, "that's one Intelligent gorilla."
Then I slowly moved the jeep back onto the road we had followed on the way to this spot. We just drove in silence at first. Then I reached over and squeezed Grace's hand. Feeling her slim fingers against my hand. I continued to drive down the road for about two hours before we saw something coming down the road ahead of us. I slowed down and saw that the objects heading towards us were jeeps. I pulled over and waited for the jeeps to reach us. Three jeeps stopped on the road next to us. Each jeep had two people driving it. A man climbed out of the lead jeep and walked towards us. I climbed out of our battered and dented jeep to meet him, Grace following behind me.
"Hello there!" The man said cheerfully, his accent a little hard to understand, "Are you our two missing tourists?"
"Yep, that's us," I said.
"Wonderful!" He said, his smile growing wider, "we'll just take you back to the hotel then?"
"That would be great," Grace said, "but first, do you have any idea what happened to our tour guide?"
"Him? yes ma'am, we already found him wandering around the rain forest." Then the man frowned slightly, "He should not have left you alone. I am very sorry about that."
"That's okay," Grace said, "at least he's okay."
The man looked over at our jeep, "He told us the jeep flipped, how did you manage to get it upright again?"
I laughed slightly, "Its a long story. And kind of hard to believe."
The man just laughed, "Okay then, we should get you back to the hotel. Go to that last jeep over there, Philip and Julie will take care of you and take you back. I'll take care of this." He said, Patting our jeep with his large hands.
We thanked him and walked over to the jeep he had mentioned. Philip and Julie were kind and gave us some fresh food and water. They were cheerful and chatted with us the whole way back to the hotel. Once there, I held Grace's hand as we walked to our room. Once we reached it, we got into a change of clothes and sat down on the soft bed. Grace leaned against me, her long hair tickling my face.
"You know," I said with a smile, "we've only been married a little while and we've already gotten into a life-threatening adventure."
Grace looked up at me with her beautiful blue eyes twinkling, "But at least I had you with me the entire time. It made it so much better with you there."
I smiled down at her, and she leaned up and kissed me softly.
"I love you." She whispered.
Author Notes: "There are no wrong turns, only unexpected paths."- Mark Nepo