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Chapter 9

There were a few things at the beach that solidified my relationship with both Evie and Indra.

1) Eating until we threw up. 2) Getting kicked out of a restaurant. 3) A punch to the face.

What I learned about Indra by observing him in the car; he's quiet. Very quiet. He's kind of impartial too. The "in-between" man, the "problem solver" of the group.

Evie and I couldn't decide on which station to listen to, but Indra swooped in as the voice of logic and suggested we use the AUX cord. That way we each get to listen to what we wanted. Mrs. Jensin could do nothing but agree.

Evie is the spitting image of her mother. Mrs. Jensin has a thicker accent than Evie, and at times it was hard to understand her, but she was kind all in all.

My family followed behind us. Evie got her wish. In a way. She only got a "hello" in when we got to her house. Her mother wanted us to hurry and hit the road.

The ride would take a few hours. I like long car rides, but I hate how my butt gets numb after a while.

When we arrived at the beach house -- we went to Holden -- Evie was already jumping on Winn when we all got out of the car.

"You're really tall! I haven't met many tall people! Luc's really short!"

"Hey!" I snapped

"I'm tall!" Indra stated.

It's true. But he's not as tall as Winn.

Of course, she and her mother noticed all his injuries. Apparently, he got them in a "wrestling match."

Then she gravitated towards Monique. I like to think it was because of her hair. I guess Evie has never seen a white woman with black hair. Even if it is dyed.

Chet was nice.

Izzy hung back. Socializing isn't really her thing, and I firmly believe Evie scares her.

"Come on! Mush!" Evie ordered and laughed.

She was on Indra's back now. They were going up the stairs. Indra laughed. When did they get so close?

I kind of wondered about his parents. He was at Evie's house before I got there. I guess they were okay with him going. I try not to wonder too much.

I started to help unload the car.

By sundown we were all settled in. Mrs. Jensin and Monique were in the kitchen cooking. They seemed to make fast friends. I've never really seen Monique hang out with another woman, so it was obvious she liked her.

Mrs. Jensin was talking in Arabic. Don't know why. But it seemed like she could hold a conversation with anyone in the world in that kitchen.

If I stayed with Evie, Indra, or Mrs. Jensin, my family would mostly leave me alone.

At the time, the three of us were sitting downstairs playing card games.

Evie exclaimed in Arabic when Indra beat her. Again.

I chuckled lightly. We were playing Bullshit. Thankfully, no one minded us yelling "bullshit" every now and again.

Evie grumbled as she took the deck. I had two cards left: an eight and a two. We were only on "three" and it was almost my turn. At least I'd get more cards.

Whelp, we both lost -- Evie and I -- Indra has no sense of mercy.

"Hey, you guys," Winn called with an unlit cigarette hanging from his lips.

"Dinner's ready." He said.

The second he turned around to light his cigarette Mrs. Jensin pulled it from his mouth.

"Children breathe freely here." She said with authority. Winn looked back at us; poker faced.

She took his cigarette and his lighter. I snickered a little.

We ate dinner with a light buzz of energy. Chet stayed quiet, for some reason. At least he is quiet. I'm glad Evie or Mrs. Jensin didn't speak to him that much.

"Alright, bedtime habibti." Mrs. Jensin said as she guided Evie into her room.

I heard Evie groan. "It's not that late."

"We're walking on the beach tomorrow. You'll need your energy." I heard her say.

Guess who I got to bunk with? Yep.

They were twin beds. I wasn't complaining. God I hope he doesn't snore.

I have to admit, there was a thrill to sleeping in the same room with the guy I like. Yes, I said it.

It was silent. I just stared at the ceiling. I think Indra was just laying there too. ...This is nice...I think.

"Luc," Monique scolded.

"Don't eat too much."

I laughed. "I'll be fine."

We were in a restaurant eating lunch after we walked on the beach.

"You too Evie." Mrs. Jensin warned.

There was a variety of foods, cultural foods, seafood, casual foods, etc. I was satisfied with just a burger. Evie had never eaten crab legs before, so we (Indra) made her (talked her into) eat a crab leg. Indra cracked open the leg and fished out the meat. He put it on her plate. She ate it.

She smiled with glee. "Tasty. Warm. Chewy."

I laughed.

Evie raised her hand high, "More please!"

Indra split his bucket with her. He taught her how to use a nut cracker and fork. Once Evie finished her portion she sat there with a satisfied look. She then giggled.

"I've got an idea!" She said.

I chuckled. Then, Evie jerked.

"What?" I asked. She covered her mouth. Uh-oh.

I reached across the table, grabbed her bucket, dumped the contents onto the table and held it in front of her.

She leaned over into it and gagged. I started screaming like a pterodactyl. I don't know why I did, maybe to keep people from hearing Evie throwing up or maybe because she was throwing up.

"Luc Narson!" Chet yelled from the other table.

"Sorry." I said to him. Everyone was looking at me. For once, I didn't care. I was laughing too much. Leave it to me to scream in a restaurant.

Evie leaned back. "Thanks Luc." Guess it's a good thing she wore her hair in a pony-tail.

"Nice sixth sense." Indra said covering his mouth, he was hiding a smile.

People went back to their own business.

The others didn't seem to be aware that Evie threw up. Guess I succeeded.

"You okay?" Indra asked.

"Yes! Now about that idea," She grinned devilishly.

Oh hell.

"Let's eat foods we've never had before and see who throws up first!" She hush-yelled.

"I think you've lost." I muttered.

"The game hadn't started." Evie announced.

"I'm in." Indra and I said.

I ordered some Egyptian food. It looked like a lot of different foods mixed together.

Indra ordered something else. We also put three buckets in front of us.

"Alright, dig in." Evie said.

You're probably wondering why we're doing this. Duh. We're dumb kids.

We ate and finished our plates. My stomach was hurting, but I didn't feel nauseous. Indra was rubbing his hands together. He looked worried.

"Feeling the nausea?" I taunted.

He bent over his bucket and puked. He was quiet, but he let out a guttural sound and the others heard him.

"What's wrong with you kids?!" Monique questioned. They still weren't aware to what we were up to.

I waved at her.

"I'm winning this game!" I declared.

"Hey Luc," Evie called. I looked at her. She waved her food in my face.

God, the smell!

I dove for my bucket and ducked below the table.

"Haha! I win!" Evie cheered.

I heard footsteps coming towards us. I sat up. Evie's mom was standing there, fuming.

She cussed and fussed in Arabic. I was praying she wouldn't yell at me.

Evie ran to the bathroom, as it was "her turn" to throw up. I ran away to the bathroom too, pretending I was going to throw up again. Really I was just going in there to get the laughs out. This is somethin' else.

"You guys were off the chain back there!" Izzy exclaimed once we got back to the house.

I grinned happily. I was feeling sick, but a happy sick. I think Evie's stomach was upset; from trying all those heavy and different foods. Indra was fine. "Fine" was the relative term.

I'm not saying we got kicked out of the restaurant -- because we didn't -- but we did get pulled out of there by the parents before anyone could come say anything to us.

The three of us lazed around mine and Indra's room. Evie lied/dangled off my bed whilst groaning lightly.

"I don't feel like I have to throw up, but I feel icky." She stated.

"Aw...poor baby." Indra sighed.

Evie shot up. "So Luc, how's having Indra as a roommate?"

My face hurt. "What?"

"I-I-It's fine!"

"Why are you so flustered?" Indra asked, oblivious.

Dude, we first met by you skinny-dipping.

"Why am I so flustered?!" I snapped.

"Because I didn't expect to meet the guy I saw naked at the river!"

"Oh." Indra said simply.

"Don't "oh" me! What were you doing?"

"Isn't it obvious? Swimming." He answered.

Evie laughed. "You two are so adorable."

I scowled at her.

Well, as I said before, we got kicked out of a restaurant. It wasn't my fault.

None of us really knew what happened. We didn't decide to play a throw up game. It was all going well. Evie, Indra, and I were talking and laughing. The next thing we heard was Chet yelling and Mrs. Jensin yelling. I looked at their table; Chet had been drinking.

Monique didn't come to anyone's rescue. She just slipped away and took Izzy and Winn with her.

"What's happening?" Evie asked.

"I think we should leave." I stated.

I hung behind Evie and Indra as the argument got worse.

Evie started to walk over to her mother. No, stop!

I unconsciously started to back away. A man came in between Evie and her mother and Chet.

As soon as he started speaking Chet and Mrs. Jensin stopped yelling. "Folks, I'm gonna have to ask you to leave now peacefully, or I'll have you escorted out."

I walked out of the restaurant. Winn was leaning against the wall smoking. Monique and Izzy were gone.

"Where are Izzy and Monique?" I asked.

"Shopping." Winn blew out a puff of smoke.

Monique's solution to this is to go shopping? Wow.

"Can we go somewhere? The two of us I mean."

"Sure. Where to?" Winn asked.

"I don't know. Anywhere but here." I wanted to hide. Run away from Indra and mainly Evie. This is the last thing I wanted.

Winn got off the wall and we started walking.

"What was the fight about?" I asked after a few minutes of walking.

"Dad hated how Mrs. Jensin was controlling everyone. She did nothing. It was stupid." Winn answered.

"He was just drunk." He continued.

I didn't respond.

I hope he dies a painful death.

A few minutes later, we arrived at an outlet. A place with shops everywhere. I was window-shopping. Winn just walked looking straight ahead.

I noticed people were staring at his face. All he could do was ignore them by gazing emptily.

My phone was buzzing in my pocket. It wasn't the first time it buzzed. I didn't want to go back and I didn't want to talk to anyone.

The Sun was setting. The sky was yellow and purple. Winn and I sat down on a bench in the middle of the outlet. It was surrounded by pillars with fake vines climbing them. Children were playing in a fountain nearby.

Through them I saw a desire.

I desired a stable family. I desired happiness, no care in the world.

"I lied to you earlier, Luc." Winn broke the silence.

I looked at him.

"Chet and Mrs. Jensin didn't get into an argument because she was too controlling,"

"He was talking about you. He called you a faggot and it didn't sit well with her." He finished.

I looked straight ahead. Something's gotta change or we'll all die a little more.

"Do you want to go back now?" Winn asked.

"I'm sure Mom is ready to call the police now." He finished.

"Sure." I responded dryly.

Still kind of embarrassed. Or anxious. I don't know the difference anymore.

After we got back to the house, I sat on my bed silently and looked out the window. I could see the beach. Waves rolling in and crashing into the sand.

Everyone was silent upon returning to the house. Indra wasn't in the room, so I didn't have to worry about being stared at. I let out a heavy sigh.

For whatever reason, I had a desire to find Indra. Maybe because he didn't know me that well and couldn't judge me. I don't know. But I didn't go to him.

The next day a few of us went to the beach to play volleyball. Indra and I teamed up.

Evie and Izzy were a team.

Mrs. Jensin was watching. The others were at the house.

I didn't keep score, all I knew is that I was having fun. And my forearms were burning, I barely know how to play volleyball. The others were faring better than me.

Indra swatted the ball and it went flying over the net and rolled away.

"Whoops." He said.

"I've got it." Mrs. Jensin said when he took a step forward.

She got up and trotted after the ball.

I shrieked when knuckles connected with my jaw. I was on my back. It took a second for it to register; but he had punched me.

Evie and Izzy were questioning Indra.

I already deal with this shit at home, I don't need it from him.

I looked up at him. He was shielding his eyes and looking down at me with a crazy grin.

"What was that?" I questioned.

"Nothing. Just wanted to see if you could handle it." He responded.

He helped me up and Evie was scowling. She shook her head, "Not cool."

Indra chuckled nervously. I knew he was weird, but not that kind of weird. Evie walked over to me and rubbed my poor cheek.

"There, there. Evie's got you." She cooed.

"...thank you, Evie." I deadpanned.

The ball landed in front of our feet.

"You kids still playing or what?" Mrs. Jensin called.

I grinned and picked up the ball. "Hurry Evie," she was still on our side.

She rushed over to Izzy and I smacked the ball.

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