Chapter 1 - The Long Drive
Waiting in line to use a public toilet is so draining more so when you have been driving for nearly two days now. How did my sister and mum get in and out so fast? Washing my hands and splashing water on my face, I feel so drained right now I’m hoping it’s because of the drive and nothing else. Rushing towards my mum’s car with my mum hanging out of the window looking upset at me, “Seriously Rhiannon hurry up!” My mum Katy screamed at me. “God mum! I’m bloody coming!” I yelled back at her. “Yeah, you said that twenty minutes ago! Everyone is in the car waiting for you!” She snapped at me again, I rolled my eyes rushing faster towards the car watching out for oncoming cars, while dad sticks his head out of the driver’s side car window, “We are leaving without you kiddo!” My dad Erick yells out, finally getting to the car puffed, “I’m here! I’m here!” I screamed out as dad started to drive off, “DAD PLEASE STOP THE CAR! SO I CAN GET IN PLEASE!” I screamed out in fear, Dad finally stops the car.
Rushing towards the car while he is laughing his head off at me which only angers me even more, climbing into the very packed car, my big brother winks at me while my twin sister just laughing at me. Great help my two siblings are I thought to myself. “Why are you always late?” Alex my big brother asked. “There was a line up for the toilets, you think you all could have waited just a little bit longer until I got back into the car?” I snapped at them all.
“Nope cupcake, I want to get to Brisbane before nightfall,” Dad said in a sing song voice, I squint my eyes at him is he for real right now? “Dad that is another eight hours away! You can wait five minutes for your favourite child to use the toilet won’t kill you.” I told him while my siblings all snorted next to me, he looked at me in the rear vision mirror, “Really Rhiannon? My favourite child? No sorry, Rhiannon it’s whoever is not upsetting me the most that day.” He said.
My twin sister Charlotte burst out into a fit of laughter, “In your face Rhi Rhi.” She leans over giving my cheek a big kiss, “Charlie really?” I asked acting hurt, Alex rolls his eyes at me, “Drama Queens.” Alex mumbles loud enough for us two to hear him, mum spun around looking at us all, “Enough ok.” She snapped, using that look she does when she will throw a thong at us, I looked down, “Yes mum.” I whispered, “Yes mother.” Alex said loudly, “Yes mummy.” Charlotte said cheerfully as always. “Alex you smartass no mother shit mister!” She snapped at him while he snickered, I try to hide my smile too.
I’m the youngest of three children, I’m still living with my parents at the tender age of twenty-one years old well nearly twenty-two. Our mum has been given an opportunity of a lifetime with her career in journalism, she couldn’t handle having her children in a different city as her so she upped and moved us all down south to the other end of Queensland. All three of us still live at home, they had a rule once we started working as young teens to put so much of our money aside and we cannot leave the house until we either have a job that pays high enough that we can still save while renting to later buy our own house or stay until we can buy our own house as they can see how unfair the rental market can be that they didn’t want us to keep moving in and out.
Home is so far north from Brisbane, which is nearly at the bottom of the state, our home was sunny Carins far north Queensland, Australia. A very long nineteen hours of driving, yes you heard correctly nineteen hours cramped into this car with my family. Those nineteen hours do not include stops or rest or any of our overnight stays as our mum cannot drive for too long or she has health issues with her legs. Lucky for our parents all five of us can drive so not one person is doing all of that driving. Myself, Alex, and Dad sold our cars as they wouldn’t make the drive so we all are roading tripping in the big family car, and when I say big it’s really not it’s a Toyota C-HR, it’s her new car in a nice teal blue, to be honest, I don’t think our parents had thought this drive through or that my siblings didn’t when it came to packing their bags.
Our Dad, Erick James I would say he is a fit forty-six-year-old with shoulder-length messy curly brown hair, full beard and is the reason why I have the lovely tanned skin. In order for mum to be able to do this dream of her’s our dad had to sell up his photography business to add extra funds in getting us down to Brisbane, as he didn’t want his business partner to join him down south he wanted to include myself and Charlotte into the business. He is a photographer by trade that is how he had met our mum he was taking her headshots for her work. Our parents have been married for twenty-six years now, and they are still madly in love with each other and they still show it too. I am amazed they didn’t have any more children but they seem to only like just us three.
Our mum Katy James I would say a smoking hot forty-four years old, blonde shoulder-length hair, myself and Charlotte have her looks. Katy was the local Carins reporting for the local news now she will be an anchorwoman on the state news station. I am so proud of her for finally reaching her lifetime goals.
Alex my big brother is twenty-five years old has the same type of hair as dad, if he grew a beard he would look like dad but I won’t tell him that he would be pissed off at me over it. He is a primary school PE teacher in his third year, who managed to get a transfer down here. If I had a girlfriend I love I would never set them up with him as he enjoys playing the field and I don’t want their broken hearts to wreak my friendship.
Now my bubbly older twin sister Charlotte who is Down syndrome she has blonde long curly hair like our dad but looks like our mum loves being in front of the camera and behind it like both of our parents. We all have treated her as a normal person it was how we had been raised, I believe because of this it has shaped who she is today. I have never done anything without her by my side and the same for her, she is not just my twin sister she is my best friend.
I’m the baby in the family, the screw up also find myself in trouble more than I want to admit. I’m a jake of tradies, I never finished high school instead I had chosen to become a hairdresser, I loved it but also enjoyed doing makeup as well become a makeup artist, also branched out as a beautician my dream was to open up my own beauty place. However, I have also found the love of my life in taking photos just like dad I have just finished off a bachelor’s in Photography, my dream now is to open up my own studio where I offer to clients hair and makeup before they get their photo’s taken. I give my brother Alex a run for his money when it comes to partying and being wild.
I feel like telling you all about my family while I watch the millionth gum tree fly by on the highway. Our parents are from Brisbane, they only moved up to Carins because mum had taken a job there and it was only supposed to be for three years however it turned into twenty-four years. All our extended family is still living in Brisbane, which was one of the main reasons why our parents didn’t want us to stay up north. We all will have friends that we will miss but family is just that family, we all are a very close family. Knew it was going to be a long drive with my sister sleeping on my shoulder I listened to book audio on my tablet while our parents and Alex chat among themselves.
Someone is nudging me gently, “Baby Rhi Rhi we’ve stopped, time to let the rest of us out you know. Charlotte is not waking up either.” Alex said loudly, I let out a groan, “Oh hey man, sure.” I mumbled climbing out of the car tripping out but managing to stick the landing instead of face planting it. “Your turn to get out princess, argh!” I had cried out while climbing out to my brother, who has a strong hold on my hand now, “Thank you.” Alex said leaning down giving my forehead a kiss, I groaned, “Hey! Just because I’m sort doesn’t mean that gives you the right to go kissing the top of my head! You’re going to mess up my hair!” I snapped at him, he laughs, “Between this road trip, your headphones, and sleep my little kiss did nothing for your ugly looks.” He said with a cheeky look on his face, “Argh! I will get you! Maybe not right now but I will get you when you least expect it!” I yelled back at him, “Bring it on baby sister! I will see it coming like I always do!” He yelled back at me.
Dad stood there looking at us both, “Do I really need to say it?” He asked sounding tired, “No!” Alex snapped at dad, “Where are we?” Charlotte asked sounding still half asleep. “Gympie Charlie,” Mum answered. “We are just grabbing lunch ok guys, let’s make it quick so we can get to the hotel which we are staying at until the house is legally ours to move in,” Dad said sounding upset. Looking around to finally see that we had stopped at the local Macdonald’s great takeaway I would kill for some sushi but I know the rest of the family wants to eat it. We all agreed with dad walking into the joint and placing our orders, Alex stays behind with the docket to wait for it to be called while the rest of us make our way to a table, Dad comes in looking upset. “Hey? I thought I was paying for this round?” He asked, “Sorry dad we got this time around.” Alex yelled out to him.
After lunch, Alex chose to drive and I shotgun the front seat it was nice looking back seeing Charlotte cuddling up to dad. Finally after what felt like ten hours which was only was a few hours we arrived at the hotel dad checked us in and handed us the key. Grabbing our bags and heading up to our room, it’s a joint room but only one bathroom but two bedrooms which seemed to have upset my brother after he had to wait for all of us to finish using it.
“Why don’t we have our own rooms and our own bathrooms?” He asked, “Well next time I asked what type of room you wanted, you should have told me. You are old enough to do this you know.” Our mum snapped at him, dad claps his hands loudly getting our attention. “Ok everyone are we having tea as room service, or heading out for dinner or heading downstairs?” Dad asked, mum, let out a big yawn, “I vote room service please, I’m too stuffed.” Mum said. “I vote for anything that involves us leaving this room,” Alex said loudly, “I vote room service too please,” Charlotte said, sounding tired, “I vote with Alex.” Dad said, they all look at me I had a massive smile on my face, “So sorry mum and Charlie but I want out too so I vote with dad and Alex thanks.” I cheerfully said, as my older brother jumped up and down for joy, “Fuck Yes!” He cried out.
Everyone starts rushing off to get ready, our brother took a shower while myself and Charlotte got dressed and ready in our room, Dad walks in wearing a dark blue short sleeve checkered shirt, and grey shorts, with white sandshoes. Mum wasn’t far behind him walking in wearing a red flowing dress with leaves and flowers on it, teamed up with brown boot heals, “You kids ready yet?” She asked, as our brother walks out of the bathroom wearing a plain white tight teeshirt and black shorts with grey sandshoes, I rushed into the bathroom to double check everything. Charlie is wearing three quoter length skin tight jeans, with a white poke a dot shirt with dots in the colours of black, blue, and yellow, with brown high heels and matching bangles. All my good going out to clubs clothes are packed away so I have chosen to wear white singlet that is like a man’s muscle exposing singlet shows off my black bra, skinny black jeans, with my fuck me black high heel shoes, with my hair out with natural curls.
Walking out to my family to only come face to face to my father looking extremely upset with me, what have I don’t this time? “Gez Rhiannon really? Would you like a shirt with that outfit?” He snapped, I smiled at him, “Thank you, dad, I have one on let’s go.” I said brightly, knowing full well that would upset him more. “Jesus fucking christ Rhiannon you’re going to be the death of me!” Alex snapped at me. “Uh oo not this again Alex! I can wear whatever I want to wear. Alex, you should only step in if someone is being rough with me!” I snapped at my older brother again, having this conversation. He waves his arms around in the air, “My point exactly Rhiannon! The number of men I’m going to have to push away from you tonight!” He yelled at me, fuck I feel like I have two fathers right now, I cannot see what is so wrong with what I like to wear, grabbed my bag, and headed off towards the room door going right to the elevator doors not waiting for anyone to join me.