It was time for me and Lilith to go to Bora Bora and visit her family. As much as I would miss my boyfriend and what was left of my friends, I felt happy to see Abbott, Riley, Ford and Skye. Lilith’s dad called yesterday and I got to talk to him for two minutes as Lilith had to fetch something for him.
He was really nice and I didn’t see what Lilith was going on about. But then again, I could tell that he was a perfectionist and just from being one myself, I knew what kind of pressure Lilith must be under to appease him.
As we were boarding the plane, my Mom hugged me and so did my Dad. Lilith got to meet them two days ago. They knew I was home, but they still had to work. They loved Lilith right from the start and weren’t afraid to let us do our own thing with our friends - when they weren’t at school. My dad was super, crazily in love with all things British so he insisted that Lilith answers all of his questions just so he could hear her accent.
My dad was such a fan of the UK, he watched only British TV shows or movies whenever he had a day off from work. It was funny to see him and Lilith interact. He looked so fascinated by everything she said and insisted that Lilith and her family come visit us during the summer.
We finally got on the plane and as nervous as I was, I was excited. So much has happened in the past that led me right to where I was supposed to be. I grew a lot and learned not only about forgiveness, but priorities as well. People who have hurt you in the past should only deserve a second chance if their apology is sincere and if they do show that they’ve changed. I learned how to prioritize my own feelings for a change and put myself first.
For the first time in my life, I was happy.
I said goodbye to Kai last night because he couldn’t come to say goodbye to me today. He was visiting Hannah and even though he wanted to come, I told him we would see each other soon and that family comes first.
He tried to protest but I wouldn’t hear it. I wouldn’t let him say goodbye to me when I knew that it wasn’t truly a goodbye. Kai and I could talk over the phone later or Skype, but he should really be with Hannah who was fighting cancer - and hopefully beating it soon.
I was happy to be here with one of my friends, fully packed and fully prepared for an adventure of a lifetime.
I wasn’t the girl who was scared to be alone. I wasn’t the girl who played with Kai’s heart and kissed Matt back just because she was insecure, confused and heartbroken. I wasn’t that girl that used to have only two best friends who weren’t even real best friends and did Gods know what behind her back. I wasn’t that girl anymore who mourned over her best friend’s death but celebrated her life.
The girl I used to be was gone. Lilith Arwen was to be congratulated for that.
Lilith was my sunshine. She might be a bit rough around the edges but she was also badass who made me laugh so hard my stomach hurt. She was supportive, unusual and every bit special. No matter how much she intimidated me, I couldn’t find it in myself to walk away because the power of her eyebrows had all the control.
She made Vanessa’s death hurt less. At times, she reminded me so much of her. Because as Vanessa, Lilith was smart no matter how much she hid that under her troublemaker personality. When I told her about Vanessa, Lilith said something to me that would stick with me for the rest of my life.
“Things happen like they’re supposed to. You’re not meant to like them. But you could either let it swallow you whole or move on and make the best of what you’ve got.”
With Lilith by my side, we boarded the plane. We chatted a little and went through the magazines. Eventually, she fell asleep and I was left staring out the window, feeling so insignificant in this huge world. I felt so small, looking at Earth from a plane. All I wanted was to matter to someone. To leave my mark on this place and yet that seemed so impossible when I was so little and the world was so big. My mind wandered off a little. The cells that made our bodies and made us who we were were little too. Yet every single cell is needed for you to live. If those cells had their own little brains, they would think they served a greater purpose. But what was our purpose?
I fell asleep with that thought in my head and woke up to Lilith laughing. I peeled my eyes open and saw her watching cartoons. I frowned.
Lilith glanced quickly from me to the screen, not seeming to notice I was awake. She laughed and seemed entertained by what she was watching. When I did tap her shoulder, she silenced me until the cartoon was over.
"Now you can speak.” She said as if to give me her permission.
“Cartoons? Really?” I laughed at her.
“Young people watch cartoons. I’m still young so mock me when I’m 30.” She said as if that made sense.
“You think people over thirty are old?”
“No, I think anyone who has a kid or can’t go out with friends and recklessly drink without getting judged is old.” She said.
“Okay, good point.” I said.
“You don’t like cartoons.” It wasn’t a question.
“I’m more of a movies girl,” I replied but doubted she heard anything as her eyes were focused on the screen just as the new cartoon began to play.
When the plane landed, Lilith and I were supposed to get off and wait for Skye, Riley and Ford but there was trouble in locating them for a while until Riles called Lilith and they were able to communicate properly.
The guys finally came into view and Riley was the first one to pull both Lilith and I into one of his bear hugs. Ford smiled and hugged us too. Skye looked a little uncomfortable but all that disappeared as I messed with his hair a little.
He pulled Lilith to the side so they could talk in private as Riley and Ford stayed with me.
“You look different, Midget. Something happened?” I stuck out my tongue at Riley’s nickname for me.
“Not really,” I said but knew it was a lie. A lot has happened since my visit home.
“Liar.” Riley laughed and just as I was about to protest, he spoke first. “But that’s okay because we have a lot to tell you!” He was so excited his hands were shaking and he started to speak a lot faster. “Ford, Skye and I went on this crazy road trip across the states. We had places to go, girls to fuck and drinks to drink. We went to Texas and sang live karaoke. It was so fun and such an unbelievable journey!”
“Wow, sounds fun.” I laughed as Riley hugged me, picked me up and set me back down.
“But that’s not even the best. We went to Vegas with fake IDs and this guy asked us if we wanted to get high. I still don’t know whether this was a good idea but I couldn’t stop laughing. At one point, I thought Skye was a banana.”
“Don’t forget the part where you accidentally sat on me.” Ford chuckled to himself even though there was a grossed out expression on his face.
“What were you doing in Vegas?” I wondered.
“We were visiting Ford’s family. His dad owns a casino,” Riley replied.
“Yup,” it was Ford. “You know how Casinos have cars on display?” He asked and I nodded, even though I’ve never been to a casino. I just assumed because of everything TV taught me. “Well, when my Mom got pregnant, they would name each of their kids after the most expensive car that was displayed in the casino on the day of birth.”
“Wow, that’s incredible,” I said as it was the most unique name picking technique I’ve ever heard of. “I really wish you would invite Lilith and I with you.”
“We wanted to but you two just disappeared on us. Where the hell have you two even been?” Ford asked.
“Well, Lilith tagged along when I visited my friends, family and Kai,” I explained.
“Who’s Kai?” Riley asked confused.
“He’s my boyfriend.” I said. I realized that they might not know about me having a boyfriend.
“You have a boyfriend?” An incredulous look spread over Riley’s face and I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Aw! Our little Astrid is all grown up!” Riley teased but before he could mess with my hair, Lilith grabbed my arm and said she needed to go to the restroom. I looked behind my back and told the guys we’ll be right back.
In the restroom, Lilith appeared to be completely enraged. Her hands were in her fists and she bit her lip, trying not to punch anything. I looked at her, quite honestly scared of what she would do next.
“He drives me so crazy sometimes,” Lilith is saying to me. Or no, she’s saying it to herself. “He thinks he can just break up with me and then expect me to come crawling back. Ugh that moron!”
“Whoa, slow down there, bud. Tell me what happened,” I said and crossed my arms as I listened.
“He pulled me to the side and said in his stupid voice I’m waiting for an apology,” Lilith mimicked Skye but made his voice seem too high even for her. “Like, who does he think he is? He expects me to be okay with him just disappearing across the states, hanging out with random, half-naked girls and then having the audacity to send me pictures? I’ve got nothing to apologize for.”
“Calm down,” I told her first. “You strangling Skye won’t solve any of your problems. You two will figure things out eventually, just give it some time and enjoy yourself. I know it’s an unfortunate situation but don’t let it ruin your vacation.”
“I’m just so pissed off,” she said through her gritted teeth.
“I know,” I told her, patting her back and following her out of the bathroom and back to our friends.