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After what felt like hours, we finally arrived at Sterling Hotel, one of the hotels we were going to stay at throughout the duration of our stay at Eaglesvale and I will say this; the hotel was huge. It looked more like a palace than an actual hotel given that it was located near the Pier and an amusement park.

"Alright everyone. We're here." Matthew announced after parking the car at the Port chochere. "Finally! My ass was hurting being cramped in this damn car." Maren said as she stretched her arms. "Wasn't two hours at the gas station enough?" I asked.

"Not if it meant spending another four hours being cramped in the car again."

"She ain't wrong about that, my neck hurts from sleeping uncomfortably in the car." Kevin agreed.

"If you felt uncomfortable you could have just slept on my lap." Maren said.



"Welcome!" We all turned our attention to Claire, who was accompanied by two baggage porters. "I trust you all had a safe journey." She smiled brightly.

"We did." Matthew answered with a smile. "I brought Beverley with me if that's okay." Maren said gesturing towards me. "Her twenty first birthday is on the night of the gala."

The middle aged woman gasped turning towards me. "It's really nothing special." I said. "Nonsense!" she exclaimed. "You are practically coming of age and being given the key to life; where you really get a taste of adulthood.

"Not to forget you can choose to get married at twenty one." She wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.

"Oh! Uh..." I sputtered feeling my face flush with embarrassment as I shot Maren a look that said, 'Help me out here!'. She rolled her eyes and said, "It's too soon for her to be thinking about that. She's never had a boyfriend."

If my face wasn't red when Claire talked about marriage it was most certainly was when Maren disclosed my non-existent dating life. The thought of putting a gun to my head and shoot myself had never been so tempting.

"You didn't have to tell them that, Mare." I muttered under my breath. "You're making it seem like it's a bad thing. I'd give anything to be single, so I won't have to deal with my useless boyfriend."

"I'm right here!"

"Why don't you search my pockets and check if I have any fucks to give, Kevin."

That shut him up and I sighed.


I know that I said the exterior was the hotel was magnificent, but I never thought that the rooms were just as good. Yes, they're supposed to be since we were living at a luxurious hotel for the next three days and two nights, but the aesthetics and interior design were ridiculously breath-taking.

Maren and I were to share a deluxe room while Kevin and Matthew were settling to stay in single rooms. Our room was fairly small, but it had enough space to accommodate the two beds and the furniture. The sofa was positioned by the wall which had an abstract portrait. The medium sized wooden table, freshly polished with no speck of dust, was placed near the door. There was a twenty inch flat screen tv that hung on the wall. The French door that led to the balcony. There was one bathroom which had the typical sink, bath tub, shower, toilet, a mirror and a cabinet with additional toiletries.

"Do y'all usually book here?" I asked sitting on the bed and stared at the beautiful view of the pier and amusement park through the opened French door.

"Nah, Claire like to diversify the venues for the gala every year," she told me. "Last year the Gala was held at Borrowdale and we stayed at Meikles Hotel."

"I see." I noted. "I guess it would make it more interesting rather than having it at the same place every year."

"Speaking of interesting, since when did you and Matthew become close?"

I knitted my eyebrows together muddled.

"You two were acting like two peas in a pod." She explained.

I was still a bit confused at what she was talking about until I ah-ed when it finally clicked that she was talking about our conversation during the drive here only to get confused yet again at how she was eavesdropping on our conversation.

"Hol' up. I thought you were on your iPad the entire time." I said.

"Nah bitch. I heard everything." She confirmed. "And don't act surprised. You know that I put on my air pods and make it seem like I'm listening to music when I want to avoid talking to people, I don't want to talk to."

I opened my mouth to retort but soon closed it because she was right, and I had no way of defending myself. "Well, too be fair, that slipped my mind." I settled to say instead.

"Now out with it. How did you get close?"

"I wouldn't say that were close," I answered. "we just started talking a bit when I found him working at the stationery store, I go to regularly and we eventually bonded over book."

"Well it's about time," she said. "he'd been wanting to talk to you for quite some time, but he was too pussy to approach you."

My eyebrows flew up affecting surprise. He actually wanted to talk to me all this time.

It was hard for me to believe in all honesty. I never imaged him actually wanting to talk to me. But looking back on the smile he gave me back at the store, he seemed genuinely happy that we did eventually start talking. I didn't think much about it until now.

"Why hadn't he made a move before?" I asked. "Because your dumbass is unapproachable." She told me. "He said and I quote you 'kind of give off a vibe that's enough to intimidate a megalodon'."

"I can't be that bad." I frowned.

"Can't be that bad? Bitch, you always wear a resting bitch face. That look alone is enough to say 'Fuck off. Don't bother me'."

"I can't help that I can't force a smile when I don't feel like it. Give me a break." I rolled my eyes. "I've seen my fake smiles and they live up to their name. plus, you have no idea how tiring smiling is.

Maren shook her head.

"But are you okay with it though?" I asked, making her arch an eyebrow. "your best friend talking to your mentor. Are you okay with it?"

"I don't mind it honestly." She said "It's not my place to tell you who and who not to talk to unless I get negative vibes from the person. Plus, I trust him, and I trust you."

I nodded taking in what she said. To be honest, the only reason why I never really talked to Matthew in the first place was out of respect for Maren in case she felt it wasn't right for me to be associating with her mentor and I wasn't willing to exceed that boundary. Not to forget I didn't want to make the atmosphere weird and uncomfortable for everyone. But since she was okay with then I guess it was fine being friends with him.

"We should head down to the dinning room. I am starving." Maren declared grabbing my wrist.

"Hey! Careful!" I yelped almost tripping on our way out.


"Why are we doing this again?" I watched Maren rummage through my suitcase.

"Because I didn't invite you on this vacation so you can spent all day and night in this hotel suite on Netflix." She snatched the remote from my hand. "There are far much more better things to do especially at a place like this."

"We'll be here for three days. Why not go tomorrow?"

"Not a chance, Honey Bee! I am dedicating the whole of tomorrow taking us out to be pampered and ready for the gala. We are going to slay that night and we absolutely must look good doing so."

I rolled my eyes and said nothing more. There was no way out of this argument nor convincing her otherwise. "Okay, I mean no disrespect to your mother's clothes but this ain't the 80s, luv." She frowned at my clothes.

"For your own information, my mother wore those clothes when she was in her mid to late twenties. So that's roughly around the late 90s." I corrected her.

"My point still stands." She replied. "Seriously, seventy five percent of your wardrobe is just filled with your mother's clothes again, I mean no disrespect but when was the last you bought new clothes or anything that is of this era."

"I prefer wearing something simple."

"At least buy some simple clothes that are in line with the era we live in, sis."

"Clothes are clothes." I replied, making her gasp and clutch her chest. "I said what I said.

"Yeah, we're going shopping tomorrow." She declared. "We need to upgrade your wardrobe and your hair."

"What's wrong with my hair?" I asked.

"Well, all you ever did with it was just put it up in ponytails, messy buns or just leave it in its natural curly state." She told me. "Why not celebrate your transition from a foetus to a fully fledged adult with a new hairstyle."

"You do know I don't have enough money to be buying new clothes and going to the salon to get my hair done right?"

"Who said anything about you paying?" she smirked.

I was confused at first until it finally dawned to me where she was going with this. She was going to be the one paying. "No." I said.

"Yes, bitch."

"But "

"No buts," she cut me off. "the birthday girl deserves to be treated on her day."

"Okay, but "

"You do know that you can't do shit when my mind is made up and set on what I want right?"

I let out a relentless sigh seeing that my efforts to change her mind are futile. "Great! Now get your pretty black ass ready so we can go exploring."

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