Chapter 1 Summer
My brain doesn’t work for a while. “It’s mom. She wants me to come with them on vacation.” I whine, packing my stuff. I am so mad that my shirts are all tangled into each other and my jeans are not even fitting in the suitcase. It is such a big pile. “Honestly, right now my life is a mess.”
Vivian chills on the bean bag and clips her hair into an updo. “Relax! What’s the big deal? I mean if I were you, I would have instantly agreed. Plus, it’s a vacation do you have any idea?” Vivian widens her gaze in excitement. “Your life is so much easier than mine. My parents are not even allowing me to come home because of my summer job. Great! You get to go on this magnificent trip, and I burn in this hell.” She rolls her eyes.
“And why can’t you go home exactly?” I say, trying to compress my clothes into the suitcase but looks like they are very stubborn. I try to put all of my force but for some reason my clothes rebel against me and comes back again in its position.
“Apparently, Mom thinks that” She pauses for a while and a confusing look spreads across her face. “I’d get distracted.” Vivian finally finishes her sentence.
A small laughter escapes my mouth. “Distracted from what?” Worry startles me. “So if you can’t go home, you’ll be living with your aunt?”
“I don’t know” She shrugs and then replies to the second part of the question. “Yea of course, I’ll live with my aunt.” She says, clearing my concerns, though it didn’t satisfy me at all so I abandon this issue for now. Instead, my focus diverts to way of avoiding this stupid trip.
Vivian snaps at me. “So where are you guys going?” She says, keeping her phone aside and pretends to listen very carefully. I know that because it’s her thing to cool me down, and once I am cooled down and not paying attention to her anymore, she’ll grab her phone or start doing another work.
I began, “I know that we are going to Toronto, Canada” I stare her with a serious look. “You know it. To Granna’s.”
“Have you asked her?” Vivian says with a yawn, which means that her plan is now coming close to being successful.
“What will I ask her?” I snap my fingers in front of her. Looking at her sleepy face, I tell her to go to sleep. Well, I am not excited to go on this trip but right now excitement means meeting Mom and Dad after a long time.
“Wait, am I also going home? She slightly lifts herself from the bed.
“You are helping me with the boxes, remember?” I return to my packing, but this time with more concentration so I take out the clothes first, which are lying on the top and Vivian without saying anything went sleeping.
Loaded with chores, I don’t know where to start from. I pick up a notepad and a pen from desk, and begin listing the chores that I have to finish today.
#1. Pack your suitcase
#2. Take out trash
And, then my phone vibrates. Mom’s name flashes on screen. “Hey, Mom” I say, as soon as I pick it up.
“Are you done with your packing?” Mom’s vibrant voice tickles my eardrum, which makes me readjust my phone.
“Honey, can you hear me?”
The readjustment idea didn’t work for me so I put her on the speaker mode. “Yea, Mom go ahead.”
“Your Dad was asking about you” I can hear Kyle and Max’s voice in the background. “When are you coming home?” She waits for my answer but the zip of my suitcase takes away my attention, as it was stuck in one of my shirts.
“Are you there? Zoo.” Mom’s voice reminds me that I am still with her.
“I’ll be there tomorrow by noon.” The suitcase’s zip finally got fixed and I put suitcase against the wall. “Bye Mom” I say, tapping on a red button. Okay, one down two more to go.
After Mom’s call, I tick off first item on the list. The thought of avoiding this trip is still roaming around my mind. I force my brain to stop thinking about it but I suppose luck gave up on me.
All this packing requires to much hard work, so now I am craving for caffeine. By caffeine, I mean tea. While I put water in kettle, I check my phone to see if there is anything from Micah. But there is nothing from him. My phone usually gets brimmed up with his texts. But today, no text or no call interrupts me.
Right now, I need a cup of tea. I keep my phone aside and put everything nice in my cup--milk, sugar and teabag. As soon as I take a sip of tea, brainy vibes begin to crawl in my mind, finding a way to not go on this trip alone.
My hair are greasy, tied in a bun; I have no plans to take a shower soon because taking out trash will make me messy again so it is pointless. There was a knock on the door. Seriously, when you are in your worst state, you are most likely to bump into cute guys and when you are all dressed in chic outfit and pouty lips, nobody even dares to pass by your side.
“Coming” I place my cup on a coaster.
“Hi” It takes me a few seconds to register his face. Simon and I were in Marine Biology class together. “Good to see you.”
He swipes his eyes over my shoulder. “Are you moving somewhere?” He says, pointing to some boxes beside T.v.
“Yeah, I am leaving dorm tomorrow noon” I didn’t even ask him to come inside. “Come on in” I say, now fully opening the door.
“But the deadline for leaving is. I think it is in two weeks.” His facial expression immediately tightens, his voice concerning. “Is everything okay?”
“Yeah everything is fine. Actually, I am leaving for Canada in a week, which is why I am leaving so early.” Relief returns to his face, giving a smile.
Our dorm is not in its best position but Simon’s hesitation seems to fly away pretty quickly.
“This calls for a party” A smile forms on his mouth. “I’ll pick you up at 7:00" Without even giving any chance to my voice, he already decides for me that I am going to his party with him.
I interrupt him before he says anything. “Sorry Simon, I can’t come. Micah and I are going somewhere in the evening.”
Suddenly, his smile vanishes. “Micah?” He says as if he doesn’t remember who is Micah.
“My boyfriend, you don’t remember him. Do you? I remind him.
“Oh yes of course. The one who wore--” He pauses. I can say that he doesn’t remember him.
“It’s okay” I say.
He stands up. “Okay no problem. I guess I’ll see you around.”
But he must be here for something. Unable to figure out his purpose of coming, I ask him. “So you are leaving?”
“I just came here to ask you out but it sounds like I’ve to go by myself. Anyways, if you need my help, I’ll be there.” Mixture of honesty and gloominess invades his voice.
“Thats sweet” I say. I don’t really want to hurt his feelings. After all, Simon has been kind enough to get me through this course, because whenever I’d bunk Professor Thomas’ lecture, Simon would lend his notes to me. So I think I owe him. “Hey, you wanna help me with the trash and the boxes.” His face instantly lights up with a smile, going from dark to bright.
“Okay” He says, giving a half smile. Whenever he gives half smile, I always see him as Cory Monteith from Glee, standing right in front of me.
“Great, I’ll text you. Enjoy your party.”
I am wearing a silk dress in color nude, light foundation, stain of coral on my lips, and my hair in a bun with just a support of hair stick.
Micah stands behind me just by the door but he just stares at me. “Come on, Summer, we are getting late.” He grabs my hand.
“Just a minute. Let me wear my heels” I say, closing straps around my heels.
He smiles; that froze my world. In that moment, I wish I could capture his smile in my memories forever, but my storage was already over-flowing with his other thousands of smiles. As soon as I am ready, Micah takes my hand in his hand.
As we are nearing to basement, I slowly feel puff of cold air against my legs and my hands that made me shiver but Micah’s hand wrapped around mine felt warm and cozy. Sounds of my 6 inch heels against floor are clear to me.
Before I reach for the car door, Micah opens door for me. Tonight, I feel extra special: butterflies in my stomach, sweaty palms, and racing heart. The entire journey Micah didn’t say anything, but he conveys his feelings through songs. They were mixtures of his moods. Whenever a happy song came, meaning he is happy. However, whenever, any other song came up, he immediately switches to another song.
Finally, we reach a club; Micah parks his car in parallel parking, opens a door for me like a gentleman.
“Thank you” I say carefully, stepping out of the car.
Everything and everyone is dark. People are moving their bodies according to the pacing of music. Heat surrounds me. They all jump up and down at the same time. Clubs or discos are the only places where people act alike, or for that matter church. Why can’t world be a disco or a club where people can act like they are one.
Suddenly, Micah’s arm goes around my waist and he starts introducing to his friends. I recognize some of the faces from school.
“Sally” Micah says, pointing towards her, pulling me closer to him.
Sally waves at me. “Hi.” I could sense excitement as she shakes my hands with a tightening grasp. Her hands looks rough like she needed to moist them but she let go off my hands after a while
“Stephenie” Another face. And, we repeat the same process but she is more gentle and calm than Sally. “Molly, Daniella and Franklin.” Micah added.
Lots of girls and a guy. I heave a sigh of relief that there’s a guy as well in the group. I knew from the beginning that Micah is really popular with girls. I think time has come to breakup with Micah.
Micah and I are really great friends even before we became a couple. He’ll understand my position as I am going overseas; also, he knows me very well. How are we going to manage this long distance relationship. First week, it’ll be fine. In second week, we’ll be only talking on weekends. Gradually, we’ll get busy in our new lives. So by fourth week, it’ll go something like this: we don’t have time for each other. Lets breakup. In short, breakup is the solution to everything. We’ll have to breakup with each other at some point. Even though this is not the time to talk, I need to get rid of girlfriend tag as soon as possible.
I collect myself and inch closer toward Micah. So many feelings rush inside my body. But before I say something, he takes my hand and we are outside of the club.
“We need to talk” Micah said, lowering his voice with straight face and his tone serious. This can mean only one thing that I am in a trouble because whenever this phrase is used in a relationship, it would usually mean breakup time. My corners of mouth automatically lifted. I don’t say anything. I want to see if we are on a same page.
“I think this isn’t working.” I remain quite only Micah is speaking. “Don’t get me wrong but it’s not you, it’s me” I immediately leave the place so Micah doesn’t speculate that I am not upset.
What I like about mornings is that it would bring ray of hope along with the sun. And I am conditioned to work along with this system. Actually, not just me but every other person is build like that.
I am getting ready and suddenly Vivian comes in without knocking the door. And, I cover my body with a towel, exclaiming “GO!.” Usually, I change my clothes in bathroom but today after brushing my teeth, I wanted to change in my room.
When I am in clothes, Vivian comes in still closing her eyes. “You can open your eyes now” I can see satisfaction on her face. I give last stroke of brush to my wet hair and apply a dry argan oil. “I need to talk to you.” This phrase is lot different from Micah’s because it means I’ll have a conversation and Vivian will just listen to me. I start, “Vivian, you are coming with me on this trip.”
Vivian opens her mouth to say something but I instantly add, “Look, Mom wants me to come and you know why I am avoiding this trip. So long story short, you are coming with me. That’s it.” Her eyes are widely open, staring at me with clueless expression. “As far as tickets are concerned, Mom’ll take care of that. Is that clear?” It’s more like an instruction than a simple request.
She raises her hand as if we are in a classroom. “But what about my summer job?”
I almost forgot about the main point. “No need for summer job. You told me yesterday that your mom doesn’t want you to come home. Not a problem at all.” I try to clarify some of Vivian’s confusion.
Vivian slips a small laughter. “Kidding Right?” Does it look like I am joking. “Are you crazy? I can’t go with you. I can’t go to my home and you are inviting me on this trip. No, Thank you.” She slowly approaches to the bed. “Besides, your parents won’t be okay with it; me barging in your trip” She says, refusing the chance that I just recently introduced.
“Of course, you can barge in” I say, ignoring her stupidity. “It’s not like you guys are total strangers. They know you” I catch the tank top, which Vivian throws at me.
“My final answer is no. But, you tell me why don’t you wanna go?” It seems like she is running out of questions but still has a room for one more. A question that scares me the most; a question that gives me chills down my spine.
I am in no mood to give lengthy explanation so my eyes shift from her face toward my suitcase. Instead I say, “Don’t be silly, Vivian. Look at all the possibilities” I start making list. “1) We’ll have a nice summer away from parents in the Neverland. 2) Shopping and movies. Besides, it’ll be for a month.” I wait for her reply. But Vivian is all consumed by her phone, because apparently it is much more interesting than my life story, which is somehow true.
“What about my Mom? What will I tell her” Vivian says, taking her eyes off from the phone.
“That will not be a problem because who would tell her and you can always lie” Lying is easy for Vivian and it’s the only special skill we kids have. “Don’t worry. Now, are you in?” I again wait for her reply.
“Okay” Vivian replies, surprising me with her approval. Her voice filled with uncertainty breaks my momentum. “We’ll see how this goes okay” I didn’t care for the second part of conversation. As long as Vivian is in it, I am sure nothing can go wrong.
“Vivian, are you ready to go? I am waiting for you” I knock on her door but there is no answer so I let myself pass through Vivian’s territory. I love her room, first of all her door is decorated with anime characters which reads “Vivian’s Room” sprinkled with glitter on the letters. Whenever I enter her room, it gives me girly vibes. I feel like an eligible member of this room, and the scent of air-freshener always encircles me. That is Vivian’s smell. Vivian is all into lavender and indigo, basically any colour which is associated to purple. Even the scents she choose is of purple flowers. I know she is obsessed with purple but I still love her.
“Hey are you ready?” I grab her suitcase, heavy enough but the good thing is that I only need it to roll.
“Yea... I am ready.” Vivian’s hands goes on her throat, not looking at me. Instead, her eyeballs are fixed on the ceiling. And, whenever she does this, it means she is lying.
“Vivian are you hiding something?” I investigate, her fake smile is telling me that something is not right. She ignores me and leaves the room. I guess this conversation will take place in my house, in my room.
Vivian is shaking her legs constantly under the table; surprisingly, it isn’t bothering me. We are seated on the right side of entrance; our favourite spot. I scan the restaurant, seeing that most people were sitting in groups laughing, discussing their concerns, celebrating life and generally having good time. People don’t care how are they looking or they are not health conscious. They just want to have a good time, which is why I like aura of Bahamian Cookin restaurant and Bar. We have been to other restaurants but this is our usual food place. Food is vital part in making people alive and spreading happiness.
My soft palms rests on a wooden table; an itch and hunger emerges inside me, wanting to talk about yesterday’s party.
“So, how was your party?” Vivian asks, figuring out my impatient look, developed on my face in a second.
“That.” Great, now I can’t think of how to begin. What is wrong with me? I leaned forward so that she can only hear my tragic story and not the whole restaurant. “Well, Micah and I,” I continue, glancing away from Vivian. “We broke up” I finally say, taking a deep breathe like I am over with the hard part. Vivian doesn’t give any reaction nor does she ask any questions because she knows that breakups have become a cliched hobby in my life. “This time, he was the first one” I say, shattering Vivian’s silence.
“What?” Vivian jolts. “Are you okay?”
“No I am not. I need food. I am starving.” I am drained of all the energy but as soon as the food comes, peace returnes to my face.
We both order the famous ‘cracked conch’ and ‘peas n’ rice’. A perfect combination. Think of it as egg fried rice with sweet and sour chicken.
Crunch of a meat was like piece of heaven in my mouth along with rice.
“How was party?” Vivian says with a mouthful bite. We are reacting like we are seeing food for the first time. Since I am busy in feeding my appetite, I ignore her intentionally because food is all I want.