My Fair Waitress
My bones cracked as I stretched, and a satisfied groan slipped off my lips. After nearly five hours on the plane, it was nice to stretch my cramped muscles. The twins walked behind me, rubbing their sore shoulders and rotating their necks. We slept for most of the flight, and there was a slight pounding in my head from the music still blasting from my headphones. Billie Eilish’s soothing voice filtered through, and I returned the speakers to my ears, humming along to the song.
We sluggishly went through immigration and finally stepped out of the Juan Santamaria International Airport. “Oh yes, the sun.” Collin murmured happily, turning his face upwards. Casey shrugged off his coat and slung it across his suitcase, then copied his twin’s actions. My coat and headphones came off as well, leaving me in my turquoise vest and jeans; I followed my brothers’ actions, and a smile graced my face as the sun shined down on it, warming me up. It’s nice to feel its warmth after spending so much time in snow.
“Gin?” a voice called out, and my eyes opened. I looked around the busy airport, searching for the body to that voice I knew well. He stood out with his electric blue hair on that caramel skin I wish I was blessed with. A grin spread across my lips as Nikolai came into my line of sight, and I found myself sprinting towards him, and wrapping myself around him once he was close enough. Nikolai chuckled as he squeezed me back, rocking us side-to side.
“I missed you girlie.” He murmured, pulling back slightly to look at my face. “I missed you too, Niko. I wish I stayed last time.” Nikolai smiled sadly at me, then pressed his lips to my forehead. I breathed out, swallowing as my throat closed. My last trip here was impulsive, and not part of my journey around the world in search of my soulmate. Jupiter’s absence hit me like an eighteen-wheeler and I had drank twice my weight in alcohol. I'm surprised I didn't die from alcohol poisoning. It was all a blur, but I distinctly remember Nikolai and his soulmate, Vincent, running after me and keeping my drunken self out of any more trouble.
I stayed for nearly two months with them, of course letting Thera and Stella know where I was; I couldn’t face my parents or the twins, not yet. Alfonso was the one who stormed down here to get me. I then realized how selfish I had been; he was in just as much pain.
“You stupid girl. Don’t you know how worried we all were? I thought I lost you too! I know how close you and Jupiter were, but he was my brother too, you know; it hurts too.”
The amount of tears that I contained in my tiny body was unlimited apparently, since I cried the entire way back home.
“I can’t thank you and Vinny enough, Niko. I’ll pay you back somehow, I promise.” Nikolai released me and rolled his eyes. “It’s what friends do, Ginny. Stop saying you’re going to pay me back, because I don’t want it. Vinny might say yes though, knowing him.” We both chuckled, walking back to my brothers, who were now on their phones, looking a little out of place.
’They’re 6′3 and Casey has pink hair, what do you expect?′
I shrugged, agreeing with my subconscious. Casey was always expressive, and my parents encouraged him. I remember Jupiter and myself getting into a fight with a group of kids who went to school with us for teasing him, calling him derogatory names and pushing him around. So what if he liked pink? So what if he didn’t agree with the way women were spoken about? So what if his soulmate might be someone of the same sex?
We were pretty beat up, but we made our message clear. Casey got through the rest of his school years without any trouble.
He looked up from his phone as we drew closer, and looked quizzically at Nikolai. “Boys,” I called, gaining Collin’s attention, “this is Nikolai Cortez. We’ll be staying with him and his Half, Vincent until we leave next week.” The three men shook hands, then we gathered our luggage and walked closer to the main road. “Vinny should be driving back here by now.” Nikolai murmured, glancing at his watch and adjusting his grip on my suitcase that he insisted on carrying.
Soon enough, a familiar blue pick up was driving down the busy street, and pulled up to the sidewalk, the reggaeton almost deafening. The driver looked towards us with a grin, his aviator sunglasses slipping down his pierced nose. “Gin-ay!” his deep voice called out, and a grin spread across my face. “Vin-ay my man! How’s it been?” he glanced at the traffic, then back at me. “It’s been good, girlie.”
The suitcases were placed in the back, and the twins and I squeezed together in the back passenger seat, while Nikolai took his place up front next to Vincent. The twins were on either side of me, and I was in the middle; I leaned my elbows on the front seats. “So, fellas,” I started, and Nikolai glanced at me from the corner of his eye. “how’s that adoption coming along?” Vincent grunted angrily, his grip on the wheel tightening. Nikolai simply sighed in defeat, running a hand through his electric blue hair. “They don’t think we’re good enough.” Nikolai finally said, his voice thick with emotions.
“We’re better than that whore and the drunk she has!” Vincent bellowed angrily, his knuckled turning white and veins popping out. “Vin,” Nikolai said softly, placing a hand on his shoulder. The tension left him minutely. “Do you need any recommendations or something like that? Because I will go down there and throttle- I mean, speak calmly to whoever I have to.” I said, anger beginning to bubble up in my stomach.
Not good enough? I beg to differ! They’re the best! Even my parents think so; they were the ones who suggested adoption anyway, when they saw them playing with my baby cousins that one Christmas they came for a visit.
Vincent chuckled darkly. “There are a few people down there who need a good throttling,” he glanced at me then murmured, “or a big boot up their ass.” I snickered and I could feel the twins shaking with laughter next to me. Nikolai smacked Vincent’s arm, hiding the grin that had spread across his face.
The rest of the drive to their house was silent, save for the reggaeton blasting through the speakers of the truck, and Nikolai’s singing. Casey lay his head on my shoulder and I smiled, rubbing my nose along the top of his pink hair. “Nervous?” I whispered, and he nodded, squeezing my hand. “Not only for me though.” He replied, and I squeezed his hand back. “Don’t worry about me, Cas. I’ll be okay, and a lot happier knowing that you found your Half, and didn’t have to go through thousands of dollars travelling the world for one person.”
He raised his head and looked at me seriously. “One important person, Ginny. And I want you to find them too.”
I didn’t wake up until this morning after I crashed. It was early afternoon when we arrived at the house Vincent and his contracting team built, and the twins and I got settled in right away. Their room was just across from mine, and Nikolai’s and Vincent’s room was the last one down the hall. They even had a little baby room, painted in a warm shade of orange; it broke my heart to see the look on Nikolai’s face when he entered the room, and I made a promise to myself to help them in any way I can. They deserve to have a family as much as any heterosexual couple.
I said I was going down for a ‘light nap’ after we ate lunch, but when I opened my eyes again and checked my phone, it was morning. I flipped Nikolai off as he laughed at my disheveled state when I entered the kitchen, and sat at the table to eat breakfast.
“So, what are we doing today?” Collin asked after we ate and cleaned up, then sat around the kitchen on our phones. I sent a text to Stella and she immediately replied.
‘Aren’t you in class?’ I sent, then turned to Collin, shrugging my shoulders. “Isn’t there supposed to be some street party today or something?” I directed at Vincent and he nodded. “Tomorrow.” He confirmed, sending a glance at his soulmate, who was staring down at his phone, sadness shining through his dark brown eyes. ”Querido,” Vincent murmured in what I remember was Portuguese, as he advanced on Nikolai, who shook his head. Vincent still wrapped his arms around him, and he laid his head on Vincent’s tattooed shoulder, sighing deeply.
My phone chimed. ‘I am, but this class is boring af. Keep me updated on what you guys are doing. I need some form of entertainment in my life.’ Stella’s message read, and I chuckled before sending my reply, a promise to do as she asked.
I turned to the twins, who were intently staring down at their phones. My brows creased, and when I turned to Vincent and Nikolai, I understood why. I silently slid my chair back and tapped the twins on their shoulders, gesturing for them to follow me, and we left the soulmates in the kitchen, giving them their privacy.
Collin flopped down on my bed, and Casey sat at his feet, hugging one of the pillows to his chest. “So today, do you want to go shop around? Then we go to the street party tomorrow night, and wherever else you want to for the rest of the week.” The twins nodded. “Sounds good.” Collin said, playing with the end of the pillow. “We definitely have to go to the beach, though.” He added, and I nodded vigorously. “Oh, yeah. That’s a must.”
My door opened, and I faced the soulmates with a grin. “Hello, lovebirds.” They flipped me off, and the twins snickered. “Shopping?” I asked, and they nodded, then left to get ready, as did the twins. Once we were all ready, dressed for the warm weather, I sent out a quick text to Stella, telling her that I’d text as soon as I could. Before I lost the signal, she sent a request for a souvenir.
We drove to the city and parked, then proceeded to browse through stores as the twins and the soulmates got to know one another. I didn’t pay attention to their conversation as my eyes darted around the crowd, hoping to feel that lurch in my chest and the warmth of my necklace as it glowed. Right now, it lay cool against my warm skin, and I tried to suppress the disappointment that wanted to consume me.
‘Why can’t I just find my Half? Why couldn’t Jupiter? Was- was something wrong with us? Are we cursed?’
“Don’t start, Ginevra.” Vincent said sternly, and by the way he said my full name, I could tell it was something serious. I looked at him and he glared down at me. “Don’t start,” he said again, “you will find your Half. Don’t lose hope just yet.”
“I can’t help it, Vinny. I can feel it; something bad is going to happen and I’m going to join Jupiter in the stars.”
Collin whirled on me. “You take that back, right now Ginevra. Take it back.” He spoke lowly, pointing a finger at me. Unshed tears made his light brown eyes glassy, and I sighed shakily, hugging myself. I swallowed, then inhaled deeply. “Okay, I take it back.” Warm hands squeezed my shoulders. “Good.” He murmured, then lowered to meet my eyes. “I’m not losing you too, Ginny. I’ll fight whoever I have to, but I’m not losing you too.” I swallowed again, blinking back the tears that threatened to spill.
God, I felt so pathetic. I bet my aunt Janice would have said the same thing. I could almost hear her voice now, scolding me for feeling weak and hopeless. I wasn’t like this before, but the realization that this is my last year was weighing down on me and I could feel my chest caving in.
“There’s a restaurant that serves some good burgers, we should go there.” Nikolai cut in, directing a soft smile at me. I nodded, and we followed him and Vincent to the place in silence.
The restaurant had a pirate theme, and was decorated with flags and skulls and maps. There were televisions placed strategically around the restaurant, playing sports, or news, or a family movie. There weren’t many patrons, so it was easy for us to find a good table. The menus were already placed neatly, and we picked them up, quickly making a choice. I set the plastic down, and looked around the restaurant.
There was a family with two little girls, and one of them tugged at her father’s sleeve, pulling him to her height so she could whisper something in his ears. The man glanced in our direction, then spoke to his daughter; she bounced on her toes and nodded excitedly, and the man straightened up, heading in the direction of our table. I continued to glance around, taking in the different flags, and secretly wishing that I had a pirate one for myself.
Someone cleared their throat, and I turned to them, expecting a waiter or waitress, but was instead greeted with the man and his daughter.
"Buenos dias.” He said and we returned the greeting. The little girl waved shyly, partially hiding behind her father, and I waved at her, smiling softly. She was an adorable little thing, in pigtails and a cute pink flowered dress. ”Mi hija tiene una pregunta para ti.” He directed at Vincent, and his eyebrows creased, but he smiled kindly at the little girl. ”¿Si, princesita?" he asked, leaning down, and the little girl came out from behind her father a bit more, then spoke up.
“¿Te pones los tatuajes todos los días?" she asked shyly, and I pursed my lips to keep myself from squealing at her cuteness. Casey covered his face, but his grin was visible, and Collin hid behind the menu, grinning into his hand and shaking his head. Nikolai openly gushed, and the little girl blushed, playing the the hem of her dress. Vincent had the widest grin I had ever seen; he touched her head gently, and she looked up at him. “No, cuando me los puse, que no salen.”
Her eyes lit up. “¡Lo sabía!” she whispered and her father chuckled. ”¿Algo más?" he asked and she nodded, turning towards Casey. ”Tu pelo es bonito.” Her tiny face was flushed, and she squealed and ran off as soon as the sentence came out of her mouth. Casey blushed, his hand rubbing the spot over his heart. “Aww.” he whispered, unable to contain his smile. The father laughed, shaking his head, then followed his daughter back to their table.
“She was so adorable, Vinny.” Nikolai said softly, gripping his Half’s forearm. Vincent was still smiling, and he gazed at his Half. “I know, cariño." He murmured, resting his chin atop Nikolai's head. My heart clenched painfully in my chest. Before I could spiral into my dark thoughts again, someone else cleared their throat.
I directed my attention to a beautiful red-haired girl, dressed like a pirate, with the hat and a stuffed parrot perched on her shoulder. She took a breath and was about to speak, but her breath was caught in her throat and her green eyes zeroed in on someone, her necklace glowing brightly beneath her white shirt, even during the day. From the corner of my eye, the same light was glowing, and my head snapped towards Collin, who was staring at the girl, his hands shaking as they hovered over the table. The warm orange light surrounded our table, and Nikolai bounced in his seat, while Casey and Vincent grinned widely.
The notepad and pen slipped out of her hands, and Collin shot out of his seat, rounding the table to stand in front of her and like magnets, they were in each others arms, glowing brightly together. I came out of my shock and squealed loudly, Nikolai joining me.