1. "Is that you?"
Everybody told me not to get married.
"You just have one more year until you graduate, Rebecca," My mom said through the phone the day I told her I was engaged. "Just wait one more year. Get to know him better. Trust me, this is for your own good."
"Remember when you told me that one day that you wouldn't get married until after you were at least twenty-five?" a friend from school, told me over coffee. "Guess that's out the window huh?"
"You've only known him for a year," my mom continued on another occasion. "A year is not enough to get to know someone. You practically don't even know him. Please wait another year."
Of course I didn't listen for one simple and common reason: I fell in love.
I fell in love without even knowing, without thinking.
I had been in love before but this time was different, it always was.
Elena was right. I didn't plan on getting married until after my mid-twenties. I was a big believer of enjoying yourself before committing to someone. Everyone knew things changed when you got married or got together with someone.
I wanted to travel.
I wanted to hang out with friends.
I wanted to have crazy and wild nights I wouldn't remember the next day.
All of that went out the window the moment Damian asked me to marry him.
Everybody told me not to get married...and I didn't listen.
"Are you going to eat that?" I asked my sister looking at the fries.
They looked so lonely and delicious.
Alexa shook her head as she passed the fries across the table. "Nope." she said as she reached for her drink. Alexa never finished her food. She was just one of those girls that didn't eat a lot, at least not when it came to food because she did eat a lot of junk food. Thankfully, I was always here to finish what she didn't eat.
Alexa and I had the same brown eyes and we both had my mom's hips, except Alexa was thinner than I was. I was thick and after years of hating the fact that I didn't have thin legs, I had finally accepted the fact that this was my body and I had to love it. So I had thick thighs and wide hips. Many girls wished they had your body, Elena always used to tell me.
I was much heavier when I graduated from high school. The summer before I began college, I began to work on myself. I began to cut down the sugars and began to run every morning and every night.
I yearned to feel good about myself. Yearned for clothes to fit me the way I wanted them to. I guess that was my motivation.
To this day, I run from time to time but now I do it to relieve stress. It's not really about losing weight anymore, it's about maintaining it. I have managed to reach a point where I am comfortable with my body and I will always be proud of myself for that.
"Can we go now?" Alexa asked as she looked around.
I had brought her to Disneyland for her birthday. She turned eighteen today and she had never been to Disneyland so while the idea of being in California for the weekend made me nervous, my sister's happiness was more important and she was pretty damn pleased with my gift.
Alexa was the most important person to me. She was above everything and everyone. Sometimes it was hard to believe she was eighteen already...she going to college in the fall. Far away from me. I knew she had to go and live her own life, I just wanted to protect her I guess.
I nodded as I stood up with the food tray. "Yeah, come on." I said as I threw away the trash and began to gather out things.
It was Saturday so it was pretty busy. We arrived yesterday and spent it on the smaller park so we could dedicate a whole day to the bigger park today.
I smiled as Alexa looked at everything excitedly, making her look like a little girl. She had big eyes and a light brown mole just below her right eye. She had a slight bump on the top of her nose, which was the result of someone throwing a hard shoe at her face in school when she was little. It was barely noticeable but I'm sure she saw it bigger than it was. Alexa was pretty, then again I was obviously biased. I knew she looked like me and if she was pretty then so was I and no one liked to think of themselves as ugly so there you have it.
While we looked alike, we were different. For starters, she was more outgoing than me. At 17, my face was hidden behind books and I only had one true friend. Alexa liked to read but not as much as I did and she had her little circle of friends. She had someone to go with the mall with or to go to the theater with. I often found myself having no one to go watch a damn movie with. That changed when I got to college though. I became a more social person and it changed me.
We spent the rest of the day waiting behind long lines before we could get on most rides but it was fun for the most part. It was early March so the weather was really nice. It wasn't too hot or too cold which was one of the reasons I decided to come in the first place. The first time I came to Disneyland I came in mid-June and it was a really big mistake. It was too hot to enjoy anything.
We got to the hotel at around midnight. I laid on the bed checking the balances of the credit cards while Alexa got in the shower. I had been planning this trip for months mostly because I had to be sure whether or not we were gonna come so I could ask for the days off at work. It was spring break, so Alexa won't have school for the whole week.
"I don't want to go back." Alexa said as she combed her hair. Her hair was brown and long reaching down to her waist. She turned to look at me. "Can we go to the beach tomorrow?" She pouted. "Please?"
I rolled my eyes at her. "Alexa, you know I have to get back to work on Tuesday."
"Exactly." She said. "We don't have to stay another day. We can just go in the morning for an hour or so. Rebecca, come on. I've never seen the beach."
I stared at her for a moment. It was hard not to feel bad. It was my fault we rarely went anywhere. I had a full time job and I couldn't take the luxury of missing days at work. The bills didn't pay themselves. I knew Alexa tried to understand but there were days when she would be extra moody because I wouldn't let her travel with her friends. I hated to be the strict sister but I was scared that something would happen to her if I took my eyes off of her for a second. I didn't care that she was eighteen, to me she would always be a little girl that needed to be protected.
I sighed. "Fine."
She smiled then ran to hug me. "Yes! Thank you!"
"Yeah, yeah." I said but I was smiling.
She smiled as she threw herself on the bed. She was laying on her stomach with a pillow propped below her chin as she went through her phone.
I stood up and got ready to get in the shower. It had been a long day and I felt dirty. As I showered, my mind began to wonder which only made me worry. We were supposed to head back home tomorrow in the morning.
Staying a few hours won't hurt, I told myself. There are many beaches in California. It is practically impossible...
I showered quickly and by the time I got out, Alexa was sound asleep. I rolled my eyes when I saw that she was still on top of the covers. I rolled her over then pulled the blanket off from under her and then rolled her back and covered her.
It wasn't easy to go to sleep that night. I laid on the bed as my mind continued to wonder. I thought about things I hadn't thought about in a long time; things I knew I was only thinking about because I was close...
Beverly Hills was still about two hours away from where I was so it wasn't too close. I knew I was just worrying for nothing. Alexa and I would be heading back home before I knew it and then I could just go back to life as I know it...
The next morning, Alexa and I woke up around nine to have breakfast and then we headed back to the room to pack our things. I checked out of the hotel and then we got on the road. It took about thirty minutes to get to Newport Beach, which was my personal favorite beach. It was around eleven when we got there.
"Oh my god!" Alexa said as we got out of the car. "There is so much water!" she said as she stared at the beach.
"It is a beach." I said, teasing her. "Come on." I said as we began to make our way into the sand. I took off my sandals, I loved the feeling of the soft sand against my feet.
"Wow." Alexa said as she stared at it. She took out her phone and began to take pictures.
I looked around as we walked closer. There were a few people. Some of them were sitting down, others were playing around the water, and I could also see a volleyball game going on a few feet away. I used to play volleyball in college so watching them play made me think about the past for the hundredth time this weekend.
"Rebecca, look, it's so pretty!" Alexa said.
I turned and we both watched the waves as they turned, making their way towards us. The water came towards Alexa who was too close making her get all wet.
"AHH!" she screamed. "My phone!"
I laughed as she ran to me. "You're worse than a five-year-old."
She checked her phone then relaxed when she saw it was okay. She handed it to me. "Here, take some pictures of me."
I spent the next few minutes as my sister's personal photographer until her phone began to ring. It was her best friend face timing her.
I stood, my feet in the water, and stared at the view in front of me for a moment. Alexa was a few feet away face timing with her friend.
I was standing there, thinking about how much I've missed the sound of the waves when I heard someone say,
"Rebecca, is that you?"
And I knew I was in trouble.