Five Fifteen

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We’ll be having 2weeks break before the second semester starts. Jack and I passed our first sem with good grades. He and I never really stayed in touch after our final exam. For our semestral break I know I’ll be stuck here at our house together with my mom and dad who had nothing better to do than read newspapers and watch the television to get some intel of what’s happening outside our home. They can be as boring as a sloth but they worked hard enough and saved up a lot of money, it’s time for them to take some rest. I walked up the stairs and headed to my room as I felt the heat burning my skin but despite that, I still crawled into my bed and wrapped myself up with my blanket. After several minutes of laying down and doing nothing I finally decided to take a shower. When I got out of the bathroom, I put some clothes on and that’s when I heard someone ring the doorbell. My mom answered the door immediately and I decided to peek from the little hole beneath my room’s wall but my mom was blocking my view and I couldn’t see who it was. I was curious “Who could this person be? No one really visited our home for a very long time, why now?"—I’m just hoping that it’s not my aunt Helen because I always get irritated when she’s here. She literally asks questions that will probably offend everybody around her. I stood up and I was about to go back to bed when I heard my mom yell my name.—“Tyler! Tyler! Get your ass down here! Jack’s here!.” I was completely baffled and my thoughts were like a whole set of puzzle pieces that I couldn’t solve. I walked down as I approached him with a completely perplexed look.

“Hey! Tyler” he greeted me looking so happy and excited as if he was delighted to see me.

“Hey! What’s up Jack? What brings you here?”

“I just realized that I haven’t got the chance to thank you properly for helping me. I want to take you somewhere if that’s okay with you. You know? I just don’t know what to do to pay back the favor that I owe you.”

I can tell that my mom and dad were listening to our conversation. After Jack spoke he then glanced at them with uneasiness drawn on his face like he’s asking their permission to let me come with him. I can tell that he’s nervous. After my mom realized what Jack is really trying to do she approached us and then she asked “So you’re trying to get our permission to take our son out?”

“If it’s okay with you and Mr. Cohen I’d like to take Tyler with me to the beach near the Southern Provincial park.”

“What for? And if I give you my permission will you bring our son back before midnight?”—I somehow understand her for being a scrupulous type of a mother to me since I’m an only child but I’m getting embarrassed at the same time because for christ sake I’m 18 now. She shouldn’t keep on treating me as if I’m still a child because at some point I’ll get to be an adult and make decisions on my own, live on my own and be with some people I want to be with but I won’t be able to do those things if she keeps up with this act.

Jack stared at my mom for seconds, hesitantly before he gave his answer “Just a simple act to thank him for everything he has done to me and we’ll be off tomorrow morning so that before midnight I can make sure to bring Tyler back here with you guys.”

“Very well. Tyler go back to your room and pack all your clothes that you’ll be needing tomorrow for your little get away trip with Jack.”—She smiled at him as she closed the door. Right before she completely shuts it, I’ve seen Jack’s eyes looking and trying to make contact with me and when my eyes finally met his, he then said “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

The next day my alarm goes off by 6:30am. I snoozed it for the next 5mins but my mom rushed into my room and made me get off my bed. The lack of sleep last night made me somnolent. My head played a lot of games with me last night. It didn’t let me sleep properly. Kept on asking “Why would Jack really take me there?"—my mind was really good in being in a delirious state last night, that’s what kept me up for at least until 2am in the morning. Jack arrived at our house by exactly 7:15am. I was carrying a small backpack and a cooler with drinks on it with me when I answered the door.

“Are you ready?” he asked with a wide smile on his face that probably boosted my energy and got me hype for my first road trip that I won’t be having together with my parents but with someone I want know more.

“Yeah. Let’s go.” He grabbed my things and put it on the trunk of his car and then he said to my mom “We’ll be off Mrs. Cohen. I’ll make sure to take care of your son and bring him back before midnight.”

We made a lot of stop overs as we travelled down the road. By 11am we got to the beach then got ourselves a cottage where we can put our things and rest if ever we get tired of swimming. The first thing we did was to eat at one of the bars that was there. Actually I was the only one who ate because Jack just ordered a beer while I ordered a steak and for my drink I just asked the waiter to give me a glass of water. After eating, Jack asked me to go and get changed so I did. When I got out of the changing room I saw him leaning on a white wall waiting for me. He’s wearing a black board shorts and red slippers. And when I scanned his body I noticed that he has a small tattoo on his chest that says “A.M”. It’s probably the initials of his mother or someone he loved before. As I looked at him what came to my mind first was that he’s not that beefy and so I assumed that he doesn’t work out a lot but I’d say he’s an average. I mean even though he’s not a stud, he can be good enough to anyone. He got the looks, deep dark eyes that’ll make you wonder far down through his soul and of course, a fit body. Hate to admit it but I prefer a man with a sturdy and healthy body but somehow I still believe that if I find the love that I deserve and want, the idea of everything that I fancy will vanish in an instant. I walked towards him then he grabbed my hand in urgency as he pulled me to the seashore. I can feel the hotness of the sands as my feet walk through it. The weather was incredibly perfect, the sun is up high and it’s not even cloudy. I can feel the humid air touching my skin as I run towards the sea together with Jack holding my hand. As soon as my feet touched the water I dipped my whole body to it. The waves kept on coming and crashing against our backs as we let ourselves go with its flow and suddenly Jack’s hands started splashing water at me. It was childish but I did the same. And after a few seconds my eyes swiftly caught Jack staring at me and when he finally realized that I saw him, he swam a little bit closer to me.

“This kind of fun and excitement is really delightful don’t you think Ty?” he was almost shouting because the waves along with a pool of people talking, made it hard for us to hear each other’s voices.

“It is! I feel like we should do this more often!.”

“Couldn’t agree more!”

We swam for about half an hour and then we went back to our cottage to rest for a bit. He grabbed his towel and dried his body with it. After drying himself up he sat on the left side of the cottage near its exit and then he closed his eyes while I sat down at the opposite side of him. Inside of where Jack and I were staying there’s a small round table at the center and the cottage has a square shape so each side has a seat good for 4 people maybe. After several minutes of resting I decided to stand and grab a beer or a soda from our cooler that we forgot to bring with us and left it inside the car. Even as I passed through the doorway he seized my hand—“Stay here for a little longer. Sit here, be my pillow.” Forasmuch as he wanted to lay his head on my lap, I too wanted to be of service to him. So instead of getting a drink I chose to stay and be with him for a little while. I watched him as he fell asleep and in just a few more minutes I flaked out.

Over the succeeding hours, the people around got more boisterous and it got me waken and roused. When I stood up that’s just when I realized that Jack’s gone. I didn’t worry because for all we know we are on a beach and he could just be wandering around and enjoying himself. After an hour that’s when I fretted about the fact that he hasn’t still come back. I started looking for him but he’s nowhere to be found. I asked the staffs if they have seen him as I describe his characteristics to them, I even asked random people and entreated them that if ever they see him tell him that I was looking for him. I ran towards the seashore again hoping that he’s walking somewhere there and that he was about to go back to our cottage and I was right. He was there. I saw him.. walking right beside the sea. He looked troubled as if his tears will burst out shortly. I called out his name several times and when I finally lay hold of his attention he started to run in my direction and as soon as he got ahold of me he pulled my body to his chest and held me tight.

“I was worried that something happened to you.”

“What? What could possibly happen to me here? Besides I was the one who was worried. Where’ve you been? I’ve looked for you everywhere but I couldn’t find you.”

“I’m so sorry. An old man approached me when I got out of the rest room, he told me that his boat was stuck and so he needed help so I came with him and assisted the guy. I should’ve told you.”

“Oh.. no,” I shook my head—“it’s okay. I understand. It’s just that~”

“Wait.” He interrupted me as I was speaking. —“Hold your thought for just a moment.” He then blindfolded my eyes with his hands as he guided my body in a certain direction.

“Okay here goes nothin’. Look Ty,” he removed his hands to my eyes as he slid it to my shoulders and then he pointed above “beautiful isn’t it?” When I looked up I saw a defiant sky dappled with clouds and as the sun sets it leaves a burning color that I could describe as tranquil and gorgeous. I couldn’t tell him how mesmerized I was by it because it got me speechless. In a jiff we stood there appreciating what we were seeing. After several minutes we spent there standing by each other’s side Jack finally asked me to go back to the cottage and get our things so we could already go home. When we finally got to the cottage, we grabbed our things then we headed to his car. Before I could even get the chance to hold the car’s door he rushed towards it then he opened it for me. As I entered his car he put his hand above my head, a gesture that he’s protecting me from bumping my head to the roof of his car. A gentleman he is, indeed. We once again travelled down the road but this time we’re heading back home, no more excitement and no more thrill. We were extremely quiet, no one spoke between the two of us until I couldn’t stand the silence and asked him a question discreetly.

“Back at the beach, why did you look so worried when you didn’t find me at the cottage? What made you think that something happened to me Jack?” he looked at me quickly then he turned his eyes back at the road as he come up with an answer

“I know I should’ve told you this before we even started this trip but I couldn’t. I saw your face, it shines Ty. I didn’t want to ruin our moment together.”
He got me nervous. I turned my gaze upon him —“Why? What is it Jack?”

“I didn’t just bring you there just to have some fun. Every year I always come back to that very same coast because it feels like my body and mind drifts away from the moment I last saw my mom alive. I couldn’t visit her at her grave because I still feel guilty of what happened so instead I go there reminisce our life back then.” His eyes were on the verge of crying. I felt like I shouldn’t have asked him in the first place. He looked at me again reassuring me.

“Ty don’t worry. I’m fine. I know you’re thinking that you shouldn’t have asked but trust me, it’ll come out eventually.” I couldn’t tell him anything, my mind together with my thoughts and mouth froze and I couldn’t think and say anything. Dumb as I was, I still asked him more about his mom. He smiled at me in a nostalgic way and then he began telling me every good thing about her. After apprising me about his mom he then moved on to his father.

“You might be wondering why I still feel guilty of what happened. Well I’ll give all the credits to my dad. After my mom drowned he blamed me for it, day after day. But don’t get the wrong idea. He’s a good man and perhaps it was really all my fault after all we weren’t supposed to be there but I forced them to go. That impelled them to just give me what I want.”

He also said that when he got tired of his dad spewing all the bullshit to him he left their house and as he was wandering the streets that’s when Mr. Hunter found him. He also added that the professor who spotted him let him stay in his house, fed him, treated him like he’s his own son and that he even enrolled him to where he was working.—“Ever since then I never knew what happened to my dad. I never came back for him.”

I listened to everything that he said as if I didn’t know anything about it but to be fair, there are things that Mr. Hunter left unsaid and I just heard some of it from Jack himself “I’m sorry for everything that happened Jack.”

“Don’t be.” Again he turned his head towards me then pulled the car at the middle of the tunnel that we just entered. Afterwards he turned off its engine and I couldn’t see anything because there was no light at all—“Before I even forget to tell you. I dreamt about my mom a while back when we were napping at the cottage. I introduced you to her and she was delighted. She’s very fond of you, you know?” he held my hand and he drew his body close to me. I can hear my heart beat faster and faster as his face came up to me so close. Even though it’s dark and I merely see things around I can feel how near his face is. I could smell the cherry flavored beer that he drank earlier at the beach. His breath has its own way of inviting my lips to osculate his mouth. Shortly I closed my eyes and I could already feel his lips against mine, his tongue as it twists together with my own tongue. For a moment it’s like time itself had stopped right there, as if nothing else existed and mattered than just the two of us. I merely wished I could see him as we were doing this but I have not even caught a glimpse of his face because of the darkness surrounding us, it was pitch dark. I’m not sure if it’s really Jack was the one who kissed me or was it just his mind tricked him into a perfect situation that led him to this decision that he’ll probably regret the next day he wakes up. As our lips departed he whispered “I should probably get you home.” He started the car and drove out the tunnel, the moment we got out of it and I finally saw his face, I looked at him and in my mind I’m begging him not to take me home and instead take me somewhere else we could be alone together.

“You know that I don’t want to take you back home Tyler. But I shouldn’t break the promise I made with your mom. This is the first time I took you out with their permission and I want this to happen again. So I better not break your parent’s trust to me right?”

“You’re right Jack. We should just go home and leave things as they are.”

I can tell that for the past eighteen years that I’ve been living, it was the first time I felt so alive. Everything that happened that day was perfect and faultless.
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