College graduation day. A day that most people look forward to their whole lives, yet something feels like it was missing for me today. I know my mom would have been so proud of me and would have been the loudest one in the audience, but every milestone feels dull since I lost her almost 10 years ago. She was my best friend, but she was taken from me way too soon. It wasn’t fair and it never will be.
My father had already sent me a graduation card from prison, just like he does everything else since taking my mom away from me. I feel like I’m the only one whose parents are missing out on this moment, but I’m sure I’m not. At this point I’m just thankful my brother, Carter, has been there for me every step of the way.
As I flash back to reality, my nerves a mess, I’m standing outside in a grass field at the bottom of the graduation stage waiting for my name to be called. Honestly, after high school I never thought I’d stand through another one of these boring things, but I could just hear my mom giving me shit for it, so this one’s for her. The sun is beating down on us which is a welcome surprise in Chicago this early in the year, and I can smell spring awakening around us. As I look out into the full crowd my nerves start getting the best of me and I have the sudden urge to bolt back up the aisles, but that would be more dramatic and embarrassing than just walking across the stage at this point.
I spot my brother somewhere on the left hand side of the audience towards the middle, all by himself per usual, my cheering section of one. His strawberry blonde hair is catching the sun perfectly as he waves noticing I found him. Our mom blessed us both with our natural red hair, but somehow he got the very faint tint of red while I got the bright copper color that’s hard to miss just like hers was.
“Ellianna Adams,” the speaker announced my name, catching me by surprise since I didn’t realize I was already next. Okay... here we go. Don’t overthink, just walk up the stairs, say thank you, and walk back down. I see Carter rise to his feet with a striking grin across his face, clapping as hard as possible.
“Congratulations Miss Adams,” our Dean says as I pass by with my purple gown blowing in the wind that accompanies the sunshine.
I’m so glad to never have to sit through this ceremony again, and after tomorrow I’ll be headed to Greece for the next 6 weeks for a position I accepted with Trevino Properties, a 5 star hotel chain with a location not far from where I grew up in Chicago. I was hired in their events department which was a huge shock. Events can be so hard to get into right out of college but with the internship I did last summer with a local event venue they decided to offer me a position so long as I complete the 6 week event training so I’m headed to Greece to complete it and start my career!
As the ceremony finally finishes, I head down right away to see my brother so we can get out of here. I pass a few friends I’ve made from different classes and say a quick congratulations until I finally find Carter in the back near a tree on his phone waiting.
“Hey Ellie! Congratulations dude, get over here!” Carter yells as he finally looks up to see me barreling over to him. He’s wearing his usual blue dress pants and crisp, white button up dress shirt but with no suit jacket today like he does for work. Instead he has a beige dress jacket on and honestly, I kind of like this look on him but I won’t tell him or he’ll get embarrassed.
“I’m so proud of you, Elle. Mom would be too, I was imagining all the comments and noise she’d be making through the whole ceremony. She would have been so embarrassing but so proud,” he says with a shy smile as he lets me out of his bear arms.
“I was thinking the same thing,” I respond with a giggle as we start the long walk back to the car.
“Ellie Adams, you are not about to leave without even texting me to see where I am are you?” I hear from my left. I recognize my best friend’s voice immediately, she’s bounding up to me so fast in her matching purple cap and gown, yet somehow still looks like a model with her flowing dark hair perfectly styled to fit in her grad cap. She graduated today as well but with her degree in accounting so her graduation was in a different location at a different time than mine. We had plans to meet up later to celebrate, but clearly that wasn’t enough for her.
“Madds! I didn’t think you’d be done yet, we were just on our way out!” She pulls me into a hug swaying back and forth while she screeches in excitement. She pulls my brother into a quick hug too, they’re practically siblings at this point after all these years.
“Congrats, Maddie” he says with a smile as he squeezes her. “I wish I could have been at both ceremonies, you know I wouldn’t have missed it if I had the choice.” She smiles back showing her perfectly aligned teeth.
“Oh it’s cool, you know I had my own little cheering section! Elle, are we still celebrating tonight? I say champagne and packing is the perfect way to celebrate! Should we start at your house or mine?” Did I mention Madeline was coming to Greece with me for the 6 weeks? She hasn’t found a job yet so when she found out my hotel room was free and that I could bring one person along, she decided to come too and enjoy her last bit of freedom before entering corporate America. It’s all she’s been talking about since I accepted the offer.
“Let’s start at my house. You know I desperately need your help picking outfits, I’m already worried about it! The sooner it’s done, the better I’ll feel” we both laugh as we begin to part.
“I’ll be over at five with the champagne, you bring the snacks” she yells over her shoulder as she heads back to her parents who just came out of the building behind us.
24 hours until I’m on a plane with my best friend to adventure in Greece for six weeks.
I’m standing in the living room of my brother’s 2 bedroom apartment on the 10th floor of a Chicago high rise looking at the view one last time before we head to the airport. This view literally never gets old. I’m such a city girl, I know I’m going to miss the Chicago skyline while I’m gone but can it compete with Greece?
Despite going for work, I was told there would be a lot of down time to explore as well. I’d have two weeks of consistent Monday through Friday training and then the remainder of the four weeks I’ll only be shadowing during events to get a feel for how the best property in the company handles their events.
Carter strolls out of his bedroom meeting me in the living room. He’s dressed in black joggers, a white hoodie, white sneakers, and a white Nike baseball hat. He’s honestly got more style than I do, but that’s really not saying much.
Since it’s still a little chilly in Chicago I decided on a simple look of black leggings, black Nike sneakers, a white tank top, and gray cardigan for flying. We have about 15 hours of traveling ahead of us so I’m just looking for comfort. I pulled my red hair up into a messy bun and added a little mascara as I do everyday since my eyelashes are red too and called it a day. I have such a basic wardrobe so I’m glad I have Madds to spice me up a little bit when needed.
“You just about ready, kid?” Carter stands next to me with his arm around my shoulders taking a look out at the view that I still can’t take my eyes off of. I’m proud of him for all he’s done for himself. From being an 18 year old kid with little to no responsibility except a part time job to gaining full custody of his 13 year old sister and taking over all parental duties amongst financial duties, he never had it easy but he always managed.
He was never able to go to college because of everything, but a year after our mom passed away and our dad was officially sent to prison, he was offered a position through a mutual friend at an insurance agency. Carter is insanely smart and I hate that I got in the way of seeing his true potential, but he quickly grew to one of the highest earning insurance sales agents in his company. He was able to sell our childhood home in the suburbs of Chicago which luckily was completely paid off prior to everything happening and move us into a stunning 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment in downtown Chicago where we’ve been ever since. I was able to change schools and get a fresh start from the gossip that surrounded everything that went down.
As we both look at each other again with a slight pause, he grabs my bags and heads for the door.
Forty minutes later we find ourselves in front of Maddie who’s waiting at the entrance of the airport dressed in a black and white Nike jogger set with her hair in a perfect messy bun and sunglasses sitting on top of her head. It’s aggravating that she even looks like a model in an outfit like this, but I love her.
“WE’RE GOING TO GREECE, BITCHES” she yells through the airport as she plows me over in a big hug and then wraps her arms around mine and Carter’s shoulders. We’re all laughing but per usual, my face is completely red because I hate any attention being brought in our direction, Madds on the other hand gets attention no matter where she is.
Carter walks us over to the check in area and wraps me in a big hug for what seems like ages. “This is probably the longest we’ve been away from each other, right?” He lifts me off the ground squishing my entire body in his arms.
“Yeah dude, that’s probably enough though I can’t breathe” and he puts me down with a laugh. “Besides, you deserve a break from my annoying ass, you’ve dealt with me nonstop for 10 years. 6 weeks without me will do you good I think. Maybe find a girlfriend or something?”
He smirks and rolls his eyes at me. “I don’t have time for a girlfriend, especially while I’ll be worrying about what kind of havoc your friend over here can wreak on the poor people of Mykonos in a matter of six weeks.” We all break out into laughter as Madeline crosses her arms over her chest and rolls her eyes.
“Please... they’ll be lucky to have me. Chicago’s gonna miss this!” She states confidently with an evil look on her face. Carter and I roll our eyes at her confidence, but it’s why we love her. She’s always the center of attention, especially with the way she looks. She doesn’t even realize how absolutely stunning she is, but if her looks didn’t draw you in, her personality absolutely would. She’s the full package.
“Yeah, yeah. You two have fun, please be safe, remember what happened in ‘Taken’ okay? Lock every door and window immediately and don’t talk to strangers. I’ll check in everyday to make sure you’re both still alive.” I roll my eyes. He’s always been overprotective of both of us. Madds has no siblings, and since I didn’t have parents after the age of 13, she spent all her time away from her strict Filipino mom at our house, her American dad understanding completely.
“Carter, we’re staying at a 5 star resort. I think we’ll be okay? I love you, I’ll keep you updated on everything going on” I assure him to help calm his nerves. I can tell he’s anxious about being alone for the first time in 10 years.
“Sounds good, Elle. Love you too, text me when you land.” He wraps both Maddie and I in a group hug and kisses us both on the forehead. He turns around swiftly with a quick sniffle and walks out the door turning around only once to blow us both a dramatic kiss like the softy he is.
“We’re going to Greece bitches” I say quietly but excitedly so that only Maddie can hear me. She laughs hysterically and wraps her arm around my shoulders as we walk through the airport.
15 hours of traveling later and we’ve finally landed in Mykonos, Greece. Everything about this place is beautiful so the taxi ride goes by so quickly as we point out different things from our separate sides. I pull out my phone quickly to send Carter a quick ‘Here and safe’ text.
All the buildings are built into the side of the island overlooking the ocean. It’s better than the photos I had researched before coming. We’re both completely in awe of everything we’re seeing.
As we pull up to the hotel we’ll call home for the next month and a half, we’re even more shocked. It is a stunning series of buildings with a white exterior that gives the resort a modern style compared to some of the other buildings and resorts we’ve passed. The lobby is stark white with ocean views and gold accents in the artwork throughout. I try to keep myself from reacting but I can’t keep my jaw off the floor. I can’t believe this is an actual place. Maddie doesn’t at all keep the shock off her face, she dropped all her bags dramatically on the floor and started spinning in slow circles to take in every detail of the lobby.
“Miss Adams?” I hear a voice from behind the desk.
“Uh, yes, that’s me but you can call me Ellie,” I say to the dark skinned, dark haired man behind the desk. He’s tall, skinny and has on an expensive looking, perfectly fitted tan suit with white shirt and light blue tie. He’s pretty young, maybe only in his mid 30s.
“It’s so great to meet you, we’ve been awaiting your arrival. I’m Stamos, Director of Events here at Trevino Mykonos.” He smiles and puts out his hand for a handshake. As we shake hands he looks to Maddie and says “ah, you must be Miss. Zolan. Welcome to our property!”
“Thank you so much, please, call me Maddie. I’m excited to be here, it’s absolutely beautiful” she says with a huge grin on her face, definitely still in shock.
Stamos smiles and motions for us to follow him. It’s about one in the afternoon so the sun is full blast on the island over the crystal blue ocean as we head out of the open air lobby and into the main area of the resort which is a deck overlooking the blue infinity pool and ocean. The area is filled with all white tables and chairs with matching umbrellas, white lounge chairs are at the very end of the deck next to the clear railing that surrounds it. There’s a couple sitting at one of the tables, two guys in suits at another table looking over some paperwork, and a single elderly lady relaxing in one of the lounge chairs.
Stamos leads us down one of the tan stone paths and up a flight of stairs. He brings us to room 42 where he unlocks and opens the door for us. The room follows the same theme with off white walls, white tile floors, white bedding and furniture, and beige window curtains. Our room looks like some kind of suite with a main seating area immediately when you walk in, a kitchenette with a medium sized refrigerator, microwave, small stove and some counter space. The windows overlook the ocean perfectly which makes the view the focal point of the room. Off to the right is a door that leads into our bedroom where there are two queen sized beds and a door to a bathroom which keeps the same white, modern style as the rest of the room. There’s an all glass shower and a soaking tub with a double sink which is perfect for us. Maddie spends way too much time in the bathroom getting ready, this will make my life so much easier. There are two different closets in the room, both large enough to fit everything we brought and again we spot the stunning view of the ocean. This may actually be a dream but I don’t want to pinch myself to find out.
“We had this room available throughout your stay and figured you could both use a little more space for your home away from home,” Stamos says with a beaming smile. Maddie is already out on our balcony taking in the view.
“This is absolutely perfect, thank you so much” I respond graciously. Seriously, this couldn’t be any better.
“Glad to hear, lunch is being served now in the main dining area until 3pm, dinner is from 4pm to 8pm and breakfast is served from 7am to 10am. We also have a few restaurants on site that you’re welcome to try out at no cost, but feel free to go explore locally and eat your way through town! There’s the best family owned restaurant only about a five minute walk from here called Apollo’s, and next to it is my favorite bar, Astra. It’s definitely the place to be every night. Other than that, enjoy the rest of today and tomorrow. We’ll get started with your training Monday morning at 8:30am. Let the front desk know if there’s anything you need, all the employees are pretty cool and helpful.”
“Awesome, thank you so much. I know Maddie will want to check out Astra, maybe we’ll see you there this weekend!” He smiles and nods. Maddie comes back into the room just as Stamos is getting ready to leave.
“Enjoy your time ladies!” With that, he opens the door and exits back out into the clear blue skies and sunshine.
Madds and I start unpacking and getting everything settled. Maddie turned on what she calls her “hot girl playlist” and Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion are echoing through our room.
“So... what should we do tonight?” Maddie asks with her head tilted and her eyes on me as she hangs more of her clothes in her closet.
“Stamos said dinner starts at 4pm, I’m pretty hungry” I respond.
“Yeah, yeah. Food. Whatever. What are we doing after that?” her eyes are slightly squinted and there’s a smirk forming across her face. Clearly she already knows what she wants to do.
“Well... he did mention a bar that he liked that was only a five minute walk...” I slowly let out awaiting her reaction.
“Then it’s settled!” she excitedly. “What should we wear? I can’t wait!!”
After our night out on our first night in Mykonos, we decided to lay low and relax for the first two weeks while my training schedule is heavier. The bar Stamos recommended was actually more of a nightclub than a bar. Maddie’s been spending her days by the pool job hunting while I’ve been in training and then we meet back at the room around 5pm when I’m done to grab dinner. We’ve tried out a few of the restaurants on property as well. Our nights are spent drinking wine on our balcony or taking trips to the many hot tubs around the resort. I think we counted 6 total jacuzzis.
Since it’s Friday and my last day of regular training, we decided to head back to Astro tonight to finally get off property for a bit since I don’t work again until tomorrow evening for a wedding taking place at the hotel.
Maddie already looks perfect per usual. She’s wearing a black and white two piece skirt set and crop top. The skirt barely covers her ass but she’s so tiny that it doesn’t matter. The crop top is sleeveless on one side and long sleeve on the other. She matches it with a pair of thigh high black boots and some petite gold chains around her neck. Her dark chocolate hair is slicked back into a ponytail Ariana Grande style and her matching chocolate eyes are surrounded by dark eyeliner, gold eyeshadow and red lipstick. She literally pulls off any look she tries. It’s insane.
I’m just finishing up my makeup when she brings in a dress for me to look at. It’s a simple red dress with spaghetti straps and a V-neck cut, but it looks extremely form fitting. Maddie has the body of a model, very slim with slight curves in all the right places, I’m a little more on the curvy side. Not large by any means, but certainly not her size.
“Madds, there’s no way that’s gonna fit me. We’re not the same size, you know that.” I point out with hesitation. She rolls her eyes.
“I bought it for you in your size, Elle. I saw it at the boutique near the lobby and you know how much I love when you wear red” she says with a cheesy smile looking super proud of herself. “Just try it on, I can always return it” she begs as she hands it over to me. I eye her with caution as I take the dress out of her hand and push her out of the bathroom so I can try it on.
I was pleasantly surprised by how well the dress actually fit. It looked so small in her hands, but it hugs my body nicely. It isn’t too short, it comes about four inches above my knee but it is definitely form fitting. My ass looks like a Kardashian in this dress and the V-neck of the dress makes my boobs look almost fake. To be honest, I’m not complaining. I’d never pick this out for myself but per usual, my best friend knows best.
I open the door and Maddie turns around and starts squealing when she sees me. “That dress was made for you Elle, holy shit!!!” she yells at me as she comes over and forces me to spin around. She saunters over to her closet and hands me a pair of black strappy heels to go with it. I finish off with my red lipstick that happens to match the dress perfectly and some blush.
“Ellianna Louise Adams, you look like a force to be reckoned with. There better be some hot guys there tonight so these outfits aren’t a total waste, because darling we look ravishing!” Maddie squeals out.
“Madds, how many times do I have to tell you my middle name is not Louise” I let out, laughing hysterically and shaking my head.
“Girl, it just flows and I can’t help myself...” she giggles but is mostly serious. She’s called me that since as long as I can remember. With that comment, we’re both walking out the door ready to have a good night.