*apologies for the limited amount of images, had some technical difficulties, more again next chapter*
The small propeller jet huffed, puffed and chattered through the air, evidently through some turbulences as we were bounced around like popcorn in a hot pan.
Beneath us thick puffy clouds and on and off a glimpse of thick, luscious green in various shades.
“Ladies and gentlemen, well, all four of you back there, at least that was the count before the turbulences, ha ha ha… this is your captain speaking, name’s still Jack Derry. Pretty foggy today, sorry guys, usually you can see really far right about now, but …” the intercom cracked and creaked, then suddenly the engines shut off and it got bumpy again, when with some complaining the engines howled up and chattered on again. I grabbed Blaine’s arm, looking at him, terrified.
“Blaine, what is going on?!”
“I don’t know, babygirl, I am not a pilot. And if I were, I’d be a shitty one if I am back here with you instead of in the cockpit.” he smirked.
“Blaine … this does not sound good at all!”
“Relax, babygirl. Actually, I think that will be my next tattoo. ‘Relax babygirl’ in capital letters on my forehead.”
“How can you joke right now?!” I stared at him, bewildered.
The intercom stuttered then we heard the pilot again.
“Whoooo, that was close, almost didn’t make it there. Ha ha, just kidding folks, we just had to restart one of the engines to make it synch up right again. We should reach our destination in about – oh, I’d say 20 minutes, give or take. I do have some bad news for you folks, weather is pretty gloomy, rainy and foggy, and predicted to stay that way for the next few days. This place is really beautiful in the sun, so I hope you get to see it at least once but you know what they say, about jungles and rain…” the intercom went off again.
“What do they say about jungles and rain?” I asked Blaine.
“Have no idea, probably that it sucks in combination.”
“Are you related to the pilot? He sounds like you. Same stupid jokes.”
“With my mother and father, no telling. But I am hilarious.” he winked at me.
Luckily we made it, the landing was rough, even though Blaine grinned the whole way through, while I nearly needed a diaper change and just about dropped to the solid ground and kissed it, when we finally stepped off that blessed plane.
I wished vampiric teleporting were a lot less complicated, I’d have frigging teleported myself and Blaine back into civilization.
First impression: OMG!
It was already almost dark, air was stuffy, humid, immediately I heard insects buzzing around, it smelled weird, there were people everywhere, dressed in all colors known to man and it rained. Poured! Blaine grabbed my hand and dragged me to a small hut, evidently the local interpretation of a reception, he got the keys, some instructions and directions and dragged me with him down the street, sorry, that would be an insult to streets all over the world. A muddy dirt road, where we sank in up to our ankles. All I heard was a smacking sound as we walked. Yuck.
The cabin was just as crappy and overly sickeningly colorful as the rest of everything here. I was so disappointed.
“Come on babygirl, let’s sit outside.” Blaine still looked excited and I hated to be a party pooper.
The front porch was covered and it turned out to be a nice evening, there was a fireplace outside, and Blaine had a bug zapper lamp so there we were, huddled together in the jungle, snuggling and kissing to the sound of pouring rain and the occasional bug getting zapped with a short, vicious hissing sound, sometimes accompanied with a brief flash of light. Romantic, huh?
While I loved Blaine more than anything, I could not help thinking that this vacation was doomed from the start. I could not see this improving anytime soon and started a mental countdown till we could finally leave again, even though I was not looking forward to getting on that geriatric plane again, which took us from the large international airport to this forgotten piece of … whatever.Eventually we decided to get rest, I was actually tired, even though I was a vampire needing much less rest than a mortal. Blaine felt romantic and amorous so we made love in a foreign country far away from any civilization except that tiny village nearby, while I kept hearing strange and scary sounds and could barely focus on the task at hand.
Afterwards I laid awake for a long time, while Blaine was contently snoring next to me, the only consolation to me was to see a smile on his face. At least the love of my life was happy.
I really had no idea why Blaine thought it was a great idea to come here. I had never ever heard him mention any jungles ever before.
The next morning started out strong. I awoke, stretched, turned and saw Blaine laying next to me, just watching me, smiling.
“Good morning.” I smiled at him.
“Morning babygirl. Not so sure about the good part. There is a small hiccup I just discovered and I am very, very scared.”
I shot up to a sitting position.
“What is it?”
“Turns out the basic kitchen here is not really the same as a basic kitchen as we know it … a fact I wasn’t aware of when I booked … ”
“Well, there is a microwave, a fridge, stove, sink … but …”
“WHAT?!?!?!?!” I jumped up and ran into the kitchen, followed by Blaine.
“I am sure there is a place in town where we can …” he started, immediately cut off by my explosion of utter disbelief.
“What the hell is this, Blaine?! What kind of kitchen does not have a coffeemaker?! Why did you take me to hell – without even coffee?!”
“Here we go…”
I ranted on when Blaine came to me, pet my face gently, which did calm me down and shut me up.
Then he just turned around and left. I followed him, stunned.
“Where are you going?”
“Shower. Welcome to join, you know, water conservation and all.”
“I really do not think that is an issue here, from what I can tell if there is something they have plenty of here, it would be water. Besides, I am talking to you.”
“No, you were yelling at me, babygirl, and I am sure you won’t be done by the time I get out, so I won’t miss too much.” he grinned and kissed me, then went in, door cracked as an invitation. Tempting, but was not in the mood after these bad news.
I turned around, looking about the place, then went to the kitchen looking through cabinets, but all I found was a fat spider the size of a Rottweiler, same amount of fur on it, too. Yuck.
Blaine embraced me from behind.
“Did you calm down some? Still love me?” he ran his fingers gently over my chin.
“Of course I love you, I just do not understand you. Or this. I think I’ll shower now too, then we can ride into the village on that spider that just disappeared somewhere in that left cabinet – which will probably eat us tonight in our sleep – and maybe find some coffee there, so my brain finally becomes fully operational.”
Blaine and I were holding hands on our stroll down to the village, and I am using the term loosely, as it was not a village in the true sense, but more a handful of huts, stands and tables plus a bunch of people, all of which seemed to have had a unicorn throw up all over it. I did not hate colors per se, but too many all at once made me antsy. This looked like a carnival in Rio kinda situation. The town folk seemed nice, they all smiled as we passed, well, either that or they were pitying us fools. No telling.
We did find coffee, I greedily drank mine like someone who had been lost in the desert for weeks would drink water, much to the amusement of Blaine.
Meanwhile in Brindleton Bay
The boys were just hanging around the school yard. School was out, it was the weekend.
“So – anybody got any ideas on what to do? Anything going on anywhere?”
“Guess we can hang out at my place again …” Corbin offered.
“I guess, at least the Club’s close…” Channing agreed reluctantly.
“Unless we miss the ferry. Times are really stupid for that. Who wants to leave the club and take the last ferry over at 10 PM? Especially on a weekend.” Nathan complained.
They bounced a few ideas around, none stuck.
“Cameron! Aren’t your parents away? Like at some jungle camp or something?”
“When do they come back?”
“Next weekend. Mom has to go back to work on the Monday after next.”
“Duuuuuuuuuuude, party at your place tonight. I’ll get my older brother to get us some fun juice! Are we inviting our girls or let loose unsupervised?”
“I am for just us dudes.” Liam said quietly.
“Uh oh, trouble in paradise again, huh? They prettier the girl, the more drama, man.”
“No, no trouble, everything is good. I just need some time away from her to think.”
“Oh jeeze, did you lose your balls somewhere, man?”
“You know what, get the booze, I’ll get some snacks and we all meet back at my place.”
“Nah, I’ll get the snacks. You buy the worst shit, dude.”
“How am I supposed to know, I can’t eat it anyway.” Liam shrugged.
The boys, ranging between 17 and 18 years old now, were lounging around the living room, going between sports, movies and random channel surfing. They were drinking beer, even though they were of course well aware that they were underaged.
“So what’s with you and your girl?” Corbin asked his best friend.
“I meant to talk to you guys anyway. Looks like I will be moving soon.”
“Moving? Where to?” Channing asked, looking at Liam.
“Del Sol Valley.”
“What the …?! Seriously? That is far. What gives?” Corbin said.
“I am definitely coming to visit!” Nathan grinned.
“My mom thinks we need a change of scenery. And now dad’s on board too.”
“Can’t you stay with your sis until your 18? I mean, you’re almost there.”
“I tried, but sis and husband say they don’t have the room and my parents have serious trust issues because of all the shit I pulled. So I am going to have to break up with Leonie.”
“WHAT? Are you nuts? Don’t break up with her! Long distance that shit till you’re 18 and then come back.”
“You know, to tell you the truth, I hate leaving. I mean, you are my dudes, I have known all of you all my life. I am going to miss everything, the house, the beach, my family. But dad and I keep running into the same issues with our past. Once you have a criminal record you’re screwed. I am so over that coming up again and again. At least here. There we would start fresh, as long as he and I don’t fuck up new, we are good. And Leonie’s father is due to be released sometime in Spring. She thinks he may be better now, but I am just not gonna go there. I don’t trust that sucker. PTSD, my ass, what he has is a serious case of arrogant a-hole. So I hate it, but I think that may be my chance. Leonie is off to college anyway. She was going to go to San Myshuno, but changed her mind so she is off to Bridgeport.”
“Man, you’ll literally could not be further apart. So you are leaving, for real?”
“Not really my choice. Parents get to decide.”
“You taking your car?” Corbin asked.
“Yes, I am taking my car, you freaking vulture!”
“Hey baby!” she kissed him, smiling, he hugged her, she took his hand as they walked.
This was going to be hard. As long as he did not cry like a baby. Everything but that. At least some dignity should remain.
“Are you okay Liam?”
“You don’t look okay.”
“Okay, I have something to talk to you about, it’s not easy and I want you to know that it is not anything you did, and that I really do not want to do this, but ..”
“Oh my God, are you breaking up with me?”
“No. I mean, yes.”
“What? Why?” she looked shocked.
“My parents decided we will be moving. To Del Sol Valley. I tried but they won’t let me stay. And I see their point. I messed up again yesterday. I realized it this morning that I totally betrayed their trust again, and they have only been gone for a few days.” Liam had the worst regrets when he woke up, hungover, then ended up picking up beer bottles and cans and trash all over the house after his friends, equally hungover, left.
“So a long distance relationship. No need to break up.”
“You will be even further away soon.”
“Oh, so you are still mad at me for going with Bridgeport after all, is that it?”
“No, Leo, really no. But this is just not fair, not to you and not to me. Who are we kidding. Everybody keeps telling us that we are still so young blah blah and maybe they are right. I mean, who do you know that got married and all to their highschool sweetheart?”
“Umm, hello, your parents.”
“No, they didn’t. They didn’t even date in school. Their story is all screwed up. This just never works.”
“Ok, so do I not get a say in this at all?”
“What if I want to try a long distance relationship and if it does not work, we can still break up then.”
“No, Leonie, I want to do this right. I want to stay friends. On good terms. I know you probably hate me now, and I really really really do not mean to hurt you, I swear, but I have been thinking about this for a long time and …”
“Long time? How long have you known?”
“Little over a month.”
“Thanks for sharing!”
“I am now. I was still trying to find a way to stay. Or to go with you. Now I realize I really am not mature enough yet. Sucks, but last thing I want is to go back to jail.”
“So – the decision is final?”
“I am afraid so.”
She remained quiet for a few steps then stopped abruptly.
“Can you just take me home, please? I am kinda done with this right now.”
The ride home was quiet and the mood overcast. When he pulled over in front of her house, she said nothing, just opened the door, exited and slammed the door shut, before running to her front door.
Liam went home, glad nobody was there to see him. And grateful that he had all weekend to get the sadness out of his system before acting tough on Monday for school, wondering how things would be with Leonie. And with their group, since they both were part of it. And he wondered if they could really be just friends. Maybe he had reacted too soon, they wouldn’t not move for another few months. Maybe he should have waited, but either way, it would only be a long goodbye.