Authors: Natasha Wade
They say that hindsight is 20-20. I suppose that is true, but now and days it seems like such a pointless statement. Maybe, had I looked a little closer, just maybe I could have seen the
signs. Maybe I couldn’t have; w
knows. What is done is done.
The only thing that I can be certain of is that
, in spite of the tumultuous journey that we took,
wouldn’t have changed a thing.
The whole trip to the Caribbean had been a last-minute sort of thing. My best friend, Ari, had badgered me into tagging along after she went through a rough break-up and couldn’t cancel the vacation. I was barely able to talk my boss into giving me the time off of work, and that was the easy part.
Back at home in a little apartment that I shared with my on-again, off-again boyfriend, Chris, a storm was brewing. You see, Chris and I had
been involved in our strained
relationship for a grand total of almost eight years. We had our ups and w
e had our downs, but things really began
to go south about a week before Ari sprung the vacation on me. We had been in arguments of varying
types and volumes over that week
and they seemed to be growing on both ends as time wore on. I loved him, don’t get me wrong. I think that the both of us had just been left to question whether our
love was going to be enough to overcome the fact that we just didn’t get along anymore.
When I got home and announced my intentions to bail for a week, I put into motion a series of events that would change the path of my life.
“What the fuck, Sophie?” Chris groaned and threw his magazine onto the glass table.
I rolled my eyes and leaned back against the garage door that I had just come through, “So what’s the problem now?”
The really unfortunate thing was how good he looked when he was angry. His pale skin would get flushed and his wide jaw would tense up. He wasn’t in the best shape but it had never really mattered to me. I had always been attracted to his personality which,
over time, h
ad really started to lose its luster
He rubbed the top of his head, messing up his thinning hair, “So you expect me to stay here alone?”
I chuckled without thinking, “Aw poor baby has to entertain himself.”
He was furious by that point and jumped up from the table. His chair shoved back and hit the wall behind him.
Why is everything always about y
ou?!” He scowled with a
finger pointing at me.
I crossed my arms, “What the hell are you talking about? I’m going on a trip with a girlfriend.
I work my ass off every day and-“
Chris threw his hands up in the air, “Here we go again!”
“Oh god,” I muttered to myself, “what now?”
“Are we going to start this argument again because I can’t find a job?”
My arms dropped to my sides, “No, not really.”
My words didn’t seem to register with him.
“Because if we are then
I can just fucking go now.”
By that point I had just about reached my limi
t on the amount of bullshit that I was
equipped to take after a long day on my feet.
My job as a waitress had been stable over the years and the tips were good, but it wreaked hell on my body. By the end of every shift I would limp back to my ancient hatchback Corolla and sink into the worn down seats for a good fifteen minutes, trying to shut out my screaming back and feet.
I watched Chris
for a moment in silence. His breaths were heavy and short. He was so angry, even more than usual.
I couldn’t help but wonder if there was more going on than I knew of. Was he up to something? Was he cheating? Did he just feel flat-out guilty about something? There was no way for me to know. I worked all the time and he stayed home while he searched for acceptable work. The guy had a lot of time on his hands and, when it came down to it, I was really in the dark when it came to how he spent it. You’d think that after almost nine months of searching
would have come up.
Okay, okay. I’ll admit it. I was highly suspicious. There were things that stuck out to me here and there.
The way that he would snap his password-protected laptop shut when I entered the r
oom made me wary. But when push came to shove
, I was constantly
too tired to care.
“Well?!” Chris’ wavering voice echoed through my head.
I shrugged my shoulders, “Then go.”
A welling of red flushed his cheeks.
I didn’t usually call him out when he was acting like a big baby but I was just over it. I wanted to pack my bags in peace and relax.
Chris stormed out of the house at break-neck speed. I could hear the squeal of his tires as he peeled out and barreled down the street. When I was sure that he was far, far away, I went into our bedroom and flopped down onto the bed with a sigh. Something had to change, even if it was just the scenery for a while.
I folded my hands behind my neck and stared up at the whirring ceiling fan. The soft, gentle br
eeze from it blew back the tiny
wisps of chocolate hair in my face. It felt so nice. The small patches of sweat left on my scalp were ice cold under the wind. It made chills race down my spine.
I could only hope that the tropical air waiting for me would feel as good.
I woke up to my cell phone buzzing away in my pocket. The sound and feel of it rattled me; the sensation was jarring. For just a moment I forgot where I was. I
looked down and noticed that I
was still in my uniform from the night before.
The phone went right on ringing. I fumbled for a moment as I yanked it out of my pocket.
Ari was on the other end, wondering where the hell I was. I jumped up out of bed.
“Oh shit, I’m sorry! How much time do I have?”
, she told me
“Okay, okay. I will meet you there. Bye.”
I hadn’t even started to pack yet and had over-slept. Great.
There was a mad dash to round up everything that I was going to need for the trip. I grabbed my one large suitcase and began tossing in all of the stuff that I could think of.
My pace was so fevered that I started to notice a couple of beads of sweat forming on my brow.
It took a good, long while for me to notice that Chris hadn’t come home the night before. When I did it was a welcome relief. That was one less thing that I was going to have to deal with on top of being horrifically late to the airport.
I was able to call a cab and have him at the front porch only a few minutes after I had finished packing. Just as I sat down and the bright yellow car began to pull away, I looked back and saw Chris pulling back up in his truck. He watched the cab roll down the street with a sour look on his face.
Big Baby wasn’t getting his way for once and he was pissed. Just before my sight of him was masked by a row of low-hanging tree branches, I watched as he slammed the truck door closed and stomped his way up onto the porch.
“What’s the matter, you running from something?”
I turned in my seat and met the cab driver’s gaze in his rear-view mirror, “Maybe I am.”
“It’s bullshit, you know,” his thick accent and long, unkempt moustache garbled his speech.
“What do you mean?”
He smiled and turned the wheel almost robotically, “People say that you can’t run from your problems but sometimes you
just have to know when to cash out
I looked out of the window just in time to see the airport’s tower coast by.
“Maybe you’re right.”
The man smiled and nodded his head in approval just as we pulled up to the terminal. He helped me get my solitary bag and slammed the trunk shut. After paying him I heard Ari screeching my name.
d ran over and hugged me tightly. Her excitement was almost contagious. I gripped the handle of my bag and looked over my shoulder. The cabbie gave me a little two-finger salute and ducked down into his car.
I turned back to Ari with a smile, “You ready?”
“I was born ready! Are you?”
“Actually,” we started toward the curbside check-in, “I think I am.”
I dug my bare, pale toes into the warm sand as small waves broke on the beach right in front of the two of us. We were both kicked back in the sun with a drink in hand. The trip had been quick. I had been lost in my own thoughts for almost the entire plane ride. It wasn’t until I stepped out of the tiny plane and got a good lung-full of the lush, tropical air that my head finally cleared.
The tall palms lining the resort’s private beach rustled gently as they swayed in the breeze. Everything was so peaceful; so calm.
“Look at you,” Ari exclaimed after a swig of her fruity drink, “you look good for a girl that never gets out.”
“Shut up,” I laughed.
She was close to being right. I had never been thin but I thought that I was pretty good looking for a curvy girl. I had big, round hips to match my full breasts. Both were barely concealed under my too-small one-piece. I had put on a little weight from being stuck home with Chris all of the time but it didn’t really bother me much. I didn’t have to impress anyone anyway.
No really,” she reached over and gripped my shoulder, “I mean it.”
As her hand fell away, the cadence of waves and wind took over. I tossed my head back and let the rays of the sun hit my face. It was warm and inviting. I could almost feel the tension in my mind start to melt.
Whether a few moments or a few hours passed, I wasn’t totally certain. All I know is that I was snapped back to reality by Ari’s screechy, sometimes grating voice.
“Check it out.”
I slowly opened my eyes. The bright, cl
ear sunlight stung my pale green
irises and I had to hold up a hand to shield them from it.
Just to our right was a bronzed, exotic looking man. He was the type that could actually pull off the tiny
-style bottoms and get away with it. There was a s
mall bar set up on the beach and t
he man was leaned up against it with one arm. The other was hanging to his side. Even then it ripp
led with muscles. Above his brown eyes was a loose, short shag of curly, black hair
. His angled jaw line was sprinkled with the slightest hint of stubble.
Other than his black, tight swimsuit, he wore a solitary, thin gold chain around his neck. At the end of it was
equally small charm that I couldn’t really make out. The necklace wasn’t what I was paying attention to anyway. The man, with his lean body and almost amber skin, was a sight to behold.
Our eyes met. He smiled.
The gesture made me want to giggle like a school girl with a crush
. Sure, he was probably just being nice but it didn’t stop me from
reveling in the moment. After that he turned to the bartender. The two talked to each other like old friends.
I tried not to watch him like a stalker, I really did.
Once the two were done talking, the man placed something on the counter, took one more glance my way and started toward the resort’s
main building. No more than two
minutes later, an attendant came over to where Ari and I were seated, a tray in hand.
“Excuse me, ma’am.”
I looked up to him, “Yeah?”
“Well,” he tossed his tray under his arm and took a small pad of paper and a pen out of his apron, “the rest of your drinks for the day are taken care of. Would you like to order something?”
I looked over at Ari and raised an eyebrow. She just laughed and patt
ed me on the shoulder. I glanced
down at our nearly empty drinks and then turned back to the young attendant, “You know, that would be nice. Two margaritas on the rocks, one with no salt please.”
“Sure thing,” he shoved the pad back into his pocket, “I’ll be right back with that for you.”
Just as he turned away I called after him, “Excuse me!”
“Yes,” he turned with a smile.
To whom d
o we owe a thank you?”
“Oh, uh,” his smile turned into the start of a smirk, “just one of our regulars here.”
“Do you have a name for him?”
“Domingo. Everyone calls him Dom.”
My stomach started to knot its self up a little, “Okay. Thanks.”
“No problem. I will be right back.”
I turned to Ari, “Now what I do about this?”