“Tell me one more time why are we traveling by bus?” Adrianne asks me, putting her bag on the top shelf.
“Because we’re truly trying to experience the summer,” I answer, taking out my notepad and a pencil.
“Experience the summer? On a shitty bus!?”
“Yeah. The road, people, heat. C’mon, don’t be a snob. Or at least don’t show it so much.”
“Couldn’t you really persuade your dad to lend you the car?”
“Nope. I ... couldn’t.” I say, not looking at her at all, just trying to draw. Anything. She sits in her place.
“I really dreamed of riding in your parents’ convertible along the ocean road. That’s the summer experience!” she says, and I feel a bit awful: the truth is I’m not feeling very confident behind the wheel of that car yet. I haven’t had my license long enough to be comfortable driving it. I only got my license at all because my parents wanted me to have it. I don’t want to drive any car on such a long trip. I didn’t really ask my father about the car. I feared he might have agreed. I didn’t want to give this idea any chance to happen ... and now I had to lie about it to Adrianne. Good she didn’t inquire why I didn’t want to go by plane (I don’t like flying either. yeah, I’m a chicken.). Good thing her parents didn’t give her one of their cars.
“It cannot go bad. It just can’t! It has to be the best vacation there can be, really!”
“Easy Adrianne. You pin too much hope on this. Just ... calm down. Embrace it.” I say, drawing (yet I’m myself pretty afraid of going without any supervision for the first time. It’s very serious for me, yet I don’t want to look like a big geeky chicken who missed all the fun. Which is actually true).
“Too much? Emma! Everything depends on it. You’re whole life’s gonna look like your first experiences.”
“What!?” I snort, “It depends on ... what? How your vacation will go? What’s the problem here?”
“Yeah! That’s actually the worst, to be bad at things that are sooo easy and fun for everyone. It’s our last call.”
“It’s our first call.” I try to calm her down Yet, sadly, I get what she’s talking about.
“Last call to get good at it. You know quite well, everybody is way ahead of us when it comes to stupid partying.” she says with a pitiful expression.
“And that’s what’s troubling you so much?”
“Yeah! You know who doesn’t party?”
“We still have time,” I respond. Although I get her, I’m a bit concerned about her latest need for partying like no tomorrow and going wild. It clashes with my tendency to avoid standing out and hanging out with the most popular people because it feels as if they always have some ulterior motive toward me, whatever they do. Hope we’ll find some middle ground.
“I hate buses.” She looks around, trying to set the seat right, “I’m just saying ... people are lucky. Party people are. Why learn anything if you’re not lucky at all? You have to be a bit lucky in your life. Then you can even be stupid! Otherwise, meh. And that’s not even such a problem to be lucky; a lot of people are lucky. Being unlucky is more like winning some kind of ... anti-lottery. A really shitty ticket. And I’m scared all this hard work is worthless if I cannot ... you know? Live. If you cannot get crazy, what’s the point of anything? I worked hard in school. Now I wanna get crazy. With no consequences. Like most of the cool people. Sorry, but everybody needs this. How can you walk through life with not one crazy thing done successfully?” She’s still trying to adjust the seat. “After all, most people do a lot of stupid shit and get away with it. You have to be a bit of a loser to have bad luck. Even people who, I think, are losers do crazy things and go with it, just like that.” She snaps her fingers.
“That’s absurd. You think you have no luck? Look at your life! Or mine! We have everything.”
“Yeah, yeah. But, you know, it’s not about the money or ... it’s just this ... if you’re unlucky, you just are. Nothing will help you.”
“Not if you’re not helping your luck.”
“Besides, they gave me everything, so what can I know? Even children of rich parents sometimes can be, you know...” She crinkles her nose and waves her hand flat; she doesn’t want to say it: geeky, nerdy; doesn’t want to say the magic words that maybe describe us so well.
“Like we need to prove ourselves?”
“Don’t you think proving ourselves ... on a vacation, at partying...” I wave my hands, “Isn’t this a definition of being a spoiled teenager?”
“But it’s not only that. It’s more about ... spending our time without parents, alone, away from our homes. I’m pissed at myself for being such a, you know, a freakin’ coward!”
“Really??” I feel a bit of relief she said it straightforward, “Actually, I have the same problem. This was driving me crazy.”
She points at me, big blue eyes, “You see!”
“Yeah. Good to know I’m not alone” I giggle, “Okay, so ... no fear?”
“No fear.” She stretches in her seat.
“Or maybe moderate fear?”
“Shut up.” Now she giggles.
That fear of not having enough luck in life—Adrianne has been a bit obsessed with it lately. You prove to yourself who you are, your first experiences define you, or better said, tell you who you really are, what you are made of; and if they indicate you’re a loser. It’s hard to change course. You try and fail, getting only deeper into the determined tracks. And then it’s over. Beginnings are important; first memories stay with you forever. Somehow this theory speaks to me, while at the same time giving me some kind of a terror. So what now-unlucky people will be great at what they do in their later lives? There will always be this stingy feeling in them that they were losers: once a loser always a loser. They are ‘marked’. And when they were doing whatever they were, other dudes had the time of their lives.
This is the philosophy of a girl who was raised to be perfect, in everything: smart, ambitious, well mannered, beautiful. That’s how rich and sophisticated parents raise their daughters. Turns out it’s also pretty crazy. She likes to know everything before she starts doing it. The idea of being a rookie in the midst of veterans is her personal nightmare. And I know all of this because ... we’re not that different. In fact, I was raised exactly the same way. First I thought this view on life was simply awful, but it stuck in my head too and has been bothering me ever since.
“What’s that?” She asks me, looking at my notepad.
“Nothing.” I hide the drawing—I don’t like to show my sketches—instead I show my tongue to her. She, in response, shows hers—that’s our little thing, that has been going on for a few days; and that’s because before our trip Adrianne convinced me to pierce my tongue. That was three weeks earlier. It’s OK now, but for some time I was scared we would end up with swollen tongues all summer. It was just after my eighteenth birthday, so I told my parents it was kind of a present for myself; they gave up giving me lessons this time. And Adrianne had had her birthday a month earlier.
Just before our trip, my parents’ friends saw the piercing when we were talking. They were a bit baffled, tried to act cool, which amused me in return. “Well, uh ... I see you have a ... new look ... definitely very ... modern.” They knew me as a kid who had never rebelled, rather a very promising offspring; so this little thing in my tongue freaked them a bit, but youth has its rights, no?
Adrianne also convinced me to do other things.
A month ago she came to my house.
“I’ve got pills for us,” she said happily.
“For our trip. Just in case.” A happy, naughty expression; my concerns were rising.
“My doctor also gave me a prescription for you, and she just said to me ‘have a nice vacation’, smiling, heh.” She winked at me. She was talking about our mutual gynecologist.
“You told her about it!? That we’re going on a vacation. And we need ... birth-control pills? You did it!? Jeez, Adrianne...” I shook my head.
“Yeeesss. Kind of.” She was so happy because of her naughty deed. She was doing these little jumps, standing in one place, tits jiggling a bit. It made me smile.
“This trip’s making me crazy happy. I can pull off anything,” she added.
“I see;” I stifled my laughter. “And how do you imagine this? Pills? no connnd... ?”
“I hate them.” she said, (“Me too”, went through my mind), “if something’s gonna happen, I want to have fuuun. I think ... just screw it! What the hell! You have to be really unlucky. You know.” She threw up her hands and puckered her lips.
“Probably.” I was staring at the box. “But I don’t think I’m gonna need them.” (In my opinion having a summer fling is just another fad. And young girls like us are prone to hang out with dickheads, so better avoid it, but I wasn’t going to persuade her into or out of anything.)
“Oh, c’mon. Maybe they’ll come in handy? Don’t you miss sex? It’s been ... what? Half a year? After you two ... split up? And no sex since.”
“There wasn’t much sex then either.” I smiled, blushing, and she cocked her eyebrow suspiciously. “Maybe it’s just not for me?”
“Don’t you even say that! That would be horrible. Me and Mike, uh, didn’t have such a great sex life either. But, after a month without it, I miss it already. I mean sex. Him, not so much.”
(Somehow I couldn’t just admit in front of her that I fell in love with sex from the day I had done it for the first time, even though it had been far from good. Since then I thought about it almost every day. The relationships we were talking about that time, hadn’t been very serious. It’s just this fashion to have a boy, pressure, more than anything else. So we had gotten ours. That is probably what makes her even more frightened. No love before twenty? No spectacular parties? No spectacular sex? And again, to be frank, there’s this fear in me too, and she’s enhancing it with those statements.)
“So you take them” I suggest, “I’m only in for some malignant summer romance. You know, kissy-kissy at best. This is my plan. At best!”
“Oh, take the pills, Emma.” She was smiling foxily.
“Petting is max.”
“Take the pills.”
“But probably nothing will happen.”
“Your periods will get smoother.”
“Oh? Really? They do? Hmm ... Okay.”
... and just before I entered the bus, mom sent me a text message, “Be safe.” “Okay. I will, Mom.” I felt some guilt because of these pills at that moment...
We get out of the bus, tired and a bit sweaty. The evening sun is bouncing off our sunglasses. Dirt in the air, and the smells of asphalt, fumes, and rubber—not yet the summer atmosphere. Adrianne is probably secretly hating me right now. She’ll get over it. Some guys look at us passing us by, lowering their sunglasses, or turning around; I hear a few whistles, and a few “damn!”. We’re both wearing jeans shorts, white boxer shirts, Air Max shoes, and we’ve treated each other earlier with a few micro braids. We’re both dirty blondes; tall, slim. Sometimes people think we’re sisters; we’re not, obviously; we’re just the same type—as people sometimes say —”the good type, the best type. Listening to that can get really boring.
We reach our hotel after eight p.m. Adrianne hits the shower; she goes first since the bus was my fault. I wait for my turn watching some crap on TV; I have no energy for anything else. We’re finally done; it’s 9:30; she’s still a bit mad. It’s too late for anything. And indeed we have only some time for a quick spin around the city, and the beach. I feel nervous being only with her here: two young chicks, alone. Did I pack everything? Don’t lose anything. Don’t lose yourself. How can older people even relax with kids on their minds?
Although there’s girls everywhere in skimpy outfits, or in bikinis—some of them beyond slutty—almost all of the guys around stare at us pretty intensely, again; nevertheless, somehow we don’t do anything with the attention, exploit it in any way, even as a joke. That’s kind of standard for us. It makes me feel I’m a bit shy but generally I get used to it.
As always some dudes try to pick us up with cheesy lines. And one even offers us money, first 2k each for the night, and after we say nothing he raises it to 5k each and we say good night to him politely. That has happened to me before, and that’s why I try to stay low profile; no showing off, no Instagram account and such. Just to avoid this constant bombardment with creepy propositions. Still, somehow I rarely feel left in peace.
Adrianne is eager to start next day at warp speed. After waking up she’s all smiley and incredibly nice (for me these hyped-up behaviors of hers are quite entertaining). Her vigor is still unbelievable; just to squeeze everything from this summer, get the best vacation, act all grown up, be a new person. Ha! Okay, Let’sss ... try that.
I put on my bikini, Adrianne asks me about hers. She wears a quite skimpy one, rose color; mine is white, covering a bit more than hers, but just a bit.
“You go, girl,” I say, more ironically than sincerely: but I actually like the view, even though it’s on the verge of good taste ... or just my taste.
“What enthusiasm” she throws in.
“I’m sorry. You’re really taking it seriously, you know? having fun?” I giggle, “looking at you, I think you really wanna get lucky.” Now I start to laugh.
“I think I have a body for it. Right?”
“Oh, definitely. There’s no doubt. It really looks great! Don’t mind me, I have to adjust to the sight, that’s it. Just, don’t leave me alone for some guy after fifteen minutes.”
“We need to buy you a skimpy one, too,” she says, as we start to cover ourselves in sunscreen.
“Mine is sufficiently skimpy, skimpier than ever before. I’m glad you didn’t convince me to buy this model,” I point at hers and turn to the mirror, “I feel barely comfortable in the one I got.”
“I had my doubts too, but now I feel great in it.” She inspects hers one more time in the mirror, and sighs happily, “like ... empowered.”
“Of course, it looks great. But it’s pretty skimpy for my taste.”
She tilts her head sideways, pursing lips, “hell, you live only once, right?” And she crinkles her nose, searching for appreciation in my eyes.
“C’mon, hottie! Let’s get you out there to shine before men’s eyes!”
“Oh, we’re shining together,” she points her finger in the air, “remember that!”
And we’re out. I’ve never felt so exposed and so much watched, in the skimpiest bikini I’ve ever worn, and with her at my side in one even skimpier. Aren’t we too courageous suddenly? I won’t say this to her; just sit tight! It’s just my cowardice, break it; everything’s normal, have fun!
And after a while, I actually adjust to the feeling of being as if on a catwalk. Men are into us, good! One more checked box on the summer-check-list.
We swim in turns and fry ourselves on the sunbeds at the beach. We’re all beautifully wet from swimming and the sunblock. The bikinis and the aviators—nice combo. And again some dudes pass us by and stare at our stretched and covered-in-the-sun-lotion bodies. A couple of them say ‘hello, ‘ but it’s even hard to tell if it’s toward us or just between themselves. Some of them are talking definitely only between themselves: “Damn! Have you seen those hotties?” But most of it just sounds like mumbling from my perspective. I just smile at the whole situation; Adrianne does too (if you ignore them they usually go away). I’m drawing again, just for fun.
Adrianne is gone for something to drink, and I start to read my book. After I’ve read maybe ten pages, Adrianne comes back with two gigantic pina coladas in her hands.
“How did you get those?!” I ask, seeing excitement in her eyes; the sweet princess is getting really naughty here.
“He offered them to me himself.” She points in the direction of a booth.
Wow, she’s really trying to be ... not herself here. I could say again “You go, girl,” but actually, I’m afraid of drinking it. It’s eleven a.m. It’s illegal. And I don’t like the taste of alcohol; generally, neither of us hardly drinks at all.
“Isn’t this too big? There has to be a pint of vodka in this.”
“It’s rum. And there’s almost no alcohol in it. Well, there is some but you can barely taste it. It’s really good!”
“Oh my God! It’s sooo gooood!” I try again. “Oooh, yummy. Still, I’m stressed.” I look around.
“Stop looking around! You look like a freak. Nothing bad will happen. Nobody cares here. Try to relax.”
“I am trying. “ Another sip.
“Don’t you wish we could sunbathe our tits?” Adrianne asks me at some point, smearing more sun lotion on her arms.
“Like ... topless? Here? Now!? You’re drunk already.” I smile, waving my finger, take another sip.
“Yeah” she giggles, “Not here. Somewhere else.”
“Yeah maybe. Without people. And--”
“But I would be around!”
“You are not people. You are Adrianne. That I can handle.”
After maybe 40 minutes I am totally relaxed, I’ve drunk about half of this gigantic glass, yet I feel the buzz already. The sun is loving me; I stretch my glistening body a little bit more. And more guys are passing us, now between their mumbling I hear, “maaaan” and “WOW!” and one time: “Jesus! D’ya see these foxes!?” and such; now it makes me smile even more. It’s all good for my vanity, even the sentence “gooood sluts!”—someone has shouted—doesn’t bother me. I don’t care; it’s sooo good not to care. Everything is getting into its place, the sunbeams heating up my moistened skin, the hot air, the gentle breeze, not a care in the world. Oh my God, yes! This is it!
And then I feel a shadow casting over me, growing bigger. There were no clouds...
“Hello.” I hear a man’s voice, “I think, you two shouldn’t be drinkin’ here.” The voice says, “and it’s before twelve. Naughty, naughty.” Panic! (“Oh, shit!” I think immediately “And we are out of luck.” Adrianne must be fuming inside.) I squint my eyes and hear Adrianne’s stuttering, “he-he-hey, uhm...”, she’s mulling over what to say. The man’s silhouette is emerging before my eyes. I put my sunglasses on, so does Adrianne. That’s some young dude, ripped and tanned; and smiling. I see the guy has a tattoo covering part of his arm and shoulder. He’s handsome, looks like a lifeguard. Yep, he’s a lifeguard. Maybe it’s nothing; I feel this dude—looking pretty cool—shouldn’t have any problem with this. It’s just a pretext.
“You won’t rat us out, right?” I say, with maybe a bit of a trembling voice, trying to act like a foxy girl—but I think I have no guts for it.
“Of course not.” He smiles more, showing teeth—straight and white. “I’m Dominic. And you girls are... ?”
“I’m Adrianne, and this is Emma,” Adrianne says. She has put herself together.
The guy takes off his shades. His eyes are dark, I cannot say for sure brown or black at this point, but they’re definitely intense. He is very handsome, but at the same time there’s something relentless in his look. He asks about our hotel; he asks where we are from; we have a little chit-chat.
“Dominic? You look familiar.” Adrianne inquires, obviously pondering something.
“Yeah. That’s possible. Everybody says that”, he chuckles. “Listen girls, you like to have fun, don’t ya?”
“That’s why we’re here!” Adrianne stretches her arms, a lot calmer now, seeing an opportunity.
“So, you’re really lucky I found you!” He seems enormously confident.
“Oh yeah?” Adrianne responds with a smile, showing these pearly teeth of hers. Oh, she’s good here, an awakening of a fox.
He continues, “you don’t wanna miss the best times here, right? There are better places than this beach, with no crew. Trust me, I know this place like my own pocket. I know where you can go rrrreally crazy. With nooo troubles.”
“And you can show us where?” I interrupt, suspiciously cocking my eyebrow.
“Or maybe you can take us there?” Adrianne flutters her eyebrows at me, and I think she’s into him already. Maybe she has found her fling. I’m scared now she’s gonna leave me alone here, too fast! “Stay together! Please!” I try to communicate with her telepathically.
“Well, let’s saaay...”, he stops and grins—the type of grin that informs you that you don’t know something everybody knows—”see that house?” He points at one far away, last in the row, remote from the others, a massive, modern house on the dune. “That’s a place where you can party. That’s mine.”
“You mean, that ... big mansion on the dune?” Adrianne asks, surprised as I am.
“Are you ... throwing a party?” I inquire.
“Every day’s a party day here.”
I’m surprised: a young lifeguard with such a house? Adrianne looks suspiciously at him for a second, and then she smiles at him again.
“Dominic, right?” she says, “we’ll dddefinitely think about it.”
I want to stop her—I don’t know if she’s just being polite or is actually considering this—but I can’t say anything around him.
“So you’re a lifeguard here, huh? And you have that house?” I ask, wanting to investigate this more.
“This? This is a volunteer job. I like to help.” He grins and winks at us.
Someone is shouting in the distance, looks like after Dominic. He looks around.
“You can find me here if you’re interested. Or I’ll just find you again.” He makes a pistol out of his hand and pretend-shoots us, “don’t move. Finish your drinks! If someone asks, say I allowed it. I’ll keep my eyes on you two.” He winks one more time. Then he runs toward some guy near the water and greets him with a vigorous clap on the shoulder.
I’m still sipping the pina colada, only now looking again around suspiciously, when Adrianne says to me, “Look!” On her iPad she shows me some article and points at the photo; I have to squint my eyes from the glare of the sun.
“I knew I recognized him from somewhere!” she hollers enthusiastically.
There he is, a local sportsman, a star, with a shitload of money. Together with his father they donated some of this shitload of money to some local sport organization; on the photo, they hold this ridiculously gigantic check. The whole article is one big puff piece. His father is a quite big and bald, a type of aging muscleman, not exactly like a millionaire, well not exactly like my or Adrianne’s parents and their usual companionship (if balding they would bag a toupee and not shave their heads, enhancing this mobster-look as Dominic’s father did.)
“You’ve even checked the news here? You really did your homework,” I say.
“So?” she throws up her hands, “How good is this? Young, talented and successful. And yet so generous. You see?” she gives me these big eyes again, and then she points at a part of the article and quotes: ‘ ... family known for its generosity to the city... ‘ Huh! A philanthropist! And he hits on us. Ha-ha! Luuuckyyy!” She cocks her eyebrow mockingly.
“Yeah. Daddy’s money. A sportsman, pff.” I snigger.
“Don’t be cynical.”
“I don’t understand why it’s making such an impression on you. Our dads happen to be in newspapers too. It’s boooriiing.”
“Yeah, yeah. They are boring. But this is completely different company!” She says while I murmur grumpily under my breath, “And he is sssexy! It’s our summer, Emma! Here’s our chance! Sportsman? Good! Wealthy? Well, good!” She shrugs. “He does his chores for a local community. Isn’t this enough? What do you want, more? I’m going after him!”
“And do what?”
“Summer stuff? I’mmm gonna do it! You just ... stay here. I’ll be back.”
“I don’t know ... Eh.” I feel I’m querulous, so I take another sip of my lovely pina colada (I can’t keep avoiding guys like that all the time. What could happen? Nothing! Easy!), so I say, “Okay, you’re right. I need to get rid of this negativity. From now on, I support you. Sooo, you go girl! Get that hunky stud! Just get back here. Fast.”
“Okay!” She stands up and walks in the sand—the bikini looks really good on her from behind, too, I think—then she turns on her heel and grabs my hand, “Oh, but you must come with me!” she giggles.
“And our stuff?”
“Oh, take the purse, screw the rest, nobody is gonna take it.”
We find him near the lifeguard tower, now all wet, he was swimming just a moment ago. For some reason, I cannot stop smiling stupidly...
Adrianne shows the article on her iPad to Dominic and says, nodding and smiling, “Like to help, huh? MmmHmm, and modest, too, I see.”
“Too much? Well, I don’t want to brag how much of a star I am here.” He smiles wide again, and winks, too. For a quarter of a second I feel he’s giving me intense body-check, I see the fire in these dark wild eyes of his—a dash of insanity combined with confidence in them, the wrongful combination girls often like so much—”So, have you two decided you wanna have a really incredible summer? Hmm? Talk to me. I’m yours. And I know everyone, and every body here.”
“Of course, we do. Sooo... ?” Adrianne responds—I know she is terrified of what she’s saying ... I still think he isn’t the right companion for us, but I just stay there with arms crossed looking around, and the smile on me seems now kind of childish. Let her do her thing.
“Tiger! My man!” Behind us, someone’s shouting. I turn around. Two happy and airy looking guys come close to us and greet Dominic.
“What’s up! What’s up, my men!” He says. They give each other guys’ handshakes.
“I see you’re picking the best. As usual,” the one guy says, lowering his shades and checking me out insolently; then he looks at Adrianne. The other one is nodding. “We’re not gonna bother you then! See ya my friend!” The first says and turns toward us, “Have fun with The Legend.” And a wink. So much winking here.
I observe them for a moment with a puzzled expression, and turn to Dominic. “The legend? And first of all ... Tiger? Ti-ger!?” I twist my mouth, trying not to laugh out loud.
“Yeah, Emma. Em-ma? That’s what they call me here.” He says absolutely peacefully.
“Okay ... Tiger.” Now I wink. We talk for a while. He suggests we can visit his house later. In about an hour, just to check out the place. Adrianne is, of course, willing, and I don’t want to be a drag, so we agree.
When we get back to our towels and other stuff, everything is intact. I just say to her, snickering, “he’s quite a dickhead.”
And she responds, laughing, “I-huh-I know! But it’s summer. He won’t be the love of my life. This is um ... It’s a ... Oh, c’mon! It’s a golden opportunity. Time to stop worrying.”
“Sure.” Actually, I think the same, I finish the last drop of my pina colada. Warm, but still tastes nice. I embrace the moment. The sounds of breaking waves. The sounds of the beach crowd. And with this last gulp a little hiccup.
... It’s around two p.m. and, we’re on our trip to Dominic’s house. I wear a see-through beach skirt on the bottom part of the bikini; Adrianne wears jean shorts on her bikini, but with a zipper fully open and stretched: the rose color is beaming from the triangle of open and stretched zipper. It’s on purpose, of course; I just smile to myself thinking of how much she’s trying to be wild. It’s cute in its own way. The place is even farther away than it seemed earlier, from the beach. It’s the end of the city; behind it: wilderness. The building looks even more sinister, like something ‘The Empire’ would have built.
He comes to the gateway with open arms as we show up and yells happily, “You came!”
I still feel pretty light-headed, not a care in the world now.
“Just to see your place,” I say, truly being sincerely interested in this oddly and futuristic-looking house, how it looks inside and how are the views; on the other hand I think it could be considered an environmental crime.
We are in the driveway. “That’s my car and my bike.” He waves his hand flippantly. There’s a black Porsche 911—a new model—and a sport bike, black-and-orange; I have no idea what it is—not my element, and I don’t see any name written on it. I spot some unfinished little wooden building in the side yard, something like a tea house maybe, but bigger. We go inside the house. A spacious, bright hall combined with salon, there’s a bar counter here and big glass wall with door leading onto a terrace with a view of the ocean. All this seems incredible; definitely expensive, although some things are too tacky for my taste ... He makes drinks for us; this time small ones. Oh, these are tasty too, although not as good as the giant pina coladas.
“Is that a big hot tub or a small pool?” Adrianne asks, There’s a very spacious hot -tub-like thing built in the terrace.
“Hot tub, it has the system and all. Nice, huh?” Dominic says.
“Yeah, it’s great. We’ve got an indoor pool in our home, but I’d rather have this, with that view. You don’t need a pool when you have the ocean.”
“‘Our home’? You two are... ?” Dominic asks, changing his glance from me to Adrianne to me again.
“I mean my family home, but Emma’s got a pool, too. With a cool bar!”
“Yeah. And that’s great for parties, too.,” I say, getting the uneasy feeling we’re bragging too much. And I haven’t ever thrown my own party in my house.
Dominic tells us more about the house and himself and asks us a few things about ourselves as well. The dude seems even more cocky to me than before, but I don’t mind it at this moment. He explains why he’s doing the lifeguard bit: it’s a great opportunity to catch ‘fresh girls’. I don’t even inquire what ‘fresh girls’ means. He explains the house is a property belonging to his family, it’s his parents’ summer house, and they come here from time to time with his sisters, but he’s living here alone most of the time. He’s also pretty amused by the fact that we don’t know anybody in the city, as if a list of contacts is some kind of necessity.
“And you can go topless here.” he says at some point. I have no idea if it’s a joke or not.
“Oh, maybe.” Adrianne responds fast, before I could’ve given any sarcastic answer, and looks at me, tilting her head to one side—that’s the signal: “Just go with it.”, or “Follow my lead.”, or whatever. Not that she knows what she’s doing whatsoever; and she knows she doesn’t really know, and I know that she ... you know ... It’s even funny to watch these spontaneous attempts of hers, always: try, try-try-try, learn, always get up if you fail, and be good at everything. (Oh, those parents of ours, sooo successful, so much that their children have to be of course successful too; more, and more, and more). And here we are at the final exam: having a good time. “Jesus, I’m a bit drunk” I think.
He shows us the rest of the house. “So? Are we gonna have a reeeaallly goood time here, or what?” He grins widely again. Mr. Joker.
“You know,” I interrupt him while inspecting shelves with DVDs (most of it is a collection of Steven Seagal movies, plus a few brain-dead comedies) “we’re not such party girls. Maybe you should know that.”
“Oh, shut up, Emma.” Adrianne shushes me up and smiles to him—a bit too naively in my opinion.
“Oooh, aren’t ya?” He again gets really interested for some reason in what I’ve just said, giving me a very enquiring—and maybe a bit frightening—look.
“Yeah, well, we’re here to start our party life.” I say, peeking knowingly at Adrianne and she gives me a little nod. But his expression reveals he was counting on exactly such information. Both of them: nice girls on a path to become wild.
We go farther, and some porn DVD’s catch my eye on another shelf. Huh, it’s a family house, and there are porn movies on the shelf in the main living room? Perhaps they were mislaid. Maybe we’ll watch it with him. No, that could get out of hand. I giggle under my breath, oh, I love pina coladas.
In the end, he tells us there are some spare rooms here. Two, with one shared bathroom. He shows us. They’re nice, the bathroom is great, it all looks like it was designed for a couple of young girls. He tells us we can move in if we want to. “It’s better than a hotel, and you will save some money. And there are no limits here.” I feel sudden shock and fear, and I only hope that Adrianne will say: “We’ll think about it”, and not: “Sure! Definitely! Count us in!” But then I think about how much better it would be to spend time here, big mansion, away from all that hubbub.
And she just looks at me, searching for confirmation My face is saying “Why not?”
After we get out of there, Adrianne says to me, all excited, “He’s awesome! I’d screw him! Really! And we can live there; it’s way better than the hotel! And we’ll have more money to spend. Shit! Emma! Doesn’t this sound awesome?” she asks but doesn’t let me answer, “I’m not gonna do this without you.” She’s all hot and keyed up.
I think about it for a second, about these views again, about this great spot without sweaty crowds. And the parties that could be thrown there. And I feel the buzzzz! Okay, she’s going to screw him? Fine! And I’ll have the time of my life here. That’s so not me. Yeah, that’s why it’s probably worth overcoming. Yeah! She’s right! And I tell her, “Uhm; that’s ... why not! Y-yeah-yeah! Why not! Hell yeah! Let’s do this!” A big smile appears on my face.
“Really?” She looks at me, hope sparkling in her eyes. We’re getting wild!
“Yeah!” I say, and she jumps happily. I continue “And maybe ... the cash we’re gonna get back from the hotel ... We can buy that skimpier bikini for me? And when we get back here. Do you think he has the ingredients to make another one of those pina coladas?”
“Maybe you should lay off that stuff for now.” She pats my shoulder.
I think about Dominic getting lucky with Adrianne, and I feel something: maybe the unfairness of a situation when a guy like that gets a girl like this? Or maybe it’s jealousy? Maybe the two are somehow combined; still, I feel—with sunbeams on my back now—just great.
It’s almost four p.m., and we check ourselves out of the hotel, after jumping fast into new outfits, more casual than bikinis,. (The refund appears to be pretty decent; nonetheless we both always had this little problem with appreciating the value of money... ) We’re going out exactly at the moment when Dominic parks his 911 next to the curb in front of the hotel.
“Excellent timing!” He says, pulling on the handbrake. Smile has evidently never left this sunny boy for a second. He asks about the hotel, and if we terminated our reservation.
“Good.” His smile turns more sly.
We barely can fit our stuff into the tiny trunk of this car. Adrianne calls shotgun, of course, and I barely can place myself in the back seat, I have to look like a squashed sardine. This beast has such acceleration that it makes me a bit seasick. Adrianne is again trying to find herself in this element: elbow sticking out, she makes few jokes with our new colleague.
We’re driving down the main boulevard, high palm trees around, ocean to the right. At a red light, two girls in bikini tops and shorts come to the car.
“Heeey, Tiger.” They both say. Then one of them continues, “Sooo, when we can drop by your place?”
“Sorry girls, I’m a busy man” he responds and shrugs. One of the girls gives me a short, cold glance. Dominic goes on, “Now I’m showing my good friends here the city, got a few more things to do; we’ll talk later.” The girls make sad faces for some desired effect. Green light; and we’re off, fast.
“You don’t want to invite them to the party?” I ask, a bit surprised; they seemed hot.
“Not this time. These chicks ... they don’t match your level, girls. I would like to have a bit more cozy time with you two.” He looks at Adrianne and at me in the rear view mirror, cheekily. “They’d be a distraction for us.”
Adrianne gives me a glance of satisfaction.
Next red light. Two young guys are walking. They slow down and look at us, or perhaps at the car, jaws a bit dropped. Dominic is tapping his fingers on the outside of the car door, looking at them.
“Seen enough?” He says to the guys and at the same time accelerates suddenly with tires itching to break traction.
We get to his place. There’s another car parked outside, a big black four-seat Mercedes Cabrio. I’m getting suspicious. My buzz is almost gone. We get inside. The sun is shining at a different angle; everything is more apricot-orange now, the atmosphere changed It saturates the air with ... emptiness.
At some point, I spot a girl’s underwear—a black g-string—on one of the sofas in the main room. Now a startling thought pops into my mind: this looks like—why didn’t I think of it earlier? (Ah, the pina colada!)—some kind of a ... I’m afraid of the thought: a fuck house. Now I have sobered up completely.
“Do you have a girlfriend?” I ask, almost but not quite casually.
“What?” Hah! No? Oh, that’s a ... that belongs to a chick that stays here. Stayed, actually. Hah, myyy, let’s say, girlfriend.” He is chuckling, staring in my eyes, “Don’t worry; she’s out of here today! She’s umm, blehhh, fucked up. Totally.”