You know what I love? Waking up to the glorious smell of pancakes and bacon at 11:30 on a Saturday morning. You know what I hate? Waking up to shaving cream smeared all over my hands and face. You know what else I hate? Having that same fucking dream over and over again. The dream where I relive every moment I ever spent with him. The dream that ends the same way each time, waking me in a cold sweat and tears in my eyes.
I sighed and soundlessly rolled off of the deflating air mattress, careful not to wake Kenzie and Autumn or get shaving cream anywhere else. I walked down the hall to the bathroom and rid myself of the white goo. I took the small green towel from the rack and pat dried my face. When I looked back in the mirror, my stomach knotted.
Look at all those black heads on my nose and upper lip. I moved closer to the big mirror, taking in my whole appearance. Look at my stomach, it’s repulsive. Oh, and forget about my shoulders. Why won’t that acne cream work? My eyes are such an ugly color. I backed away from the mirror slightly and parted my lips. Yellow. Of course. Where are those whitening strips? And why the hell did I let my teeth get that way again? Why didn’t I wear my retainer? Fucking dumbass.
“Steph, where the hell are you?” I stood straight up, took one last disgusted glance into the mirror and walked back to my bedroom. When I opened the door, I was greeted by high pitched squeals.
“What the fuck is wrong with you two?” I asked, poking my ear.
“Steph!” Kenzie yelled.
“Steph!” So did Autumn.
“You’ll never guess!”
They both began speaking at the same time.
“I wanna tell her! No, I wanna tell her! Shut up, I’m doing it!”
“Would you two stop already? Freaks me out when you get all like ‘twin telepathy’ on me. Fucking sci-fi shit right there.” I huffed and threw myself onto the air mattress. “Just both tell me at the same time.”
Kenzie and Autumn looked at each other, smiling mischievously, before sitting on either side of me.
“Actually, you tell her. She’s gonna need someone to hold onto.” Kenzie said to Autumn. I sat up, rolling my eyes. "Here, hold my hand.“ She said. Was she serious?
“Just hold it, trust me!” I groaned and placed my hand in hers.
“Okay.” Autumn took a deep breath. “Okay. Guess…Guess who’s having a meet and greet tomorrow!?” Kenzie screeched a bit, squeezing my hand tight.
“THE ICONIC BOYZ.” My heart dropped. I could tell that the look on my face wasn’t at all what they were expecting. Calmly, I slid my hand out of Kenzie’s grasp, stood up and walked to the door.
“You hoes want breakfast or not?” I pivoted on my heel and walked downstairs.
I could hear them talking about it as I walked away. I knew they expected me to be happy, but how could I be?
Maybe I should explain.
Two years ago, over summer break, my mom decided to drag me on a cruise. I didn’t want to go, until I had walked into our room and seen my life long bestfriends, Kenzie and Autumn standing there. What had started out to be the worst summer ever turned into the best. A week or so into the trip, we noticed a few boys, about our age, sixteen at the time, walking around the ship. As we sat on the white lounge chairs, baking in the hot sun, rating them, we had no idea that by the end of the summer long cruise, they’d have changed our lives.
Let’s start off with Madison Alamia. Tall, funny, awkward, athletic. Madison was the life of the party. Him and Autumn had met in the souvenir shop, when, clumsy as they are, they bumped into each other and sent five snow globes tumbling to the ground, causing them to shatter. Of course they had to split the price to pay for the damage. He asked her to come hangout with him and “his boys” later that day. They’d clicked instantly. They were like two peas in a pod. They were each other’s other halves.
Anyway, that’s how Kenzie met Jason Smith. Jason’s the sweetest, smartest most golden hearted kid you’d ever meet. His hazel eyes could make even butter melt. He could be awkward at times but he made up for it with his adorably nerdy sense of humor. Honestly, though, his eyes were the prize winners. That’s what Kenzie had noticed first about him and ever since she’s never really looked at another guy’s eyes. They were, in the words of Sandy Cheeks, “tighter than bark on a tree.” By the end of the summer, you couldn’t catch Jason without Kenzie or Madison without Autumn.
Then there was Madison and Jason’s best friend. The third wheel for a while there, I guess you could say. Nicholas Mara. Beautiful chocolate brown eyes, gorgeous natural smile, a voice to swoon over and a personality to die for, Nick was one of those smooth, “ladies’ man” type of guys. Before I met him, there wasn’t a moment when I didn’t catch him flirting with a lifeguard or checking out the asses of passing girls. When I came face to face with him for the first time, I made a complete idiot of myself, but for some reason, he didn’t mind. I have to admit, the beginning of that summer, you’d probably think Nick was the biggest asshole to ever walk the earth. I don’t know what compelled him to choose me over so many other beautiful girls on the ship. I also don’t know what happened to him, but before the end of the summer, he was a different person. But he’d changed for the good. For the better, even.
We’d found out that the trio lived in New Jersey as well, and for a while after, we stayed in touch. We even hung out a couple of times. December is when it all really broke apart. They’s stopped answering our calls and texts. They deleted us off of facebook. We were never really sure what happened, all we knew was that it was over. The boys we thought were “the ones” completely left us in the dust. We were all heart broken and for a while, we barely even spoke to each other out of feat that they’d come up in conversation. Eventually, they slowly drifted out of our minds and we slowly grew closer together. They were gone, those boys. Gone for good.
That is, until a few weeks ago.
April 14th changed a lot of things for us. It was the premiere of one of our favorite shows, America’s Best Dance Crew. Kenzie had come over my house and we were eating popcorn in my basement when the ICONic Boyz popped up on the stage. I recognized him. I recognized the face immediately. It hadn’t changed much since that summer. None of them had. Nick’s face sparking my memory, I sprinted to find the picture of all six of us on the last day of the cruise that I’d hidden in a blue envelope at the back of my nightstand’s drawer. When I saw it for the first time in almost two years, I broke down.
No one realizes what that summer did for me. No one realized what Nick did for me.
“Go without me.” I folded my arms over my chest.
“No, Steph. Please. You’re the only one with a car. Why don’t you want to go?” Kenzie asked, looking a bit concerned. Her and Autumn had become fans of the “Boyz” and couldn’t wait to reunite with their old flames. Unlike me, who wanted nothing to do with any of them.
“I just don’t want to spend my Sunday waiting in line for hours around a bunch of little obsessive girls to see seven guys who dance of TV, three of which, just so happen to have broken our fucking hearts, if you don’t remember!” My voice gradually got louder. That always happened when I was being stubborn. “Besides, what makes you think they’re going to remember you? What makes you think they’ll still feel the same? Think about it. If they really loved you like they said they would, would they have dropped you like that?” I could see Autumn’s face turning pink.
“You know what, Steph? You’re being fucking stupid about this. Just because Nick cheated on you, doesn’t mean Madison and Jason cheated on us. In fact, they didn’t. We drifted apart. You’re being fucking stubborn as always and pretty bitchy, if you ask me. We just wanna meet the other Boyz, is that so fucking hard for you to understand? Not all of this is about us and Jason and Madison. And absolutely none of it is about you and Nick.” She took a deep breath, fuming, as Kenzie placed a delicate hand on her shaking shoulder.
“Steph, all we’re asking you to do is drive us there. You don’t have to meet them with us, if you don’t want to. Bring Mara or Micaela and go shopping or something and you can come pick us up when it’s over.” Kenzie kept calm, rubbing Autumn’s shoulder lightly.
They were both right. None of this was about me and Nick. I was being stubborn and stupid and unfair. I was the only one of us with a car. I could feel my body getting weak, though, at the thought of even being anywhere near Nick. But something deep down was telling me this was something I had to do, especially if Autumn and Kenzie were my best friends.
“Fine.” I said. And without thinking, the words “But I’m coming with you.” slid out of my mouth. My tongue burned like fire and my legs became shaky.
“Oh. My. God.” Popcorn fell through my fingers and back into the white bowl that was on my lap. Mixed emotions and jumbled thoughts burned the back of my head. That’s impossible. Completely and utterly impossible. Eyebrows furrowed in confusion, I threw the white bowl to the side, spilling it everywhere, and ran up stairs as quickly as I possibly could.
“Steph, what the hell?” Kenzie shouted after me but I didn’t stop to explain. I dashed up the second flight of plush carpeted stairs and burst into my bedroom. I scanned my memory to try and remember where I had hidden that photo. In what was practically an instant, my room had been ripped apart. Kneeling in front of my tiny black nightstand, I ran my fingers through my hair in frustration. I huffed and harshly pulled out the bottom drawer, searching frantically for that picture. The door to my bedroom hit the wall behind it. Kenzie’s footsteps grew closer behind me. I could feel her rough gaze pierce my back.
“You got popcorn in my hair, stupid hoe.” She laughed as she pulled a piece out and flicked it at me. That’s when I found a blue envelope standing against the wall of the drawer. I picked it off and brought it to my face, examining it with wide eyes.
“Stephanie, what the f-”
“Shut the fuck up.” I hissed and she put her hands up in defeat. Careful not tear the envelope, I broke the seal. Slowly I pulled out the contents. A single picture. Mind and heart racing, I stared at it for a long time. It was all too familiar. The setting, the time, the faces, the smiles, the people. Heart thudding against my chest, hot tears welled in the corner of my eyes. I held the picture to my chest and sat back on my feet letting the tears fall.
Kenzie knelt beside me. “What’s going on?!” She placed a petite hand on my shoulder and began to carress my back. Struggling to catch my breath, I shakily handed her the picture. She looked down at it then back at me, confusion ridden in her eyebrows.
Flashback * 2 years ago. Summer.
“I can’t believe you’re dragging me on this stupid cruise. I’m supposed to be spending my summer with my best friends, not you psychopaths.” I hissed at my mom. She rolled her eyes and continued on walking. When we reached our room, she slid in the key and held it open. I pushed past her, angrily.
“Seriously. What would have made you think-” That’s why I saw them out of the corner of my eye, quietly giggling
“HOLY CRAP.” I ran to them, jumping on top of them and tackling them with bear hugs.
“Mhm.” My mom sounded, helping my brother and sister carry in the rest of their luggage.
He had the most amazing chocolate brown eyes I’d ever seen. They were sleepy and brooding. There was a slight twinkle in them as his lips parted into a smile. The most perfect smile I’d ever seen. I watched as he spoke, crystal words flowing like liquid out of his moist pink lips. He had a raspy voice. It sent chills down my spine. I felt my knees getting weak as my heart pounded against the wall of my chest.
“Ouch!” Autumn’s elbow dug into my side. I realized I hadn’t been listening to a word he’d said. I probably missed his name. I looked at her, annoyed. “What!?” Her eyes shifted between me and him.
“Uh, I asked you your name?” He smirked at me, his eyes piercing into mine like daggers.
“Stephanie.” I said quickly.
“I can tell by the way he looks at you.” Roughly wiping away the hot tears streaming down my cheekbones, I asked what she meant by that. The tears subsided as I awaited her reply. Sighing deeply, she explained. And as she did, the tears reformed, twice as large, twice as hot and with double the emotion behind them.
“I’ve got my sights set on you, and I’m ready to aim. I have a heart that will never be tamed.” Miley Cyrus’s voice rung out from the pounding black speakers. He placed his hands on my hips, swaying back and forth to the music. A devilish look in his eye, he leaned down and whispered in my ear.
“Let’s ditch.” He took my small hand in his large one and ran out of the hot room.
I snuggled my head into the indent of his neck as he played with my fingers.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” He asked.
“What, the stars? I know. They’re amazing from up here.” I sighed dreamily, listening to the beat of his heart.
“No, not that.” He said, sitting up. I sat up too, my legs crossed.
"You. This summer. This cruise. My love for you.”
“Have you talked to them lately?” I questioned, a lump in my throat and knot in my stomach. They both shook their heads quietly. That’s when my emotions took control of me once again.
Present Day * 2 years later. ABDC premiere.
“You don’t remember, do you?” I sniffled as Kenzie tucked a piece of loose hair behind my ear.
She folded her hand in her lap, giving me an innocent look. She sighed.
Part two! There could possibly be four parts to this chapter, depending on how much I feel like giving away right now.
These parts are so boring, omg. I’m sorry. It should get a little better next chapter! I promise! Sorry:/
Anyway, enjoy! Feedback is very much appreciated(:
The ship had set sail about an hour ago. Autumn lay on the fluffy bed, upside down, her head hanging over the edge. Kenzie knelt in front of the black dresser, shoving the last bit of her clothes into the drawer. I sat on the plush multi-colored, fish-printed chair, knees to my chest, flipping through the pamphlets.
“Done!” Kenzie announced as the drawer clicked closed.
“Oooooh, look at this!” I turned the pamphlet around to them. “Tuesday Teen Nights in the bar!” I winked at Kenzie and she rolled her eyes. “Oh, lighten up!” I tapped her shoulder with my toes. “I know I wouldn’t survive a second in there, no need to give me looks.”
“I’m so bored!” Autumn yelled, pulling herself back up. Her face was as red as a tomato and I couldn’t help but giggle a bit. “Do those pamphlets have a map to the pool?” She asked, pulling her hair into a high pony tail. I flipped through a few pages, my heart racing. This is what I was dreading. The only thing I was dreading about this trip.
Before school ended, starting in January, I went on a major diet. I changed around the things I ate completely. I didn’t eat a single piece of fatty or unhealthy foods. I went to the gym every morning before school and every night before I went to sleep. I knew that, come summer, I wanted to go from a size 9 in jeans to a size 5.
It worked. Dad took me out when I’d reached my goal and practically bought me a whole new closet. He knew how much I wanted it and he helped me every step of the way, encouraging me in a way my mom was too busy to.
Though I reached the goal I wanted, I’m still self conscious with my body. My legs and stomach, especially. I was dreading putting on that new bikini for the first time ever and flaunting what probably shouldn’t be flaunted.
“So, we just make a right here, and go up the elevator?” Kenzie and Autumn leaned over me, pointing at the map.
“Yeah, that seems easiest.” Autumn said, walking over to her the dresser. She opened the drawer and pulled out a strapless white bikini with thin, sparkly silver stripes lining it along with a pair of denim shorts and an old school t-shirt. Kenzie and I followed her lead.
Our flip flops clicked against the beige tiled hallway. Kenzie clicked the button for the elevator and I hoisted my purple Victoria’s Secret beach bag higher over my shoulder. We waited for about a good three minutes before a loud DING! echoed from above the sliding doors. A tall boy with spikey brown hair was inside. He wore a black t-shirt with white printed words and red swim trunks. A cell phone was squished between his hear and his shoulder. The three of us awkwardly filed onto the enormous elevator. The doors closed and the boy continued to talk on his phone.
“Yeah, yeah….Dude….Bro, calm down…Yeah, I’m in the elevator now…” He switched his cell phone from one ear to the other. I looked over at the girls. Kenzie was examining her fingernails while Autumn stood, motionless, staring at the boy. When she caught my gaze, she blushed.
“Okay…Okay…Yeah…Alright…Bye.” He clicked the end button and shoved his phone in his pocket. The elevator still hadn’t reached our destination. The boy had barely noticed our presence until Kenzie let out a little sneeze.
“Bless you.” He turned to her and shot her a small smile.
“Thanks.” She said.
DING! The elevator doors slid open and the boy jogged out of the elevator. Kenzie and I filed off and headed towards the pool. Autumn trailed slowly behind us.
When we finally stepped from the shade and onto the pool deck, my mood lightened slightly. The pool was crystal blue and it was huge. At one end it branched out into an area with slides and a play set. At the other, jacuzzis of all shapes and sizes were placed all around. Sky blue lounge chairs lined along the deck. Palm trees shot up from the ground in random places and white umbrellas and tables were scattered around. To my surprise, very few people were around. But hey, I wasn’t complaining. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for this anyway.
I followed Kenzie to the far right corner of the pool deck near the myriad of different jacuzzis. We put our stuff on some chairs and claimed a table. Autumn and Kenzie removed their cover ups, revealing their perfectly flat tummies and flawless skin.
“Need any sun tan lotion?” I asked, reaching into my bag and pulling out a brown bottle of Banana Boat tanning oil. Kenzie nodded, taking it from me, and began to lather it all over her body. I laid back in the lounge chair letting the warmth of the sun relax my anxiety.
“Well, are you coming or what?” Autumn asked, throwing the lotion back in my bag. I could feel a light fluttering in my stomach. I was so not ready to do this. What if my stomach isn’t flat enough? What if my body isn’t as nice as I’d hoped it’d be after I’d lost all the weight? What if people see Kenzie and Autumn and wonder how such pretty, skinny girls were stuck with a whale like me? I looked down at my shirt that was protecting me from all the fears and then squinted back up at Autumn.
“Uh, yeah.” I nodded and sat up. “Go ahead, I’ll be right there. I need to put some lotion on first.”
“Okay!” Her and Kenzie walked off. I watched as they argued over which jacuzzi we should sit in. Reluctantly I stood up, prolonging having to take my shirt off for as long as possible by looking through my bag.
What the fuck are you doing? I mentally kicked my self. You worked fucking hard to get where you are now. Why the hell aren’t you happy? I sighed, running my fingers through my hair. I made this so much more difficult than it needed to be. Just do it. What are you waiting for?
Finally, I pulled the flowy orange top off of my body and slid my denim shorts off, revealing the black and gold halter top bikini I’d bought in preparation for mine, Kenzie and Autumn’s summer plans down the shore. Quickly, I squirted some sun tan oil over my skin and scurried over to find where the girls had finally settled. The pool deck had become a little more crowded and, becoming self conscious again, I wrapped my arms around my stomach.
They’d picked a small, oddly shaped jacuzzi at the opposite end of where we’d sat down. As I walked towards them, I spotted the boy we’d encountered in the elevator, along with two other boys, both a little shorter than him. I couldn’t really see any of their faces clearly considering that, without my glasses, I couldn’t see a thing past my outstretched fingertips without it being fuzzy. They walked past a group of girls in front of me. The shortest boy, closest to the group of girls, turned around and checked out their butts as they walked past. He gave them a long whistle and the boy from the elevator smacked his arm, telling him to be a little more respectful. Embarrassed, I ducked my head, hoping he wouldn’t look at me. As he and his friends passed, I ducked my head slightly lower, one arm still covering my belly, and tucked a strand of long brown hair behind my ear. I could feel his gaze on my. It scorched my skin as if someone had just placed a campfire behind my back. I could feel my face flushing red and I tried to walk a little faster.
“Are you alright?” Kenzie asked, sliding over as I dipped my toe into the bubbling pool.
“Fine, why?” I asked, stepping in further. She shrugged as I sat down.
this is a drawing made by my best friend her niece, she an tattoo-artist and she makes really insane good shit. I want a tattoo and I already know she is the one who is going to put one with me. she has an incredible style.