Dad had told us that we were staying in a beach house in Miami, but he hadn't told us that it was so secluded. Angela, being only five, had expected to see a beach full of people and ice cream stands, but reality for her was the opposite of mine. She wanted a busy summer where she could meet other children and play the games that can only be played while on vacation at the beach.
For me, I preferred this town, Pueblo, because of its seclusion. The fact that there were no honking cars or crazy multitudes of people flocking the streets brought my attention. I could pass my summer nights and days sitting on the beach enjoying the quiet that I had craved back home. I saw a boy with black hair on a skateboard pass our car and I thought of Jacob. These random memories of what had happened back in March hit my mind like lightning, re-awakening me from whatever situation I had dragged myself into.
"I swear you girls will love it," dad was saying from the driver's seat. "I got us a pass for the whole summer so we won't be going back until the end of August."
My mom smiled and I could imagine her eyes wrinkling in satisfaction as she looked over at my dad. They weren't the type to fight and they always supported each other. I guess you could say that they were the ideal couple. Mom with her black curly hair and reassuring smile, and dad with his grey eyes and equally grey hair. Unlike my friends' parents who occasionally fought so loudly that they would have to put their earphones on and blast their iPods to full volume, mine were so quiet I used to have to check to make sure that they were home.
"I'll be doing my work for the office up here so that we can all be together and Ave," dad always used this nickname when he was about to ask me for a favor, "please honey, give it a chance." I nodded quietly and looked out the window of the rental SUV.
Half an hour later we were driving down a closed off section of white beach houses that resembled extremely over-sized doll houses. Yellow, white, and baby blue shingles decorated the houses and large arch windows covered the first level of every house. The lawns were flawless with tiny sprinklers shooting out jets of water and the sun reflected off of the many expensive cars in the perfectly paved driveways. This was what I called subtle living.
Dad finally pulled into the driveway of a three storey beach house that had a balcony tracing the side of the third floor. The door was a deep red, like blood, and from the car I could see straight through the large windows towards the other side of the house where another window offered me the view of the ocean.
I said nothing as I pulled out my suitcases and walked towards the door. Mom unlocked the door while talking to Angela. "Okay, I want you to help mommy set up the house for the Summer okay?" Angela nodded obediently. "Good, it'll be fun!"
Her enthusiasm was marching on the brink of my annoyance and I walked straight in. I made my way steadily across the front entrance and stopped briefly to hear the leftover echo of my footsteps.
"Dad," I said while I looked around. There was modern furniture in the living room, which I was now standing in the center of, and a large TV sat behind me. The massive window that I had seen from outside brought in enough natural light to see every corner of the area. "Dad."
"Yes darling," he appeared in the doorway that I had just walked through.
"Where's my room?" I asked while still looking around the large space.
"Upstairs," he looked up thoughtfully. "Third floor."
"Thanks." I said as I lifted my bags and found my way towards the main set of stairs that was through another doorway to the left of the living room.
I finally arrived on the third floor and I pulled my long black hair off of my sweating face. I opened the door to my room and forced myself not to gasp. It was beautiful. A twin-sized bed sat under a double set of windows overlooking the ocean and a small desk with a black lamp sat at the foot of the bed. The purple bed covers swayed in the salty breeze and I dropped my things on the wooden floors. The walls were a cream color and my bathroom was a turquoise that put the color of the ocean to shame. The closet was definitely large enough and the sun lit up the room.
Last night all I had wanted to do was come straight here and sleep, but to dad it would have been a waste. We had arrived when the sun was setting and I understood why he would have wanted to wait. Wow, I thought, he must really want me to change. But Jacob, like the fixture that he had always been in my life popped out of nowhere into my thoughts and I instantly felt guilty. How could I be so overwhelmed by a room like this when I would never see him again?
I dropped onto the bed and put my face in my hands. Breathe. Come on, breathe. I felt the heat of the sun on my back and the breeze slightly lifting strands of my black hair. Breathe, Avery. This would be my first real Summer in a long time without him.
Just breathe, Avery.