I had taken a hot shower to release my pent up stress after my conversation with Claire. I needed to do something that didn't include being scared. I had to forget that Avery was leaving and live in the moment. Her father may never understand, but I would try.
I needed to see her.
After putting on a pair of white baggy shorts and a black undershirt, I slipped out of my house leaving a whining Aqua inside. My parents hadn't returned yet and the sky looked cloudy after Claire's visit. The sun burned on my bare skin, adding on an extra layer of sunburn, and I ruffled my blond curls with my hands--as if what I were about to do was a small feat.
I felt my feet taking me to where the fence was on the beach without telling them to. They jumped over the cracks that I had sworn would break my mother's back when I was younger, I avoided being under the royal palms, since the shadows hid my fears, and I waved to several people passing by that I knew. But I never stopped, I simply kept walking towards the fence.
On the beach, I felt the instant burn of the hot sand against my flip-flopped feet and today it was slightly crowded on my side. I slipped out my cell phone and dialed Avery's number out by memory. I took a deep breath in and put the phone up to my ear. Almost immediately the same automatic female's voice that I had heard for the past week and a half greeted me. "The caller you are trying to reach is currently unavailable, please hang up and try your call again, if--" I hung up the phone before the voice continued and, after closing my phone and placing it back in my pocket, I looked up at the fence.
She'd been looking for me. That's the only reason I could think of whenever I thought about her at Habana Vieja last night. Plus Amanda always frequented it. Funny how the town believes that it is useless to trust in the outsiders when the outsiders can't even trust us.
I put one foot in the spot that I had found years ago and I pulled myself up, praying that no one was on the other side. I landed with a soft thud on the heavy sand and I looked around me, but no one was on the beach. This separation gave me goosebumps. The beach on my side was so full and alive and this side was full of shadows and an empty echoing shoreline.
I steadily walked towards the patio and quickly ducked to the side when I saw Avery's parents coming out. I tried to control my surprised heavy breathing as I hid under the high wooden patio.
"Eric please," Avery's mom was saying in an irritated voice. "You have to stop this."
"So then Martha, you're okay with what she did?" Avery's father, Eric, accused.
"I'm not saying that it is right," something that Eric did must have flustered her because she quickly added in a stronger voice, "but I'm also not saying that it is wrong."
"Martha," Eric's voice was annoyed now. "I thought you would understand."
"I do honey, but please, she's acting like a zombie." I heard her shudder. "Like after Jacob died, please, just try to understand that this Alex--"
My heart nearly stopped when I realized that they were discussing Avery and I being together.
"--is the best thing that has happened to her since Jacob's accident. You are slowly destroying her." Her voice turned to soothing, almost begging, at the end.
"I am helping her." Eric's voice wasn't as confident as before. "She will thank me, she is too young."
"She is an adult now and if she is truly your daughter, she will hate you rather than thank you." I heard a shuffling of feet as Martha stepped closer to her husband. "Please Eric, even you must see what your decision is doing to our little girl."
"I'm scared to lose her Martha, I really am." He admitted quietly.
"I know," she sympathized, "but you will lose her if you continue with this rampage."
After a few more minutes I heard them go back inside. I let out a breath that I hadn't noticed that I was holding in and I stood up out of my hiding spot. I waited for god knows what beside the patio, too shocked to move. My cell phone suddenly started ringing and I jumped in surprise.
"Hello?" I answered on the third ring.
"Alex." She said one word and I knew what she wanted.
"I'm here." I responded.
"I'll be right out."