My father rocked my back and forth on his knee, while I smiled down at my 6 candled birthday cake.
“…happy birthday dear, Samantha… Happy birthday to you!” everyone around me cheered.
“Okay honey, blow out the candles now.” Dad whispered in my ear.
I took a deep breath and blew as hard as I could.
When I stopped blowing there appeared to be no flames left on any of the candles.
My family clapped and cheered. But all I demanded was, ‘cake!’
As I ate the chocolate ice-cream cake I turned to face my father.
“Daddy, I’m going to stay with you and Mummy forever.”
He pinched my cheek and replied, “I’m sure you’re not going to believe that forever. You’re going to grow up, move out and have a family of your own one day.”
I looked into his deep green eyes and pulled on his short brown beard.
“I don’t want to grow up.” I placed my finished cake onto the table and folded my arms.
He chuckled a strong laugh. “I wish you even have to either. But I know you’re going to have a fantastic life, I promise.”
He kissed my head, and then returned to his position.
“I love you!” I whispered as my fathers face suddenly disappeared.
“Oh, I’m touched.” Nate said in a cocky voice.
I glared at him, without saying anything. He smiled.
I studied his face. He had very pale skin, and his eyes were the darkest shade of brown I had ever seen. I shifted my eyes to his hair. In the sun it was a very bright purple, now it seemed much lighter.
He stood smirking, waiting for me to explain why I said, ‘I love you’ to him.
“It wasn’t to you.” I rolled my eyes and groaned.
“Who was it for then? My dear.”
I could tell he was really enjoying this.
“God, do you have to be so-”
“Argh!” I yelled, “I was thinking of my family, okay? Are you happy now?”
“I’d prefer you loved me, but I suppose so.” He faked looking hurt for a moment, then went back to a straight face. “All your clothes are in the closest in the third room on the left. That’ll be your room.”
I rolled my eyes again at he’s sudden change of emotion. He really is strange.
“Come on, don’t you want to see the beach?”
“Hang on. Five more minutes, please.” I called out to Nate from inside his bathroom.
He had promised me he would take me down to the beach today, seeing I had never been on one.
I looked at myself in the mirror. I was standing in my red and black striped bikini and for some strange reason, strange as hell if I looked okay.
My olive skin was certainly darker on my lower arms and legs, than my chest and upper legs.
My eyes moved to my chest. The part of me that was sweet and innocent told me to cover them up, and never let them be seen again. I chuckled at the thought, and wrapped my blue beach towel around my waist. I grabbed my plastic beach bag, that held all my beach utensils, and swung the door to my bathroom open, nearly hitting Nate in the face.
“Okay.” I smiled, “Ready.”
Nate’s eyes widened, as he took a few steps back from me, and turned.
I chuckled at him, leaving him confused as we both walked out the front door.
“So how are we getting there, ye old teleportation?” I asked.
He laughed and replied, “Nah, I think you’ve done enough of that for a while. Besides, people would kind of find it weird if we popped up on the beach out of nowhere. Don’t you think?”
“Mmm… guess so.”
I knew he was right. I pictured Nate and I appearing in a group of gasping people-Not good.
His apartment was on the second highest floor of the building, meaning we had to take the lift. I had always hated lifts, afraid they might stop and leave me in the confined space with many people.
Nate pressed the button to the lift and stood back beside me.
“Nate. Nate…” I said in a loud key.
“Yes…” he said slowly, and looked down at me panicking face, “Are you okay?”
“I don’t like lifts.” I admitted, shamefully.
With that, Nate let out a full blown bellowing laugh.
“I don’t find it funny Nate.”
“You’re right. So… um… not funny.” He was still laughing until I hit his elbow.
“Fine. Take the stairs. I’ll meet you down there.”
I nodded and opened the door to the stairs.
I looked down to what appeared to be a never ending staircase. I stepped onto the first step and already felt queasy. There were so many! I stepped onto the second and I felt my body ache. I looked around to make sure no people were about. There weren’t, luckily, so I closed my eyes and thought about being at the bottom of the staircase.
When I reopened my eyes, I then walked casually through the exit door.
I couldn’t see Nate anywhere.
Great, I bet him. He’s going to be so thrilled about that.
Nate appeared after a few moments, as the elevator beeped.
“Tell me you didn’t.”
“Seriously, what hurt can it do?”
He blankly stared at me.
I continued, “There were so many stairs!”
Finally he made a sound, “Mmm…”
The beach was absolutely swarming with people. I have never seen a more crowded place. Nate wrapped his arm around my shoulder as we walked down the limestone steps. He really needs to break that habit.
“Nate, hey!” a female voice yelled.
“Giselle!” he called out, and dropped his arm from my shoulder.
Nate started walking towards a young, attractive, blonde girl. Who looked almost exactly like Pamela Anderson in ‘Baywatch.’
When Nate reached her, he gave her a big out stretched hug. They broke away from the hug and looked at each other, for what felt like a life time. Then, just like in the movies, she jumped up to kiss him.
I stood there watching, as people pushed past me.
I knew I didn’t have feelings for Nate, but the way she kissed him… made my blood boil.
After the very passionate kiss, they walked back over to me; holding hands.
“Giselle, this is Samantha. My… ah… cousin.”
I was speechless.
“And Samantha, this is my girlfriend. Giselle Anderton.”
Wow, how ironic.
“Nice to meet you.” Giselle told me and shook my hand.
“Mmm… you too.” I mumbled.
“I’m sorry baby. But I have to go.” She turned to Nate, “So I have to go.”
“It’s okay.” He told her, and kissed her lips softly, “Call me later.”
“Bye!” She squeaked and walked off. Before screaming out, “It really was nice to meet you Sam!”---
“Cousin?” I exclaimed as Giselle was out of site. Also adding a punch to Nate’s arm.
“Hey! I had to think quick.” He said, rubbing his arm.
“But why couldn’t you say: ‘My friend Samantha’, or even: ‘My Teleporting buddy’?”
“One: she doesn’t know about the teleportation, and two: she is… jealous of me with other girls. And living with you! That would have made her mad. If she knew the truth we wouldn’t really get any ‘alone time’ now, would we?”
I never replied, and he never continued.
Instead, we walked over to find a clearing in the crowd.
The sun was bright in my eyes, and the sand was hot on my feet. I was thankful when we finally found a clear spot to lay our towels.
Our spot was a fair way away from the water and there were a few people between us and it.
Nate and I lay down on our beach towels. The sun was right above me so I lay my hand over my eyes.
Being here… nearly made me forget all my worries. The worries that turned into nightmares every time my eyes were closed.
Nate quickly sat, making me instantly look in his direction.
He slowly slid off his blue t-shirt to reveal and muscular chest. Looking at his muscles made me realise how strong he must be, and what it would feel like to be wrapped in his arms…
He must of realised I was staring, because he then asked, “See something you like?” A smile curved across his face, while mine grew sour.
“No.” I said sternly, “I am a widow! For God’s sake. And you have a girlfriend. So no, I do not see something I like.
Nate exhaled and put his arms above his face, like surrendering, “Just mucking around, cuzz.”
He then put his arms behind his head, and lay back down, closing his eyes.
“Aren’t we going for a swim?” I asked him, making his eyes reopen, “I mean… this is a beach.”
“You have to ask me right when I get comfortable, don’t you?” He said, I was unable to tell whether was being serious or not. “Fine. Let’s go for a swim.”
We both rose to our feet and started making our way to the ocean.
As my feet touched the shallows of the clear blue water Nate pulled his hand in front of my face, warning me to stop.
“You do know how to swim, don’t you?” He asked me, yet I knew he knew to answer.
“Yes, I do.” I said, pushing his hand away, and started to make my way to deep water.
“Aww…” He said and jogged after me, “Because I was of made a great hero, if I had to save you from the Wonders of the Deep.”
He reached me, when the water was just touching my hip, I smiled.
“You’re an ass.”
“I really do prefer the term irresistible hunk, but whatever pleases you.”
I frowned at him, then, using my left arm, flicked water onto his face.
“Ass, ass, ass.” I chanted, still flicking water.
He laughed and, using both of his hands, splashed cold water all over me.
I shivered, and threw my wet hair over my face and onto my back.
“Oh, your so going to get it.” I laughed and chased Nate through the waves.
The walls were creamy yellow, I never noticed the colour before.
I skipped along the hallways to Nate’s apartment tracing my hand along the walls, they were smooth to touch.
I had had a terrific day, and I couldn’t help but smile.
Nate and I spent almost the entire day at the beach, and most of that time was in the water.
Each time we emerged from the water our hands would be wrinkly and numb. – I laughed at the thought.
“I take it you enjoyed your day at the beach?” Nate asked, when we reached his door- Room 407.
“It was great.” I assured him and opened the handle after Nate had unlocked the door.
When we had left the beach the sun had just started to set, and now the sun sparkled through Nate’s sliding glass door and onto his couch.
I turned to Nate, who was now sitting on the bright lit chair.
Again, his hair had changed colour. It looked closer to blue than purple. The colour was very had to determine.
I realised I was staring, so I quickly looked away. My glaze turned to a framed picture on the wall besides the entrance to the apartment.
I ran my fingers along the frame, it was black, like all the others. But this one looked older. In the frame was a picture of a mother in a hospital gown, and in her arms was a baby. One unusual among others. By the hair colour, I knew it was Nate.
He was wrapped in a blue blanket and was sleeping peacefully. The mother didn’t look as in bliss as the he did though, her face looked overwhelmed, or maybe even afraid. I could tell by just looking at the photograph the mother didn’t really want this baby. She was young, maybe only 17, she had short brown hair and a child-like face. I could see Nate in her, the arch in her nose, the high cheek bones, and the eyes.
Suddenly, I felt an arm on my shoulder, making me jump.
“She was beautiful wasn’t she?” Nate asked me.
I looked up at his face, it was over my shoulder and just inches from mine.
He wasn’t looking back, his eyes were firmly locked onto the picture. His face was serious, eyeing every detail of it.
“Yes,” I agreed, “She was very.”
I tore my gaze away and looked back at the picture.
“Shame I was in her arms, if I wasn’t maybe there’d be a smile on her face.”
I felt the sudden emotion I had never experienced before.
The feeling of being entirely alone. The feeling of never being wanted.
Then, a vision plastered into my head.
A boy, merely 3, running after a silver car. He was crying, and screaming out to it. No one came back, no one told him is was going to be okay.
I felt tears rolling down my cheek again, and another picture was in my mind.
This, was of an older child, sitting in the bed of what looked to be a hospital. His eyes where swollen and his arms were bloody. ‘What happened to you?’ A nurse asked him, her face was blurred, so I had no idea what she looked like.
The boy was crying once more, I was guessing somebody beat him. Then, a women rushed into the room. The smell of smoke filled my nostrils. The lady was quite old, and had very dark, very thick makeup plastered on her face. ‘Oh boy,’ he sighed, ‘You’re crying again? Come now, you know he didn’t mean too.’
The crying didn’t stop, it just got louder and louder. Until the women screamed, ‘We are leaving now! Come!’
I stumbled back from the picture, and from Nate.
My cheeks were puffy, I couldn’t stop myself from crying. What I saw was just so…sad.
“Samantha, are you okay?” Nate asked, practically yelling over my sobs.
“What was that?” I asked, looking into his worried eyes.
“What was what? Samantha, you have just been crying… What happened?”
We were both kneeling on the floor, I rubbed my eyes.
“I think… I saw you.”