Authors: Kimberly Fox
“She’s not going to try to have sex with me is she?” I ask when I turn back to my friends. I wouldn’t put it past her. She’s got the libido of a sixteen-year-old boy who just unlocked the parental controls of his laptop after eating a whole box of Viagra.
Megan starts a new round of giggling.
“I don’t think so,” Tanya says, with a sigh. “But you never know with Ophelia.”
I take a deep breath and suck it up. I don’t want to do anything to put a damper on Tanya’s wedding. She’s trying her best and it’s not her fault that I don’t have a boyfriend.
“It’s okay,” I lie. “It will be great. She can teach me some makeup techniques.”
Megan laughs. “Like how to put on mascara with a paintbrush.”
“Or how to use a whole stick of lipstick in one sitting,” I say, giggling. The damage is done. Might as well have a few laughs.
“I’m so sorry,” Tanya says.
“Don’t worry about it,” I say, trying not to show my irritation. I really don’t want to cause her any stress this week.
“If it’s bad you can come stay with us,” Tanya says.
I laugh. “Oh, I’m sure Ethan would love that!”
“Two girls?” Megan says, raising an eyebrow. “Of course, he would.”
Tanya swats her away like the pesky fly that she is.
“Hello, girls,” Tanya’s dad, Mr. Prentis, says in his deep voice as he walks by. Mrs. Prentis is behind him, smiling as she clutches a bible to her chest.
“Tanya are you feeling okay?” her dad asks. He’s dressed in his corduroy slacks and wool vest like he’s about to go to church rather than on the way to the Caribbean. Knowing him he’d rather be in a church than on a beach.
Tanya nods. “Just a little airsick is all,” she says. She’s starting to get some color back at least. That half pack of Gravol she devoured seems to be kicking in.
“Don’t worry Tanya, if anything happens you can fly away on your broomstick,” Megan says. “You know because your face is so green.”
Tanya just gives her a look and turns back to her dad. “How are you guys doing?”
Mr. Prentis’ face is tight and expressionless. “I don’t like this airplane,” he says with a frown. “They’re showing R-rated movies on the little TVs on the seat. It’s obscene.”
Tanya sighs. “So don’t watch it.”
Her dad ignores her and looks towards the back of the plane. “I’m going to complain to the manager. What kind of airline is this? It’s going to fly us straight to hell.”
“I’m already there,” Tanya whispers.
Megan and I snicker.
“Bye Mr. and Mrs. Prentis,” I say as they continue walking. Mrs. Prentis never says much. She’s usually busy with her nose in a book, which is usually the bible.
“Still strict as ever?” I ask when they’re out of earshot. I remember when we were kids and Tanya had to go to church every Sunday while we played soccer on the street. She always hated it.
Megan is bubbling over with laughter. “Tell her what happened when they met Ethan,” she says, giggling.
“What happened?” I ask.
Tanya shakes her head and gets a look like she’s recounting a tragic tale. “I was at church with my parents and my dad decided that they were going to follow me home for something. Ethan was supposed to be in Chicago for the weekend because he sold his bar and they were signing the papers.”
“Yeah,” I say, shifting in my seat.
“Well, he came for a surprise visit and he was in my apartment when we got home.”
Megan is gripping the seat as she giggles.
“Will you stop laughing?” Tanya asks her. “It’s not funny.”
“You’re right,” Megan says, snorting a laugh. “It’s hilarious.”
“So, what happened?” I ask.
Tanya sighs. “We walked in and Ethan was cooking lunch.”
Megan bursts out laughing. “I would have paid to have seen the look on your dad’s face,” she says.
Tanya closes her eyes. “It’s etched into my brain forever.”
“What?” I ask with a grin. “Ethan cooking naked or your dad’s face?”
“Both,” she says, shaking her head. “I’ve been trying to get them to talk but my father refuses.”
I glance back down the aisle and Mr. Prentis is talking passionately with a confused stewardess. “At least he came,” I say. “That’s a start.”
Tanya lets out a frustrated breath. “He said that he couldn’t miss his only daughter getting married, even if it was to a barbaric caveman.”
“Ouch,” Megan says. “I’m sure they’ll like him once they talk to him and get to know him this week.”
Tanya flashes her a look. “Have you met Ethan?”
“Yeah,” Megan says. “They’re going to hate him.”
Tanya covers her face with her hands and grunts in frustration.
“I think your husband is calling you,” I say to Megan who can’t stop giggling over her best friend’s misfortune.
“No, he’s fine,” she answers.
“You’re supposed to be the maid of honor,” I say, rubbing Tanya’s shoulder. “It’s your job to help.”
Megan shakes her head. “No, it’s my job to look pretty.”
I glance back over my shoulder at Julia and her new boyfriend Matt. They’re snuggling under a blanket and watching a movie together. They’re even sharing a set of headphones. I have a feeling that this week is going to be a lonely one for me.
“Did Ethan bring any hot single friends?” I ask, turning back to Tanya.
“No,” she says, making my stomach drop in disappointment. “He decided not to invite them. He didn’t want to get in deeper water with my parents than he already is.”
“What about his brother?” I ask.
Ugh. I can actually hear the desperation in my voice.
“Doesn’t he have a hot Navy SEAL brother?”
Tanya nods. “I’ve never met him but he couldn’t make it. He’s over in Iraq and couldn’t get a leave of absence.”
Shit. Another lonely vacation.
A whiff of strong flowers assaults my nose from a few rows back. Tanya’s aunt and my new roommate, Ophelia, is squeezing the erotic book in her hands with a crazy grin on her makeup slathered face.
I won’t be alone. I’ll be rooming with Ophelia.
Lonely sounds like paradise all of a sudden.
The bus finally arrives at the resort and I take a deep breath of the hot, humid air as I step onto the pavement. A sweaty, fleshy arm wraps around my neck and I grimace.
“I guess we’re roomies,” Tanya’s aunt Ophelia says into my face with her airline food breath. “This is going to be great.”
I shift to the side, trying to slide out from under her plump triceps but she’s got a strong grip.
I just hope the room has two beds.
“It will be fun,” I say, more to try and convince myself than anything. The power of positive thinking.
I manage to wiggle out from under her arm but she grabs my hand and pulls me to the front desk. “I’ve been in desperate need of some girl time,” she says, squeezing my hand to the point of pain. “My cats have been driving me crazy.”
Cats? Well, that explains the itching in my throat. I’m totally allergic.
“Did you say cats?” I ask, feeling my tongue swell in my mouth.
“Oh yeah,” she says. “I have six of them. And don’t worry I brought pictures.”
Great. I can look at them while my throat closes.
We check in and get our key cards to the room. The resort is smaller than the one in Cancun but all of the rooms have a spectacular view of the turquoise ocean.
If the rooms are anything like the lobby we’re in for a treat. There are fine details everywhere that push it beyond five stars. A beautiful mosaic of two dolphins playing on the floor, gorgeous handcrafted wooden sculptures carved into the walls and large colorful flowers planted all over the place. This resort really is a paradise.
I gasp as we walk through the entrance into the resort. Even Ophelia’s hostile perfume mixed with the smell of old cat hair can’t ruin the stunning view. The pool is large and snakes through the resort, passing swaying palm trees and people lounging on beach chairs.
The beach is in full magnificent view from here and is not crammed with people like on most resorts. It’s late afternoon and people are picking up books and half empty bottles of suntan lotion as they get ready to head back to their rooms for a quick nap or drink on the balcony before dinner. A volleyball game on the beach is just finishing up with the two teams high-fiving each other.
Tanya and Ethan chose a great resort.
I walk through the small resort and check out the amenities. There’s a cute little seafood restaurant, a steakhouse, and the large buffet. The smells coming out of each have my stomach rumbling as the chefs prepare the dinner for the hungry tourists.
I moan as I step barefoot onto the beach and feel the warm sand slide between my toes. I close my eyes, enjoying the feeling that city-goers dream about all winter. The waves hit the shore like the slow beat of a drum taking my worries and anxiety out to sea.
Any hot single guys?
The beach seems to be mostly couples. I can see why in a place like this. It’s quiet and romantic. Not the place for single men wanting to party.
A middle-aged couple smiles at me as they walk back to their rooms. I watch them holding hands as they stroll past two palm trees that curve into each other. The palms are touching like the two trees are in an eternal kiss.
The sun is starting to set lighting the sky into a gorgeous pink fire. Two lazy clouds glide across the ocean together like an elderly couple strolling through the park. The warm breeze hits my face and takes my curly brown hair for a ride with it.
All of the chairs on the beach are paired off in twos, rubbing my loneliness in my face.
One chair for me and one for my book. How sad.
A young couple kisses in front of me and my shoulders slump. I’m in the most romantic place that I’ve ever seen and I’m the only single one here.
“There you are roomie!” Ophelia calls out from behind.
Well, not the only one.
Ophelia hooks her arm under mine and takes a deep inhale of the salty air while I hold my breath. “Come on,” she says, tugging me away towards the rooms. “I have a surprise for you!”
I let her lead me away. I’m starving anyway and the sight of all of those couples is just depressing.
We run into Tanya and Ethan on the way to the room. Tanya glances down at Ophelia’s arm wrapped around mine like a bike lock and gulps.
“Thanks for taking care of my girl on the flight,” Ethan says to me with an easy smile. He looks as hot as ever in his tight shirt over his hard muscles with his sunglasses perched on his head. Tanya really hit the jackpot with this one.
“No worries,” I say with a shrug. “I’m just glad that she didn’t puke on my sweater.”
“I’m sorry,” Tanya says, “I can’t help it. I just get so nervous flying.”
Ethan wraps his inked up muscular arm around her shoulder and grins. “I guess my dream of joining the mile high club is out of the question?”
Tanya gives him the eyes. “With me it is.”
Ethan kisses her forehead. “There’s only you baby.”
“Damn,” Ophelia says under her breath but it’s loud enough for all of us to hear.
Tanya just ignores her sex-crazed aunt. “Everyone is going to get dressed quick and then meet at the seafood restaurant for dinner.”
“Alright,” I say as Ophelia pulls me away. “We’ll see you there.”
I need to find my own Superman. Lately, it’s just been a string of guys looking for one night stands. They don’t even try to masquerade it behind romance anymore. Instead of bringing flowers and dressing up they send over dick pics and expect a girl to be happy. It seems like nobody wants commitment anymore.
The Tinder generation is all about hookups and getting off. Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong century. Is there anything wrong with still wanting romance and monogamy? According to the guys of my generation there is.
Our room is on the second floor and within steps to the beach. I hold my breath as Ophelia opens the door and then I look up to the ceiling to say a quick prayer of thanks when I see two beds in the room. The room is way nicer than my apartment and I walk around it with wide eyes taking in the stunning bathroom with the walk-in shower and two-person tub, the large room with the mini fridge, bar, and big screen TV, and the huge balcony with the magnificent view of the ocean. Two white sailboats drift by in the distance taking my breath away with them.
“This is incredible,” I say as Ophelia hoists her suitcase onto her bed and cracks it open. My eyes start to water and my tongue gets itchy as the heavy smell of six cats fills the room.
I step back onto the balcony and breathe in the fresh, salty ocean air as I wonder if my bed can fit out here. That smell is too intense.
Ophelia clutches her stomach and moans. “I shouldn’t have taken the fish on the plane,” she says with a groan. Her eyes widen and she runs to the bathroom, slamming the door behind her.
If I thought the smell was bad now…
I step in the room to close her suitcase when something inside catches my eye. A big white plastic bag with colorful things inside.
Is that what I think it is? Please no.
I hook my finger into the bag, touching as little of it as possible, and pull it open.
There’s an army of dildos inside. Over a dozen and all different sizes, shapes and colors. Suddenly I’ve lost my appetite.
I hope that wasn’t the surprise that she had in mind.
I close the bag, hoping that it never gets opened again on this vacation when something else catches my watery eyes. Lacy leopard print.
I have to do it. It’s like watching a car crash. It’s calling to me as every sane thought in my head says don’t do it.
I hook my finger into the lacy material and lift it up, letting the folded lingerie drop open.
I’ve never seen a lacy parachute before.
I gag when I see the hole in the crotch that’s cut out with scissors.
I toss it back into the suitcase and rush to the bathroom door.