" Hurry up Kris, or you'll miss your plane!" Steph shouted from the kitchen.
Kristen was coming down the stairs as she said "Stop making me nervous, you know that no one hates airplanes more than me." She was seated on the last step, putting her Nikes on.
" That's exactly my point; why do you have to go alone to that island? A day wont make much difference; you should wait until tomorrow and fly out with the rest of us."
As Steph had been speaking theyd moved outside. Whilst she opened the trunk of her blue SUV, putting in the suitcase, she tried to convince Steph with her best smile. It didnt work." Steph, the flights are full; your friend cant find a company that has seats for all of us at the same time, and I already gave my word, I need to be there. So I'm sticking to this plan, better to be safe than sorry." Kris said, putting on her favorite planet Hollywood baseball cap and hopping inside the Grand Cherokee.
" Oh my God!!! What in the world are you wearing?" Jackie, Steph's girlfriend was inside the car when Kristen got in. " Well, hello to you too Jackie, When did you came back?" Kristen said, unimpressed.
She had never liked Jackie; she thought her to be a deceitful person, but she tried to be polite for Steph's sake. Even though Jackie made the task impossible most of the time. " Last night, Steph picked me up at the airport and took me to dinner at that wonderful restaurant you like so much; after dinner we had an extremely passionate night." Sighed Jackie, she never missed the opportunity to make it that clear Steph was hers.
"And here I thought she have got over that jealous stage" Kris knew only too well what a jealous woman Jackie was, and how much worse it had become since the day shed discovered that Kris had been Steph's first lover. Although that had been a long time ago, she always brought it up again and again. " I'm glad for you Jackie; boy you should be really tired, why didn't you stay home resting this morning?" Kristen was smiling but her eyes showed no emotion, no warmth.
" I didn't like to leave Steph alone any more than necessary and she promised to take me shopping after we leave you at the airport."
Before Kristen could say anything Steph got in and started de Cherokee.
" Kris, I see you found my little surprise in here." Steph was aware of the bad vibes that constantly passed between the two women; sometimes she liked to tease Kristen about it.
" Yeah, and I'm thrilled no end believe me. " Kris said in an ironic tone.
" Baby, how could you let Kristen go out dressed like that? Aren't you supposed to watch her image?" Jackie wrinkled her nose as she said this.
" It happens, Jack, that I'm flying on my own so I don't need the power suit." Kristen was completely annoyed by Jackie but felt better having used the nickname that Jackie hated most.
" Don't call me Jack, Shorty, I'm a woman." If looks could kill Kristen would have dropped dead at that very moment. " Here we go again! Are you two going to start so early? Jesus!!! It's only been a couple of minutes and you are already fighting."
Steph always acted as referee between the two women, she was unable to look at them because she was driving, but was sure they were exchanging bad looks with each other. " Jackie darling, drop the subject, there's nothing wrong in wearing jeans and a t-shirt, Kris doesn't want to draw any attention; this trip isnt related to work, so she is free to wear anything she wants." Stephiny explained.
" I don't need to give explanations to your girlfriend, Steph, so save it, ok? An outraged Kristen replied.
The rest of the trip was made in awkward silence until Steph stopped the Cherokee in front of the terminal entrance. Kristen got out of the SUV immediately and went to the back to retrieve her suitcase without a word. Steph opened the trunk and pulled out the suitcase then she looked at Kristen and said. " I'm sorry for Jackie's behavior, Kris. She speaks her mind without a second thought, please don't mind her."
Kris took Steph's hand in hers and gave it an encouraging squeeze.
" Don't worry, I know better." She smiled. "And she gave me an excuse to call her Jack." They both started laughing hard.
" I don't understand why you're still living with her; you know what I think, but it's your choice not mine. I love you Steph. See you tomorrow and in better company, I hope." Kris said and then began walking towards the terminal. She looked so young clad in jeans, a Mickey Mouse t-shirt, her baseball cap and her Nike sneakers.
" Have a good flight my friend, take care." Steph said more to herself than aloud as she watched Kristen's figure disappear inside the airport.
" Good afternoon, this is Captain Burger speaking; we're approaching the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport. Please fasten your seatbelts and put your seats in the upright position for landing in the next ten minutes. It's 1:35 p.m. in San Juan, on a sunny day, and the temperature is 90 degrees. I hope you've enjoyed your flight and thank you for choosing us."
Thank you God! I can't wait to get out of this confinement! No matter where I sit there's never enough room for my legs. Jenn thought, as she shifted her position in her seat. It's weird how 10 centimeters makes the difference between comfortable and uncomfortable Jenn smiled at her own joke, obviously looking at the irony of the situation: no matter the plane or the seat she never was at ease inside an airplane.
Kristen had always been afraid of flying. She tried to hide it from Steph, but now, being alone inside the airplane, her nerves was getting the better of her. " Well if I'm going to die today I don't want to know about it! I'm sure not many people could recognize me in these clothes anyway. I think it's time to indulge myself a little."
She smiled and asked the flight attendant for a flute of mimosa and set herself to relax until the plane landed or crashed whichever came first.
Three hours later an over indulged Kristen got to retrieve her suitcase at the terminal and found her ride waiting for her outside with a little sign with her name on it. " Oh jeez, so much for not drawing any attention." Fumed Kris as she walked to the oblivious girl with the sign.
"Could you please put down that sign? I don't want people recognizing me here right now." Kris was trying to stand still but found it quite difficult. The girl gave her the once over look and then smiled broadly. " Hi Miss O'Rourke, my name is Brenda and I'm going to be your driver for the next couple of days. Let me help you with your luggage." Brenda said, as she reached for Kristen's suitcase.
"Nice to meet you Brenda. She's cute, but too young. Can we go now? I'm really tired." Kristen was feeling the effects of her overdose of mimosa and the only thing she wanted right now was a shower and a nap.
"They said you didn't want a limo, so I brought my personal vehicle which I hope is ok with you, maam." Brenda said, hesitantly. " Don't worry, it'll be fine. I just wanted to be like everybody else, no special treatment, you know what I mean?"
Kristen was dragging her feet as she walked and the young driver noticed.
"Are you all right, maam?" The girl asked.
"Yeah, it's just that the flight left me feeling a little dizzy. But don't worry, I'll be fine."
Kris gave her a charming smile trying to hide the real reason for her behavior. They reached the parking lot and Brenda located her car quickly, a bright yellow Nissan Xterra. " This way maam let me get your handbag." Brenda opened the door for Kristen.
" Brenda? Call me Kristen. I'm too young to like such formalities." The girl closed the door once the writer had got inside and made a thumbs up sign to herself as she walk around the car to open her door.
Inside the car, Kristen noticed the small rainbow flag displayed in the dash of the SUV; a smile lighted up her face; so, she's family; interesting, she thought. Don't start things you're not going to finish Kristen. She chastised herself.
" So, miss I mean Kristen how long do you plan to stay on our beautiful island?" Brenda interrupted Kristen's internal struggle. " Well, there are activities scheduled for five days, but I'll be present for only two of them and then I'm taking a little vacation afterwards. I think maybe 10 or 12 days.
Brenda's eyes lit up. "Good, if you want to go anywhere just give me a call. Here is my card, and I'll pick you up" Kristen retrieved the card. "How so? You don't have to work or go to school?" A confused Kristen asked; she was still feeling the effects of all that mimosa she had drunk on the plane.
" Well, you see our company provides transportation services but we also work as escorts and translators for many of the people who come here and use our services; we have already picked up a couple of the group that are attending the convention, and the boss assigned each of us a person to escort if needed." Brenda looked very pleased at revealing this piece of information.
" I'll take it you were assigned to me?" Kristen asked. "Yeah, I'm quite pleased. My brother had to pick up Mr. Heart's granddaughter in our best limo because that's what he ordered. If she's anything like her grandfather I feel sorry for my bro."
Kristen was feeling nauseous, she tried to stay still but she was curious.
" Who is Mr. Heart?"
" He is a business man who travels a lot and every time he comes here he hire us for his transportation. No one likes him because he is a very arrogant man.
Kristen smiled knowingly; she hated that kind of person herself. " So, how long until we reach the hotel?" The young author wanted to leave the vehicle as soon as possible, her stomach was troubling her.
Brenda sighed. " Well, the hotel is at the east end of the island about an hour or so away, but right now it's 5:30 and that means traffic. I suppose it will be like 2 hours till we get there.
Kristen breathed deeply and tried to relax in her seat hoping she wouldnt get sick.
Jenn argued with the limo driver for nearly half an hour. She couldn't believe that her grandfather had ordered the largest limo and the rock star treatment that she despised so much. Only to infuriate me, he knows I hate all this shit. She thought; defeated she got inside the limo.
The drive to the hotel was smooth and the driver tried his best to give her a briefing about the island. He is a good kid, the accountant thought; she knew he was scared when she had lost her temper at the sight of the limo at the airport.
Another difficult moment had come when Jenn had found out that her room at the hotel was a two-bedroom suite. "Two bedrooms!!!!! Why the hell I would need two bedrooms, I'm alone for crying solstice and he knew it!!!
Jenn had nearly been hysterical; her grandfather had gone too far this time. Calm down JJ this people are doing their job it's not their fault. She took a deep breath and walked to the counter again, the limo driver was there too, waiting for instructions on Jenn's luggage.
"Ok, can you change the suite for a simple room?" Jenn tried to give the clerk a smile but failed. "I'm really sorry, miss, but the hotel is at full capacity. Due to the convention all rooms we have are occupied until the end of next week."
The clerk gave Jenn a shy smile. Jenn closed her eyes for a brief moment and then spoke again, "OK, I'll take the suite if I don't have any other choice. Give me the key and I'll take care of the luggage myself."
This vacation was giving Jenn more stress than even her worst day at the office; she wanted nothing more than to take a shower and relax for a while. So she headed toward the driver and then both went in search of her suitcase. She tipped him well, and sent him away with a charming smile to erase any concern that the young man might have had regarding her behavior at the airport earlier in the day.
Once in her room Jenn looked around; the room was beautifully decorated in calm colors and tropical flowers. Not bad, not bad at all Jenn thought while she started unpacking her clothes. Wow I'm starting to like being here.' Jenn was flabbergasted by the sight which greeted her in the bathroom; a huge Jacuzzi, right in the center. I can try this later, a shower now and then I'll go get myself a drink I earned it big time.
Argg I'm going to die! I'm not going to make it to the hotel. Kristen was having a bad time with her stomach after all the mimosa she had drunk and the nearly two hours of traffic! She felt like shit.
"Try to stay calm Kristen we are five minutes away from the hotel and then your nightmare is over. C'mon let's change the subject, you want to know the name of the hotel?" Brenda was trying to take Kristen's mind away from her stomachache; the last thing she wanted was to handle a mess inside her brand new SUV.
"Oh what the hell what is the name of the hotel?" Kristen took a deep breath, the idea of finally getting out of the car giving her new strength.
"El Conquistador which means The Conqueror and it's in Fajardo City on the east end of the island."
Brenda maneuvered her car inside the hotel until she stopped in front of the lobby doors. "Here we are, go inside to the front desk while I park the car." Brenda said as she opened the lock of the door. "Thanks Brenda, you really took my mind off my stomach for a minute, see you in a bit." Kristen opened the door and got out quickly. "Oh!! I need a bathroom now!!" Was the only thought that crossed Kristen's mind and she hurried to find one.
Jenn was neatly dressed in khaki shorts and a sleeveless navy blue shirt. After her shower she had felt a lot better, and was enjoying her piña colada when she saw a small figure running towards her so fast that she barely had time to move aside. The runner didnt notice her and knocked the drink out of Jenns hand. "Hey!!! Watch out!!" Jenn yelled at the departing figure. "Oh shit!!! Kids are crazy these days."
The dark haired accountant turned around in search of a bathroom to wipe her shirt and her hands were all her drink has landed after the collision.
"Oh God I promise I'll never drink like that again, no matter how scared I am!" The beautiful writer said, after emptying her stomach into the porcelain goddess. She was now washing her hands and face, then she reached for a towel paper to dry herself. She started walking to the door whilst doing this until she crashed into something or someone?
"Listen kid, you need to stop this running around; someone might get hurt."
Jenn was more than a little annoyed to find that crazy girl again, and used her most intimidating tone when speaking to her.
Kristen felt her temper rise; she hated it when people treated her like a little girl. After the day shed had, this last incident really set her off.
"I'm not a little girl! Is that a crack about my height because I don't find it funny at all!" Angry green eyes looked up into annoyed blue orbs, and suddenly all her anger dissipated.
Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, it's her. Jenn was at a loss for words at the sight of her favorite author standing right in front of her.
Wow, what a beauty. Kristen thought as she stared into the bluest eyes she had ever seen.
Feedback welcome: ROCshadow@xenafan.com
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