“Ahoy mate’s!” Josh cried out as he saddled his boat up to ours. “Let me just tie a few things on here and we will be on our merry way.”
I tried to blend into the leather seats. If I made myself as small as possible maybe he wouldn’t see me. I hadn’t seen or talked to him since the night he told me of his affair. I was perfectly happy to never see him again and instead chose to think of a thousand ways he could have died in a fire. Instead I was watching his bulging shirtless tan muscles tie our boats together. I preferred brunettes to blondes now anyways. I kept my head down and my hair in front of my face in an attempt to stay hidden. Bill was digging through his bag and hadn’t noticed my sudden change in behavior and Tom was still open-mouth sleeping in the sun.
Josh had the boats tied together and was conversing with our captain. Hopefully he would just tow us to shore, we would unload and sneak past him unnoticed.
“Hang on let me ask.” I heard our captain say.
Then he turned around and looked directly at me. Crap. I dropped my eyes and let my hair fall completely in my face. I stared intently at the intricate leather detail work on the seat between my legs. I twiddled my thumbs and picked at a hang-nail.
“Mm hm?” I didn’t look up.
“If you need to use the restroom, now would be the time. The tow in is going to take an hour and we won’t be able to turn on the generator for the on board restroom once we get going.”
“Oh, no I am good, but thanks,” was my muffled reply.
“Alrighty then,” he said turning back to the other boat and motioning that we were ready. I felt the tug of the boat as we moved forward. I breathed a sigh of relief that maybe I was going to get back without having to face my ex.
“You ok?” I felt Bill’s hand on my shoulder.
“Yeah, I think I am just really tired, do you mind if I lay down here?”
“Not at all, here lay down in my lap, I will cover you in this towel.” He motioned for me to lay down and put his hands across my shoulders. I made sure my hair covered my face and that the towel was covering my upper torso. If Josh were to look over he wouldn’t recognize me, I hoped. My heart was thundering in my chest and my breath was racing. I was struggling to keep from panting from the stress. I didn’t want Bill to notice so I focused on the feeling of his soft warm hands on my shoulders. I loved the way his fingers felt against my skin.
I focused on the sound of his breathing. I was practically curled up in his lap, with his arms resting on my shoulders. The warm sun was beating down on me and nothing else mattered because even though Josh was here, I needed to just enjoy this precious time I had left with Bill. I wasn’t going to let Josh ruin this moment.
I must have fallen asleep because Bill was shaking my shoulder and telling me to wake up.
“Jessi? Jessi? We are back at the dock.”
I snapped to attention and threw a towel over my face. I looked out to see if Josh was looking. I didn’t see him anywhere.
“Bill, I think your assistant has lost her mind.” I could hear Tom snickering in the background.
“Shut it Tom, skin cancer is still a leading cause of death and I am not taking any chances!” Still holding the towel over my face I stalked off the boat and onto the dock. I was almost home free. I was in the parking lot waiting for the car when the boys caught up to me.
“For being on a vacation, you sure are in a rush!” Tom was chiding me.
“I am hungry!” I was testily hopping from one foot to the other. I wanted to get the heck out of there, and fast.
“Lets get her some dinner, maybe she is just sea sick.” Bill glanced at me and then exchanged a look with Tom.
Great they think I am an insane person.
It felt like an eon passed before the car finally came and we were on our way to the cabana. I was almost dancing in the car I was so relieved to be out of the docking area.
We showered and changed and headed to the restaurant.
“Well aren’t your spirits renewed now that we are getting food.” Bill smiled at me.
“Yeah, she is practically bouncing in her seat.” Tom quipped.
“Tom, I will eat your arm, I am that hungry!” I actually didn’t care if I never ate again, I was just so happy that I somehow escaped Josh. I couldn’t believe my luck.
I was on the other side of the world, stranded in the middle of the ocean and he comes to save us? What are the chances?
The outdoor restaurant the boys chose was beautiful. We had a candlelit dinner overlooking the waves. We ordered a bottle of champagne and toasted to a failed attempt at being sailors. As I sipped from my glass I surveyed the happy couples surrounding us. There was a cute Indian couple talking intimately. I guessed they were on their honeymoon. An elderly couple was quietly eating to my right. I went to take another sip before I looked at the table behind me and almost spit my champagne all over Bill. Josh and Holly were having a heated conversation at a table two feet away from me. Right as I started to choke on my champagne, Josh’s eyes locked with mine.
This was NOT happening.
“Jessi?” Josh recognized me right away. He stood up and walked over to our table, dropping his napkin and hushing his heated conversation with Holly.
I felt two pairs of questioning hazel eyes burning into me as my cheeks turned flaming red. I didn’t know whether to run or throw my champagne in his face.
“Jessi, do you know this person?” Bill’s voice took on a protective edge when he saw the fear on my face.
“Um, yeah. Um.” I froze. Josh stood awkwardly above me almost possessively frozen between hugging me, and pushing Bill.
I slowly stood up and pushed my seat back.
“Bill, this is Josh. Josh this is Bill and Tom.” The twins stood up and exchanged curt nods with Josh. I shot a quick glance over at Holly who was shooting daggers at me with her eyes. This was fun.
“Wow. You look amazing. I haven’t seen you in what, eight or nine months?” Josh was raking his eyes up and down my body as I tried not to break my wine glass with my grip.
“It’s been over a year.” I said it as unemotionally as I could and purposefully looked at Holly and then back at him. Please take your troll and crawl back into your hole.
Bill and Tom both cleared their throats at the same time.
“Ok, well, I will let you get back to dinner, I just can’t believe how great you look!” Josh said to my cleavage.
“Yeah, you have a nice dinner.” I was shaking with anger as he walked back to his table. I could see out of the corner of my eye that he was having a heated debate with his date. Good. I hope they were miserable together. Holly was yelling at him and pointing at our table as they left the restaurant.
“Excuse me while I use the ladies room.” I didn’t even meet the twin’s eyes as I got up from the table. I shakily made my way to the restaurant bathroom and locked myself in a stall. I leaned up against a wall and let my head fall back. I let one long breath out and then filled my lungs with as much air as I could handle. Then I let it out in an angry growl. I pulled myself together and walked back to the table. I could see the twins were huddled together talking intensely. As I got closer they straightened up, exchanged glances and stopped talking. Way to be inconspicuous boys.
Bill turned to me as I sat down.
“Would you like to get dinner to go?”
“That would be fantastic.”
I couldn’t sleep. At first I thought I was too hot so I opened the window and let the ocean breeze blow through the curtains. Then I was too cold, so I shut the window. I tried sleeping on my side but my pillow didn’t feel right. So, I turned over onto my back and bunched my pillow up under my head. I turned and looked at the clock again; it was 5:44 A.M.
Why was Josh in the Maldives? Of all the islands in the world, my ex-boyfriend decides to come to the one tiny island that I am vacationing on. I had been agonizing over this all night. Finally, throwing my blankets aside I gave up on sleep and decided to take a walk on the beach.
I threw a light sweater over my pajamas and slipped out the cabana door.
The wet crunchy sand felt good between my toes as I walked along the beach. I wasn’t paying attention to how far I was walking, I was too busy watching the sand squish between my toes and tracing patterns in the sea foam.
“Couldn’t sleep?” Bill’s voice startled me from behind.
“Not really. Sorry, did I wake you when I left?” I turned around to see him walking behind me. I began to wonder how long he had been there.
“No, I was sitting on the beach back there. You walked by without noticing me. Good thing I wasn’t a serial killer.” He half-heartedly smiled at the last part. He had such a genuine smile. His hair was down, blowing in the gentle sea breeze, I realized he had no make up on. He was wearing track pants and matching jacket.
“Yeah, I guess so, huh?” I didn’t really have it in me to smile back at him, but I wanted too. Then he walked forward and wrapped me in a hug. I felt the tears warming my eyes and I couldn’t stop them, so I started sobbing into his shoulder.
“It’s ok. I’m here.” He was murmuring into the side of my head. He had one arm wrapped around my waist and the other was stroking my hair.
We sat like that for a while. I don’t know how long. Until my jaw hurt from crying, until my nose was running and I felt disgusting for wiping it on my sleeves in front of him. He kept whispering the same thing over and over, telling me that it was ok, that he was there. Eventually we sat down in the cool sand. He put his arm around me and I leaned into him and we just stared out at the distant sunrise in silence.
“Do you want to talk about it?” His eyes were so honest.
I sniffed and cleared my throat, wiping the last tears from my eyes.
“I am just mad that he is here. This is my vacation. He is not welcome here. What he did to me was a terrible thing and I just don’t want to see him. It’s painful.”
Bill furrowed his eyebrows and dropped his eyes to his feet.
“Do you still love him?”
“No, I could never love him. Not after what he did. I just wish he wasn’t here. I want to enjoy my time with yo- um, here on vacation. You know?” I looked away to hide the blush creeping across my cheeks at my blunder.
Bill put his arm around me again and pulled me close.
“I’m sorry he’s here. I’m sorry.”
“It’s not your fault.” I wrapped my arms around him and inhaled his scent. Here I was watching the sunrise with him, and I was talking about Josh. I should be enjoying this feeling, cherishing his arms around me. It might mean nothing but consolement on his part, but it meant everything to me.
“I have an idea.” Bill’s voice was suddenly cheery.
“What is that?”
“Lets leave early. Today. We will take the first flight to California, stay on the beach in San Simeon, go wine tasting on the central coast and see Hearst Castle. The Maldives are overrated anyways.” He was grinning down at me as he grabbed a fistful of sand and threw it in the air to make his point.
“You are so crazy! Aren’t we supposed to stay here for like another week?”
“I get paid a lot of money to be crazy.” He winked back at me.
I laughed in return, “Well then, Mr. Kaulitz, don’t let me stop you.”
“Good, I was hoping you would say that.” Then he ran his hand into my hair, leaned forward and kissed me.
It caught me so off guard that I stared back at him in shock, open mouthed for a few seconds afterwards.
“I’m sorry, have I offended you?” He pulled back in concern.
“No, no, I just, you said we could only be friends, so I just wasn’t expecting, I didn’t know-
I didn’t finish my sentence. Bill was kissing me again. I was okay with this.
“I hate you both right now.” Tom had his pillow covering his face, turned away from us and the glare of the light we were accosting him with.
“What time is it anyways? If it’s not eleven, don’t even talk to me.” He was a human mole hiding under a mound of comforters and pillows trying to hide from our intrusion. It was actually pretty endearing.
“Tom, our flight leaves in two hours. Wake up, we have to pack.” Bill was pulling at his brother’s foot trying to get his attention.
“Mmmph.” Was his sullen reply.
“Tom, I made out with your brother on the beach. For like an hour.”
“WHAT?” Tom shot straight up in bed. His eyes were puffy, his braids were fuzzy and he was shirtless. He had a slight drool stain on the left side of his cheek; I couldn’t help it I started laughing at him.
“I seriously hate you right now.” He glared back at me then looked at Bill. “Did you really make out with her?”
Bill just smiled deviously and turned on his heel,“I have to pack. Our car is arriving in thirty minutes.”
Tom looked at me incredulously and mouthed “O.M.G.”
“You have a little, uh, drool right there.” I motioned to the left side of my cheek.
I ducked as a pillow flew through the air.