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Vacation Day 2
The day dawned bright and early. I rolled out of my bed with a smile on my face and yesterday cleared from my mind. Millie and I saw Chelsea at breakfast and explained that we couldn’t spend the day with her and Ian. She took it all in stride and when I wasn’t being bratty because I was jealous of her boyfriend, we got along well. After eating together she made us promise that we didn’t want to go out on the boat with them. We insisted we just wanted to hang out on the beach and she left us alone. And then Millie and I didn’t run into Chelsea or Ian for the rest of the day.
As if I could be so lucky.
The day did dawn early, though it wasn’t as bright as I had hoped. I tried not to think of the clouds as bad omens, but I had been going through a pessimistic streak lately and I’m not a morning person. Millie is worse somehow. Convincing her that getting out of bed was worth it was hard enough without her realizing the potentially awkward day we had planned. After cries of, “I can’t get up, I’m sick! Besides you know I hate third wheeling and this is a whole new level of awkward!” I gently reminded her she was the one who got me stuck in this situation. She was much more cooperative after that.But because it was still morning, that meant mumbled curses and a few forced smiles. I made her coffee and everything was okay again. We were a little nervous about going to breakfast and we walked down the stairs slowly. At least, I was walking slowly because I was nervous. The realization that Millie was probably just being a good friend came when her stomach growled loudly just before we entered the lobby. She walked in front of me and I felt my eyes drawn to the floor. I avoided looking at anyone, afraid to see a familiar face amongst the tourists. I grabbed a plate, got my food and sat down quickly. Millie rolled her eyes at me. I felt ridiculous without her silently telling me that she thought I was acting stupid.
“You need to calm down. It’s not like you killed someone. Chelsea doesn’t seem like a jerk, she’s not going to freak out because you think her boyfriend’s hot. I’m sure she knows several people who do! Let’s face it, he is very hot. And he’s nice, so try and think of him as the cousin you get along with at family reunions. If that doesn't stop you from being attracted to him, you need some help.” The look I gave Millie told her what I thought of her little pep talk. I had eyes, I could see that Ian was attractive and from my conversations with him, I knew he wouldn’t date a jerk. I just had to be able to treat him like a friend. Even the nicest girls will be mean if they think you’re trying to take their boyfriend from them and I didn't want to cause problems for Chelsea. “Speak of the devil.” Millie muttered quietly.
My head turned on its own accord. Ian caught my gaze and smiled at me. A dimple appeared in his cheek and I wanted the ground to swallow me up right then. Chelsea was standing to his left, clutching his hand and wearing a shirt that was too big on her to actually belong to her. Millie patted my hand and lifted her other to wave at them. Chelsea returned the gesture with a happy smile on her face. I looked at the egg I had planned on eating and poked it with my fork. I barely heard Millie whisper encouragement to me before Chelsea was sitting in one of the extra chairs at our table. The way Millie and I had sat; Ian would be sitting by me with Chelsea across from me. I offered to move so she could sit by him when he arrived and she shook it off. “I’ve been with him long enough that I’ll survive not sitting by him at breakfast, I promise.”
“Who’s promising what?” Ian asked, setting a bagel and yogurt down in front of Chelsea before taking the empty seat.
“Chelsea’s promising not to die because she’s not sitting by you.” Millie piped up with a small grin on her face. Ian raised an eyebrow at the three of us. Chelsea and I shrugged at the same time. Everyone laughed but mine came out as a nervous chuckle. It was going to be a long day if I could make it through breakfast.
For the first time that weekend, my prediction was correct. I know next to nothing about boats, but it (she?) was beautiful. Ian gave Millie and me a tour while Chelsea got us out into the open water. They both seemed so relaxed whereas I’m fairly certain I looked as green as Millie. Ian told us a few tricks he had learned to cure his seasickness and I was almost disappointed when they worked. Millie would sympathetically pat my back whenever Chelsea and Ian acted like the adorable couple they were. When Ian decided to go swimming and took off his shirt, she sent me a glance that read something along the lines of “Is that really necessary?” I was grateful she was with me. When I got caught staring at Ian, she’d make a joke about me spending way too much time in my head. Millie would say something random to Chelsea if it looked like Ian was staring back. The water was beautiful and it wasn't unbearably hot. I couldn't make myself enjoy it though. At one point during the day, Ian asked if I was okay. I had been beyond startled by the question and the truth had almost spewed out. I stuttered when I replied and he told me I seemed a little off. I assured him it was nothing, but stuck close to Millie for the remainder of the trip. Chelsea, Millie and I tanned for a while without talking about anything significant before the question I had been hoping to avoid came up.
“Are you two having a weekend free of your guys?” Chelsea asked, completely unaware of how panicked I felt.
“We would be if we had men in our lives.” Millie joked. Chelsea apologized.
“There’s really no need to be sorry.” I heard myself saying. “It’s not like you’re the reason we’re single.” Millie’s eye widened but Chelsea laughed. I smiled at both of them and it was genuine. This, unfortunately, made Chelsea start to open up.
“Honestly, I’m glad Ian ran into you, Jill.” She confessed after checking to make sure Ian wasn’t going to hear her. “This trip is amazing but I feel like Ian and I are getting too serious too fast.” I wanted her to leave it at that, but I wasn’t getting anything I wanted. “And I have no reason not to want that. He’s like the perfect boyfriend, I mean he’s just so caring and sweet but I’m still afraid of where we’re headed.” She sighed deeply. I prayed that she was done with her rant. “I’ve never really been in a serious relationship and I’m not sure I can handle the commitment. Ian’s a great guy and I’m seriously worried that I’m going to end up hurting him.” Chelsea’s voice faded out. I stared at the now cloudless sky and wondered how this could possibly be my life. It was a perfect day; in a practically perfect place with people I would have loved to be around if the circumstances didn’t remind me of a soap opera.
“Jill, you don’t look so good.” Millie commented in a worried tone. I groaned in response forgetting for a moment about the fact that Chelsea was literally right next to me. “Chelsea, I think she might be getting sick. She doesn’t handle travel well sometimes.” When the lie came from Millie’s mouth I almost said something to contradict it. Then I saw her genius. She was giving me an out from the rest of the day listening to Chelsea whine about her perfect relationship. Chelsea told Ian to get us back. Millie insisted that she could take care of me on her own and told the two of them to enjoy the rest of their day. When we finally made it up the stairs and into our hotel room, I dropped the sick act. “I don’t even like the guy and I was going to puke.” Millie griped attempting to cheer me up. But I couldn’t be mad at Chelsea. I knew what it was like to be afraid of what you were feeling. She was just in the position to act on her feelings and I wasn’t. “Are you gonna be okay, Jill?” Millie asked, her joking expression completely gone. I managed a laugh and a small smile.
“As long as you promise me that the next time we run into them, you won’t agree to hang out.” Millie laughed but swore she wouldn’t. It was only three, but we agreed to finish out the day in the hotel room. Millie got us some snacks, claiming she had to make up for the fact that I felt this bad anyway.
“I know this probably won’t help, but I think Ian likes you.” Millie announced. With one sentence she ended the peaceful atmosphere we had just constructed. “Chelsea might not be the only one who’s having second thoughts about committing to that relationship.” I did my best not to sigh. I really didn’t have time for all this drama on a vacation to get my mind off drama.
“I think we got sunburns.” I replied seriously. I wasn’t going to talk or think about Ian unless I ran into him again.