Chapter 5

Dear Britney,

With my eyes close I know where I am base on the things I can hear: the sound of the waves making a whoosh as it makes a riptide. I can hear the laughter of the people around me. The calming sound of the wind that kisses my face then realize I’ve fallen asleep in the shore. Last night I was in the shore with Landon and Harry. I open my eyes as the realization flashes on me, I got more distracted when I’ve seen an abs in from of me. I stand up as soon as I realized I just slept with a guy next to me. I look at Harry and Landon sleeping soundly, correction I slept with two British stars. I saw the others who have had fallen asleep with us in the ocean waking up one by one. I don’t know if I have to wake them up but before I can stand they’re awake. After what happened last night I feel like I know Harry well enough, same as what I can feel with Landon but it’s my first time I talked to him, so compared with Harry I can feel more deep connection with Harry. I don’t know if I can call him a friend now but I’m sure I don’t want that to happen. I’m afraid people will call me user if I can be friends with him or with Landon.

“Good morning.” Landon says sounds lazy.

Harry also greets us with a sleepy voice. His eyes looks dull but he tried to smile looking at me with his shaggy curly hair.

“Morning.” I reply.

Landon stands then offers his hand to help me stands but he looks at Harry and put his hand in his pocket as Harry stands and stretches his hand to me. I look at him hesitant to accept it on what he did but I accept it anyway. We walk together to the house while brushing the sand on my back.

“Last night was fun.” Landon says.

“Sure it is.” I say. Watching my steps carefully.

“We can do that for another night.” Harry suggest.

“By the way, about my birthday. Please, don’t tell anyone about it, I don’t want everybody to know about it.

They respect about it. I look over my shoulder to peek at Harry his curly hair looks dry he needs to shampoo and condition it. I just realized that he has a green eyes like moss. Is this the first time I look at him in the eye? Or is this the first time I noticed he has a green eyes like moss? Even though we’re walking I can feel every moment of this time, it feels like everything is in slow motion. Did I mention that his eyes electrifies? How can he do that? I hate his eyes.

The table for breakfast is ready. I’m the first person to sit in our table then the others join me, after fifteen minutes my friends still aren’t arrives yet, I’ve decide to fetch them but before I can stand they show up on the way. I smile at them they return my smile. Zara and Arya have already changed their clothes while I’m wearing the same clothes from last night that had just dried, I don’t want to change though since its breakfast.

“What happened last night?” Zara asks while sitting.

“Nothing embarrassing.” I smile at her.

“Z, told me Landon carried me to the room?” Arya says close enough that her lips are an inch into mine.

“Yeah.” My replies bring her to her seat.

“Did you captured him carrying me?” she says in excitement.

I nod then I fish my phone on my pocket and scrolls over the album to look for the picture, she grabs my phone before I can give it to her then she looks at it like she just won something. Her eyes glows shining her sleepy face. She gives me a weird sound ‘aah’ squeaking while jumping on her feet thanking me. I told them Zara’s undressing herself while Landon is in the room.

“You shouldn’t let him go.” Zara says jokingly.

Zara’s face telling something, something that looks like she somehow remembers what she’d said last night but I don’t want her to remember it, it is too much for her; the scar is still raw and I’m afraid for her. Most of the campers who drank too much last night is complaining about their headache or the other proper term when your head is aching after drinking form last night. I asked Arya for the proper term for that she told me it’s called a ‘hangover’.

After breakfast Zara goes somewhere I thought myself maybe she needs some time for herself, alone. I walk to the room and play some music but after playing three songs I am now bored. I think shower is better, I have a talent that I think you don’t know: I can take a bath for five minutes, but those five minutes I already soap my body, shampoo my hair and condition it but today I decided for a long shower. I am still worried about Zara after taking a bath. I look for her I guess a good company is still better than dealing everything on your own. I look everywhere and it’s already fifteen minutes still: no Zara. I go to the lake which is a five minutes’ walk from the ocean in hope to see if Zara is there. Honestly, I’ve never been by the lake, there’s a tall grasses I encounter towards the lake side that’s why I don’t like it from the first time I’ve found it yesterday. There are mango trees and banana trees. I can hear the water now that I’m closer to the lake I shove the vines hanging from the trees and there she is, sitting on the big rock looking at the river. I thought I’ve hear what the girls been saying that there’s a lake but I rather found the river. Maybe the lake is in the other part of the island.

“I looked for you everywhere.” I say walking towards her.

She turns to me and see the eyes I’ve seen on her before, the same eyes she gave me on the Ice Cream Land. I walk closer to her without breaking eye contact. Her eyes looks perfectly fine, she’s not crying and there is no hint she did but I can sense the loneliness within her. I can read eyes that’s one of my secret talents. Before I can come closer she looks on the ground I feel her pain more when she does that.

“I…” she begun, I know what’s next to that letter. “I just want to be alone.

I continue walking towards her. She returns her head to the water. I sit beside her. The river is so clean and clear I can see the rocks and the fish swimming in it. The water sounds like a music to my ears that it’s calming me. And there’s no litter!

“I didn’t mean to intrude. I just want to make sure you’re okay.” I whisper.

“I remembered everything, from last night.” She confess.

“You don’t have to worry, I won’t mention anything to anyone.

She leans her head on my shoulder. The silence is relaxing yet it’s terrifying. Sometimes things are better to solve by silence and I don’t know why for me it’s the best method to answer for everything that’d been a mistake than noise. Maybe because I never scream whenever I’m mad.

After the Ice Cream Land, I heard nothing from Zara mentioning her ex, a week ago she texted me if I could come to her house. At first I thought she just wanted company while doing our homework. What I’d witnessed there was my friend burning pictures in her own room, I sat beside her asking what she was doing she said she wanted to move on.

“What you’re doing here is the first step.” I said to her giving her a reassuring smile.

She smiled at me and that smile was what I missed. I told her what my mom told me.

“You don’t need to move on, you have to let go.” I told her.

I held her hand and she let me do that for five minutes. She told me everything without asking it.

“Two years,” she started.

I told her she doesn’t have to tell me about it when it was still raw and fresh but she ignored it.

“Two years is not easy to forget, Elise, I already planned everything: after high school I’ll go to a university he’s planning to go, even though it would not be my choice of university, I’ll live in the same apartment with him, we planned our wedding and how many children we wanted. I gave him…” she broke let her tears to fall while fighting herself not to cry. And with that I’m cracking inside with her. “I… I gave him… my everything and everything he asked for because I thought he won’t leave.” She sobbed and I hate him for doing this to her. “He said forever and I held on to that.

I don’t know if she said these to Arya. I doubt, they’re sharing things like these personal experiences to each other, Zara never shared too personal stuffs that easily to anyone, even to her friends. Even Arya is her longer friends than me there are things they don’t say to each other and they tend to tell it to me, I guess this is one of those. Maybe because they think that I wouldn’t tell to anyone and they both know I don’t have any other friends but them.

In this kind of situation you didn’t have to talk because she just wanted someone she can share these things she feels. Listening is much powerful than giving an advice. And honestly it’s easier to listen than to think for a best advice you’ll say that won’t push her to an end.

“He just called and told me it’s really over without explaining why.” She continues.

I held her, that was the first time I saw her that fragile, she was much fragile that she was at ice cream land. She continued crying for hours until she’d fallen asleep and I went home.

“I can’t understand love. I mean, my parents were happy but you know at our young age. I’m saying that you’re too naïve for it but why do we have to learn to hope for happy ending and wedding and marriage but end up crying? That’s the thing that I can’t understand. Maybe because I haven’t feel it.” I said.

Then we let the silence eat us, while crickets and the river becomes our music. We just stay like that for a moment. I listen for her breathing that sooths on my mood. I want to tell her she’s going to be alright but that’s a lie because I tell her that too many times but she keeps on falling and falling. If I’ll tell her she’s going to get over him it’s another lie because everyone told her that but she keeps on remembering him and missing him. I know that when times come she’ll be over him. Maybe silence will not cost both of us. She looks at me, this time her eyes is challenging, I always picture her like this not the fragile one.

“I guess you’re right, E. I have to let go not move on.” She smiles

This is the moment I know she’ll be stronger than she was than she really is because she’s ready to let go of her past to become a better person for herself. Do I have to be like her? I wonder if I should tell her about the things been bothering me for years? Especially my last year. I doubt. Our problems and pasts defines who we are today and with that we’re in a different game to play, different stage to pass, different version of us in the future. Me? I just want to stay in this stage first I have to gather strength just like Zara did.

“You don’t have to tell me everything, Elise.

She holds my hand I know that she wants to help me, giving me the strength she carried with her but I don’t need it I don’t want it. I know I never tell them everything that’s bothering me, like the death of my father and other things. They respect my privacy but today I felt like I’m betraying them as a friend or I’m being selfish about it, better definition is I’m just egoistic.

Is what I’m doing to them was like what you did to me? Maybe I don’t because you have your choice to save yourself or to give me a chance to do my job but you chose what you did. Besides, I don’t have a bigger problem but my brain f*ucking me up. I just don’t understand you at first on why do you have to do that but now that I am doing this to them I guess help is not necessary when it comes to this I am so comfortable talking to you in my head. You know that I am here with you always.

“Wh… what do you mean?” I ask stuttering.

“That’s what you mean right? But if you need someone you know Arya and I are here,” she smiles. “With you… always.” She added.

“Happy birthday, Elise.” She hugs me and we walk back to the house by the time the sun settles.

The camp really helped her. It’s six in the afternoon now, the guys calls us for a recap in dancing we practiced yesterday, while dancing we’re singing that makes me two times exhausted. Neal gives us a water break, most of us or maybe it’s just me find this difficult. I’ve never give all of my energy into something and this is new to me. After thirty minutes of practice I feel like a water, I can’t feel my legs anymore, I’m so exhausted and most of the campers still complaining with their hangover. The coach talk to the guys and pointing us. They’re talking about us I feel like I’m eavesdropping even I can’t hear them. After the water break Neal gave they cut the practice stating that most of us having a hangover Landon mention to head straight to the dining table. I didn’t notice that it’s already seven. Arya and I sit in our place at the same time she silently greets me. She grabs the rice and tells everybody about her being drunk and Landon carried her to bed last night. I felt embarrass with her bragging about it but everyone’s jealous of her just like what they felt about me the other day.

“Why the hell is your name Arya?” the girl from across asks.

I remembered Arya always being asked about her name, to some of the teachers we had, had to clarify her name twice sometimes thrice. They will ask “your name is ‘Arya’? Not ‘Aira’?” she researched about it and found out that her name is from Persia and India. She learned to love it, most of the time this pisses her off but this time she’s not.

“My father mistaken Ariana to Arya.” She explains in mouthful.

“It means ‘noble one’.” She added.

“The meaning of my name is Beauty.” Says the girl whose name is Belle. She’s the one who asks Arya about her name.

After dinner we’re ordered to go to the activity hall, and told to sit on the floor five in a row. The guys are standing in the front, Neal takes the floor and explains the activity. I can’t stop looking at his plaid shirt that looks just like mine but his’ purple that doesn’t look good on him then he paired it with his black leather skinny jeans that look absolutely awful to him.

“This is not just a music camp.” he starts. He paces the floor. “We’ll going to teach you how to take music seriously. We will not just sing and dance, tomorrow is a very exciting day for everyone.” He stops pacing.

“Who among you here write a songs?

He says this while Landon and Harry are looking at me. Some of the campers raises their hands, I don’t. Neal calls them and they stand next to him. Harry walks toward him and whispers something. They look at me and Neal nods at me. I don’t know what kind of game is this but this feels like awful and I might not like this game I’m in.

“Be honest guys. Who else’s write songs, come in front.” He says as Harry returns to the others.

Zara leans on me. “I guess he’s referring about you.

I look at her and she just points to the front. Twenty minutes ago we were just talking about her breakup and now she’s forcing me to go in front with other people who has a confidence to share their music and I just remembered telling everyone that I wrote a song about you. Now I feel stupid.

Arya leans forward and whispers. “She’s right.

I glance at Neal and then to Harry and to Landon they’re all looking at me, begging me to come in front, even their manager and the coach. Is this even real? I don’t understand why they have to do this to me. I just want to go to a cave and live there for the rest of my freaking life and stop to interact with people forever. Why do people force me to do things I don’t want to? Ugh! I hate it. I stand up and join the campers in front with no other choices in my hands.

“With the help of these people, we will write a song at the end of the camp.” Neal says as I reach the group. “We’ll start tomorrow.

“I thought they’ll going to sing something they composed.” Jasmine says, the girl in the front row.

Zach joins Neal in the front. “I guess that’s a great idea.” He says.

And I just want to say ‘What the fuck?’ They look at the manager and he nods. The first who perform is Teresa. She’s wearing a skirt and plain black shirt and I think she doesn’t know how to look for a pretty shoes to wear because she’s wearing a bright green boots in a hot summer night that made her look funny. I never thought that there’s a kind of people who knows how to match clothes but not with shoes.

Teresa says that she wrote the song for her mother who she really hates for leaving her. She performs with a keyboard. “Hi, I’m Teresa, again. This song I called ‘The Moment I found My Place’.

Dusty photograph

Can’t even look at it

Broken frame

Glasses scattered

Haven’t you there when I knocked?

Because until now I can remember the taste of the rain

Open up

Held me in

You close your eyes and pretend I’m not screaming your name

Curse you then

Hate you now

How dare you to abandon me?

She’s crying during her performance I want to hug her but her friends already did the plan in my mind. Thus, we’re not close so I guess she won’t let me touch her. The song is honestly beautiful, though I feel sorry for her, my mom and I were so close we never have once fought. Rory took the stage, he’s fourteen the youngest in the camp. He says he’s just starting writing a song.

“This is the first song I’ve written four months ago.” He says tuning his guitar. “’I Wanted To’ is the title of this song.

I want to know everything in me

I just want to know if it’s possible for me to be happy

I want to fly

I want to breathe

I want to know if this place fits for me

I want to scream

I want to run

I want to see if people will miss me

I want to learn how to smile

I forgotten how

I just want to know why’d people hate me

But I now I think I figure out because I hate me too

I just want to die but I can’t

I just don’t understand why there are things like hate, sadness and madness. Sometimes I end up wishing that there’s only love and happiness, a kid like Rory must only feel happiness there are a lot of beautiful things in this world and I want him to know that. But I don’t have to ignore the fact that I feel the same as him, we’re different in every angle and somehow still the same.

One time my mother told me about God, she said that God loves us but we need to feel the downside in able to gain upper side that didn’t hit me. I don’t understand why God have to do that, if He loves us why He let us feel terrible just to plead to Him to give us the love that we deserve. I may say that I don’t understand the logic with God but one things for sure: He’s the reasons for all of the things that is happening in our lives. I don’t want to question God about the shitness in my life but I want to tell Him that kids like Rory and other innocent kids don’t need testing because what they deserve is love from everyone in this world and they all deserve that equally. If that doesn’t include me I’ll be fine as longs as they’re getting the love they need.

The next is Roland he sings a song he wrote a year back about his ex. While Roland is singing I count the people standing up, thirteen including me. Thirteen over twenty-eight kids are writing songs, there are at least nine of them that have written about a horrible break up. That’s the thing with me, I never had a relationship, that’s another reason why most of my songs are about friendship and waving goodbye to the people I once admire the most. A lot of it was for you, I count my song while Stephanie takes the floor. I have only a few songs that I can count with both hands. I have at least ten to eleven songs, with that range you only heard one, the song I played for you before leaving the country. Roland taps my shoulder and I snap back to reality, He says it’s my turn. I walk towards the lads. They’re watching me approaching them, I don’t know if they’re reading my mind but if they do I know they don’t like what’s inside my brain.

“I already sang my own songs, twice, do I still have to sing another?

Harry put his hands on my shoulder. He looks at his friends and Landon nod.

“I guess you don’t have to.” Says Harry.

I smile to him but when I get myself ready to leave Landon hold my hand. I look at it and he suddenly let it go. Harry shoot a glance at him. I don’t like what he’s doing like he’s branding when I never let him to. I hold Landon hand then he look at the other side.

“Just to be fair to the others, I guess you still have to sing, honey.” Landon says jokingly.

Harry look at him again he made a face. I cross my arms over my chest.

I frown and say. “Just to be fair, to me I guess it is okay not to.

Zach step closer to me. “Tanya sang her song yesterday.

I roll my eyes and returns back to the other campers and I borrow Theresa’s keyboard and walk to the front. I look at my friends and they’re floored, complete floored by my action. I forgotten to mention they didn’t know I can play a piano, they only saw me play the guitar once and on this camp I often play a guitar. I guess I’m being unfair not sharing my music to them but do I have to mention to them everything. I play the first song I sung, again. After I’m done Landon takes the floor.

“I’m sorry, Neal forgot to mention that we’re having a concert on Sunday night, make a group if you want to perform in a group you can also perform by twos or solo, it’s up to you.

We rehears the dance again. I notice Arya is ignoring me when I’m looking at her I don’t understand. Assume it’s because of my performance I don’t get it. After the activity we sent to our own rooms. While walking to our room Arya pull me.

“How the hell you managed not to share your talents to us?” Arya says while we’re on our way to our room.

“I’m sorry is it unfair to you?” I said with guilt.

“E, it’s okay just let her whine.” Zara says.

When we reached our room, Arya stops in front of the door then turns to look at me. I don’t understand her mood right now, like what’s the point of knowing everything about me, right? She feels betrayed by hiding my music with them while Zara’s okay about it. Arya shoots me a look then at Zara her eyes are firing.

“No it’s not! We just saw her played guitar once! Babe, I thought we’re friends but you’ve been hiding everything from us: you have had never told us that you’re writing a song and that you can play piano, you even hide about that childhood friend of yours? God forbid why but I don’t understand why you have to hide those things!” Arya says. She looks at Zara but Zara looks away.

“Chill! Fine! I’ll share things to you from now on.” I yell at her.

I know I didn’t mean it because I know I won’t be able to say everything, I’m about to leave but she pulls me again it made me mad that she’s angry because I never mention you to them. I don’t like that part and I still can’t understand why she’s mad right now after knowing that I can play instruments.

Zara left us I don’t know where she’s heading, I’m guessing that she’s running away from the range of Arya. She doesn’t like fighting though. Arya still blocking the way and I really want to push her away from the door but I don’t want to hurt my friends.

“Even that best friend of yours.” Arya says with a poker face.

I look at her in straight face and say. “Do I really have to tell everything? Is that necessary?

Arya dazed by the way I defended myself, my sight falls to the wooden floor, I shake my head and enter the room quietly, I don’t want to talk to them, I know I’m not in a position to be like this because I’m the one who’s not being fair but putting you in the circle is quite heavy. I can share everything to them but not that one. I guess Arya is overreacting about my music and shit even about you. After I finish brushing my teeth and do my ‘beauty ritual’ I head straight to my bed. I don’t want to go outside, after two days of sleeping late I can’t handle another night. I don’t know if the moon is perfectly round I don’t care though.

“Happy birthday to me.” I whisper in the dark room.


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