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The Others 8
I don’t want to move and all too soon the elevator opens, and we need to get out. Solila and I race towards our room, and change right away.
I decide on sweats and a t-shirt, and throw my long hair in a pony tail. Solila come out in the same outfit, and we burst out laughing, I go pound on the guys door, and don’t let up until they open it, and come down.
We sit in a little pub. Kenton orders a burger, and so does Brayden. Solila and I order chicken strips and fries. We all order Pepsi. Our dinner comes and we eat quickly, talking very little.
We pay, and the waiter informs us that a Miss Evie L. had ordered the hotel to put all our charges on her credit card. We head up to the room, and I hop in the shower and scrub the chlorine off my skin and hair, smelling the coconut in my shampoo and body wash penetrate my skin. It sounds like it would smell strong, and really really sweet, but more like a pina colada. Yum. I dry off, and throw on a bathrobe and open my suitcase. I pick out a pair of pjs that have pants and a t-shirt with penguins on it. the two penguins on the shirt are so cute!
Solila dances into the bathroom and comes out about 10 minutes later. I’m still in my bathrobe. We blast some music, and are dancing around, singing into hairbrushes like little girls. We hear the boys laughing by the door, and quick change and put some complimentary popcorn in the microwave. I open the door, and Brayden’s standing there, alone. I pull his hand inside. He walks past me straight to the door to the hallway. He looks over my shoulder and looks at me. Without even thinking, I walk up to him. He opens the door to the hallway, and walks out, holding it open after him.
He sits on the ground, and pats the floor next to him. I sit down too.
“Desiree, are you ok?” He asks point blank.
“What do you mean?” I’m taken a little off guard.
“You seem distant. Like you always are thinking about something else. It’s not like you.” Brayden questions, searching my face for answers.
I sigh. “I’m feeling a little betrayed. But I don’t know if this is all a scam, or what. I don’t know what to do. Whenever we doubted moments like this, we had the watchers. Now we don’t. And I don’t know who we can trust on this side.” I shiver, but not from the cold.
“I’m sorry, Desiree. Really. I know what you mean. Its like your best friend was using you for your other friend, or for popularity. It sucks.
Hey, my sister and brother have been talking about taking a road trip out to California. I think you should come. I know you haven’t been there since your parents...(seeing the raw pain in my eyes.) oh I’m sorry, babe. I’m stupid to bring that up. Come here, please don’t cry, shh… Its ok, I’m here for you.” He strokes my hair as tears slowly and silently course down my face.
My parents. Are they still alive? We aren’t any closer to finding them. Are we wasting time? How much time do we have…? A sob escapes, then another and I press my head into his shoulder, and I hear the pain in his voice.
“Desiree, forget I said anything. I’m so sorry, baby. So sorry. I shouldn’t have brought it up. Ok? I’m so so sorry, hun. Its ok, I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere. It’s ok.” He rocks me, then I see his head fall back against the wall, eyes closed in pain at his own ‘stupidity’. He hits his head on the wall a few times until I block it with my hand.
“Don’t be. You just took me off guard. It’s time for me to resume finding them. I understand if you guys can’t help right now, there’s so much going on, and it isn’t all about me…” Brayden puts a finger up to stop me, looking incredulous.
“You’re apologizing. You. When I’m the one who was ridiculous enough to bring up something so painful. Why wouldn’t any of us help? Desiree, I love you, and I’m going to help you find them, until the day that I die. Don’t you DARE start making this your fault. Because it isn’t, and you know that. Ok? I promise I’ll search the ends of the earth for you, or your parents. (Takes my chin in his hands and forces me to look him in the eye.) I love you Desiree, don’t you ever, ever forget It.” his eyes are looking so deeply, so intensely into mine, its like he’s looking past them, into the core, the essence, of me.
I smile, through my tear-stained face. “I love you two, Bray.”
He moves his head toward mine, and I start moving towards…
“Hey guys, the movie’s… oh sorry.” Kenton opens up the door and then looks embarrassed and starts to close it. Brayden smiles and shakes his head at his friend, then pushes himself up. Reaching down for my hand, he pulls me up, and using his thumbs, wipes away the tears.
“You ready to face them?”
“Yes.” I say, still shaky, then wipe my eyes on my arm.
“Desiree? We’ll commence the search tomorrow. I have the laptop. I wasn’t sure what we’d need it for. But I brought it. Don’t worry about it now.” Bray informs me, then kisses my forehead, closing his eyes and breathing in slowly, deeply. A second later he tries to open the door, only to find it locked. He knocks and it opens. Solila looks at me and mouths that we’ll talk later.
We settle on the couch to watch Bruce Almighty. I settle against Bray’s chest, moving in as close as possible, and trying to stay there, but I keep slipping. Brayden adjusts to the corner of the couch, pulling me with, so it isn’t as difficult as sitting upright. I move closer and his arms hold me steady, being my support, not only now, but with everything.
“Thank you.” I whisper.
“Your welcome, sweetheart.” He whispers back.