Thursday, April 9, 2009

Two Months of Summer - Chapter 1

Haha… it’s been a while since I posted any stories, made a lot of them lately but some of those are still on my notebook (yup, these past few weeks I’ve been enjoying writing on paper with a pencil haha). Anyways, I’ve been checking on some of the stories I’ve typed, and here’s one which I think is all right (NOTE the “I”… I’m not really sure how others would find it, so to be safe I’ll emphasize that the one saying that this story is all right is ME—just MY opinion… haha… I don’t want anyone getting mad at me or anything.).

Hmm… well, I’m not really sure if anyone else, aside from the few people I forced, would bother reading this one, but if in any case someone does, like you for example, yes you… I’d like to thank you in advance ^__^.

Oh, and btw, I can’t guarantee that you’ll like this little drabble of mine, so READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Another anyways, I know not many read my stories, but (you know, we got to do what we have to do)àneed to type the copyright thing down, just in case (me not bragging really… it’s a just in case matter).

© 2009 Pipan P

Two Months of Summer

Chapter 1

By Pipan P

“A summer vacation unlike any other” this phrase, which is oftentimes used by dreamy girls hoping for a love-filled summer, had been one of my targets for the two month vacation from school—a fun-filled summer with my high school friends, including my long-time crush Jake Michaels, who had recently turned available after his breakup with Elena Russell—a girl I’m not really fond of.

For a couple of weeks before the said vacation, I had made the effort to think of good plans for the group outing which my friends and myself had arranged for the free-from-school-months in a private beach resort owned by Cerise Lerouch’s—my ever loving best friend—family. Among the number of ideas I’ve thought of is walking on the shore while the sun is rising with Jake, exploring the nearby cave with Jake, storytelling by the bonfire with Jake by my side, and stargazing with Jake, and all these would eventually lead to me and Jake going out.

Apparently all my plans will have to remain as they are—good old plans, as my parents decided to ground me for the whole two months of summer vacation for coming home drunk after driving one Saturday night.

“You’re not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages, I’ve told you that many times already. What’s worse is that you drove your car home in that condition. Do you know how dangerous that is!?” was my mom’s speech after a few minutes of stepping inside the house premises.

It wasn’t really that big of a deal. Aside from the fact that I’m turning eighteen on the next month, I came home perfectly fine, well aside from being drunk and all. I arrived home without any injuries. Heck they should be glad that I came home at all, instead of sleeping out in the bar. The car did not even have a single scratch, aside from the two old scratches, one from the first run—It took me a while to finally master turning to a curve without hitting anything—and another from one of my other driving-while-drunk moments—wherein I wasn’t caught. So the punishment I’m given for that one night is totally uncalled for.

I don’t think I deserve to be grounded. I don’t think its right for me to miss the outing my friends and I had organized, to miss my chance to go out with Jake, and to be sent to an isolated place that cannot be in any way associated with the word summer.

“You will be staying with Marie” the very words my mom had ordered after announcing that I’m grounded for the next two months.

Marie is a nice person. She’s a good friend of the family, a daughter of the head of the Crane Industries—a good business partner of my own family’s company—and had often helped me in some of my school works. She’s a pretty lady, twenty five years of age, who is by no doubt kind and very intelligent. I wouldn’t have any objection to staying with her if it wasn’t for the phrase added to the order afterwards during our conversation. “You’ll help her with her chores in her farm.” She had said with the most emphasis on the last word.

Farms are not my thing. I consider myself as an outgoing, and city-loving girl. I love going to malls—shopping, I fancy eating in Italian restaurants with my friends, I love hanging out in bars, and I always update myself with the latest trends in the fashion industry. A farm doesn’t have any of that, and so it doesn’t really fit in the type of lifestyle I live.

Unlike me apparently, Marie adores the farm lifestyle. Contrary to being a daughter of a rich family, she prefers the simple type of living. Not too much grandeur, and in the countryside as much as possible. She’s got weird taste.

I observed the wide field covered in corn. Corn, corn, and more corn, I don’t even like to eat corn.

“Leanne, be good okay?” my mom reminded me. I leaned by the glass window on the backseat of the family car and nodded weakly.

“Behave yourself. Don’t cause Marie any trouble” my father added.

I had attempted a compromise with the decided arrangement, but none of the things I’ve suggested had worked. They’ll have it their way, and nothing I say is going to change it.

I stared at the wide corn field, sighing as the only thing in the place I’ve figured was corn, and a pale yellow house which I supposed was Marie’s on the far end of the curvy, non-cemented road.

As we drew closer to the residence, I’ve noticed that there’s a barn near the yellow structure. The joy! It seems that I don’t only have to water corns I also have to take care of some animals. If they were dogs or cats I’ll be fine, but I have never took care of pigs or cows or chickens. They’re really going to make me regret getting drunk.

We stopped by the house, and were almost instantly greeted by Marie who stepped out of her house the moment we stopped.

Charlotte!” she beamed, her waist-length red hair flowing behind like silk, when my mother stepped down the car. The two of them hugged each other, before my father came out and also gave his greetings.

They were cheerfully talking outside, when I caught her stare at the direction of the car, and since I’m the only person inside, I reckoned she was probably looking for me. I sighed before opening the door and then jumped down,

“Hi Marie” I said with less enthusiasm than I would have if it was a normal, and wholehearted visit, closing the door of the car behind. Outside the car, I could have a better view of the house I’ll be staying in for a few weeks. Amidst the place it’s constructed on, the house is pretty nice, two stories high, with a beautiful porch, and glass walls on the left side. It looks modern, much like how houses in my neighborhood are constructed, minus the gates, the pool, and the garden—unless she considers the field her backyard.

“Leanne, it’s so nice to see you” she smiled, and ran to hug me too. I gave a stiff smile, and returned the gesture with a hesitant tap on the back, “I’m so glad you decided to stay with me for the summer.”

I did not decide to stay, I was forced to stay. How I wanted to blurt the words out, but it’s difficult to act all sour and grumpy in front of Marie. She’s just too kind.

“Yeah” I replied,

“We’re going to have fun” she gleamed,

I simply nodded. I’m not sure I would, though.

My parents gave me last minute reminders, before heading off to the airport where they’ll board their plane to their business trip destination.

Marie helped me carry my things inside. Everything in the house’s interior seemed normal. No hanging baskets, haystacks, or things I’ve expected, coming from movies in farmland setting. There’s even a flat screen television in the sitting room, complete with DVD player, and piles of DVD’s, neatly stocked on elegant racks beside, and under the television.

This isn’t so bad.

“Would you like to see your room? Or do you want to have some tea first?” she politely asked,

“Er… I’d love to see my room” I’m not really in the mood for tea. I hate tea.

And with that she led me upstairs, still lending me a hand with my baggage, and explained to me various places—not many I might say—just the first door as her room, a bathroom, the door on the side of the corridor, until we reached the second of the two rooms on the top floor.

I dropped my gym bag on the floor after entering the place. It’s a neat room, smaller than my own room in my own house, but clean and decent. There’s a queen-sized bed on the side parallel to the huge glass window with long refreshing white morning curtains slid on the side, allowing the sunlight to penetrate the room. There’s a study table opposite to the bed fully equipped with a good looking computer and printer, and a bookshelf filled with seemingly educational books, none of which I would fancy reading, on the left side.

The place didn’t look much like a guest room. Considering the number of books, and school stuff inside, a nerd must own it.

“This is my brother’s room” she explained, as if she just heard my speculations. I was right after all, it wasn’t a guest room.

“I didn’t know you had a brother” I commented. I’ve attended a couple of the parties hosted by the Crane’s, since they were introduced to me by my parents about two years ago when the business partner thing had fluttered, and not once did the mysterious brother appear. Come to think of it, I haven’t even seen any of his pictures, or heard his parents speak of him.

“Yeah, you haven’t met him yet. He doesn’t like attending parties or social gatherings.” She stared away for a moment, “His name’s Lionel.” She continued, “He usually comes here with me during vacation, but currently he’s fixing some of his papers in preparation for College. So you’re free to use his room, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind.”

“Which university is he attending?” The main reason why he doesn’t attend the parties is probably because he’s far too busy reading his books and getting top grades in his class.

“He’s still undecided. He’s been accepted in a number of schools, some of which were offering him scholarships. He’s still weighing his options at the moment.”

Definitely a brainiac, and he doesn’t even need the scholarships. What with the Crane’s money and all.

“So is this all right for you?”

“Hmm… the room’s nice”

“I’m glad you like it” she smiled again, “I’ll leave you to settle, if you need anything I’ll just be downstairs.”

“Okay, thanks Marie”

“No problem.” And she closed the door behind, leaving me to wander my eyes around the room.

I noticed the computer, and wondered if the place had internet connection. Interpreting the words, “he wouldn’t mind” as “you may use the things inside”, I turned the computer on, only to find out that Marie’s brother, a.k.a. Lionel, had set a password on. I tried out some keys in an attempt to use the machine, typing in some silly hunches like “lionel”, “Crane”, “marie”, “nerd”, “password”, and other various combinations, none of which had worked.

After a few minutes of unsuccessful attempts, I decided to give up and turn off his computer. Browsing through the things on the table, I found a picture frame faced down. It was almost unnoticeable as the color of the back of the frame is about the same with the table.

Curious, I checked it out and found a photo of a guy and a girl on some living room. The girl had shoulder-length blond hair, and light blue eyes. She wore a plain pink shirt, and was leaning cheerfully on the guy’s shoulder. I think she’s pretty, and I suppose she’d look a lot better if she gets a new hair style, her straight all over do is totally off. The guy, on the other hand had beautiful black hair, even though it seemed unkempt in the photo. He had a handsome face that would probably earn some contracts for commercial ads, possibly even Hollywood if he could act.

After staring at the photo, a sudden insight had come to me. I looked at the guy’s face again. Could he be Marie’s brother? He doesn’t look like a nerd, and he doesn’t look anything like Marie.

I gave up on the thought. I’d just ask her, it’ll be a lot easier, and a lot more precise. I left the picture standing before standing up and leaving the computer desk.

I opened my bag for no particular reason, and found my bag of toiletries on top. I realized that I wanted to take a bath. I saw a door. Marie hadn’t told me where it led, so I walked towards it to check it out, only to find out that it’s a closet with guy’s t-shirt and jeans hanging on some rack. There weren’t many of them, proof that the person Lionel doesn’t really come often to the place.

I sighed before turning back. I didn’t have my own bathroom. I went back to my bag and pulled out my towel, and my bag of toiletries. As much as I’d love to whine, I know that it won’t get me anywhere, only possibly a wretched image. Not wanting any of that, I kept my mouth shut and walked towards the bathroom to take a refreshing shower.

Over dinner, Marie had made some nice stew. It amazes me how she could cook, clean or do things that the usual rich heiress’ couldn’t.

She didn’t make me help cleaning up. Either she’s a very generous host, or she’s afraid that I might break them. Having nothing to do, I went back to my borrowed room.

I climbed the bed, and picked my cell phone from the top of the pillow, where I left it earlier. I searched for my best friend’s number, browsing from Camille, Catherine, Carter, and then finally to Cerise. I pressed the call button, and waited for her to answer. She must be having a lot of fun as the she decided to get her phone after five rings.

“Leanne!” her sweet voice answered enthusiastically, and I can hear the beat of the music on the background, “Argh, you are missing the best summer ever” she said as if accusing.

Perfect. What a nice way to greet, like I’m not there by my own choice. “Hi Cerise” I impassively spoke,

“Oh” she slowed down, it seems that she remembered I wasn’t here on my own accord. “Hi, sorry I’m just too overwhelmed. I miss you already, we miss you.”

“Yeah, me too”

“Isn’t there really any way you could sneak out from that miserable farm, and head here? Leanne, we’re having a blast… and guess who’s been asking where you are earlier.”

“Harry Grayson?” I speculated, rolling my eyes at the memory of the extremely persistent suitor.


“Don’t tell me it’s Cynthia, I already explained to her why I’m here right now.”

“No silly, can’t you make a decent guess?”


I heard her chuckle, “It’s Jake Michaels” she laughed, “He’s been asking people earlier about your whereabouts, or if you’re coming”

“No!” I almost screamed, “He did not!?”

“He did sweetheart”

“Oh. My. Gosh. I should have been there” the punishment to me had never been that difficult to bear until that fact had been revealed. I’m so frustrated, I wanted to cry. My long time crush was asking where I was, and here I am unable to come there. I could perhaps sneak out if I had brought my car with me, but that’s not the case. If only the place was closer to civilization, where there’d be taxis waiting…

I let myself drop on the bed. There’d be no way Marie’s lending me her car. Not when she uses it to go to town to get us some supplies, not to mention my mother asking her not to let me drive. Why must I be grounded now?

“Leanne?” Cerise had broken my flowing thoughts. She seemed worried about my lack of response to her news.

“Er… yeah, still here” I answered weakly, “Oh Reese, I’m so, so angry at myself for being grounded at the wrong time.

“Don’t be too hard on yourself. Hey, I have an idea, how about, you tell me where you are so I can get my car and pick you up. Since we’re in the same state at the moment, I don’t think it’s that far from where we are.”

A light flame of hope started to come to me, “Really?”

“You know I’d do anything to get you here”

“Well, I’m not very good with directions, but it’s a long drive from a town called Little Hanks”

“Little what?”

“Hanks, Little Hanks? Have you ever heard of it?”

“From which part of the state is that place?”

I sighed. she doesn’t know where to find it. Well, Cerise isn’t better at navigating and following maps than I was. I guess having her pick me up is a pretty bad idea, worst case—she could get lost, and I’d hate for my best friend to get in trouble because of me.

“Oh never mind” I told her as lightly as I could, “Maybe I’d take my chances at the start of the new semester”

“Come on, you could take your chances now. Leanne, Jake is here, looking for you. It’s the perfect chance.”

“Maybe another time” I would want it to be now, but it’s impossible.

“Fine” she muttered, “I’ll just keep girls away from him then. You really won’t come?”

As much as it tempts me, “No Reese”

I heard her yelp, but before I could ask she took a deep breath and told me that it was only her boyfriend.

“Hi Leanne” he greeted blending with the background,

“He said he wanted to dance”

“Then I’ll call you another time” I spoke, deeply wishing that I was there with them,

“All right, love you”

“Love you too, have fun”

“Ok” and I ended the call.

I threw the phone on the side of the bed and closed my eyes. I’m grounded, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I cannot bother my friend and possibly put her in danger for my selfish reasons. I sighed, it’s probably better. This way I could probably ease up my bad record, maybe my parents would think I’ve learned my lesson, and would let me off the hook in one or two weeks. I shook my head, like that would happen. They’re word is law.

Giving up on going to the Lerouch’s private beach resort, I tried to think of pleasant things, unfortunately, all things pleasant always led me to the private beach resort, the parties they are and will be having, and Jake Michaels. The thoughts just made me feel more uneasy, and I shifted from one position to the other, until I finally drifted to sleep.

I woke up in the morning with the bright sunlight on my face. I felt its warmth on my back. Refusing to rise, I snuggled my long pillow, breathing in the scent of a light perfume which as I immediately recognized was for men. I remembered that I was borrowing the room of Marie’s brother for the time being. The pillows must not have been changed since her brother left for school. I tried to hug the pillow closer, but I found something really strange. It was warm, and it didn’t feel like a pillow at all. A little second of comprehension had made me open up my eyes, and I was greeted by the sight of a blue cloth with buttons. Later on did I realize that the pillow, or so I thought, was rising gently, like the chest of a breathing person. Oh no! I quickly sat up, ignoring the dizziness it had resulted, and backed up a few spaces, only to find a man sleeping on the bed. Shocked, and disoriented, I screamed.

The man staggered when he heard my loud shout and also backed a few spaces from me, surprise visible on his features as he stared at me. I stopped screaming that instant and returned the stare with a little extra—I glared at him,

“Who are you and what are you doing here!?” I blinked as he took the words right out of my mouth,

“Excuse me!?” I was supposed to be the one saying those. How dare him.

“What are you doing here!?” he repeated, and the door suddenly opened, revealing an anxious Marie.

I was about to run towards her, when the guy spoke again, “W-Marie, do you know this woman?”

Confusion seemed to mirror in my eyes as Marie walked towards me, and then gave me a light embrace, “I’m sorry Leanne, I… I wasn’t expecting—“

She turned to look at the guy, “I thought you were staying in your dormitory for the summer?”

The man ran a hair on his black hair, only then did I recognize his face. He was the person on the picture I’ve seen on the desk yesterday. He looks almost the same, except that his hair was a little longer back then. I tried to arrange the things in my still woozy head. The guy’s on the picture, he’s in the room, he asked me what I was doing here, and Marie knows him. I almost sighed. He’s the brother.

“Well, I didn’t know you were coming” Marie was explaining as I figured what the whole thing was about. I saw her brother scoff and stare at the window, an annoyed expression playing on his features.

“Leanne, this is my brother Lionel” she introduced, “Lionel, Leanne. She’s staying here for the summer”

The two of us kept quiet, not even bothering to say hi.

“Aren’t you going to greet each other?” Marie suggested,

“Er… hi?” I broke, trying to be nice. I’m the extra person here, better act good.

He cleared his throat, “Nice to meet you” he spoke unconvincingly, I was so sure he didn’t mean it, before standing up and then going out of the room.

“Sorry about that” Marie smiled, “He’s just surprised, he didn’t know you’ll be coming. He probably arrived last night or early this morning, too tired to turn the lights on and all… he wasn’t expecting anyone.”

“It’s all right” With her sincere apology, how can I not lie.

I went downstairs for breakfast a few moments after Marie had left me for my morning routine, and found Lionel inside the kitchen, helping himself to some pancakes. He didn’t look like he noticed me, or he simply ignored my presence as he did not look up the moment I stepped inside.

© 2009 Pipan P

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