Chapter Three ~ About a Month Ago

Chapter Three ~ About a Month Ago

A Chapter by aubreydiamond

At this stage I imagine there's a few questions floating in your head. It's probably a good time to take it back a bit and explain a few things before we really get into it…

Let me start with the basics:

 

Hi, I’m Aroha. Aroha Ra Hinerangi is my full name. I was named after my grandmother. I never got to meet her, but she was very well known in my family as that one nana that always held everything and everyone together; one of those amazing maternal matriarchs that always had time for you and you never wanted to disappoint; or so I heard growing up from mum. (My mother is an- interesting woman, but I'll get to her later.)

I’ve spent my whole life living in Raumu, as did I-don't-know-how-many generations of my family before me; I was even born in my living room, 18 years ago, and aside from holidays and trips I've never really left. I still live in the same house even.

Raumu is a small beach town about an hour’s way north from Wellington, New Zealand. It's alright, as much as you can expect for a town mostly full of middle aged white people and families. Nothing ever really happens here and the people seem to like it like that. There are parks, shops and supermarkets. The towns even got its own mall, but as far as entertainment you're pretty much on your own. I've never really been bothered by it, luckily I’ve had good friends to make the most of our free time and school years bearable.

As for my school, Raumu College was the only high school within the region. But even then there was only around 250 students in total, if they all felt like showed up to class. It was an alright school, it had everything we needed when it came to education and if you stuck it out until the end, you could walk away with a decent chance at doing something bigger and better after graduation. And up until this point, I considered myself one of those high achievers.

I always studied hard and put in more effort than was really necessary when it came to my school work. I guess I just found it easier to stay at home and get my s**t done opposed to going out partying away my weekends with most of my year group. So you can imagine it was a bit of a shock when I was invited to a big party for our year group a few weeks before the New Year. Initially I didn't want to go, but the entire year group had been invited, which would've meant Juniper was invited too…

 

About a month ago…

 

{AROHA

You’re invited to Hayleigh’s 19th

WHEN: 22nd Dec - 17:00

WHERE: Raumu Island (Meet at boat club 16:30)

There will be two boats taking groups back and forth from the island. Make sure you're there on time or you'll get left behind. See you there b*****s.

BYO: Booze, sleeping bag, booze, pillow, booze, change of clothes, booze etc. w

RSVP Hayleigh or Olivia by the 20th

 

I was waiting down at the boat club on the beachfront in the afternoon sunlight because me being me I'm early to just about everything. It was a Saturday, a really f*****g hot Saturday. It was 6.30 and no one else was here yet. I'd re-read the invitation so many times I'd started to doubt it was even happening. It wouldn't surprise me if Hayleigh had just pranked half the year group. I’d been to the same schools as Hayleigh since primary days, and although we were always pleasant and smiley to each other's faces I've always thought she was a bit of a self-centred b***h. Who else would invite the whole year group to celebrate their birthday? Luckily Juniper was going otherwise I highly doubt I'd be here right now.

I couldn't see any boat maintenance people prepping anything, and I could feel the condensation from the bottle of wine i swiped from mums wine cabinet seeping through the material of my duffel bag.

Jesus, hurry up! I had to keep getting up from the wooden post I was sitting on to stop my a*s from going completely numb.

I pulled out my phone to type Juniper a prompting message to hurry the f**k up.

[How far away are you Berry? It's so f*****g hot.]

Just as I put my phone back into my pocket, a sleek, black car pulled up in the car park without turning its ignition off. The passenger door opened, and a pair of tasteful leather shoes hopped out and onto the pavement, followed by the familiar tone of sass and confidence telling their driver they’d be back tomorrow: it was Zeb.

Aside from Juniper, Zebastion was one of my closest friends. He was the life of the party and the brightest, boldest burst of colour that everyone needed in their life. If anyone was going to make this night enjoyable, it was going to be Zeb.

Zeb was absolutely and unapologetically gay. he was the only queer student in the entire school (and probably the town), Which could have easily made him a target for stupid insecure fuckwits to bully, but he had always been far too strong of a personality to give two s***s about what other people have to say about him. If anyone I know was the personification of confidence and self-acceptance, it was Zeb. Just one of the many things I adored about him.

He was wearing a pair of stonewashed skinny jeans with an oversized dress shirt with the top few buttons left undone. Carrying about three different bags, his metal earrings swung from his earlobes that matched the necklace draped around his neck. Bright blue eyes were hidden behind shades perched at the very tip of his nose. He looked as fabulous as always.

‘Hey, boo,’ I grinned at him, hopping up from my leaning spot to give him a big hug. ‘You look great! Your hair looks really good white.’

‘Stupid b***h at the salon left he peroxide in for too long,’ he spat. ‘’Spose it's not too bad, I didn't have to pay in the end. At least I've still got hair. The f**k are you wearing?’

His eyes looked me up and down. I could see him analysing my quick-decision-outfit. I don't care about clothes, but Zeb always tried to make me. Bless him.

‘These are my nice jeans,’ I defended myself before he could say anything. I already knew it was a lost cause. He nodded with a sarcastic ‘Mm-hmm’ and looked away. God I love this b***h.

‘Is Berry coming?’ He asked, reaching into one of his many bags and pulling out a cigarette packet. He offered me one but I turned it down. ‘You gotta live a little boo boo.’

‘I hate the taste! And yeah I think so… I'm still waiting for her to turn up.’

Just then my phone buzzed:

 

[BERRY:

Coming now x]

 

She's on her way now.’

‘Good. Haven't seen her since school finished up,’ he said, lighting his cigarette and taking a long drag. ‘How’s Luke Hun?’

Uhg. I was dreading this question, no matter who it came from.

‘Umm… yeah he's good.’

I didn't even need to look at Zeb to know what face he was giving me. Sure enough though, he looked like I'd just tried to tell him I was a brain surgeon.

‘That bad, huh?’ Zeb was the older sibling I never had and always wanted.

‘He's uhh... he's moved away.’

‘What the f**k?’ Zeb gasped, ‘when? Where? Why?’

‘I don't really know. He just, moved. He didn't tell me. That was about a month ago.’ I didn't want to divulge this information, purely for the fact I'd been trying to forget about it.

‘S**t… You should've said something! Are you okay?’

‘Yeah, I guess. I don't know, it's not like we’re together anymore anyways. He can do what he likes. I guess as long as he’s happy.’

‘What a piece of s**t.’ Zeb sneered. His cattiness was enough to make anyone laugh, but not about this. I guess I was still wrapping my head around it all.

Luke Hartley had been my boyfriend since I was old enough to decide I'd wanted one. Like most of our year group, he went to the same primary school as me and we’d spent all of our childhoods growing up alongside one another.

It sounds stupid and cheesy, but he was easily my first love. I haven't been with anyone else since, even the thought of it seems strangely foreign to me. But maybe I stayed with him for so long because he genuinely was a good guy, he had the best of intentions and really did care about me. He just has some pretty s****y communication skills, shall we say. I mean, do you really know someone until they vanish out of town without a single word? We weren't, aren’t together anymore, but things were still fresh, confusing and up in the air. I didn't think he'd have just left without warning… maybe I didn't know him after all? Should I have?

 

‘Honestly, where the f**k are these slags?’ Zeb snapped, lighting his third cigarette. The sun had started to properly descend now. The air was shifting from afternoon heat to a slight evening breeze, and we were still waiting.

Hola, señorita’s!’ A familiar voice screeched out to us from behind. Juniper was hanging out of her mum’s station wagon window, hair flailing in the wind as they pulled up.

‘Thanks mama,’ she said cheerily, ‘I’ll let you know when we’re heading back.’

Junipers mum Rose leaned over so we could see her at eye level, she waved at Zeb and me while smiling. Juniper’s mum was by far one of the sweetest women we’d ever met. My other mother. Juniper’s house was always our base or rendezvous because Rose wasn't as much of a cow as mine, and understood that we were young and wanted to do our own thing, but still cared enough to actually be cool.

‘Have a fun night you three,’ Rose called out. ‘If you need anyone to come and pick any of you up just let me know.’ She grinned and drove away, leaving the three of us in the car park.

‘Thanks Rosie!’ Zeb waves after her vehicle. She tooted a few times.

‘Hey Queen!’ Juniper called to Zeb, giving him a big energetic hug. Zeb picked her up and spun her around.

‘Didn't think you were coming!’ He said.

‘Pfft, seriously? And miss a chance to hang out with my two favourite sisters? Pa-lease. What're you two s***s drinking tonight?’

‘Whatever I can get my hands on,’ Zeb joked, though we all knew he was being serious. ‘I've got vodka - just in case Hayleigh decides to play the role of alcohol vacuum before I do.’

Juniper giggled.

‘You’re gonna need to be quick then. What about you, miss straight A’s?’

‘I've got some wine from mums cellar.’ I said.

‘Daaaaaamn girl! You’re living dangerously.’ She joked. My friends were the kind of friends close enough to know and understand how much of a b***h my mother can be. ‘Hope she doesn't count her bottles.’

‘It wouldn't surprise me if she does,’ I said. ‘I'll see how I go anyway, I'm not sure if I really feel like drinking.’

‘Aww, come on,’ Zeb nudged me with his elbow. ‘It's the end of the year, it's almost Christmas! Go out with a bang. Cut loose! What could go wrong? Besides, who steals wine and puts it back?’

I've never been a big drinker. I'd never been one to go out at every opportunity I could and party ‘till the sun comes up. The nightlife here in Raumu was most definitely nothing to rave about. On nights where everyone wanted to go crazy I’d generally have school work or family things to attend to, or at least have used one of those as an  excuse. But it was the end of the year, we weren't going away for Christmas an I didn't really have any other place to be, plus I enjoyed the company of Juniper and Zeb, and with everyone else from our year it could only be interestingly entertaining…

Eventually, more cars and familiar faces from school began to pull up in the car park, huddling in their exclusive groups until there was enough of us to merge into one group; even though us three stayed exactly where we were. When Hayleigh arrived, she and three other girls just about toppled on top of one another getting out of what looked like her brothers douchey car.

To start, she was already wasted. I know it is her birthday, but seeing her hobble out of the vehicle in four-inch heels was both painful and hilarious to watch. The other three girls straightened themselves up and in unison pulled their short skirts down. They were all wearing almost identical outfits but in different shades, much to Zeb’s disgust.

‘F*****g Hell,’ he muttered under his breath to Juniper and I. ‘I'm going to need to start drinking now.’ He put his open hand out signalling us to give him a bottle. I reached into my bag and pulled out the now warm-ish wine and passed it to him.

‘Ooh, Pinot Grigio. Gaga would be proud.’ He said, cracking open the cap and taking a big guzzle. Just in time too, Hayleigh had spotted us from a far, and once she managed to focus her drunken-vision, she walked over to us, clearly forcing a smile.

‘Oh my gosh you guys,’ She started, ‘thank you soooo much for coming, it really means a lot. I know we’re not like, besties, but it's really means a lot that you came to celebrate. Really means a lot.’ She trailed her words sounding like wood going down a wash board. She stumbled away, and I just about burst out laughing looking at Zeb’s condescendingly false smile.

‘At least she's enjoying her birthday I guess,’ he said. ‘It must mean a lot.’

‘I'm pretty sure her actual birthday was last week.’ I said. Zeb rolled his eyes and stamped out his cigarette butt.

By now, the sun had started to set and there was about thirty of us all standing in the car park waiting for something to happen. A Ute with about twelve boys hanging out the windows and off the back skidded around the corner and stopped abruptly near the crowd, raining gravel on a few of the girls who all screamed while the boys cackled with laughter.

Juniper, Zeb and I stayed well away from the major crowd. We knew almost everybody here but didn't have much desire to mingle with them; we always kept to ourselves as much as we could. Even in school intervals we tended to unintentionally meet at the same place without fail every day. No one tried to wedge in our friendship, though if they tried they dealt with Zeb.

After what felt like too long waiting for everyone to get their s**t together, Hayleigh stood up on a large rock so that she could be seen by everyone. She wobble rather dangerously and had about two other girls keeping her balanced. This could go one of two ways.

‘Okay guysssss,’ she called out, ‘we’re going over to the island now so chose a boat and let's f*****g go. If you get left behind, tough s**t!’ She hopped off the rock and just about twisted her ankle in the process, much to Zeb’s enjoyment.

Now that Juniper and Zeb we're both here I wasn't feeling as crappy about the night. As long as you have your best friends with you, it's easy to block those s****y parts of your thoughts away and focus on having a good night.

We made our way past the boating club and down a path that lead to the beach front. We had to walk slow so we weren't kicking the other's heels.

The boys and girls (intentional or not) had separated themselves into two groups, and seemed to be making their way to the two boats separately sitting in the shallow water. And then there was us three, drifting at the back practically unnoticed by any of the others.

‘Which boat are we getting on?’ I asked. We looked at the boat the boys were piling into. Several of the boys had all hands on the railing and were shaking the boat as hard as they could, much to the driver’s annoyance. We walked towards the girl’s boat without saying another word.

‘You sure you don't wanna go with the boys, Zeb?’ Juniper joked. She giggled more to Zeb’s expression than anything else: pure disgust.

‘I'll pass on the cesspit of testosterone, thanks.’ He took another swig of wine before hopping over the threshold.

As I stepped onto the deck Juniper leapt to the only available seat near the back of the boat, which was far more spacious than I was expecting. The girl beside Juniper gave her a funny look. Juniper was seen as a bit of an oddball by most of the other girls. She loved it, in fact I'm pretty damn sure she acts even more strange just to make them feel uncomfortable. It always worked, and made me laugh at the same time.

‘Pass me the urine,’ she said, hand outstretched for the wine Zeb was drinking. She took a sip followed by a loud satisfying “aaaaaah”.

It wasn't long before the boat had taken off from the shore. The silly girls at the front of the boat were putting their hands in the air while we bobbed over the waves, flailing their uncoordinated hands all over the place, completely throwing their balance off. It was great to be honest. Potentially very dangerous, yes, but they seemed to think they were far more collected than what they actually were. The boy’s boat wasn't far behind us, and even over the boats motor, wind and crashing waves we could still hear the shouts and obnoxious nonsense coming from their boat. We were in for an interesting night.

Raumu Island was a long but small island off the coast Raumu. It was a doc protected natural reserve for wildlife, but was also a destination for anyone (primarily travellers) to explore and have a tour guide show them around. In saying that, how the f**k did Hayleigh manage to have her 19th birthday on the island?

‘Hey,’ I leant over to Juniper, ‘how did Hayleigh get permission to have this party on the island?’

‘Her “daddy” works at the council,’ she replied, putting on a weird voice for the word. ‘I'm sure he pulled some strings or some ponytails to get clearance.’

‘Good for him,’ Zeb said sarcastically.

I don't know how legal this felt but I guess if anything went wrong it'll be on Hayleigh. I hope.

Just as I looked around I noticed something I wasn't expecting to see. Chloe, one of the girls in our class was sitting almost directly across from me, head down reading a book. And Believe me when I say, she was the last person I thought I was going to see tonight.

I lowered my head to catch her eye. She almost got a fright when she saw me, but I smiled and waved. She gave me a very weak smile.

‘It's nice to see you Chloe,’ I said to her. Chloe was very much an outcast, even more than we were. She almost fit that stereotypical mould of the extremely quiet girl with glasses that kept to herself and didn't have any friends, well that's what everyone says about her. Which is rich seeing as no one knows her well enough to know how true that all is. I wouldn't say she and I are the closest of friends, but Juniper and I always made an effort to be kind to her. Say hello, pretend she's not invisible, decent human being s**t like that. Though that didn't result in any kind of friendship, she definitely recognises us as people who don't take the piss out of her.

‘You too,’ She said so quietly I had to lip read.

‘Who invited you babes?’ Juniper asked her.

‘Hayleigh. I wasn't expecting it.’ She said.

‘Neither,’ Zeb muttered looking at Chloe's sneakers.

‘What made you decide to come?’ I asked, wondering why she would bother.

‘Social experiment I guess,’ she said. I noticed her book was titled ‘the human psyche’. ‘It's interesting to watch people and their behaviour. It's quite insightful. I enjoy it.’

‘You and me both, sister,’ Zeb said grinning, watching two of the girls lean over the rails to take a selfie.

‘Do you want some?’ Juniper offered the wine bottle to Chloe.

‘No thank you,’ she said quickly. ‘I don't put that poison in my body. I've got water.’ She brandished a steel insulated drink bottle tucked into her shoulder bag.

Juniper shrugged and took another swig and passed it to me. I didn't really like wine but a little bit wasn't bad. Might as well make it a funnier night than it already is.

In what felt like no time, the boat had pulled up on the shore of the island. Waiting for the girls to get off took so f*****g long; Drunk girls worrying about their shoes as they hop off a boat onto an uninhabited Island was an incredible contrast. Zeb was having a great time.

Chloe looked very hesitant to leave the boat. In fact I think she would have just stayed on the boat if I hadn't of turned around and gestured her to follow us.

The shore of the island was very rocky rather than the course sand we were all used to. The sound of the rocks clunking beneath my sandals was satisfying. Juniper was walking in the water in bare foot, while the rest of the girls were making their way around the cove to a larger space that had a few bench tables, most likely the reserved spot for the night.

Standing on the shore looking back at the mainland was such an odd feeling. I'd spent my whole life here and I was so used to standing on the other side looking at the island, now that it's vice-versa it felt like I was looking at a foreign land. I didn't realise how ugly Raumu looked from this side.

Someone must have brought a speaker with them; the distant sound of music sparked the air and people started immediately singing along to the ever-familiar Bohemian Rhapsody. I think I'd wait a moment before joining the messily loud crowd. I could see the boat driver shaking his head as he secured the boat and made his way out of sight to his overnight accommodation, which was just a few small cabins for council workers to stay. We had sleeping bags and (hopefully) soft ground to sleep on.

Zeb waited for the captain to have disappeared before he pulled out a smoke and lit it. I don't think you're allowed to smoke somewhere like here but I knew better than to tell Zeb he couldn't.

Chloe was floating not far behind us, she seemed a bit unsure what to do with herself now that she was here.

‘You can just chill with us if you want,’ I said to her. ‘Watch from a distance.’

She jerked her head slightly, looking that little bit more relieved. She edged her way closer to us.

About five minutes after the boy’s boat arrived right next to ours. Some of them had jumped off and into the water before the boat had stopped in an effort to show-off and f**k the second captain off at the same time. The soaking wet jerks waded their way to shore without even looking at Juniper, Zeb or myself. I don't even think they noticed Chloe was there. The rest of them jumped off when it was safe and walked across the shore.

And that's when I thought I'd been hit over the head with a rock. Just when I though Chloe was a surprise, at the back of boys group, standing dead in his tracks staring back with the same look of shock and horror, was Luke.

What. The. F**k.



© 2019 aubreydiamond


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Added on January 29, 2019
Last Updated on February 23, 2019
Tags: drama, young adult, pregnancy, coming of age, fiction, life, death, love, birth, teenage, comedy, baby, friends, family, murder, drugs, swearing, course language, aroha


Author

aubreydiamond
aubreydiamond

New Zealand



About
I come in peace! My name is Aubrey, I’ve been a creative witch for as long as I can remember. Writing, drawing and all of the creative outlets have been my source of magic since I could craf.. more..

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