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As I get ready for work, I realize that Dan and I have not fought in almost a month. I am not sure why exactly, but I decided last month that I was not going to let Dan’s behavior make me do things that I don’t want to do anymore. We are both really busy with work and school so we usually only see each other on the weekend lately too. Even then, we seem to only go to parties with other people, so we don’t actually talk that much which helps us not fight.
Since my brother and I go to the same community college, and my sisters are on spring break at the same time, my parents surprised us with a trip to Florida. I can’t wait to get away. Dan is not happy that I am going to be gone for a whole week, but my parents said that since we are getting older, it might be the last time we can all get away on vacation together. My parents, Jake and I were all able to get off work too, so it felt like it was meant to be. I did not want to be the only one staying home even though Dan loved the idea that we could “play house” all week.
My grandparents, Grandma Elisabeth and Grandpa Robert, rented a place in Florida for the winter since they just retired, but my dad has a friend that owns a condo on Sanibel Island so we are staying there since my grandparent’s place is too small for all of us anyway. My dad’s friend, Al, said that it is right on the beach, so we are all really excited. It is big enough that my grandparent’s will be able to stay with us for a couple of days as well. It has been hard not seeing them since they went down there in the fall. They still have a house in South Haven, so they came home just for Thanksgiving through Christmas, but I miss seeing them every week. My dad said that they love it so much though, that they are going to sell their house in South Haven and buy a place of their own in Florida.
Ashley came home last week for her Spring break. She loves being at college and is not looking forward to coming home for the summer. I am enjoying my classes at college, but since I still live at home, it isn’t the same. Ashley and I barely talk though, and I only saw her for lunch one time the whole week that she was home.
“Harper, can you help us decide what to pack?” Ava asks as she walks into my room. Her and Sara just turned thirteen so I know that they are getting very concerned about clothes and make up.
“Sure, when I get home from work,” I tell her as I finish getting ready. I say goodbye to everyone before I get into my mom’s car to drive to work.
I just need to work at the restaurant tonight, and we leave tomorrow. I work as a hostess so if it is busy I could be there late though. Hopefully, we won’t be crowded even though it is a Friday night. Dan has to work as well so we spent last night together, and he wants to stop by tomorrow morning before we leave. He still works at the pizza place at the mall, so it will probably be really busy. When we went out to dinner last night, he just sat there with this sad puppy dog look the whole time.
“I wish you weren’t going, Harper.”
“I know. Me too, but you know how important a family vacation is to my parents,“ I explained even though I cannot wait to go.
“Can you text me everyday? You know that I need to talk to you to stay sane,” he asked me. Most people think that he is this tough guy, which he is, but he can be very needy and sensitive as well. I remember when I thought the idea of a boyfriend saying that he couldn’t live without me was romantic.
“Of course, I will.”
After we ate, we went to the baseball field and climbed into the back of his truck. I really wanted to go home to get ready for the trip, but I just didn’t have the energy to get into a fight tonight. I was not going to let Dan do anything to ruin the good mood that I was in. I kept thinking about the beach and what else I needed to pack as he pulled down his pants and climbed on top of me. We had sex for the first time in January. Dan had been pressuring me since we started dating, and I really wanted to wait until I was older, but it happened one night after a night of drinking. Now he just assumes every time that we are together that we will have sex in the back of his truck.
We didn’t talk as we got in the front of his truck, and he drove me home. He probably thought that I was quiet because I was thinking about how much I am going to miss him, but really I just kept thinking about Florida.
“Well, I love you Dan,” I told him when I kissed him goodnight at my house.
“I love you more today than yesterday Harper,” he yelled as I got out of his truck. I remember how sweet I thought that was the first time that he said it to me. That seems like so long ago, and I barely feel like the girl that he said it to many months ago. It is hard to remember the girl that I used to be.
I get to work by five. It is really busy already since it is a Friday.
“ Hi Jenny. Need me to pick up menus?” I ask.
“No. I just did, but do you want to take names, and I’ll seat people?”
We are so busy that we don’t have any time to talk. Two other people start working at six, but then by nine-thirty, it is gets so slow that my boss lets me go home early.
Since my mom let me use her car for work, I pull into the garage and go in the house.
“Ava, Sara. I’m home. Are you packed?”
“No. We were waiting for you,” Ava says without taking her eyes off of the television.
“Well. Let’s go,” I say as I turn off the TV.
We spend the next two hours going through all of their summer clothes. I must admit that they are growing up. They have cute little figures and will definitely get some attention at the beach. Luckily, they still are short so they at least look closer to their real ages. They are twins and look like sisters, but they aren’t identical. Sara is a little shorter and has more of an athletic build. She is more outgoing and talkative. Ava is slightly taller and built more like our mother. They both have our mom’s wavy blond hair, but they tan easily like our dad though. Jake and I look more like our dad with our curly brown hair.
“I still need to finish packing since Dan is stopping by before we leave tomorrow morning so goodnight sissies.”
“Thanks for helping us, Harper,” says Ava.
“Yeah. Thanks,” repeats Sara.
I finish putting out my make up and hair stuff that I will need in the morning and put my book and a couple of magazines into my carry-on and crawl into bed.
I jump out of bed when my alarm goes off even though it is early. I need to finish getting ready before Dan comes over in case he stays until we leave for the airport. I slip on a pink t-shirt and black yoga pants since I want to be comfortable while flying. I toss a pair of shorts and my black swimsuit into my carry-on, in case my luggage gets lost, I will be ready. I need to tell Ava and Sara to do that as well.
Just as I carry my suitcase downstairs, I hear Dan’s truck pull up so I walk out to see him. I notice that he looks awful as I get closer to him.
“Are you sick?” I ask.
“No. Just hung over. We went out after work and since I’m going to miss you so much, I drank way too much.”
I want to tell him that is not my fault that he drank too much and that he is probably still drunk, not hung over, but I just bite my tongue. “Well I hope you feel better.”
“Well text me when you land. I haven’t been home all night so I’m going to try and get some sleep since I work later today.”
“Okay. I love you,” I tell him as I give him a kiss. He smells horrible like cigarettes and alcohol. I should care who he was out with all night, but I am in too good of a mood, and I just don’t want to get into a fight.
“I love you,” he groans as he climbs back into the truck.
I am shocked at how fast and easy that was, as I walk back in the house and wake up Ava and Sara.
“Time for Florida,” I yell as I walk into their room.
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