The Surfer & Me

We're a little island in the map; just fifty-seven and a half miles off the coast of Miami. I guess people just skim over it thinking it's just a boring little place with nothing in sight. But we're not. We're a town of 287 people and if it's one thing we're all crazy about, it will be the Parkinson family. With three adopted Greek kids, one Spanish adopted baby and a heck of load of good looks you have your typical surfers but the Parkinson's are different. They're famous; well in Price they are anyway. It's not everyday that you have three boys show up one day at the beach from Greece and put our top surfers to shame. They'll refuse to join the surf team which causes everyone great surprise because getting an invitation is like finding the last golden ticket.
Lukas, Elias and Kai are 16 year olds born in Greece. Not related until they were adopted by Mr and Mrs Parkinson's. Jaun, six months old and adorable as hell. They're our residential celebrities. Sounds exciting...

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1. The Attic

The Attic

I remember the day that they arrived vividly. We didn't actually see their faces but we saw them going into the house with a duffel bag each. I was seven, so they were all eight. They got out the car with hoods up and ran up the stairs towards the front door. One boy's hood fell down and we saw a mop of jet black curls and an extremely tanned neck.

It was actually a week later that they came out of the house. What surprised us all was how different they all looked. They were all extremely tanned (which is their natural skin tone) and extremely skinny but they each had varying looks. Lukas has jet black hair that fell into his eyes and curled at the nape of his neck with dark brown eyes and crooked teeth which are now pearly white and as straight as can be. Elias has short brown hair with green eyes, he had two teeth missing back then but now they're identical to Lukas'. The last one, and the one that caught everyone's eye was Kainat (Kai). His was the hood that fell but that day his hair had been brushed back showing how long it was, curling just under his ear. His eyes though were bright blue and very light. They're weren't like everyone else's who have blue eyes, they looked more like the sky color early in the morning when it's really bright and sunny. The blue contrasted against his dark skin like he was wearing contacts and it mystified everyone how the most troubled, scarred and beaten kid - the kid whose entire body was filled with bruises, cuts, scraps and scars - could look so innocent and happy with just his eyes and dimples.

By this time we were caught up to date about what happened; Vanessa and Daniel Parkinson adopted three Greek boys. The school had accepted them seeing as we're the only school here but they weren't due to start for another month so they could get their English sorted out. We had finished school and headed down to the beach like always but they ran out of the Spanish styled villa that has been in the Parkinson family for years, grabbed a surfboard each and then showed everyone exactly what they could do, which was a heck of lot for eight year olds.

Vanessa Parkinson had told us that they were all in separate adoption homes until a week before Vanessa and David found them and seeing as the adoption home was on one of the islands outside Greece they could swim everyday and all day if they wanted to. Which they did. They were doing tricks out here in Price that even our beloved seventeen year old surf team couldn't. They were automatically given a place on our surf team but turned it down, smirking at all of our gasps and protests. 

Before I get carried away let me explain why everyone was entranced by these boys.

Vanessa and David was beloved by our whole community. Kids and teens love them because they kept our youth center here, they were on the school board and listened to us. They would organize movie nights at the beach for us and whenever it was someone's birthday they would get a little muffin or something from them without fail. Adults love them for a different reason.

They're stinking rich which means the community sucks up to them big time in hopes of getting fancy things. We got a restaurant which Lukas works at instead of being forced in military school. Ten years ago they decided to adopt a boy and traveled to Greece. They came back saying they found two, Lukas and Elias but when they went back they found a scruffy, dirty and skinny Kai being dragged into the adoption home by his ear at the age of eight by his father. He was dumped in the hall with a bleeding ear and stomach and then the father left, leaving Kai there were he passed out after thirty seconds of the door slamming. They stayed until Kai was better and healthy, meaning you could no longer see his rib cage through his skin, and then decided to adopt him too. He's the middle child of Lukas and Elias but they treat each other as if they actually are triplets.

They now have a baby brother, Antonio, from Ali Canté in Spain who was in an orphanage

So there you have it, you're up to date.

****

The first thing you should know about me is I am no model. I'm average height and I was born with brown hair but seeing as I'm constantly in the sun it's become a light hazel color. The only reason why I have the body of a potential model is because of the disapproving looks my mother casts on me whenever she sees me pick up a sweet or chocolate bar.

My mother is one of those perfectionists. Everything she does is flawless and looks scripted but with her elegance and posture, it looks natural at the same time. There's never a hair out of place, no creases in her clothes and her manicure always expertly done. When she was younger she refused to play in the dirt and the only thing she did wrong - what she says anyway - was getting pregnant with me when she was seventeen.

The need to gain her approval has always been great. As her only child I didn't want to let her down and what with her being high up in the school PA organization and my father being the sheriff, there's big hopes for me. When I was a baby I was too skinny. I was born three months early and was rushed into open heart surgery. I had survived three heart failures and multiple surgeries before I was five and then my grandparents focused on getting meat into my body. When I was ten I weighed a lot, in fact my mom was forced to put me in boys trainers until she refused to do it and ended up forcing me on a diet when I was twelve.

By that time I was sick of her constant waves of dismissal and the once over glance she would give me before I left the house. To stop the brochures for fat camp, the smacking on the back of my head if I didn't eat my fruit or veg and the patronizing glares she would give me when I picked up a chocolate bar; I lost weight. I was fourteen and old enough to get a gym membership with the school. I would slave over the treadmill and when I couldn't get into the gym I would run laps on the school track. At the age of thirteen I had only had a little stomach fat - in fact I could wear tank tops and only feel slightly disappointed at the extra fat. I was made captain on the girls soccer team and that helped me become as skinny as I am now. 

I run a lap of the island every night to get away from my mother and nowadays I just avoid her at all costs. That is the extent of my relationship with my mother and my father's always at the office so it's not like I have the best father-daughter bonding sessions like I would hope.

I'm alright with that. Seeing as they both feel slightly bad at missing the past six years of my life they redid my room on my sixteenth birthday. Now we may live in a Spanish styled villa but that doesn't mean my room is the best. I chose the smaller room because I preferred the fact that I can see everything from any point in the room.

My Dad painted it a dark gray color and gave me his credit card to do some online shopping with. I brought myself a double bed, mattress, white sheets and other useful things; my desk, photo frames, still images of New York, Chicago, Vegas all the big places and lamps.

When my Mom set everything up she did it like a hotel room but the second she left the room I changed everything. I took the headboard and foot board off the bed and only left the main bottom frame under my mattress before pushing it into the corner opposite the window. I put the desk right up against it and set two lamps to shine down on the bed, resting the plug sockets on the side railings of my bed frame. I set the pictures up and last month when my lamps went out I set up fairy lights to give some light.

My wardrobe is a mess and most of the clothes are strewn across my floor amongst art pencils and pads. I like my room the way it is with the curtains hardly ever open and the room dark because this place is one of my favorite places in the world. It's my own place where I can rid myself of every little thought, detail and worries about anything and everything.

****

I pulled on some leggings and an old, oversized tee shirt that is already riddled with multicolored spatters of paint - and a few holes from years of wear and tear. When I opened my bedroom door the smell of the cleaners air freshener hit me hard; being in my room which smells of my perfume and sprays for over eight hours caused me to stumble back a bit when I was ambushed by the smell of lavender and apples. I paced up the attic steps quickly, shutting the door instantly.

This is where I've made my makeshift arg studio/library. Everything about my oasis is refreshingly comforting; from the familiar way the hazy light flowed in through the old windows, to the worn green paint on the window sill, and even to the small blue faded love seat situated against a wall against the far end of the room. I've adorned the walls with some of my artwork and added in a few pieces from local artists. I flicked the switch at the top of the stairs, bringing to life the various lamps and the single hanging bulb in the center of the ceiling - all of them wired to work only with the switch at the top of the stairs.

Taking in one breath of the stale attic air was enough for me to push open the windows, wiping my dusty hands against my clothed thighs before combing my fingers through my hair, securing it into a messy bun.

The studio - and I use the term loosely - is nothing fancy. One half the room is my art studio, a single canvas in the center with old cream sheets on the floor to stop the paint hitting the floor. There's tester pots everywhere, paintbrushes of all sizes scattering the place and the pieces of wood nailed to the wall as shelves are covered with water paints, oil paints, pencils, pens etc. If my previous work isn't hung up is because it wasn't on a canvas and I had instead spent my days hunched over the too large desk working in my art pads. Scrap pieces of paper have been stuffed into countless see through bags which are piled one on top of the other by the stairs, showing just how much work I've done.

The other half is a lot calmer. With the blue love seat, an armchair and dozens of blankets and cushions/pillows across the floor it's my place of comfort and luxury. There's a large bookshelf stacked with books (most of them written by long dead writers) but those are the books that are still yet to be read again. I've read them multiple times but it was hard to truly absorb myself into them. There are piles of books by the seats and the mountain of pillows though.

Most of these are adventure books; stories about daring young men and adventurous maidens who against all odds save the day. I can read those for hours and finish at least two of them in the time it takes my father to get through five episodes of Criminal Minds. However my favorites books by far are the ones that I often transfer to my bedroom. 

These are written by Nicholas Sparks, my favorite author of all time. I have most of his books such as The Notebook, Message In A Bottle, A Walk To Remember, The Rescue, A Bend In The Road, True Believer, At First Sight The Choice, The Guardian and The Wedding. My latest purchase of his is the book I'm currently reading; The Longest Ride and it's probably the best so far. I have to get Three Weeks With My Brother, Dear John, Nights In Rodanthe, The Lucky One, The Last Song, Safe Haven and The Best Of Me but I've seen most of the films and loved them dearly.

This place has always seemed like a too private place to just invite others in indiscreetly. Anyone with any sort of artistic inclination knows how difficult it is to allow others to experience the innermost workings of your mind. Every stroke of the brush represents some interpretation of how I perceive life. Forgive me, but I just don't thing everyone needs to know me like that. The thought of it makes me more uncomfortable than I could ever begin to express.

Usually I will stand and debate about what to do but I was edging towards my canvas before I could hold the meeting in my head. I always roughly draw my picture with a light pencil on my canvas before I started but my hand was dipping a fat brush into the black paint before I could reach for my pencil. 

I let my mind pour onto the canvas and when I was done I was left with a boy's face, wild crazy black hair and uncolored eyes. There are red, pouted lips, a defined jawline and dimples in the cheeks, small brown freckles here and there and a faint pick scar on the neck curling under the orange tee shirt. I sat confused with the paintbrush in one hand while my index finger on the other one ran over the black lines, shoving the paint in different directions to slightly shift the lines when needed and shading the neck.

No matter how hard I tried to capture the reason why I drew this was lost to me so I lent it on the wall, the picture facing the green paint so the urge to know won't gnaw away at me. From my watch I can see the picture took me an hour to paint, the sky is now turning dark and the soft glow of sunset has faded away into the light from street lamps outside the window.

Painting only temporarily frees my mind from the stress of school, friends, social status' and my parents but for a couple hours all I need is a moment to relax and if getting my hands dirty means that I get that, then so be it. The soft knock at the attic door jolted me from my thoughts. I took a deep breath before answering, "Yes?"

It was my mother who peeped her head round the door, her eyes widening slightly at my appearance but when I set my jaw and purposely rubbed the back of my hand against my thigh, leaving a trail of red and black paint on my leggings she shook her thoughts away and gave me a smile she's managed to perfect over the years. The amount of secret plastic surgeries she's had in the past is the reason why her wrinkles don't show when she says, "Darling, time to eat." through her smile. The amount of money she's spent on the procedures and plane tickets to California is astonishing but people finding out about it will ruin the 'perfect' reputation we have so her secret just can't slip.

"Alright I'll be down in a few." I said not bothering to even look at the way the light in her eyes faltered ever so slightly. She nodded, opening her mouth to say something and from the look in her eyes I was almost expecting something heart warming.

Almost.

It looked like she was holding something back as she shook her head and told me wash up before coming downstairs and with that she firmly shut the door behind her. I shuffled to the sink to wash the paint from my hands and cheeks and glanced over at the small mirror that hung beside the light switch. I ran my fingers through my hair, letting it out of the bun and cascade down my back and shoulders. For a couple seconds I tried to smile like nothing is bothering me but not knowing what I'm even hiding is proving to be hard so in the end I went downstairs and plastered a smile onto my face.

My parents are already sat at the table, digging into their meals. Dad's reading the newspaper, Mom's flicking through some PA papers and I'm glad when I saw my laptop sitting on the family desk in the hallway. I collected it and pushed my chair back far enough so I could cross my legs and set the laptop on my legs. I shoveled spaghetti into my mouth whilst typing away at my English essay. This is what our family dinners are like, ignoring everyone until we're done and then we secrete into separate rooms. Sundays are different, it's the only day my Mom will be happy to cook and she'll make a roast. We'll talk about Dad's cases, Mom's meetings and my grades and friends. After dinner we'll have pudding and a drink before sitting in the sitting room together and watch a film before going to bed.

It's the only day we act like a family and the only day I get my mother's approval to wear baggy tee shirts round the house. Right now I can feel my mother's glances every now and again as she stares at my paint covered clothes and once I find that my essay is finished I quickly shovel down the rest of my food. 

I say my goodbyes and anxiously I ran to my room to see if anything has happened, hoping some drama is there to take my mind away from the crisis I'm currently going through. I'm not even sure what I'm so worried about, spring break is over tomorrow and we go back to school. A lot of people have left during the holidays so the island's quiet but it doesn't stop me from feeling somewhat giddy about tomorrow.

There's nothing, absolutely nothing on my phone and I sigh heavily. Slipping out of my bra and into a clean but still much too large tee shirt I'm left in only my underwear and the captain america shield on the front of my shirt as I cuddle under my duvet.

Falling asleep wasn't easy because for the first time ever I was worried about what could possible happen at school the next day. The sooner I figure out why I'm worried the better because I'm not liking the fact that I don't have control of my own thoughts.

~~~~

Sorry this chapter is unedited and extremely slow not to mention badly written. I might not get round to rewriting this but please stick to it, it means a lot you chose to read The Surfer & Me in the first place. Thank you!

-KailaniHanchock

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