May 22: We’re heading South to Anaheim on a road trip today. Guess where? The place where we can be kids again…DISNEYLAND!
Collab with amazing @oscar-wilde
“So, I’m staying home by myself once again!” Leah playfully pouted as she passed by me while I was making some Cuban sandwiches for the trip.
“Oh, Leah, shout up for God’s sake… and hand me those pickles.” I rolled my eyes at her dramatic sigh, “By the way, aren’t you going to the beach with Chase and his friends?”
“Yeah well, I don’t think that’s the smartest thing without you there.” She said, with some uncertainty, handing me a jar of pickles and throwing her pretty, golden hair back.
“And why is that?” I raised my eyebrow, for a second looking away from the Swiss cheese I was slicing to look at her. She was biting on a pickle and frowning, obviously wanting to avoid explaining but then, as always, she gave up and spoke again, now in her high pitch, usual for her alarmed state.
“We kissed the other night!” She cried out and I looked at her with my mouth a bit open, “…Chase and I…” Leah added, even though it wasn’t really necessary.
I was completely quiet and dumbstruck for few seconds. I didn’t really know how to react, we were always a group. Great, awesome group of three friends. Without any sexual tension, if I may add… at least I thought so.
“So?” Leah interrupted my chain of thought and I continued to chop the meat.
“I don’t know what to say! Do you like… like him or what?” I asked carefully questioning her face expression.
“I don’t know… I mean, I can’t like Chase, can I?” L. started laughing when someone rang the door bell.
“Oh, I almost forgot – you are leaving me for other people!” Dramatic tone and wide smile appeared on her face again as she jumped off the stool that was in front of the kitchen counter and went away to open the door.
I giggled, assembling the sandwiches when Aaron came into the kitchen/dining room.
“Hey baby!” He wrapped his hands around my waist and kissed me passionately.
“Hello lover! Can you help me with sandwiches, India will be here soon and I’m still in my pajamas!” I asked, suddenly realizing how late it was.
“Yes sure, I’ll do that and you go get ready.” He smiled warmly, picking up another loaf of Cuban bread.
“And you” I looked at Leah who just came back into the kitchen, “you come with me to help me get ready, missy.”
I put on already prepared, comfy outfit and proceeded to put on my light make up after I ordered Leah to tell me everything.
“Hmm, I don’t know, we were just drunk and you were at Aaron’s and we were talking how we miss having someone and we just kissed…”
“That’s all?” I asked, “Well give me more details, I’m not even finished with foundation and you are finished with telling your love story between you and our best friend!”
“It’s all hazy, he went home right away and we didn’t see each other or spoken since.” She kind of snapped, turning serious. And it was really rare to see Leah serious.
“Baby, you’ll figure it out. You guys should talk like right now, you are have too good friendship to be having awkward moments, you’ll sort everything out.” I said, finishing off my mascara, “And now I have to run, and you text me and call me and everything every moment of your life, you hear me?” I said to her, looking at her puppy eyes. She was my best friend and I was sad about leaving her on a day like this but she decided to spill her heart out on really short notice and I couldn’t just cancel everything! And despite all her jokes, she would never actually let me cancel.
“Yeah, I will, and I should call him, right?” She hugged me, resting her head on my shoulder.
“Of course you should, buggy.” I kissed her forehead.
“We should /really/ go!” I stormed into the kitchen and saw Aaron holding the plastic box filled with perfect sandwiches.
“I’m all ready.” He smirked, leaning in to kiss me, “And you look lovely.”
"And you are perfect!" I said, slightly surprised of how good his sandwiches look.
We walked down and sat on the steps.
“See how we made it.” Aaron sweetly ran his fingers through my hair, flashing his perfect white teeth.
“Yes, but I forgot the refreshments!” I hit myself in the forehead.
“Don’t be silly, we’ll just get something on the way.” Aaron kissed the spot I hit myself on.
“No, you don’t understand! I made my famous pink lemonade /and/ melon banana smoothie!” I pouted.
“Oh, look at my little worker bee!” Aaron sang, tracing the line of my cheekbones with his finger, “Do you want me to go and get them?”
As he asked that, white, 1972 VW bus parked in front of the building and I bobbed up my head to make sure that that were India and her guy.
“No, it’s too late now.” I fake another pout before smiling widely. Excitement about this trip was too big for me to still be thinking about the drinks.
“Hi!” I cried out, giving India a bone-crushing hug. I pulled Aaron close to my side. “Aaron, this is my friend, India Martineau. She’s a really cool girl that I met a while back. And—“ I bit my lip and looked over at India’s guy regretfully. “Sorry—I forgot your name! I feel so bad!”
Why these awkward things happen to me? Why I can’t remember a person’s name just for once?
But thank God he laughed out loud and gave me a crinkly-eyed smile.
“It’s alright. No worries. Julian.”
“Right—Julian. Di told me about you a bit.”
“Is that right?” Julian countered, giving Di a sly look. she snorted and glanced away, pretending to be annoyed. They were so cute together!
“Di, Julian—this is my boyfriend, Aaron Hartnett.” We all shook hands, and when Aaron turned his head, Di obviously saw Aaron’s tattoo on the back of his neck.
“Oh my god! Your tattoo is bitchin!” she cried out, and Aaron laughed. “Thanks. I got it once when I was hung over, so sometimes I forget it’s there.”
“It’s definitely cool,” she said, nodding at him approvingly.
We piled into the bus—Julian and Di in the front seat, Aaron and I in the back. I turned around to put down the box of sandwiches, and glanced at all the crap in the back—workmen tools, a tire, some beach balls, and a guitar case.
Julian glanced at me from the rearview mirror. “Pardon the appearance of the car….I got this from one of my friends in Oakland. Most of that’s shit’s his.”
“Oh! That’s okay,” I cheerfully replied, rolling down the tiny side window.
Julian started the car, and skillfully merged onto the busy, fast-paced freeway. Di grabbed the map out of the glove department, unfolded it, and inspected the tiny print, scrunching up her nose. “Looks like after we cross the Bridge, you’re going to have to get on I-580 East to State Route 24,” she informed Julian, who was trying to get out of the way of a beet-faced, cursing tailgater, who shot us a dirty look as he sped past us.
That’s the way it was for most of the trip. While we sped down interstate freeways, stopping occasionally for bathroom breaks and a sparse lunch at a diner outside Bakersfield, we would sit in silence, me resting my head on Aaron’s shoulder, while Di sat Indian-style in the front seat, the map fluttering in her lap, a cigarette dangling from her lips. Julian played the tapes Di made, though he didn't have much to say either. It was around twelve-thirty by then.
Road trip was so fun! Di sang along to amazing, soundtrack of all Disney classics and we all had great time being her audience and snapping random pictures of everything we were doing, Di singing, Aaron and I kissing and cheering, Julian driving and making silly faces, pretty things we were driving past and even the food we were eating (my sandwiches were a real hit).
“You’re crazy,” I cried out, looking at Di who was dramatically pounding the blistering dashboard, pretending that it was white baby grand piano and we were all laughing so hard when we pulled into the Anaheim city limits. Di was whistling along to ‘Mickey Mouse March’ and turned and smiled at me with all her teeth. Though all the windows were rolled down, it felt like a baking oven inside the bus, and we were very thankful when we spotted the sprawling gates of Disneyland.
“Whew! I can’t wait to get out,” I pronounced, fanning myself with a book I had been reading. We were pulling into the parking lot, and after Julian paid a parking fee, settled the VW bus into an empty parking space.
“Come on!” Di shouted, grabbing her bag and practically sprinting towards the amusement park, “I’m absolutely dying for cotton candy and funnel cake!”
After seven hours of combing through Adventureland, and Fantasyland, leisurely strolls through Main Street, USA and the New Orleans Square, watching and listening to the ragtime pianist at the Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner at Main Street, plenty of photo-ops in front of Sleepy Beauty Castle, and exploring Frontierland and Tomorrowland with daunting intensity, we finally all settled down to a late dinner. We had just come from seeing the popular, elaborately-curated night show, ‘Fantasmic!’ which was hailed as ‘superb’, from all members of our group.
“Oh my God, today was the best day ever!” Di gushed, as we got hamburgers and fries from a small, independent stand. Julian and Di had matching tans and sunburns on their noses, arms, and legs and I was smart enough to bring some sunscreen of my own so I even got some nice golden tan.
“It sure was,” I replied, squirting ketchup in my basket of French fries. I glanced over at Aaron. “Did you have fun, babe?”
“Of course,” he said, smiling winningly. “It made me feel like a little kid again. Thanks for having us come with you,” he continued, nodding at Di and Julian. Di grinned and replied, “No problem! It’s a lot more fun when you’re with a bunch of other people.”
Desert was double scoops of tantalizing, delectable ice cream from the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, and as we headed back to the main gate, the soft lights and music twinkled, wishing us goodbye, and safe travels. It was getting late now—around eleven or so.
While we were walking back to the parking lot with our new stuffed Mickeys and mouse ear hats and bags of colourful cotton candy, I clasped my hand with Di’s. “So. Back to San Francisco now, I guess?”
It was so sad, it really has been a perfect day and I wasn't really sure what was I coming home to because Leah never actually messaged me or called me /or/ returned any of my 3 phone calls.
“Unfortunately…” Di sighed as she was looking at the empty Disneyland.
“Bye guys, this was really nice!” I hugged Di goodbye in front of my building and then lightly hugged Julian too. Aaron also said goodbye, hugging Di and kinda fistbumping Julian.
“We /really/ hope to see you soon guys. We could like have a double date or something.” Aaron added with a smirk and Julian and Di looked at each other, maybe a bit awkwardly.
I wasn’t sure if Aaron knew they still weren’t /actually/ a couple.
Aaron walked me to my door and kissed me goodbye.
“I really had a perfect day today!” He said, still excited like a little kid, tangling his fingers with mine, “I have a big meeting tomorrow but maybe in the evening you could come over and make me some of that pink lemonade of yours.” He cupped my face and looked me with some deep chocolate eyes.
“Yes.” I smiled softly, biting my lip, “And maybe I could… sleep over?”
He smiled back, leaning in and kissing me lightly, “Of course you can.”