Jane’s dad owns a spacious beach house in the west of California which he shares with his current wife and their three children. As their children are all staying at some sort of camp for a period of the summer, her dad has apparently suggested that she invite her boyfriend and a few friends to join him and her step-mom for an easy and relaxing three day period on the Californian coast.
I was surprised to be chosen as one of these friends. She had originally opted to invite the whole of Panic, because apparently her dad was quite interested in Ryan’s band, but Brent was still in Portugal. So it ended up being only the three aspiring rock stars, and Kate and me.
It was quite last minute. We were all meant to leave the weekend after she phoned us all to tell us, and for the duration of the week I wasn’t even entirely sure that I wanted to go. After all; it meant three days of watching her and Ryan romanticising on the beach together. It probably meant more of Brendon’s unhelpful and pointless match making. But I eventually decided a few days break from this house, and this state, would probably do me some good.
Brendon called round my house the morning of the day we were set to leave. I was little shocked to see him standing on my doorstep alone, but he wasted no time and immediately started hassling me about what I was packing.
‘What’s the deal Urie?’
‘I just want to make sure you’re prepared.’ He said ‘Do you realise that you are going on a vacation with Ryan? Vacation means pretty dresses, hot outfits, and most importantly; bathing suits’
I rolled my eyes. And so it begins...
I half reluctantly lead Brendon up to my room, shushing him so as not to wake my mother, who had undoubtedly had a tiring night last night. She is such a dragon in the morning, I tend to try and leave her to sleep for as long as possible.
‘OK, now this is the first time that Ryan is going to see you in a bathing suit, so it has to be perfect. You need to make Ryan hot. Show me all of your different bathing suits.’
‘Brendon’ I sighed, opening my drawer and rummaging for my bathing suit collection ‘Is this really necessary?’
‘Trust me Stephanie my dear, I have this all planned. This is how it’s all going to happen, on this vacation. It’s perfect. The timing, the setting...’
‘Brendon, nothing is going to happen. I mean we are staying round his girlfriend’s dad’s house for crying out loud.’
‘Fine, if you want to think all negatively then be my guest. But I know that somewhere deep down inside of you, you want to look hotter on the beach than Jane does.’
I repeatedly opened and closed my mouth like a goldfish until I shrugged and sighed ‘Well these are the options.’
Brendon smiled in accomplishment and held up each individual set.
‘Would it sound too pervy if I asked you to try them on for me?’ He said.
‘I’d probably ask you to leave the house.’
_ _ _
We had just finished choosing my dress when my mother knocked on the door to my bedroom. I answered it to find she had already showered and dressed this morning which was unusual for her this early on a Saturday. The fact that she had woken up before 1 PM was baffling enough.
‘Oh-hi’ she said, her eyes moved to me and then Brendon who was holding my dress up against himself and smoothing it down in interest. He looked up and dropped it when he heard my mother’s voice. ‘I wasn’t sure if you had left yet.’
‘We were just about to.’ I said, picking up my dress and smoothing it down. I offered no explanation to who Brendon was and why he was here. I offered no explanation to Brendon at all, actually.
My mom left and I folded the dress and flung it into my suitcase, which Brendon gladly sat upon to help me close it.
I trailed my suitcase downstairs and stopped in the living room where my mum was sat eating breakfast and watching TV.
I waited until we were out of the house and in Brendon’s car before I thumped him.
‘Next time you stare fixatedly at my mothers boobs, please try not to make it so obvious.’
_ _ _
We reached the Ross’ house, stepped out of the car, and unloaded the suitcases, ready to move to the seven seated car that Jane’s mom and Stepdad had let her borrow for the trip.
Ryan was already stood by the boot, loading his own suitcase. He looked good in sunglasses. Jane was on the phone to someone and Kate was stood studying her watch.
It was a nice day; unsurprisingly hot and sunny. Brendon and I trailed our suitcases up the sidewalk, and they simultaneously called out to us when they saw us. All of them had cheerful smiles on there faces.
‘Now we’ve just got to wait for Spencer.’ Kate said as we reached them.
Right on queue, the rattling sound of wheels on gravel sounded behind us and we turned around to see Spencer making his way towards us with a suitcase behind him.
I moved towards the boot to attempt to lift my suitcase in.
‘Here, let me get that’ Ryan said chirpily putting it in for me.
‘Thank you.’ I said.
‘Geez its heavy, what have you got in there?’
‘God knows. Brendon packed for me.’
‘Oh. Heh. Are you sure that was a good idea?’
‘Not at all.’
‘I put a few rainy day games in.’ Brendon nodded, gesturing to my suitcase as he walked past and loaded his own into the boot.
‘Brendon we’re going to California.’ I said.
‘It’s good to be prepared. I put in some scarves and mittens as well, in case it gets too chilly.’
‘California is warm Brendon. Especially in the summer.’
‘How would you know? Have you ever been?’
‘I lived there for sixteen years.’
‘Well la DE da’
I rolled my eyes, when I suddenly remembered something.
‘Hey so what was this thing you were going to tell m-‘ I began, turning around.
But Ryan was already getting into the car.