Chapter 6 Paradise, Not So Paradise

“Jilly.  Are you there?”

“Hi, Jade! Hold on.  Leo, I’m not going to tell you again- get out! Go!”

“But I want to see Jade too!”

“Go hang out with your own friends!” The screen was still black but in the background I heard the muffled sound of feet and then the slam of a door. After a moment, “I’m sorry, Jade. Just waiting for my screen to load.  HEY!”Screenshot.jpg

“Come on, that’s not fair Jade! You’ve seen my face for the past 9 months in pictures, and I can’t take the suspense for another minute!”

“Okay okay!  Tada!”Screenshot-2.jpg

Jilly literally gasped.

17902794_1906716346274361_1928311509_o“Oh, my, gawd!  That’s just so……. it’s almost like I’m looking at a picture of your mom! But that’s a good thing,” Jilly quickly added.

“Wow.  Really?”  Leaning over to the mirror on my desk, I took the first long look at myself.  I couldn’t really see what she was seeing.  Was it the eyes?  No, mom’s eyes were wider than mine, like large almonds.  The face shape was the same I thought, but it took more than that to look like someone else.

“I don’t know.  I’m not sure I see it.  But I will take your word for it.  I guess I need time to get used to my new face.”

“Oh you do trust me. You are so gorgeous all the boys will be chasing after you!” Then she frowned “But I just remembered, there aren’t any boys where you live.”

“Yeah well, that’s me.  Jade the island prisoner.”

Jilly laughed.  “You got to admit, there are worse places to be stuck.  Seriously!  How can it be you’re only an hour away from me by boat and yet you get no snow!  Doesn’t really seem fair!”

“Oh that’s easy.  It all has to do with elevations and the currents of the water.  Then you add in those mountains-”

“All right smarty!  Now you’re just showing off and demonstrating how much better homeschooling  probably is. I haven’t been taught any of that…. well, maybe it was taught and I was distracted, though.”

“Yeah well, if you knew Mama Sun and her fear of weather since the hurricane destroyed our last home, you could see why it’s a big priority of hers that I know all about weather patterns.”17916680_1906716349607694_1980430412_o

“I can understand that, after what you’ve all been through. I’ve been really focused on anatomy and physiology – it’s an honors course. I want to be a doctor so bad, Jade. Sometimes it’s hard, though, to focus on what I’m supposed to when I have to keep track of what Leo’s doing, too. Honestly, he’s so juvenile, drawing guitars all the time instead of working on what he’s been assigned. If I don’t keep on top of him, well, I’m afraid he just won’t even graduate when the time comes! He wants to be a rock star, can you believe that? Like I said, absolutely juvenile.”

I laughed because I just couldn’t help it.  “Rock star could be cool I guess.  Just imagine all the really great places he would get to go and all the things he would see! That would just be like a dream come true.  Plus think about it.  If he actually became a rock star, you could go with him!  And, if he did became a rock star it wouldn’t matter if he graduated because nothing at school would prepare him for that kind of career.  The real question here is….can he even sing or play the guitar? Or drums?”

“Oh yes, he can sing very well…for a child.  He plays the guitar and piano but no drums. He writes songs too.  I think they’re pretty good but I don’t see how he plans to make it happen.”  Just then I heard Leo yelling from the hallway.

“I can play something for her if she wants!”

Jilly made a face at me then turned to yell, “Leo!  Go!  Away!”  She turned back to me, “Brothers!  Be thankful you don’t have any!”

I really didn’t know what to say to that.  it was easy to feel that way I guess, when you had then, but when you had wanted a sibling all your life….I decided it was easiest just to shrug my shoulders at her.  “I wouldn’t mind hearing a little sometime.”

Jilly’s nose scrunched up.  “Really?  Okay then, but I’ll warn you now, he never stops at one.”

“So, now that I am a teen, tell me all about what high school is like!”

Nine months ago, when Jilly transitioned to teen and started her first day of high school, she came home and suggested we make a rule; “No teenage talk until you have transitioned too.”  In a return letter I agreed and together we had kept our word for the last nine months.   It did mean however, that she talked mostly of her family and all the things going on with them.  I loved it, to be honest, and it served to help dampen my longing for siblings that I had been carrying around for some time.  The memory of asking for a sister stuck in the back of my mind still today, as well as the fight that it caused between Sun and Jin.  In this regard I had kept my word, never bringing up the subject again.  Yet the longing never went away and hearing Jilly talk about Leo, almost made me feel like I had a brother too, in a way.  It was less lonely and gave me a bigger connection to the outside world.  Jilly did have two sisters as well, but it seemed to me in her letters and messaging, that she didn’t have as much time to spend with them; her brother keeping her busy enough with all his shenanigans.

I asked her once, why she felt so compelled to look out for Leo as she had always done.  Taking the blame for his pranks, making sure he sat to do his school work and just generally acting like a mom.  She had written back, saying “I’ll tell you something that no one knows Jade.  Sometimes in school, I get made fun of because of my grades.  Some of the kids call me names like brown noser and teacher’s pet.  Leo’s the popular one and he defends me and makes sure if he’s invited to something, that I get invited too.  Sometimes I wish I was as popular as Leo, and he tells me that he wishes he was as smart as me. We’re twins and it’s like we can read each other’s minds and even finish sentences for each other.  I know I act all annoyed by him and everything, but really, the truth is, I don’t think we could live without each other.”

Jilly had one on and on about her school, so much so that my head was spinning with all the intricacies of it all.

“Wow!  High school sounds like so much fun!  I wish I could go.”  Just then, a knock sounded at my door and Jin stuck his head in my room.

“Jade supper is ready.”

“Okay.  I will be there in a minute.”

“Hi Jilly,” Jin yelled across the room with a wave of his hand.  “Nice to see you again.”

“Hi!  Its nice to see you, too.  Thanks for getting Skype for Jade” she yelled back at him.

“So I guess I got to go Jilly.”

“Awww… okay, I understand. It sure was nice seeing you finally. I can’t believe we haven’t been face to face since camp! Let’s talk again soon.”
“Yes for sure!  Bye Jilly.”  Then I made a sad face at her.  She laughed at me and waved before my screen went dark.  A real feeling of sadness did come over me then, the same I would feel every time I ran to the mailbox as a child, only to realize there was no letter to be found.  I couldn’t even begin to explain to Jilly just how isolated I felt living on the island.  Isolated, yet within grasp of the world easily viewed from the beach of our so called “paradise”.  Close, but yet so far, I believe the saying goes.
“How was it seeing Jilly after all these years?” Mama Sun asked.
“It was good,” I replied with very little enthusiasm, I must admit.  I suddenly felt very drained of every kind of emotion but exhaustion.
“Did you show her your new clothes you got for your birthday?” Grand-mere asked.
“Oh, no.  I forgot.  Next time I guess.”
“Why so glum Jade?  I would think you would be dancing in excitement right now.  You’ve only been asking for Skype since you were ten years old!” Jin said.
“I am happy and I love that I have Skype now.  Please don’t take it away from me Jin.”
“Take it away?  Why would I take it away?  As long as you act responsibly with it, and I’m sure you will, I don’t see why I would take it away.”
“K,” was all I responded.  I sat there picking at my food with my fork, unsure of what I wanted to say.
“Is there something wrong with your food?”  Mama Sun asked.
I sighed.  “No.  I just don’t think I’m very hungry right now.  Too full from cake I guess. May I be excused?”
Sun looked at Jin and shrugged her shoulders slightly, but just enough that I caught the motion out of the corner of my eye.
“Sure,” Jin replied.  “Leave your plate.  I will wrap it and put it in the fridge in case you get hungry later.”
I retreated to my room seeking time alone, but it was too early to go to bed for the night and even if I did, I wasn’t sure I was that kind of tired.  I put on my new heart pajamas anyway and laid on the bed hoping to at least take a nap.Screenshot-005.jpg
Half an hour later, I was still awake and more than a little out of sorts.  I felt like I was jumping out of my own skin and I knew I just couldn’t stay inside any longer.  I threw on my new hoodie (one I would never show anyone-sorry Grand-mere) and headed to my spot.  The place I always went to seek refuge, from all things island.Screenshot-006
The salty warm air blew off the ocean, caressing my face like the hand of a comforting parent and as a child, retreating to the cliff was the only place I felt I could calm down. I would sit on the bench, to wonder and imagine what wonderful things may be happening on the main land, while forgetting my own life and whatever frustration had occurred that day.
There, my imagination created all kinds of stories, filled with characters and worlds far from the commonplace life of my home.  I was always the main character, of course, with an exciting life filled with day to day things, but mystery and intrigue as well.  I could be anything I wanted in my stories, male or female, child or adult.  It didn’t really matter and as I grew up, my stories became more intricate and real to me.  Since I had no idea what a city looked like other than what I had seen in France, I based all my stories in Paris giving all the towns different and unusual names.  I would spend hours up there, sometimes falling asleep in the grass with Sophie by my side, while my stories invaded my dreams and continued there.  I had some of my best childhood memories here on the cliff.  My only wish was that one, just one could be real instead of a dream. Screenshot-010But those were games a child would play and I was no longer a child.  I didn’t want to imagine about the world, I wanted to see the world and start living it!
I took a big breath and let it out slowly.   Wanting and getting, were two different things and there was no doubt I wasn’t getting off this island anytime soon.Screenshot-007
So I sat there watching the waves roll towards the island, till the darkness made the water black as night and only the sound could be heard as proof the water was still there.  I headed back to the house then, hoping that sleep would finally come.
The next morning, Mama Sun came into my room and asked if I could stay around the house for the morning.Screenshot-11
“Jin and I have some thing to talk to you about.”
“Great!  What did I do now?” I replied in agitation.
“Oh no.  It’s nothing like that,” she replied with a nervous twinge in her voice.  “Just shower, get dressed and have breakfast.  When you are ready, we will sit and talk.”
This was all I needed!  I wracked my brain trying to think of anything I may have done to upset the “parents” but nothing came to mind.  I considered just staying in my room all day, or even sneaking out the glass doors to the deck, but that was sure to make them mad and only delayed the inevitable.  So I did as I was told and continued on with my morning routine.  Take my lumps when they come.
I was just finishing my bowl of cereal when Jin called from the deck asking me to join them.  I nodded my head as dread filled my chest.
Jin took one look at my outfit and that all familiar stern look came across his face.  “What on earth are you wearing!”  But Sun reached across, laying her hand on his arm and shook her head.  “Nevermind,” he said.Screenshot-12
“So what am I in trouble for now?” I said a little more annoyed than I meant to show.
“No, Jade.  Like I said, it’s nothing like that,” Mama Sun said.
“It’s good news,” Jin interrupted.   “Or at least we think so.”
Then he just started talking.  I sat there wondering if I needed my hearing checked, stunned and in disbelief.Screenshot-20

 You have got to be kidding!
*************************************************************

Special thanks to RosemaryMarie for collaborating with me to write this chapter. All of Jilly’s responses and the pictures of Jilly were provided by RM and I thank her very much for working on this with me.  We will be seeing more of Jilly in the upcoming chapters until…..well those of you reading RM’s story know what I am referring to.  But if you don’t, here is RosemaryMarie’s awesome blog site: www.booomcha.com

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  18 comments for “Chapter 6 Paradise, Not So Paradise

  1. April 15, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Thank you so much for the shout out! It’s so neat seeing Jilly again and being able to write her.

    I really feel for Jade. The way you wrote her was amazing because I could feel how desperately alone and isolated she feels. She’s of an age where she wants to spread her wings and to see what she can do but due to being confined to the island, her natural desire to do these things is stunted. I wonder what Jin and Sun met with her about? I can’t wait to find out!

    Happy Easter, my friend! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 15, 2017 at 11:10 am

      Thank you and you are welcome! I’m glad I was able to introduce her isolation with such feeling! I’m looking forward to the next chapter with you. We have much to do!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. April 15, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Yay! So happy to see more of this story. Jade is beautiful! She looks a lot like a female version of her brother. Curious what they are going to tell her. Maybe that she can go to school on the mainland? Or they are having a baby? Hopefully the first – well I would have loved for them to have a child together but that likely won’t happen and this is now Jade’s story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 15, 2017 at 11:28 am

      I wondered if they were going to announce a pregnancy, too! lol

      Liked by 2 people

    • April 15, 2017 at 11:51 am

      You know, I have often thought that myself about Jade and Jin! Could it be she is leaving, maybe they all are….stay tuned for the next segment, that hopefully won’t take four weeks to get here. I lost my focus when I started doing poses-fell far down the creating poses hole but I slowly dragged myself out. I’m looking forward to more chapter with RM coming up. thank you so much for coming back to continue the story with me.

      Like

  3. April 15, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Why, did you? Why? Oh, nevermind, chill, she didn’t just end this chapter just like that.
    Okay, cool now.
    I’m so glad to hear of Jade again and of Jilly, too. It just feels so sad to go back to the memories of sunny days of Leo and Jilly’s relationship.”(…) the truth is, I don’t think we could live without each other.” That. Struck.Me.Hard. Poor Leo. Once again, how hard it was for him. I always love your collaborations with Kym, it’s so nice to see your characters together.
    I love that Jade is the writer type, it always feels so good to run away from reality and spend some time just dreaming of something other, of other lands, people, other life.
    And I so wonder if Sun and Jin are expecting now!

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 15, 2017 at 11:27 am

      Oh. My. Gosh! I wondered the same thing, Jowita! :O

      Liked by 2 people

    • April 15, 2017 at 11:52 am

      When RM sent that paragraph to me to add, I felt exactly the same way. I think this will be good story healing for all of us, getting the chance to slowly say goodbye to Jilly.

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 15, 2017 at 11:54 am

        I think so, too. I feel like we have spent too little time with her and now it’s making it up for us with your story. I really love your collaboration.

        Liked by 1 person

        • April 15, 2017 at 11:57 am

          Thank you! It was fun and there are more chapters to come…till….you know.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Marjorie F Watts
    April 15, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Wow, wow, wow!!! I LOVE it when 2 worlds cross like that, and especially two that I love so much!! I was really happy when the girls met at camp, and I do think this is a great way to get some of that closure we all kind of missed. =( It’s fun seeing Jilly’s reaction to Leo wanting to be a rock star…hilarious, but still encouraging at the same time, just like a twin probably would react! I feel sorry for Jade, she is so isolated from the world, so the info Jin and Sun are getting ready to share with her, may make a big difference. Even if it is a new sibling, her world will change in a big way! Meanwhile, Bee, you have taught me to have patience (hahaha!!!) while I wait to see what that new info is! Please, please, no more chasing White Rabbits until after you write the next chapter!!! =D

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lilsapphire
    April 15, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    I feel so bad for Jade stuck there on the island all by herself. So nice to see and hear Jilly again. Jade really needs that connection I fear for her when it goes away.

    Oh…. * curiosity peeks up*… what is up Jin’s sleeve now?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yoda6275
    April 17, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Hello Bee.

    I like your storie.
    Your blog is beautyful .-D

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 17, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      Thank you Yoda! So nice to see you! Don’t forget I have the google translate widget on the home page if you need it at all. I hope to see you again!

      Like

  7. April 18, 2017 at 1:26 am

    Nice … great update and awesome ending 😊

    Like

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