He was yelling at me for not wearing a shirt over my bikini. Little did I know that while he was yelling at me and harassing my mom about me not calling him enough, he was on a date with another girl. I finally got my Mom to tell him I had to go spend time with my family, that I would call him later, and that I wasn’t talking to any other guys.
I was on the beach. Even though I was dealing with an abusive boyfriend, the smell of salt in the air, sand on my toes, and the slight breeze that swished through my long blonde curls made me feel free. Not many people were on the beach yet, and I didn’t have to teach surf lessons until around 11am. I had the water all to myself. I warmed up on the beach, practicing the motions of paddling and catching the waves in the sand. I feel free like I’m flying. Nothing matters when I surf but catching the wave.
My favorite board was 8ft long, blue like clear water, neon green fins, and a black pad at the back. I’ve had it since I was about 9 years old. I can feel the indents of where my feet are placed when I catch the wave. I get on and paddle. The feeling of the cold water sends shivers down my spine. I wait for the perfect wave, and then I see it. I sit up on the board. I get ready, feeling the board hard against my body, and the cold water on my arms. I paddle faster and faster. I pop up on the board, I feel the rush of catching the wave. I bend my knees and use my body to turn the board. The feeling of the wind and the sound of the wave pushing my board sends excitement through my body. I feel unstoppable. Then I see my family coming onto the beach. I get off my board and leave the feelings of freedom behind to help my family carry stuff to the beach. I look back hoping to grasp onto the feelings just for a few more seconds before I have to go.
The house is yellow with four floors, beach front, and is two houses put together into one. There are two kitchens and lots of rooms. The top floor is a game room and the master bedroom. There’s a pool in front of the house and a bridge that takes you from the pool area to the beach. I help my family carry stuff from the pool area to the beach. My little cousins are bouncing up and down from the excitement of being at the beach. There are 11 of us kids in total, my brother and I are the oldest. I take pride in teaching all of my cousins to surf. I’ve taught other kids also. I have two boards. I use my favorite one, and my brother’s old board. His board is also 8ft but it has Jamaican flag colors and blue fins. When everythings is on the beach, I set my pink beach chair up with my surfboard next to it on the sand. I sit in the sun and watch as the seagulls fly in the sky. I would like to fly. I yearn for the feeling of being free to go where ever, when ever. My Mom calls me back to reality. She wants me to go talk to some good looking lifeguard. She knows I won’t do it, but she tries anyway. She hates my boyfriend. I don’t blame her. I’ve been with him for 5 months and he treats me terribly. He body shames me and makes fun of me for how I dress. He is always comparing me to other girls and telling me my boobs are too big for my body. He gets mad when I go shopping because he has to pick out my clothes. When I do anything, he has to approve. I can’t even hang out with my friends because he doesn’t like them. He goes out some nights and hangs with other girls and with his friends. He treats me worse when he is with his friends. He gets mad if I don’t buy him lots of things or spend my money to see him every week. My family and my coworkers hate him. He isolated me. I felt alone as if no one else would ever want me. He made me feel ugly and afraid. My Mom is using this vacation as a way to get me away from him to try and help me. She noticed that I started losing weight and that there were days I would throw up my food or just not eat. I know she’s trying to help me, but I feel so small and ugly. I’m scared no one else will want me if I leave him. I try not to think about him as I hang out with my family.
I take my cousin Lilly on a walk. She is in 5th grade this year. She is beautiful and half Filipino. Some of the girls in her grade make fun of her because she is different. I tell her that it’s ok because they are just jealous. She is skinny and tan, with long brown hair. I try to be like an older sister to her when I’m with her. I help her with outfits, music, hair, nails, and I try to answer any questions she has. Most of her questions are about puberty and boys. While we talked, she told me she didn’t like my boyfriend and that he was ugly. I laughed a little when she said it, but at the same time, I was sad because I knew I was belittling myself by dating him.
The tournament was girls versus boys. I could feel the excitement around me during the rush of the game. I put my hair in a ponytail and my reflective shades on my face. I hear my aunt shout as the ball flies through the air. I hit it back over to the guy’s side. The game gets intense, my aunt dives for the ball, getting sand all over herself. My uncle laughs as he tries again to spike the ball onto our side. I turned around to get ready to serve the ball, and a stranger caught my attention. I quickly looked away and served the ball. I could barely stop the little smile that appeared on my face. My mind was going crazy over the mystery stranger. After the game, I took my little cousins and started picking them up and throwing them into the water. I watched the stranger as I threw them. I could see him looking at me also. He was tall, muscular, blonde, and had what looked like three scratch marks on one of his pecks. They were scars. He looked like a hotter version of Spiderman. I could barely keep my eyes off him.
Later that day after most of the people left the beach, I went surfing. As I was getting in the water I saw him again. He was with a younger boy and an older boy. I swam up to them, and I asked them who they were. The older boy was bigger, not a lot of hair, not that attractive, and short. The younger one was short, average size, brown hair, and was smiling like the happiest kid in the world.
The older one spoke to me “Hey what’s your name?”
“My name is Hannah, what’s your guy’s name?”
The older one replied, “My names Jace.”
The younger one said, his name was Calvin and the mystery boy’s name was Jack.
I found out that Jace had a girlfriend, Calvin was 11, and that Jack’s ex had cheated on him with his best friend. I started talking to Jack more and more, and soon the other two boys left the beach. He told me alot about everything, talking to him was like a wake up call. He was sweet, kind, funny, considerate, and I could tell he was nervous. I told him about my boyfriend, and as we were talking, I started to realize just how toxic my relationship really was.
Dinner time is the only reason I left Jack. I gave him my number so that I could meet up with him later. I felt like I was on cloud nine. The sun seemed brighter, the sky bluer, and the smell of the ocean seemed to remind me that everything would be ok. When I walked into the house, I could smell the spicy chicken. The food was all out and ready. There was deep red juicy watermelon, spicy chicken, golden mac and cheese, and lots of colorful veggies. The smell was overwhelming. I didn’t eat much, but the food seemed to taste better than it had in months. I was so excited. My mom was asking lots of questions all about Jack. My Grandma told me that he was a hunk.
I called my boyfriend after dinner. As soon as he answered the ft call he was accusing me. He was telling me he didn’t like the short, blue, flowery dress I put on after my shower. He called me names and said I needed to lose some more weight. As he was talking, I noticed that there were three girls in his bedroom with him. One was eating his pizza crust, the other was holding his arm, and the third was basically on his lap. When I said something about it, he got mad. He said that it was his brother’s birthday and that they were too young for him. He told me I was ruining his brother’s birthday for being upset that girls were on his lap. One of them left because I told him I would leave him if he didn’t tell her to get the fuck off his lap. He blamed me for ruining the entire party because that girl left. Even her friends were saying that she was drooling all over my boyfriend. I took screenshots of him and her. He had told me a month before this that he wanted to sleep with her. He also told me that she wasn’t coming over to his house for the party. I was livid and hurt. He said I should have known she would come. That it wasn’t his fault she was all over him. I was crying so hard. After I hung up I called Jack to come over, and I told him what had happened.
Finally I picked up my phone. Jack had just come over after the call with my ex about the party. He was holding me as I cried. My phone was blowing up, my boyfriend was calling non stop, probably to tell me about some new hot girl at his house. When I picked up, I could see Jack tense up. He was angry, but he promised to be quiet. When I answered the phone, the first thing I saw was my boyfriend crying. I was angry, but he was still my boyfriend. I asked him what was wrong? Then he said, “Hannah, I need to tell you something. You know that girl Kayla i talked about?”
“Yes?” I responded nervously. I could see the anger in Jack’s eyes.
“Well, promise me when I tell you this you won’t leave me.”
“Tell me what it is first.”
“No promise or i won’t tell you!” He basically shouted the words at me.
“Fine, I promise. Just please don’t hurt me.” That’s when he said the final thing that blew Jack into a rage, and shattered my heart into a million pieces.
“I slept with her.” He said. “I’m sorry, please don’t leave me.” My world seemed to break with that statement. I broke. Jack lost it right there.
“What the hell dude? You are a piece of actual shit!” “She deserves so much better than you! How dare you do that to her, she has done nothing to you, and all you do is treat her like she’s nothing! She talks about you all the time and she stands up for you to her family and all you do is spit in her face. You take her for granted, and little do you know, she can do so much better than you!”
My boyfriend was pissed. “Who the hell are you? Why are you with my girlfriend? She’s such a lying whore!”
I could see Jack shaking. My boyfriend used more cuss words than I wanted to admit.
“Do you want to fight? I am #5 in the state for MMA! I would love to teach you how to respect women.” Jack was the perfect guy. Nothing could have convinced me more than the fact he stood up for me. I never asked him to but he did.
“Pull up, and I’ll shoot you!” My boyfriend screamed.
“I need a break. I’m going to bed good night!” I was crying, and I couldn’t take it any longer. I was so done. I turned off my phone and handed it to Jack. Jack stood there. I could tell he was angry. I could feel his veins in his arms bulging. His jaw was set, as he held me tight against him. He meant the world to me at that moment.
Jack took me on a walk that night to watch the fireworks because he knew I was really upset. I wore my flowery, blue dress despite what my boyfriend had said. I was so happy when I saw him. He held my hand and walked me to the beach. He was wearing light grey shorts and a Hollister tank top. His muscles showed nicely in his clothes. As we were walking, I could feel the warmth of his body next to mine and his smile glowed in the dim lighting of the hotels and houses. He was beautiful like a painting from a book. He always seemed to know what to say. A group of girls walked by, and they were all staring at him. I noticed one was telling her friend to get his number. They said girlfriend or sister, who cares? Jack could tell I was jealous. He stopped walking, held both my hands, and looked at me. He just looked me in the eyes, then he said “I can tell you’re jealous. You don’t need to be. The only girl I’m looking at is you. I’m not your boyfriend. I would treat you way better than he does. You’re beautiful, and I love your body even though your boyfriend makes fun of it everyday. Don’t listen to him. You’re the hottest girl here as far as I’m concerned, and right now, my opinion is the only one that matters.”
I cried, I hadn’t realized just how much I needed to hear that. He held me close, so close I could feel his chest rise against mine with every breath he took. For the first time in months I felt beautiful, safe, and loved. This boy had no reason to care about me at all, but when he looked at me, I knew I was the only girl he saw.
When it was time for the fireworks to start, I was sitting in his lap on the sand. I could hear him breathing and feel his heart beating in his chest. He kissed my neck. It felt like mini explosions going off everywhere his soft, warm lips touched. His kisses tickled and made me giggle. He thought my laugh was cute. Everything was perfect. The water glowed with the reflections of the fireworks, the sand was nice and warm from the bright sun shining on it all day, and the feeling of Jack holding me made me feel safe and loved. It was like a fairy tale. Soon we were wrestling around in the sand, just joking and laughing. Everything was perfect. I sat on top of him while he layed in the sand. I looked into his light blue eyes and saw how they sparkled in the light. The fireworks made them look like diamonds. I wished that this night would never end. Sadly it was getting late and Jack told my Mom he would return me before 11pm. As he walked me home, we were laughing and talking. Then all a sudden a loud boom went off right next to us. It sounded like we had been shot at. I was terrified! I had grabbed Jack’s arm and squared up, ready to fight. Someone had almost hit us with a firework. It lit up and went off not even ten feet from us. Jack pointed out the people that had almost hit us. They were so drunk they could barely walk. They were laughing and setting off fireworks. Jack was trying to get me home faster because it wasn’t safe. As we were leaving, we watched as the group caught the sand dunes on fire. The fire department was called and you could hear the sirens as we were walking to my house. You could see the commotion from my house. Everyone had gone outside to watch. Jack had told my mom how they had almost hit us. It was crazy. The yelling, laughing, and sirens were echoing on the beach. When they had finally put the fire out, it was around midnight. That was the craziest and best first date of my life.