That's what the two story dwelling looked like against the pinkish orange rays the setting sun gave off. It was surrounded by a warmness she longed to feel inside, instead of the icy cold that had currently barged in and tied itself to her.
Inviting, warm, maybe even comforting…maybe, she mused. But it wasn't home, no, it wouldn't give her the same sense of comfort home did.
Would it still be home? After going back, would it still feel the same, could it ever? Would anything be the same?…she pushed those thoughts back. Instead she slowly trudged her way up the porch steps, quietly shuffling her feet, one in front of the other.
"You'll like it Lett, you will…it's big, not as big as home, but it'll do. Your room is huge, course you'll have to share with Dom. And the backyard Letty, it's the best, cause it's the beach…", he kept rambling much to her frustration, as he was fishing out the keys in his pocket he kept going on and on about the house, sounding excited.
'What the hell is wrong with him? Sounding all chipper and shit, like he doesn't remember. He sounds almost happy, deranged idiot.'
"The water's great this time a year ma, so cool, you'll love it. Listen, listen, you can hear the water. Dom signed and paid for it right away, yeah, he knew it was the one. Didn't need to look at anymore. This one…yeah, this one." He said sounding eager, like he couldn't get the words out fast enough. "The lady next door, Mrs. Villanueva, she's real nice too. Yeah, real real nice, you'll like her. She usually has one of her daughters out here with her, or her grandkids, all three of her daughters have kids Lett her two sons don't though…"
'Jesus Lee, shut up. Shut. The. Fuck. Up!'
Getting the door unlocked he ushered her inside, where he showed her around the first floor, his mouth moving a mile a minute.
She didn't say anything however, didn't make a single comment, she was a bit ticked off at how energetic he appeared. She wasn't happy that he seemed to forget what happened not even a day ago, while nothing else occupied her mind. If she'd pay more attention she would notice the way his hands trembled slightly, the way some of his words slurred, how wide with fear his eyes appeared when she wasn't looking.
Showing her around like an enthusiastic host, her hand in his she followed him around, albeit reluctantly.
Coming up to the back porch and looking out the glass sliding door his hand tightened around hers, "You like it don't you?"
Her eyes were glued to the waves crashing up on the shore, she had a fleeting thought of getting washed away by them, of being removed from the place that held her immobile.
The firm hand on her arm shook her, getting her attention. "Don't you?"
"What?" She asked, finding expectant eyes studying her.
"Do you like it?"
She gave a slow nod, followed by simple 'yes'.
Under normal circumstances she would have been thrilled to be there, would have already made her way to the waters edge, ready to take a dip.
"Dom wanted it to be a surprise, he knew you'd love it, m'sure he would have preferred to be the one to show you though…but he'll be here soon and.." Her questioning words cut him off.
"What the hell's wrong with you? You have a short-term memory span or something? Why are you so…so…"
"Nothing's wrong with me, what ar…", he actually sounded confused at her words, only causing to irritate her more. She rolled her eyes at the lost expression that was fixed on his face.
Pulling her smaller hand out of his she slid the door open and took a tentative step out onto the porch, breathing in deeply, she felt a sudden calm wash over her. She savored the blissful feeling. The warm breeze swept at the few loose strands of silky hair that framed her face.
"I'll be back Lett, gonna get our things. Then I'll show you your room."
Tired eyes slowly made their way up the right side of the beach, finding a few houses scattered along. They didn't look occupied, but they were in great shape, all looked to be about the same shape and size. Nothing special about them, they were far enough away.
To her left she couldn't help but take in the house next door, a warm, almost delicate shade of peach. It looked lived in, homey. Nice and well kept nonetheless. A few toys were scattered about, a pink and purple tricycle among them, the tassels a burst of vivid color.
'Must belong to one of the grandkids.'
With one last look at the water she made her way inside and up the stairs. There she found Leon coming out of one the bedrooms to her left.
"I was just going to go down to get you, this is your room, come look…"
He beckoned her with a wave of his hand, a small unsure smile on his face.
The bed was immense, the comforter was much like the one she shared with Dominic, this one a dark blue instead of the deep red she was used to. True to what Leon said the room was huge, spacey. She noticed hers and Dominic's luggage at the foot of the bed.
"I'm gonna go get my stuff Lett, and then go get a few things from the store we drove by. Gonna be ok by yourself for a little while?"
Her back to him she nodded.
"We'll call home, uh, maybe call Dom when I get back…see how things are…", he told her from the doorway, before walking away.
No longer hearing his retreating footsteps, she gingerly sat on the bed, her hand on her sore side. She was dreading and longing at the same time to hear what Dominic or Mia had to say. Would it be good news, or bad? Things couldn't possibly get worse, at least she hoped they wouldn't.
Her eyes felt so heavy, the muscles in her legs achy and tight. The many bruises littering her small frame hurt like a bitch, still she was better off than she was a few hours ago.
The medicine was still going strong though, for that she was thankful. She needed sleep, but looking down at the bed she couldn't bring herself to lay down, scared at what would come if she closed her eyes.
Moving to get her bag she hissed out as the muscles in her arms burned with the movement, she'd have to be careful not to injure herself more than she already was.
'Just need some sleep, I'll feel better in the morning. Have to feel better in the morning.'
After some careful maneuvering she managed to kneel down by her bags, wanting to pull out a shirt to sleep in. First thing she came across was the bright red two piece bathing suit Dominic had gotten for her, he'd worn a very satisfied grin on his face when he'd shown it to her, the glint in eyes thirsty.
She had no desire to even look at it now, mush less flounce around in it. Even if she had promised more than once to wear it.
The next article of clothing made her eyes water, the sky blue material of the t-shirt looked so fresh and cheerful, so unlike her current mood. It reminded her of his eyes. Reminded her of them particularly when he was happy, bouncing around and had a toothy smile on his face. She'd had a laugh when she'd realized just how disappointed he'd been over not finding that particular shirt in his size, and how sad he'd looked when he'd glanced at the price tag, realizing it was out of his budget. It was just a shirt she mused, an ordinary shirt. To her at least. He'd apparently fallen in love with it, just aching to put it on.
So after deciding Jesse just had to have that shirt she went back to the store that carried it three times. Each time dragging Vince with her, he'd grumbled and muttered, like a little boy that was being forced to eat his vegetables.
She'd been amused that by the time they finally had their hands on the shirt they were both really excited about giving it to Jesse, being a sport Vince had decided he wanted a piece of the action and forked over his half. He gladly handed over his forty bucks knowing it would put a huge smile on their little scientists face. They'd left the mall arm in arm, laughing and joking around, both slurping ice cream cones and wearing cheesy grins.
Now both of them were laying in hospitals being fussed over, examined and prodded with needles by both doctors in stark white coats and nurses alike. While she sat in a crumpled mess on a floor in an unfamiliar house in Mexico crying into a shirt she never got the chance to give to her friend. Not sure if she ever would.