Winter was the time
I got off the plane to the rush of winter air hitting me on the face. Mum and dad walked past me. Dad whispered in my ear, "Claudine honey, keep moving- you are holding up the people behind us." I slowly turned around to see everyone yawning, stretching and giving me dirty looks, so I started my pace up the little platform out of the plane and into London airport.
Yep, I was in London while all my friends were back in Sydney, enjoying the summer air. What luck, right? I hate winter and all my friends know that, but my parents, apparently, don't. Dad walked over and picked up our luggage and he gave me my trolley bag. I looked around for Jamie but I couldn't see him anywhere so I turned to mum and he was standing next to her, helping with the luggage. He looked up at me, smiled and walked over to me, putting his arm around my shoulder and said, "Sup sis-long flight, eh?" I ducked out from under his arms and gave him a dirty look. He laughed and walked back over to dad and mum.
We walked out of the terminal and Jamie snatched my trolley bag from me. "You okay?"
"Don't worry about me-I'm fine, Jamie. And give me back my bag! I am strong enough to roll it behind me, okay?"
"Sis I am only tryna help."
" Uh, I hate when you treat me like I am smaller than you!" He was 3 years younger, but acted like he was my older brother. Correctly he was only 14 yrs old, and just because he was taller and, believe it or not, he was still growing. He towered over me and teased my height.
We were out of the terminal and went outside to wait for dad's friend, whom he knew from college. As soon as I stepped out of the airport, a gush of wind whipped across my face, blowing my hair around me. I was freezing and had established that black skinny jeans, a sleeve less dress with a thin black cardigan on top was not something that would keep you warm. I turned to look at my parents and Jamie as they pulled out their coats and gave me mine. Thank God I had brought a thick woollen jacket.
We stood there for about 5 minutes when two cars pulled up by the curb. One was a large SUV and the other a small sedan. I was hopeless at car names and that sucked like hell. A man and a lady got out of the cars, and as they walked over to us the man screamed out to dad-mind you it was 12:30AM in London and everyone was staring at us. One man even told the guy to shut up!
"Thomason Sunshine, my man! How are you?"
His accent was thickly pommy. He spread his arms out wide and walked over to dad. He hugged him and then slowly pulled away and punched dad in the shoulder.
"Jace Crawford! Best man at my wedding-now that is saying something, eh?" They both laughed and mum started talking to the lady, completely forgetting me and Jamie.
We turned to each other and gave each other the 'scared' look. We used to give each other that look when we were younger. We both cracked up laughing, and that's when everybody looked at us. Dad smiled at me and motioned for us to walk over. When we got there, I stood next to him. Jamie was taller than dad, which made me laugh but, I tried to cover it up-pretending to cough. They looked at me and smiled. I gave my adoring and charming smile that all adults loved.
"Jace these are my kids: Claudine and Jamie" Jace looked at us and smiled.
"Well well, aren't you two just adorable? And Jamie, well you're a replica of your father!" Dad laughed his belly laugh and I tried not to roll my eyes. Jace stuck out his hands to shake Jamie's with such force I thought his arm might snap off, and I thought 'What in hell? He's not trying to wrestle you mate!' I know I was being stuck up and kind of bitchy towards someone I haven't met before, but hey, you can't blame a girl who is in skimpy clothes and freezing her butt off like there never was summer.
After all the greetings were done, and the luggage was loaded-which took a good half hour- we were off to Uncle Jace's place where we were staying for two weeks. From there, dad was planning to rent a house just across the street. He had it all planned out a month before coming here.
We reached Uncle Jace's and Aunt Maria's place in no time at all. The parents decided to send us to bed before we did anything else, so Aunt Marya took us upstairs and said, "Choose whichever bedrooms you want, and when you're done, just go inside and look under the bed-it will have a mattress under it. In the closet there will be two bedspreads. If you want anything else, darling" Turning to me and pointing at a cupboard "Just look in there. There are heaps of things in there, okay?" Jamie and I both nodded in unison. Aunt Marya turned around and went downstairs to get our luggage. The bedrooms we chose were the ones that we first saw.
We split up and went inside our rooms-which were facing each other and were across the stairs. In the far corner was Jamie's, and I took the room in the other corner, facing Jamie's' room. We said goodnight and went in.
I walked into the room and saw that aunt Marya didn't do anything, so I opened up the closet, pulled out the bedspread, and bent down and pulled out the mattress. I spread it across the floor and just fell on top of the mattress, instantly asleep.