Disclaimer: Everything belongs to James Cameron except for my OC, Darya.
"Uncle Carl, is it really okay for me to be here? I could have stayed at a friend's house. I know it wasn't fair of my parents to dump me on you guys while they went to discover themselves again." I exclaimed.
"Honestly Darya, how many times to I have to tell you, I am far too young for the title of Uncle. Just Carl would be lovely. And where my brother is concerned, for another thousand times, it's fine. Look at it this way. You can discover yourself here." Carl replied. Well, he was young, but it was weird to just call him Carl.
"Sure, whatever you say, Carl." I rolled my eyes and looked outside the plane window. We were just touching ground or water, whatever you wanted to call it.
"Come on Darya, it'll be fun. Plus I hear Josh Maguire is your age." Victoria claimed with a twinkle in her eyes. Please tell me she wasn't trying to play matchmaker. Ugh! Where did Carl find her?
"Whoa! There will be none of that!" Carl retorted. But Victoria just winked at me and turned back to face the front.
Don't get me wrong. I love Victoria. She is super fun to hang out with and since I love the adventure, we both get along like sisters. In fact I think of her as an older sister, but sometimes she gets these weird ideas in her head, and I'm usually the person she experiments with.
Papua New Guinea, not a proper airport, but from the looks of it was a small market place. Smells of fish and spices wafted into my nose as the plane door opened and Carl like a young child walked out first. He was excited, that's the least you could say. And of course because he was billionaire he wasn't used to doing stuff for himself, which meant Victoria and I were left to pick up his stuff. Scratch that. Victoria too walked out and left me the remaining luggage. Even though we were travelling extremely light, it was far too much for a seventeen year old girl.
I stumbled across the deck with the bags. "Honestly you guys. The least you could have done was pick up your stuff. Great way to treat your niece, Carl." I swatted away y bangs from my eyes and squinted up at them. Carl was just introducing Victoria to a boy my age. I think it was safe to say that said boy was Josh, because Victoria seemed to be acting like a fan. Putting the charm on and all.
"You must be Frank Maguire's son, Josh Maguire. Wow! You must be lucky that your father brings you along on all his expeditions?" She exclaimed.
"Yeah, loads lucky." Josh replied with an unsure smile and turned towards me.
"Oh and that is Darya, my niece." Carl remarked and I stuck out my hand to shake. His hands were strong. You could tell. The minute they touched mine, I made note of a few things. Like his firm grip, calloused fingers and warm palm. I gave him a smile and said hi.
"Hey! So, you got stuck on this expedition like me?" Josh asked. His blonde hair flew in the air and I had this sudden urge to try and control it. He was cute in a surferish, handsome boy-band type.
"Seems like it."I replied. Carl started pushing Josh ahead and gave me a warning look. I just shrugged my shoulders and followed them off the deck.
"Carl, since when do you fly a helicopter?" I asked. Yeah, if I wanted to die, this was not in my dictionary.
"Just one of the many things that makes me Carl." He replied smugly. Josh laughed at his reply turned back to look at me.
"Why do we cave, Josh?" He sighed.
"Well, I don't. Voluntarily." Josh replied to Carl. The forest below was just breathtaking. To think this beautiful, untouched land was safe for the time being made it extraordinary.
"No, Josh wrong answer."
"Well, why do you cave, Carl?" I asked.
"It's exhilarating and…well, why I don't just show you." He maneuvered the helicopter and I gasped. "Esa'ala, the Mother of All Caves."
"Wow." Was all I could say.
"My God, Carl. That's…" Vic breathed out.
"Yeah, it is." Carl replied with a huge smile. To say I was scared was an understatement. This was nothing compared to open water swimming, where the only thing to be afraid of was being eaten by sharks. Goosebumps appeared on my skin as I thought of going down there.
We landed in the middle of nowhere and Josh jumped out. Fellow locals took our stuff, and Josh helped me off. "Thanks."
Hey Victoria! Darya! You got to meet this guy. Hey Dex. You here?" Dex came out and did that man hug thing with Josh. I've always wondered what it was all about. He did it to Vic and found it hard to control my laugh. Her face was epic.
"Josh, my man you're in the shit." Dex claimed.
"You must be Darya. Pleased to meet you milady." He said and kissed my hand. I looked over to Josh unsurely, but he was laughing so I laughed out too.
"Now, for the grand tour." He guided Victoria in front of the computer and showed her stuff about the cave. I on other hand was not interested in the schematics of the cave, and wandered outside the hut to take a look around. Josh followed me out.
"You do this all the time? The cave. It's incredible." I said.
"Not if you've been hauled all over just to be forced to do it. Sure, it's beautiful but sometimes I just wonder what normal feels like. You know?"
"Yeah I know what you mean. I've been swimming for as long as I can remember. But sometimes I just wish maybe I was doing something else, or what I would be doing if it weren't for swimming. Open water swimming can be a bit too much sometimes." I laughed. "Carl said you're the best climber there is. How does that feel?"
He laughed and looked at me, "Best, I don't know. To my dad no one is the best, so I am yet to feel its exhilaration."
"Josh! Stop flirting with my niece. Your dad wants to speak to you." Carl screamed.
"Shit! Speak of the devil." He rubbed his face and walked towards the hut. I followed behind.
"You're on my shitlist! We rely on you to do your job. Alright!" His dad seemed pissed; remind me never to get on his bad side.
"No, a job is something you choose to do, something you're paid to do. Stop treating me like I'm five-years old!" He screamed. Family troubles, yeah I knew all about those.
"Then stop acting like you're five years old!" Josh didn't wait to hear more; he just cancelled the call and walked out. I looked at Vic and she just shrugged her shoulders.
"What a douche!" I exclaimed and followed after Josh.
"Oi, Carl! We doing this thing or what?" Josh shouted.
"What are we doing?" I asked.
"We're going down." His eyes twinkled as he tied the safety harness around me.
"Shit! You can't even see the bottom." I exclaimed.
"Trust me; you're going to love this."
"Hey, you okay?" I whispered to him. His eyes met mine and he gave me a weary smile.
"Okay. You promise me you won't let me fall." I said. His smile grew bigger and went to switch on the light on my helmet.
"I promise." He said.
"Vic! Race you to the bottom." And with that I let myself fall. I could hear Josh laughing and that made me smile.