JULIA TORRES & KYLIE PRESTON-MENDOZA
Staff Writer & A&E Editor
Previously on Elysium Island: Jada has been invited to an island retreat.
The salty spray of the sea hit Jada in the face once again. It had been a while since she had been on a boat. So, she had forgotten how cold it was. She had been wearing a hoodie when she had climbed on board, but about 5 minutes after the ferry started moving, she had ripped open her bag and pulled out a thick jacket, which she placed over her shoulders. She had had no actual plans of wearing it since she was headed to an island. It was a tropical island after all. She had even almost repacked her bag when she saw the ferry’s crew wearing colorful button-up shirts, like the ones you see tourists wearing. She had decided to keep her bag the way it was and keep it near her at all times, not letting the man who tried to store it inside take it. She knew she was being paranoid, but it had been a while since she had been around so many people, even if it was just her and the crew. There were no other winners on the ferry. Jada guessed she was going to meet them there.
It has been a while since they had set sail, the cold wind hitting Jada’s face, causing her nose to turn red and her eyes to water. But soon she noticed they were slowing down. The captain announced that they would be arriving shortly. But there was no sign of the so-called paradise. There was fog blocking any sign of the land ahead. Jada was about to go ask where they were going to go from here but she almost jumped out of her skin when she turned to find the captain already behind her.
Once the ferry arrived at the dock, Jada got a weird feeling. The island was beautiful with its sandy beaches and cerulean ocean, it was the stereotypical tropical island, but there was something wrong with the island. It was a feeling that Jada just couldn’t shake.
She decided to push the thoughts aside, it was probably just nerves from being in a new environment. She hadn’t seen many of those recently.
A crash jolted Jada out of her thoughts. She looked off to the side where the crew was unloading some boxes. A young-looking guy gave her a sheepish smile as the rest of the workers grumbled as they struggled to pick up the mess.
A small smile tugged at Jada’s lips as she looked back towards the water one last time. It was time to go relax. Yay.
She took a deep breath and made her way off the boat where two people were standing under a small gazebo. The two, who could only be siblings, were greeting the guests. They were wearing white clothing, the woman a long, flowing long-sleeved dress and the man a long-sleeved white shirt with pants. Both had dark black hair and gray kind eyes. The red necklaces that hung from both of their necks only made them look even more similar. They looked like Greek laurel crowns. A short line had formed with Jada at the end and she patiently waited for her turn to meet the siblings.
When it got to her, she put on a polite smile and pushed her dreadlocks out of her face. “Hi,” she said, hiding her hands behind her back.
The woman gave a kind motherly smile, “Welcome to Elysium Island. I’m Violet and this is my brother, Nigel.”
Jada’s smile brightened, “Hi, I’m Jada. It’s nice to meet you.”
“It’s nice to meet you too. We’re the owners of this Island and resort and if you need anything at all, come and see us in our office,” Violet said, the most genuine compassion Jada had seen in a while shined in her eyes.
“Thank you,” Jada said.
“We’ll have Josh take you to your room,” Nigel said and one of the employees came over with Jada’s suitcase.
She said one last thank you and goodbye before Josh led her down a large stone path with palm trees linking the side. They swayed in a gentle breeze and Jada couldn’t help but feel that it was odd how perfect the island seemed. The breeze wasn’t too cold or too hot, Jada could barely feel it and it seemed like it was there solely to make the trees move and add an aesthetic to the island.
“Here’s your room, Ma’am,” Josh said, snapping her out of her thoughts. He unlocked the wooden door and handed her the key before going inside and setting down her bags. She thanked him as he left and moved to go inside her room, giving one last look to the beautiful courtyard.
What she didn’t expect was to see Kyle, he walked into the room across from hers and her heart stopped. How could he be there? He was in jail, there was no way he could be there.
She stood there for what felt like forever, just staring at the door. She had to get off this island.
She ran for the office. She had to talk to Nigel and Violet.
She wasn’t looking where she was going and ran right into someone. She fell to the ground, snapping back into reality.
“Jada?” The person asked, extending out a hand. She took it and finally met his eyes. It was the paramedic who had tried to save her brother, Jaime. “Are you alright?”
Jada stepped away in horror, first Kyle, now Jaime. Everyone who had been a part of her brother’s death was there. She half expected Corina, the police officer from the scene, to show up too.
“Jada?” Jaime repeated. “Are you alright? Maybe you should sit down.”
“I-I need to go.” Jada whirled around and ran off, this time paying attention to where she was going. If she couldn’t go through the courtyard, she would just go the long way around.
She ran through the sand, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. The sun beat down on her and she wished she could go jump in the cool blue ocean and swim away from her problems.
That wasn’t an option though, so she kept running. It took her about twenty minutes, but she made it to the office, completely out of breath. It was really annoying how the island seemed to only have one path; running through hot sand had been such a pain.
She reached out for the metal door handle, but it swung out before she could grab it. “Oh, sorry,” a woman said, and Jada couldn’t believe her eyes, it was Corina.
Jada’s mouth hung open in shock, but she quickly shook herself out of it before ducking inside the pristine, air-conditioned office.
“Hi, how may I help you?” the receptionist asked when she saw Jada’s disheveled appearance.
“I-I need to, um, talk to Violet and Nigel,” she stated.
“Oh, I’m sorry, they just ducked out to deal with something.” The young receptionist gave Jada a look of pity. “Is there anything I can get you?”
A way off this island, Jada thought. Instead, she just asked for water and took a seat. She was not going to go back to her room and would wait all day until she could see Nigel and Violet. There was one thought racing through her mind and it was getting home.