KYLIE PRESTON-MENDOZA & JULIA TORRES
A&E Editor and Staff Writer
Jada hadn’t been waiting long before Violet came back. She had decided to not go back to her room. She knew that in her current state, it would not help to go back to a closed-in space. She had made that mistake many times when the incident was still fresh. The walls seemed to close in on her and she never had enough air. Staying outside where she could breathe was better.
After the receptionist had told her that Violet and Nigel weren’t available, she had gone outside to the beach. After a couple of minutes of walking by the shore, she decided to rest, as her mind was overwhelmed by everything.
Just when I thought things were getting better, she thought bitterly. Now I am stuck in the worst situation I could possibly be in.
Jada put her head in her hands and rested them on her knees. She needed to think about how she was going to get out of here, because there was no way she was going to stay on this island for a whole weekend with that man, not to mention that Corina and Jaime were also here. She wondered if they had bumped into each other by now. Possibly.
They were all related to the accident and they were all stuck on this island. Had Violet and her brother planned this? Was this all a prank?
No. Nobody would be that cruel. To force her to relive the moment when she lost her twin brother. Seeing their faces had caused flashbacks of that night. The lights of the ambulance, the yells from the people on the side, the cold raindrops on Jada’s face when she was removed from the crash and Jayden was rushed to the ambulance.
Taking a deep breath, Jada forced herself to focus on the here and now. On what she felt at the moment. Her family and friends had told her how bad it was for her to keep going over everything in her head. It would just cause more pain.
She took another deep breath to fully cleanse her thoughts. She needed to have a clear head if she was going to figure out what to do next and what was going on. There was no way that Nigel and Violet could have planned any of this, she’d never met them before, and why would they be interested in her accident? The sad reality was that car crashes happened everyday. Jada’s crash meant everything to her, but it wouldn’t stand out to many other people, especially not strangers.
She sat in the warm sand, staring at the bobbing waves of the ocean, lost in thought for what seemed like forever. There were so many different thoughts swirling around her brain and she just wanted answers. She hoped one of the twins would get back to the office soon. What could be taking them so long?
About another hour of staring into the turquoise ocean, Violet finally showed up. Jada quickly stood up and brushed the sand off herself, stumbling only slightly as she walked over to her.
“Violet!” She called. “I need to talk to you!”
“What’s wrong?” Violet asked, genuinely concerned.
“I-I can’t stay here, I’m really sorry, but I can’t,” Jada explained, choking a bit.
“I-I-Kyle is here!” Jada cried out. “He’s the reason f-for the car crash.” Jada felt bad about crying, but Violet seemed so nice and so caring and Jada needed someone to talk to after seeing Jaime, Corina, and Kyle.
“It’s going to be alright,” Violet soothed.
Jada sniffed, wiping her eyes. “I’m sorry for crying.”
Violet shook her head gently with a kind smile on her face. “It’s alright, it’s good to let it out.” Violet pulled her into a hug. Jada was reminded of her grandmother and how comforting it was when the elderly woman had hugged her.
Jada pulled away after a moment. Volet moved so that they were sitting facing each other.
Taking a deep breath and moving so she was more comfortable in the sand, Jada wiped her tears. “What is going on? Why are they all here? It can’t be a coincidence.”
“You’re right,” Violet sighed. “It’s not a coincidence. My brother and I all brought you here intentionally.”
What on earth—?
“Now before you freak out, let me explain,” Violet said when Jada started to move away. “We didn’t do this to hurt you, Jada. To hurt any of you.
“This island is not a normal vacation place. This is a place for rehabilitation. To start again. To recover from painful things in your past. And in your case, it was your brother’s death.”
“But why would you bring them all here? Especially him?” Jada asked, as she looked down at her hands. She understood a little more now, but she was still confused. Why didn’t they mention this since the beginning?
“You weren’t the only one that suffered from Jayden’s accident. They all did. My brother and I talked to all of them before they arrived. You were the only one we didn’t contact.”
“What? So they all knew about this?” Jada was astonished and angry all of a sudden. She was kept from all of this, for what?
Violet’s strong but gentle voice brought her back.
“Yes, they all knew. But we also knew that you wouldn’t come if you knew Kyle would be here. And he feels guilty about everything that happened. He wants to fix things.”
Jada opened her mouth to argue how it would be impossible for her to forgive Kyle, but she closed it again. She had heard what he had said the day of the trial. He seemed to want to fix everything back then, begging Jada’s family to forgive him.
“It was actually your friend, Kayla, who helped us find you.”
“Yes, she and her brother saw how much you were suffering even when you moved in with her and wanted to help.”
“Great. Even Kayla knew about this.”
“We should have talked to you right when you got here. I apologize for not finding you sooner,” Violet rubbed her eyes as if she was tired. “I can’t imagine what you felt when you bumped into Corina.”
“It’s alright.” Jada looked back to the waves, a salty breeze hitting her face softly. “She is actually someone I don’t mind seeing that much. She was really nice that night.”
“She was the first one we talked to, actually. She was close to tears. Corina was the one who helped you get out of that car. She might have saved your life, but unfortunately, she couldn’t save your brother. She remembers a lot from that night, as do the other two.”
Jada looked at the older woman in wonder. “What did they say?”
“Well, they all feel horrible when they remember that night. It changed them all somehow. Jaime a little more, I think. He was the one who last saw your brother…”
That was right, Jada realized. Dr. Jaime was the one who tried to save her brother and had to give her family the news. Jada had been in a separate room in the hospital. She had sustained no big injuries, but she was separated from Jayden right after the accident.
“And Kyle,” Violet continued. “Well, I’m sure you understand what he has been through. Nightmares, panic attacks, he’s had to have a lot of help. Just like you.”
Jada stayed silent.
“This is a place for getting help, Jada. We never wanted to hurt you, but I do apologize for not explaining sooner.”
When she stayed quiet, Violet stood up and brushed the sand off her dress. “I will head back and you are welcome to stay and eat tonight. And stay the rest of the weekend. But my brother and I will not force you to stay if you do not want to. The rest have already made up their minds, but we can have a boat take you back home if you would prefer. The choice is yours.” And without another word, she walked back to the others.
Leaving Jada to think about what she had said. Did she want to stay? Or go home?
A & E Editor
Kylie is a junior at San Marcos High School..
Julia is a junior at San Marcos High School…