Read Holiday Delights: Volume One - The Escape Online

Authors: Ana Vela

Tags: #suspense, #mystery, #action, #comedy, #young adult, #contemporary, #erotic romance, #interracial, #new adult, #multiples

Holiday Delights: Volume One - The Escape (2 page)

BOOK: Holiday Delights: Volume One - The Escape
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And it was when she reached the pinnacle of
her career that she had a (spectacular) nervous breakdown at a
fashion event. After that, she quit her job, rented out her
apartment and lived by taking on freelance work and various
Internet business opportunities. She was staying with Kelsey before
her flight to Bhutan the next day.

Alex came up to Kelsey.


Sweetie, what’s the
matter?”

In broken words, between blubbering and
sobbing, Kelsey told Alex what had happened.


That asshole!” Alex said,
fury marking her face. “I hope he burns in hell and his dick falls
off! That cheating bastard!”


Oh, Alex, what am I going
to do?” Kelsey asked. It was as if her numbness was slowly melting
away and the reality of situation was setting on her like a heavy
blanket. No job, no fiancé…she lost everything in one
morning.


Listen, sweetie,” said
Alex, “You’ll pick things up again! You can find a new job, and new
man…in fact, I bet we can find a man tonight!”


No, no,” Kelsey
protested. “I can’t…just not yet…”


Kelsey, the best way to
get over a man is with a new man!” Alex said enthusiastically.
“Preferably a hotter, richer new man!”

Alex, of course, in her quest to visit every
country in the world, also sought to bang a man in every country in
the world.


C’mon! It’s my last night
in New York! Let’s celebrate!”


I don’t really feel like
going out…” Kelsey said meekly. “Is it ok if we just stayed
in?”

Alex smiled at her best friend.


Of course, hun, no
problem! We’ll order Chinese take out, watch a violent movie and
drink some of that Baiju I brought from China!”

*****

 

Kelsey was grateful that her Alex was
willing to spend the night in. They rented a particularly violent
movie (the title of which wasn’t important, but only that half of
the male cast was murdered, eviscerate, and castrated in many ways)
and ordered a ton of takeout. Soon, they were drunk on Baiju, a
half bottle of vodka, and three glasses of wine each.


I don’t know what to do,
Alex” Kelsey said, tears threatening to roll down her cheeks. “Work
was my life…Carl was my life. We were going to grow old together.
I’m twenty-FREAKIN’ nine years old!”

Alex snorted. As Kelsey’s best friend, she
knew Carl was trouble, but didn’t say anything.


That Carl is a no-good,
lying piece of shit! He doesn’t deserve your crying! Now, you just
have to stay strong and get back on your feet! You can get through
this! You are smart and beautiful and you will find another job and
man soon!”

Kelsey hiccupped, “I..wish…that…were…true…”
she took a deep breath. “Let’s face facts, I’m too smart for my own
good and not beautiful or sexy enough for a man to look past
that.”


Kelsey,” Alex said,
“First of all, you are gorgeous in your own way! You know, if
there’s anything I’ve learned from traveling everywhere is that
there are so many men in the world who like different things that
any woman can find a guy.”

Alex giggled a bit. “In fact, I would say
80% of men on earth are happy with a pair of nice tits to give them
a beer when they come home!”


I gues-wait,
what?”

Alex continued. “Really, there’s nothing to
it! When a girl wants to have sex, a guy’s gotta kiss her, stroke
her-“


No! Wait!” Kelsey
explained. “Go back to that other part!”


About the tits?” Alex
asked, confused.


No! NO!” Kelsey stood up
and almost fell over the back of her pristine white
couch.


I mean, about you
traveling and learning about men – that’s a great idea!”


Oh tha-WHAT?” her best
friend’s eyes were the size of saucers.


You’ve been begging me to
go with you all this time!” Kelsey exclaimed. “That’s what I’ll
do!”

Kelsey ran to her room and Alex followed.
She opened up her closet, dragged out her suitcase, and started
tossing her things into it.


I’m going to do it! I’m
going to pack up my things and then I’m going to go
somewhere…quick!” she turned to Alex, stopping her manic packing
for a moment.


What’s the farthest place
from New York?”


Uh, Asia, I guess?” Alex
thought. “That’s halfway around the world!”


Asia it is!” Kelsey
raised her hand triumphantly. “Uh…where in Asia? Uh, never mind!
I’ll think of somewhere!”

Alex couldn’t believe her ears. “Wait, are
you serious?? Really serious?”


Yes!! I’m going to go to
Japan, China, Hong Kong, Bali-“


Bali’s an island, I
think, sweetie”


Yeah, whatever! I don’t
care! I just want to get out of here, as far away from here as
possible!” Kelsey exclaimed.


Honey, wait,” Alex began,
“Aren’t you being a little too impulsive?”


Alex” Kelsey said in a
calm voice. “When you left after your ‘incident’ isn’t that what I
said? Aren’t you happier now?”

Alex stared at her for 5 seconds, then said.
“I’ll help you pack! But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, you
can’t use that suitcase! You need a backpack!”

*****

 

And so, Alex helped Kelsey pack and plan.
First, they went online and ordered a nice, 60-litre backpack to be
express delivered to her apartment the next day. Then, Alex helped
her choose practical pieces of clothing (“You can buy more stuff
when you get there, if you want to go somewhere nice”). Finally,
they booked her ticket – a one-way ticket to Hanoi, Vietnam (that
was the only one they could get in two days), which Alex said was
fine (“You can take a bus and travel all the way to Bali…I
think”).

Finally, at 3 am, Alex had to do her own
packing, as she had to leave for her 6am flight. Kelsey went with
Alex down to the driveway of her apartment.


See you in Bangkok!” Alex
waved goodbye as her taxi sped away.

Kelsey went back upstairs to her place and
as soon as she closed the door behind her, she said out loud.


Oh my Lord! I’m going to
Asia!!”

*****

 

The next two days were a blur. She didn’t
really want to sell her apartment, but she decided she would rent
it out for 6 months. It was a good thing Kelsey lived in a
sough-after neighborhood in New York and she had barely walked out
of the realtor’s office when her apartment was snapped up. Next,
she got her backpack and started packing her things, remembering
Alex’s tips.

Finally, on a sunny Thursday morning, Kelsey
locked up her apartment, said goodbye to her doorman, and stepped
out of the comfort of her apartment building and into her new
adventure.

*****

Kelsey was one of those New Yorkers who
never left New York. “I can get everything here, why go anywhere
else?” The truth was, she was afraid of flying. She had taken a
plane to DC once and then she was such a nervous wreck she took the
train home. And now, sitting in at the boarding are, she couldn’t
stop her brain from thinking about how she was going to be stuck
inside this hollow metal tube with wings.

Beads of sweat started forming on her
forehead. Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. Her brain kept repeating it like a
mantra. They started calling people to board. She sat, stuck to her
seat. She took a deep breath. She imagined going back to her
apartment, having to face her-wait, Carl’s friends, because really,
ever since they were together they only hung out with his friends.
Her grip tightened on her bag. She stood up, lined up, and gave her
boarding pass to the lady at the gate.

She stepped into the plane, and walked down
the aisle. She was looking up, searching for her seat number, not
noticing that her traveling bag, a large shoulder purse, had
slipped down her shoulder.


Ow—Bloody hell, woman,
watch where you put that thing!” said an annoyed voice.


What? Oh!” Kelsey gasped.
She turned back and saw the man she hit with her bag. Annoyed, blue
eyes stared up at her. “Shit! I’m so sorry! I didn’t
mean-”

He snorted, rubbing his head. “Don’t you
ever look where you’re going?”

“Hey, I said I’m sorry-“

The woman behind her cleared her throat and
Kelsey stepped into her seat, which was right across the aisle from
the man. Well this is going to be awkward. She thought, settling
into her seat. Kelsey put her seatbelt on, and stared at the front
of her seat, doing her best not to look beside her. She couldn’t
help it, however, and she snuck a glance over at him. Hmmm…dark
black hair, blue eyes, maybe early 30s….not bad looking she
thought. Her eyes must have glazed over for a second because
suddenly, she realized that he was looking back at her.


Can I help you?” he asked
wryly.

Kelsey couldn’t remember what she did later
on, but she thought she let out an “eep!” and hid behind a
magazine. For all her life, Kelsey had been awkward with men.
Except for Carl, who relentlessly pursued her (at the behest of his
grandmother, who wanted to keep her investing skills in the
family). She could figure out numbers, but men always escaped her
usually razor-sharp mind.

The flight went on without much incident.
She didn’t sleep, but then again no one slept on these long
flights. Finally, 15 hours later, the stewardesses were announcing
their arrival in Hanoi, at 6 am local time.

*****

 

After she checked out of customs and
strapped her backpack, Kelsey stood in line for a taxi to her
hotel. She gave the taxi driver her itinerary and he proceeded to
go down the highway as fast as he possibly could, zipping past
motorcycles and trucks loaded with goods and into the main French
District of the city of Hanoi. She went to the front desk, grabbed
her key and she flopped into her bed and forgot the rest of the
world.

Kelsey sat up in the dark room from her bed,
confused for about 10 seconds when she realized where she was. She
pondered on her weird, yet delicious dream of the dark-haired,
blue-eyed stranger, trying to recall more details aside from being
in a tent in the middle of the desert and him wearing nothing but a
smile. As she rubbed her eyes, her thoughts were interrupted by her
hungry growling stomach, and she stumbled out of bed and out of the
hotel room.

And so Kelsey walked out of the hotel, her
senses immediately assaulted with all sorts of sights, sounds, and
smells. Her first night in Asia, she sat by the roadside, drinking
the local beer (or “bia”) and slurping the fragrant and delicious
pho soup from the small stands manned by little old Vietnamese
ladies. The next day, she walked around the old quarter, marveling
at the French architecture, sipping the sickly-sweet Vietnamese
coffee and once in a while, a young person (or a group of them)
would come up to her and try to practice English, or would ask to
take a picture with her.

She stayed in Hanoi a few more days, then
decided she would take the train down to Mui Ne, where she saw the
beautiful sand dunes. Then she was off to the bustling city of Ho
Chi Minh (formerly Hanoi) where after a week of two, she got the
hang of crossing the street without being run over the seemingly
endless parade of motorcycles.

When she got tired of Vietnam after about
two months, she hopped on a bus and went over to Cambodia, to Siem
Reap where the legendary Angkor Wat temples were located. She sat
in front of the temple at sunrise, contemplating on the beauty of
the sun as it rose behind the main temple’s three turrets.

She explored the far-off Beng Melea temple,
with the roots of the overgrown trees that seemed to swallow up the
ruined structures. It wasn’t until she had been in Cambodia for
three weeks when she realized her time was up and she was scheduled
to meet Alex in Bangkok soon.

*****

 

After a long journey (car to the border,
walk, then van to Bangkok, total of 7 hours travel time), Kelsey
arrived at the fame Khao San Backpackers area. It was probably just
in time too, as Kelsey realized that she had spent about half of
her budget living it up in Vietnam and now, unfortunately, she
could only afford hostels for the rest of her trip in Asia. Alex
had assured her that the Golden Flower was a “fabulous” hostel and
she had stayed there “lots” of times, but at the age of 29, Kelsey
wasn’t sure that hostelling and common beds were for her.

As soon as she walked into the Golden
Flower, she heard her name.

 


Kelsey! You’re here!”
Alex practically jumped at her. “How are you? Tell me about your
trip! But, wait, you gotta meet everyone!”

Alex dragged her to the table in the common
room, where a bunch of people were sitting down, having a few
beers.


Everyone, this is Kelsey,
my best friend! The one I was telling you about! Kelsey, this is
Colin, he’s from Ireland, and Erika, from Sweden…” Alex continued
to rattle on everyone’s names, which were just a blur to Kelsey.
She waved at them and shook everyone’s hand.


You must be tired!”
exclaimed Alex. “Let’s get you to your bed! You can catch some
sleep and then we’re off to dinner and clubbing!”

Alex helped her with her things, and they
went up a flight of steps to their room. It was a mixed dorm room
and there were a couple of people inside already. Alex pointed to
one of the top bunks.

BOOK: Holiday Delights: Volume One - The Escape
10.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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