That Kind of Girl

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Emily was working in the coffee shop, trying to raise money for her college fees, when her good friend Jessica arrived with the shocking news that she was going to the Maldives with a much older man whom she just met, and is begging Emily to go with her. Emily simply couldn't let her friend go off all by herself, so she was inclined to accept...

Submitted: June 01, 2015

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Submitted: June 01, 2015

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The sounds of coffee brewing filled the air in the small coffee shop on the corner of a quiet street. People talked over steaming cappuccinos. Emily was hiding behind a coffee machine, and secretly working on her English essay.

‘Almost done with that essay?’ Jasper asked, startling Emily.

‘Just a few more pages left,’ She answered, feeling relieved.

‘Well, you will have to finish them later. Table 7 is ready to order.’ He gave her a wink, and started filling cups with coffee and whipped cream.

Jasper was Emily’s childhood friend, and they both just started working at the Corner Café, part time, to raise money for their college fees. He has brown wavy hair and almond shaped olive green eyes.

Emily walked quickly to table 7. A round, short man asked for a triple chocolate cake, and the tall, slim woman with him, asked for tea. Scribbling down the orders on the little notepad, she heard the tiny bell above the café door ring. As she finished taking the orders, her friend Jessica came over and gave her a quick hug.

‘You will never guess what happened to me the other day!’ Jessica exclaimed.

‘Did Chris give you another expensive gift?’ Emily asks her knowingly.

‘Oh god no, I left Chris a week ago, he was too needy.’ She rolls her eyes at Emily.

Walking back to the counter, Emily laughs, and shakes her head at Jessica.

‘Honestly, Jess, what was he? Like, the fifteenth one, this month?’

‘The sixteenth, remember Jeremy?’

‘Oh right, the socks guy.’

‘What kind of guy gives a girl socks for a gift?! Seriously!’

‘What kind of girl accepts gifts every day without an occasion?’

‘Well I am simply that kind of girl,’ Jessica smiled.

‘True. So tell me what is it that happened to you the other day?’ Holding the trey of fresh cups of coffee, Emily quickly delivers it to table 7.

‘Well, I met someone,’ Jessica started excitedly.

‘What else is new?’

‘But this guy is different Em! He can take me places.’

‘Places like the mall?’

‘Actually, he said he wanted to take me to the Maldives...’

‘What?’ Emily stared at Jessica.

‘I know!’ Jessica started hopping up and down and squealing while oblivious of Emily’s expression of horror and disapproval.

Noticing Jessica’s excited hopping and squealing, Jasper walked over, curious at what was going on. ‘What are we happy about?’

‘You didn’t say yes, did you?’ Emily asked, ignoring Jasper’s sudden appearance. Knowing Jessica, Emily thought this was exactly the kind of reckless thing she would do.

‘Of course, I didn’t say yes. My exact reply was, “What kind of a girl do you think I am? I would never travel anywhere with you alone.”’ Jessica said, folding her arms across her chest.

Emily, exhaled in relief, and nodded at Jessica in approval, she was pleased to see that her friend was so wise.

‘And that is why I asked if I could take you with me.’ Jessica cringed at Emily, and waited for her to burst in a frantic rage. But Emily just stood staring at her, not knowing what to think or say.

‘Where are we traveling?’ Jasper started his regular teasing.

We aren’t going anywhere. Emily and I, however, are going to the Maldives,’ Jessica replied smugly with a wide grin.

‘We aren’t going anywhere, Jessica.’ Emily, somehow regaining control over her voice, ‘Are you insane, Jess? Do you even know the guy? Who is he? How old is he? Where is he from?’

‘I do know the guy,’ she explained, with hesitation and doubt in her voice, ‘He is a very wealthy business man, who will take me to the Maldives. And that’s all I have to know.’

‘How old is this guy exactly?’ Emily asks, with the feeling that she may regret asking it.

Across the room, a loud voice calls for the bill. Jasper rushes off back to work, feeling irritated that he has to miss the interesting conversation between the girls.

Jessica, averting her eyes from Emily, spoke softly, ‘He is fifty one,’ then speaking louder and faster, ‘But he is very nice. And he promised to give me whatever I wanted.’

‘That’s twice your age! Jessica, you can’t go with him alone. I won’t let you.’ Emily took Jessica’s hand, begging her sanity.

‘Emily, please. Come with me. It will be so much fun, you’ll see. We will lie on the beach and drink cocktails, and go for a swim in the clear blue sea. Isn’t that what we always wanted?’

Feeling trapped, Emily couldn’t think of what to say. Seeing the determination in her friend’s eyes, she knew that there was nothing she could do to stop her. If Emily wouldnt go, Jessica will go alone.

‘And what if he tries to hurt you?’ Emily could barely speak the words, too terrified of even thinking such a thought.

‘He won’t, he is just a lonely old man looking for some company. If he wanted anything more, don’t you think he would go looking for a prostitute or a professional escort?’

Jessica’s blue eyes looked into Emily’s, pleaded for understanding and acceptance. Finally, Emily let out a heavy sigh, and said, ‘Ok, fine. We can go.’

Jessica started squealing in happiness and throwing her arms around Emily. And at that moment, Jasper finished closing up the Café, and hearing Emily’s approval, appeared beside the hopping girls, still cradled in each other’s embrace.  Imitating Jessica’s excitement, Jasper squealed, ‘Alright! We can go! Where are we going?’

‘We are going to the Maldives!’ exclaimed Jessica, as Emily smiled, uncertain whether it was the right thing to do. Jasper, glanced at Emily, and saw the doubt in her eyes.

During the entire flight to the Maldives, Jessica decides to sleep, convincing Emily that she needs to save her energy for when they land, because, apparently, they will have plenty of activities to attend to. Emily hadn’t met Jessica’s friend yet, he will be waiting for them when they land.

 Sitting with her feet outstretched ahead of her, on the large and comfortable chair, in first class, looking out the window at the white fluffy clouds below them, she thought of Jasper. The frown on his face lingered in Emily’s mind. He was worried for her. Even without speaking, the childhood friends knew when the other was in distress. But Jasper couldn’t do anything except offer support for her, and hope that she and Jessica will return safely from this unpredictable vacation.

Emily never thought she would be the kind of girl that took advantage of men for their money. Was she taking advantage or simply helping out a friend? She wasn’t sure. But apart from feeling doubtful, excitement pulsed through her veins. The excitement of not knowing. Perhaps it is fun to put oneself at risk sometimes, she thought. But just in case, she made sure to pack her pepper spray.

When Jessica slept, she always made Emily smile. How could a girl so perfect awake, look so imperfect asleep, she wondered. Jessica’s always bouncy blond curls are unbelievably messy and tangled. Her usually red plump lips are appearing pale and slender, with a little drool dripping down one corner. But Emily knew that Jessica was that kind of girl. The kind of girl that took advantage of men. It is something that everybody knew. She never tried to hide it. Emily had always envied Jessica. She was that kind of girl that all other girls hated and all men wanted. Regardless, Emily still loved her and didn’t want her to get hurt because of her recklessness.

At one point during the flight, Jessica woke up and told Emily about her friend’s friend, and that he will also be meeting them when they land.

‘What?!” Emily almost screamed.

‘I swear he will be decent. And if he did anything to you, just tell me and I will set him straight.’

‘I just can’t believe you didn’t tell me before!’

‘I’m sorry! But Henry couldn’t afford this trip for us both, so he invited a business friend, I think his name is Richard, and he is the one paying for you, instead.’

‘I feel awkward enough as it is having someone else pay for me at all!’

‘Don’t worry about it. Men like that don’t care about spending money. First class tickets are practically nothing for them.’ Jessica sat back comfortably, indicating that the conversation was over.

 Emily felt betrayed, and accused Jessica of tricking her and luring her into a booby-trap. She felt as vulnerable as a mouse about to be eaten by an old falcon. But after a while she decided to play along and just hope for the best. She did have her pepper spray, just in case, Emily reassured herself. She was that kind of girl, the safe kind who put herself at risk for the sake of her friend.

 After a long comfortable flight, the seat belt sign above them finally blinked. They were preparing for landing. As the plane started lowering, and they came out of the clouds, the view of the ocean beneath filled the girls with amazement. The sunlight glistened over the soft crystal blue waves. The colorful coral reefs were visible in the clear sparkling water. As the plane’s wheels touched the ground, Emily’s worries started acted up.

In the airport, there waited two middle aged men, both in Hawaiian shorts and open button down shirts. They were both balding. One had a large mustache and the other light stubble.

‘Welcome darling Jessica.’ The man with the stubble kissed Jessica’s cheeks. ‘And you must be Miss Emily, pleasure to meet you, my dear. This here, is Richard, a colleague of mine and a very good friend.’

Emily received a kiss on the hand from both men, and the one with the large moustache tickled her in the process, and she thanked them for providing the first class plane tickets, her face reddened of embarrassment. Since this was, after all, the most expensive gift she has ever received. And she wasn’t yet sure how she felt about it.

‘It was our pleasure, my dear,’ replied Richard with a smile behind his hairy mustache.

‘I assume that we will have separate hotel rooms,’ Emily announced. The two men glanced at each other, and raised their eye brows at Emily’s bluntness.

Richard spoke first: ‘That can be arranged. I believe Henry and Jessica will share a room. And I can take another room for myself when we reach the hotel.’

Emily’s worries suddenly eased a great a deal. Emily quickly grabbed Jessica’s hand, and all four of them walked side by side towards the exit.

They headed for the hotel rooms that they will be staying at. They arrived by the shore of the beach, and mounted a small speed boat. In the distance they could see extravagant wooden cabins floating above water.

‘That is where we will be staying,’ announced Richard to Emily. She couldn’t believe her eyes. She felt like the luckiest girl in the world.

As they climbed out of the boat and aboard the wooden porch, Emily noted that the house looked much bigger than it did from the shore. Jessica shrieked with excitement and bounced around Henry and into his arms. Emily felt uncomfortable, but smiled nonetheless. And she walked into the front door, holding her backpack, followed by the rest. Jessica chose the first room to the left.

‘Henry, this room is perfect!’ she squealed, Henry followed her in and shut the door. Emily and Richard were left behind, awkward and in silence.

‘Well Miss Emily, feel free to have this room here, and I will go into mine to freshen up. See you this evening.’ He bowed his head and moved farther down the hall, and disappeared into a room. Emily felt lost without Jessica, She hoped that she won’t be spending the entire vacation inside her hotel room.

After Emily finished organizing her things, and took a quick shower, she heard Henry’s and Jessica’s door from across the hall open.

That evening, Emily and Jessica were relaxing on the porch of their cabin on the water, drinking cocktails when Henry and Richard interrupted them.

‘Jessica my dear, would you mind coming with me, I would like to show you something I think you will enjoy,’ Henry said. Emily didn’t want to be left alone with Richard. She looked at Jessica, hoping her friend would read the panic in her eyes. But Jessica left, giving Emily a reassuring smile. And Richard sat in Jessica’s place.

‘Beautiful sunset here in the Maldives, isn’t it?’ Richard casually asked.

‘Yes, it’s very lovely,’ Emily replied wearily.  

‘Please don’t be afraid. I only want to talk. I promise not to touch you,’ Richard said, noticing her stiffness and concern.

‘Thank you, sir. But I am aware that for something like this,’ Emily gestured all around her, ‘there has to be something you want in return.’

‘All I want is your company, Emily. If I wished to have company for sexual purposes, then, believe me, I know where to find it.’ Richard smiled beneath his large mustache. ‘But for now, I am enjoying myself here, having a chat with you.’ He took a sip from the drink in his hand.

‘I am not sure I can be good company,’ Emily said uncomfortably.

‘That’s all right. I enjoy the company of young intelligent women, such as yourself.’ Richard is looking out at the sea. He appears to be enjoying the atmosphere of the island. Emily began to relax more and enjoy the evening with Richard. They started talking about a lot of things, and Emily started to learn a lot about him. In some sense, Richard is reminding Emily of her own father. She asks him if he has any kids, and it turns out he has three that are as old as Emily. He was married twice, and is not looking to marry again.

‘I prefer the temporary company of decent young ladies, rather than the permanent company of a sexually demanding wife,’ Richard explained.

Emily had never spent time with older men before, and she is pleased that she has that opportunity now, since she found Richard very interesting. Although she is convinced that after this vacation, they will never see each other again, she feels lucky to be the girl chosen to be Richard’s companion, even if she wasn’t that kind of girl.

After a wonderful relaxing bubble bath in the big round tub, Emily spent an amazing night of sleep in the big soft bed.

 The next morning, Emily woke up to a series of exciting knocks on her door.

‘Wakey wakey, Em! We are going scuba diving!’ Jessica shrieked from behind the door.

On the speed boat heading out at sea, Emily sat enjoying the wonderful salty breeze rushing against her skin, with her scuba diving equipment by her feet. She sat next to Richard and faced Jessica in Henry’s arms. She was slightly uncomfortable with the closeness of her good friend towards a strange older man, but she figured, Jessica was an adult and she can take care of herself.

Emily remembered the time she was sick, her condition became very critical within a few weeks after being bitten by a squirrel at the park, and infected her with rabies. She had a high fever and was starting to suffer from insomnia, anxiety, and hallucinations. Jessica never left her side, spending the nights at the hospital with Emily and taking care of her like a mother does her own child, until she was cured.

The boat started slowing and Emily realized that they have stopped somewhere in the middle of the ocean. She could see the shores of an island a few miles away. Henry was helping Jessica put on her scuba gear, and Richard offered to help Emily with hers. Emily was afraid. She had never gone into the deep side of the sea before, and her heart was racing as she looked down at the water.

‘Come on Emily! Follow me!’ Jessica jumped into the water, followed by Henry. Richard stayed on the boat, and waited for Emily to go in first.

Emily took one deep breath, put on her scuba mask, and dove in. Being under the water, with Jessica by her side, made her feel calm and safe. She knew nothing could go wrong. So she started moving her fins, going deeper, following the others. The coral reefs and the exotic fish were something like out of Emily’s dreams. It was surreal. It was also quiet, very quiet, Emily thought. With the millions of tiny air bubbles that rushed to the top every time she let out a breath, made her feel even more at peace. Hundreds of colorful fish swarmed around her, some swam for cover in the corals, pink spikey corals, blue flowery corals, green tree-like corals, and even purple rock-like corals that had unique designs on them, as if they were carved by a renaissance artist. Emily spotted a turtle floating nearby; as they drifted closer to each other she was able to feel its hard smooth shell. The turtle looked at Emily with no fear in its eyes, as if it accepted her completely, and welcomed her.

They were sitting on a blanket on a small island, drinking champagne that Henry brought and eating sandwiches that Richard prepared. Talking about the wonderful experience they all had while scuba diving, and sharing other adventurous stories. Richard and Henry had a lot to share. After their excitement died down, Jessica and Henry began to isolate themselves from Emily and Richard, like they were in their own world, alone. Jessica snuggled against Henry, and they were whispering in each other’s ears, laughing at whatever the other was saying, and having inappropriate tickle fights. Richard tried to make small talk with Emily, but mostly Emily tried to relax and enjoy the soft breeze and warm sun against her skin. Henry started feeding Jessica strawberries and Emily felt slightly nauseated, she suddenly wished she was back home, away from Jessica and her new play mate. Richard urged Emily to try the fruit, and she decided to have a chat with him to distract herself from the scene that was playing right beside her.

Henry didn’t pay much attention to Emily at all, she realized. He was only interested in Jessica, not that Emily minded, but if they were on a vacation together as a group, then he should at least acknowledge her existence, Emily thought. Henry barely even looked at her, even when she spoke. He was constantly staring at Jessica, trying to get her as close to him as possible and Jessica was playing the fool. Emily knew Jessica wasn’t normally like this, acting so fragile, and weak. Emily knew that Jessica was strong and never asked for help in anything, she was always so determined. As Emily observed her friends behavior, she figured out that this was the character Jessica played in order to fool men, otherwise she would have never gotten the invitation to come here.

Emily didn’t like this side of Jessica, she couldn’t understand it, but as a friend she accepted her. Emily decided that just because she didn’t like one side of her, she shouldn’t give up on her completely. So after a while of Jessica’s and henry’s inappropriate behavior, Emily squeezed herself in between them and tried to have a good time with everyone, most of all Jessica, because they came here together and she wanted to have fun in Maldives with her best friend.

After the picnic, they slowly started seeing less and less of each other. Three days had passed and Emily spent those days with Richard pleasantly. They swam and sunbathed during the day, and had pleasant dinners under the stars at night. On their last night on the island, Emily realized that she hadn’t seen Jessica in a while.

‘Richard, where is Jessica? I just realized I hadn’t seen her in three days,’

‘Don’t worry, my dear. I’m sure Henry and Jessica are enjoying their time together as much as we are enjoying ours. I wouldn’t worry about her. She is in good hands.’

‘Well, thank you Richard for everything. I had an amazing time. I really have no idea what I have done to deserve this.’

‘You are simply that kind of girl, Miss Emily.’ He held her hand and kissed her knuckles.

Emily was left standing at the doorway of her room, contemplating what he could have meant by “that kind of girl”. She enters her room and closes the door behind her, finds Jessica sitting on the floor packing her bag.

‘Hey, where have you been? I hadn’t seen you in like ever.’ Emily walks towards her closet and started packing her things too.

‘Never mind, let’s just pack our things and get the hell out of here.’ Without looking up, Jessica continues packing.

Emily felt uneasy with Jessica’s reply. She knows something must have gone wrong, but didn’t want to push her friend at the moment. She decides to ask her on the plane, where they will have time to talk.

The whole time during the packing, Jessica had been quiet, except for when she spoke, her words came fast, short, and sharp. Emily kept out of her way, until they boarded the plane and took off into the air.

Jessica was sitting by the window, looking out and away from Emily. Emily decides that now was the time to ask.

‘Jess, are you ok?’

‘I’m fine.’

It was very obvious to Emily that Jessica was not fine. So she tries again, making sure to be careful and consider her words before she speaks.

‘Jess, I know for a fact that you are not fine, please tell me. What happened? Did he do something to you?’

Jessica kept looking out the window, deliberately keeping her face away from Emily, answered calmly,

‘The jerk slapped me. I refused to do something he wanted, and he slapped me for it. It’s not a big deal, happens all the time. Can we drop it now, please?’

Emily didn’t know what to say. If it happens all the time, like Jessica claims, then why does she seem so miserable? Shouldn’t Jessica be used to it by now, Emily wondered. Instead of saying anything, Emily decides to drop it. She understands that Jessica is the kind of girl that needs to be alone in these kinds of situations. But still, Emily wants her friend to know that she was there for her, so she places her hand in Jessica’s and is pleased to feel Jessica squeeze Emily’s hand back. After a moment, Emily feels Jessica’s head on her shoulder and hears soft sobs. She let her cry for as long as she needs to.

Emily was heartbroken. If she had only known, she would have been there by Jessica’s side and protected her. But instead, she was, god knows where, enjoying her time with Richard. Emily knew she could not go back in time to prevent it. But she had hoped that that was a lesson for Jessica and she will never go off with strangers again. 

A week later, Emily is back working at the Corner café with Jasper, and secretly working on her homework under the counter.

‘So tell me more about that guy, whatever his name is. Do you think you will see him again?’ Jasper asked, while cleaning the dirty mugs.

‘I told you everything there is to say. And no, I don’t think I will see him again,’ said Emily.

‘Well where is Jessica? She didn’t come in here at all since you guys came back,’

‘Yea, I don’t know. After the plane landed, she just gave me a hug and we went our separate ways. I tried calling her a few times, but she didn’t pick up.’

‘Well are you sure she’s ok?’

 Emily hadn’t said anything to Jasper about what happened between Jessica and Henry. She felt like it was a bit too personal. Besides, Emily was sure that Jessica didn’t even tell her the whole story.  ‘I guess so,’ she replied. She was worried about her friend of course, but thought that Jessica was the kind of girl that needed to cope her own way, and just needs time for herself. “It happens all the time” Jessica’s voice echoed in Emily’s head. Exactly how many times had Jessica been beaten by men, Emily thought, feeling sick in the pit of her stomach. She couldn’t understand why Jessica would allow such things to happen. She could easily avoid them, but she chooses not to. Emily couldn’t understand Jessica but she hoped she was ok.

At that moment, Emily hears the tiny bell ring above the door, and looking up she sees Jessica walk in, looking fabulous as always. She walks up to the counter and lifts her left hand up, and revealing to Emily, a huge diamond ring on her ring finger.

‘Guess who is getting married?!’ shrieked Jessica with a huge grin.

Emily and Jasper were dumbfounded, as they stared at Jessica’s engagement ring. Emily’s mind didn’t seem to want to comprehend what her eyes were seeing. Her mind was racing, trying to figure out what happened in the past week that could transform Jessica into a woman who was just beaten, and crying on her friends shoulder on a plane, to an engaged lady.

‘Well don’t look at me like that with mouths wide open! Smile!’ Jessica said.

‘H-h-how…’ Emily managed to stutter.

‘Henry asked me to marry him a few hours ago! I am so happy I could scream! Well I did scream, but I want to scream again!’ she shrieked, and everyone at the coffee shop stared at her. Jessica, noticing all the stares, announced to all the strangers that she was getting married, and everybody clapped for her. Emily, shook her head, couldn’t believe what was happening.

‘And we are going to Paris for the honeymoon! Henry said we may even live there because he is starting a whole new company in Paris. Isn’t that fantastic?!’ Jessica hopped up and down. Emily felt sick.

‘I’ll talk to you soon Em. I have so much to do before the wedding. I will see you soon.’ Jessica gave Emily a big hug, a kiss on the cheek, and hurried out of the café. Emily stood with the lingering feeling that that may be the last time she would ever see her.

As Emily went back to work in a haze, she felt like she was about to puke her guts out, she contemplated several ideas, that perhaps she should have tried to contact Richard, maybe she needed to stop the wedding to save her friend, or maybe she needed to let Jessica live the life she had always wanted, of luxury and wealth. Perhaps Emily needed to be more like Jessica, and perhaps then she can go to Paris too and live in wealth and luxury, or maybe…

‘Em,’ Jaspers voice interrupted Emily’s wandering thoughts, ‘Table 7 is ready to order,’ Grabbing the little note pad, Emily rushed to table 7.


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