And now here's my story:
Heaven in Your Eyes
As the beautiful brunette got out of the steamy shower with her snow-white bathrobe, she walked over to her dresser to check over her plane ticket once again: Fernandez/Stacey, from Chicago IL to Tampa FL, Continental Airlines, 10:00. But this time, she noticed something which she didn’t see before.
“First class? What is mom thinkin’?” she said to herself. “Oh well……. I didn’t have to pay anything!” She slipped under the soft blankets on her bed and quickly fell as sleep, reminding herself that she’s got a big day ahead of her tomorrow.
She set her alarm clock to go off at 7:45am the night before. But it wasn’t the alarm clock that woke her up. The warm, soft kiss on her lips did. She thought that it was all just a dream, but then she slowly opened her eyes and found out who it was. She recognized the young man right away. How could she not? She dreams of him almost every single night.
“Oh Scott………” she mumbled.
“Hey Stacey baby, gotta wake up man. It’s eight-thirty! You’re suppose to be getting out of the door right now!!!!” Scott said.
Scott and Stacey are the perfect teenage couple. Though they’re only 16, they act like two mature adults, knowing what’s wise and what’s not. According to the teachers, Scott’s the perfect ‘team player’ and Stacey’s the ‘model student.’ Ever since her parents’ divorce, Scott’s been by her side whenever she needed him.
Mr. Fernandez treats Scott like he’s the son that he never had. He insisted Scott to call him by his first name, Dave. He’s even got his own set of keys to the Fernandezs’ that Dave gave him before Christmas. Scott and Stacey met 11 months ago during their sophmore year. Of course back then, they never thought that they’ll be in love with each other 11 months later. After a few glances of each other and short conversations, they became friends, but then later decided to be ‘more than friends.’ Stacey still remembers the first time he helped Scott to study for a major test. Though Scott had decent looks (dark hair which he trims often, soft brown eyes and a smile that would make your heart melt. At 5’10”, he’s tall enough for Stacey) she knew that he wasn’t the hottest guy on earth. But he’s just so nice and so unlike the other guys.
“It’s his personality mom! I’ve never liked a guy SO much because of his personality!” she always tells her mom on the phone, whom lives in a big house in Ruskin, Florida with her new husband. And Scott always flashes his memory back to the day that Stacey attended one of his basketball games for the first time.
He was the one who scored the winning basket for that game. He looked over to the bleachers and there she was. He will never forget that bright smile on her face when the basketball went through the rim. He thought that the smile could have light up a whole city. They’re both big basketball fans. Their first date? To a Chicago Bulls game of course. Though they were in nose-bleed sections, they had the greatest time.
“Oh my gosh I can’t believe I over slept! What am I gonna do? I still have to take a shower and everything!” Stacey said as she jumped out of her bed. She’s so mad at herself that she wanted to rip her hair out.
“Hey, take it easy man, just get changed and we’ll get outta here. You won’t miss your flight, I promise,” Scott reassured her. Stacey felt a bit better. Scott always makes her feel better no matter what. She got out of her room, brushed her teeth, washed her face, and came back finding Scott looking at her plane ticket.
“First class huh?” Stacey let out a huge sigh.
“Yeah. I mean, ever since my mom re-married to this guy Al, she’s been like this with me. She sent me a 24 karat gold ring on my birthday, got me a new laptop, and now a first class flight to Florida. I don’t know what’s going on with her. And you know my dad, I know how he’s feeling, poor guy. Seeing his ex-wife sending his daughter expensive gifts that he can’t give me himself. I kept on telling him that I chose to live with him and mom’s gifts won’t make me love her more or less and that I will always stay in Chicago. He’s afraid that I’ll never come back because it’s the first time that I visit my mom. I miss her like crazy, but I like Chicago better. Life is fast here, similar to New York. Florida would be nice, but I think it seems too ‘vacationish.’ ” Stacey talked a mile a minute while she’s getting ready. Scott sat on her un-made bed watching Stacey running around the room gathering her things together. Finally, Stacey put on some make-up.
Scott watched her as she slowly put on her rosy-shade lipstick. He’ll never forget that color. And he’ll never forget how by the end of the day, her cheeks will get naturally rosy and that it will match her lipstick perfectly. He was in love with her. She’s the girl that he’s been looking for, he told himself.
“You’ll never leave me right?” Scott suddenly asked. Stacey paused while she was applying her lipstick onto her upper lips. She looked at him in through the reflection of her heart-shaped mirror.
He looked hurt. “Florida is a place that lots of people would like to reside in. Personally I prefer Florida over Chicago. It’s so boring here. Why wouldn’t you want to stay down there? Your mom’s got a big house, got a loaded step-dad, probably lots of hot guys down there-------“
“Scott!” Stacey interrupted. “How could you say that? ” She turned around. Scott looked down at his feet, not wanting to look at her straight in the eyes. "Chicago is my home! I grew up here! You know I love big cities and fast-pace lives. And I love my dad! He needs my company! My mom re-married, so it's not like she's very desperate for me to go down there. And......." she paused.
"And...... you! You're the main reason why I would never, ever, ever leave Chicago," Stacey said as she walked over to Scott and gave him a quick peck on his forehead. "Promise you'll never leave?" "I promise."
A rush of warm breeze greeted Stacey as she stepped out of the Tampa International Airport. She immediately took of her Calvin Klein windbreaker. She definitely wasn’t expecting the weather to be this warm. She went over to the car rental counter. Her mom told her that she has reserved a car for her.
“Mom, I don’t need my own car! I’m only here for a few weeks,” she told her on the phone the other night. But her mom insisted. She kept on telling her that it’s very important that she has everything that she needs during her visit. “I just got my license. I mean, what if I crash?”
“Oh, I’m sure you won’t. Your dad said that you’re born to be a driver. Don’t worry Stace. And besides, me and Al will have to meet some clients that day so we won’t be able to pick you up at the airport that day. You’ll have to find your way to our house. Will you be alright Stace?”
“Yeah mom, sure, no problem,” she told her.
From what she’s seen so far, Tampa is such a beautiful place to live in. She’ll have to pay extra close attention while she’s driving or else she will crash. She told herself that she’ll save the site seeing for later.
“Mom and Al will bring me to look around, I’m sure…..” she thought.
“Hi, can I help you?” the guy behind the counter asked. Stacey read his name tag: Mike.
“Hi, I’m Stacey Fernandez. My mother reserved a car for me?” she replied.
“Fernandez?” he asked. Stacey nodded. “Just hang on a minute,” he said with a welcoming smile. Stacey stood behind the counter and looked around the airport. She has observed that the people seem more relaxed here. People in Chicago would be rushing here and there at places like international airports. But here in Tampa, it’s a different story. She’s starting to wonder if life is too slow here in Florida for her.
Mike came back with a set of keys and some papers in his hands. He told her to sign a few spots on the papers, then handed her the keys. “Just go out of the sliding doors, turn left, walk straight and you’ll see a parking lot that’s full of cars of our company. Your convertible will be in aisle number six. The license plate number is on the key chain here. Enjoy! Have a nice day,” he said. Stacey got a bit confused.
“Wait a minute, I didn’t asked for a convertible,” she asked.
“Oh, but on the papers it said that a convertible is what you asked for. From the looks of it, your mother must have requested a convertible for ya,” he explained.
“Oh, I see. Alright thanks. Later,” Stacey walked away from the counter, feeling dazed and confused. The thought of herself driving a convertible is making her feel like a super star. She suddenly got excited over the thought of that. She quickly picked up her duffle bag and walked pass the sliding doors. She felt even warmer now because of the weather. She can’t wait to change into something lighter. She’s wearing dark pants and two-inch-heel sandals, which makes her look even taller. She’s starting to sweat. “Aisle one, two, three, four, five, six……..” she counted to herself while she passed the aisles. She turned, and it didn’t even take her more than a second to see which car is the one she’s looking for. It stood out from its surrounding vehicles. Her mom has chosen a white Corvette for her. Of course Carol will always remember her only child’s favorite color. She’ll do anything to please her daughter.
Stacey put her bag in the back seat and sat in the driver’s seat. The top of the car has already been lowered for her. She took out her sunglasses out of her purse and put them over her large brown eyes. She put the keys into the key hole, but didn’t turn it to start the car. She looked over to the empty leather seat next to her. “If only Scott’s here too,” she thought. The expression on his face when he let go of Stacey’s hand back in the terminal in Chicago represented many words. Worry, sad, hurt, love……. Scott looked like as if that was going to be the last time he’ll see his love. Stacey will never forget that expression he wore. “I promises, Scott. I promise,” she whispered as a few drops of tears spilt out of her eyes. She wiped them away and took out the road atlas from her bag to look for highway #41, which leads her to Ruskin, her home for the next three weeks.
Her mom’s neighborhood wasn’t all that hard to find. Stacey remembered her mom telling her that the house is near a little lake, and there’s only a couple of houses near it. One of them is hers.
It didn’t take her that long to figure out which house she’s looking for. She passed by the first one. She’s got to admit that it’s one of the nicest houses she’s ever seen. The house is like a bungalow, but she’s not sure if there is more than two levels in that house. With palm trees surrounding it, the estate looks like paradise. She drove along the road which circles around the lake. She now has a perfect view of the back of that house, and saw a few kids swimming in their private pool. There were about four kids, maybe five. A couple of them looked like they’re about eight years old. There’s a girl who’s maybe just a little bit younger than Stacey. And there’s this guy……. how old is he, maybe 15? Sixteen? Stacey wasn’t sure. She’s too far away. But she can tell for sure that they all belong in the same family. All of their blond hair reflected off the strong sun light.
“What a happy family,” she said to herself.
Knowing that house obviously isn’t the one she’s looking for, she drove further down the road and came closer and closer to a house that’s similar looking to the other one. But this one is white instead of brown, and at the back of the house, it has a deck that leads to the shoreline of the little lake instead of a swimming pool. She pulled onto the long drive way and parked her car in front of the garages. She got out of the car, took off her sunglasses and stared at the beautiful house in front of her. She’s going to have a nice time in Florida. She suddenly had the urge to stay here forever, but remembered about Chicago, her dad back home, Scott, and the promise she made.
She walked towards the front door of the house and opened it (the neighborhood is so safe that her mom left the door unlock for Stacey.) A big banner hung across the doorway that leads to the dining area and the kitchen: Welcome to Ruskin, Stacey!! Love Mom and Al. She smiled at the friendly welcome. She noticed that there’s an envelope on the ground with her name written on it of her mom’s hand writing. She picked it up, tore the envelope open and read it:
Hi sweetie! Obviously if you’re reading this letter, you’ve found your way here safely. Welcome to Ruskin Stacey! Al and I are really glad that you have decided to come join us for part of the summer. We’re both really excited about all the quality time we are able to spend together, which might not be a lot because of Al’s job. He’s probably going to be in Europe most of the time while you’re here and Al just wants to apologize in advance for that. He hopes that you can forgive him for that and would like to make it up to you by giving you anything that you may need.
We'll be home by tomorrow in early afternoon, if not sooner. There's food in the fridge, or if you want, you can drive around and look for a place to eat or something, or order pizza delivery. Your room is the first one to your right once you're upstairs, the one with the light blue walls. Sleep tight! We love you.
Love, Mom (and Al)
P.S. Oh yes, your dad mentioned that you baby-sit back in Chicago. Well, that's great because the Carters' (they live across from the lake) needs a baby sitter tomorrow in the morning. If you don't think you're going to be tired tomorrow, you can call them at 555-XXXX to see if they're still looking for a baby-sitter for tomorrow. Mrs. Carter told me a couple of days ago that they couldn't get a hold of their baby-sitters because they all went on vacation. I told her that maybe you'd like to help. They're a really nice family with great kids. Supposedly the girl who's a bit younger than you have an interview with a modelling angency and Mrs. Carter had to take her. Anyways, don't worry about it if you can't do it. It's no big deal. Long P.S. huh? : )
Al is trying very hard to impress Stacey in every way he could. Giving her anything that she needs...... But Stacey isn't the kind that would go after money. So obviously, Stacey won't ask for anything unnecessary. "I'll ask him if he can send some courtside seats to a Bulls game one day," she laughed at her own joke. She thought about the Carters'. She can probably help them out. She's not that tired. And she probably won't be going anywhere tomorrow and could use some extra cash. She decided to take a stroll around the neighborhood and stop by at the Carters' on her way back. It's such a beautiful day outside and it's only 2:47 p.m.. She sighed. "It's going to be a long day." She walked around the first story of her new 'home.' She walked beneath the doorway of which the banner hung from, and came into the dining area with double French doors that gets you on the deck and lead you to the lake. To the dining area's right is the huge, bright kitchen with the biggest fridge she's ever seen. Stacey loves food. And she's able to maintain her perfect figure by playing basketball all the time.
She suddenly got curious of knowing what her rooms looks like. She ran upstairs and turned right and found herself in a the room that she's been dreaming of all her life: a queen-size water bed that's placed against the wall on her left with two bedside tables with lamps on each side of the bed. There's a mini home theatre across from the bed with a huge screen T.V. along with a CD player beside it. The room's brightly lit, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling window that takes up a whole side of her room. It's even got a patio. The curtains are see-through white. But there's still part of the room that she hasn't seen. She turned to her left and discovered two steps of stairs that leads her to a seating area of the room, which is occupied with a gorgeous, black shiny grand piano with studio-style lights shining on top of it. "Oh my......." Stacey whispered. She's breathless. She loves to play the piano and have been playing for almost 10 years. The piano is Yamaha. Yamaha pianos aren't cheap. Now she has a better idea on how rich her step-dad really is. She ran her fingers on top of the keys. The sound was so pure and beautiful. She began to unpack. She didn't bring much stuff over from Chicago, so obviously, her belongings won't take up much room of the walk-in closet near the bed. She changed into a white skirt with a pastel blue tank-top. She pulled her hair up into a messy-but-doable bun, which showed off her natural highlights. She's now ready to go.
She walked out of the house and started to feel hot once again. She walked along the road which led her to her house and once again passed by the Carters' house. The kids are now inside, but the house still looks very much lively. She walked pass the house and onto another street. The houses are more closer together on the other streets. Or maybe the Carters' and Stacey's house is just a bit too far a part. But other than that, the houses look basically the same. A lot of them are a bit smaller than hers, some of them even smaller than that. She decided to head back after 15 minutes because she didn't think that there's anymore to see in this area. And because the weather seems to be torturing her more and more. But every now and then, cool breezes would blow her way to cool her down a bit.
She got to the Carters' drive way, which is long like hers, and started to walk towards the house. The house seems more and more homey as she walks closer and closer to it. Somehow, this house seems so different. Maybe it's because more people live in it, but she's not sure. She rang the doorbell. For some reason, her hand was shaking as she did that. She's not sure why. It's like as if she's doing something that would change her life forever. After a few moments, faintly she hears very soft footsteps walking in the house towards the door. She's starting to feel nervous. But that feeling went away as soon as the adorable little girl opened the door slightly.
"Who is it?" she said shyly.
"I'm your, uh..... neighbor and I came to talk to your mom. Is she available right now?" Stacey said in a soft, friendly tone. "She's so adorable!" she thought.
"Yes. Come in," she opened the door a bit more, just enough for Stacey to squeeze in. "I'll get her. Hold on," she said with a smile that matched her shy voice. She went disappearing up the stairs and she's out of Stacey's sight as she turned around the corner up the stairs. Then at that moment, she heard a cheer from upstairs.
"YES!!!!!!!" a little kid's voice cried.
"Oh, big deal. You beat me one time out of a hundred," an older voice replied. As she heard that, a middle aged women came running down the stairs with the little girl closely behind her. She had wavy shoulder-length blond hair. She had the perfect tan and she was really pretty. "It must be Mrs. Carter," Stacey thought.
"Hi, can I help you?" she said with a gentle voice.
"Hi, Mrs. Carter. I'm Stacey Fernandez," she said as she reached out her hand for a hand shake. "I'm Carol Davis's daughter from Chicago."
"Oh! Yes, that's right! Hi! Nice to meet you! And Jane would do, please. Wow, so when did you come here to Ruskin?" Jane asked.
"Oh, I just got here today. My mom left a note and she said that you were looking for a baby-sitter for tomorrow so I thought that I'd drop by and see if you need my help."
"Oh please. All the baby-sitters went on vacation as soon as school's over and I couldn't find anybody else. I don't want to hire somebody that I hardly know. But since you're Carol's daughter, I trust you. She's been really helpful, especially when things important came up suddenly. So would you like to take the job?"
"Sure, no problem! I won't be going anywhere tomorrow anyways," Stacey smiled. "So what time will I need to be here?"
"At 10:30 a.m. preferably. But don't worry if you're going to be a bit late. My son will be here too. He just came back from Europe, but I didn't ask him to look after his brother and sisters. I want him to rest. He's really exhausted from touring Europe so I want him to rest as much as possible now that he's home for awhile." As she said that, another cheer sounded. Except this time, it is by the older voice. "Don't mind him, he's just excited," Jane said as she shakes her head. She continues, "He's so into those video games of his. He's never too exhausted for those." Stacey laughed politely, but confused at the same time over the things that Jane have just told her: "...... son will be here too......... just came back from touring Europe.........."
"Did she mean sight-seeing in Europe? As in a trip?" she asked herself in her mind. She decided that it must be what Jane have meant. So she didn't question about it. She didn't want to be rude.
"Okay, so I'll see you tomorrow! And it was really nice meeting you," Stacey said to Jane.
"It was nice to meet you too Stacey. Oh yeah, tomorrow's going to be even hotter, so if you want to, you can bring your swim suit over to swim with the kids. I'm sure that they'll spend most of the afternoon in the pool and I just want to say that you'll be welcome to join them. But you don't have to if you don't want to," Jane told Stacey.
"Okay, I'll think about it! Thanks for telling me. It's so hot down here in Florida," Stacey replied.
"Don't worry, you'll get used to it," Jane said. Stacey nodded. Before she turned around to open the door to leave, she kneeled down on her knees so her eyes are the same level as the little girl.
"And what's your name?" Stacey asked her with a smile.
"Angel," she replied softly.
"Hi Angel! Nice to meet you!" Stacey said as she shook her little hand. Angel smiled. She said good bye to Jane and Angel once again and headed out the door. Jane and Angel watched as Stacey walked away from their house towards hers. Angel reached for her mother's hand and held it.
"Mommy, I like Stacey," she said.
"Yes, me too. Very much," Jane told Angel. And she wonders if her 16-year-old son would like her too, and maybe even love her.