Friday, August 28, 2015

Chapter One - Adina

Adina Carroll stood on the roof of her parents Spanish style home and admired the view. Her parents had bought the house in Myrtle Beach just a block from the ocean the year they were married. Adina had grown up running the streets of Myrtle Beach with her friends, and ruling the eponymous beach itself during summer vacations with her two best friends. 

    Now, at nineteen, Adina found herself with a tough decision to make. Over the years she had often found herself on the flat roof of the three-story house, with its wrought iron railing and chaise lounges. Anytime she needed to be alone or make a life-changing decision, she found solace on the roof.  The evening streets of the town were dotted by the headlights and taillights of traffic and she watched them traveling back and forth on the main drag. Downtown was in full Friday Night Mode.

    Adina could hear the music spilling out of one of the night clubs two blocks away. Her two besties Charity and Jessica had invited her to go out dancing with them, but she’d declined, instead choosing to retreat to her favorite place to think about her future and what lay ahead. A brochure rested on the lounge next to her; a brightly colored pamphlet for the University of Santa Barbara in California. There were five smiling young adults on the cover, all from different backgrounds. See how culturally diverse we are? it screamed. Adina hid the pamphlet from her parents, knowing how they would react.

    “Oh, Adina,” her mother would say in that disappointed way she had.  “Why do you need to go all the way to California? You’re going to attend Coastal Carolina like your father and I did.”

    Her father would nod quietly, pipe hanging out of his mouth, blue smoke curling into the air.  Charles never disagreed with Lauren when it came to their daughter’s education. Lauren had clear cut ideas about the life her child would lead from the minute she discovered she was pregnant. Her entire life since then had revolved around Adina, and Adina’s future. Anytime her daughter did anything to upset those carefully laid plans, Lauren’s hackles would be up and a fight would break out.

    Adina sighed and stood up from the red cushioned lounge she was sitting on and walked to the four-foot iron railing that enclosed the roof, taking the brochure with her. There was a barbecue grill in one corner and an outdoor rug in the center of a seating arrangement. Occasionally the Carroll’s entertained up there, as their backyard was in the postage stamp style.  She opened the brochure again which outlined a course of study in art. Art was her real passion.  Adina’s bedroom walls were covered in her own original artwork and that of a long distance friend of her in Goleta Beach which wasn’t too far from Santa Barbara. 

    Her mother saw it as a hobby,  a pastime, and nothing more. Lauren had decided that Adina would study Marine Science since they were right on the ocean, and become a Marine Biologist. Nevermind the fact that Adina had shown exactly zero aptitude or interest in Marine Biology beyond the usual fascination most people have with marine mammals.

    Adina watched people walking in and out of the night clubs that lined the downtown streets and wondered about their lives. Did they have parents who were disappointed by the choices they made? What did they want for themselves? What were their hopes and dreams? She spotted one couple, two men, holding hands and walking into one of the more exclusive clubs as if they didn’t have a care in the world. She couldn’t see their faces from where she stood, but their walk was one of confidence, their strides matching one another as if they were in fact one being. 

    She wondered if she would ever have that for herself. It was a source of endless frustration to her that her mother never seemed to take her wishes, her hopes and dreams into consideration when making decisions about her future. Many an evening had ended in one or the other giving the silent treatment. Both had in their respective turns been the victim and the aggressor. Eventually as she got older, Adina decided it was easier to just let her mother thing she had won for the time being. She had no plans to go to Coastal Carolina, however, or even stay in Myrtle Beach while she went to college.

    Adina decided that it was time for her to spread her wings and get a taste of the real world. She was never going to get that in the Carroll household. Her parents hadn’t even let her go out of state with Charity and Jessica on Spring Breaks, instead taking her to various time shares they owned around the country. Spending Spring Break with her parents was not her idea of fun. It usually involved being left to her own devices at whatever resort they were staying at while her parents played golf with old friends and went to elegant restaurants at night.

    Decision made, Adina walked confidently down the stairs attached to the back of the house which served as both ingress and egress for the roof. The stairs stopped at two balconies on the back of the house which offered access to the second and third floors. Adina’s room was on the third floor, so she entered the house through the double doors and shut herself in her room with the
letter of acceptance for the Fall Semester at University of Santa Barbara. She would figure out how to deal with her parents later.

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