The Boy Issue Part 2


Morning came far too soon for Em and Kiki, who had gone to bed in the early hours of the morning. Too hungry to wait her turn to shower and dress, Em bolted down for breakfast in her PJ’s.
Rounding the corner to the patio table she saw that Chris was already sitting at the table talking with her cousins. Suppressing a much-needed eye roll and groan she thought, like I really needed to see him first thing in the morning. She walked over to the buffet table and chose to ignore him.

“Morning sleepyhead,” Gi greeted Em.
“Love the outfit!” Soph added, supressing a giggle.
“Morning!” Em replied, genuinely happy to see her cousins, “And thanks Soph, maybe I could lend it to you to take to boarding school.” Em retorted, biting a slice of butter soft bread roll and watching her cousin’s face change from shock-horror to heaven-forbid. Em laughed imagining Soph parading at the elite boarding school in her yellow minion pyjamas.
The girls at the table burst out laughing, each suggesting how Soph could accessorise and glamourize the look.
“Where’s Kik’s?” Ez asked, pouring everyone some popular jugo de fruit.
“She’s showering,” Em answered, “she’ll be down soon.”
“Goodness, what time did she go to bed? She’s usually one of the first ones up!” Sylv exclaimed, buttering a little hot bread roll.

Em opened her mouth to say something but Chris beat her to it, “It was my fault. I forgot the time to bring her home last night. I was distracted by her beauty!” He laughed good-naturedly. The cousins sighed and Em choked.

“We lost track of time at the market – I apologise.” He finished in his smooth voice.
“Oh, that’s ok, did you guys have fun?” Soph asked – all googly-eyed.
“Very much, thank you Sofia.” Chris smiled, showing his perfectly white teeth.

Soph giggled, delighting in the sight.
“So, Chris,” Em began with a smile that was anything but genuine (her cousins knew it well), “do you have any brothers or sisters?”
“Do you have parents? What do they do? Do they live here in Barcelona or somewhere else? Are they coming to the wedding?”
“Em! Stop interrogating Chris,” Gi said, slapping her arm, “you’re making him uncomfortable.”
Chris sat up straighter, “No, no it is OK. Sadly no, my parents are in Paris for their anniversary, so no wedding. And my father owns some property.”

Em opened her mouth but Chris suddenly grinned at someone behind her and stood up. Em turned around to see Kiki walking towards them with a wide grin of her own.

“Te vez preciosa!” He whispered, giving Kiki a quick kiss on the cheek.

Kiki giggled, “I hope that means something nice!”

“It does,” Ez piped up, playing with her unruly curls, “it means you look beautiful!”

“Oh, thank you señor.” Kiki gushed, pulling him by the hand.  She suddenly stopped when she turned and saw her cousins Soph and Gi!

“Gi! Soph! It’s sooo good to see you!” She ran around the table to hug her cousins. “How was the trip?” She asked as she sat down in the chair Chris had pulled out for her, and began on the fruit salad he had brought her.

“First class, literally!” Gi squealed excitedly.

“Daddy spoiled us,” Soph began and took another sip of juice. “The whole trip was…” suddenly she stopped mid-sentence, “oh, which reminds me, Daddy sends his love and so does Aunty Yasmin and Uncle Cameron. They miss you guys like crazy. Josh and Mick said to make sure you buy them cool souvenirs, and…” Soph paused while she tried to remember anything else.

The twins giggled, “Of course they would!” They exclaimed in unison.

“Josh and Mick are our brothers,” Kiki began explaining to Chris, “Josh is our triplet and Mick is older…”

Chris grabbed her arm, “I know, mi amor, you told me yesterday.”

The cousins looked at each other in shock – mi amor? Ez mouthed, “my love?” Since when was their relationship so serious?

Em rolled her eyes and looked ready to lose it. Soph interrupted before anything nasty could happen.

“Oh yes, also…” Soph continued, looking a little sheepish and talking faster than usual, “Pastor Wilson wanted me to pass on his thanks and appreciation for accepting the church fundraiser department this year. Did I tell you the plane food was amaz…”

“Hold up! The what?!” Ez interrupted.

“Thank us?” Sylv questioned.

“Fundraiser?” The twins chorused.

“What did you do Soph?” Gi asked between tightened teeth.

All eyes bored into Soph, clearly demanding an explanation!

“Well, it’s just that… just before coming, Pastor Wilson asked if I’d like to be in charge of the fundraising department… and…” she swallowed, “well I couldn’t say no. How can you possibly say no to a pastor?”

“Soph,” Sylv began softly, “we’re happy for you, we know you like to help but why is he thanking us?”

Soph bit her bottom lip and continued, “Well…” she exhaled, “when I accepted it was all OK, but then he rang me and gave me the names of the other fundraiser team members he was thinking of asking. And well, they are all old and living at the retirement village, literally!” Soph looked at her cousins who clearly needed more explanation, “I asked him if he was OK with me picking my own team and he asked who, and I said that I had already asked my cousins who loved the idea!” Soph looked up with guilt written all over her face.

“Sorry! Please forgive me!”

“Soph how could you do this to us?” Gi began, adjusting her glasses, “They have to do at least two or three fundraisers a year!”

“Four actually.” Soph corrected.

“Four!!” The girls clamoured in unison – each giving their reasons why they couldn’t help her. Words and voices tumbled over each other into a pile of noise.

“Guys, please!” Soph pleaded.

“I’m in my final year of school Soph!” Ez exploded, “Plus I have to hand in an entry assessment to see if I can get the scholarship for the Music Institute.” Just thinking about it reminded her of the pressure she had ahead of her. “If I don’t get in I have to do Mum’s alternative! And can you see me in a suit?” She tossed her wild long curls and crossed her arms – fire burning through her body.

Sylv reached out and patted her arm. Ez tried to smile – it really wasn’t Sylv’s fault.

“Soph, I’m in the youth department already,” Kiki began, “that’s a lot of work to do each week.”

“Well…” Em began, “I’m actually OK with it come to think of it, and I’m not really that busy at church – I’m just in the welcoming committee.”

The girls nodded knowingly. They knew how desperately Em had wanted to be in the social activities department.

Soph wrung her hands nervously – looking particularly at Ez, “I’m really sorry guys, I should have asked you first, but there was no time and besides the purpose of the fundraiser is really cool!”

“Really?” Em sat up straighter, “What is it for?”

“It’s for a women’s’ and children’s’ shelter that our church is building for the community.”

The girls gasped! Soph was good, and she knew how strongly they felt about that issue. Of course they would help!

“Count me in!” Sylv put her hand up. She was passionate about working with kids. “Even if the kids’ class keeps me a little busy, I can manage. Besides, it would be nice to do something useful!” Sylv looked a little sad. The rest of the cousins all looked at each other, knowing how she was always comparing herself to her famous family.

“No way Sylv, you’re amazing!!” Ez said.

“Count me in,” Gi added, “maybe the drama team can help with the fundraiser! We could join forces! You too Kiki – your youth department could also join in with the fundraiser and then you’re killing two birds with one stone, what do you think?”

“I guess,” she began slowly, “it is for a good cause and I can combine the depart…”

“Yes!!” Gi said, going to hug Kiki and Emily.

All eyes were now on Ez, who felt a little ambushed but couldn’t see herself making such a big commitment “It’s just that…”

“You know Ezi,” Kiki began, “wouldn’t it be impressive if with your entry assessment you handed in a resume of accomplishments that said you helped with a great charitable cause?” She could see Ez weakening.

“Besides, we could do a concert as part of our fundraiser and you can be the main singer. Imagine the exposure you will get performing for the whole of Charlotte Bay! Everyone will soon know Ez!” Emily added dramatically.

“Yeah, who knows, this might create the band you’ve always dreamed of.” Gi said, winking at Emily.

Ez lifted her hands in exasperation, “I give up!! Alright, you win, but if I fail my entry assessment I’ll blame you all!”

Soph clapped excitedly, “Just think of us cousins working together! It will be brilliant!”

 The girls’ chatter and laughter brought Uncle Alex outside.

“I’m so glad to see you all awake and happy,” he said, with a slight laugh as he looked at Emily’s attire, “I have special news.”

 “Are we going shopping?” Soph asked hopefully.

“To the markets?” Sylv asked.

“Visiting a chocolate and sweet pastry bake-house?” Emily concluded, as Uncle Alex threw his hands up in defeat.

“Girls! Girls! Por favor, let me finish,” he laughed, “as you know the wedding is only five days away and the venue is a little far to make it the day before, so,” he paused dramatically, looking at each girl.

“Daddy!” Ez said impatiently.

“So, the wedding party will be leaving a little after midday today to stay at the beautiful winery estate in Oller del Masa Villa!”

At that news the girls jumped up squealing and hugged Uncle Alex.

“I’m off to shower!” Emily bolted indoors.

“I have to pack”, Ez and Sylv said in unison.

“We haven’t unpacked!” Soph said laughingly as she looked at Gi, “We’re free!”

The chaos of those few hours went by in a blur and soon the girls were stuffing their luggage and bags in the four-wheel drive. All except Kiki, who was putting her things into Chris’ car. They were going to his apartment to pick up some of his things and then drive to the villa from there. Not too happy about that arrangement Em decided she would go with them. Yes that was it, after all three’s a crowd, right? Grabbing her satchel out from the four-wheel drive, Emily headed to Chris and Kiki, but with a screech of tires and a whirlwind of dust, Chris was off! Em’s mouth hung wide open. Oh, no he didn’t! Did he? Chris looked at her from the rear-view mirror and waved goodbye. Em shook her head and said a little prayer in her mind for her sister; this was not good, not good at all.

Kiki gasped, looked out the car window then turned to Chris, “Hey, where are you going? Em is coming with us!” She said feeling a little angry.

Chris looked over at Kiki confused, “What do you mean?” He frowned.

“Emily was supposed to come with us and you just drove off!” Kiki exclaimed, leaning over and looking out the side mirror at the little dot that was her sister.

Chris laughed.

“I don’t think it’s funny!” Kiki glared.

“No, no mi amor. It’s not funny.” He glanced at her and sighed, “Emily said something about planning an event for a pastor.” He put the indicator on to turned left and continued talking. “She said she had to plan with Sophia and needed to go with them or something like that.”

“Oh.” Kiki managed to say feeling confused. Em hadn’t told her anything. It’s true that Em didn’t like Chris, but, she was sure that if there were any change of plans Emily would have told her. She had also insisted that she wanted to go with them.

Kiki glanced at Chris with a creased brow, would he lie to her? Chris caught her looking at him, he leaned over grabbed her hand and gave it a light kiss. Kiki drew in a sharp breath and melted; Chris wouldn’t lie, there was absolutely no reason. Plus, Em was really excited about the fundraiser and knowing Em, she would be already writing every detail in notes on her iPhone.

“I love this song.” Chris said turning the volume up, he began singing along to the music. Kiki exhaled, leaned into her leather seat and began to relax as she listened to the Spanish music. It sounded so smooth and romantic, well at least the tune did, but she had no idea what the lyrics meant.

The happy sound of the music was rudely interrupted by the sudden beep of Chris blaring his horn at the driver that had cut them off. A string of angry words followed along with strange hand gestures. Kiki’s eyes widen, she didn’t know Spanish but she could tell that Chris was swearing.

“Imbecile!” Chris finished in English and he beeped again swerving angrily past the little blue car. “They cause accidents like that!” He kept on muttering under his breath in Spanish, his handsome face distorted.

Kiki swallowed, she’d never seen Chris angry before and she’d never heard him swear or think he’d use rude hand gestures.

Is he even a Christian? She heard Emily’s voice echo in her mind. 

Kiki took a deep breath, “So Chris,” She began trying to act natural, “what church do you attend?”

Chris didn’t answer straight away, he kept his eyes focused intently on the road. Finally he spoke, “I believe that church can be restricting,” He stopped at a red light and looked at Kiki, “The universe wants us to do good and be good to everything and everyone. I don’t oppose to any beliefs.” 

“Oh, that’s nice,” Kiki answered slowly, not sure she really liked the answer.

“We must be open minded, si?” Chris asked flashing a handsome smile.

Kiki nodded feeling awkward, “Si.” She whispered.

Lost in thought Kiki didn’t even realise when they pulled up next to a medium sized apartment building overlooking the river.

“We’re here Katherine.” Chris hoped off the car and ran to her side to open her door.

“Oh? Oh, that’s right your… your apartment.” she took his offered hand and followed Chris inside. She was feeling uncomfortable and a little nervous, maybe she should wait in the car. Her parents would ground her for life if they knew she was in a guys apartment, alone!

She hesitated at the front door and reluctantly went in – her stomach doing funny little summersaults.

“Make yourself at home and have something to eat or drink if you like,” he said throwing his keys across the counter and gesturing towards the fridge. “I’m going to have quick shower.” He disappeared into what she assumed was his bedroom.

“Um thanks.” Kiki answered looking around. He didn’t have much in the apartment and he seemed clean. There were no rude posters or magazines anywhere. Maybe he was a nice guy after all! She smiled and shook her head, she had over reacted before and she felt silly.  Feeling more relaxed Kiki walked over to the fridge to get a drink of water.

Opening the fridge Kiki was surprised to find a few bottles of wine! She didn’t drink, she’d assumed he didn’t either. Closing the door quickly she decided to watch something.

Heading to the living room, she started to flip through the channels but she didn’t understand anything so she just turned it off.

Standing up not knowing what to do she went in search of her phone. Maybe if she texted Em she’d feel better. 

What? Her phone was dead!? But she always charged her phone. Remembering the night before, she realised she’d gone straight to bed after getting home late with Chris and then she’d talked to Em and completely forgotten to charge her phone.

“Oh great!” she muttered. 

“Is everything alright Catherine?” She heard Chris ask.

She turned around and opened her mouth to speak but her words stuck in her throat as she saw Chris standing there shirtless and wearing just pants. Her eyes ran along his body and she swallowed a few times. Her face burnt with shame.

Seeing how uncomfortable she was Chris laughed, “Don’t be shy mi amor. Its just that I’m very confused.” He ran his hand along her arm. Her skin prickled.

“I have three suits for the wedding but I’m not sure which would be appropriate. Could you help me?” His caramel eyes soften as he looked at her.

 “I uh umm….” Kiki mumbled feeling out of control. Why was a shirtless guy make her feel so clumsy. She felt silly. After all she was 17!

“Thank you mi amor.” He smiled and moved towards his room gesturing for her to follow.

Kiki stood at the door not daring to go in further.

“See I have this pinstripe, dark navy or midnight black suit but…” he shrugged pointing into his wardrobe.

Kiki couldn’t see from where she stood, slowly she inched herself closer to the open doors of the wardrobe.

Oh, he smells good. Kiki thought to herself as she came close to him. She shook her head. Stop it.

She bit her bottom lip, “I think the dark navy is actually really nice and the colour is deep and rich and……”

Kiki stopped mid-sentence as she felt Chris move very, very close behind her.

Feeling flustered she tried to move to the side but that only made her bump into him.

Grabbing both her hands, Chris smiled sweetly “Gracias.” His voice deepen. “Eres linda y encantadora.” He leaned down and kissed her.

Kiki gasped, she wanted to fight him but she couldn’t. Fire rushed through her body and her knees weakened.

Chris pulled her closer as she unclenched her fist letting them rest on his bare chest. She couldn’t breathe, she couldn’t think. Her head felt heavy and foggy. She leaned closer to Chris starting to sink in the moment.

Chris kisses got more demanding and his hands hand moved away from her hands and onto other areas of her body.

Kiki stiffen. She felt strange and sudden fear took over. This did not feel right!

She broke away from his kiss and started to push him away. Chris arms tightened not wanting to let her go.

“Chris stop!” She cried pushing him away with all her might.

“What is the problem Katherine?” He pulled back confusion on his face.

“I…..I can’t  do this, it doesn’t feel right.” Kiki said feeling very nervous and vulnerable. She crossed her arms tightly across her chest.

“Katherine…”Chris’s whispered as he reached for a strand of her hair, his voice smooth and inviting. “This is amor.” He whispered leaning towards her again.

Love? Kiki frowned. Wasn’t love suppose to feel safe and beautiful? This didn’t feel any of those things.

“ I don’t feel safe and I don’t want to do this!” She said walking out of his room.

Chris followed close behind, “This? You call it this? This is called love!” He snarled.

Kiki’s eyes widen and her mouth went dry.

In a few strides, he was at the fridge. He took an open bottle of wine and showed her, “You’re nervous mi amor. Here.” He grabbed a glass and poured red liquid into it. “This will make you relax.” He extended the glass to her.

“I don’t drink.” Kiki turned her face away.

Chris’s slammed the wine bottle on the counter, “You don’t know what you’re missing Katherine.” He moved towards her.

Kiki stepped back not knowing what to expect. The romantic dream was suddenly turning into a nightmare.

Chris stood inches from her face, his eyes bore into her.

Kiki looked away.

“You flirt with me and you lead me on and now you don’t want me?” He growled.

Kiki swallowed, “We should leave now.” She manage to say calmly, although inside she was screaming.

“We don’t have to leave today Katherine, we can leave in the morning.” Chris grabbed her arm and pulled her towards him, kissing her again.

“Stop! Chris stop!” Kiki’s anger exploded and she slapped him across the face. The hollow sound echoed in the apartment and he froze.

The eyes that had made her melt a few days ago now terrified her. Fury and other emotions flashed through them.

Kiki took a step back, her heart hammering in her chest, “I want to go.” She mumbled.

Chris eyes flickered as he snapped out of shock of the slap, “How dare you slap me!” He shouted breaking into Spanish before continuing in English.

“What is wrong with you?” Chris shouted as he touched his red cheek “You come out with me, stay out late with me, you accept my expensive gift and now you’re saying no? What did you think all that meant?” He scowled.

Kiki blushed and mumbled something unintelligent. She felt humiliated, pathetic, scared and angry. What could she say? He was right. She had flirted with him and enjoyed his company. She felt stupid. Hot fat tears rolled down her cheek.

 “Deja de llorar!” He fumed as he stormed to the kitchen, grabbed the open wine bottle and gulped it down.

Kiki sniffed, she knew llorar meant cry.

He’d only wanted one thing and she’d been dumb enough not to see it. Emily had been right after all. Kiki shook her head ashamed. All she wanted to do was disappear and go back home.

“Vamos, we’re leaving.” She heard Chris’s voice demand behind her. She’d never heard that tone before. She stared as he rushed towards the front door carrying an overnight bag.

“I’m not getting in a car with you, you’ve been drinking!” She stated flatly.

Chris irritation only grew; he stopped at the door and turned to her, “Walk then, I don’t care.” He mumbled more words in Spanish. He stopped and pointed to her, “Get out of my apartment and find an uber.”

Kiki’s gaped – her mind spinning.

She followed him out and watched as he stuffed his overnight bag in the boot.

He walked to the driver’s door, paused and looked up at her, “Did you grow up and will get in the car?”

Kiki shook her head. There was no way she would get in the car with a guy that had been drinking.

“Suit yourself!” Chris seethed. He made his way to the boot again, took out her luggage and proceeded to throw it at her feet. Then getting into his car he roared down the road and disappeared. 

That did it, Kiki couldn’t hold it anymore and sobs broke through the body. She flopped on the grass near her luggage and cried. Why had she been so stupid? She felt dirty, used and alone.

She had no phone and there was no way she could get in touch with her cousins. She was trapped and all alone in a foreign country.

Not knowing what else to do she remembered God. She closed her eyes briefly and did a quick prayer for what seemed like the first time in the week since she’d met Chris. 

“Oh God please help me.” She sobbed; she didn’t know what else to say. Would God even listen to her now?

 She cleared her throat, “I know I’ve made a mess and I’m so, so sorry I’ve pushed you away…..but please, please help me.”


Lifting up her head Kiki almost felt like crying again! It was her twin and her cousins! But how? 

“Oh thank you God!” She whispered as she ran and hugged her sister, while she cried. The cousins came behind and all did a group hug.

“What happened?”

“Where is he?”

“Why are you crying?”

“I’ll kill him”

“Did he hurt you?”

Kiki could only laugh and cry some more at all the questions and concern. Oh, how she loved her family and oh how she loved God.

“I’m ok,” She began through sniffles, “But how are you here? How did you know?”

“Well,” Emily began, “I was really worried and angry when that sleeze bag didn’t wait for me.” Emily said with venom in her voice. “And I completely freaked out when you didn’t pick up your phone!”

“My phone’s flat….wait, what?” Kiki stared at her sister, “so you didn’t tell Chris that you wanted to go with Soph to plan the fundraiser?” Kiki asked feeling more betrayed and sick.

“No way!” Emily said giving Kiki another hug.

“We all got really worried.” Silver said as she too got tears in her eyes.

Sweet Silver, always the sweetest one of the bunch. 

“It’s ok Silv,” Ezy, said giving her a hug “she with us and she’s safe. 

Kiki genuinely smiled for the first time that day. Ezy was always protective of her youngest cousin and had always said Silver was the little sister she wished she had.

“Come on, I know where we are and there’s a little place by the water we can sit, chat and snack if anyone’s hungry.” Ezy said. Everyone looked at Em with the snack remark and laughed.

“Oh come on,” Em said grabbing Kiki by the arm while Giselle and Sophie took Kiki’s luggage, “You know I eat when I’m stressed!”

“Yeah, and happy, sad, depressed, angry and excited.” Giselle said as they all laughed and headed to the jeep.

That night, at the villa, the girls decided to eat dinner with Kiki and Em in their room, they didn’t want anyone to find out what happened and Kiki wasn’t ready to see Chris just yet. Finally when everyone had gone to bed, Kiki and Emily stayed up chatting.

“Kik’s we were all so worried.” Emily sat up straighter. “You know, I felt something and I knew we had to find where that rat had taken you. It was like God was telling us to go get you.” Emily’s voice broke and Kiki could see the her anger fade and change to worry.

“I’m so sorry Em, I should have listened but I was living a fairy tale.” Kiki played with the string of her pyjama top. “I just couldn’t believe that a handsome guy older guy was paying attention to me. I felt beautiful for the first time and I felt important and unique.”

Emily took a deep breath and nodded, “I know, I’m sorry too. I didn’t want you to get hurt ever and I even wondered if maybe I was jealous like the girls said. But I wasn’t.”

“I know,” Kiki said. “But Em you can’t tell mum or dad, not even the boys they’d have a fit and I would so be grounded.”

Emily looked at Kiki, “It’s not my story to tell Kik’s its yours. I won’t say anything, but, you have to tell them when we get back and we both have to take our punishment since I covered for you. Deal?”

Kiki hated knowing Emily was right but she also knew the guilt would eat her alive and she’d never be able to hide it very long from her parents. She sighed, “Ok, deal.”

The wedding day finally arrived and as cliché as it sounded the weather was glorious. Kiki looked out the window, the sun was shining and even the birds were out. Everything looked perfect except that something was bothering Kiki’s heart. She would see Chris today. Ugh. Her stomach churned.

“Ready?” Emily asked linking arms with her twin.

Kiki took and deep breath and nodded.

The ceremony was sweet and elegant, Kiki had thoroughly enjoyed it, but she kept her eyes averted at all times – she didn’t want to see Chris. But, she knew she would have to sooner or later, especially at the reception.

“Oh, wow this food is amazing.” Emily said coming back from the buffet area with her plate heaped with steaming paella.

“I completely agree,” Sophie said “maybe I’ll ask daddy if we can come back on one of my holiday breaks.”

“Great idea Soph and….” Silver began but stopped.

The cousins looked over to where Silver was looking and, there was Chris

whispering in one of the bridesmaids ears. Wasn’t that Raquel?

The girls quickly looked at Kiki.

“It’s ok, really.” Kiki fixed the strap of her dress, “It’s still really weird, but, I’m better and not hurting so much. Besides, he didn’t love me.” Kiki managed a weak smile. She glanced once last time at the handsome Christobal and exhaled. It would take her a long time to get completely over him.

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