Tropical Trek – Part 5

“Mark, just leave. I’ll get the copy to you, but this discussion is over. It’s not your business!” Suzy pushed Mark out of the door of her suite. Once the door shut behind her and was locked, she exhaled. She walked into the bathroom and rinsed off her face, then looked at the mirror. She noted the age around her eyes; she wasn’t a 30-something anymore. She sighed and stripped out of her clothes, then took a refreshing shower.

On stepping out, she slipped into her bathing suit and wrapped an oversized sarong around herself into the form of a dress. She dried her hair and headed back into the suite, then set up her laptop up to start working. She opened the slider door to the patio to get a breeze through her room and settled in to work.

After a couple hours passed, a knock came from the door. She worried it was Mark again; she really didn’t want to talk to him any more today. Her face became stern as she walked to the door. She swung open the door almost ready to say “Go away!” but she paused as she saw Steve’s face.

“Hey, everything alright? You look, peeved or something?” Steve asked.

Suzy stammered, “Oh, I, I thought you were going to be someone else. I’m fine. What’s up?” She looked over Steve and realized he had two plates of food in his hands.

“I saw your team downstairs eating. They said you were holed up in your room. Wanna bite to eat?”

Her stiffness melted away and realized how nice of a guy Steve really was. “Sure, come on in. Want to sit on the patio?”

Steve shook his head and followed her through the room to the patio. They each took seats on the two woven chairs. Suzy crossed her legs up on the chair. “Thanks for dinner.” She looked over the plate of rice, beans, and meat. “They really like their rice here, don’t they?”

Steve chuckled. “It is a mainstay, I guess.” His sheepish grin came through when he shrugged his shoulders. His long arms were slightly reddened by the sun.

“How did you like the jungle trek today? Looks like you got some sun.”

He laughed, “Yeah, forgot the sunscreen.” He then launched into a tale about his afternoon with the guys.

Suzy liked watching him talk. He was animated and alive. As he wound down his story, he asked, “Have much more work to do?”

Suzy shook her head, “Probably about a half-hour or so. I was thinking of taking a dip afterward. Interested in meeting me back at the pool?”

He looked her over, her sarong had fallen open, showing her swimsuit, while she had her legs pulled up on the chair. She shifted to cover back up.

“Sure. I have my trunks on already,” he pointed at his shorts. “I could just wait here if you want.”

She blushed. “Sure, I’d like that,” and she stood up to head back to her computer. “Make yourself comfortable.”

Steve followed her in and crashed on the bed. “Ahh.” He sunk into the spread and propped his head on a pillow and settled in while Suzy set out to finish up work. She sat with her back to him, working steadily on the computer.

He started to speak behind her. “When I was young, I had this friend.” He tossed a balled-up piece of paper he found on the bed. “This reminds me of those times, but in reverse.”

She paused and listened to him, turning slightly to see his face. “She’d lay in my bed while I’d work away on the computer. I always wondered what she was thinking. Most of those times, we were just friends.”

She smiled and turned. “She was probably hoping you’d take a break and look at her, really see her. However, I bet she was happy as friends too.”

He tossed the paper up once more and caught it, then looked at her. “Oh, I did see her. I wanted her. But, see, I was happy as friends, too. You don’t want to mess those kinds of friendships up.”

Suzy turned back around. She had similar memories of a lifetime ago and knew their power. She made a few more keystrokes, then her computer made a whoosh sound. “That’s that.” And she turned back around.

“I’m not that friend, but I could be.” Behind her, the rainforest gave way to its namesake as the skies started to thunder and pour. She stood up and reached around her neck, loosening the knot, dropping her sarong, then crawled into the bed next to him.

He looked her over. Her dark brown hair framed her soft round face. He gently ran his fingers down her arm and over her hip. Then they came together in a soft kiss which seemed to last for minutes. Steve pulled back, then looked Suzy in her eyes. “I don’t want us to get too far in too fast. Okay?”

Suzy understood and shook her head, then rested her head on his arm. They listened to the rain as it lulled them to sleep in each other’s arms. She hoped he’d share more of his story, but now wasn’t the time.

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