ll Someday- The Summer Set ll
June 12: Rise and shine, beauties! Today's your very first day of work. Whether you'll be guarding your station at the life guard chair at Runaway River or whether you're vending one of the gift shops, enjoy your day because it's the start of the rest of your summer. After work, there's going to be a little mingling for the new and old employees alike.
The alarm clock by my bedside yanked me out of sleep, just as it did every morning at eight-thirty, my time for waking up and preparation for my day ahead.
Whether my day just be normal, easy, like every other day, or whether it be special, like today just so happened to be, it still started up the same time, every day. It had become a vital part of my routine, one of the only routine things in my life at all, actually. Everything else seemed to forget any sort of routine, instead my activities and my thoughts and emotions ran wild endlessly. Nothing was guaranteed for me, nothing granted to be good, or even likely the same every single day.
Maybe that's why part of me always dreaded pulling those covers off of me, dreaded pushing the dismiss button, because I never knew what the day would hold. Would it be a good day or a bad day? Good emotionally? Or good physically? Good in all aspects, or bad in all aspects? Everything was marching to the beat of its own drum, not caring to follow any sort of schedule, much like I'd prefer.
But getting out of bed today, my short legs swinging over the edge of my bed, I knew that today was the start of something new, and whether good or bad, I had to deal with it, face my day head on, no matter what the challenges will be.
The only challenge I could even think of as I stepped into the shower was of starting this new job, at Dorney, the place I'd come to know and love over the past few years, continuously going there every summer, sometimes even more than once. I was scared, nervous, excited, the emotions coming together and tying a deep knot in the pit of my stomach. But overall, I felt happy.
I felt happy as I blow dried my hair, I felt happy as I put on my makeup, I felt happy as I got dressed, and I was even happier by the time I went downstairs, where my dad was already sitting on the island, newspaper in hand, eating a bowl of his favorite, Frosted Flakes, while studying the articles intently.
"Good morning!" I cheer as I prance around the island, giving him a kiss on the cheek before heading over to the cabinet, pulling out a box of cereal and then milk from the fridge, combining them in a bowl before setting it all down on a chair across from my dad, digging my spoon in.
"Good morning," He says back, setting the paper down, "Big day today, right?"
"Dorney," I nod before putting a spoonful of my cereal into my mouth. "I'm excited… but nervous,"
"I'm sure you'll be fine, kiddo," He says reassuringly, "Besides, you know that park like the back of your hand. What's the worst that can happen?"
I finish chewing and swallowing before giving my morbid answer, "A kid can be drowning and I won't realize it and he'll die and it'll be all my fault,"
"I highly doubt that'll happen, but Lux, I'm sure you'll do great. I mean, you're a great swimmer and you took so many CPR and nursing classes, I'm sure you'll be fantastic,"
"Thanks," I smiled.
"You know, I think this'll be good for you,"
"Yeah…" I nod, thinking about it, "I think it'll be good for me too."
After I finished breakfast, I was soon out the door, all set and ready with everything I needed to start my first day. My bikini was on underneath my tank top and shorts, I had a tote bag with any essentials I may need, and my nerves were ever present. But finally, I pulled into the employees only parking and headed inside the park, going to the management offices.
"We're so happy to have you aboard, Lux!" The manager grins at me, "I'll have Sunday show you around, since she is our veteran,"
He led me to a dark haired girl, Sunday, who worked at Steel Force. Amazingly though, I found myself remembering the girl from a few summers past. She was mysterious as she led me around the park, around the sights and attractions, the rides I had come to know so well before finally, she led me into Wild Water Kingdom, leading me to Aquablast and then down to Lightening Falls.
"Well, I guess this is your station," She says as I stand beside the second slide, "If you need anything, I'm only across the park,"
"Okay," I grinned, "Thanks, Sunday! It was nice meeting you,"
"Yeah, yeah," She murmurs heading down the giant bank of stairs and beginning to make her way out of the water park until she was out of my sight.
"So," I turned towards the guy who was positioned at the other slide, looking bored and hardly giving me any acknowledgment, "I'm guessing we'll be working together,"
"I'm guessing since you're standing there," He says sounding annoyed.
"Well, I'm Lux," I offer my hand for him to shake, only getting back an icy glare.
Obviously this guy wasn't the most friendly person in the world. Maybe he just wasn't used to meeting new people though, maybe he wasn't used to introductions and was nervous. Or maybe I was just giving him the benefit of the doubt by making up all these unlikely excuses for him…
"Nikolai," He says this expressionless, and he looks at me up and down, "I didn't expect they'd hire someone like you,"
"Someone like me?"
"Do you really think you'd be able to swim fast enough to save a kid with that body, chubster?"
This goes through like a knife, that last word especially sticking around the jab me a few extra times. Chubster, chubster, chubster…. who the hell did this guy think he was?
And there it was, the indication of what my day would be like- horrible.
Horrible, and all because of this as.shole.
"Do you really think you'd be able to swim fast enough with that ego? Wouldn't that slow you down, jerk?"
I was done playing miss nicey-nice. I wasn't going to put any effort into a person who clearly wasn't going to make the smallest bit to be nice to me. I mean, why should I? He was clearly an idiot, an idiot I didn't even want association with, an idiot I wasn't looking forward to working with.
"Nice comeback, sunshine Barbie," He shoots back just as some guests begin to trickle in, the first guests of the day.
Soon they started approaching, grabbing the complimentary tubes at the bottom and then climbing the stairs, little by little as the line extended on and on.
Already this day felt like it was going to go on and on… in fact, it already was.
- - -
"Gosh, is he always such a jerk?" I ask to Sunday as I sat down across from her at the circular table, umbrella covering us, my plate containing my lunch in hand.
"Don't take it personally," Sunday says with a shrug, "He's mostly always like that… he's just joking,"
"Doesn't seem like it," I mutter grabbing a fry.
I could take a lot of names. But chubster?
Okay, maybe I was a tiny bit chubby… I had to be. After treatment, I had to gain weight and really maintain my body. I still worked out. I still ate pretty healthy. But the difference was the mannerisms I'd do it in and the mindset as well. I worked out lightly, I indulged, I wanted to be healthy, I wanted to have curves, I had lost my desire for a twig thin appeal.
But that comment almost made me want to have it back.
"I don't get why all the girls must like him," Anastasia chimed in, "I mean, he's handsome but with a personality like that it's a let down,"
"I completely agree. What's the use of good looks if you don't have a good personality to at least go with it?" I ask.
"There is no use," Sunday says blankly. "Point is though, Nickolai is a douc.he and don't get too hurt by it. That's just how he is."
"Does he always do that when someone's actually nice to him?"
"I don't think he's used to niceness," Sunday shrugs her skinny shoulders, "He's used to being hit on, not genuineness,"
"It's whatever," I rolled my eyes, picking up another fry, "I won't let him ruin my sumer,"
"Don't let him get to you," Anastasia smiles at me, "Besides, there's wayyyy cuter guys that work at this park,"
I laugh, "Probably,"
The day went on and on after my lunch break. The guests at Lightening Falls came and went and I stood my guard, in my brightly colored shorts and my bronze bikini top. I had taken off my tank top because it was hot and what better way to be prepared for a drowning than by being in my swimsuit?
Nickolai stayed unpleasant throughout the entire time. He stared at me, his eyes drifting down my body and I had the strongest urge to flip him off, but I restrained from doing so, telling myself to stay calm. I didn't want to get fired on the first day of work just because of him. So I kept my mouth shut even though so many words wanted to come out. I kept my hands to myself even though part of me contemplated throwing him off the tower, but I stayed strong throughout my shift and finally, the water park was closed, and then finally, the full park was shut down.
And our time for mingling was going to be on.
We were meeting right in front, right by the carousel that welcomed the park. Walking out of Wild Water Kingdom, I could already see a cute little table with pre poured drinks on it, along with a few small appetizers set out.
The employees were all there, drinking out of red plastic cups. I was instantly taken back to high school almost, back to the rushed and annoying little house parties my classmates would throw. The red cups, the drinks, the people…. but this time there was no making out, no joint being passed around and I was grateful for that.
I headed to the table, grabbing a red cup and sipping from it as I headed to Sunday and Anastasia instinctively, who are already gathered in a small circle, along with Nickolai and another guy I find unrecognizable.
"Hey," I say, receiving warm smiles from Anastasia and Sunday and a glare from Nickolai. I shake it off though.
"We haven't met," The guy says, turning to me, "But I'm Paul,"
"Lux," I say introducing myself, "Nice to meet you,"
"You too," He sips from his cup, "You work at the water park?"
I nod, "Yep, which is probably why you haven't seen me around," I explain, "I work with Nickolai mostly,"
"Unfortunately," He adds in, rolling his eyes.
"What's so unfortunate? I mean, you're lucky you've got a pretty girl working with you!"
I giggle, "Please," I take a sip from my cup, "But I'll accept that compliment,"
"I work near Sunday, at Stinger and Possessed,"
"Ah, two of the best roller coasters. Stinger's one of my personal favorites," I comment.
"So you've been coming here a lot? You're a local,"
I nod, "Yep. Dorney's been my favorite since I was a little kid,"
"I'll have to go on Stinger," Anastasia says, "I haven't been on any of the rides yet,"
"Oh, well don't worry, we're taking you on all of them!" I giggle, "They're all so much fun,"
"Except for Steel Force," Sunday says, "But maybe that's just because after watching it go up and down over fifty times a day, it's made me think it's lost it's touch,"
"Steel Force is the best one, hands down," I grin, "But tomorrow I heard we're having a little party after closing and we'll be allowed to ride everything so then's our time to conquer,"
"Can't wait," Anastasia chuckles, taking a sip from her cup.
"Yeah," I smile, "I can't wait either."
Even though Nickolai was a jerk, and even though I was stuck with him, I wasn't going to let him ruin my summer. This summer was supposed to be fun for me, a way to take my mind off of everything that had been happening in my mind. A way to forget about my problems, if only for a little while.
I intended to have a great time here, I intended to enjoy myself, make some friends, meet some people, and enjoy life for once.
I wanted to feel confident, and free, and happy, and peaceful, and just overly enthralled about life.
And this summer I am going to feel just that.