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the millionth time if she needed to go with me. My father moved to the USA five years ago, my mother stayed in the Netherlands (they divorced when I was ten). Last year my mother met Marc, and they both wanted to make a travel around the world, so they planned to make the travel together. After this travel, they wanted to stay in Thailand, and marry there. They once said to me: “It was love on first sight.” I rolled my eyes, I do not believe in such things. For me, it was no option to go with them; I had to finish my study after all, and I didn’t like to be with my mum and Marc while they were so ‘in love’. Sometimes it was just disgusting to watch them. My mother though said I could go there when I was eighteen and graduated. I couldn’t stay that long at home alone, so I thought: maybe I could spend the meantime with my dad. I always wanted to see the USA, so it was a dream coming true when my mum and dad agreed. I was going to America! I was non stop talking about it, and I was driving my friends crazy, I talked so much about it that once even the teacher said to me: “Please, Lynn, stop talking about America! Jeez…” I grinned then and whispered to my best friend, Jane: “I hope you are coming over during the holidays.” She answered: “Of course! We are going to have a lot of fun there!” Unfortunately, I had to leave all my friends here in the Netherlands. Not that I had many friends, but it is not nice to leave the few friends I made. Especially because I never fitted in, I have always been the weirdest person at school, so it was extra hard to make friends. Well… the people at school thought I was weird, because I could perfectly tell when something was going to happen. It was just some thing that happened when I dreamed, I dreamed about everything what was going to happen the next day or days. I had only one best friend, Jane, who wasn’t afraid of my ‘gift’. I couldn’t really call it a gift though, it was very annoying. Sometimes I wished that I could just be a normal girl. Anyway, I was going to miss Jane so much, I’d never had such a good friend. I also had some friends who I was not real good friends with, I was nice to them and they were nice to me. Some of them even invited me to their birthday parties, which I think was nice of them. However, when there was a party, and I was not invited and Jane was, or reversed, none of us went to that party. Well, there were more people I was going to miss a lot, like my mother, though I have a lot of arguments with her. Marc- yes, it seems weird, but he is the nicest boyfriend my mother ever had. I mean, he’s not only nice to my mother but also nice to me, unlike some of my mother’s previous boyfriends, who were all perverts. And, of course, I’d really miss the rest of my family. I’d miss my cousins especially; they are the dearest family to me, except from my parents. All of my family lived in the Netherlands too, so it’d be hard to visit very often.
I was not going to miss school, the teachers were nice, but the other kids were not as nice to me as the teachers were. I was glad I could leave this school. I had been bullied for nearly the whole time I had spent on this school. Not bullied as in being pushed in the mud, or someone who pulls away your chair whenever you were going to sit down. No, it was worse, even though an outsider wouldn’t say so. My mom always said that they were just jealous, because I could sort of ‘see’ the future (dream, if you want it very literally). Yeah, right, as if! They always made some nasty remarks when I walked past them, or they stuck out their leg, causing me to trip. The first few days on this school I had felt so lonely… Well, except for missing my best friend, I thought I was happy to leave this country, with its rainy climate, the winters without any snow, the summers without any real hot days... I hoped there would be loads of sun at the place where my father lived, and I hoped I could make some good friends. My mum smiled at my answer, she did not like to admit it, but she would rather go to Antarctica and stay there forever than going with me to my dad. Well, that’s a bit exaggerated, but it is still kind of true. The cause of their divorce was a big argument, big as in real, real big, and they were still not over it. I had often an argument with her, too. I walked behind my mother and tried not to think about what would happen the first day at school. Luckily, I would first have a week holiday before I would go to school. My father promised to take me to a place as beautiful as a paradise... I would see if he spoke the truth then. The speakers in the airport announced that my flight would leave in twenty minutes. I turned to my mother: “Have fun on your travel, and in Thailand. Oh, and please say hi to Marc.” I hugged my mother tightly. Then I got on the plane, and she went outside, to her car, she would drive home. The day after I left, she would go on her plane to Thailand with Marc. I didn’t really like to leave her and my home, but being without my mother was a relief, though. I think, and a lot of people say, that I’m quite an adult compared to my age. Except for my mum, who thinks I’m still a baby. I hadn’t seen my father for five years, because my mother didn’t want to let me go, she’d always say something like: “It’s too dangerous; what if the plane crashes down or something else happens?” But I knew that wasn’t the real reason behind keeping me here. She didn’t like to see me going to my dad; she was still not over their argument. I couldn’t argue with her about how to spend my holidays, because she was my mother and I wasn’t an ‘adult’ yet (I would be an adult when I was eighteen… It seemed a long time to me). It was pretty crowded near the terminal, I had to wait for at least fifteen minutes. I got my headphones out of my bag and put them in my ears. Then I scrolled through my list with songs and chose my favourite song at the moment: Summer by Joe Hisaishi (http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=ZJoXqZ4L_6E) Then I started looking at the people around me, watching them talk in a nearly invisible mobile phone or drag their suitcases to the
customs officers. I groaned and then started to pull my suitcases there too. “Hi,” a female customs officer said smiling. I smiled back: “Hi.” “Are you going to stay for the holidays?” she asked. I nodded. “And for the freaking rest of my life,” I added dryly. She chuckled: “That bad?” I shook my head. “No, not that bad. Nearly that bad.” I winked. “I’m sure it won’t be that bad, though. You do have your looks as an advantage,” she smiled. I smiled convulsively. “Yeah…” I said. “You can give me your suitcase, you know,” she changed the subject of our conversation. I blushed, embarrassed, and handed her my suitcase, which she lifted with little effort. I gaped at her, she turned and winked at me. She gave me a grey box. She gestured to an open space, apparently I had to put my money, bag, watch and other stuff in the box and the box in there. I frowned and she grinned: “You’ll get your stuff back eventually.” Then she went over to another passenger and I put my stuff in the box and walked through a small gate which contained the metal detector. On the other side, the grey box came outside. I chuckled to myself; what an experience, flying for the first time. I grabbed all my stuff and then walked through the gate to the plane itself. I searched for my seat, it was supposed to be next to a window. When I had found it, I put my bag under my seat and put my headphones in again. I realized I had fallen asleep, without any annoying dreams this time, when I woke up startled. One of the stewards had come with some food. “Do you want chicken or beef?” He kept asking. I groaned. My dad had told me to bring some food myself, because the food on the plane was just plain disgusting. I sniffed: it didn’t smell disgusting. It even smelled nice. The steward came over to my row of seats. I sat up and looked out of the window: it was twilight outside. “Do you want chicken or beef?” the steward said with a bored voice. I chuckled to myself and listened to the other passengers, a family with a boy and a girl, arguing about what to eat. I leaned over to the steward and said: “I’d like chicken, please.” He nodded, relieved because the family was still arguing. He handed me a small package. I looked at it curiously and leaned back in my seat. I unwrapped the small package and poked with a plastic fork in the food. It didn’t look very appealing, but it didn’t look disgusting either. I put it in my mouth. Eww!! I immediately gagged. Jeez… That was plain disgusting. I spit the food out and wiped my mouth with a napkin. I made a mental note: I was never, ever going to eat plane food again. After I had tried to eat the plane food – and eventually ended up eating all snacks I had taken with me on this trip, I grabbed my headphones again and put them in. I had forgotten to take a book with me, unfortunately, so I had to endure the long journey with just my music. Fortunately, I did have a lot of music on it and there were a few games too. I hummed silently with the music as the plane got further and further. Still a few hours to go, I could at least sleep for a while so I wouldn't arrive too tired or so. I closed my eyes again and let the music enchant me.
“Please fasten your seatbelts, please fasten your seatbelts. We are going to land in a few minutes.” the pilots announced. With a jolt, I sat back in the chair. I had fallen asleep eventually... I fastened my seatbelt and started gathering some of my stuff. The plane began descending, I felt it in the pit of my stomach. In a few minutes, the plane finally began to drive on the runway. I breathed relievedly, although I wasn't afraid of flying, it was much nicer to be safe on the ground. I got all my belongings and stood up, to wait in line to get out of the plane. It was very bright outside when I stepped out of the airport. I hadn't noticed that yet, the roller-blinds in the plane had been down all the time. It didn’t surprise me, though, that the sun was shining. The USA was supposed to be a sunny place, right? “No,” told my dad, Dave, me. “It isn’t always this sunny here, so today you’re actually lucky to see the sun.” That was a true disappointment, because I loved the sun, especially when it is around twenty degrees Celsius. While he put my bags in the boot of his car - a shiny, black, beautiful Mercedes, he chattered about his house, the school where he already had registered me, the people in town, about his job. I didn’t inherit that from my father, this talking so much. I hmm-ed and ahh-ed at the right times, but I was not really interested. He kept talking when we both slid in the car. He drove rather fast and I watched outside the windows, the landscape looked like something magic because of the bright sun. Then, my father startled me with a sudden stop of the car. “Let’s eat in a restaurant today, you’re not everyday coming over here!” His eyes sparkled with enthusiasm, and I didn’t want to ruin his mood. What I actually really wanted was to see the house where he lived, and where I was going to live for a few years. But he parked the car and walked to my door to open it. When I stepped out of the car, I saw a beautiful sunset, I had never seen any sunset like this one. Maybe this was a good omen, I thought by myself. The restaurant was very crowded, because of the holidays, but luckily there was a table with two seats near the windows. While we were eating, I had the strange feeling that someone was watching me. I looked around me, and when I didn’t see anyone looking at me, I decided that the cause was my jet-lag. My dad saw me looking around, and asked: “Is there something wrong?” My cheeks suddenly felt hot, I hated to blush so easily, and I answered: “No, there’s nothing.” Dave gave me a suspicious look, and I knew it didn’t have to surprise me: my cheeks were as red as a tomato. After dinner, we went home. When I saw the house, my jaw dropped; I hadn’t expected such a big house! My dad saw it and laughed: “I told you already, I earn a lot of money with my job, but you weren’t listening!” I grinned and said: “The landscape was more interesting than your chatter.” Dave laughed and said: “Let’s go inside, I want to show you your new room. I hope you like green, since it's the main colour in your room,” he said smiling. “If you don't like it... I'm afraid you'll just have to put up with
it.” I nodded and smiled back. He unlocked the door and held it open. I walked inside, and as I watched the hall, my jaw had dropped even lower. The house looked as if it came out of a fairytale. There were spot-lights which gave the house a magical light. The outside of the house was real pretty, white painted bricks with dark blue shutters on both sides of the windows. The tiles on the roof were dark blue, too. The curtains, which you could see from the outside, were dark blue too, but a bit lighter. The inside was even more beautiful, the furniture was classic and modern at the same time and there was a fireplace, which wasn't burning – what else do you expect when it's summer? There were some beautiful pictures on the walls, pictures of places I’ve never been. The kitchen looked very nice, too. It seemed like it wasn’t used often. I asked Dave: “Err… what about that kitchen? Are you afraid it gets damaged?” Dave shot a pitiful glance at me, and said: “You probably don't want me to cook your dinner. The last time I tried it got burnt. And the times before that time too, by the way...” He added sheepishly: “Hope you want to cook our dinners... Or we'll have to eat out everyday, which I don't mind though...” I shook my head. “No way, dad. I didn't think I had to teach you how to eat a proper meal.” I laughed silently. Dave raised an eyebrow. I chuckled and turned around, pretending to be looking in the cupboards. Then, Dave suddenly looked excited, and said: “Let’s go upstairs!” I was very curious, how would my new room look like? I wasn’t disappointed; the room was very big, with green curtains, green painted walls, a wooden floor, a wooden bed, a wooden desk... It looked all very natural, and I loved it immediately. My father went downstairs to pick up my bags and stuff. When he came back, he dropped the bags and said: “I hope you like your new room?” I gave him a hug and said: “Of course, why won’t I like this room?” He smiled and left me to have a better look in my room. I opened a door and walked in. Surprisingly, I had my own bathroom! I opened another door in my room… It was the door to a big closet; this closet was as big as my room back in Holland! But I didn’t have so many clothes, so I started unpacking my clothes. I wanted to put some of my clothes in a drawer, but when I opened it, I saw some wrapped presents. When I had removed the wrapping papers from one of the presents, I saw a gift card which was worth $500. I tried to remember, how much was 1 Euro in dollars? After a few minutes, I gave up and unwrapped another present. A gift card again, but this one was supposed to be spend in a bookstore. I loved to read books, so my mother must have told dad about it. Then the last present… I wanted to unwrap it, when my father suddenly came into my room. He looked rather upset, and he asked in a frightened tone: “What happened?” “Why? I didn’t notice anything?” I didn’t understand his frightened voice, why should he be this scared? He inspected my room, and apparently he didn’t see anything suspicious or whatever he was searching for. I wanted to ask: ‘What’s wrong?’ But I hadn’t opened my mouth or my father was already gone. I shrugged and muttered to myself: “Oh well, seems like it wasn’t really important…” I unwrapped the other present, less excited than five minutes ago, but
when I saw the present, I cried: “OH MY GOSH! Dad!” Dave came upstairs running, and when he saw that I was unpacking his presents, he clearly relaxed. “What’s wrong?” He asked. “You didn’t have to buy me a CAR!” I said, trying to sound severe. “Oh… That’s nothing,” he shrugged. My jaw dropped. Nothing? “Well… Thank you so much for the presents!” I hugged him. “I didn’t expect to get a car…” He grinned, obviously glad that I liked his presents. “Tomorrow we’re going on a cruise… I thought you would like that.” He said it as if it was a question. “Of course! Wow, you are spoiling me too much…” I smiled at him. He smiled back: “Duhh, I haven’t seen you for so long, I need to catch up!” We both chuckled. “Well, I’ll leave you alone now. I think you want to sleep?” Dave was right, I was deadly tired now. I yawned and kissed him on his cheek: “Okay, good night dad.” When Dave went downstairs, I grabbed my toiletries bag and my pyjamas and went into the bathroom. After a long and hot shower, I jumped in my bed. While I was thinking about the next day, I drifted into sleep and dreamt the most frightening thing I had ever dreamt yet. ‘I was on board of a huge cruise ship. We, my dad and I, were in the dining ‘room’ eating our dinner. There were a lot of other people and I enjoyed watching them, as I’ve always liked watching people. My dad and I were talking, nothing important, when he suddenly gasped and glanced at me. “Hey Lynn… I think it’s important to tell you…” he started. I turned my eyes to look at him. “What’s up, dad?” I frowned. I couldn’t really remember anything why he suddenly wanted to tell ‘something important’. Well, maybe it had to do with his scared expression yesterday… Or that gasp just a while ago. I waited patiently until he’d continue, but he didn’t. “Er… Dad?” I asked, his eyes were absent. “Dad?” I shook his arm. “Huh? What’s wrong?” his eyes returned to present and he spoke hurried now, as if there was no time to loose. “Uhm. Are you going to continue?” Dad smiled, just the set of his mouth, his eyes didn’t smile: “Of course, what did I want to say… Oh yes, well, I wanted to say that-” He was cut off by a loud cracking sound. We both jumped and I ran to the direction in which I thought I heard the cracking sound. I leaned over the rail and saw that the ship lost a few big parts of its bottom. Everyone was screaming, shouting, yelling, but in a strange way I was really calm. The crew was stuffing people into lifeboats. It was pretty obvious that not everyone could be saved by a lifeboat. I smiled to myself: this began to look like Titanic. I loved that film, except for the end though. I stood with a few people still on the ship, while all lifeboats were already gone, except for one, which was really small. One of the crew moved into our direction, his expression blank. I frowned, was he going to help us or was he going to do something else? Something else: he led us to an open space in the rail. Everyone seemed confused. Then the crewman spoke: “You all should save yourself now. We can only help by giving you these life buoys.” He handed us the buoys and then walked away, not bothering to look back. I watched him return to the rest of the crew and then turned
to look at the people who were nearly fighting to get a buoy. Another girl and I were the only ones without a buoy. There was a man who had clearly the safest buoy; the other ones were all a bit worn-out. That man pulled the girl and me to the edge and said: “Well, you two are the only ones that couldn’t be saved or helped at all. So, I’ll help you now.” He smiled evilly and pushed us both off the ship, into the seawater. I sputtered and tried to keep my head above the water. The other girl had clearly difficulty with keeping her head above the ice-cold water. Our teeth chattered and that made it difficult to speak, but I still tried: “Do you want to lean on me?” I thought that she looked a little pathetic. She nodded nearly invisible and swam towards me. She threw her arms around me, and I felt her weight on me. Ow… I just forgot that I always am way too nice to everyone. Now I had to carry her, while trying to keep breathing and swimming. If I stopped, I would freeze. The cold chilled me to the bone and my head began feeling very heavy. The girl wasn’t swimming anymore and she became heavier and heavier. My eyelids kept closing, but I forced them to stay open. After a while I couldn’t find the strength to keep them open and I began to sink. The girl pushed me down further and I could feel that I didn’t get any air anymore. Cold water gushed down my throat and the salt burned in my throat and eyes. I closed my eyes and felt myself sinking deeper and deeper into unconsciousness...’ I woke up heavily panting, gasping for air. My whole body was covered with sweat and during the terrifying dream, I had thrown my covers off. I picked them up and whispered quietly: “Eww… They’re all wet!” I threw the covers into the corner of the room and decided to take a shower. I slowly walked to the bathroom. How was I going to explain to Dave that we had to tell the crew of that cruise ship that they had to check the bottom of the ship? Why did I have that dream in the first place? I let the water warm me; a shiver ran over my spine. After I think nearly half an hour, I turned the shower off. That was typical: I forgot to look what time it was. I dried myself quickly, put on clean pyjamas and glanced at the clock (it was green with darker coloured numbers): it was just 6.00 am. I sighed and considered returning to bed, but I knew that if I did, I wouldn’t sleep. (droom opschrijven) I would just keep thinking and thinking about the dream, so I grabbed my laptop and went to sit behind the big wooden desk. I was going to mail Jane, though she probably thought I was still sleeping. After I sent her that e-mail (with a description of nearly everything that had happened: if I hadn’t written that now, I’d have to do it next time I’d mail her), I shut the laptop, not really in the mood to do anything. I put my laptop away and moved to the bookshelves. I had taken all of my books with me and that had cost me a lot of space and weight to put my clothes in. I brushed over the backs of the books and picked one of my favourites: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I love the classics, I’ve read this book like a thousand times and this time I read it because I would forget the dream. I actually never had as this one, it had never been this vivid. I
shuddered and tried to concentrate on my book: ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife…’ “Hey sleepyhead, wake up!” Dave slapped my cheeks softly and I opened my eyes slowly. My eyes focussed and suddenly I saw two green-coloured eyes with golden specks – the same as mine. I smiled: “Hey dad.” He shoved my curtains open and golden sunrays shone through the window. “Seems like it’s going to be a sunny day. Perfect!” He nearly skipped to my bed. My smile faded. “Uhm, dad, I need to talk to you about the cruise.” He frowned: “Don’t you want to go? We can go to Disneyland instead, if you want… Or, if you think that’s too childish, we can go to –” I interrupted him: “No, that’s not the problem. But eh…” How was I going to tell him about the dream? “Eh… Well, I’ve got a bad feeling about it. I don’t think we should go… Or, wait. Let’s just go then. I’ll ask the people there if they at least can take a look at the bottom of the ship.” I muttered the last sentence, but Dave had heard me and looked confused: “What did you just say? About ‘the bottom of the ship’?” He made quotation marks with his fingers in the air. I laughed, I thought I was the only one who did that. But he stared at me, apparently waiting for an answer, so I composed my face and said: “Oh, that’s nothing. Just a reminder to myself.” “Huh. Okay, whatever you want.” He opened the door to my closet and announced: “Your suitcases are in this closet. I’ll get you breakfast, so you can start packing now. When you’re done we’ll leave, okay?” I nodded and got up from my bed. Dave picked my book which I had accidentally dropped and laid it on my desk. “Thanks.” “You’re welcome.” We both smiled and I walked to my closet. Suddenly I thought of something - I know, I’m pathetic, but I’m really a stickler for accuracy - and said: “Oh, Da- erm, dad. I… well, my covers were a little wet, so I removed them. Just to let you know.” I smiled at him half-heartedly and stepped inside the huge closet. I heard Dave descend and I looked around to see where the suitcases were. When I spotted them, I nearly screamed in surprise. They were already stuffed with clothes and shoes and more. Dave was so spoiling me… I opened the smallest suitcase – it was the only one which was very tightly closed. My jaw dropped in surprise: even though it was a small suitcase, the content was much, much smaller. I wouldn’t even have thought about putting it into a suitcase. I expected something different to be in the suitcase, maybe a beauty case (though I’m not a superficial person) or something like that… Carefully I stroked over the locket which was in the small suitcase. It was oval-shaped and had a curly pattern of engraved lines and small flowers. The colour was unbelievably beautiful, it looked like a rare sort of copper and when you held it in the light, it seemed like it changed into a mat golden colour. I tried to open the locket, but it was too tightly closed. I frowned and tried again. Still, it didn’t open. Frustrated, I tried one last time. Still no movement, so I gave up.
I stood up and dragged the suitcases to the stairs (they were heavy!). Then I began to carry them downstairs one by one. When all suitcases were downstairs, Dave showed up. I groaned: “Awh, dad! Couldn’t you just come ten minutes earlier? I carried those freaking heavy suitcases downstairs and now my back hurts!” I pouted playfully and he grinned. “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” he winked. I smiled, that had always been my motto, since it was true. And it kind of fits me very well, because I’ve always been an outcast, no matter when or where. Dave gestured to the suitcases and said: “Hey, do you like your clothes by the way? Because I do…” He winked again and I laughed: “Well duh, of course! But you actually shouldn’t spoil me like this… I might get used to it!” This time it was my turn to wink. Dave smiled: “Huh, you’re ruining my fun!” I fake groaned and Dave said: “Hmm.. Let’s go!” I chuckled and watched him picking up my suitcases like they were as light as a feather. I looked at him in awe, he turned around and saw my shocked face. That caused him to chuckle, while I aimed a fake angry punch at one of his arms. I hit his arm… and pulled my hand away very quickly: his arm was as hard as a human can be. “Whoa… talk about muscled,” I muttered. Dave grinned smugly: “Just pick my bags, okay? They’re a lot less heavy than yours.” He smirked and made his way to the garage. I realized that I hadn’t seen my new car yet. I dragged Dave’s suitcases in the garage and then turned to look at the cars. My jaw dropped (which would happen more often from now on, I guess). It was a shiny red Ferrari convertible, I had to blink a few times and still didn’t believe what I saw. (Description of the outside + inside) (http://foto.autozone.be/fotosartikelen/large_387538.jpg) Dave winked at me: “Did you want to drive to the harbour?” I huffed – it was not fair! Since I wasn’t eighteen yet, I couldn’t get my driving license back in Holland. And now I still hadn’t my driving license. This summer I’d turn sixteen, and Dave had promised to pay my license. But I wasn’t sixteen yet, so I couldn’t drive my new car, which I really wanted: who doesn’t want to drive in a super expensive Ferrari? Admiringly I brushed over the shiny paint of the –my– car. Dave chuckled, I turned and glared at him: “What’s so funny?” He kept chuckling and said grinning: “Nothing. You just looked funny. But shall we?” He gestured to his car – not as beautiful as the Ferrari, but very good-looking too– and walked over to the passenger’s seat. He opened the door and motioned to me to get in the car– very gentleman-like, I thought. “The ship’s leaving soon, so we kind of have to hurry,” he explained, serious now. I nodded and got into the car.
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