Her name hadn't always been Jolene, but nobody had to know that.
Her time on the island had been tedious so far. It was the third day now, and they still hadn't been rescued. The thought of being stranded here with these people for all eternity, scared her to death. She would've rather died in the plane crash instead, truth be told.
There was that guy again, Cassander, walking towards was good-looking in a haughty and snobbish kind of way, with back slicked, blonde hair and bright blue eyes. He usually wore polo shirts and khaki pants. Not her type at all, but his arrogance and self-delusion amused her. He really seemed to think that he was God's gift to women.
They had all been gathered to eat lunch and were only allowed to have one sandwich and a cup of orange juice each. It was like living in a communist society.
Jolene quickly gulped down her juice and rose to her feet, walking in the opposite direction of Cass. He came to a halt abruptly, as she passed him. A puzzled expression spread across his face. She smiled and threw the cup into the bin carelessly, walking away from the fallen palm tree where the food had been placed.
"Hey, where are you going?" Cass called after her.
She sighed internally. He was like a mosquito you couldn't get rid off. But the corners of her lips automatically turned upwards and she turned around to face him with her hands on her hips. "To pee. Would you like to come with me?"
"I'd love to" he said with a crooked grin, letting his blue eyes sweep over her from top to toe.
I bet you would, you pervert, she thought to herself.
"I was being sarcastic" she rolled her eyes.
Jolene left and went up to her tent, which was made out of tree branches and blue sheets. The hispanic guy, Alejandro, had helped her make it on the first day. She would've thought he'd only done it to get on her good side, but he had helped everyone with their tents. He was simply nice to everyone. But then again, first impressions could be misleading.
She gathered her long, chestnut brown hair into a pony-tail and changed out of her bikini and denim shorts. She put on a teal green maxi dress, hoping that it would keep that pervert, Cass, from staring at her body as if it was a piece of meat.
Somebody cleared their throat outside of her tent. Jolene stepped outside to face the chick with the french accent who'd scolded Cass, for trying to escape from his kitchen duty.
"Iz this yours?" she asked Jolene, holding a pink diary in her hand. "I found it on the beach, yesterday"
Jolene's heart gave a horrible jolt. She swallowed hard and struggled to keep a stony face. "Have you read it?" she inquired, with a hint of hysteria in her voice.
"Of course not! What kind of person do you think I am?" Saskia looked affronted. "Well, iz it yourz or not? I 'ave been asking at least fifty people, I theenk"
"Yes… yes! It's mine" Jolene almost exclaimed, hastily taking the diary away from Saskia and forcing herself to smile. "Thank you"
She went inside her tent again, putting a hand to her chest and breathing out. It was dumb of her to take the diary with her to Los Angeles. But she'd been writing in it ever since she was twelve, so she had developed a habit of taking the diary with her everywhere she went. The diary was like a dear old friend who she could vent to whenever she felt like it. She would never pour her heart out to another person, so an inanimate object suited her just fine.
Jolene opened the diary. White sand that had been trapped between the pages poured down on the groud, but other than that it looked unscathed. She wrapped a dress around it and it put it inside her purse before she left the tent.
Several people had gathered into a circle on the beach, talking loudly and gesturing wildly. Cass was standing among them, his face had turned a deep shade of pink. He looked positively furious.
"What's happening?" she asked Alejandro, who was standing a couple of feet away from the crowd.
"A couple of the survivors want to venture into the jungle and look for personal belongings that got lost during the crash" he explained, scowling.
"That's a bit, well… incautious"
"Incautious, doesn't even begin to describe it. It's idiotic! They'll be torn to pieces by whoever knows what kinds animals lurk in there" he shook his head disapprovingly and exclaimed, "Ay dios mio! I'll pray for those who go into that jungle"
Jolene had put a decent amount of clothes in her hand luggage as well her hygienic products, which she'd been able to retrieve on the first day, so she wasn't in need of anything in particular. She wondered whether she'd have a different mindset if she'd lost most of her things too, in the crash.
"Do you need anything?" Alejandro asked her.
"A bottle of water would be nice" Jolene responded.
"Follow me. I was just about to get some water myself"
Jolene sneaked a sidelong glance at him as they walked. He was very good-looking in an unadorned kind of way, and was either in his early or mid-twenties from the looks of it. The mild spanish accent and the fact that we was so friendly, made him appealing along with all of the aforementioned traits.
When they reached the tent where the water was stored, a horrifying thought sprung to her mind.
"What do we when we run out of water?"
"We use a spile. Some guy was smart enough to bring one with him" Alejandro responded, gulping down his water.
"Spile?" she raised her eyebrows in a quizzical manner, hoping that she didn't come off as an air-headed bimbo.
"You use it to, uh… obtain water from a tree" Alejandro said in a distant voice, as if he was trying to remember what somebody else had told him.
She started sipping her water, not knowing what else to say.
"You speak in an Australian accent. Were you going back home?" Alejandro asked her after a while.
"Yeah, I went to Los Angeles for an audition. I didn't get the part though"
She was an aspiring actress who had been in more Australian commercials than she could remember. She'd gone to Los Angeles in the hopes of kick-starting her career, but gotten her hopes crushed instead.
"What kind of role did you audition for?"
"The character I wanted to play was supposed to be a nerdy girl. I didn't get the part, because they thought I was too attractive"
"I didn't know that you could be too attractive for a role" Alejandro chuckled heartily, flashing a set of even, white teeth. "But that's too bad. Better luck next time"
Jolene gave a sudden snort of laughter, accidentally swallowing water down the wrong pipe. "There might not be a next time, you know?" she said, after she was done coughing.
"Why not?" he frowned. "Are you giving up on acting?"
"No! I just mean that I can't become an actress if I'm stuck here forever"
"Ah, but you shouldn't think like that" he shook his head and added in a grave tone, "Don't let the hope abandon you"
"If you say so" Jolene smiled, shrugging. Why couldn't she be as optimistic as him? Because optimists fool themselves, she thought to herself although she'd promised to eliminate those kinds of thoughts a long time ago.
"Have you been in any movies before?" Alejandro asked her as they walked out of the tent. She felt somewhat flattered that he was asking her questions about the only thing in life that she was passionate about.
"Only one. It was a minor role in a horror movie. But I've played a supporting character in an Australian TV show called Beneath The Facade"
"Never heard of it. What is it about?"
"It's a drama show about life in the suburbs… a bit like Desperate Housewives" she responded thoughtfully.
"That other show you mentioned doesn't ring a bell either" Alejandro chuckled. "So what kind of character did you play? Wait, let me guess; The Girl Next Door?"
"No… I actually played the homewrecker who stole one of the main characters' husband" she smiled slightly, curious to see his reaction.
"You played the bad girl?" he said with a half-amused, half-exasperated expression. "Interesting, cause you don't strike me as one"
Her heart skipped a beat and she felt the blood leaving her face. But she pulled herself together quickly and grinned playfully. "Well, that's the best thing about acting; you get to pretend to be someone you're not"
She knew that a lot of other actors and actresses felt this way. But they liked to act like a different person, because it was exciting. To her, it was almost alleviating.
"So how long were you on this show?"
"For about a year. It ended six months ago, and I've mostly been doing commercials ever since" Jolene responded in a rather downhearted manner.
"Why not get into modelling?" Alejandro suggested with a shrug. "Maybe it could help improve your chances of becoming an actress?"
"You have to be at least five foot eight to be a model, I think" Jolene giggled. "I'm only five foot six. But thank you for trying to help me out here"
"So? It's close enough" he chortled. "Do they have to measure you inch by inch?"
"I don't know. But I feel like modelling isn't even a career. Models are like mannequins made out of flesh and blood. So why not just use regular mannequins instead? That way, maybe it would make those models pursue a more interesting career?"
"You're the first woman I've ever heard saying that" Alejandro stated with an amused expression on his handsome face.
And presumably the last, she wanted to say, before the ground started shaking underneath their feet. A wave of terror swept over her and she gave a horrified gasp, not knowing whether she should run or stay put. Alejandro's eyes were enlarged by fear and he hastily wrapped his arms around her, as if to protect her from the abnormally huge tidal wave that was rushing towards them.
She was visited by the same paralyzing fear that she'd felt when the air plane was crashing. This was it. She was going to die before she'd been able to make something of herself.