A shrill shriek pierced the air. Laura Maguire delicately sat her white coffee cup on the table in front of her and waited for her daughter to calm down. "Really, darling, you're completely over exaggerating. Spending a summer in the Hamptons is exactly the type of thing I would have loved to do at your age."
Rebecca threw her mother a withering glare, her blue eyes squinted in exasperation. "But I'm not you, mother. Besides, I can't go; Darren will be home from university and with him in Edinburgh, you know that I barely get to see him as it is. I was really looking forward to spending the summer with him."
The tension in the room was palpable as the two women glared at each other. Finally Laura's gaze softened. "Sweetheart," she cooed. "Please just think about it. Your father and I have wanted to go on this trip for so long and it would mean the world to us if you came along with us. Plus, there are bound to be some cute, shirtless, American boys on the beach who will make for very good entertainment while we're there."
"Mother! You did not just say that. I've only just mentioned Darren. You know, my boyfriend of three years?" The shock and disappointment was written clearly on Rebecca's face as she pushed her chair back from the table and stood up quickly.
Laura waved her hand dismissively. "Oh, you know that I was only messing, Becca, don't be so silly. Now, go on up to your room and crack into the books. The Leaving Cert's approaching in less than a month now and you know that you need a lot of points if you want to get into the engineering course in UCD."
With a roll of her eyes, Rebecca stormed out of the kitchen. She ignored her mother's shriek of indignance at the slamming of the door and made her way up to her bedroom. Running her fingertips along the wooden staircase banister as she moved upstairs, the cold seeped into her fingers and reminded her of the emptiness she felt in the house when her brother wasn't home.
The Maguire's humble abode was situated in Blackrock, a suburb of County Dublin, renowned for being home to wealthy families. Rebecca's mother and father had moved into the mansion, as it was in Rebecca's eyes, at the mere age of twenty five. As an actuary and investment banker, respectively, they could more than afford the luxurious lifestyle which they led. Having both come from the small town of Beabocht, with dreams of working hard to achieve their goals, the house had been their first big investment as a couple, and it was their pride and joy.
Pinecliff House, as it was named when Mr and Mrs Maguire purchased it, was a charming Georgian home dating back to the early 1800's. Before even entering the house, it was impossible to remain unfazed by the luscious green gardens which surrounded the home. The sweeping lawns, waterfall, beautiful foliage and decking complete with a hot tub were more than enough to take anyone's breath away.
When you moved inside the home, you were greeted with a large foyer, leading off in three directions: left to the family room, right to the front drawing room which was frequently used for parties, and forward to the kitchen. The double door entry to the kitchen was flanked by two curved staircases which joined at the top landing and gave way to the upper floor of the house.
Rebecca heaved a sigh as she stepped off the last step and sauntered down the hallway to her bedroom. Given the nature of the house, her room was almost as large and spacious as the master bedroom, with a king sized bed, marble fireplace, cosy seating area, ceiling height bookcases, an ensuite and a generous walk-in wardrobe. It was Rebecca's safe haven; her place to escape when her mother was crazily planning another unnecessary cocktail party or her father had locked himself in his study again and was consequently being shouted at by his wife. But the thing which upset her the most, and thus led her to fleeing to her room the most often, was her bother's absence.
James Maguire was Rebecca's older brother. With only ten months between them in age, they had been inseparable since birth. Despite their similarity in regards to personality, they couldn't have been more different in appearance. Rebecca took after their mother, with her long wavy brown hair and huge blue eyes, whereas James inherited his father's features; with a mop of black curls on the top of his head and cheeky brown eyes, he was the spitting image of his father at James' age. The two siblings did, however, share some common traits; they both had their mother's button nose, and the smattering of freckles across both of said noses came from their father.
They were always described as being 'as thick as thieves' and so naturally Rebecca was heartbroken when her closet confidant decided to apply, and was accepted, to university in Edinburgh. Although her family could more than afford to fly James home every weekend, he refused the offer when his father propositioned it to him at the beginning of the year. James maintained that he would be missing out on opportunities to make new friends if he came home every weekend and so he only made the journey home on major holidays or university breaks, such as for Christmas and Easter. With her brother gone, the house which had once been filled with laughter and fun, now seemed empty and more enormous than ever. Although Rebecca could appreciate the fact that her parents were only aiming to give her the childhood they had always dreamed of, she couldn't deny that life in Pinecliff House was unbearable without James to help her through it.
A buzzing noise brought Rebecca back to reality as she realised her phone was ringing. Tapping one perfectly-manicured fingernail against the screen, she answered the call and placed the phone at her ear. "Ceels! I'm going to die," she wailed. "You just called me at the perfect time, I'm having a 'Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland' style dilemma!"
On the other end of the call, Cecelia Murphy scoffed into her phone at her best friend's over dramatic nature. "What's happened now, Becca?" She examined her nails as she waited for her best friend's reply and mentally noted to make an appointment to get her acrylics refilled.
"My parents have gone insane, absolutely bonkers!" Rebecca screeched. "They've decided that they simply cannot wait until retirement to travel the world some more and have both taken a year long career break from work. They want to start their "20th Anniversary Adventure", as mother has dubbed it, by spending the entire summer in the Hamptons."
"Well, good for them. At least your parents want to spend time together; I think if my mum and dad had to spend more than half an hour together, they would simultaneously combust."
Rebecca laughed in spite of her internal crisis. Cecelia was always so matter of fact and to the point. When her parents had gotten divorced three years ago, she had simply shrugged and said, "Well now at least I'll get twice as many birthday and Christmas presents". She acted indifferent to almost everything, it was one of the things Rebecca loved about her. With Rebecca's drama queen tendencies, they balanced each other out perfectly; Cecelia taught Rebecca that not everything was the be-all-to-end-all, and Rebecca showed Cecelia that there were some things which were worth showing emotions over.
"But, Celia, they want James and I to go with them! How can I spend the whole summer in the Hamptons and not feel guilty about not spending the summer with Darren?" Rebecca knew that she sounded like a bratty four year old, but couldn't bring herself to care at that moment.
"Simple solution: just break up with Darren," Cecelia suggested.
"Don't be daft, Ceels, you know I couldn't do that." Rebecca's pupils rolled upwards and she scoffed at her friend's idea. "You're only saying that because you don't like Darren."
"Of course I like Darren, Becks. I mean, he has a good body and a pretty face and … that's pretty much all I can think of."
"He has so many more good qualities than just his looks, Cecelia. Just because he smeared ice cream all over your face at my twelfth birthday party doesn't mean you have to have some sort of vendetta against the boy for the rest of your life." Ever since that ill-fated event over six years ago, Cecelia had never forgiven Darren. And when her best friend had started to date him two years ago, she had nearly caused a riot.
"It dripped down my top, Rebecca, and he attempted to scoop it out for me! We were only twelve and he was trying to feel me up. He's been a manwhore ever since then." Disgust dripped from each word Cecelia spat into her phone.
A hearty laugh bubbled from Rebecca's lips, which only increased as Cecelia hissed down the phone at her. "What are you, a cat?" She giggled. "Nobody uses the word manwhore anymore, and even they did, nobody would be using it to describe my boyfriend. He's completely different than the thirteen year old boy that you remember, Ceels."
"You're only saying that because you're delusional. Just because your romantic life is a complete cliche, what with you dating your older brother's best friend and all, you think that that automatically eradicates any faults in your life! You're not living in a Nicholas Spark's novel, sweetheart."
"I am very well aware of the fact that I am not living a dream life, Celia, so can we please get back to the actual issue at hand: what am I going to do about the trip?"
"Simple solution: go on the trip. Your parents are offering to take you to the Hamptons and knowing your mother it will be the most luxurious trip you'll ever go on. It will be amazing, and what better way to destress after the Leaving Cert?" Cecelia snapped out her answer and Rebecca thought she could detect a hint of bitterness in her tone.
"You're right, Ceels, I'm being silly. I'll go on the trip and it will be amazing. I'm just sorry I won't get to spend the summer with you, what with it being our last summer before we go to university," Rebecca replied, softening her tone as a sort of peace offering.
"Becks, we're going to the same university, you're not getting rid of me that easily. Speaking of which, I need to go study, I just called to ask you to send me the notes from English class the other day." Cecelia's harsh tone had disappeared, to which Rebecca heaved a sigh of relief.
"I'll send you a picture of the notes now, Ceels. Thanks again." Rebecca clicked her fingernail against the screen of her phone, effectively hanging up the call, before flopping backwards onto her bed. She spread her arms out wide to either side as she lay, just as the protagonists of movies always did when they encountered a crazy dramatic problem within their lives.
"Okay then, well I guess it looks like I'm spending the summer in the Hamptons. But how am I going to break the news to Darren?" Rebecca wondered aloud. She ran her fingers through her hair and groaned at the thoughts of telling her boyfriend that they wouldn't be spending the summer together as they so hoped.
Darren was quite peculiar when it came to things like this and Rebecca had a feeling that he would be less than impressed that they wouldn't be spending the summer together as they had so hoped. He was what some people may call a hopeless case. He was extremely jealous and each time he came home from university to visit, he couldn't bare to let Rebecca out of his sight for more than a minute. And Rebecca knew deep down that, as Cecelia said, he had a tenancy to flit from girl to girl, having his way with them and then leaving them. But Rebecca always managed to look past that and see the good in him, just as her older brother James did when he took Darren under his wing on the first day of Junior Infants. Even at the mere age of five years old James had a knack for finding people in need of help and becoming their friend. And when they had gotten older, Rebecca had began to see him less as James' friend who always looked like a lost puppy, and more as a potential boyfriend. He had grown into his angular face when he hit puberty, shooting up to 6"2, his always perfectly combed hair began to sit better on him. James was completely unimpressed when Rebecca and Darren began dating, knowing Darren as well as he did, he didn't believe that he would be a good boyfriend for Rebecca. But when Rebecca persisted in seeing Darren, outside of when he came to their house to see James, James relented and gave his best friend and younger sister his blessing to date.
As she began to ponder how she would tell Darren about their family holiday her phone beeped from where she had tossed it on her bed.
NEW MESSAGE: DARREN
Hey babe, I'm here studying for my last three exams and I can't believe that I'll be home in three weeks. Can't wait to spend a whole summer with you, it's been way too long since I've last been home. Love you xx
Rebecca reached behind her head and grabbed her pillow. Covering her face with it she let out a load groan. "What did I do to deserve this?" She wailed dramatically.
Hi everyone, the idea for this story has been floating around in my head for some time now and I finally decided to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write it. I will hopefully get a lot of writing done over the Christmas holidays. For now, I hope you enjoy and please review with any constructive criticism you may have. Thanks for reading.