EXCERPT: Adjournment by Emersyn Vallis

Adjournment amazon-coverGenre: Contemporary


Placing my fishing pole into the holder I lean back to relax in my chair next to Mea.

“I wish I could live at sea,” she sighs.

“Yeah, I agree. It’s peaceful out here.” I close my eyes.

“Molly, I swear if you don’t stop bumping me I am going to push you over the side of this damn boat. Now, I told you I will set yours up in a second!” Morgan yells.

“If you had just done mine first I wouldn’t have to stand here waiting,” Molly huffs.

“Well, it would be peaceful it they weren’t here,” I mumble.

I have listened to these two fight the whole way here. I really thought it would have stopped once we got on the boat.

“Dean, help her out, please,” Chase begs his brother.

But we all know he is going to say no. You see no one will help Molly because she can’t kept the damn rod still. Every time someone goes to help her she ends up hooking them and if you’ve ever been stuck with a fishing hook you know that it’s a ‘lesson learned after one time’ kind of thing.

“You are all jerks!” she pouts. “Dad, no one will help me.”

“I—I am steering the boat, sweetheart,” he shouts down to her.

I wonder how long it will take her to realize we’ve stopped.

“Oh, just give me the damn thing,” Morgan finally gives in.

Mea and I begin to laugh. She must have known Morgan would give in eventually, too.

Everyone is silent for a few minutes. I don’t have to look at them to know they are studying the water as though they have x-ray vision and are looking for the fish.

“Okay, what exactly do I have to do?” Lexi asks someone.

Oh, this is going to be good.

“Psst. I cut our lines,” Mea whispers.

I open my eyes and toss a confused look at her. “I’m not sure I heard you correctly.”

She turns her head toward me, a devious smile on her lips. “I. Cut. Our. Lines,” she says again. “You know… so the fish won’t bite. I figured that way we could just lay here and nap.” She closes her eyes, turning her face back to the sun. I stare at the side of it.

How is it that I never thought to do that before?

Watching her for a few more minutes I think back to why I didn’t like her.

Jealousy, that’s why.

What a senseless reason not to like someone.

Laying back, I close my eyes and whisper back, “That’s genius.”

“A toast?” She nudges me with her elbow.

Yes, I think we are going to be good friends.

Lifting my glass, I smile. “To napping?” I ask.

“No, to Fate. I’m glad it finally brought us together.” Her voice drops for a second like she is going to get emotional on me.

“I don’t do that—that crying thing. If you can’t hold it together I am going to make you go play with

Molly or Lexi,” I warn her.

She laughs loudly causing everyone to turn and look while she clinks my glass with hers.

“I will remember that,” she says between laughs. “You really are a lot like Morgan,” she says into her glass.

“I can show you how to cast, Lex.” Simon’s voice catches our attention. “So you’re going to want to hold the rod firm when you feel it bounce in your hands,” he begins to explain.

Is it me or did that just sound really dirty?

“Do I have to hold it the whole time?” she asks.

I close my eyes, adjusting myself in my seat.

“No, only when it’s ready. You can put it in the hole until then.”

I need to stop listening to this.

“What do I do when it moves?” Lexi asks.

See, I need to stop listening to this!

“Grab it with both hands and hold on to it tight while giving it a quick yank,” he instructs her.

We both turn to watch them.

“Do you think they know how that sounds?” Mea asks.

Shaking my head, I close my eyes to lay back down.

“Is it supposed to be this long? I mean this is kind of boring… and it’s really hard,” Lexi pouts.

“Oh, come on, seriously? You don’t think she knows what she’s saying?” Mea asks.

“Lexi never hears it when she’s the one saying it, but she’s the first to call you out when you say it.”

I roll my eyes.

“What are you doing? Yank it!” Simon yells.

“I’m trying to but it’s moving too much, and I can’t get my hands around it! If you’re such a man, grab it yourself!” she shouts.

Mea begins to lose control of her laughter.

“On the count of three pull with me,” he says, wrapping his arms over hers. They begin to count and on two Lexi pulls back and slams her head off Simon’s mouth.

I grab the towel I’m lying on as we jump up to rush over to where Simon’s face is bleeding and Lexi is on the ground holding her head.

“I am so sorry,” she says from where her head is between her knees.

“Three, Lex, I said three.” His hands cover his face but the blood is leaking through his fingers.

“Right. Three.” She rubs her head.

I hold the towel to Simon’s face while he wipes his hands off on it.

“In the future maybe you two should stay away from each other?” My tone is joking but I mean the words.

“From this point on we are even. I don’t want to ever hear about those fucking shoes again.” He points a warning finger at her.

“Never again.” She holds up a scouts honor.

She also has never been a scout.

He stalks away holding the towel to his face.

“They were my favorite shoes… twat,” she mutters.

My eyebrows shoot up. “I think you’ve been here too long.” I help her up off the deck.

“I think you need to be here longer.” She walks away.

How did this become about me?

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