Rain. I’m tired of it.
Anne Jones turned away from her apartment’s kitchen window. The rain outside was coming down harder now, unstopping after hours of gray. Now that it was nearly nine p.m., the rain above her window was invisible in the closing darkness of the night.
She walks across the tile of the kitchen floor in socks, to the refrigerator. She turns around, her hand on the handle, and stares out over the island in the center of the kitchen to her front living room. She can see her friend’s head barely rising above the back of the couch. Anne asks, “Jill, you want a beer?”
“Nah, I’m fine,” Jill Truman replies.
Anne turns away, opening the fridge door. She whispers to herself, as she reaches inside for a beer for herself, “Ok then, I’ll have your later.”
She pulls out the beer, letting the fridge door close by itself. She pops open the top, and takes a short swig. The thirty-four year old, brown-haired woman throws the cap into the trashcan and walks out of the kitchen to join Jill in the living room. She moves around the couch, where Jill sits up, smiling.
Jill Truman is thirty-two, her blonde hair making men watch her in a gawking manner whenever she goes out. She met Jill in high school, a little over nineteen years earlier. Since then the two had grown to be pals, and then best friends. For the past two and a half years, Jill had been living down another block, where she too lived in an apartment. Tonight was one of her “check-in” nights with Anne, who rarely ever went out on dates, and when she did, it always turned into disaster. Two or three days a week Jill would come over to hang out will Anne, on a night she herself wasn’t out on a date.
Anne takes another swig of her beer bottle, and realizes she’s finished it. She sets it down on the coffee table, and glances at the television, beginning to reach for the remote to turn up the volume. Jill cuts in saying, “I flipped through that book of yours.”
Jill slides a book off of the coffee table, that Anne sees is resting on a magazine. Jill flips it over in her hands, and reads the title aloud. “The Miracle of InGen.”
“Oh, that book. Yeah, I bought it several days after watching that speech on TV.”
“About the dinosaurs?”
Anne nods. “That Hammond guy talked about InGen’s goal to bio-engineer dinosaurs. He also talked about that one, um, Tyrannosaurus that was rampaging through San Diego. Stuff about Site B.”
“Ah, gotcha. I remember hearing about all that on CNN or something… Big story, too.”
Anne nods again.
Jill says, “But the book…”
“Yeah,” Anne says. “Hammond wrote that after the incident. It goes on about his first ideas for it all, through the time he founded InGen. Then he created Jurassic Park, as well as Site B. A lot to read, but interesting.”
“What is it?”
“Wouldn’t it be fascinating to see something like that?”
“Dinosaurs Anne. Live, breathing, real dinosaurs! I mean, that would be amazing. But instead of time-travel, you get them brought to you.”
“Yes, but you wouldn’t want to get face to face with one of—“ Anne grabs the book from Jill, and flips through several pages until she finds the right page. “—these.”
“It’s a Velociraptor.” Jill slowly takes the book from Anne’s hands, staring wide-eyed at the black and white image of the dinosaur. It was a side view, and it was snarling, it’s hind leg, armed with a vicious sickle-like claw, raised up. A caption below read:
Velociraptor. A small theropod native to China and Mongolia. Pack-hunter, quite vicious, and quite intelligent.
Anne says, “It goes a little more in detail on the following pages about the raptors and InGen’s plans for them on the island.”
Jill gazed at the sickle claws on each foot. “Those things look like they’d hurt.”
“Yes. While they were building the park there were some accidents and fatalities due to the raptors. They easily slashed open workers’ chests, arms, you name it. These things were smart, ferocious. Makes you think twice if you really want to go to this island or not. He said that the park warden, Robert Muldoon, had the wisest answer: Kill them all. But Hammond didn’t listen.”
“Jeez,” Jill whispered again.
“Well, let’s get off the topic of dinosaurs.”
“You’re right,” Jill says, closing the book and setting it back down on the coffee table. On the television, a commercial for a fast food restaurant ends, silently. The volume is still off. Jill says, “So how’s Mark?”
“Oh my God Anne. Not again.”
“Oh, that Mark. Yeah, well, uh—“
“Anne, I do my best to hook you up, but you don’t even let things flow.”
“Jeez Anne,” Jill says. “I think, if you want to get away before I try to hook you up again, you should go on a vacation or something.”
“No Anne, I’m serious.” Jill starts to get up. “You need to get away for awhile. Take a cruise, or something. Go to Hawaii, or Jamaica… Or, I know, Costa Rica…”
Anne stares blankly.
Jill laughs. “Anne, you know I’m right. Just get a break, for a week. It’ll be good for you.”
“Jill,” Anne smiles, shaking her head. “What am I going to do with you?” She stops, getting up and walking around the couch to the door, where Jill is starting to walk as well. Jill turns around, and they face each other. Anne says, “I guess you’re right. I’ll just take a trip, for a few days. Just to get away, nothing else. “
“Hey,” Jill laughs. “It was your mom’s idea, after all.”
“Oh my God,” Anne says, throwing up her arms as she rolls her eyes. “I don’t think she’s serious, but I think she may be right. Call her.”
“Fine, fine.” Anne pens the door, and Jill steps out into the hall.
“See you later Anne,” Jill says, waving as she walks away.
Anne leans out, calling, “Good-bye!” She turns around, closing the door, and immediately goes for the phone. She glances at the clock: 9:47.
She dials, and hears ringing. After two rings, a female voice asks, “Hello?”
“Mom? It’s Anne.”
“Anne, how are you?”
“Fine mom, you?”
“Never better,” she chuckles.
“Listen,” Anne says, “Jill just said you mentioned I should go on a vacation somewhere. She didn’t know if you were serious or not, but—“
“I was dear.”
“Yes honey. You really need one. I think it would be good for you.”
Anne nods, sighing. “Right mom.”
“I’ll sleep on it.”
“Good night mom. Love you.”
“Love you too honey.”
“Tell dad I said hi!”
“Bye now, take care. And be sure to call when you get back. Fill us in on all the details.”
“I will mom.” With that, she hung up the phone.
She walked over to the coffee table, grabbing the remote. She turned the television off, grabbing her empty beer bottle. She returned to the kitchen, were she threw it away, and for no real reason at all, rinsed her hands.
As she dried her hands, she muttered, “Vacation. I don’t need one. Well, then again… Maybe I do. Ah, I don’t know! Jill and mom… Why do they think I need a vacation?”
She walks out of the kitchen, glancing at the phone near the door, and shakes her head. She moves past the couch, pushing open the door to her bathroom. She flicks on the light, and grabs her toothbrush, lathering it with a squirt of toothpaste. She looks up in the mirror, and begins to wash.
I don’t need a vacation… I do need a vacation… I don’t… I do… I don’t… I do.
Anne spits, rinsing the sink and toothbrush under running water, and sets down the brush before turning off the light. She begins to walk over to the phone once more, when she stops herself, and turns on her heels in the carpeted floor.
“No, I don’t.”
She walks past the bathroom to another door leading to her bedroom. She walks in, not bothering to turn on any light. Leaving her socks on, she removes her shorts, feeling the cold air begin to press on her bare thighs.
In her shirt, socks, and underpants, Anne slips into bed, feeling the slight chill of the blanket against her skin begin to fade away. She closes her eyes, and begins to go to sleep.
I need a vacation.
Anne’s eyes flutter open, and she throws off the covers. She gets up, grabbing her shorts off the floor, and sets them on the bed. She continues walking into the living room, past the couch, past the kitchen, until she reaches the phone. She slides a drawer open underneath it, and pulls out the phone book.
“Ok vacation,” she whispers. “Here I come.”
She sets down the open phonebook, and begins to dial the number at the airport.
Fifteen minutes later, Anne opens a suitcase and sets it down on the bed next to her shorts. She folds them up, throwing them in, and steps around the bed to her dresser. She pulls out several pairs of shorts and shirts, as well as socks and underpants.
She closes what open drawers she has left open, and looks down at the bed, were the clothes are messily strewn. She begins folding and piling them, and then placing them inside the suitcase. She nods once she’s done, and slides open the door to her closet.
She files through the hanging clothes, and pulls out a pair of jeans and sweatpants. She slides the door closed, and folds the pants, placing them into the suitcase.
She leaves the room, returning several minutes later carrying a ziploc bag containing her slowly drying toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb, a brush, and little hand-wipe pouches. She zips it up, throwing it into her suitcase.
I don’t need a vacation.
“Yes, I do!” She closes the suitcase, quickly zipping it up. She drops it on the floor beside her bed, and slips herself back into the covers.
Jill Truman unlocks the door to her apartment, slipping her coat off and hanging it up on the stand next to the door. She twirls her keys as she walks away, kicking the door closed behind her with her foot. She plops down on the couch, removing her shoes, and turns on the television.
She had gone for lunch alone, all day wondering what Anne was going to do about a vacation; sometimes laughing to herself at the thought.
Jill looks at the digital clock set up next to the television: 5:34 p.m.
I should call her.
She gets up, walking to the phone. She pushes away a paper resting on top of it, and dials in Anne’s number. She twists the chord in her fingers as she listens to it ring.
Finally: “Hey, this is Anne! I’m not home right now, so just leave me a message and I’ll try and get back to you as soon as I can.”
Jill smiles to herself, and says: “Anne? Anne are you there? It’s Jill, pick up the phone! God, don’t tell me your mom was serious? You’re in Costa Rica? Visiting the natives huh? Sun, sand and adventure, my little Indiana Anne world traveler extraordinary. Well give me a call when you get back, okay? By the way, I thought you hated flying?”
She laughs, setting down the phone. There’s no way Anne would’ve gone.
No way at all.