31. Bailey

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I hate being home alone. I hate it. When no one else is at my house with me at night, suddenly the air conditioner shifting on is a stranger hiding in my basement just waiting for me to let my guard down.

On my drive home from work, I realize that I am emotionally and physically exhausted. It was my last day at the community pool, which I've worked at the past two summers. All the lifeguards become very close throughout the season, and it was sad to think that I may not be back. They said I could come back and work next year, but who knows if I'll even come back home next summer. I may decide to stay at school, or travel, or whatever I want, really.

It was also extra busy at work because we were short one lifeguard today...Ian. When I hugged him goodbye this morning, I was emotional. My twin, who I'd never been apart from, even in the womb, was leaving. He was going halfway across the country without me. I was so proud of his strength, but I was worried about mine. How could I do this? How could I face this next phase of life without him?

When I voiced my concerns, he simply said, "We all have to move on at some point. It's part of growing up, Bai."

He was handling this all much better than I was.

But at the same time, I was so excited for school to start next week. I'd spoken to my roommate over the phone, and she seems really nice. She's from Chicago, which may as well be another planet from my town with a population of 3,000, but I think we'll get along. I also found out that Derek is in my same dorm building, just on a different floor. He told me to come by his room anytime. Once I get to school, I won't even think about Ian...or Nick.

I love the evolution of Nick's and my relationship over the summer. We're not fighting...or kissing, so the awkwardness has lessened. The only trouble is that I still think about him every second of every day—so no big deal, really.

When I get home, the sun is setting, and I hear thunder in the distance. The weatherman said we can expect the biggest storm of the year tonight. I proceed to turn on every light in the house—to ward off any potential intruders, obviously.

As I turn on the shower and wait for the water to heat, I look down at my phone to see if Ian and my parents have texted, but it's dead. I suppose the 20 million Snapchats I sent of my last day of work may have drained the battery. Oh well, I'll plug it in once I'm done getting the chlorine smell from my hair.

I decide I'm not going to rush. Ian and I—and more recently, Nick—share a bathroom and there is typically a line for the shower. I might as well enjoy the one perk of everyone being gone.

I take my time gathering the shampoo and creating a lather before massaging it into my scalp. I simply stand under the falling water for several minutes, just enjoying the feel of it on my sun baked skin.

I wonder what time Nick gets off work tonight, probably late. I heard him mention something to Ian this morning about a double shift. I wish Mandy could come over to keep me company, but she's been gone on her whirlwind tour of Europe for two weeks. She doesn't even know when she's coming back. All my friends are staying home because we all start college either this week or next. I wonder what I should make for dinner--

My thoughts are cut off because suddenly every light in the bathroom goes dark. "Fuck!" I yell out loud to myself.

It is pitch black. My first thought is my game of hide and seek with Nick, which gives me it's usual response between my legs...but now is not the time.

I quickly do my best job of rinsing the shampoo from my hair, which is much more difficult since I can't see, although I don't understand why. I turn the water off and feel my way out of the tub. I touch the surface of the countertop, trying to find my phone. I end up knocking over every beauty product and toothbrush in the process. I really need to clean this shit more often.

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