The banging on the door woke Chara from a deep, peaceful sleep. She shot up in bed, suddenly flooded with guilt, remembering: Anna! Where was she? Was she OK? Where had she slept?
Jak had told Chara that Anna had gone off with a group of friends she knew on the island after he'd insisted that he would take care of Chara after the incident. "Anna will be fine, don't worry about her. She always goes off with random groups of people, and shows up a day or two later," he'd assured Chara.
And in the mindless stupor of her hangover, Chara had forgotten to touch base with her friend yesterday. She felt terrible.
The banging persisted.
"Hang on, hang on," she heard Jak mutter, opening his bedroom door, and his soft footsteps leading to the front door.
The day before had been a bit of a wash. They'd ordered take-away food from a restaurant around the corner for dinner, smoked a joint, and had both retired to their respective bedrooms--Jak in his own, and Chara in a guest bedroom--by 10 pm. Chara felt well rested.
She listened, curious who was at the door. A female voice. A Swedish lilt. It was definitely Anna. Thank god! Chara tossed off the duvet, pulled her robe tight around her waist, and shuffled out of her room, down the hallway to the front door to where Jak and Anna were standing.
"Hey, sleepy head!" Anna sang. She was holding a tray with three takeaway coffee cups and looked fresh and clean. She wore tight jean shorts, a ribbed tank top, and a bandana on her head.
"Anna! Thank god," Chara sighed, giving her friend a hug. She smelled of jasmine and lemongrass. "Where have you been? How do you look so fresh? Whose clothes are those?"
"Woah woah, one question at a time, please!" Anna laughed, handing Chara and Jak a coffee each, and walking into the living room. The beach below was already dotted with people swimming and lazing in the sun. Chara glanced at the clock--it was just 9 am. "I was with some friends. I stayed at their place yesterday."
"Thank you, sweetie. But why didn't you call?" Chara asked.
"Call on what? You don't have a phone."
"I know, but Jak does."
"Oh, yeah, that's true. Sorry. I was pretty hungover."
Chara understood. She'd felt the same the day before. "Fair enough," she conceded.
"So, what's the plan for today? Everybody recovered?" Anna's voice was perky as ever.
Jak and Chara laughed and nodded, both sipping their coffee.
"What did you guys do yesterday?"
"Probably the same as you. Ate greasy food, smoked a joint, and slept," Jak yawned and stretched his arms over his head. His shirt lifted up every so slightly, revealing his dark tummy trail that led from his belly button to the top of his shorts. Chara caught herself staring just slightly too long and shook her gaze away.
"Yeah, sounds about right," Anna laughed. "OK, so now that we're recovered, there is more partying to do!"
Jak chuckled and shook his head. "Oh, Anna."
"I'm serious! But first..." Anna reached behind her and into her back pocket. She pulled out a flyer, unfolded it, and presented it to them. "Ta-daaa!"
Beach Volleyball Tournament
Prize 15,000 THB
"What's this?" Chara asked, walking closer and taking a seat next to Anna on the sofa.