Especially, the ladies.
I’d live on the property rent-free in a studio bungalow type of set up, which was located on the second floor of the bait shop. Miles said it was completely private and I’d be the only one with a key to enter and exit through a door in the back of the building. My hours would be full-time, and my schedule would fluctuate anywhere from five a.m. until midnight when they closed. The only days I had off were Tuesday and Thursday when I’d be in classes all day. On the weekends, they closed at three a.m.
There was an indoor/outdoor bar, a full restaurant with a band, and amenities galore.
Small grocery store.
I wouldn’t have to leave the marina, everything was at my disposal right there. He suggested I bring my bike. A car wouldn’t be needed since the university was within biking distance. I’d have very little bills other than my food and activities. Nightlife was also within walking distance. Between a full-time job and being a full-time student, I doubted I’d have much time for a social life.
Cain took all the credit for my new employment, saying I owed him big time. The only downfall was that I had to leave in a few days. My job was waiting on me and the summer session started soon. I had no choice but to start packing up my entire life that afternoon. Leo was going to help me pack. When I told him my decision to move to the island two weeks before, he was surprisingly more supportive than I thought he would be. My family was the same, and extremely excited for my new adventure.
“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”
I listened to the dean end his speech before he started to announce our names to receive our diplomas. I swear I blinked and I was driving back to my parents’ house. After graduation, my whole family had a celebratory lunch for me at one of my favorite restaurants in town. I think my mom cried at least four times while my dad repeated how proud of me he was.
Since I had plans with Leo to pack up my room at their house and my apartment, I drove back alone. I didn’t take much with me when I moved into my apartment after high school and I hadn’t gone through my stuff in who knows how long.
My parents and family stayed behind to handle some business for the ranch.
Leo was already waiting for me in my driveaway, sitting on his four-wheeler in front of the door.
“Hey,” I greeted, stepping out of my Jeep.
“Hey yourself. How was lunch with your family?”
“It was good. Bittersweet. I think I’m still blind from all the pictures our families made us take after graduation. It was like prom all over again. Except Ashton didn’t throw up all over my shoes this time.”
“Ah, memories. But your shoes were ugly as fuck so he did you a favor.”
“You said I looked good!”
“You did. Your feet, not so much.”
“Leo! Those were designer shoes.”
“That explains why they were so hideous. And you kept complaining all night how much they pinched your toes.”
“Ugh, they did make my pinky’s bleed.”
“I remember. I had to drive to three different gas stations for you, trying to find the flesh-colored Band-Aids that you had to have.”
I smirked. “You’re the one who wanted to rent a sportscar instead of letting your parents get us a limo.”
“Because that makes a difference.”
“It does in my head.”
“And we both know how crazy it is up there.”
“Did you come here to help me pack or pick on me?”
“Can’t I do both?”
I smiled while unlocking the front door. For the next hour, Leo helped me pack up my bedroom. He kept finding all the sentimental stuff I forgot I saved through the years of our friendship.
“Mila, are you going to cry this entire time?”
My eyes widened, sniffling.
“What? I’m just wondering what I’m in for.”
“Oh my God! Doesn’t this make you sad? Look at this picture! We were ten and you dressed up as the blue Power Ranger for me because I was the pink one.”
“You didn’t leave me much choice, Lala. You showed up at my house on Halloween with the costume and threatened if I didn’t wear it, you wouldn’t give me your chocolate brownies at lunch anymore.”
“It’s not my fault you’ll do anything for chocolate.”
“It’s the Hawkins’s sweet tooth curse.”
“You know I still would have given you my brownies, right?”
He grinned. “I know I would have taken the brownies out of your Lisa Frank lunchbox if you didn’t.”
“Awe…” I frowned. “You remember my lunchbox?”
“How could I not? You dragged me with our moms to find the right one with the puppy on it.”
“Hey! The puppy was the best one. Besides, how many places did you drag me with our moms to find the right toys?”