Chapter One ~ Just Say Yes
"Come on, Mackenzie, It's going to be amazing!"
Mackenzie Moore looked up from her finals essay long enough to see her friend Charlie smiling at her from across the table. Her friend was the complete opposite of her in every way, dark hair and eyes and absolutely beautiful. From her heart-shaped face to her curvy body that she always accented perfectly in everything she wore. She was what most would call the male fantasy come to life.
Mackenzie was still unsure why Charlie was friends with her. They had met freshman year of college when Mackenzie was working as an English tutor. One of the many jobs Mackenzie had in order to pay for her schooling.
She had a partial scholarship for academics that she had worked hard for in high school by winning many competitions with her academic team but it was far from a full ride. She had to take out a few loans and she was already paying them off, trying her hardest to be nearly debt-free by the time she graduated.
Charlie on the other hand was getting her education paid for by her very wealthy parents. She had never been good at school other than drama class so she struggled which was why she needed a tutor.
At first, Mackenzie thought she was another rich brat but it did not take long for Charlie to grow on her. She was probably the sweetest and most caring person Mackenzie had ever known. She could be a bit overly dramatic at times but that was to be expected since Charlie was a Drama Major.
One thing she loved about Charlie, though, was that she had never once tried to change Mackenzie. Usually, girls only wanted to give Mackenzie a makeover and try to get her a date but Charlie had never once tried any of those things. She accepted Mackenzie for who she was. The quiet bookworm who liked to keep to herself.
This was why Mackenzie could not understand why Charlie thought she would want to go on a week-long trip to Hawaii with her and her other girly friends. They were graduating next week and their plan was to have one last trip together before they all started their new lives in other states.
"Earth to Mackenzie! Come out of that big brain of yours and hear me out! I know you don't like to go clubbing or anything like that. You could spend your whole day locked up in your room or at least by the pool, as long as you are there, I don't care! This will be the last time we will get to spend together before real life starts!"
"Well, it's not like it will be the last time we ever see each other again. You're staying here in L.A. and I am going to Silicon Valley. We will only be about a six-hour drive away from each other. A half an hour by plane" Mackenzie stated plainly.
"That is still far! And I won't get to see you every day as I get to now!" Charlie sighed dramatically, her glossy pink lips forming into a tiny pout.
It was true that they would no longer be living together. Junior year they decided to move out of the dorms and got their own apartment right off-campus. Mackenzie had not known if she would like to have a roommate. She had moved from foster home to foster home has a child and her other "roommates" then had not been as nice.
It's where Mackenzie learned that staying to yourself was the best way to go. She had night terrors which made most of the kids terrified of her anyway. There was nothing more scary to a child than getting woken up in the middle of the night by the screams of someone sounding like they were being murdered.
The night terrors had started shortly after the death of her parents. She had not had what most would consider a good childhood even before they died. Her father had been a violent drunk and after years of mental and psychical abuse, her mother had not been the most stable of people. Often she would find her mother passed out in her room with a needle in her arm while her father spent most of his time at the local bar.
It had not always been that way. She could still remember a time when her parents seemed to love each other. She had vague memories of her parents kissing and of them playing with her outside in the sunshine.
It was not until she turned six years old when things got bad. Her parents had been trying for a long time to have another child and when her mother got pregnant they had all been so happy. The last happy memory Mackenzie had was of them sitting her down and telling her she was going to be a big sister and then taking her out for ice cream.
Her brother had been stillborn which nearly killed her parents and might as well have since suddenly the people she knew she could always turn to were no longer there. They became shells of their former selves. Always yelling, shouting, and eventually hitting.
When Mackenzie turned ten her father's violence turned to her. Suddenly she was the one getting hit as her mother looked on with almost unseeing eyes.
When she was twelve Mackenzie came home to a quiet house which was not unusual. Her mother was usually passed out and her father was always getting drunk somewhere. Even as it got late and Mackenzie made herself dinner, a bowl of chili she warmed up in the microwave, it never entered her mind that something was wrong.
It was not until the middle of the night when she woke up from a nightmare and wandered into her parent's room hoping to find her mother, just to lay beside her, only to find her in a pool of her own blood on the floor. Her father slumped against the wall that was covered in what could only be pieces of his brain with a gun in his hand.
The image of that night haunted Mackenzie and caused her to wake up violently in the middle of the night screaming. However, most of all, she would not forget sitting in the hallway of the police station as she waited for the social worker to take her away. Seeing a poster across from her listing off all the statistics of children in foster care.
How most of them became drug addicts, homeless, or ended up in prison. How the teen pregnancy rate among foster children was high and most of them never finish high school. She guessed the officer who had sat her down thought she was too young to understand the poster or maybe he had forgotten it was there but the image of it burned itself into Mackenzie's mind.
She vowed never to be any of those things it listed. She made a promise to herself that she would always be better and never be what others expected her to be.
Which found her here. Graduating California State University with honors. A Bachelor's degree in Business with a minor in Psychology and a job waiting for her as a Personal Assistant to the CEO of The New Tech Company in Silicon Valley.
She should be celebrating but really this was only the beginning of the plan she had laid out for herself. She planned on rising up to maybe owning her own non-profit organization that helped less fortunate children make their way through school. Offering help to others like she never got herself.
Then once she accomplished that and only then would she allow herself to think about maybe starting a family of her own.
The feeling of Charlie's hand being placed on top of hers brought Mackenzie back to reality and out of her head. She Looked up into Charlie's large brown eyes and became confused when she noticed tears there. She reached up to take a hold of Charlie's hand with both of hers.
"It's just... I know you don't like to talk about your past and from the little, I have heard about it I know it was terrible. I know you will be happy with your new job and that you have all these big plans for yourself but...I am terrified of leaving you alone." Charlie admitted before continuing.
"I know you say you like being alone but I don't think that's true Mackenzie. I saw how much you changed the moment I moved in with you. At first, you were very untrusting that things would work out and you have always been that way. It's like you have this invisible wall built around yourself and only certain people can see through it but they could never tear it down in order to be close to you.
You have yourself on complete lockdown and I am starting to think I am probably the only person you have ever let get even this close, but I am still far from knowing the real you deep down. All I do know is no one has ever treated me the way you have. It's like you don't see people on the outside but see them for what's on the inside." Charlie took a deep breath and Mackenzie knew there was still more she wanted to say.
"I know you are going to call me a rich brat for saying this but...Most of my friends are only my friends because they know my parents are loaded and I always have access to the best clubs because of who my father is. Only you have ever treated me like I am just an ordinary person.
Most of them would not even have dared push me so hard to do better in class as you did. They would have just told me to ditch and ignore it but you...if it was not for you I would not be graduating right now and going to work for an indie movie company here in L.A.
I could have been an actress at any of the studios but they would of only cast me in the dumb girl roles. You know how much I needed them to take me seriously and you never let me give up." At this point, Charlie let out a huge sigh followed by a giggle that was more filled with anxiousness than humor.
It was obvious that Charlie was finding it really hard to talk to her like this and she could understand why. Mackenzie had a tendency to just shut down when it came to anything to do with feelings and sentiment.
It made her uncomfortable but at the moment she was only feeling sadness. Was what Charlie was saying true? Did she have a wall around herself? Would she be okay on her own? She had been so focused on her education and her plan for herself she had not even realized how much she had closed herself off from the world.
It was true that Charlie was the first person she had ever let get close to her since the death of her parents. For a moment she thought about what her life would be like without Charlie being in the same house as her and a sudden feeling of absolute loneliness came over her.
She had not realized how dependent she had become on her friend and it kind of terrified her. She quickly pushed the feeling away but when she looked back towards Charlie she could tell she had not been good enough at concealing her sudden fear.
"We need this last Vacation together. We need to make some memories we can hold onto until we get to see each other again. I need to see a Mackenzie who can forget about her damn plan for a little while and just have fun. I want to see the real Mackenzie. If you don't let me see her then who else will?" Charlie smiled and squeezed Mackenzie's hand tightly.
Mackenzie could not help but smile a little. It did sound nice. Mackenzie had never been on a vacation in her life. How would it be to just not have to do anything but have fun? What was that even like? Mackenzie had never been to a club or bar, she refused to drink Alcohol so what was the point? Hell, she had not even kissed a boy let alone had s*x! Isn't that what people did on vacation? Drink a lot of alcohol and have s*x with strangers?
"You know, there is more to vacations than booze and boys. It's Hawaii! There is the beach and hiking to beautiful waterfalls! There is amazing food and lots of entertainment. You could even spend the day just reading in the sunshine and relaxing!
I promise not to make you drink one drop of alcohol. If you want to go out dancing one night with us you can be our DD. You can do anything you want but, there is only one rule on this vacation that you must follow at all times." Said Charlie, her lips curving into her signature smile.
Charlie always seemed to be able to know what Mackenzie was thinking and it could be a bit creepy at times. She decided to give in a little and let out a little sigh.
"What rule?" Mackenzie asked a little reluctantly.
"On this vacation, you are not allowed to say no. Anything you really want you have to say yes to. I know you tend to deny yourself things because you don't think you deserve them yet but on this vacation you deserve everything. On this vacation, you Just have to say yes."