Everyone is on edge. No one is talking about it but everyone is thinking about it. We'd all seen Castaway. What if we were on some island that no one ever heard of? What if no one knew we were here? What if no one was coming to get us?

I gather around the fire. Tears are still piling up in my eyes. It's the first night on the island and it's the longest night. Luckily the guys have managed to pull out a bunch of suitcases from the water. One of those suitcases happen to be mine.


Most of my stuff is soaked but I have clothes, a tooth brush, a thing of toothpaste, a towel, some floss and a couple pairs of underwear. Luckily I have packed some soap as well. At least I wasn't going to be smelling like shit on this island.


I start to take my stuff out and lay it next to the fire hoping that it'll warm it up.



"What do you think you're doing?" Sevyn says.


She's standing over me. She isn't alone. The girl Jessica is standing next to her. Jessica is staring down at me as well. She doesn't look as annoyed as Sevyn but she still seems somewhat confused at what I'm doing.


"I'm drying my clothes off..." I state.


"You're not sleeping here," Sevyn says to me.

I look around. Was she joking? I'm a little shocked when she just says it to me. A few other people look our way. At first I think OK, Sevyn is just on edge. Everyone is on edge. We just crashed. We hadn't even spent a night here.


"I made this fire," I let her know.


Sevyn's eyes seem to challenge me. She seems like one of those little brats who always gets her way. She crosses her arms. She looks across the beach. Before she even looks I know who she is looking for. She is looking for that boyfriend of hers. When she spots him she raises her tone loud enough for him to hear her screaming for his attention.


"YOU'RE NOT SLEEPING HERE!" her voice gets loud.


She's so shrill that half the beach hears her. The other 10 survivors on the beach who all head our way towards the fire. Most of them were already close by getting comfortable near the fire. None of them thanked me for making the fire. After my fight with Syx everyone was acting a little weird to me. Syx even was on the other side of the beach away from the fire. I guess he didn't want to be near my fire or maybe he didn't think I wanted him near it.


Either way when Sevyn screams all of them head my way.


I'm not surprised when Billy stands next to his girlfriend. Billy Badass puts a hand over her shoulder and pulls her close. There is look of concern on his face as though I threatened her or something. It makes me sick.


"Baby what's wrong?" Billy asks her.


Even the tone he uses towards her annoys me. It's almost like he is talking to a baby. Why is he baby talking with a grown ass woman. I roll my eyes at that moment and I think he catches me because he stares at me with this shitty ass grimace.

"He attacked my brother. I don't think he needs to be here next to us," Sevyn states.


I shake my head. This wasn't happening. This wasn't fucking happening? We were stuck on a fucking island and Sevyn was worried about where the fuck I was?

"Are you fucking joking?" I ask, "I built this fucking fire!"

"Yo what's your fucking attitude bro. You cursing at my chick?" Billy says to me, "You want to end up with your head bashed in you little bitch?"

He goes from 0 to 10 really quick. I jump to my feet and jump back putting my hands up ready to defend myself from Billy as he comes forward. He doesn't make it all the way. Surprisingly someone gets in his way. I turn to see that it's Stoney who is standing there.


"Everyone calm down."

"Fuck calming down. I don't feel safe with him here," Sevyn whines again, "He attacked my brother."

"Syx is fine," Stoney says, "Right Syx?"

We all turn to Syx at that moment. Syx is barely paying attention. I think he's doing it on purpose. He's standing looking towards the water. He crosses his arms. He's thinking about something I guess. Maybe he's still tight about the fight. Maybe he's just in his feelings about the crash. Either way Syx seems a little removed from this situation.


"Whatever. I'm fine."

"There you have it?" Stoney states, "It was just a fight. Jurnee didn't attack Syx. Tensions are high. There was a fight. Besides, it's best we stick together."

I'm shocked Stoney is standing up for me against these people. For a minute I think it actually works. Billy Badass seems to calm down and back off a little bit. I let down my guard a little bit. Then I realize that Sevyn Valentine is still staring at me. Those eyes of hers are glaring at me. She's literally looking at me like she's a shark in the water.


"He attacked my brother."

"I'm fine," Syx repeats again, this time with a little bit more awareness of the situation.



"If Sevyn doesn't feel comfortable, he can't stay. Period," Billy jumps in.


Billy thinks he is the end all be all. I look at this guy. I don't know who died and made him God. The way he even stands there makes me feel like this guy thinks he is above it all. I swear it's like he is making some declaration from up high when he says that. What is even more annoying is that people around aren't challenging the bullshit that he's saying.



I raise my eyebrows, "Where do you expect me to go?"

"Away from us," Sevyn answers me, "I don't care. Anywhere. Not near here."

"Are you joking? You want me to go out there alone?" I ask at that moment looking around.

"You guys are over exaggerating," Stoney explains, "It was just a fucking fight. Look at the guy. Jurnee's not a threat to anyone."


"I can speak for myself," I tell Stoney aggressively.

"See look at him. You're defending him and he's still acting like a spaz," Sevyn says.


"I agree with Sevyn," Jessica states.


As though she wouldn't agree with Sevyn. I shake my head. This is stupid. This is beyond dumb actually. Why was I having this conversation with these people?

"I'm not leaving. I won't talk to any of you. I'm just going to go to sleep."

"That sounds like a deal," Stoney states.


" doesn't," Sevyn argues, "He needs to leave. Stoney why the fuck are you protecting this guy? Isn't he like a fag? He's going to probably try to touch your dick while you're asleep..."

All eyes turn on Stoney.


"I don't want to sleep near a fag man," Richie says out of nowhere with a sturdy laugh thinking this is some sort of joke.


I'm glad he found it funny. A few people laughed with him.

I look over at Syx. I don't know why I expect him to stick up for me. I just fought the guy after all. I shouldn't expect him to stand up for me.


And I'm right.


"This is stupid. I'm going to bed," Syx states.


With that he just walks away from us towards the beach and the tides where he has pulled a blanket out of his suitcase.



I look at the others. I look at Billy and his girlfriend and all their little followers looking at me. All of these people on this beach and they were letting Sevyn treat me like this. Some of them seemed to even be enjoying it. It seemed to take the focus off of the fact that they were lost on a fucking island with no way of getting off.


When Syx leaves, Stoney is the only one who seems to be sticking up for me, "Guys. He's not going to touch anyone."

"You know that for sure?" Billy asks Stoney.



"Maybe Stoney likes being touched," Richie states.


"Yo shut the fuck up," Stoney tells Richie.


If this was the old Stoney, I would have been glad he told Richie to shut the fuck up. It's not too easy to trust Stoney now though. I even take him protecting me with a grain of salt. Richie does stop his annoying ass laughing though. Billy seems to step forward when Stoney starts getting tough though. I have a feeling that this could turn really ugly. I can see the look in Billy's eyes. He's not used to being challenged by anyone. Stoney's foot was still injured. Maybe on a normal day Stoney could stand a chance but I have a feeling this won't be a fair fight. Stoney and I were outnumbered. Stoney was injured and I was never much of a fighter. I mean I did have a swollen eye from my fight with Syx just a few minutes ago.



"Let me make this clear to you," Billy tells Stoney, "The sissy doesn't belong with us...he leaves. Now. You have a problem with that."

Stoney is breathing heavy. Billy is in his face. They are inches apart right now. Billy fists get tight. I notice in the background Richie and the Spanish guy from my Bio class who makes Richie laugh follow behind Billy. They circle around Stoney. I have an idea this will go bad really, really fast. Even though I hate Stoney I still don't want to see him getting jumped on my behalf.


"Does anyone else have a problem with this?" I ask the other survivors, "I can die out there. You guys realize that right? I can die alone out there. Is that really OK with all of you people?"



No one responds. Everyone looks away and pretends like nothing is happening. The only one that reacts is Sevyn. A smile forms on her face. It's clear she has everyone wrapped around her little finger. All she has to do is play the victim again. She had to put on her innocent little expression and call for help and men came running to save her. It happened with her brother Syx. It happened with Billy Badass too. She was clearly used to getting what she wanted.


"You have your answer," Sevyn tells me.


The answer is loud and clear.


"Fuck you people," I state.

I'm not going to leave without kicking out their fire though. I know it's petty but I don't give a fuck. I kick sand all over their fire.

Billy Badass comes out of nowhere and pushes me down to stop me from kicking out the fire but it's too late. The fire goes out relatively quickly.


I grab my shit and walk away.


I start walking into the forest. I would have gone down to the beach but I had a feeling it wouldn't have been good enough for Sevyn and her minions. They wanted me far away from them. They wanted me as far as I could get. The only place that I knew to go was in the forest. I don't get far when I realize that someone is following me.


"Let me help you with that," Stoney says.

He tries to grab my suitcase.


"What the hell are you doing here?" I ask him, "Why are you following me?"

It's dark in the forest. I can barely see Stoney's chocolate skin complexion in the dark woods. It's night time. I don't know where I'm stepping. I'm so mad that I don't really care. I just want to get away from these people. I want to get as far away as possible.

"I'm not going to let you go out there alone," Stoney tells me.


"Are you joking?" Stoney asks me, "You don't know what's out there. We don't know where we are. There could be snakes. There could be..."

"Why are you acting like you give a fuck about me?"

I'm looking dead in Stoney's eyes when I ask the questions. My hands are shaking. I'm so mad about what happened at the beach. These people were homophobic to a fault. They hated me because I was gay and now they were sending me off to die basically. None of them even gave a fuck about it. Sure. Stoney seemed to care, but how could I trust Stoney after what happened on that plane.


Stoney sighs, "I know you're mad at me. I get it. I'm sorry. I can't apologize enough but at least let me explain why."

"Fuck you and your reasoning," I explain to Stoney, "You think I'm an idiot. You think I don't know you didn't do that so you could be down with Sevyn and her group."

Stoney stares at the ground. He's acting as though there was another real reason for him to betray me like that.


At this point he just shakes his head, "I'm sorry."

His voice is shaky. It's dark. I can't see Stoney's face but the way his voice shakes I wonder if Stoney is crying. A part of me wants to grab him and pull him in for a hug. A part of me wants to tell him that everything was OK. Then I remember the cameras on that plane. I remember Jolie's face of disgust and embarrassment. That was the last thing I saw of Jolie.


So I don't comfort Stoney.

I'm shaking when I turn away from him, "You got your wish. Go back to your friends."

"I get it. I get why you hate me right now," Stoney explains, "But at least let me come with you. At least let me protect you. I'm all you have right now Jurnee..."

Stoney was right. I knew he was right.


I wasn't going to let him know it though.


Fuck Stoney.


Fuck all of them.


"I wish you would have died," I told Stoney, "I wish you would have died in that plane crash instead of Jolie. It would have made all this simpler. You would have gone straight to hell and I would have been better off with someone who really gave a fuck."

The words sting him I know they do. There are some things you say that you know you can't take back. When you've been hurt sometimes they come out. I've only been hurt this badly once before. It was when I was younger. My dad left me. He told me he was going to come back. He promised he would bring me a can of coke. He always brought me back a can of coke. My dad didn't come back that night and I was hurt. My dad never came back. That was the last time something hurt as bad as what Stoney did to me. So I said what I said.


And I meant it.


And I think Stoney knows that I meant it because when I turn and walk away...Stoney doesn't follow me. Stoney just silently lets me leave.


I walk deeper into the forest. I find a nice sturdy looking tree. I can't see the beach from here but I'm pretty sure I didn't go too far deep into the forest. I was upset and in my feelings but I wasn't a complete idiot. I open my suitcase.

I needed to find water somewhere. Somehow. I wouldn't survive long without it. I knew that much. It was useless to go searching in the night.


In the morning I'd have to go searching for water.


The night is full of strange...sounds in the forest. I don't recognize any of them. At times I hear echoes. At times I hear crackling noises. I wonder if I'm imagining it. Maybe I'm getting a little dehydrated already. It's so humid out here. I hardly sleep through the night that night. I'm way too afraid. Any slight noise in the forest makes me jump a little. The terrain of this island is weird. It's not quite jungle. It's not quite forest. It's a mixture of both. I wonder where we are. I figure it has to be an island off of South America. It just doesn't seem very Caribbean to me.

I could be wrong about both.


I cry when all is said and done. I cry for Jolie. I cry for all of the other people who lost their lives on the plane. Over two thirds of the people on that plane didn't survive. I cry so hard that I think I am starting to dehydrate myself. I cry myself into relaxation.


I don't remember going to sleep but I remember waking up.


I wake up to the sounds of crunching twigs.


Crunch! Crunch!



I jump to my feet. I throw my body weight back as hard as I can. I land up against a tree. I'm breathing so heavy when it happens. I open my eyes and realize that there is someone standing there next to me.


"Relax. It's just me," the person says.


My eyes adjust and I'm actually surprised to see that Syx is standing there. I'm so confused by him standing there. He still doesn't have a shirt on. This guy must have gotten his suitcase out of the water with the rest of things. Why the fuck doesn't he have a shirt on.


"What the fuck are you doing here?" I ask, "You scared the fuck out of me."

It's day time.

"Peace offering."


Syx extends his hand. He offers me a bottle of water at that moment. I'm shocked by him offering this to me. I grab the water and hold it in my hand. I examine it.


"What's this about?" I ask him a little confused.


"It's not poison," he says grabbing it out of my hand and taking a swig of it to show me, "We found a small fridge from the wreckage. It had a bunch of water. We don't have many. We'll have to conserve as long as possible..."

It's hard to conserve when your thirsty. I grab the water out of his hand.

He watches me as I drink the water.



"It's so good."

"Don't choke," he tells me.


I'm so confused that Syx is here.


"How'd you find me?"

"I told them I was going to look for some water in the forest. I just tracked you down. Luckily halfway you started dragging your suitcase behind you," he tells me.


"You came to give me water?"

"I came to bring you back," Syx explains to me, "I talked to the others this morning. Everyone is calming down. I explained to them that our fight was just petty and that I started it. I let them know that you weren't a threat to them. I let them know you weren't going know..."

"Touch them?" I ask.


Syx nods with an awkward sneer, "Yeah."

Why was Syx being so nice to me?


"Did they believe you?" I ask.


"No. Sevyn wasn't having it," he states shaking his head, "But. I also reminded them that you're the only one who knows how to start a fire. That seemed to do it."


Syx pats his gray hair. He looks over at me. He's so fucking cute. His gotten maybe a shade or two darker. He's not high yellow anymore but more a sandy tone. His tan looks really good on him actually. It contrasts even more with his gray hair. Syx stares at me for a minute and I attempt to really understand him.


"What if I don't want to come back?" I ask.


"You do," Syx explains, "You're smarter than you let on. I know that. You know we need each other to survive out here. Something about you makes me think you're a survivor."

"None of us will be surviving for long without water."

Syx nods in agreement.


"Then come with me."


"Where else. We're going to look for water."

I leave my suitcase over by the tree and go with Syx. The walk with Syx is interesting. I can't help but to stare at his muscles as he makes his way through the forest. The sweat drips down each bicep. It drips down everything. He hands me a peanut butter bar that we managed to get from the wreckage. He takes it right out of his jeans and breaks it in half to share it with me. I thank him. It doesn't do much as far as hunger goes but it definitely gives me the energy to keep moving.


"You ever heard of Malaysia Flight 370?" I ask Syx.


I'm just trying to make conversation. I laugh as though not taking myself serious at all. Syx turns towards me. He helps me over a log, His hand touches mine and he sturdily lifts me by my waist so that I can jump across. Feeling his hands around my waist feels so...perfect honestly.


"What makes you ask that?" he asks me after getting me over the log.


I shrug, "It just disappeared. Out of nowhere back in 2014. What if those people were still alive? You know? What if those people were like us? Just stranded somewhere?"

He shrugs.


"That's what my dad said when it happened," Syx explains shaking his head, "Back then I thought it was bullshit. I was so sure those people were dead somewhere."

"What about now?"

Syx shakes his head, "You ever wonder about the Bermuda triangle?"
I'm confused.


"The what?"

"The Bermuda triangle. Some people call it the Devil's Triangle. It's an area in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean where a bunch of ships and airliners just went missing. I know it sounds weird but...have you ever thought that was real?" Syx asks, "You know? As if there is something more to that story?"

I think about it for a minute.


"Nah. It sounds like bullshit."

Syx laughs, "I suppose your right. But let's be honest. There has to be things about this world that people just don't know."


"I'm sure a million people have flown around Bermuda before."

"But what if it just takes that one time. That one time for something strange to happen?" Syx asks me, "What do you think about that? What if we were in the middle of nowhere? You heard what Billy said. This place wasn't on the map..."

I wonder how long Syx has been thinking about this. He really wants to have this discussion. I mean I knew we were stranded on an island but the chances of us getting lost in the Bermuda Triangle were just kind of ridiculous.


"People would know about that---if it were real."

"There are things people don't know about the world every day," Syx explains before turning towards me and flashing me a smile, "For instance. I had no idea that you were gay."

I raise an eyebrow shocked that he was using this to prove his point.


"That's two different things. You can't compare my sexuality to the Bermuda triangle."

Syx shrugs.


"Why not?"

"You're confusing me."

"Maybe your sexuality is a lot like the Bermuda Triangle. You are flying one day in clear skies and you go through a storm. All of a sudden your life is turn upside down. Then you crash. You think you'd be dead but you're alive. And you're in a strange place in your life and the only thing that's left to do is explore and you know...see what's out there..."

Syx stops moving. He stands over at me and smiles.

I don't expect that from him. For a minute his comparison makes me stand around and really think about it all.


"I wasn't expecting that."

"None of us were expecting this..." he explains.

"No. Not the crash. I wasn't expecting you to...say something like that," I respond, "I just assumed you were..."

"A dumb jock?" Syx asks me, "An ignorant rich boy?"

I shrug and get red with a sense of embarrassment, "Yeah. What you just said is probably the smartest thing I've heard in a long time. I'm just shocked. I'm don't mean anything by it."
Syx laughs.


He licks his lips. His lips are so pink. They are so fucking pretty.


"It's OK. I thought you were just some anti-social jealous guy who was helping his mother steal my family's money to be honest. The more I get to know you I think I was wrong about you. Maybe Sevyn was wrong about you too. I honestly think the gay thing explains a lot about why you're so sheltered."

"I don't let people in," I respond, "I don't have a lot of friends. Hell. Actually now I don't have any."

I think about Stoney. I sigh a little bit. There is no way I was going to forgive him. Not now. Not ever. I hated Stoney. For some reason Syx avoids talking about Stoney the same way that I avoid bringing back up Sevyn. It's pretty clear we are understanding where our limits are.

"I'll be your friend," Syx says out of nowhere.


"You're not uncomfortable being friends with the gay guy?" I ask Syx.


"You're finding yourself," Syx tells me, "Honestly I envy you. You've already landed on your island. You're already exploring. Sometimes I feel like I'm still flying around in the storm."

Syx is deep. He's deeper than I thought. What he just said goes over my head? He's walking away after he says it but I stop him. I grab onto Syx's hand. I hold his hand keeping him from walking away at that moment.

We stand there together. I look in his eyes. There is an awkwardness that we share at that moment but it's a warm awkwardness It feels good.


"What do you mean by that? What do you mean you still feel like you're flying around in a storm?"

"Well the analogy that I talked about earlier...about you figuring out your um...well. Never mind."

He seems very self-aware all of a sudden. I think he was getting more comfortable then he would like at that moment.


"We're just talking..." I state.


He is looking away from me. He stands still almost ignoring me. Then I see it's not that he's actually ignoring me. Something else has gotten Syx's attention.


"Hey. Look up see that?"

He puts his hand on my shoulder to get my attention. I don't think he notices it until I stare at his hand. He removes it. It's awkward when he does. Regardless he points towards something that is in the distance. The trees are giving away a little bit. That's when I hear something. Water. We are far into the forest though. It's not the beach or waves. This is a different sound.

Syx doesn't wait for me to respond before he starts running forward dashing through the trees towards the sound.



I run out after him. That is when I see something. It's the weirdest thing I've ever seen before.


A treehouse is sitting right there. A fucking treehouse. Someone built a huge tree house with a carp over it and everything. The structure looks secure. It's about three stories high. My mouth drops when I see the wooden edifice is overlooking a stream of fresh water. ACTUAL water!



"Jurnee. You know what this means?" Syx asks me.


I'm looking over at him. We should be happy. We should be ecstatic but there is something else that we feel right now. There is this uncertainty.


"What?" I ask Syx.


The structure was built strong. It was cut precisely as though it was made out of tools. It looks abandoned but it was built so...perfectly. The perfect building that would shield us from the rain when the rain started.


Syx turns towards me, "We aren't the first ones on this island."

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