Chapter 1 – The City of Fun and Sun
Mia used a towelette to dab the perspiration off her forehead, pulling her long dark hair away from her shoulders so that it cascaded down her back. As she waited beside the pink and white Chevy Suburban, she caught the scent of sun-baked asphalt, mingling with the heady aromas of the bustling city. The relentless heat intensified the mix of exhaust fumes and the salty tang of the nearby Caribbean Sea. The clamor of the streets filled the air, a discord of car horns, chatter, and beachside bar music.
“Excuse me?” Mia asked anxiously as she paid the cabbie with U.S. bills. She glanced at the driver, expecting a flirtatious response like she was used to, but he remained silent throughout the entire car ride, “I’m going to the Blue Wave Festival, how do I get to the dock?”
The driver, his cap pulled low and sunglasses shielding his eyes, gestured towards the distance and spoke a rapid stream of Spanish. Mia’s brow furrowed in confusion. No wonder he had not responded to her attempts at conversation, he could not understand a word she was saying!
“Do you have the time?” Mia tried again tapping on an imaginary wristwatch. But before she could receive an answer, the driver gave the Suburban’s engine gas, drowning out her words. The utility vehicle pulled away, abandoning Mia on the hot sidewalk. She watched the vehicle disappear into the distance, unsure whether the cabbie had even dropped her off at the right place.
Mia confirmed the time on her cell phone and started walking the in the direction the driver pointed. She was in the heart of Cancun’s hotel zone, Mia, a tiny figure amidst the towering modern architecture. The buildings rose tall and colorful, their sleek lines and bright facades reflecting the blazing sun, casting reflections on the surrounding streets.
She finally reached the port and the briny aroma of the ocean mingled with the pungent smell of freshly caught seafood that wafted from the fish market. The harbor was lined with boats of various sizes and designs gently swaying on the glistening turquoise waters. Yachts with sleek lines and polished decks stood side by side with the weathered exteriors of rustic fishing boats. Mia caught snippets of animated conversations in different languages, and the calls of seagulls soaring overhead.
The blaring foghorn caught Mia’s broke Mia’s train of thought, she turned around and caught sight of her boat. It was a forty-foot yacht with a white fiberglass hull equipped with four outboard motors, and it was pulling out! Mia’s high heels clipped on the boardwalk as she dashed for the vessel before it left her behind.
“Wait, hold on!” Mia exclaimed, her sheer dress swaying in the breeze. An unexpected gust of wind caught the hem and the fabric billowed upward. There were gasps and amused murmurs as Mia was momentarily blinded and flashed a generous amount of bare skin to the people on the boat. Her footing became unsteady, and she teetered precariously on the edge of the deck, desperately trying to regain her balance. But fate had a different plan in mind, and her thrashing limbs proved insufficient to save her from walking right off the deck. Someone called out, “Watch out lady!” a moment too late as the pretty girl lost her battle with gravity and she vanished beneath the surface of the cool, crystalline waters with a resounding splash.
She heard laughter as she resurfaced, sputtering and splashing water in every direction, her black hair matted to her face. A crew member dived into the water without hesitation to help Mia onto the boat. She swam to the boat and climbed up a side ladder begging the kind man to go after her luggage.
Her short dress, now transparent dress clung to her curves, raising a few eyebrows. Mia, ever the good sport, managed a sheepish grin amidst her misfortune as she fumbled with the hem of her skirt, pulling it back down.“Um… Hi!”