A Series of Unfortunate Dates (Part 3)

Written in response to: Write about a character pretending to be someone they’re not.... view prompt

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Contemporary Funny

Canelo thought that a week's vacation was just what he and his boyfriend Sulien needed. He even planned an extra special surprise. He had booked their vacation for the island of Camryge, where Sulien was from. Sulien spent the last few months talking about how he missed home. So Canelo decided as a way to celebrate Sulien’s birthday, he would surprise him with a trip home. He managed to keep Sulien from finding out until they were at the airport. Unfortunately, his news about the trip didn’t go over quite how he expected. And after their vacation turned into a disaster, he understood why.

The landing was rocky and unusually silent between, but the paradise that unfolded before Canelo was stunning. The airport was an hour outside of Sulien's hometown, which made for a bumpy bus ride with broken air conditioning, a group of tourists shouting at each other “to look over there,” and the strong smell of perfume laced with cinnamon making him gag. The sign held a fancy font written over an elegant shot of the castle. He didn’t put much time into researching the royal family aside from the current ruling Queen Esperanza, but he read enough to know that the nobles were important to the citizens. Sulien was quiet during the entire bus ride and kept squeezing Canelo’s hand as he kept looking out the window. The way he spoke of his home was always with warmth and humor, yet while they're heading to his hometown, Sulien acted as if he would rather be anywhere else. Canelo thought maybe it was the idea of bringing HIM back to meet his family that was causing the nervousness. His boyfriend had yet to mention his family since they landed. 

The island only had a few towns, with three of them within easy biking or walking distance to each other. Each of the towns was formatted in a circle with the castle in the middle. Upon their entrance into Ammil, the first thing that caught Canelo’s attention was the massive stone castle on the tree-covered hill with its structure clearly in their view over the treetops. The town was along the beachfront at the base of the hill and had a few houses directly on the water. Canelo had a clear view of the ocean that stretched out for miles and created an image that he believed to be the perfect paradise. The town consisted of apartment buildings painted a crisp white or faded coral with touches of blue and clay for the trimming. Down the main street, the buildings had shops underneath with walls of windows and flower beds and small trees dotted along the sidewalk. Each apartment had small balconies decorated with various plants and flowers. The streets were cobblestone with walkways of stairs and paths that went through various neighborhoods. The only street that allowed cars was the main street that went directly past the shops and restaurants. The town had a single bus stop where Canelo and Sulien were left off with their bags and would be walking the rest of their way to their hotel. Sulien wore sunglasses and a hat that created thick shadows over his face. 

He already had a romanticized image of their vacation when they take their day trip to the next town, which only had streets consisting of water. It started perfectly. On day one, they took a hiking trail through the woods that led out of the trees to a town line that branched into neighborhood segments divided by waterways. The Baroque style of architecture had stunning theatrical structures with ornate details and onion domes. It made Canelo feel like he was stepping inside of a Gothic romance. It was sunny and warm, which made for the perfect weather for their boat ride. Canelo and Sulien rented a boat and then made their way through the first canal off to the right of the pier, floating underneath a bridge. They used the oars to take a turn along the side of the first neighborhood. All was the perfect romantic comedy image. The neighborhoods were colorful and cheery, with bright flowers on balconies, green lawns, cobblestone walkways, and busy streets full of bicycles and townsfolk walking to the shops. They rowed the boat closer to the neighborhood where they could see paparazzi with their cameras taking pictures of the water. Before they could come into the line of sight, Sulien suddenly jerked the boat to the side just as Canelo moved his oar in the opposite direction, sending their boat tipping and both of them into the water. 

On day two, Canelo had planned a romantic day out with shopping and wine tastings, but they barely made it through one glass of wine before Sulien dragged him off into the woods for horseback riding. Their visit corresponded with the visiting royal family doing a photo shoot. The next thing Canelo knew, Sulien was shoving him forward and ended up tipping over into a barrel of wine. 

On day three, Canelo decided that Sulien needed a day to relax, so he planned a simple brunch and walk through the park. The longer their vacation lasted, the more fidgeting Sulien became. One minute, Canelo was enjoying pasta, and the next minute cameras with flashing lights were shoved in his face. Sulien grabbed his hand and dragged him away from the table, knocking over a waiter, and nd running out into the street with the flashing of camera lights following them. 

Sulien dragged him along the street and practically shoved him down into the nook of a staircase leading into a below-level bookshop. “What was that about?” Canelo frantically looks through the railing bars to see the paparazzi run by with their cameras at the ready. “Is this a tourist thing? Some sort of prank?”

“Not exactly…” Sulien’s voice was resigned. With every added strange behavior from his boyfriend, he had made a list of possible theories as to why he was a nervous enough wreck to turn their vacation into a disaster. Canelo ran several scenarios through his head but none of them came closes to the next words that Sulien said. “I’m the prince.” 

August 20, 2021 07:03

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