When Molly and I first became friends my senior year of high school, one of things we bonded over was planning our weddings and how we would like our husbands to propose to us. Molly was smitten with the idea of a Disney World or Disney themed proposal, while I stuck by my idea of an unexpected, shock me, holiday themed proposal.
And for some darn reason, the holiday season was gearing up in the beginning of September and we were going to Disney World. So coincidental.
In plain English, I was waiting for that proposal. I was waiting to become Mrs. Zayn Malik.
One Direction didn’t have any more tours planned for the forthcoming years, mainly because the boys were reaching their prime and, although their fan base still existed, the studios and music corporations weren’t looking for middle aged men anymore. Their contract wasn’t ending, but it was becoming more and more clear to the 24-28 year old boys that they were going to soon retire.
Liam had popped the question to Danielle at their last concert and they were planning a small, quiet wedding in London after the trip to the Florida Keys. Louis and Eleanor had moved in together and had no intention of making it official until Louis was settled and ready. Zayn and I had kept our public, overseas relationship as strong as we could, and Molly had flown off to Ireland for a few months, where she kept close to Niall and as much in the public eye as possible. Harry had chosen the single life and was planning his own expedition to explore the world.
Now we were reunited and off as the Brat Pack to the Florida Keys.
Molly would be flying in to London with Niall, and then she, Niall, Louis, Eleanor, Liam, and Danielle would fly straight to Orlando Airport, where I would meet them, alongside with Zayn.
Or so I had thought.
Zayn had flown over to stay with me in my apartment for the week before our flight. He got the pull out couch and it had become just like it was when I was studying abroad in England, except for the fact that more and more girls started lining up outside our door and we could no longer just walk on the sidewalk and grab coffee. He had come over to my parent’s house for dinner a couple nights earlier. Although he received a rather bitter welcome from my mother, my cousin, my 20 year old brother, and other family members warmed up to him in minutes.
On September 2nd, Zayn woke me up bright and early and got our bags in the big black van that was to take us to Reagan National airport. Our flight departed at 5:30, so I slept on Zayn’s shoulder as the car gently rocked us to the quiet airport.
Zayn had booked first class tickets, so once again, I dragged my leggings and T-shirt body through an empty queue and into the lounge.
Somehow I trusted Zayn was getting us to Orlando. But at around 5:15, when I looked up at the clock next to the message board, I saw that we were in the lounge waiting area for a flight leaving to Tahiti.
“Zayn, wake up, wake UP!” I shook Zayn awake, his heavy head lifting from my shoulder and looking into my crazed eyes.
“What?” he mumbled, dropping his head on my shoulder, nuzzling me a bit.
“We’re in the wrong terminal!” I freaked out, lifting him straight up and grabbing our bags, digging through his pockets trying to find our air tickets.
When I did find them, I saw that the Air Tahiti was picking us up at LAX and dropping us off Papeete’s Faa’a Airport in Tahiti.
“Surprise?” Zayn shrugged and looked at, a massive smile on his face.
My emotions were so out of check, I had no idea what to think.
“Wait, WHAT?!” I was so confused.
“Eh, I thought I’d get over my fear of swimming and take you jet-skiing,” he said smoothly, putting his arm around my shoulder.
Still stuck. Still confused.
“But Orlando… Disney World….I mean, I mean the Florida Keys…”
“You’re not cute when you stutter, Jess,” he said, putting a kiss on my lips. “Nah, but actually you always are cute, babe.” He gave me a smile and dropped his head on my shoulder.
He sighed. “Liam and Danielle are going to the Keys and Louis and Eleanor are going with Niall and Molly to the Keys, so it’ll be us two at Bora Bora,” he mumbled into my shoulder.
Shivers rolled down my spine.
“No wait, Zayn…”
“Jess come on, it’ll be us.” He sat up and held my hands. “Jess we haven’t spent time together like this. You’re gonna love this. Promise.” He had that puppy dog face that brought a beautiful smile on my face.
“Okay, okay, okay fine,” I said, putting my head on his chest. “How long is the flight?”
“Just 12 hours,” he said, running his hands through my hair.
I groaned. “It’s doable,” I said, thinking of the 22 hour flights to India that I had endured quite a few times.
“It is,” he said. Putting a kiss on my forehead, he continued, “It’ll be worth it.”
We reached Bora Bora at around 2 in the afternoon, right when the sun was beating down hard on the white sand.
It was beautiful, to say the least. The water was crystal blue, as if diamonds were buried in the sand and the light was reflecting off of it. The sand was white and soft. The sky was cloudless, small, quiet seagulls flying around in the distance.
Zayn had another car drive us off to our hotel. When we reached there, they gave us a key and directed us somewhere over the ocean.
“The ocean?” I whispered to Zayn.
“Oh you’ll see,” he said, a mischievous grin on his face. “You’ll love it.”
We drove around the border of the island, high up against cliffs where the water was beating down against the rocks, white foam bubbling against the edges. The van took us down a hill and stopped in front of a brown dock that was floating against the blue-white water.
The dock was connected in a maze of many other docks, which were in turn connected to little huts.
It then hit me hard in the face.
Standing on the pavement next to the car with my bags and Zayn, I realized that we were in Bora Bora, we were staying that one hut out in the distance that was floating over water, and that jet ski that was parked next to it was ours.
My jaw dropped and Zayn put his hand underneath it to stop it from permanently falling off my face.
“Told you you’d like it,” he said, ruffling my hair and taking my bags with him as we crossed the dock and made it to our single hut.
It was a quiet, wooden hut decorated with tribal drawings and that floated directly over the crystal waters. There was a big, wide living room with massive windows looking out onto the quiet, rolling ocean, and then a single bed in a big bedroom, overlooking a coral reef that was tucked underneath our big balcony.
A mini fridge and kitchen welcomed us into the hut, where we filled up on pizza and soda, cranking the radio up and indulging in our own privacy.
It was weird being that secluded and away from everyone. Here we were, practically floating on the ocean, living inches away from fishes and the natural wildlife of the Tahitian environment, but at the same time, we were international stars (or at least Zayn was). There were no paparazzi (it should have been very hard for them considering the ocean and all that) and there was nobody else to talk to. If this trip didn’t bring me and Zayn closer than anything, I don’t know what could have.
I realized, after a few hours, that Zayn had written up an entire plan for the week we were to spend on the Tahitian islands. The activities ranged from cliff jumping, snorkeling, jet skiing, going on a safari, and parasailing. All of these were things I’d never do with friends, but would never have a second thought about doing with Zayn.
I can’t wait for this week to begin, I thought, snuggling into Zayn’s shirtless body as we both went to sleep under the stars.