Owen’s a cute guy. He’s dependable. He’s the solid rock in my life. He’s not going anywhere.
I am in love in Owen Geary. Twenty-seven will be the best year yet.
“Hey fuck face,” my brother’s voice chirps though the phone.
“Hey fuck face yourself,” I tell him, clearing my throat. I can tell I’m getting sick, my throat feels like it’s been scraped with barbed wire. This is not what I need right now. “What do you want?”
“Well, I thought I’d wish you a happy fucking birthday, you damn git.”
“Right,” I say with a nod he can’t see. I get my keys out of my jeans and open the door to my Jeep. In the background one of the choppers is taking off and I quickly get inside the Jeep so I can hear Bram better.
“Are you at the airport? Don’t tell me you’re working on your birthday.”
“Most people have to work on their birthday,” I point out to him. Of course, Bram doesn’t fucking work at all, he just tools around Manhattan like some over-privileged playboy. Some might say I’m no different, but at least I have a bloody career. Bram has coasted by on my parent’s money and status for his whole life. The funny part is, he’s the older one; he should have set an example for me.
I guess in some ways he did. When I finished high school, I vowed to become the opposite of Bram.
“You should take the day off,” he says. His words are punctuated by a yawn and I can just imagine him with arms stretched over his head. “Have you talked to mum and dad yet?”
I sigh and lean back in the seat. It’s April and it’s cold as hell. Even though I moved to San Fran in my early twenties, I still haven’t adjusted to its bipolar weather. In New York, you got the full four seasons in their proper order. In Aberdeen, Scotland, where I grew up, you got the same on a milder scale. Here, it’s hot in the fall and cold in the summer and foggy most days of the year. I’m tempted to run the Jeep and put the heater on but I can just imagine Stephanie making fun of me for that.
“No, I haven’t talked to them for a few weeks,” I tell him. And by that we both know it means I haven’t talked to my father in a few weeks. My mother never calls and that’s a fucking good thing.
“I hope they don’t forget your birthday,” Bram says in a way that he means he hopes they do. “At least you have a good brother.”
I roll my eyes. “Yeah.”
“Listen,” he goes on and from his tone I immediately know that my birthday wasn’t the real reason he called. “I was wondering if you could do me a favor.”
I tug on my ear in surprise. “Do you a favor?”
“Yes, Linden, it’s what brothers do for each other. I’m going to be in San Francisco next weekend and I’ll be bringing my girlfriend. She loves Alcatraz. Do you think you could give us a ride there?”
“Give you a ride there?” I repeat, dumbfounded. What the fuck?
“Yeah,” he says, as if he hasn’t said something completely ridiculous. “You know, on the helicopter.”
I let out a long, exhausted sigh and pinch the bridge of my nose, trying to gather my wits. “Bram, look. I work for a charter company. I don’t actually have my own helicopter to fly you all over the place.”
“So we’ll charter one.”
“And you can’t just fly over to Alcatraz. It’s a protected area. You can’t just land there without permission. I’m not even sure if there is a landing pad there.”