"Kindness of Strangers?" Part I
By LaurenGirl 

Summary: Trent, Jesse, Jane and Daria decide it’s time to head to Santa Monica for a weekend of beach fun. however, as they have more and more fun, Trent starts to feel something he’s never felt before about Daria, and isn’t sure how to deal with it. He can’t tell Jane or Jesse, they might spill it to Daria. What’s he gonna do?

Here’s how this is gonna go down:

*Italics are for when people are thinking things ex. Just then Quinn tripped. Oh God I hope no one saw!

*These (-------------) are used to separate scenes

*A person’s name followed by a colon (:) indicates dialogue example Daria: Hi Jane, what’s up?

*(text in here) indicates what a person is doing during dialogue

*And regular text like this is used to describe what’s happening.

I now give you "Kindness of Strangers?" Part I

It was August, the summer sun melting Lawndale and it’s citizens into puddles of bubbly goo, or so it seemed to Daria. bored, Daria sat down on her bed and turned on the TV. It was a Thursday at 1:00 in the afternoon, so things like the Brady Bunch and Charles in Charge were on.

Daria: Damn, why can’t MY backyard be covered in Astroturf ??? (disgustedly.) Oh my God, now I’m talking to myself. I need to get out of the house...... ah! shut up!

Just then Quinn passed Daria’s room, and, upon hearing this, poked her head into the room.

Quinn: Look’s like you’re your only friend, Daria.

Daria: Better than having yours. (hurling a pillow at quinn’s too-cute head.)

Quinn: Fine I’ll leave, (looking around Daria’s room) Ugh, especially since your room is so creepy! I’ll be at the mall!

Daria walked to her bookshelf, and looked at the spines to see if there was anything worth reading...again

Daria: it twice.....nope....uh uh....hell no.....what’s this??

Daria pulled out a teen magazine, with Sarah Michelle Gellar on the cover with the words "How to nail that Boy," "Quiz: which tones are right for you," and "True Story: Dateless for the Prom."

"God" Daria said in disbelief, then emerged from her cave to Quinn’s room, where she planned on returning the magazine right away.

Daria: Quinn, I don’t know how or why this got in my room, but I don’t want it to ever happen again. how could you read such pointless crap?

Quinn: God Daria, you just don’t get it do you?? No wonder you don’t have any friends or boyfriends!

Just then Quinn got up and yanked magazine out of Daria’s hands and slammed the door in her face.

Daria was angry now, her eyes tight and her hands clenched. I DO have friends, and they treat me a hell of a lot better than Quinn’s ever will, and she says I don’t get it? Damn it!

Daria picked up her phone and dialed Jane’s number. she answered after the third ring, all the while Daria waiting impatiently in anger.

Jane: Yo.

Daria: Hi Jane it’s me (said quickly and sounding annoyed)

Jane: Whoa Daria is something bothering you? Other than your parents I mean?

Daria: (regaining her composure) Um, no Jane.....I don’t know why I sounded like that. (fingers crossed behind her back) Anyway, do you wanna do something? Maybe we can get some pizza. I’m bored out of my skull and fed up with the people in this house.

Jane: No can do, Trent and Jesse and I are heading to the record store, but you can come if you like....I’m sure Trent would love your company (said with a sly grin and a hint of hopefulness).

Daria: Jane, he barely knows I exist, let alone likes me. *sigh* I hope you don’t say anything to him about how know... because I have strong connections with the Mexican Mafia, and they sure as hell don’t tolerate your kind.

Jane: Me too, but MY Mafia is Russian. They smuggle caviar AND have cool accents. Looks like you’re outdone.

Daria: Whatever, just don’t say anything. So are you picking me up or what?

Jane: Yeah, we’ll be there in Trent’s love-mobile in 10 minutes.

Daria: Shut up.

Trent pulled up in the van, an empty seat next to him with Jesse and Jane fooling around in the back.

Trent: Cool it you guys, it’s barely been 10 minutes and were just going to a record store. Plus you’re my kid sister, Janey, and I don’t wanna see that stuff.

Jane: aw, Trent, are you jealous? you know they outlawed incest in California....

Trent: Shut up, Janey, don’t make me sick.

Just then Daria came out of her front door, wearing her usual outfit and carrying a small bag

Jane: Hey daria, looks like Trent saved you a seat

Daria just glared, knowing that if she said anything, Trent would begin to wonder.

Trent: Hey Daria

Daria: Uh, hi Trent.

Jane: So, what’s in the bag?

Daria: Um, books. In case I get bored.

Jane: Books? At a record store?

Trent: Hey Daria, maybe you can help me pick out some new alternative releases instead of bury your face in a book. (said in a friendly way with a slight smile) How ‘bout it?

Daria: (muffled) OK.

Jane gave Daria a look saying "hmmm, how ‘bout that?" but Daria just turned around and buckled her seat belt.

Trent: All set? Lets roll.

Driving back from the record store, everyone has small bags of CD’s.

Trent: Hey Daria, lets listen to one of your CD’s.

Daria: OK.......

Daria grabbed one of her CD’s, and not really paying attention to it, out of nervousness in front of Trent, she quickly unwrapped it, leaned over and popped in the disk. Her left hand went up to press play, but instead of immediately sitting back, she stopped, her finger still resting at the controls, and listened in confusion to a man with a deep voice singing about women and curves. Puzzled, she unknowingly dropped her left hand down, right onto Trent’s right knee, and thought to herself what? this isn’t the Wallflowers.....after a about 20 seconds, she quickly realized where her hand had been so clumsily dropped.

Daria: Um, sorry Trent. I guess I wasn’t paying attention.

Jane: (pulling away from Jesse) sure ya weren’t.....

Trent: (ignoring Jane’s odd comment) That’s OK Daria.

Daria: This isn’t the Wallflowers, is it? (said to whole van)

Jane: Nope, it’s Barry White, you picked up the wrong "W"

Daria: damn it!

Jane: Um, daria? Could you stop the CD now? It’s making me uncomfortable.

Daria: I’m sure it’s not making Jesse uncomfortable...

Jane gives her a "Don’t you know it" grin and turns back to Jesse. Daria turns around to face forward again. She stopped the CD and took it out, placing it carefully back in it’s case.

Daria: (quietly, to herself) I wonder if I can return this.....

Trent: You can, but you have to exchange it for another item, you can’t get a refund.

Daria: (embarrassed) um....thanks....

Trent just smiled, and continued to concentrate on the road. Good thing Jane has real friends like daria......alot better than having friends like that girl.....Daria’s sister.....what is it? Quinn or something. God...what a ditz.

Jesse: Trent look out!

Trent snapped back to reality in a nanosecond, and narrowly missed an on-coming truck.

Daria exhaled in relief.

Daria: Trent?

Trent: hmm?

Daria: You have to turn off there (pointing to an a street up ahead).

Trent: oh yeah. whoops.

Within no time, they were at Jane’s house, and they were all in the basement having iced sodas and resting in the cool dampness of the basement.

Jesse: Well, now that we’ve cooled off...what should we do?

Jane: you’ve got me.....Trent?

Trent: Daria, have you decided to go with us yet?

Daria: huh?

Jane: oops....

Trent: Jane, you didn’t tell her? OK, I will. Here’s the plan Daria.

Daria was paralyzed....she loved it when Trent said her name, it cut through her like nothing else could; she could die right then and be satisfied.

Trent: since there’s really nothing to do around here that we already haven’t done, we, meaning Jane, Jesse and I, have decided to go on a road trip.

Daria: Big surprise there (said sarcastically yet in a friendly fashion).

Trent: (cracks a smile, and continues) We’ve narrowed it down to the beach, specifically Santa Monica, because there’s more to do. There’s the beach, there’s the boardwalk, with shopping at really unusual stores, and then there’s the Pacific Park, which is that permanent carnival on the pier. Anyway, we leave tomorrow, and we come back Monday. That’s 3 nights. And we want you to come to.

Jane: Three wild nights....(does the Upchuck tongue roll)

Daria: (gives Jane a glare, then continues to Trent) yeah I can come. even though my parents will object, then I’ll have to convince them---probably outsmart them--- into letting me come. You’ve seen it plenty of times, right Jane?

Jane: Oh yeah. It’s even better than watching Cats.

Daria walks into dining room on Friday morning, bag packed and pretty much ready to go, except for the minor detail of having her parent’s blessing. Jake is having a protein shake made by Helen, and Helen is cleaning up the mess in the kitchen resulting from the protein shake.

Jake: Helen, honey, I know you tried real hard, but---- (Jake is cut off by a deadly glare from Helen) Ah, nevermind’s tasty.....(takes a sip, then squints his eyes and twists his face in disgust) mmmmm (forces a smile)

Daria: Um, mom, dad, Jane’s brother Trent invited me, Jane, and Trent’s friend Jesse to a weekend at the beach.

Helen: Are there going to be any responsible adults present?

Daria: Yes, there will be adults present (purposely leaving out "responsible").

Helen: old are these boys, Jesse and Travis?

Daria: Um, it’s Trent, and they’re 21.

Jake: (spits out protein shake) 21?!?!?!?!

Helen: Daria, if you think for one second....

Daria: Mom, it’s fine. They’re not bad kids. They’re really nice---

Jake: I’ll bet they are! Daria, there’s only one thing I wanted when I was their age and---DAH! OH MY GOD! MY EYE! (Drops everything and puts hand over his left eye)

Helen: (rushing over to Jake) Daria, I just don’t think----

Daria: Look at it this way, mom. It’s a really great chance to broaden my social horizons. Possibly a real eye opener. Just think of the opportunities I’ll have to interact with other people my age, maybe make new friends. I can’t believe what I’m saying......but I guess it’s worth it to spend time with Trent and Jane....and be away from my Neanderthal family.

Helen: Well......all right then. Just be careful. If you get in trouble, you know what to call. Oh, and (pauses to take out Jake’s wallet from his pocket, while Jake is screaming about his eye, then takes out hers) here, take this (holds out $350 combined from both Jake and Helen’s wallets)

Daria: Mom, I can’t---

Helen: There’s no way I’m going to let my oldest daughter be out of money in a strange town away from home.

Daria: Mom, that "strange town" is just Santa Monica, I’ve been plenty of times and it’s only an hour and a half away.


Daria: Um, right mom. (takes money and hurries out the door)

Daria is greeted by Trent’s van, ready to go, with Jesse in the drivers seat and Jane in the front next to him, meaning Trent would be in the back with her. Oh hell....

Daria opens the back door, and turns to Jane and Jesse to ask them a question.

Daria: um, how come Trent isn’t driving HIS car today?

Jesse: He was a little beat from a late night practice, so he let me drive.

Jane: Either that or he wanted to spend some time alone with you in the backseat...

Daria: Shut up. It’s a good thing he’s sleeping, because if I killed you now we’d risk waking him up.

Jane: No, we wouldn’t want that, now would we?

Daria glared, and climbed into the backseat, which was pretty much a love seat sofa in the back of a virtually empty van, with no seat belts. Trent was sprawled across the whole sofa, so Daria was forced to move him. As she was moving him, Trent woke up silently to see Daria moving him gently, in a quite motherly, caring way, making sure not to wake him up. She looked beautiful to him---even if she didn’t wear tight clothes or makeup--- to a certain extent. Janey was the same way. He had always liked Daria, he thought, but in a way that was of friendship and appreciation. He was sure she was one of a small handful of truly good people in the world and was proud of Janey for having such good taste in friends. He then closed his eyes so as not to let her know he woke her up.

Jesse: Ready? (seeing that Daria had moved Trent and sat down next to him.)

Jane: Looks like you did a pretty good job of not waking up Trent. He’s sleeping like a baby. Even I’ve never pulled that off.

Trent smiled slightly to himself, his eyes now closed and faking a nap. How clever of me Trent thought as he began eaves dropping.

Daria: really?

Jane: Yeah, you must really like him Daria.

Daria: You know it.

Trent’s smile was ripped from his face, however no one saw. What the---

Jane: Now why can’t you just admit it when Trent’s AWAKE???

Daria: Shut up, Jane.

Jesse knew Daria liked Trent, but chose not to get involved---at all. Jane knew too, very well in fact, but decided not to tell him out of respect for her friend. Little did Daria know that she had just admitted everything to him, and Trent was in shock. What? She likes me?? No wonder she acts so strange towards me sometimes! God, she’s 16 and I’m 21! I don’t even like her back, not in that way.....oh crap and if I let her know I heard, she’ll be embarrassed...and then I’ll have to let her down and tell her I don’t feel the same way.....I can’t do that. No.....I’ll pretend it never happened.

Sometime in the middle of thinking this through and faking his nap, a real nap came, causing Trent to fall asleep, his head falling onto Daria’s shoulder, his mind cluttered at what to do about this new information. Daria was nervous and uncomfortable, not knowing if to wake him up or move his head or what. She decided to stay as stiff as a board.

Jane: (turning around) Aw, ain’t that sweet. Trent likes Daria!

Daria: Go to hell. (Her body completely unmoving, almost like stone)

Jane: No, we’re going back in 3 days, remember?

Daria: Oh yeah. Does that make Santa Monica heaven? (dead-pan sarcastic)

Jane: I hope so.

The van pulls up to a parking lot at the beach. It’s about noon.

Jesse: OK, we’re here.....wake up Trent!

Trent: huh? what? (see’s that his head is on Daria’s shoulder, and pulls it up quickly---but not too quickly--- and continues.) Oh. OK. Everyone get out and head to the trunk.

Jane: Will do. (unbuckles seat belt and hops out of van)

As soon as everyone but Trent is out, Trent remembers hearing a conversation that Daria and Jane had. Daria liking me? She’s too smart for that. Probably some twisted dream.

And Trent dismissed it like that, which was very fortunate for an un-knowing Daria.

At the back of the van, everyone had their beach gear, and were deciding where to stay and how much money they had.

Jesse: OK, Trent and I together have $300, from a gig last week, minus $25 for gas money on the trip back home.

Jane: OK, I have $100, from tutoring Kevin in art class last May. I haven’t needed it yet, so here it is

Trent: Daria, how much did you bring?

Daria: $350.

Jane: How did YOU get $350? Did you blackmail Quinn a few times?

Daria: Well, I have, but that’s not how I got it this time. My mom worried and told me to take it.

Jesse: OK, that means we have $750 in total. That was way more than I expected. Which is for today, Saturday, and Sunday, not counting Monday. We only need $25 for gas and like $30 for breakfast on Monday ‘cause we’re leaving early. So that leaves (stops to think) exactly $231 and 66 cents per day.

Jane: Jesse, I’m impressed. So guys, should we just divide the money evenly, or just let each person have their share?

Daria: even though I have the most, I say we split it up evenly. That way we won’t cause any confusion

Trent: Are you sure?

Daria: Yeah. It’s all for us anyway (slight smile).

Jesse: That settles it. So what about Hotel accommodations?

Trent: hmmm.....well I know a guy that owns a Hotel around here. It costs about $120 a night for a suite with 2 beds in each room, but I’m sure he’ll give us a good deal on it. I know because the band had to stay in the exact same kind of room 3 months ago for a gig around here.

Jane: This wouldn’t be Seth, would it?

Trent: Yup.

Jane: (explains to Daria) Seth was really good friends with Trent, and Trent saved his life one night, so---

Daria: saved his LIFE?

Jane: yeah, they were 17, and they were walking across the street one night after a movie, and a truck came along and almost plowed Seth down. However, with Big-Brother’s quick thinking, Seth was pushed out of the way in the nick of time. However, Trent suffered a hit-and-run, and his leg was practically torn from his body.

Daria: Sounds like an episode of Rescue 911.

Jane: (continuing) Trent was a local hero, for about a week, until Tommy Sherman won the 1994 State Football Championship for Lawndale High. The rest is history.

Trent: That week was horrible, I was popular with everyone, even teachers. I have a real problem with authority, and them liking me just didn’t work.

Daria: I see.

Jesse: Anyway, now that that’s settled, let’s walk over there for lunch (points to a small restaurant about 50 feet away) and then go spend some time in the waves (points to shore, about 80 feet in front of restaurant)

Jane: OK, lets go.

It’s after lunch, and they’re down to about $190. They decide to lay down their towels and prop up their umbrella on their piece of the shore.

Jane: OK, I’m set (takes off clothes, has a one-piece purple speedo underneath, and is first to jump into the water)

Jesse: (calls to Jane) What about sunscreen????

Jane: I put some on before we left! It should still work!

Jesse: OK! me too!

Jesse takes off his shirt, and already has his trunks on, and goes to join Jane.

Trent: ( to Daria) so I guess that leaves us. Are you going in to?

Daria: I don’t know---

Trent: oh come it for me?

Daria: (pause) OK.

Trent: OK (takes off shirt, is already wearing trunks as well)

Daria can’t help but stare. Trent always came across as a skinny stick-like guy, but who knew underneath that he was actually pretty well built?! Daria hated to admit it, but with the goatee, the cute hair cut, his sexy, low voice, and now his bod......Trent was hot.

Trent: Daria......aren’t you gonna take off your clothes too?

The way Trent said it made Daria a little embarrassed.....take off my clothes? what is this an orgy? when she remembered that everyone else had bathing suits underneath, she quickly answered .

Daria: Um, actually, I don’t have my bathing suit underneath. I need to go change.

Trent: OK, the bathrooms are up over there (points to bathrooms 40 feet away)

Daria: OK, don’t wait up for me.

Trent: Sorry, I think I have to, I don’t wanna be by myself while Jesse and Janey get it on.

Daria: OK, I see your point. It’s just too bad he has to see me in the ridiculous suit mom made me bring.

Daria went into the girls bathroom, which was actually quite clean and more like a locker room, and began to change in a stall. she pulled the top of her skimpy bikini out and looked at it in disgust. It was white with the words "Tommy" and "Hilfiger" in dark blue on each breast. *sigh* another of mom’s pathetic attempts to make me more like a "normal teen." As she tied the strings around her neck and behind her back, she began to wonder if she even had the right body for this sort of thing. I probably look like I have the figure of a pencil. Since her only other suit was also a bikini, she had no choice. she searched for the bottom, and upon finding it looked at it in disgust. God. The bottom was almost like a diaper, in the way that the sides weren’t connected, and she had to tie the sides up. It too was white, but this time had the plain Tommy Hilfiger flag on the front. when her bottoms were securely tied, she slipped on her sandals and headed out of the stall. She stopped at a mirror, which happened to be full length, and checked herself out, a rarity for Daria. What kind of parent buys a string bikini for their 16 year old daughter?........mine. She took off her glasses and gave her hair a last minute brushing, took a final look at the mirror and thought well, I guess I’m not getting any better looking and wished herself luck, praying no one stared out of disbelief about how horrible she looked in a bikini.

She walked back to the towel and lawn chairs which were theirs, and found Trent asleep. She bent down to wake him, and when he woke up, got quite an eyeful. There was this beautiful girl, whose long legs were towering over him and whose chest was less than one foot above him. He closed his eyes again and thought what any red-blooded American boy would: This is it Trent, you’ve died and gone to heaven.

Daria: Trent?

Trent couldn’t believe it. That voice. It was Daria. he could barely recognize her. A bikini? Daria? He couldn’t believe she would buy something like that. Not that he didn’t like it, because he REALLY did, but it was just so.....un-daria. Nevertheless, he answered her.

Trent: Sorry daria. I had a little bit of a headache. I’m fine now. Wanna go?

Daria: Yeah, but I need sunscreen....lemme see if Jane can help m---

Trent: Jane and Jesse went for some sodas. But I can do it if you want.

Daria: um......

Trent: Daria?

His voice practically killed her---again. She loved it whenever he said her name, always more than the last time. She always got some sort of thrill out of it. It was almost......silent ecstasy even.

Daria: OK.

Daria handed him the bottle, and thought that Trent was just trying to be nice. She had no idea how good she really looked, or that every male who had seen her walk from the bathroom to where Trent was had nearly toppled over at the sight of her.

Trent squeezed a little in the palm of his hand, and Daria faced her back to him. Nervous, Trent began to smooth some into the center of her back. He marveled at how soft her skin was, almost like silk. he worked up to her shoulders, and when daria told him not to miss a spot, he nearly had a heart attack. Trent, get a grip. She’s 16! But I can’t help it. No, this attraction is only’ll wear off soon. He was sure of it. He calmly continued to rub the lotion into her back, still marveling at how soft her skin was, but certain that this attraction meant nothing, and would pass shortly. He paid no mind to it, and tried to block it out of his mind completely.

Trent: OK, all done.

Daria stood up, turned around, and took the bottle from him, and with a slight smile thanked him.

Daria: Thanks Trent. I can get my arms and legs.

Trent: OK.

With that, Trent laid down and shut his eyes. When he opened them a few seconds later, he nearly had a second heart attack, there was Daria, her legs propped up on the lawn chair, spreading lotion into her beautiful legs. He forced himself to shut his eyes. Trent, what the hell is wrong with you??? She’s 16 and you’re 21! Just get over it!

Just then Jane and Jesse returned, carrying 4 small sodas with them. Both Jane and Jesse stopped dead in their tracks. Daria was actually wearing a designer swimsuit? And a bikini no less? Even Jesse, who was madly in love with Jane, couldn’t help himself to stare. Jane began to think Ha! never knew the kid had it in her! What? And Trent’s not even looking? What’s wrong with this boy???

Just then Daria looked up.

Daria: Yeah I know it’s ridiculous. Gift from mom. Are we ready to swim?

Jane: I am. Jesse?

Jesse: (a little too excited) Hell yes! uh....Trent?

Trent: huh? (opens eyes, to see Jesse, Jane, and Daria all standing over him and waiting for a reply) oh yeah, lets go.

Trent stands up, and walks with his friends to the shore, leaving their sodas for later.

A half an hour later, after the festivities really began, Trent began to see a whole new side to Daria. Jane had seen it a few times before, so it was no biggie, but Trent was in awe. Who knew that under that sarcastic, expressionless shell there was really a fun loving girl? She was great at swimming and jumping through the waves, and was even a pretty good boogie-boarder. Daria also saw that there was more to Trent. He too loved to be active, provided it be something worth-while, besides being in a band. He wasn’t lazy, and he was simply loving the ocean and all it had to offer. Trent, Daria, Jane, and Jesse were all sure that this was one of the best times of their lives, and were enjoying each other’s company immensely.

Before they knew it, it was 4 hours later, after initially starting at around 2.

Jesse: (looking away from his water proof watch) Hey guys! It’s six o’clock! Wanna head back?!?!?!

Trent: (Turns around to look at Jesse, a giant wave comes up from behind him and knocks him down. He stands up, and walks over to Jesse) Yeah, I think we should. We could have dinner somewhere. Let me go get the girls.

Just as Trent turned around to get them, Jesse grabbed his arm and said something to Trent that really made him think.

Jesse: Trent, I know you like Daria

Trent: (pauses, then answers softly) Is it that obvious?

Jesse: No, I just know you well enough. I don’t think Jane or Daria can see it. I think you should go after Daria.

Trent: Are you insane?? I’m five years older than her!

Jesse: Trent, do you think it’s weird that Jane and I are together?

Trent: Besides you being my best friend and Janey being my sister? No I don’t.

Jesse: Well we’re the same ages as you and Daria. I don’t think age is the only thing stopping you. You’re pretty mixed up right now. You need to figure out what you really want.

Trent: (after a long pause) I guess you’re right.....but not right now.

Jesse: OK.

Trent turned around and walked to the girls, who had been pushing each other into the waves to whole time, oblivious to the fact that Trent and Jesse had left.

Jane: Oh hi Trent. I didn’t even see you leave.

Trent: That’s OK. It’s six o’clock, and Jesse and I thought that maybe now was a good time to get our rooms and go out for dinner. We still have $190 left, so we have more than enough for dinner and our room.

Jane: Cool. Are you OK with that Daria?

Daria: Fine with me.

Trent: (smiles at Daria) Cool. Let’s go then.

Jane: OK, but Daria and I need to change. And no boys allowed.

Trent: OK Janey, Jesse and I will pack up the stuff.

Jane: Great. (grabs Daria’s hand) Let’s go.

It’s about 20 minutes later, the girls FINALLY finish changing, and Trent and Jesse are sitting on the beach towel talking about the next gig.

Jane: (walking back with Daria) OK. Weren’t you guys supposed to be packing up?

Jesse: we did, (points to everything they brought in a stack) we just left out one beach towel to rest on, since we didn’t know how long it would take for you girls to get back.

Daria: (mostly to Jane) Yeah, getting out of ridiculous bathing suits can take a while, especially when they don’t even fit you well. I hope mom doesn’t go shopping for me in a long time. Or ever for that matter.

Jane: (slight snicker) OK, so what are we gonna do first, check in to the hotel or get some dinner? Which reminds me....Trent, did you call the hotel beforehand to make sure they weren’t out of rooms?

Trent: yeah, they have a suite reserved for us. Seth gave us $65 discount. We only have to pay $55 a night, which leaves $175 a day.

Jesse: wow, so we have $135 left. After dinner it should be around $100, and then we can save it for later or use some of it tonight. Maybe we can go to Pacific Park.

Jane: Sounds great. Jesse, let’s take this stuff to the van. (to Trent and Daria) You guys coming?

Daria: Yeah, but I have to fold my towel.

Trent: (To Daria) I can help if you want.

Daria: (mumbles) OK.

Jane: All right (whispers to Daria) Have fun you two.

Daria glared as Jane walked away with Jesse.

Trent: What’d she say?

Daria: Huh? Oh, something about spending some quality time with Jesse. I tried not to listen.

Trent: Yeah I know what you mean. (long pause as they fold the large beach towel) Daria?

Daria: God, he said it again. Hmmm?

Trent: You know what you said earlier? About looking bad in your swimsuit? You really shouldn’t be insulting yourself like that. You’re a beautiful girl, and you should be proud of yourself. Don’t let anyone else tell you different, because they don’t know anything. OK?

Trent wasn’t sure about alot of things right now, including if his feelings for Daria meant anything. But he was sure of this. Daria deserved alot more confidence, and if she couldn’t get any by herself, he was going to help. He knew that she was a good person, and she had everything to be proud of.

Daria, meanwhile, was in shock. Did Trent just say this? Her Trent? He’s just be trying to be nice. But I guess I shouldn’t be saying those things....SOME of them anyway.

Daria: OK Trent. I guess you’re kinda right. Thanks, by the way.

Trent: No problem.

With that, they took the now folded beach towel to the car to join up with Jesse and Jane.

It was now about 7:30. They decided to go for dinner first, and then check in. They were now in their rooms, Daria and Jane in room 208, adjoined with Trent and Jesse in 209.

Jane went to knock on the door between the rooms.

Jane: Guys?

Trent: (opening the door) Yes Janey?

Jane: We’re all

Trent: Yeah I think so.....Jesse, are you done?

Jesse: (finally slams a very stuffed dresser drawer using his back) Yeah!

Jane: OK great. Daria?

Daria: (reading on the bed, or at least trying to look occupied in front of Trent) Yeah?

Jane: You’re done, right?

Daria: Yeah.

Jane: OK. (to Trent and Jesse) I was thinking that maybe since we have about $100 left, we could go out to Pacific Park and check out the rides. It closes at 11 PM and it’s almost 8. We can stay as long as we like, it shouldn’t be too crowded and we’ll still probably have $70 left at the end.

Jesse: Sounds good to me....but what would we do with the left over money?

Trent: It looks like we’ll have money left over every day, so let’s take the left over money from each day and pool it at the end, and then figure out what to do with it.

Daria: Sounds great

Jane: It’s settled then. So do we drive?

Trent: Let’s not. It’s only 5 blocks, really.

Daria and Jane: Lets go.

It’s 8:00 and the gang is walking west towards the beach. Jesse and Jane are hand in hand, whispering to each other, and Trent and Daria are both walking side by side behind them, looking down at the ground and growing more and more nervous.

Trent lifts his head up to gaze to the right at Daria for a second, then looks back down. He looks up again, only in front of him, and abruptly and grabs Daria’s hand.

Trent: (softly, yet quickly) Daria, look!

Daria looked to where Trent was pointing to see the most serene, picture perfect sunset. She wasn’t one for romantic things like sunsets, but something about the sound of the waves, Trent grasping her hand, and the beautiful orange glow casting down upon them-----it was too much for her to handle. Yet she could only keep staring at it. She kept walking, her hand in Trent’s, her eyes fixed upon the sunset framed by palm trees and resting upon the seemingly endless ocean. As they walked further, she saw that they were almost at the Park. A Ferris wheel, a roller coaster that stretched out over the sea, and other things Daria usually wouldn’t be caught dead on. But she’d do it, for her and for Trent. Then she realized it. Trent had grabbed HER hand. On purpose. He must have forgotten to let go.

Daria: Um, Trent?

That angelic voice. Trent looked up to see Daria indicating towards their hands clasped together. Does she not want to hold my hand? I guess I was right in the first place. She’s 16, I’m 21. There’s no way she’d want to be with me. She’s young, beautiful, and she can date anyone she wants.

Trent: Oh, sorry. I forgot. (Immediately dropping her hand)

Daria: I was right. But right now I wish that more than anything I wasn’t. (softly) Um, It’s OK. We’re here now. (points to Park)

Jesse and Jane are already at the entrance, buying tickets for the rides.

Jane: Hey guys! Come on! We’re getting tickets!

Daria and Trent quicken their pace and meet up with Jesse and Jane.

Jane: Admiring the sunset?

Daria: N--

Trent: Yeah. It’s spectacular isn’t it?

Jesse: yeah. OK so here we have $100. Do we plan on staying until 11?

Jane: Yeah.

Trent: Yeah

Daria: Majority rules.

Jesse: OK, it’s pretty deserted here. Let’s assume each ride take’s seven minutes.......3 hours divided by seven minutes....about 26 rides. 26 times 4.....104 rides, each ride is $ 52 dollars.

Trent: yeah, but some rides are $0.25, so my guess it that it will be some where between $26 and $52.

Jane: Great

Daria: Then we still have money left over, so we’re fine.

Jesse: Let’s go.

It’s 9:00, and so far Jesse’s calculations are right. They’ve been on 8 or 9 rides, and now they decide to go on the Ferris Wheel. Before either Trent or Daria can object, Jane and Jesse have gotten in together, which leaves Trent and Daria no choice but to ride together.

(Daria) Crap....crap crap crap. Why did Jane leave me alone with Trent?? She knows how nervous I get around him!

(Trent) Crap....crap crap crap. Why did Jesse leave me alone with Daria?? He knows how nervous I get around her!

In unison, they both look at each other, then look away nervously, each not seeing the other’s reactions towards each other.

Ride Operator: Are you coming on or not??

Daria and Trent: I guess.....

Jane and Jesse just looked at each other and gave a soft laugh, seeing their best friends below acting like children without the other one knowing.

Jesse: Should we tell them?

Jane: What, and ruin the fun? Let’s leave it up to them.

With that, Trent and Daria were locked in, the ride started, and kissing ensued between our two spies, Jesse and Jane.

Since Jesse and Jane were right in front of them, Trent and Daria couldn’t look in front of them, for obvious reasons. They certainly couldn’t look at each other, either, so each faced the side which faced outward, with their chins in their palms. Even though they were looking away from each other, they sure as hell were thinking about each other. Each of them had the same questions on their minds. They wondered why they liked each other so much. They wondered if the other person would ever feel the same way. Most of all, they wondered what exactly was stopping them from telling the other their true feelings.

After what seemed like forever, the ride began to come to a slow stopping point, much to the relief of Trent and Daria. Jane and Jesse were at the top, with Daria and Trent down behind them. When the people below got out, and the new people got in, they moved up to the top so that the next car could be emptied. All of a sudden there was a jolt. All of the lights in the entire park flickered out, and the machine running the Ferris wheel sounded like all of it’s power had been sucked out of it, an electronic noise that dropped down until it was silent. The voices of people whispering to each other about what just happened began to surround a silent Daria and Trent.

Holy shit, this can’t get any worse Daria was certain.

Then it did. They said they’d wait 45 minutes for the power to come back on, and if that didn’t work they’d get a fire truck to help people down. They also said something about a wide-spread brown-out. Apparently everyone in the city had their air-conditioners on.

Great. I love it when I’m wrong.

Daria: This really sucks.

It was the first thing that either of them said since they got on.

Trent: No it doesn’t. It’s pretty cool. At least we got stuck on the top. And apparently the lights went out all across the city. (pointing to their left and right, and sure enough, the city lights were all out too) Now we can see the stars, and the moon id right in front of us, reflecting on the ocean. I’d say we’re pretty lucky.

With that, Trent boldly put his right arm around Daria, pulled her closer, and with his left began to point out constellations. Neither had realized that they were so close together, they completely forgot about everything that had been cluttering their minds before and simply began to have a real conversation.

40 minutes later, they were still talking, still unaware that they were actually touching. What seemed to be 45 minutes in hell turned out to be anything but. They just finished talking about constellations and all of the magic that comes along with it. Their last sentences had been spoken, and Daria began feel self-conscious again. She looked down, a smile on her face as she thought about the great times she had been having with Trent. As she was looking down, Trent stole a glance at his brown-haired beauty. The moonlight played upon her hair like silver with a slight tint of blue. Her glasses were gone; she had decided to put in contacts before they left the hotel room so she wouldn’t lose them. A soft summer breeze pulled at sections of her soft mane, causing them to dance afloat in the air. Just then Daria looked up and met Trent’s eyes with hers. Her eyes glistened and her face looked so sweet. The moonlight, the breeze, the view of the soft ocean waves crashing in front of them---it was too perfect for Trent. So he decided to forget everything he was confused about earlier. He knew what he wanted now. And she was right there. He leaned forward, all the while looking into her eyes. Daria’s mind was racing back and forth. I...I can’t believe....what is he.... their lips were so close that Trent could smell her sweet aroma. Strawberries? Vanilla? He couldn’t decide. He didn’t care. It was now or never......


The Ferris wheel turned on with a sudden jolt of the gears. All of the lights flashed on, the 20th century and all it’s glory pounding into their eyes. Daria quickly turned her head away, and both were once again silent.

Shit! Trent thought.

He sat back, and pulled his arm back to his side.

I guess she really doesn’t like me....or maybe it was just something she couldn’t handle. Either way she apparently doesn’t have much of an interest in me.

What the hell was that? It was almost like he wanted to kiss me! No, only in your dreams, Daria........why would he kiss me when he has tons of girls going after him at all his gigs?

As they got off, they were greeted by a rather exhausted Jane and Jesse.

Jesse: (slightly panting) Hey guys.....

Jane: (also panting) Was it as good for you as it was for us?

Trent and Daria just gave a look that could only say "Don’t ask" and Jane let it be.

The next morning Jane and Daria where awaken by the sound of pounding on the door connecting the two rooms. Jane shuffled to the door, unlocked it, and saw Jesse with a look of concern on his face.

Jane: (groggily rubbing her eyes) Jesse? Isn’t it a little early for you to be up? It’s only 8!

Jesse: No time for that Jane--Trent’s gone!

Jane: (waking up suddenly) Huh??

Jesse: Gone. So is the van. He left all of the money though. All except $20.

Daria: (sitting up very alert in her bed) What? Are you sure?

Jesse: Yeah. He left a note too.


Sorry to take the van, but I needed to go home for reasons you can’t understand. I left enough $$$ for a cab in case you need to go somewhere that’s not within walking distance. I’ll be back first thing tomorrow morning, I hope. Sorry, but I guess you’ll have to have fun without me for one day. See ya tomorrow.

---Much Love, Trent"

Daria: What the f------?



To be continued...........(don’t you just HATE that?)


Questions? Comments? Flames? email LaurenGirl at

P.S. Confused about the title? Don’t worry, all shall be revealed in Part II.