Chapter 1 - Blind Faith
A week in Mexico sounded like the perfect vacation; hot sun baking down on a sea of tan skin, while ocean waves gently broke on the white, sandy beaches. A soft breeze would caress the sweat from my brow as I read book after book and drank tall drinks with umbrellas in them. The ideal vacation spot; no phones, no patients, and no responsibilities. All alone. Just food, drinks, sun, and sleep. What more could I want?
Beads of perspiration ran down my brow as I finally found the right gate for the special charter flight to the all-inclusive resort. Everything I needed was jammed into one large carry-on. With the tropical temperatures, shorts and T-shirts didn't take up much room. My books took up more space than my clothing.
Was I finally in the right place? Everyone in the waiting area was male, and they all had deep, dark tans. They all looked like they had just come back from vacation, not like they were going on vacation.
I rubbed my arm, pale from the lack of sun. I looked like Casper, the friendly ghost; living in South Dakota and working full time didn't allow for much sun tanning. I plopped my luggage on the empty seat next to me and sat. I dug out my boarding pass and checked the flight numbers. They matched. Yeah, the right place.
I put the ticket back into my carry-on, pulled out a book and tried to read. The feeling of being observed came from all directions. I glanced up and noticed a few guys staring at me. I nodded and smiled.
Several smiled back, while others nodded. A few others' eyes darted away. I returned to my book, but I couldn't concentrate. I was picking up a vibe.
I glanced around the waiting area. The men around me wore brightly colored shirts and shorts in waves of red, orange, and yellow. Maybe there was going to be a fashion shoot for a catalog at this resort.
"Flight 1069 to Guaymas Sonora, Mexico will be boarding in a few minutes. Anyone traveling with small children may pre-board at this time," a woman's voice announced.
A low rumble of laughter came from the crowd at this announcement. I glanced at the woman standing at the podium and watched her face redden. Her shoulders rose in apology and she mouthed, "Sorry."
I smiled. They must be laughing because there wouldn't be any children on this flight due to the Club Med atmosphere. But the announcer was the only woman I saw. Then a thought struck me. Like a light bulb in a cartoon, a joke started to form in my mind, but it didn't make me laugh. I grabbed my carry-on, moved down the walkway, and pulled out my cell phone.
If you can't trust your friends, who can you trust in this world? I've trusted my best friend Molly with my life, several times. I've even trusted her with my dog's life, and that means extreme trust in my book.
Flipping it open, I scrolled through my contact list and pressed the number for Look Book, Sioux Falls' only used bookstore. Molly had better be there.
"I have one question for you," I said as soon as she picked up the phone. "Where did you get your information for my trip?"
"Taylor, aren't you supposed to be on vacation?" Molly asked.
"I'm waiting for my flight, but I need to know how you came up with Club Fred."
"From the travel agent."
"He recommended this place?"
"I didn't say that. When I went to Sergio's salon to get my hair done, he talked--"
"What's wrong, Taylor? You sound stressed."
"Last call for Flight 1069. All passengers must board at this time," the overhead intercom boomed.
"Isn't that your flight?" Molly asked.
"Yes, but I don't think..."
"You don't have to think. You're on vacation. Vacation therapy for the therapist. You need to go and have fun, let it loose, that's all. Bon voyage." The phone clicked in my ear.
"Last call..." the voice announced as the gate agent waved me to hurry.
Molly's words hadn't put my mind at ease. I had to decide and quick. I didn't think I should go on this trip, but my feet led me forward.
I stepped up to the gate attendant and opened my mouth to speak. "I think... Is this...?"
She gave me a shy grin. "We don't want you to miss your flight." She reached into my carry-on and took the boarding pass from the pocket. She scanned it, returned it, and waved me through.
As I walked onto the plane, I looked right and left. All I could see were men, in all shapes and sizes. I connected the dots in my head. Molly's gay friend Sergio had recommended this club to her. Everyone on the plane seemed to be male and from the profusion of tans and colognes, I had a feeling they were all members of the same club Sergio belonged to.
It looked like I was headed for a gay old time.