Kalokairi Island, Greece
If her father was here, he would slap her across the face and call her a famished whore – nothing like her dear, deceased mother had been. But she couldn't imagine someone so evil as Alvin Marsh stepping onto this paradise.
But Beverly Marsh didn’t care. She was content, for now. And even though the ache she felt in her heart didn’t match her serene expression, she still watched the esthetic sunset over the horizon of the Aegean Sea with a blissful smile that quite didn’t reach her eyes.
Beverly Marsh was a beautiful, twenty-year-old young woman. She had milky skin with a spray of freckles across her cheeks and nose, reddish auburn hair that fell on her back like a waterfall and sparkling blue eyes that rivaled the clear sea surrounding the island.
As she watched the sky create pink and orange hues, Beverly inhaled slowly before placing her hand over her stomach and exhaling, “They’re all gone, it’s just you and me now, little one.”
Beverly Marsh was two months pregnant.
Her father would have beaten the shit out of her — probably even kill her. Sex out of wedlock? Forget that! Having sex, at all? Beverly could laugh thinking of his reaction to her situation, she could. But she didn’t. Because carrying a baby of an unknown father wasn’t funny, at all.
She was heartbroken and alone.
Except she wasn’t, Beverly had her baby. Her love, her life. And for the following twenty years, she would try to convince herself that it was fine.
Except it wasn’t.
Well, at least she had motherhood and a hotel to fix to distract her.
Queens, New York
Eddie Kaspbrak loved his son more than he loved himself.
So that’s why when he realized he had been repressing his homosexuality for thirteen years after being raised in a hill-billy, ignorant filled homophobic shitty of a small town – he began hating himself down to his bones.
He was married to a woman, he had a stable job and a cute five-year-old son that took after him. Every dad dreams of that, right? Right. Except when he told Myra, his controlling and health-obsessed wife, that he was gay—and even though they haven’t touched each other sexually ever since Nick was born—she was shocked, disgusted and promptly kicked him out with the promise of ‘I’ll call my lawyer Edward Kaspbrak, and soon you’ll be living in the gutter!’.
Which he doubted since he still had that stable job with a good income that he deeply despised.
What the fuck was a risk analyst anyways? He wanted to be a limo driver.
Myra was direct with their divorce, but what shocked Eddie the most was her tossing Nick aside like he had some sort of contagious disease.
“I’m not raising a faggot’s son under my ceiling!” Myra’s screaming even made her lawyer flinch, but Eddie seemed to have expected this.
So Eddie promptly left with Nick, he put his belongings in a storage room and stayed at a hotel, in a nice room were Nick could have a great view of the city—his son loved views, and the higher the better— and where it was close to his job place. The hotel had a good daycare and the room service was fantastic, but Eddie couldn’t feed cheeseburgers and pizza to his son every day. He felt guilty about not being able to cook a meal. His mother and ex-wife never allowed him to touch a stove or an oven, afraid he’d get hurt or that the gas fumes would intoxicate him.
It took Eddie to realize that perhaps, he married Myra because she acted and disturbingly looked like his deceased mother.
He understood that he couldn’t raise Nick in a hotel forever, but he also didn’t want to stay in the city. Eddie wanted to start anew. He needed to get away from New York to somewhere Nick could grow up happy and away from his toxic mother.
Then, two months after living in a hotel and being already recognized at the entrance by the receptionists, Eddie Kaspbrak remembered his friend.
They haven’t talked to each other in eight years. When he moved out of Derry to go to college, Beverly stayed behind because she still had high school to finish. He always felt guilty for not returning to see how she was. Being two years younger, Beverly had been like a little sister to him ever since he was twelve years old.
He reminisced over their friendship when he remembered he still had a photo album full of photos of his childhood. His mom was unaware of its existence, of course, it was his and Beverly’s album. His mother hated Beverly because the redhead had a whorish reputation across the town.
It was funny the way he couldn’t stop smiling as his dark, brown eyes stared at the pictures.
Their last summer together had been amazing, it was when Beverly kissed him on the lips in a platonic way and promised that they would always be friends in her heart. And Eddie had agreed.
Finding Beverly Marsh had been complicated. But Eddie wasn’t surprised when he found out that she was on a small island somewhere in Greece for the past five years. That’s Beverly for you, and he was thrilled to hear her voice again.
When he called her at nine after the sun had set, it was four in the morning in the hotel that she was apparently operating in Kalokairi. Eddie felt completely stupid for not thinking about the timezone differences.
But even her sleepy, groggy voice didn’t hide her pleasingly surprised tone when she realized Eddie was on the phone.
“Eddie fucking Kaspbrak?! I remember you, Eddie!! My favorite asthmatic!”
Eddie never stopped grinning the whole conversation.
“I’m so sorry this happened to you, Eddie. You can’t win with that kind of people, why do you think we left Derry as soon as we could?”
He almost sobbed at her gentle, caring tone. He’d miss her so much, but how come he hadn’t tried contacting her sooner?
As Eddie rambled about his shitty life, finally feeling the lump stuck on his throat diminishing as Beverly, a person he hasn’t seen in almost a decade, listened attentively, he decided to stop being a selfish dick and ask her how she was doing.
That’s when Eddie found out that Beverly had a four-year-old daughter. And her name was Ava.
One hour into their mindless chatting of just catching up and Eddie making sure she didn’t want to go back to sleep – Beverly fiercely told Eddie for him to get Nick, pack his shit, quit his boring job (he resented that) and come work with her, at her hotel.
Eddie found himself easily accepting her offer. Which was insane. It was crazy. Completely irresponsible.
Eddie quit his job the day afterward, called Beverly he’d be there in a week, and after five days of planning how to reach the island of Kalokairi Eddie boarded the plane to Athens from LaGuardia Airport, leaving his old life behind. Nick slept through most of the nine hours of the flight and Eddie realized that his little boy was, in reality, excited about going away.
Eddie really loved his son more than himself.
Late October 2000
When they reached Athens, Eddie took Nick to a hotel for the night to rest and clear his mind for tomorrow. Then, an hour after dawn, the two Kaspbraks caught a flight to Skiathos where they barely managed to catch the ferry that, finally, took them to Kalokairi.
Nick was ecstatic the whole time, he had always being surrounded by a concrete jungle. Not even Eddie could hide his awe at the clear, blue water as he tried to keep his son from falling over the edge of the crowded ferry.
Reality hit Eddie. He was going to reunite and live with a woman he hasn’t seen in eight years. Wasn’t that strange? Probably. Did he care? Not really. He’d been talking with Beverly over her hotel’s phone almost every day, and she still sounded like the adventurous sixteen-year-old he left behind for college.
Eddie Kaspbrak took a chance, and he would never regret it even after sixteen years of managing housekeeping, watching his son fall in love with Beverly’s daughter and, a day before their wedding, meeting Richie Tozier.
Nightfall was upon the Greek island of Kalokairi as a young girl, that had slipped away under the watchful eyes of her mom and future father-in-law, padded through the calm, blue ocean water towards the mainland with a rowing boat.
Her red, auburn hair was long and wavy, she had freckles over her button nose, and her blue, bright eyes stared ahead of her, filled with determination as she rowed by herself.
Singing always seemed to calm her down.
I have a dream
A song to sing
To help me cope
Ava Marsh was getting married in a month. The invitations had been sent to friends of her mother or her own friends, but there were three people that more in the world she wanted to see at her wedding – and one of them could be her father.
When the girl arrived at the mainland, she made her way towards a small mailbox where the envelopes would be retrieved and sent in the early dawn of the day, settled on sending the three, pink envelopes to their addresses.
If you see the wonder
Of a fairytale
You can take the future
The young soon-to-be-bride hesitated before sliding the first envelope through the mail’s gap. What if they ignore it? What if they don’t even wanna see her mom again? After all, she was beckoning them to come by using her mom’s name, not hers.
They don’t even know she exists.
“…Even if you fail,” Ava sighed, not singing anymore.
She stood in front of the yellow mailbox, under the light of the moon. Biting her lip, she looked down at the letters in her hands with a nervous, but emotional smile.
“Ben Hanscom,” she began while reading the addresses written on the front of the letter and throwing them inside the slit, “Bill Denbrough,” another letter gone out of her hands, “…Richie Tozier.”
There was a hopeful gleam in her eyes as she put the last letter inside the bin, there was no going back after this.
33 hours until the wedding
Ava hasn’t seen her friends in a year.
Lisa and Ali had both gone off to college together in America – but obviously, they were coming to her wedding, as her bridesmaids. When they arrived by the docks, Ava couldn’t contain herself as she sprinted down the island, from her mom’s hotel, to where their boat would be docking soon.
Joyful shrieking startled some fishermen nearby when the boat was tied to the dock – she instantly began running through the wooden path towards the docking zone as her two best friends, who instantly met her halfway, began screaming as well.
The three formed a group hug surrounded by laughter and excitement as Lisa lifted Ava from the ground to spin her in the air and then stepped back with a grin to watch Ali glomp the redhead as well.
The three girls then stepped away from each other with knowing grins on their faces and started performing their group chant vigorously.
“Weee’re… Ava, Ali, Lisa – we’re the greatest bestest mates!”
Ali flexed her arms together, “I’m tough!”
Lisa raised an arm over her head, “I’m tall!”
Ava grinned as she cupped her chin cutely, “I’m tiny!”
“And we’re gonna rock this place! Whoo!!” they cheered, whooping with joy as the high fived each other.
They laughed it off together, feeling blessed to be in each other’s presence after so long, and Ali suddenly grabbed Ava’s arm to stare eyes widened at her wedding ring.
“Ava!!” she exclaimed, impressed at the size of the diamond. And Lisa grabbed hold of her hand, bringing it closer to inspect it as well.
Ava looked away with an embarrassed grin, “Oh God…” she giggled.
“It’s a rock!! Look at this thing?!” Ali continued in awe.
“I want one!” Lisa whined.
“I’m gonna get married tomorrow!!” Ava beamed to her friends, even though they already knew, in a jubilant manner, “I’m so glad you guys are here because I have a secret!! And I can’t tell anyone,” she admitted with sheepishly as the three began making their way out of the dock.
“Avie?!!” Ali exclaimed, instantly placing her hand on the redhead’s belly with a shocked expression, “You’re knocked up?!”
“No!” the redhead snorted, shoving their hands away. This island already had enough rumors to go around and Ava definitely didn’t want a rumor about her being pregnant to get to her mom.
“Your mom would kill you,” Lisa nodded, patting the shorter girl’s head and disappointed in the lack of scandal.
“Her mom? What about Eddie?! He’d kill Nick!” Ali laughed.
“Double homicide!” both cried together, smirking teasingly at the bride-to-be.
Ava scoffed, rolling her eyes, “Please, my mom had me when she was twenty-one – I’d be fine. But that’s not my secret,” they continued walking as Ava stood in the middle, her arms wrapped around each of her friend’s waist, she giggled to herself, keeping her friends in anticipation as they stopped at the bottom of a hill on the island and enjoying the expectant looks they were giving her, “I invited my dad,” she finally stated.
Ali and Lisa stared at her with shocked expressions.
“You are joking!” the taller one hollered.
Ali joined her side, both standing in front of her.
“You found him?!” Ali asked promptly.
“No, no, no!” Ava interrupted, “Not exactly,” then she grabbed their hands and took them up the island, towards the path between the woods.
When alone, she pushed the two young women forward, getting them to sit on a large rock so she could explain the situation fully. Ava felt good to finally have someone to share this information that she has been keeping around for this past month. As much as Ava loved her mom, this was one secret she was intent on keeping from her until the day of the wedding.
Until tomorrow, to be exact. Ali and Lisa waited impatiently as Ava collected her words. Where to even begin with a story like this?
“Okay…you know what my mom always said when I asked about my father – it was a summer romance, and he’d gone long before she realized that she was expecting me. And I’d always kind of accepted that that’s all I’d ever know,” she began as they nodded understandably. Ava then reached for something inside her bag, “Well, I was ransacking some old trunks…and I found this.”
Ava showed them a red journal, littered with stickers that looked like it had belonged to a rebellious teenager. Lisa whistled.
“Damn, what a raging journal.”
“It’s the diary she kept in the year she was pregnant with me,” Ava explained as Ali opened her mouth with shock.
“Ava!!” Ali mildly scolded, but she sat near the redhead, always ready for some scandal to happen.
The two girls could only stare in wonder as Ava opened the diary to read from an opened page.
“July, seventeenth – what a night!” Ava read as if she had already gone through the whole book, but she couldn’t help to grin widely at the expressions her friends were making.
“I don’t know if I want to hear this…” Lisa said with a small, but still uncomfortable expression. She loved Beverly so reading her private diary didn’t feel respectful at all.
“I do!!” Ali remarked eagerly as she scooted closer to Ava, eyeing the page hungrily.
“Ben rowed me over to the little island—that’s here, Kalokairi—we danced on the beach, and we kissed on the beach, and… dot dot dot,” she grinned at their confusion.
“What?” Lisa asked dumbly.
“Dot dot dot! That’s what they did in the olden days!” Ava told her with an obvious tone.
When her friends got the hint, they began giggling in shock and giddiness.
“Ben’s the one! I know he is! I’ve never felt like this before…” Ava continued reading, feeling the need to sing the lyrics that her mom wrote in the diary years ago, “Honey honey, how he thrills me, aha, honey honey!”
Her friends watched at Ava stood from the rock to continue her reading in front of them, with the blue ocean as the background as the redhead sang with a bubbly tone.
“Honey honey, nearly kill me, aha, honey honey,” She gave them a giddy look, making Ali and Lisa laugh, “I've heard about him before I wanted to know some more. And now I know what they mean, he's a love machine! Oh, he makes me dizzy!”
Both girls jumped up and followed after Ava as she took off running, singing the lyrics in a bubbly tune as her friends followed excitedly, starved for more content.
“Honey honey, let me feel it, aha, honey honey. Honey honey, don't conceal it, aha, honey honey. The way that you kiss me goodnight,” Ava continued as the leaned against a tree.
“The way that you kiss me goodnight!” Lisa and Ali sang at the same time.
“The way that you hold me tight.”
“The way that you hold me tight,” the two girls repeated as they circled Ava, beaming at her.
“I feel like I wanna sing when you do your…”
“THING!” The three girls squealed, reading from Ava’s shoulders.
Out of breath from running up the island, they sat down on another rock, waiting for Ava to continue with the pages once more.
“So this guy Ben is your father?” Ali asked her with a clarification tone, amazed that Ava had discovered the mystery man after so many years of growing up without a paternal figure – well, except for Eddie Kaspbrak, who moved to the island when Ava was four years old after leaving his wife with his son.
“The plot thickens,” Ava replied as she continued reading from the diary’s pages. She paused before ending the sad tale of Ben Hanscom, “All this time, Ben’s been telling me he loves me, and now he’s announced that he’s engaged, so he’s going home to get married, and I’m never going to see him again.”
“Poor Beverly,” the brunette commented as she frowned sadly.
“August fourth – what a night,” Ava had a grin back on her face as she read, “Richie, or as I call him, Trashmouth, rented a motorboat and I took him over to the little island.”
“Richie?!” Lisa exclaimed.
The bride took off once again, her friends struggling to catch up with both her energetic pace and the scandalous plot twist.
“Ava wait!!” Ali called as she ran after her, “Hang on!”
“Though I’m still obsessed with Ben,” Ava continued to read as the three walked up the stone steps that led to her mom’s hotel, “Richie’s so wild and such a funny guy! One thing led to another and… dot dot dot!!”
Lisa and Ali laughed at the incredulous passage of the diary.
“Well, shit!!” Lisa chortled, impressed at Beverly’s way to move on from that bastard Ben.
They made it up to the hotel now, Lisa and Ali got closer as they waited for more juicy information on Beverly’s past life.
“August eleventh—Bill turned up out of the blue, so I said I’d show him the island,” Ava giggled in amusement as Lisa gasped again, “He’s so sweet and understanding, one thing led to another, and…”
“DOT DOT DOT!” The three girls all exclaimed before laughing.
“Oh my God!!” Ali uttered in complete disbelief.
But before they could ask Ava more questions about the diary, a familiar voice interrupted their group reading session.
“Here come the bridesmaids!” a female voice sang.
Ava quickly hid the diary behind her back as none other than Beverly Marsh herself emerged from the hotel’s entrance. Her red hair had only a few more grey hairs sprouting, but her slender, seductive frame hadn’t changed a bit, the skin by her smiling eyes–the same ones Ava had– was only a bit wrinkled, probably on account of Ava and Nick’s shenanigans. There was a flower dangling in the red locks of her bangs, matching the shirt she had on under her worn dungarees. She was carrying a broom in her hand, which Beverly placed aside to receive the hugs of her daughter’s best friends.
“Beverly!” Lisa and Ali greeted her happily while walking up to her to each hug the woman.
A grin etched across her lips as she met them halfway, hugging Lisa lovingly, “Wow…look at you!” the forty-year-old cooed as she then kissed Ali’s cheek, “Ugh!! Stop growing already!” the mother emotionally exclaimed with wet eyes as the two young women laughed softly, “You sound like you’re having fun already!”
“Oh, we are,” Ali told her as Ava gave her a warning look.
Beverly chuckled, “Oh… I used to have fun,” she told them, with a reminiscing look in her eyes. She snapped her fingers and turned around, grabbing her broom again to return to her work.
“Oh, we know.”
Lisa bumped her shoulder on Ali’s arm as Ava tried not to laugh behind their backs as Beverly gave her a confused expression at her statement. Thankfully, she didn’t comment about it, walking away from the bridesmaids with a shrug.
Kids will be kids, Beverly thought.
Honey honey, touch me baby, aha, honey honey
Honey honey, hold me baby, aha, honey honey
You look like a movie star (You look like a movie star)
But I like just who you are (I like just who you are)
And, honey, to say the least... you're a doggone—beast!!!!
The girls hurried into Ava’s room, and the redhead couldn’t stop beaming as her friends closed the door behind her.
“So, who is your dad?” Lisa asked, hoping that from all the three men from Beverly’s past, Ava at least knew which one could be, “Ben, Richie or Bill?”
“I don’t know!!”
“But which one did you invite?” Ali wondered.
Ava didn’t answer, but when her expression became sheepish as she picked at the pages of the diary, it was all they needed to know. Their mouths dropped open in utter disbelief and shock as they took a step back with every word, landing and sitting on the wooden bench in front of the wall.
“Oh. My. God.”
Ava’s charming smile reappeared at their stunned reaction. She bit her lip and squealed internally while beaming at her friends.
“Do they know?” Ali dared to ask, and Lisa gave her an ‘obviously not’ look.
“Well, what would you write to a total stranger? ‘Please come to my wedding you might be my father?” Ava sputtered out, “No… they think that mom sent the invites, and with what’s in here,” she waved the pink diary, “no surprise, they said YES!” she shrieked eagerly.
Ali and Lisa looked at each other, widely grinning, before joining Ava’s enthusiasm about her plan as the three sang together while wilding around the room.
Honey honey, how you thrill me, aha, honey honey
Honey, honey, nearly kill me, aha, honey, honey
Ava, however, placed her mom’s diary from twenty years ago on top of her bed and walked towards her balcony, leaving Lisa and Ali to dance by themselves.
“I'd heard about you before… I wanted to know some more… And now I’m about to see… What you mean to me…” she softly sang, calmly, as she gazed towards the ocean with a hopeful look.