Authors: Heather Sosbee
A novel by Heather Sosbee
Across the Ocean
Copyright 2013 by Heather Sosbee
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents, either are the products of the author
’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locations is entirely coincidental.
Due to sexual content, and language, and some disturbing scenes, this book is only suitable for ages 18 and up.
First and foremost, I would like to thank my absolutely amazing husband, Jónas
, for being so supportive and helpful throughout this whole process. His insight and ideas helped to shape this story into what it is. Not only was he patient with me while I took the time to write this, but he helped any way he could. I love you.
I would also like to thank Kristinn for being a huge inspiration in this story, as I couldn
’t have written it without you. You are an integral part of my life, and I miss you. You’ve shaped a part of me, and I’ll never forget it.
, Jessie, for the late night/early morning discussions on where the story was going, and all your ideas and support that I really needed to help me get through this.
To my lovely beta readers who helped push me along the way
: you all have been so absolutely amazing. Angela, Ami, Karan, Vanessa, Heather, Tina, Brandy, Nura, Sonja and Kristina.
Adrian, Christina, and Theresa! Ladies, you gave me such a push with wanting to read more and
with your love of these characters I built. Thank you for sharing in this with me. I hope that you’ll want to be along for future rides! I love my Smuffins!
Angie, without you, I don
’t know that I would have had it in me to actually go through with writing this book to begin with. You helped open my eyes to a huge world of authors who are like me, and have stories to tell that can get pretty steamy. I had this story just waiting to be written, but you unknowingly gave me a little nudge so that I was able to accomplish it.
Thank you to so many people who don
’t even know they helped me with this story. Kristjana, Katrin, Þórey, Daníel, Hjalti, Halli, Gunnar and Magnus. Jake, Cat and Linzi, thank you! I know there are more of you to thank, and I’m sorry if I forgot you!
Last but not least, thank you to Iceland for being so flipping beautiful.
This book is dedicated to Jónas and Kristinn. This is also for all of the foreigners who have come to this gorgeous country and found the love of their life
, and to all of you who dream of doing just that.
This book is also dedicated to Iceland. This is a magical place and I love living here. If you are considering visiting, do it. It
’ll change your life. All the places I write about in here are real places, with all of their names accurate. Come see them for yourself! This place is so inspiring and your eyes will thank you for it later, I promise.
Follow Heather Sosbee on Facebook at
Or on Twitter @heathersosbee
’m really not a huge fan of flying. I’ve been known to cry like a little baby during turbulence and wail pathetically that I was certain I was going to die at any fucking moment. My boyfriend at the time didn’t find it amusing in the least.
’m used to flying alone and this time is no different. I kind of prefer it this way, I think. Not having to worry about anyone else but me during a journey this long is comforting. I’ve come to realize that all of my trips in a plane have led me to a new chapter in my life, and I’m really freaking excited to see where this new road leads me.
I have to admit that it was a rather quick and rash decision for me to fly here now. Maybe
it wasn’t my best thought through plan. However, during all the crappy chaos going on in my life, today was the only day that had been available for the price it was. For all the other days of the week, the price was $800, but for today, for some bizarre reason, it was only $250. While looking at the website, I figured it was totally a sign.
I mean, that’s a huge fucking price difference, right
’m meant to leave today, and the Universe is just making sure it happens.
I guess I’m pretty grateful to the Universe for saving me so much money
. I needed to get out of this hell hole quickly and I’m definitely not looking back.
’m leaving Indiana. To be more specific, Indianapolis. It was a nice enough city, I suppose. I wasn’t a fan of pushing my stuck car out of the snow or of all the cornfields everywhere. Also, I hated the tornados. I did enjoy the beautiful autumns, with its golden leaves covering the roads. Truthfully, I’m not sad even the tiniest bit. I’ve spent four strange years in this state. It was definitely what I would call "character building," to put it nicely. Living there was always a huge struggle.
’t grow up in Indiana. I was raised in San Diego, California. I’m used to beaches, sunny days, and saying ‘soda’ instead of ‘pop.’ When I turned 19 and life threw me a chance to break away and grab some independence, I took it up in a heartbeat. I’ve always been one to try something new, just to see where the road will take me.
’m just an ordinary person, but life hasn’t always been the easiest for me. While I am sitting here on this plane, making my escape, I’m wondering and hoping if I will finally get a little bit of a break.
I deserve a fucking break
’m only 22 and I’m already weary and exhausted with life. You can only be a sturdy wall for so long before you start to weaken and crumble. I came from a broken home as a child, which includes foster care, an abusive biological mother, and molestation. The idea that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger always sounded excellent to me.
Maybe by now, I’m awesome like the Hulk
I was very fortunate to be pulled out of foster care when I was 10 years old by my father and stepmother. I hadn
’t really heard anything from my father for most of my life before then, but I was extremely grateful to have some sort of stability.
I struggled quite a bit to fit into their life, one that they had already started together with two more kids. Eventually, I felt like I had a family of my own. My step mom really filled the shoes
that my own failing mother left vacant.
all of that, I’m also leaving some really good friends and really fond memories behind in Indiana. Oh, and my cats. I have two and I love them dearly. I’m going to miss them the most.
Maybe I should be embarrassed about that last part
’ll be honest, though—I’m quite nervous and excited about what is going to happen. I was supposed to make this trip when I was 18, after graduating high school. The plan had been to go to college for one thing or another (I wasn’t very picky) while just living there and enjoying life.
Instead, I ended up in Indiana with hopes and dreams of amazing love and happiness that didn
’t really turn out anything like I had hoped. What a disappointment. It’s a bit humiliating for me to think about the outcome from the choices I made for myself, and it was way too easy to leave. I think that’s a sign of something.
Vibrations, and the sounds of the plane engine, make me realize that we are starting to prepare for takeoff.
Ah crap, here we go
. This is one of my least favorite parts. I lock my seat belt into place, shove my purse underneath the seat in front of me, and try to get comfortable. My mouth is dry and my nervousness causes my stomach to hurt.
My palms are very sweaty as they cling so tightly to the armrests that I
’m certain I’ll just morph into the chair itself. My heart is pounding like a machine gun in anticipation of takeoff. Thinking about anything else is welcome right about now.
Everyone flies and I
’m not going to die today, right?
How fucked up would that be if the Universe set me up just to die now
Well, so far so good. I haven’t died yet, and man, the view is gorgeous from my window seat. I’m so grateful that I was able to sit here. Even though there is a largely obese guy sitting next to me and I really have to pee, I’m way more thrilled and excited about this trip now that all the negativity is far, far behind me. I would probably venture to say that I’m feeling a bit safe.
’m not sure how the idea of heading blindly into the unknown can be safe, but maybe it’s just because anything seems better than where I was.
This is my second flight of the day and I
’m already starting to feel exhausted from travel. I took my second flight out of New York and this one is the longest out of both of them. It’s a five hour flight, and I think we’re four hours or so into it. It feels as if it is taking forever.
What is this thing called ‘patience?’ I don’t think I own any of it
The ocean is vast and so bright out
side of my window, and all I can see is wave after wave creating pretty white trails way down below. Sometimes the light reflecting off of the water is blinding and I have to squint to see. We pass Newfoundland at one point. At least that’s what the guy sitting next to me claims, so I could just be talking out of my ass.
My bladder is protesting quite a bit now
. I’ve been holding off using the bathroom because I didn’t want to have to squeeze up against the guy next to me on the way there and back. There is no way I’m going to be able to hold it for the remainder of this flight, so I might as well get it over with.
January 2003, four or so years ago
Brooke is in California.
You should just move here. There are so many great reasons to. I even know the best way to convince you!
I don’t really need convincing, you know. I totally want to be there. It’s just so difficult to get all my paperwork to go to the university there!
Just add marxist to your contact list and I swear you’ll be convinced. Everyone needs a little convincing in their life.
If you say so. :P
Friend request from
, do you want to accept?
Sure, why not. I
’m just going to take a quick peek at his avatar and—
What a fucking babe
. No wonder Emilia told me to talk to him. If she says I need a little convincing, I’ll take her word for it.
Hi there, Brooke. My name is Ari. Emilia told me I should be convincing you why it’s a great idea to move here….
! I can see the coast at the edge of the ocean, and I know we’re getting closer, but it feels like it’s taking forever. It looks like Mars down there, barren and desolate but still absolutely gorgeous. There is little to no green on the land that is meeting the sea.
’s around midnight and the sun still hasn’t fully set.
. I’m overwhelmed with excitement and I just can’t seem to sit still in my seat. The seatbelt light has come on and they’re announcing that we are preparing for landing.
Rays of light pouring into my window make me squint, but the sun is so low and the colors are simply breathtaking, flickering between puffy clouds and reflecting off of the ocean.
What a gorgeous sight to fly in to. I can feel a trickle of something similar to hope or happiness in my heart. My new adventure is getting ready to begin!
Even though my father works for Homeland Security, I have an enormous phobia of all types of officials. Police, military, security, you name it. If there happens to be a police car in my general vicinity (even if I’m not driving), I have a bit of a panic attack. I hyperventilate a bit, cry pitifully, and assume I’m going to throw up. It’s really pathetic.
I walk up to the Customs booth
and notice that the officer has his hand outstretched to receive my passport. I instantly feel defensive and unsure of myself. I’m sure that there is a guilty expression on my face, and he’s eyeballing me suspiciously.
I just know it
"What are you here for, Miss?" he asks me
with a stern and not very welcoming expression.
"Visiting a friend
." I give him my most innocent and honest face, I hope.
"How long do you plan to stay?"
"No longer than 3 months." That seems like the right answer. I don’t think I’m legally allowed to stay here longer than that. Fortunately, he seems satisfied, and instead of calling the cavalry to take me to prison (along with my wild imagination), he stamps my passport and hands it back, dismissing me.
I grab it and practically run through the gate, glad to be done with this part of my journey.
. Now all that’s left is to grab my luggage and meet up with my friends and start enjoying freedom.
I walk through the gates separating passengers from family and friends waiting on arriving travelers and quickly scan the crowd for my friend. It’s been 5 or 6 years since I’ve seen Emilia in person, even though we’ve kept a close correspondence online, but I spot her quickly enough and a huge smile spreads across my face.
She squeals in delight when she sees me. She and two other girls who I
’ve only met through the Internet and are her best friends, Lára (Laura) and Sóley (Sole-Ay), come and attack me in a huge hug.
’re obviously as excited as I am about this whole trip, and it really puts me at ease. There is a comfortable air about us as we laugh and talk over each other with quick introductions. Lára has a super posh accent and I wish that she narrated my life for me. Sóley also has a seriously beautiful accent that I’ve come to adore.
All three girls offer to help me with my luggage
as we head out the front doors of the airport. I pause for a second and my mind reels at the realization that it is technically sometime around one in the morning (I think) and the orb of the sun is just barely kissing the horizon.
All the colors in the sky seem so much stronger, brighter, and more beautiful here. Red flows into fuchsia, orange, and pink, only to collide with the clouds and
ocean in an explosion of color and reflected light.
’s a bit brisk. There’s a biting wind and I have to bundle my light jacket closer to my body as we walk quickly to Emilia’s car. Loose strands of my hair whip around my face and I’m struggling to keep them tucked behind my ears.
It seems like there
’s just barely enough room for all of us in her little blue, two-door Honda Civic, especially with all of my luggage jam-packed in the trunk. Soon we’ve paid our parking fee and are driving on a highway, surrounded on both sides by vast barren land. Emilia explains that we are now leaving Keflavík, which is one of the bigger, better known towns in this country.
To my left is the sparkling ocean
. The land meets the sea with pools of water trapped from the low tide in black lava formations that flowed and stopped there so long ago. To my right, far into the distance, I can see a gorgeous mountainscape. They are gagged and dangerous looking and some are topped with snow. Clouds are so low that they float heavily on the mountains.
My mind is racing
and trying to catch up to reality. I feel like I’ve been caught up in a whirlwind of surrealism and dreams. Just these first few moments of being on the road have already blown my eyeballs into visionary bliss. After four long and difficult years, I can’t believe I’ve finally made it to the place that I’ve dreamt of.