Feels Like Love

March 8, 2012
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The waves whooshed in the distance, crashing onto the white sand as I sat with my back towards the boardwalk. I couldn't complain despite the obnoxious s***s, pimps, and concerned parents realizing they made the wrong choice of bringing their five-year-olds to Seaside; nights like these, I needed the lights of the boardwalk to see the oceans and the music playing since I left my pohone and iPod home. My favorite Hot Chelle Rae song played at the tattoo and face-painting stand behind me.

My favorite part was ruined by a whiney, screeching voice. "But I don't wanna keep walking!"

I turned and immediately regretted it. I'd seen this crod around every other Friday night at Seaside. Tall, tanned, skinny, and s****y girls with tall, tan, slim, and sporty gys at their side. I didn't know their names, even though they ran the shool I was being subjected to in the fall. I'd been warned to stay away.

"Hey," the whiney voice said, pointing at me. "What's your name?"

"Why do you care?" I asked in the same stupid voice. She didn't get that I was mocking her.

"Can you move? We need somewhere to sit," she said as if I cared.

"No. Get here early enough next time and you can have it, though."

They all scoffed. I saw thy were working their brains over-time to think of an insult, so I pulled out $3 out of my pocket and walked down to the gat to get down to the beach. "Merry Christmas," i told her as I walked off.

The girls cheered; one of them called, "It's summer, stupid!" making me laugh.

"Ashley!" a male voice yelled, reproaching Whiney. "What is your problem? There are tons of other benches around here!"

I didn't ear Whiney's response, I was too far away. I paid the guy to get on the beach, took off my Converse, stuck my socks in my back pocker, and walked towards the water. I lost track of time and had no clue how long I'd been watching the waves crash over each other when I heard a slightly familiar voice yell, "Hey!"

Why did I turn around? Last time it forced me to relocate and lose $3. But I turned, like a moron. It was one of the guys from Whiney's group, the surfer of them. His honey hair was shaggy and wavy, he was tall and tanned, his muscles bulged from under his blue Aeropostall shirt, and he was wearing flip flops with light jeans.

"Can I help you with something?" I asked.

He sat next to me. "I'm not sure if the ocean is more beautiful during the day or at night." He wasn't looking at me.

"What?" I asked, still staring at him confused.

"I'm Alex," he said, holding his hand out, finally turning to look at me. I just looked at it; he slowly retracted it. "I came to apologize for my cousin, Ashley. She's a handful. But apparently it's normal to act like that up here."

"I'm used to it. You're not from Jersey?" I asked.

"I'm from Florida," he said, smiling. "Ever been?"

"Once, for a cruise with my friend's family. Ever been to Tennessee?"

"Only to drive up here. Do you live there?"

"Did." I sighed. "My mom mved us up after she divorced my dad last month."

"Good to know I'm not the only new-comer. We just moved in down on Washinton. This is my first night here."

I nodded. I could've asked a million questions, but I decided to answer his earlier thought. "I think, for loking-at-purposes, the ocean at night is more beautiful, unless you go down to Cozumel." I turned to gaze at it. "More mysterious, dangerous; the way you can see out for miles and miles over it with the moonlight, but not even an inch below the surface. Its unending but never even started." I looked at this Alex kid again and found his brilliant green eyes looking at me curiously. There was a smile on his tannd face.

"But for being-in-purposes?" he asked.

"The day, definately. Have you even been to Cozumel? The water is see through to the bottom, and about five shades of blue till the horizon. From above you can see even the tiniest fish, the littlest amount of seaweed. It's magical in the day." I paused. "But I think the ocean is most beautiful at --"

"Sunset," Alex finished. I whipped my head to look at him, just realizing I'd turned away, remembering the ocean in Roatan, a time and place where the only worry was if we could rip ourselves away from the beauty long enough to make it back on the ship before it left us.

"I-- how did you know I was thinking that?" I stammered. I'll admit, it creeped me out a little.

"Because I totally agree." He paused. "Wanna walk down the boardwalk with me?"

Without thinking I agreed. He offered me his hand when he stood, but I ignored it once again.

Walking up the beach, he started talking again. "You know, you never told me your name."

"I know," I smirked.

He just shrugged. "I'll figure it out," he laughed.

"How?" I taunted.

"I'll make you tell me."

"Ooh, I'm so scared," I said sarcastically.

"You should be. So how long ago did you move here?"

"About a month."

He heard my tone. "Do you not like it here?"

"Oh, I love it. I love the ocean, love living two blocks away from it. I love the boardwalk and going to the city... But I loved my mountains more. The crisp, clean air, the feeling of being so close to nature and my ancestors, the breathtakingness of the mountains in the fall, or in snow, or at dawn..." I trailed off, then snapped out of my daze. "You should really stop me when I start talking like that."

"I like it," he said smiling. I suspected he was lying or joking around, but, as I searched his tone and face, I decided he might have been sincere.

"What about you? You like Jersey from what you've seen so far?" I asked, wanting to be the listener instead of the talker.

"It's so similar to Florida -- the ocean, the bimbos, small towns and big cities, beach-atmosphere, beautiful in so many ways but so hideous in others." He sighed. "But it's different. Most people aren't as kind, you can't just assume most people are Christians like in Florida, too cold of winters." He looked like he was going to say something, but he heard a noise that made him be silent.

We both stopped dead in our tracks; I heard her too. He slowly turned and saw the source of the whiney out-break of noise -- Ashley and her gang.

Alex grabbed my hand and pulled me behind a Three Brothers Pizza that we were close to. We started laughing, then stopped when we heard more clearly what Ashley was saying.

"I'm not getting grounded the first week of summer!" she exclaimed. "Find Alex! Now!"

Alex murmured a few cuss words under his breath. "Maybe we shoud get out of here," he said, turning towards me.

"You don't think you should go see her? She might bite someone's head off, I'd be a little worried if I were you."

"She'll live."

"You might not." As soon as I said it, I realized, not only did I kinda care for this random guy, but the rando guy knew it. I didn't seriously think he'd die, but I didn't know if I'd see him again, at least until school started, and then he wouldn't remember me.

He turned to me and I realized just how close he was standing to me. Our fingers were still intertwined and my face was only inches from his chest as I looked up at himm. I realized how tall he was. "I'll risk it to stay with you," he said quietly.

I blushed, ruining the moment, like always. He lifted my face when I looked down. "What time is it?" I asked suddenly.

He pulled out an iPhone and told me, "10:30. What time do you have to be home?"

"In fifteen minutes," I said, trying not to panic. I couldn't walk home that quickly, as it took about twenty minutes to get to my house from here. I shuddered at the though of what my mom would do if I was late. "I have to go." I started running toward the direction we came from, past the amazing smell of Three Brothers, past Ashley and her group, past my beach.

"Alex!" I heard Ashley squeal behind me. She sounded mad again. I stopped and turned to look at Alex one last time, hoping I'd see him again this summer. I didn't see him by Three Brothers or by Ashley, but running towards me.

"Alex, I can't... I have to go. My mom will kill me."

"Let me drive you home," he said. He didn't wait for a response, but grabbed my hand again and lead me to an old, beat up Camero in the parking lot.

"Alex!" Ashley screamed again.

"Get in," he said. I listened and we sped off in the direction of my house. "Where to?" he asked as he slowed down a little. I told him my street, forgetting he said he'd just moved in on the same street. "What number?" he asked happily. When I told him, he smiled. "That's just across the street from me!"

I laughed lightheartedly. I recognized the song playing; it was the same Hot Chelle Rae song that was playing when Alex and his stupid cousin entered my life. When I told him, he turned it up and sang along like an angel, and I followed suit. The song ended as we pulled into my drive way, five minutes early.

"Thanks for bringing me home. You literally saved my life." I looked at him. "And thanks for giving me someone to talk to that isn't my five-year-old brother."

"Do you have a cell phone?" he asked.

"Yeah, " I told him; pulling a Sharpie out of my pocket, I wrote my number on his hand.

When I looked up, he leaned in. "You still haven't told me your name. I need to know the name of the girl I dream about tonight."

"Ha, that's likely."

He leaned in closer. "Please tell me?" he whispered.

"Are you pulling an Edward Cullen? You're not a vampire, and I'm not Bella."

He laughed. "Not gunna work?"

"Nope." I smiled.

He leaned back in his seat. "Hey, at least I tried it. You realize I'm going to go into your house and ask your mom what it is, right?"

"I dare you." He unbuckled his seatbelt and opened the door. "No, no, no." I leaned over him and closed his door then looked up at him.

"You won't even let me go through with the dare? Harsh..."

I sighed. "It's Olivia," I finally told him after a minute. "Now, I really have to go insi--"

He pulled my head to his and pressed his warm mouth to mine. I pulled away a second later and just stared into his gorgeous green eyes. In that moment, it didn't matter that my depressed and abusive mother had just turned on the porch light; it didn't matter that my father was in an asylum for murder then attempted suicide; my friends that hated me for moving didn't matter; my boyfriend of a year that had cheated on me just hours ago didn't matter; nor did the sure social suicide of pissing off Ashley. All of those problems faded into the background. The only thing that mattered in my world was that there was an amazing, hilarious, gorgeous guy had kissed me; the only thing that mattered was that this felt like love.

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