Mary's Song (Part 3)

By , Spring Grove, IL
I stepped out of the car and immediately ran over to the point, going to the end of it, closing my eyes and taking a deep breath in. It smelled like … it smelled like the great outdoors, with the aroma of the lake drifting up to my nose adding to the sweetness of the smell of the air around me. I opened my eyes and looked around me. The lake was the same as every year, calm and as still as can be. I couldn’t see a ripple in the water until I looked out past the bay. The trees on the opposite side of the lake were full of green leaves and I couldn’t see more than a few feet in on the shore because there were so many trees. Looking a little closer to the beach of Island View, I saw Dunn’s Inn, my mom’s best friends ran it, and I saw her daughter, Page who was my age, across the way, and I waved to her. In years past, because of everything going on with both of us in our home towns we haven’t seen each other in a few years, but I knew it was her because she looked the same as she did, just more grown into her features.
When she saw me, she waved back, and started running over to the beach on our side of the resort, so I followed her lead, and started running towards the beach too. I was going to tell my parents that I was going to be with Page, but they already left to go check in at the lodge, so I didn’t worry about them for right now. We didn’t stop running until we had our arms wrapped around each other in a long-time-no-see hug, with both of us laughing. “Mary, it’s good to see you!” Page said, pulling back to get a good look at me, just as I did the same to her.
“Yea,” I breathed. “Too long. We need to start planning better so we can see each other every year,” I said, and we burst into another fit of giggles. A while back we had traded e-mail’s, phone numbers, and friended the other on Facebook, but we hadn’t talked face to face in a few years because I live out of state, while she lives in state.
We sat down in the sand, and talked, catching up with each other for a while. When I noticed that I was getting hungry, I invited her back up to my cabin so we could get something to eat. When we passed our normal cabin, she gave me a funny look. “Why aren’t you guys staying in that cabin?”
“There was a mix up and someone else had it booked first, so in order to stay coming up this week, we switched cabins. This year we are in eight which is one of the ones closer to the lodge, but farther from the beach,” I said, faking a depressed voice, and she laughed.
When we finally made it up the resort hill, I saw my parents were just leaving the lodge, so we meant them half way to the cabin. “Oh my goodness Page, you grew!” My mom said as she gave Page a hug. Page, my dad, and I all erupted in a fit of laughter, and we started walking back to the cabin to settle in. The three of us stared to unload the car, and Page joined in, helping me with all the clothes bags while my mom and dad got the food and fishing stuff. The boat was back by the lake where I got out of the car, and once we unloaded the car my parents would go back down with the car, and put it in the lake. When they left, I grabbed a candy bar, handing one to Page, and we made our way over to the lodge to say hello to the owners.
“How long are you up here Page?” Her family runs Dunn’s Inn, but most of the time her mom and her Uncle tradeoff who stays up running it since they both live elsewhere in the state.
“I’m here until Wednesday, actually, then really early Thursday morning I have to leave with my mom so I can get back to town and play in the basketball torment that the school set up. Are you here for the whole week?” She looked over at me with a goofy look on her face, and I laughed again.
“Yea, I’m here the whole week, then leaving early on Saturday morning.” When we got to the lodge, we opened the door, and I got bombarded by three more bodies. Meghan, Hannah, and Molly, all threw their arms around me at the exact moment I walked through the door, making it seem like it was a big pile up. The five of us, once again, were caught in a fit of giggles, hugging everyone, and talking over the other so we would be heard. Finally, Mrs. And Mr. Mathew came over and quieted us down, and asked me and Page how we were doing. I thought Page was here before today, but I guess she had only gotten here a few hours before I did, so we were all happy to see her here with us for part of the week.
These people were like my family, I considered them my family, and the four girls were my closest friends that I had, besides Jade, so I knew that I could count on them for anything. We sat for the longest time at one of the few tables just talking, one at a time of course, about everything that has happened this past year, the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the exciting and the boring. We left nothing out. I told them everything about me and Cam, from out almost fall out over the school year, to the fall out we had right before I left to come here. The four of them already knew most of the story, but I told it again because it had affected who I was today. They supported me in my decision of walking away from him after that first day at the beach, and I was glad. I had told Jade everything that had happened, and she understood it, but these guys were totally for me, and I knew it had to do with the fact that they had never actually meant him, like Jade has, but it still helped me.
When I was done, we went to Page, then the three Mathew girls told us everything, and soon after the heartfeltness and catching up, we pulled out our long time girl’s game, Apples to Apples. When we were younger, we could sit at a table for hours on end without stopping the game of Apples to Apples. The only time I ever play this game is when I am on vacation because we play it so much here, I’m sick of it when I get back home. These last few years, we’ve been at the beach more than playing card games, but when we are done eating dinner, we all wonder back to the lodge and play games until early the next morning. When the sun is shining, we are at the beach, but when the sun goes down, we are all drawn to the lodge for the nightly set of games.
My parents had come back up to the lodge after they put the boat in and finished unpacking the car, so they came in and talked to the three Mathew girls for a while before they went back to Mr. and Mrs. Mathew at the counter. We continued our game, but had to stop again, because another body had shown up at the lodge.
“It’s eight o’clock on the first night of the week, and I still haven’t seen anyone,” At first I didn’t do anything because I thought it was just one of the parents, but when I noticed that the three Mathew’s were looking at me, I stared right back.
“What?” I asked, pressing buttons on my phone so the time would show up. It was only seven forty-five, what was this person talking about it being eight? But then the pieces fell into place. “Kevin!”
I jumped out of my chair, almost nocking it onto the floor in the process, and ran over to the door to see Kevin. I didn't eve’ hesitate, I just ran into his arms and threw my arms around him like I had done it every day. “Hey, Mary. Long time no see,” He whispered, only intending me to hear. I started laughing, and I could hear his soon join mine. Beneath me, I could feel his body shacking because he was laughing so hard, and I pulled away to get a good look at him. After all, I hadn’t seen him in a year.
He looked pretty much the same as always. He had the perfect body build, the one of a cross country runner, and he was lean with muscles. His hair was a dark, dark red-brown color, so we still called him a ginger, even if he was really only half a ginger. When I looked up at him, his eyes were the same big, deep sea green color that I had always loved, and thought went well with his redish hair. He had bushy eye brows, and freckles all across his nose and cheeks. I was pretty tall for a girl, but even he towered over me, standing a grand total of a whole head and a half taller than me.
I didn’t want to lead him to the table we were playing games at, because when I did, that meant that the week had really started and I didn’t want it to end. Being up north with Molly, Meghan, Hannah, Page and Kevin always kept my mind off of everything going on back home, even Cam, and right now that’s what I needed. I’ve come to think that the week I spend up north I am a totally different person than I am when I’m back home around friends, family, and Cam. When I’m up here, I don’t waste time on anything. I actually get up at like six or seven because then I have more time with Kevin and the girls throughout the day, and I don’t go to bed until like eleven tor twelve. I eat every meal, except lunch on some days, with my parents and two nights I spend most of it with them, sometimes not showing up for the games until ten instead of our normal seven or eight. This week here is when I’m at my best, because I’m always nice to the people around me even when I don’t like them, like a few people I have run into during some of our visits.
I knew my parents didn’t really mind when I was off with my friends here because that meant that it was also their vacation too, not having to worry about me and doing some of their own stuff since I’m older now. There was one time last year, when they left to go out fishing right after dinner and didn’t come back until after I got back from the games at the lodge. Turns out they went across the lake and did a dinner and a show because Orr, the town closest to the resort that we stay at, didn’t have a movie theater. As the years have gone on, my parents don’t have to worry about me as much as the year before, and I didn’t have to check in with them as often either so this year so be pretty good.
The six of us stood in the door asking Kevin about his year away, and he didn’t really have anything exciting to offer up (maybe because he was talking to a bunch of girls) but he did tell us some of his more funnier moments throughout the year. Unlike the girls, Kevin and I didn’t always keep in touch throughout the rest of the year, we were only Facebook friends, and we would only find ourselves in a few conversations. But it never bothered me because I knew that he would always be my friend no matter how much we don’t talk the rest of the year. At least I had one guy friendship under control.
“So Kevin, what’s the girlfriend status?” Page asked, leaning across the table we cleared the Apples to Apples game off of.
This is the first time that Kevin and Page have really meant, but they have seen each other around so it wasn’t too bad. I could tell the two of them would be really good friends. He looked across at me, and I could see the sparkle in his eyes get brighter. Kevin wasn’t a player; he just didn’t hang around with the girls that he didn’t like so each time he only had a girlfriend for a few days to a week or two. “Oh you know the same old thing. A girlfriend here, and a girlfriend there, no one really catching my eye yet.” He said, throwing another glance my way. We let out a giggle, now that was the Kevin we knew and loved, and then he sat up straighter, looking at all of us now. “But I’m not the only one with stories, come on, spill. Who has had a love or a loss this past year?”
We looked at each other, knowing we had talked about it right before he got here, and four of us said we had loved and lost. Hannah was the only one who hadn’t because she was still an eighth grader, Meghan was a sophomore like me, and Molly was a senior like Kevin. Then we took turns, telling the story for a second time, with me going last.
I haven’t really loved or lost, but in a way it was like that with Cam, so I told the girls for a second time, and Kevin for the first. When I first said it was with Cam, he sat even straighter, and I could have sworn that a look of concern crossed his face, but it was gone when I did a double take. I told them both stories; the one throughout the year, and the one before we left, knowing that Kevin would find out about both of them sooner or later. In years past when I didn’t tell him the whole story of something that had been bugging me, he always had a way of finding it out even when I hadn’t told anyone else. “So yesterday I went out to the tree like I always do the day before I leave, but then I remembered that we weren’t talking at the moment, so I went back inside and finished packing, thinking about how it could be fixed again. I don’t know what to do with him anymore. It seems more and more lately he gets on my nerves easier and more often too, and I’m not sure why,” I leaned back in my chair, not wanting to look at the faces that looked down at me with that sad expression.
“Well,” Kevin said breaking the short moment of silence that fell between us all. “This Cam kid is a total a**-hole.”
It only took a second for me to start laughing at his joke, and I didn’t even feel bad because he was right; Cam had been being a total a**-hole lately. It took the others a few seconds to laugh along, but I could tell it was forced because they had mixed feelings with the way Kevin saw it and the way they saw it themselves. We moved on from me, and Meghan told us about her love, one that she has managed to keep for a few months now, and then Molly told us that she had loved and lost all in the matter of a month because the guy was cheating on her. Page told us that she had been going out with the same guy for a year and a half, so we all agreed that she had better luck with guys (and girls for Kevin) than we did.
After that, I started to yawn, and I kept yawning more and more often as the night went on, but finally Kevin noticed and called it a night for all of us. “Well, I think someone over here is getting a little tired, so why don’t we get well rested and meet at the beach for tomorrow’s games a little after lunch?” Pushing his chair back, and standing up, we all followed his lead and I noticed that I wasn’t the only one yawning. Walking out the door, Page, Kevin, and I took one look and me and Page agreed that we needed to walk each other home. Since I would be walking back up to my cabin, Kevin came along with us, so the three of us walked down the hilly road that lead up to the lodge back down to Dunn’s Inn. We walked Page to her front door, and I gave her a hug good night, and she turned and went inside. Kevin and I turned around and went back to the road that lead u to our cabins. In moving our cabin from the one closest to the beach to one of the closest to the lodge, our cabin ended up closer to Kevin’s which had never happened before; so when I kept going up the road and he turned to go to our old cabin, I laughed and told him the story.
“So, the only person close to the beach is Page?” He asked as I directed him back up the road to our cabins.
“Yep, and she’s only here until Wednesday. Which also means that I will be crying that night because she will be leaving and I probably won’t see her for another few years.” I said, giving him a warning so he doesn’t walk up to the Wednesday night games and see me sitting there all teary eyed and what not.
“That’s okay, as long as you cry when I leave on Saturday,” He said, giving me a friendly push towards the woods on my side of the road. I screamed, because the two of us have often dreamed of what could be out in those woods at night, and his laughter filled the air, mine soon joining his.
We were half way up the road when I heard a howl off in the distance. I stopped walking, and froze, looking at the woods trying to figure out where it came from. In all the years I’ve been coming to this resort I have never heard a howl, even if this area is well known for the wolves and black bears. “Mary,” Kevin whispered, as I turned to face him.
He was calm and composed, where I was scared and out of my wits. I started to shack, and as I meant his eyes, I could tell he understood my fear, though I had never even told him I was afraid of wolves or anything like that. Not even thinking about what I was doing next, I reached out for his hand, and wrapped my fingers around his. I could tell he was a little surprised, and taken a back, but he went with it, and left our hands where they were. We didn’t talk the rest of the way back to my cabin, because I was too busy trying to listen for the howl again, and Kevin didn’t want to distract me, whether it was because he was afraid I would freak if he talked, or because he knew what I was doing and why. For as long as I can remember I have been afraid of wolves and coyotes, but I’ve never been really sure why. It didn’t really help that we lived in a town where a howl or two weren’t uncommon either, but even before that I have always been afraid of them.
When we made it to my cabin, I turned to say good bye to him, but he looked concerned for some reason. “Kevin, what’s wrong?” I wanted nothing more than to run inside, but I wanted to know what had Kevin concerned like this. Besides, you’re too close to the lights for them to want to get you, I thought to myself.
He shook his head, telling me that it was a decent sized problem, but he wasn’t ready to share it. “Nothing. Look, I’ll see you tomorrow, okay Mary? And hey, don’t worry about that, it was probably on the other side of the lake, so don’t worry your pretty little head about it.” As he said that last part, he gave my head a pat, and started to walk towards his cabin that was now right next door to mine.
“Kevin,” I called after him, making him turn around to catch one last look at me for the night. “Thank you, and good night,” I said, and he nodded his head, telling me he heard, and turned to keep walking. I opened the door and went inside, seeing my parents sitting on the couch both with books in their hands. “I’m going to go to bed right away, but I’ll see you guys in the morning,” I said, making my way over to them to give them both a kiss good night.
“Night honey,” My mom said, and I walked into my room, pretty much passing out as soon as I sat on the bed.





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