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The Summer Of Aunt Darcy

People deal with things in different ways. I have always been of the "hit and run" mentality. Confront someone; say what you want to say, than run away from that person. It's not the best tactic, I'll admit, but it's worked for me. And it's worked for the women in my family who came before me, also. Take my older sister, for example. Kylie hated to confront people, or even speak her mind, but when she did, she ran away as soon as she said it. If not literally, than figuratively. She would retreat into herself, hiding away from the rest of the world. My mother did it too. I suppose that's where I get it from. Having learnt nothing else, it's what I did. Until recently, that is.

It was the summer I went and lived with my Aunt Darcy. She'd always been my favorite of my father's side of the family, the most normal yet insane one there is. She didn't wear makeup, save for some chap-stick during the winter, and her long auburn hair was almost always up in a messy bun with chopsticks. On the rare occasion it wasn't, it fell down to her lower back. Aunt Darcy almost always wore jeans; in fact, I don't think I'd ever seen her in a skirt or dress. The shirts she wore were absurd, ranging from graphic tees to tunic-like tops.

The day she picked me up from the train she was wearing one of her tunic like tops. This one was a creamy color with gold embroidery on it, and of course, her jeans. One of the biggest characteristics of Aunt Darcy's jeans was the drawings and notes she had all over them. The ones she had on today said "Remember to pick up milk" and had a large smiley face doodled on them. The clothing pieces themselves were crazy, but on her, they worked. I'd spotted her from the train, so I knew right where to go when I got off, but it took her a little while to see me. When she did, she wrapped me up in one of her famous Aunt Darcy-bear hugs and I was surrounded by the comforting scent of Aunt Darcy, a mixture of lavender, jasmine and rose. She stepped back and took a look at me.

"Well, Chloe Evans. Look at you." She said, taking me back into a hug. "You've gotten a lot bigger since I saw you last!"

"Well, considering the last time I saw you was a month ago, I sincerely doubt that Aunt Darcy," I said, smiling.

She laughed and we started walking over to the baggage cart to get my suitcases. They weren't hard to find as the last time I'd come to stay with Aunt Darcy, we'd decorated them with fabric paint and patches. They were easily the most colorful ones there. "So," she said as she grabbed one of my suitcases. "Meet any cute boys on the train?" And then she winked.

The train ride was from Seattle, Washington to Auburn, California, where Aunt Darcy lived, so it was an overnight, which explained part of Aunt Darcy's winking. And I was making the trip alone, which explained the other part. I sighed, and shook my head. "Nope, not this time. And it was disappointing, cause you know, all the boys are usually lining up to get to me." I hoped she could hear the sarcasm in my voice. Apparently she could, because she just laughed and put her arm around me.

"You'll get there someday, Chlo. Anyways, the boys your age are all too immature for you anyhow. But there IS a boy around here that I want to introduce you too."

I groaned. Aunt Darcy was infamous for her match-making schemes, which almost NEVER worked. Actually, scratch almost. They NEVER EVER worked. I'd long since given up hope that they ever would.

Aunt Darcy laughed, knowing very well her reputation in our family. "No, I swear, I think you'll actually like this one! His mom, Brianna, and I are close friends; we've known each other since middle school. And Jackson is a very nice boy, just turned 15, like you."

I groaned again, knowing there was no possible way out of this. "Alright, just promise me you'll give me some warning before I meet him? The last time you did this I was still in my PJs when the guy came over, and my hair was in a mess. So just give me some warning this time, `kay?"

She laughed and nodded. "Of course! Wouldn't want you looking anything but your best, would we?" Aunt Darcy teased, poking me in the ribs. I jumped out of the way, almost knocking a pile of suitcases over. That brought on a whole new version of giggles that lasted the entire car ride.
'''

When we got to Aunt Darcy's, I went straight up to my room and started unpacking. Her house is of a fairly decent size, so I had my own room and bathroom. It was kind of nice not to have to worry about sharing space, actually. Kylie always took too long in the bathroom in the mornings, and she had so much stuff that you couldn't fit your own. She had four different shampoos alone, which should give you an idea about everything else. But these rooms were all mine.

I threw my multi-colored suitcases onto the bed, and quickly unzipped them, looking for my toiletry kit and a new pair of jeans. I'd changed my shirt this morning, but I'd kept the same jeans, not wanting to completely undress on the train where there was a good chance of someone walking in on me, or missing my stop. Because, of course, that would happen to me. I had gotten my own room on the train, thankfully, but I was still nervous. Looking down at my shirt, I decided I'd better get a new one as well. It had that icky traveling feel to it. I rummaged through my suitcase again, and grabbed the first t-shirt that I came into contact with. "Aunt Darcy! I'm gonna take a shower, `kay?" I called down the stairs.

'Okay Chloe. Try not to take to long; we're going to meet Jackson and Brianna soon.'

I sighed, and went back to my suitcase. If we were going to meet this boy, I was going to look good. I put the t-shirt I had originally grabbed back, and pulled out a blue camisole I had just bought a couple of weeks ago, but never had the chance to wear. Washington's always cold, even in the summer. I mean, it can get warm, but not hot enough to actually just wear this top. After I'd found the top, I pulled out a pair of my favorite jeans. They were a dark wash, and skinny. I always felt cute when I wore them. After I had all of my clothes together, I gathered my toiletries once again and headed for my bathroom.

I felt disgusting from being on the train so long, so my "quick shower" took a little longer than anticipated. When I finally got out of the shower, there were already voices downstairs. I picked out Aunt Darcy's right away, and another woman who must've been Brianna. I couldn't hear any guy's voice though, so I thought Jackson must've stayed home. I sighed with relief. I didn't have to meet this kid right away, then. I took my time getting ready. I wasn't in any sort of hurry to meet Brianna, even though I knew she'd be perfectly nice. I mean, she was Aunt Darcy's best friend. I carefully pulled on my jeans and shirt, taking care not to let my hair touch my shirt to much. I grabbed my blow dryer and did a quick once-over, threw on some mascara and lip-gloss and set off down the stairs.

When I got downstairs, I stopped dead in my tracks. There, sitting on Aunt Darcy's couch, was the single most beautiful boy I had ever seen. Aunt Darcy heard me and looked up. "Chloe! I'd like you to meet Jackson and Brianna Reynolds."

Brianna stood up and hugged me. "Chloe, you probably don't remember me, but I met you when you were about two years old. Of course, I haven't seen you since then, so I wouldn't blame you for not remembering." She laughed, and a tinkling sound filled the room.

The beautiful boy stood as well, and held out his hand. 'Hey. I'm Jackson.' And then he smiled. I swear to God, my heart stopped.

'He-hey. I'm Chloe.' Somehow, I managed to stammer those words out and give a weak smile.

Aunt Darcy and Brianna were looking back and forth between the two of us, looking happier than the bird who just swallowed a cage-full of canaries. I turned to Aunt Darcy and asked, 'Are we going to leave soon?'

She laughed. 'A little impatient are we? We'll leave soon.'

I quickly made up a reason why I was so eager to go. 'Hey! The food on the train sucked!' As if to prove my point, my stomach growled, and I flushed with embarrassment.

Soon after, we left, Aunt Darcy seeming to understand my distress. I got asked the usual questions about home by Brianna, and then once her curiosity was sufficiently filled, she and Aunt Darcy got to telling stories about their youth. The whole time I wasn't answering questions, I was watching Jackson, seeing how he reacted to things, and trying to memorize the way he looked so I could go over it with myself later that night.

At first glance, Jackson was beautiful, but looking more and more at him, I began to see the reason behind the beauty. His golden-brown hair was shaggy enough to hang over his forehead, but not long enough to cover his emerald-green eyes. His teeth were perfect, so perfect you just knew he'd never have to have braces. The whiteness of his teeth also contrasted perfectly with the full, pinkness of his lips. A few times, I'd look over and catch him staring back at me, and then he would smile, and my heart would stop again. For once, Aunt Darcy had finally made it work. And from the coy smile on her face, she knew it.

When we finally got home, it was ten-thirty at night, and I was exhausted. I kissed Aunt Darcy on the cheek and went straight upstairs and changed into my pajamas. I brushed my teeth, and crawled into bed, falling almost immediately into a dreamless sleep.





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