"Summer....Summer...Summer...." chanted LuLu, Tony, and me, Summer, mocking High School Musical. I looked behind me at the large window, the ONLY window in the bleak & empty classroom that held us like a cage containing wild animals yearning to be freed. The day was so perfect, so bright and colorful it was PAINFUL just to sit here & wait for the final bell.
"Don't torture yourself Sum, looking out the window won't make us get outside any quicker" Tony said smiling that gentle, crooked smile I never realized I'd loved so much. Me and Tony had been friends since the day I'd moved in next door. Going from a large & open ranch in Texas to a small, suburban town in New Jersey was a pretty big adjustment. Me & Tony didn't met from playing outside or his family coming to greet us, not the normal way of course.
My family moved into the wrong house.
It's a story we all still laugh about, the surprised face of Mrs. Devito, the mover's confusion, and, perhaps the best of all, Tony & Sylvia's happiness as they said; "We get a sister?!?! Yay!!!" From that moment on, the three of us have been best friends. They were there for me when the kids at school teased me about my Texas accent, I was there for them when they found out their Mom's baby had been a miscarriage, the list goes on & on. But now, as I looked into his eyes (how had it taken 10 years to notice those perfect ocean blue eyes?!) I didn't feel like I was looking into the eyes of the boy who had been my best friend & neighbor almost my whole life, I felt like I was looking into the eyes of...Well, an actual BOY. I'd never noticed, but Tony was actually a BOY. And, me being awkward Summer, I blushed as red as LuLu's copper hair.
"Summer?" Tony's sweet voice drifted into my ear. Oh! When had his voice become so sweet & spine tingling.
"Mhhhmmmaham?" I babbled, lost in the sound of his voice. Get it together Sum! The working part of my brain cautioned.
"Sorry, what?" I said sitting up, feeling more heat rushing to my already red cheeks.
"Sum, your face is redder then my freaking' hair!" laughed LuLu. One of my best girlfriends & Tony's too. The boy expert, as everyone called her. She was a flirt, but in an envious way. You would think her red hair would make her the brunt of jokes or make her self-conscious, but no. Her copper hair caught the light perfectly, causing it to shine. Her doe-brown eyes glowed 24/7 with happiness. Almost every guy in Rockwood Middle School wanted to date her. And she knew how to use her charm to get any guy she wanted. I dreamed of having the same ease & charm with guys as she did.
"Really Summer," Tony's blue eyes filled with compassion, "Are you ok? Maybe you should go to the nurse or something, you look overheated." Oh god. His sweetness makes my heart melt.
"Tony, you should check her tempture." said LuLu pretending she was concerned too. But gave me a quick, secretive smile & wink. I knew then that she knew who my secret crush was, and she was going to help. Thank God for LuLu.
"Yeah, thats a good idea." Tony said. His perfect hand touched my face. It felt cool against my burning skin. The touch of his hand felt like that of an angel. The moment was too good to be true. Please, don't let it end!!! Too late. The final bell of the school year rang, causing an eruption of shouts & a stampede of teens eager to begin their summer. We bolted out the doors with the crowd & then, the summer was ours. As we walked down the familiar path home, past the dozens of identical houses, past the dog the size of a mountain lion, and finally we faced the tree in the fork of the road. It was said this tree carried magical abilities, on special days only of course, it was also the tree before me & Tony split off our path from LuLu's. But today, instead of walking down our separate paths, we stopped.
"It's the last day of 7th grade. Next year, we graduate. The last day of 7th grade is one of the 'Magical Days'..." said LuLu making her rainbow hands as she said "magical days". She may have been mocking the magic of the tree, but deep down, she believed in the magic too. We all closed our eyes. And wished.
The air through the trees seemed to stop, no noises of cars on other blocks could be heard, nothing. Not even our own breathing.
I wish for a chance at true love. I wished with all my heart. And then, I felt over-bearing confidence, I would make that wish come true. The silent moment ended as LuLu woke from her trance.
"See ya'll," she said looking at me; She loved my Texas accent & the word ya'll, "At Dana's party tonight." She walked away, but not before winking at me, again, secretively & flirty. Tony & me walked the rest of the way together, as we had done so many times before, but it felt different today. I think he felt it too.
Change was in the air, This is going to be a summer to remember.
I felt my hand un-consciously touch his, he didn't pull away. It felt so perfect.
Oh yes, things were DEFINAITLY going to be different.