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Our Summer-Chapter 7- Fireworks & Shamrocks
The smell of barbeque sizzling in the air, the shouts of children heard from every block, and the hiss of sparklers throughout Rockwood, could only mean one thing; the 4th of July. It was not yet night, but everyone was already eager for the spectacular display of fire shooting through the black sky to begin. LuLu was most likely on her way to get me so we could go meet up with Rob & Dana and all of the other neighborhood kids. It was the same every year, but not in a boring way. In a traditional way really, I’d loved this summer holiday more than anything from my 1st July in Little Rockwood. But, despite how many times I had tried to ignore this fact, Tony & Sylvia were not here. It just didn’t feel like the same tradition without them here painting American flags on their faces with me & LuLu. They were supposed to back this morning, but Tony had called and said their flight was delayed. I was worried, that meant they might not get back in time for my birthday, and I didn’t want to spend THAT without them too! I think LuLu noticed I was trying too hard to seem perfectly fine, I felt bad thinking she might feel like it was her own fault when it had nothing to do with her. We biked to Dana’s without shoes on (which doesn’t hurt & is A LOT of fun!) and I tried to ignore the emptiness inside my chest as all the girls sat on a dock laughing & basking in the final rays of the sunset.
“Look at our boys Lu! Honestly, I wonder how old they actually are!” laughed Dana as we watched Rob & Paulie mock fight each other before crashing straight into the water of the lake. I laughed along with the other girls but only half-heartedly. No matter how much I tried, the longing for the sound of Sylvia chomping away on her gum & the sight of Tony’s muscled chest crashing into the water refused to fade. I felt a soft arm come around my neck & I looked up to see LuLu smiling sympathetically.
“I’m sorry, it’s not your fault obviously, and it’s just….”
“Honey, believe me, I know. Actually, I know more about what’s gonna happen tonight than you do.”
I smiled and lay my head on her arm before considering what she’d just said. She knows more than me about what’s gonna happen tonight than me?
“LuLu, what do you mean by-“
“GUYS! GUYS! ITS GETTING DARK OUT!!!! THE FIREWORKS ARE GONNA START UP SOON!!!” Jocelyn, one of Dana’s friends, screamed to the boys. Sure enough, the stars twinkled brightly, enjoying their moment where THEY were the brightest in the sky before red, white, and blue sparks burst into the black canvas. Everyone settled into couples on the dock while I sat like an ackward 3rd wheel beside LuLu & Rob. I closed my eyes & in the silence pretended I was in Tony’s arms, on the dock, swinging my legs over the shining waters, hearing his voice in my ear whisper-
With a startled shriek I fell headfirst into the glittering water, breaking the absolute peace. Could it really be-? I didn’t have time to finish my thought before there was another crash of bubbles in the water & Tony was standing drenched in the lake next to me.
“Should I take you jumping into a lake as you’re happy to see me?” he laughed
I hugged him so incredibly tight as the hole in the chest was filled again by the smell of fresh lake water & Abercrombie & Fitch cologne.
“You liar! You said your plane was delayed!” I laughed splashing him.
“If I gave you a present, would you forgive your favorite lying boyfriend?” he teased pulling a shiny silver box out of his pocket. My cheeks reddened in happiness as I opened the box delicately. I gasped in delight as I held the beautiful little necklace in my hand. It was a silver shamrock, all 4 leaves, and a diamond heart that settled perfectly across the shamrock. Tony closed the clasp on the chain & it was mine to keep forever. And then, just like the night we fell in love, I kissed him right there in the lake. And, as if it were a movie, the fireworks exploded in extreme beauty & brilliancy over our heads.