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“See you after class” Rose quickly yelled across the hallway as we ran into out classes.
History. Must I say more? If it was science or math that would be great but History! It didn’t help wither that it was eight o’clock in the morning and the teacher, Mr. Hollandsworth, was the most boring teach I had had in all my life. As usual I stared out the window, letting my mind drift. It was a beautiful view. You could see the whole park for that window. My focus wasn’t on the view today. My mind wondered far from here. It had traveled across five states, through eighteen hours of traffic, and back two years, to a better time and place I must say.
It was the summer I turned sixteen. As tradition we traveled to albama to the Gulf Coast. We had been going there since I was five years old. That summer was different somehow from all the rest. It was magical, like a fairytale. It seemed almost too good to be true, but only time could tell.
I was on my morning run along the beach. I had run this path many times. I noticed every little detail, the new fence they had replaced and the new steps up to the gazebo. However, there was one thing that was a major change. I had run the path and knew everybody else that ran it too, except him. He was the major change. I pretended not to even notice him and stared at the sun rising over the water. Just then we ran right into each other. After picking myself up and dusting off, I apologozed, as did he. We sat down in the sandand talked until the sun had almost entirly risen. We talked about how he and his parents had moved here last fall. Then we talked about how I had been coming here since I was five. When I got home after finishing my fun I realized, I didn’t even get his name.
The next day I was very eager to get up and run, hoping that he would be there again. The farther I ran the smaller my hope got. Finally I saw him sitting in the sand at the same place we sat yesterday.
“I realized when I got home yesterday that I didn’t even know your name” I stated as I sat down in the sand beside him.
“Well Mine’s Luke. Your’s would be?”
For a while we just sat ther gazing at the sun. Finally after about ten minutes, he said “Come with me. I want to show you something.”
He took me to a little coffee shop of Lagoon Avenue that I had noticed coming down. It was new.
“My parents opened this up last fall when we moved here. I work here in the evenings.” Luke said while unlocking the door and gesturing me in.
He fixed me a coffee and we sat down in a window booth. We talked for about fifteen minutes then he walked me back to the beach. Before departing we agreed to meet at the same place and time the next day, and thus our love began.
We spent everyday together from then on. One day it would be sailing and the next would just be walking on the beach. One day he took me fishing on the pier. To his surprise in all the years I had been here I had never been fishing. We didn’t catching anything but we had fun trying.
The next date was dinner at his parent’s house. It was beautiful. It had a deck that looked over the beach, which is where we ate dinner. It had a contemporary yet classic feel to it. Luke’s room was on the third floor all by itself. It had a bay window that looked out at the sea. I sat there in awe of the view when Luke came up behind me and wrapped his arms around me. The love I felt right there was entilry different from any other love I had felt before. I felt safe, secure, and warm right there. I wanted that moment to go on for ever.
“Emma!” Mr. Hollandsworth yelled.
Suddenly coming back to reality, I sat up. Trying to act like I had been paying attention the whole class, I replied “Yes?” After paying attention for a few minutes after that my mind drifted back. Now where was I?
The time came for me to leave. As much as we both wanted it not to, it did anyway. We ended that same way we began. We met at the beach, sat down in our same spot and watched the sun some up for the last time together. It was very solemn and heartrending. That was the second saddest moment in my life.
On our way home he was all I could think about. He kept popping up in my mind. His beautiful sun bleached hair blowing in the wind. His sparkling eyes that were as blue as the ocean. His appealing musclues that had made me feel so safe and warm. All of these images kept flashing through my mind. I couldn’t make them go away. I tried to think of my friends that would be waiting for me when I got home, but it didn’t help. I would have to tell the about my summer, the beginning and the end. To make everything worse, I couldn’t even cry. Not a tear would come. Finally I fell asleep.
Tires screeching, people screaming, and blood everywhere. This is what I wake to. Pictures flash through my brain: Mom, Dad, blood. That’s all I can remember. When the officers arrived, I was covered in it, both Mom and Dad’s. The tears where there when they needed tobe and they wouldn’t stop this time either. I kept screaming for them but they wouldn’t answer. Mom! Dad! Where was Luke when I needed him most?
I felt someone touch me. Some one was wrapping their arms around me. It was Mr. Hollansworth. Whn I came back from so far away I realized that I was crying, sobbing to be exact. He had stopped class, which he never does, to come give me a hug. Any minute I was expecting him to yell at me for interupting his class, but he didn’t. He just stood there with his arms around me not saying a word. It was then that I realized that he was a person too, not just some mean old history teacher, but a person just like me or you. I felt like I could cry for hours, then I remembered there was a class full of judgemental piers behind me. I stoped and ran to the bathroom to get myselft together. I had prepared a speech but as I started to speak he interupted me.
“There is no need for apologies, we don’t have time. Now back to Ancient Egypt class.” And that was all that was said.
At first I was afraid to go back, but my mind picked up right where I left off, Foster Care. It was terrible; being passed from house to house feeling like no one loved you anymore. Those nights were the worst. I kpe thaving the same dream over and over again. Luke, the beach, the wreck, the funeral. Every night it would end the same way with me crying myselft awake and tasting the bitterness of the tears as the rolled down my face. Every house was the same, every mom would come in and hold me, but it never felt like my mom. It was a cold heartless hug, not filled with love as my mother’s were.
This time the bell brought me back. Rose met me at my locker and she could tell that I had been srying although I tried not to let it show. She gave me a hug and a friendly kiss on the cheek and we on to her class.
Summer came, I graduated high school, and decided to carry on the tradition that my parents had started years ago. I bravely started that long trip over five states and through eighteen hours of traffic.
There was the exit that dad would always get off and get me and ice cream. There was the spot that mom always had to stop and get a souvenir. She had a whole cabinet full, one for each year we had been coming here. Suddenly there it was. That was where it happened, where my world came crashing down around me. The pictures flash through my mind over and over again. Mom, Dad blood! Mom! Dad! The blood had been washed off the road years ago but it still stained my mindd. I couldn’t go on. I was crying so much that I couldn’t even see the road. I pulled off the road ans sat there for an hour. I just couldn’t go on. Why did I even come here? I knew this wouldhappen yet I did it anyway. Why was I even here? What was I thinking?
I finally made it to the hotel, the same one we had always stayed at. I got unpacked and went out to the beach. I had made it just in time for the sunset. As I walked along the beach the memories returned. There was the place where we had built the huge sand castle when I was six. I said one day I would live in a castle just like that one. Then there it was, the place where Luke and I had watched the sun come and go down every day that summer.
As I sat down on the warm sand, the last person I expected to see was making his evening run. He just stopped and we stared at each other. The emotiong flooded my mind, the joy of our love, the sadness of our parting and the sorrow of death. I didn’t say a word because I knew the moment I did the tears would start to flow down my cheeks, unstoppable like the ocean. He didn’t say a word, just sat down beside me. We sat there silently until the sun had almost disappeared. Finally someone had to say something, and he beat me to it.
“I’m so sorry; I couldn’t believe that it happened. I wanted to come to you but I didn’t know where you were. I looked for you every day hoping that you would return, but I never lost hope.”
At that I couldn’t hold it in any longer, I fell in his arms and cried. That was the feeling I had been longing for for two long years. He wrapped his big strong, yet gentle arms around me. The warmth and love that I felt right there in his arms was even greater than I had remembered it. I was finally where I was supposed to be, I was home.