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Our Summer-Chapter 24- The Golden Days
One day, we’ll all look back on these years and laugh. As we’re all reminiscing, we shake our heads and wonder aloud “Yeah, those were the days. We were SO immature!” In my fantasy, we’re all reminiscing on New Year’s Eve in my gorgeous New York City penthouse, conveniently placed directly across from Times Square. We all walk out onto my baloney as the ball drops, the snow dances, we’re all dressed in sequin dresses (except for Tony and Rob of course) and Tony and Summer are in each other’s arms; as happy as ever. We ring in the New Year with cheers and champagne and laughter and wondering how we ever thought our world was crashing around us in 8th grade. Unfortunately, either those days are a figment of my imagination or they’re a LONG way off. Right now, In Rockwood New Jersey, Summer and I were being pelted with crumpled balls of notebook paper, some with cruel writing and others blank. They’d been endlessly chucked at our faces since I’d pulled Summer out of the bathroom. At first glance, it looked as though she’d just ran to the bathroom to become a rock again, but as we walked out, I noticed a wet trail down her sickly pale face. I didn’t have time to comfort her; I’d been too busy using my binder to block the crumpled papers. Summer was using her black canvas bag, though that wasn’t working out so great because people we’re constantly “bumping” into it and knocking it to the ground. People who we had once called friends were now openly yelling at us.
Summer ignored them, but I knew every word was like a punch in the face to her. A tall girl with curly brown hair and dark skin spit at us as we passed and was rewarded with appreciative cheers and laughter.
“Glad you heard the good news!” I yelled sarcastically over my shoulder.
“Did you see who that was?” Summer asked, her small voice trying to be strong.
I thought back to the girl who spit on us, and the realization came crashing down like an avalanche. It was Jocelyn; Dana’s best friend. Me and Jocelyn had always been incredibly close, since before Summer moved here. And now, here she was in all her Greek beauty spitting at us in the halls.
“Yeah.” I replied, trying to shake off the shock. Finally, we made it to English class. After going through the endless battle of the hallway, we ended up being a few minutes late for class. Every head in the room looked our way, and every face turned into nasty glares. The teacher simply looked as though he was already exasperated with us for being late. Fantastic. We quickly took a seat in the back of the room, and Mr. Jackson (according to the name on the board) resumed his lecture.
“As I was saying; Welcome to Honors English, I’m Mr. Jackson, yada-yada-yada. You’ll be completing many creative writing assignments, I don’t like group work but apparently I’m required to allow it occasionally, Essays should never be under 10,000 words, and if you get less than a B in this class; you’re automatically dropped down a level.” Mr. Jackson droned sternly. I was sure me and Summer wouldn’t have a problem; we were both A+ students in English.
“To start the year off, we are going to be sharing a descriptive paragraph about our summers. You have 15 minutes to write it.”
Every pair of eyes in the room seemed to turn to glare at Summer. They all knew, she flinched as she picked up her pencil and began to write. I sighed and began as well, and I began to lose myself in the words I was scribbling onto my blank page.
“That was very good Matthew. Who’s next? Summer Johnson. You haven’t gone yet.”
Shoot I thought to myself as Summer slowly made her way up to the front of the room. Everyone was dead-silent, almost daring her to talk about Tony and their romance. There she stood, all the way up front. I could see her determination to stay strong written plainly on her pale face. She kept her eyes glued to her paper, and began.
“It all began so simply. As just another day, another school year over, a seemingly endless summer ahead of all of us. But there was nothing ordinary about that night.”
Summer seemed to slip away into her memories, she told about kissing Tony in the lake, about spending blissful summer days and nights with everyone together, and she told us how it ended. Finally, she read the last paragraph.
“ My story began with a simple summer day, that led to the best summer I could have possibly asked for. My story ends with a summer night that sent everything to a crashing halt.”
Mr. Jackson seemed quite impressed. The class was silent, I was filled with hope; maybe they understood now. Maybe they realized how much pain she was in. Summer had a peaceful expression; as if the weight on her shoulders had been eased off ever so slightly.
It didn’t end right there, of course.
“Yes Robert?” Mr. Jackson addressed Rob who had been raising his hand in the silence.
“I have a question for Summer; about her story?” Rob requested. Mr. Jackson shrugged as if to say By all Means.
“Do you REALLY expect us to all believe you’re THAT innocent, Summer?” Rob asked with a cruelty he had never shown before. Summer went pale again, I felt my pure hot rage fuming within me. Mr. Jackson seemed just as shocked as Summer.
“We all know what REALLY happened; you made-out with Johnny and Tony dumped you and now you and LuLu are trying to have a pathetic pity-party for yourself. And now you actually DARE to try and get everyone else to feel sorry for you when all you are is a S***!” Rob shouted. I rocketed out of my seat, ready to attack. MY Rob; how dare he?! He was one of Summer’s best friends! She used to stick up for him when they’d tease him for being so short last year! The entire class was adlibbing now;
“Yeah, what’s your problem Summer?!”
“How COULD you? You hurt him like that and then you try to get everybody to feel SORRY for you!”
“What a LOSER-“
I opened my mouth, ready to scream back and attack them all the way they were attacking Summer. My cheeks were burning and were no doubt as red as my hair.
“CLASS! THAT’S ENOUGH.” Mr. Jackson yelled sternly. Summer was holding together her mask of being emotionless, but I saw right through it. She was sobbing on the inside.
“Robert, I’ll be seeing you after school for detention. We do NOT attack our fellow classmates. Summer, you can sit down.” He remained stern-faced and the class resumed to glares and the few whispered insults as Summer returned to her seat. I sat back down as well, my face still burning with rage. Mr. Jackson went on lecturing about different forms of writing, when I heard Rob whisper;
“It was defiantly worth detention.”
Oh yeah, you gotta love the Golden Days of middle school.