Summer Skin

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I listened softly outside my window as the waves rolled; in and out, in and out. I leaned in closer to the window, feeling the breeze from the trees sweep me away. Outside, the world looked peaceful; like a harmony of all different sounds. The birds in the trees, the swishing of the California waves, and the different murmurs of the people below as they talked amongst themselves.
I glanced among my room to the familiar shelves, filled with jars of sea shells, the cup filled with sand from the Mediterranean Sea. It was all so familiar in my mind as I thought back to the past summers. The past laughs, the past smiles, the past loves. Everything coming together in the end to welcome the new year; the new me.
Now, as I lay beside my window, feeling the breeze hit my face, the cool crisp air, making it hard to breathe. I suddenly missed all the laughs, all the smiles, and all the loves. All the times me and Evan spent beneath that old Willow tree as we attempted to jump into the water. Me and you, holding onto dear life before taking the plunge into the water, into a new us.
“Take my hand.” You would whisper into my ear, I could feel the shiver run down my neck as you laced your fingers in mine, beginning the countdown.
“One.” You began, gripping my hand tighter. “Two.” And then we jumped, defying the rules of waiting until ‘three.’
You led me farther into the water, still holding tightly onto my hand as the waves captured us. The tide growing heavy under the perfect blue sky.
Everything about this moment was flawless; not an imperfection in your eyes, in the clouds, even on my side.
I leaned in closer to you, my legs kicking underneath, my body easily supporting myself. I looked down at our fingers, they were still intertwined and somewhat meant for each other.
“I love you,” you bit your lip, staring deep into my eyes.
I turned away, getting my feelings in check. This was a summer romance, nothing more. I said nothing as I slid my hand away, swimming back to the shore. I didn’t turn back to see the hurt washed upon your face. I kept walking, my head hung low as I walked away from what could have become something they call wonderful.

Now, I walked towards the water, leaving my room behind. I sank my feet into the sand, feeling the warmth evaporate into my toes. The summer was winding down, leaving just the memories and my new sun-kissed tan. Everything went like it was supposed to, just as the summers before it had. Yet, in the back of my mind, there was a nagging feeling that something wasn’t right.
And just then, as if by fate, I turned to the right to see you walking towards me, your brown curls lying lazily around your face. I couldn’t make out your expression, all I could think about was the summer. The late nights, the smell of your summer skin as it lingered on mine, and the night I walked away from it all.
“Hey.” You said, when you reached me. Around us, it seem as if it had suddenly gone quiet. Even the waves had calmed.
“Hi.” I said quietly, unsure of what to say, how to begin. “Look, I’m sorry-” I began to say, trying to make it right again.
You stepped towards me, reaching out to grab my fingers, I felt the same shivers again as you slid them in between yours. In the distance, the sun began to set over the water, illuminating it.
“Don’t be sorry.” You took a step closer, making my heart go on a frenzy. This was what I was missing all along. I tried to fool myself into thinking that it was time to go home, time to move on to the next year, until I came back to repeat my summer. With all the laughs, the smiles, and the loves, I never realized that it was you, who gave me it all. Gave me the summer of love.
I said nothing else for a moment as I took it all in. I stared deep into your brown eyes, feeling the same stir inside my body like I always got whenever I looked at you.
“I love you.” I murmured quietly, and for a second I didn’t think that he could hear me.
But he had, he always did. No matter how soft a whisper, he always heard me. There were no need for words as he closed the space between as and leaned in to seal our fate with a kiss.
I didn’t know what next summer would bring; all I knew was that I couldn’t wait another second to feel the heat off of his summer skin.





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