Laying on the huge swing on my back porch at night has been a tradition since we were five. Your parents would bring you up to this old cabin every summer to visit. We’d swim in the lake and pretend that we were marine biologists looking for undiscovered aquatic oddities. You would take me fishing out on the dock and throw the bait worms at me. I’d always squeal and then you would laugh at me. Remember when we were thirteen and I got so sick? You brought me toast and orange juice in bed one morning. You said I had to get better soon because we only had a few weeks left before summer ended. That night I dragged my butt out of bed and we laid on that old swing, staring up at the glittery stars. That was the first time you held my hand. I remember how my heart stuttered when our palms touched. I looked over at you and saw you smile a little. I remember when we were sixteen we had our birthday parties together. We invited our friends and we partied down by the lake. My mom set up a stereo and we danced until the sun set down across the water and everybody went home. You still stayed out with me and we slow danced and then we sat in the bed of your truck until the sun came up. We slept all day the next day out on that old wooden swing. I remember after senior prom we came up here with our dates and friends. I remember that girl you brought with you and that guy that I was with. The whole night, all I could focus on was where your hands were and how she was pressed up against you when you danced. I remember how my date got mad and left, but I didn’t even really notice. I only noticed how you left her and came to be with me instead and saying that guy didn’t deserve me anyways. I just smiled and asked you if you wanted to visit the old swing. You took my hand and led me up the steps to the screened in porch. I kicked my heels off and you gave me your jacket. I pulled your tie off and threw it with my shoes. We curled up on the faded cushions of the massive swing and talked. Do you remember that night? I do. That was also the night that you kissed me for the first time. That was the night that I realized how much I love you. We fell asleep on that old swing like we had a thousand times before but somehow, it was different. We went off to college that fall. It’s funny how we went to the same school, don’t you think? It’s like we just couldn’t be separated. Three years down the road, we came back for the summer. The old swing hung, its cushions inviting us to spend the night. We were laying out there when you turned to me. You pulled the little box out of your pocket and you held my hand. Time slowed around me as I said yes. It’s been nearly forty-five years since that night. Every summer we still come to this old lake house. Now we play mom and dad and grandma and grandpa instead of marine biologists. And though we’ve aged, and so has the house, the old swing still stands the test of time. It’s faded cushions still warm and inviting and full of our memories. Tonight, when we lay out under the stars again, I hope that you remember. I know that I will never forget and neither will this old swing.
Memories & Old Porch Swings
April 10, 2011