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- Summer Guide
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- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
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- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Summer days usually meant cute bikinis, boys shirtless on the beach, and the excuse to barely wear any clothes. Most teenage girls loved the summer, all except Nora.
She loathed the hot months and would count down the days until October was once again in full swing bringing in the autumn winds and soon after winter snow. Nora hated summer because she didn't like to be hot, she hated sweating becoming sticky causing her hair to become stuck to her forehead, but mostly she hated the harsh sun rays that would beat down on her pale complexion turning her skin as red as a cherry tomato.
Nora would hide out in her room most days until her mother forced out into the heat, complaining that her daughter was slowly becoming a hermit. Nora annoyed with her mother found herself dodging the summer sun by walking underneath shaded areas until she found a heavily shaded bench in the busy park. There was a group of people playing touch football opposite of her and Nora recognized the few people who went to her school. Iris, a girl who Nora found incredibly cheerful, waved her over to play but Nora declined by pulling out her most favorite book and burying herself in the pages.
She was so tied into the deep romance that was playing out on the pages that Nora hadn't noticed Lucas behind her, leaning against the large tree trunk. He was reading over her shoulder, or trying to anyways because he kept getting distracted by the way the warm summer breeze would pull the scent of her perfume over to him and tickle his nose. Most girls would pick the smell of vanilla or something fruity, but Nora smelt like fresh cotton linen. Something Lucas couldn't help but find himself enjoying even though he would never admit it.
"Do you think you could slow down?" Lucas asks after Nora flips the page before he could finish it. Nora jumps with start and looks up with wide eyes wondering how long Lucas could have been hovering over her.
"What are doing?" She asks with a slight nervous quiver in her voice.
"Reading." Lucas answers as if it's the simplest and most obvious answer in the world.
There's an awkward pause before Nora turns back to her book to read again. Lucas sliding onto the bench next to her, just close enough for Nora to smell his cologne but far enough that Lucas still has to crane his neck to read the words on the pages. She can't help but take a deep breath of his smell because it's almost minty but musky at the same time. Nora is now reading incredibly slower because she's so nervous of the close proximity of Lucas that she can barely flip the page with her shaky hand.
"Warm today isn't it." She says trying to keep her voice strong. Nora couldn't help but get nervous around Lucas. He was the bad boy that she always stayed away from, but something about Lucas drew her in. She didn't know if it was his sarcasm or the cockiness in his smirks, maybe it was his gentle persona around his little, but whatever it was he was someone that Nora wanted to get to know more of.
“It is." Lucas says meeting her dark eyes. It took him a minute to look away because he couldn't help but get lost in how innocent they were. Her eyes were wide; almost doughy they always made her seem curious. "Do you want to come with me?" He finally asks after pulling his eyes away from hers.
"Go with you where?" She asks. Nora was tempted and knew she would follow him. He doesn’t answer just gets up from the park bench with Nora close behind.
Lucas leads Nora down a few back streets to keep her in the shade. He walks a bit in front of her and looks over his shoulder once every so often to make sure she's still following. Lucas leads her into the back door of a large old fashioned building nodding for her to enter. She does so, but her guard is up high in this strange place. It takes a while for her eyes to adjust to the dim lights but when they do she gasps at the sight of the large and many rows of bookshelves.
"What is this place?" She whispers to Lucas when she notices the many people reading against walls or in comfortable chairs.
"The Second Hand bookshop." He answers before leading her to a secluded area in the shop. Nora sits on the dark brown coffee stained beanbag chair and Lucas sits near her.
She opens an old book with yellowed crinkled pages that Lucas sat gently in her lap and begins to read it out loud to him. Her voice shakes at first but when she notices how relaxed Lucas is next to her she relaxes as well.
The two of them sit in the corner of the shop together taking turns reading the books chapters out loud to one another. Nora can't help but smile because she might actually enjoy her summer days if she's able to spend them like this.