A Change In Season

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I pushed the door wide open and ran out, the heat immediately becoming overwhelming; the cooled house was not nearly preparation enough for this. A leap down the small steps of the deck allowed me to hop straight to the grass. Taylor and Casey were already starting to walk. Shocker, I’m almost always last to go.

They waited at the corner and once I got there, we were off. Another summer day. How fantastic. Taylor and I weren’t working today, thank the Lord. Adventureland. A place for the screwed and un-wealthy. That summer, “summmuh ‘o9”, was the constant phrase, made us grow up a bit; show us that things ain’t so peachy for everyone, especially not the working class…in particular, the fifteen-year-olds.. Isn’t that awful…growing up? Who the hell does that anymore?

One of the things that makes me excited about summer was not only the sun and smells and, an obvious affecter, no school. It was the natural beauty. The vibrant color of the leaves on the trees and plants and grass, all lush and with a graceful flow; soft to the touch, even. I don’t care whether you live in Mexico or the Himalayas. Everyone knows that when summer comes, there’s a “feeling“. You can feel the warmth and glow of everything; the freeness that embraces you when you walk outside with no shoes on and wear a bikini because that’s the only thing that doesn‘t make you feel like your body is a hundred and forty-one degrees. The distinct aromas of barbeques and fresh chlorine during the day, and the smooth coolness in the air at night- even that had a patent summer fragrance. No one could ever create such a sensation as this.

Walking down the blocks and roads was a typical way of getting places. We did it all the time. Casey and I only lived a block away from each other and Taylor lived six blocks from me. We were all in relatively close vicinity so it was easy enough to plan things quickly and go where ever was calling to us.

We walked all the way to Fireman’s Park that day, which was one of the biggest parks in Lindenhurst. Lindy. Same thing. This day was especially different though. No fights, nor hanging with the skaters on the open blacktop, or even feeding our childish fantasies by chasing those poor geese. No. We went to see our boys.

The heat from the hazy pavement found its way through my flip flops and warmed my feet. I had on the shorts I borrowed from Casey and a turquoise tank from Hollister. Looking hot, sure, but no sweat though. No sweat. People were basking in the sunlight on the benches, the bikers were riding around by the jungle gym, the skaters were doing laps and tricks down by the pond, different couples walked the paths, and little kids played on the swings; a typical park scene. We walked down the curved road, past the fire truck roadway, up onto the walk way next to the little bathroom building, heading toward the baseball field. All of a sudden, a “pinging” noise appeared in the back of my drifting thoughts.

“Heads up!”, a familiar voice yelled.

A baseball was sent flying out of the field, was heading straight for the three of us, and figures, right at me. It came slamming down directly in front of me, making me jump and sending a high-pitched scream out for all of Lindenhurst to hear. I picked up the baseball and started laughing when I realized I hadn’t died.

The beautiful boys that were there, oh how delicious; they were ours. How lucky as well. They didn’t know we were coming though. Randomness is always fun. A soon to be eleventh grade boy named Chris, was mine. There he stood as a newly-turned sixteen-year-old with a fantastic body, very tanned skin, short brown hair, and a bit of a short stature, although he was taller than me, even though everyone seemed to be. Then there was Pat, Chris’s best friend. The most distinguished, beautiful eyelashes and hazel eyes ever. He, too, had an amazing body, but these features made him too feminine for a boy, but no matter. He was good-looking, although he had a bad, lazy habit of wearing sandals and socks. Next, a friend they called Mehmo. I never found out if there really was a story behind the nickname. He was tall and had wispy, shaggy brown hair. He had an awkward look to him, but it fitted him and made him look cute, kind of like a lost puppy. Last was Gus. I had heard of him before through stories and such from Chris because they were best friends also. He had admirable features also: muscular, striking green eyes, and a captivating voice. Chris even mentioned one day to me that Gus said he planned on “stealing me away”. How intriguing. Gus interested me for sure, but he was much older and far off in the distance than the rest of them.

Not to sound conceited, but yes, I was pretty, becoming more in touch with myself with every year that went by. Everyone told me so. However, going for someone that was almost four years older than me, and was quite attractive as well, didn’t even come immediately as a goal for me to reach. I didn’t feel compelled to flirt with him at all. I guess the first thing it struck me as was out of my league and guess I was right. I had Chris, that was all I needed. And plus, Gus didn’t look at me in any special way either, but college boys are tricky, aren’t they.

I started over toward the fence of the field and Pat ran up to me. I gave him the ball and a dirty look and scolded him in a motherly way.

“You almost knocked me out there kid!”

“Sorry Nicole, love ya”, he said sarcastically, of course.

Then my babe came swinging through the chain link gate and ran over towards me. I grinned widely as I jumped into his strong, embracing arms, his body smelling like the cologne he always wore. He called it his “manly vanilla” cologne, but I guess I’ll never know the real name of it.

“I didn’t know you guys were coming!”, a smirk stretched wide across his face.

“Yeah, well, there’s nothing else to do and it’s beautiful out.” I could feel the breeze making some of the orangey sand from the field blow onto my feet and in between my toes.

Chris and Pat started to drift back onto the tan diamond. Mehmo and Gus just waved to us. Taylor, Casey, and I walked into the dugout and sat in there for another five minutes and watched the bats swing widely and baseballs fly. As I watched I tried to absorb the moment as it was. The glossy sun, the content people, the green color of the benches in the dugout. Everything felt good and calm in that moment.

And I belonged to Chris, which made me feel whole. I loved him so much, or as much as a fourteen-year-old could. While Taylor and I were working, all I could tell her for hours at a time was how much I missed being away from him during the day and how much I couldn’t wait to see him that night, which is usually what we did. It’s all I remember, or all I’d want to remember.


It all started back, back, right at the end of June 2009. Taylor and I applied for a job at Adventureland. I still hate that place, but I am eternally in debt to it because of how working there, I feel, changed my life. Taylor and I had been friends since we were in Kindergarten, best friends, in fact. But, she had other friends, and so did I, so we never hung out too much anymore, especially as the years continued on. Through a few connections, she and I got the job the beginning of the summer, and worked every other day for six hours together, so the odds were that we became close again, which is exactly what happened. It was like having a sister. We saw each other all day and usually hung out either after work or the next day too, when we had off. If it weren’t for Adventureland, I would most likely have never been that close to Taylor at all. This story would therefore have been a bunch of blank pages, but thankfully, they’re not.

An extremely long story short, the relationships I made that summer, especially with Chris, I believe, will last something like forever. No one can replace him, nor Taylor. As of right now, I view that time period as a turning point in my life, in a positive way. It’s one of those extended memories where you try to picture your life without it and it’s nearly impossible, let alone horrifying. Of course, the accumulative reminiscences were not all blithe and light-hearted, but it’s a better idea to choose to reflect on the good times instead. Over two years later, Taylor is still my best friend and Christopher is forever known as the first love I’ll never forget. I could ask for nothing more.





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