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I was casually strolling through the isles of CVS on a beautiful summers day. I was getting ready to head out to the beach and was just killing some time after lunch with a friend. We were on vacation in the beautiful Newport, Rhode Island and nothing was going to stop us from having fun.
We walked to the back wall as I gaily exclaimed, “Taylor Lautner!” in a sarcastic tone as we gazed at a magazine.
She chuckled and agreed with me, going on to say that our other friend would surly be dying with anticipation to see his sweaty abdomen in the new premier.
“Hey boo's!” we heard a voice say, when we looked up we saw a group of three guys. The one that had spoke up was carrying a case of warm beers and a boogie board. He was lanky with some stubble, and he looked like he didn't have a care in the world.
We chuckled and responded “Hello” in almost perfect unison as he continued walking. He had a shorter, pudgier, friend with him who gave him a funny look through sunglasses and kept walking. This occurrence happened two more times before me and my friend were found in the stationary section, complaining because there were stains on our hotel room floor that resembled bodily fluids that shouldn't be disguised in mixed company.
“Hey birds, what are you up to?” he came over again, grinning wide.
“er- nothing much” I responded awkwardly.
“Well we're all heading to the beach, you ladies should join us” he invited.
“Maybe later” my friend responded, not fully knowing how to respond.
He nodded slowly as he walked away and the friend was giving him a look as he scolded, “did you get a number?”. The lanky one just muttered something incoherent and walked up to the register, no doubt going to pay for the cheap beers and possibly boogie board.
“Does he want a number?” I asked slowly as the friend looked up at me.
“I don't know, but I do!” He laughed as he walked over and I couldn't help but chuckle.
When the CVS excursion was over my friend and I walked all around, chuckling at what just happened. We wound up running into them one more time, turning down a blunt request from the lanky one.
A little later that day the friend, the pudgier one who had a striking resemblance to a guy I knew from back home texted me and we got to talking. He asked me how old I was, and not thinking, I automatically lied and told him I was 18, instead of 16. He responded, he was only twenty two.
We all made plans to meet up later that night but they had fallen through because the lanky one, who made the initial move- had passed out drunk before eight thirty at night. Despite his irresponsible drinking I continued talking to his friend. I slowly began to realize, he was a really good guy.
He was normal, charming, quitting drinking, funny, and was aspiring to become some sort of policeman. Honestly, he was too good for me. I want to live life as it comes, to forget the world and take life itself by storm. I want to become a bartender and mess around for a few years before hopefully opening up my own bar. Some would call it throwing away my life, I call it unconventional dreams.
Getting back to the story, we wound up going to the beach the following day without the friend who made it all possible. We were just hanging out and having a good time. My friend and I agreed, he was something else. Later that night my friend and I went to hang out with him and for a while his largish friend “Kurt” was there. They constantly reminded us we were way too mature to be 18, we could have been acting much stupider.
Now, hold on, too mature for our age? We were already lying by two years. I wouldn't doubt it though, due to stories that are for different articles at different times, we were too mature.
The next day I ran across town to give him a kiss goodbye in the last minutes of my vacation. It was, actually, like a scene from a movie. It was a somewhat gloomy day as I tracked all the way across town to find a summer love. I approached the doorstep to his porch as he smiled at me.
“Is this goodbye forever?” he asked.
“No, I'll be back” I responded, he was unaware I was planning on finishing high school and going right back to that town that I had always felt unbelievably at home in.
“You better be” He chuckled as he kissed me quickly on the lips before pulling me into a hug that I wish could have lasted a lifetime.
“Will you call?” I asked as he nestled his head into my neck and rain slowly began to come down outside.
“You know me, is that a question?” He chuckled, I smiled. As we pulled away I held my eye contact with him and began to back up.
“I have to go” I told him as he nodded.
“I'll catch you later” He smiled as did I before saying my goodbye and running through the raindrops to get back to my car.
I felt a horrible in the pit of my stomach. Like I was running away from life, but I had no choice. That vacation I had tasted life for what It really was, beyond SAT's and pointless tests that mean nothing to who you are, tests that define you as a percentage. I ran back to my friend who was standing safely around the corner as we shared a knowing glance and began to walk.
“Are you going to tell him?” she asked, referring to age.
“I don't know” I told her honestly. We walked in silence for a while as my insides wretched inside of me. The mixtures of guilt and anticipation of going home loomed over my body as I just wanted to vomit my heart out. I always hated caring, it hurt to much. I was always addicted to love though, so I thrived off of this.
In the few short days it has been he has texted me every day and I smiled at every one. After looking over his facebook profile I realized he was lying about two years too, but he was lying too young. He was actually twenty four, not twenty two. Knowing this I know the age difference was too big to ever truly work out between us, but I see no harm in talking.
That vacation made me realize a lot. Forgetting age and everything under the sun except for each other, we got to know each other. Not as an age, or as an average girl with a bent nose and curly brown hair or a guy with too many freckles and red hair who was way too Irish for his own good. We knew each other for what we were. He was a man that went to the gym every morning, then to work, then watched movies and enjoyed his time. I was a girl who worked, was in the process of quitting marijuana, and liked football way too much. What I really wanted to say was, I could thank him for three things.
One. Thank you for showing me I was worth it, that there was a life beyond my small town, that I will- someday- be happy without hallucinogenics.
Two. Thank you for those good morning texts, they mattered more then you know.
Three. Thank you for showing me that life can be fun, that you don't need to always see the rules and live by them, just let them guide you. For showing me that the most important thing in a relationship is not a hair color or number of years, its what is truly inside of you.
Thanks to that vacation I don't look at people the same. The people I once loved weren't a pretty face or a hair color any more. They were themselves, and that’s all I saw. I looked at personalities more then I ever had, and I am making it work. Not that I was ever “shallow”, but now more then any other time in my life, I saw people for who they truly more. Not a pretty face, not a jock, not a nerd, just another human.