It’s the last week of school of your 8th grade year and last week ever of middle school. You are just about ready to take your finals and FINALLY be a high school freshman. Your dad tells you that the house he had been building in, Narragansett, Rhode Island, for the past few months will be your new summer home, and you’re going to live there until school starts again in the fall. Now, you’re absolutely LIVID because you can’t think of anything worse than staying in a new neighborhood, 2 hours away from your friends and your hometown, with nothing to do but sit at a beach surrounded by old people, and spending the long days with just your parents. Little did you know, these would become the best days of your life, spent with the best people in your life, and you would never, and I mean NEVER come back.
About two weeks later, you pull up to the new house and miserably carry your things inside. You run up to your new room and throw everything on the bed as you begin to settle in, your mom calls your name, and asks if you want to take a walk around the neighborhood and to go see the beach. You unwillingly say yes, because you know your mom won’t let you stay cooped up in your room for the whole summer, and slowly walk downstairs, dreading what’s about to come. As you’re walking up and down the streets and finally towards the beach, you see three boys, who could be around your age disappear into a path in the woods that you later find out leads directly to the warm, tan sand of Roger Wheeler State Beach that holds your most cherished memories. Your mom and you follow the boys, but of course keeping a big distance so you don’t see creepy. You walk onto the beach and see them running up and down the long rock jetties that lead out to the deeper parts of the water. They then go and sit on top of lifeguard chair #3 and your mom stupidly and awkwardly waves at them to try to get their attention and basically to tell them that you’re desperate to make friends which is totally creepy, and exactly how you didn’t want to seem. You turn away in embarrassment and start walking back towards your house.
Later that day, you decide to take your dog for a walk and you tell yourself you’re not trying to go find those boys again, but deep down, you know you really want to because it could make this summer somewhat less dreadful. You walk up and down the streets of the neighborhood and finally take one last turn onto the last street, Oak Avenue, before yours, Maple Avenue. As you’re walking, you start to hear loud yelling and laughing as a little black dog runs out into the street to greet your dog and you. You kneel down to pet him and as you look up towards the house where he came from, guess who comes running out after him. Yes, the three boys from the beach. You casually say “Hi”, and all of the other things that make up small talk in a conversation, and you begin on your way back home. One of the boys yells back behind you, “Hope we see you again soon!”, and you keep walking forward, not letting them see the smile that goes from one ear to the other because you want to seem “cool”, and wave your hand above your head so they know that you are acknowledging their comment.
Around 8:30 that night, your dad and you are playing lacrosse in your street, passing the ball back and forth, and doing crazy tricks that you learned at a camp just a week before. Coming from behind you, you hear that loud yelling and laughing, and you try to show off a bit, because what 13 year old girl doesn’t want to impress boys her age, and you miss one of the passes that your dad sent you. The ball goes flying over your head, and surprisingly, one of the boys catches it with HIS lacrosse stick and throws it right back to you. Again, you say “Hi”, and exchange small talk. The three of them talk to your parents, introducing themselves and then continue on their way, down the street, looking back at you, smiling and waving. You go inside, your mom gives you that look that basically says, “Go find them and be their friend”, and throw yourself on the couch, turn on the TV, and put on your favorite show, “Weeds”, on Netflix.
Around 10:30 or 11:00, you hear those same loud voices and that same loud laughter outside your house. You sit there for a little while, but they don’t seem to be going away, so you run out on the front porch yelling back at them. They tell you to come down the stairs, and of course, you do, because new friends!!! Yay!!! You over to them and finally introduce yourself as they do the same. You give them your number and snapchat and every other social media that they might want, and run back up the stairs to your porch and inside, giggling quietly. You run inside and your mom is giving you a look that makes it seem like she’s proud of you, and also relieved that you won’t have to be spending all your time with her this summer. They text you and ask if you want to go to the beach the next day, and you reply back “Hell yeah, I’d love to”. The next morning they walk by your house and you run out, following them to the beach, super excited for a great day of tanning, surfing, and getting to know each other. You then realize that this summer might not be as bad as you expected it to be.
Fast forward two and a half months to the middle of August. You have made the best friends and memories you could ever ask for and this summer was the complete opposite of what you thought it would have been. You all have hung out everyday, at the beach, walking to Dunkin and Cumberland Farms, and just spending time with each other, becoming closer than the day before. One day there was a forecast for a huge thunderstorm, and the weather was dark and gloomy all day, making you anxiously wait for that loud clap of thunder to begin the storm. You text back and forth with your friends, saying that you’re not sure if you all should go hang out at the beach at night like you guys did every night, because of the storm. After a few minutes of arguing and contemplating your ideas, you all basically say, “Screw it”, and meet at the end of your street like always. It begins to downpour as soon as you get to the beach, so you quickly run to the pavilion to seek shelter. By then, you’re all soaked and don’t care if you get wet anymore than you already are, and begin dancing on the concrete, jumping in puddles and splashing each other. About 30 minutes later, you’re completely dripping, like you just stood in the shower with all of your clothes on, and decide to run down to the sand and lay down, with your three best friends right next to you. You all stare up at the sky, listening to the sound of the heavy waves crashing on the sand just in front of your feet, and you begin to smile. It was the biggest smile you have ever smiled and you begin to laugh. One of your friends sits up and looks at you with judgement on his face, and then he begins to laugh too. Within ten seconds, all four of you are laughing and in that moment, were the happiest you've ever been. You all want the moment to last forever. Every night, you always laid on the beach, staring up at the stars, listening to the crashing waves, but never in the rain, dodging each bullet of water before it drops into your eye, blinding you for a quick second. You lie there until midnight, when you get that text from your dad saying, “Time to come home”. You sit up, breaking that bad news to your friends, and you all get together for a big dog pile on one of your friends. In this moment, you’re so happy, happier than you’ve ever been, and are so proud that you can now, for forever, cherish this memory with all of your heart.
Now, fast forward to present day, every time you hear the sound of the crashing waves on your beach from your bedroom window, or it’s raining outside, you think of that night, those friends, and the happiness you experienced. You wait anxiously everyday for the school year to be over, so you can go back to Narragansett, RI and go back to laying on the beach at night, laughing about nothing with your best friends. Don’t take special moments for granted, because you never know how long they will last, and cherish them for forever, because you never know which one of them will be the last.