The Trouble With Summer
Author's note: I was inspired to write this piece after experiencing one of the most life-changing summers of my... Show full author's note »
PrologueI wrapped my arms around him tightly. I could feel the tears falling down my face.
“Oh God…I think I might actually miss you.” I said. It was graduation. June 27. Grade 8 was now over, and the night was done and it was time for all the goodbyes. I could hardly believe it had come to this. Why was saying goodbye to Carter so difficult?
“I’m going to miss you too…” he said, hugging tightly back. After everything we’d been through. All the drama. The beauty of grade 7, when it was innocent. Then the sick, mind twisting games we played this year. I still didn’t know how he felt about me. That was part of why I was crying so much. How could I still not know? How did I let this whole year pass without saying how I felt? Without asking him? All the flirting we did, all the fighting, all the games…and I’d never been able to ask him how he felt about me. Would I regret this? I felt like I’d regret this. I had been through so much. Way too much. I didn’t want to let my old life go, but I knew I had to. I knew it was healthy for me. Somehow though, I was finding it difficult to walk away from Carter. From Robert, from Jake, from Logan, from everybody…I couldn’t do it. Why did this hurt me so much? I was hoping that I’d see Carter, and talk to Carter a lot this summer. But I knew that wouldn’t happen. I knew that there was a part of me that just needed to let go of Carter. And I knew Carter couldn’t wait to let go of all this. Of everything. Saying my final goodbye to him, and then watching him walk out was the hardest moment of my whole grade 8 year. Just knowing that I wouldn’t see him again broke my heart. I said my final goodbyes to the other guys who played a special part in my life one way or another. I knew I’d talk to them because they were much more mature and understanding then Carter was. If it was up to Carter he’d make my life complicating and miserable forever. That’s what he thrives off of, what he lives for, what gives him his sense of satisfaction. Messing with my mind, screwing around with my heart. Flirting with me one day, hating me the next. Though the whole year was up and down for us, May and June were consistently good. We had a few minor fights about our past, but we were able to work them out in a more mature manner than all the hitting, pushing, violent words and threats we had used before. A memory flashed through my brain. Carter and I used to get into tons of fights, all about our past. What happened was that in grade 7, Carter and I liked each other. A lot. We had such a good thing going, but then of course I became a hot commodity and what could I do? I couldn’t decide what I wanted. And so, I broke Carter’s little heart, did a bunch of lying, and lost him. I spent all of grade 8 trying to make it up to him, trying to get him back. Sometimes I was successful. Sometimes he’d flirt, treat me how he did in grade 7, we’d hug, spend time together, talk about things, and start sorting out our problems. And on those days I’d think we were close, I’d think I was so close to getting him back. But then there were other days…other terrible days where we’d fight. Where he’d remind me of my mistakes and we’d fight, kick, hit, push, throw each other down, yell, scream and I’d wind up crying and he’d wind up walking away. Those days made me feel like I didn’t know him. I looked around the room while hugging Robert. I was still bawling, as was everybody else.
“You’re going to see me tomorrow!” Robert laughed a bit, trying to lighten me up. Robert and I dated, and although we went through many complications for a long time after our relationship ended, we were able to maintain a somewhat normal friendship. I cried harder.
“But then I won’t see you forever!” I hugged tighter. I was having a party tomorrow and he was going.
“You’ll see me! I promise you will!” He assured me. The lights were on now, the music had cut long ago, the teachers were all out in the main foyer and you could hear them chatting with all the parents. A few were in the hall with us, watching us cry and hug each other. No stupid ‘no body contact’ rule tonight. We were allowed to hug as long and as much as we wanted. The workers were clearing up the white tables with the black accents. Picking up left over napkins and half drained glasses of water and pop. Girls high heels were tossed all over the place since all our feet were hurting so during the dance part we kicked them off. I was standing on my very tip toes to hug the guys. I remember in grade 5, 6 and even in 7 I was always one of the taller girls, the same height as most of the boys. But then near the end of grade 7 I just stopped growing, and I’ve been the same short height since, with all the guys and a lot of girls towering over me. I didn’t feel so big anymore. I was petite, and I was told many times how skinny I was. It was all metabolism…actually that’s a lie, I restrict what foods I eat and I work out a ton. After leaving, tears pouring down my face, feeling heartbroken and torn up, I went to Blake’s house with our other best friends and we all had a sleepover. I was so glad to have some friends with me that night, because honestly, if I had to deal with this on my own I might just die. I don’t think I could deal with this on my own. This lonely pain, this emptiness. Gone. Everything was gone. Everything I had for the past four years at this school was now gone. The popularity I built, the boys who were all over me, the close friends, the laughs, all the times I shined over everyone else with my voice or even just acting in drama class. All the tests I failed and the tests I aced. All the civvies days I looked the best, all the compliments when I totally changed at the beginning of grade 7. All the haircuts, the new clothes, the accessories, the diets, the hair coloring, the makeup, just to make myself beautiful. All the things I did in these past four years, all leading up to grade 8, to the best, most interesting year of my life…now it was gone. That was the hardest thing to swallow. All the plays, all the cheerleading competitions, everything I went through. EVERYTHING I WENT THROUGH WAS GONE. I wasn’t sure I’d ever move on. Especially from those stupid guys. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to love anybody, to have a relationship, to even get close to another guy. The thought of getting as close to another guy as I was with any of them- especially Carter- seemed close to impossible. Actually it SEEMED impossible. The thought of making completely new friends and starting over, right at the bottom where I was in grade 5 seemed terrifying. I couldn’t just not be popular, it was my life. MY LIFE was now changed. It was going to be different; nothing would ever be the same again. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to open up to anyone for a while. I wasn’t sure I knew how to move on.