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The Summer to Remember
Author's note: I hope that people will understand that you have to work hard to get what you want. Never let anyone tear you down from reaching your dreams
It was late on a Monday night after graduation day when Julia Stratford found outtheat she’d be spending her summer before she attended Harvard University in Boston, with her father, Nick’s ‘other’ family in Beverly Hills, CA. Her mother encouraged her to snatchtheis opportunity to spend some quality time withtheem.
“Julia! Withtheat door shut, you better be packing for you father’s house, Missy.” Sarah hollered at her daughter fromthee kitchen.
“I don’t understand why I have to spend my summer with Dad. This is my only summer left until Harvard. I want to spend it right and not withthee wicked b**** ofthee west, and her mother .” Julia whined as she descendedthee staircase to chat with her mother.
“Oh quit whinning, and Erica doesn’t seemtheat bad. Jules, you’re going because you haven’t seen your father sincethee divorce. Which, may I remind you, happened over a year ago.” Her mom sighed sadly.
“I knowtheat, but what he did to us hurt, Mom. I don’ttheinktheat I can forgive himtheat easily, and neither should you. Not only did he cheat on you, he cheated on me as well, by caring for another person as if she was his own.” Tearsthereatend to fall as memories flooded back of her and her father; him teaching her how to ride a bike, how to paint, how to read, and how to walk, all one step at a time.
Her mother hugged and comforted her while she cried. Julia, after crying her eyes out, she agreed and packed her suitcase. She realizedtheat she could have some fun intheat large mansion oftheeir’s. Maybe,theey’ll be some hot guys.
On her way tothee airport, Juliatheinks ofthee possiblitiestheat would be open to her because she’s Nick Stratford,thee Actor’s, biological daughter. She smiled to herself and giggled. She tells herself not to let Erica’s valley girl/bully behavior bother her. Above all she just wants to have a fun-filled summer.
“I’m going to miss you sweetie. It’s going to be lonely all by myself.” Sarah told Julia as she got out of the car.
“Me too. I love you Mom. I’ll call you when I have some time.” Julia told her mother.
“Love you too Hun. Promise me you’ll have some fun?” Her mother smiled.
“I’ll try. Bye.” She whined as she shutthee door and headed tothee terminal.
It was a long 6 hour flight from DSM to LAX. Once she got tothee airport she saw her father, Nick standing on a chair looking for her. Once he saw her he got down and raced to give her a hug.
“Julia Marie! You’ve gotten so tall. You’ve grown into such a beautiful young lady. I’ve missed you so much!” Nick rambled, boring his daughter to death.
“Uhm. Thanks, I guess. Dad, it’s only been a year. I didn’t changetheat much. Can we just go, because I’m being shoved bytheousands of other people.” Julia explained to her father.
“Whatever you want kiddo.” He smiled at her like her did when she was a little girl.
The two drovetheroughthee heavy rush-hour traffictheat L.A. Was know for. Oncetheey got up inthee hills and out ofthee smoggy haze, Julia started to spot giant beautiful mansions everywhere. The farthertheey went back,thee more land was replaced with an oceanic view. Nick and Julia finially reachedthee biggest mansion oftheem all withthee Pacific Ocean hiding behind it. There was a sky blue VW Beetle (obviously Erica’s) and a silver Mini Coup (Belinda’s).
“Wow. You could mistaketheis for a castle.” Julia’s said as she gaped atthee modern palacetheat was placed before her.
Her father just chuckle at her as he grabbed her bags and led her insidethee home. As she enteredthee home,thee unmistakable sound of annoying barks echoed offthee marble floors and walls.
“You have a dog. Yay!” She said sarcastically excited.
“It’s Erica’s. I wanted a Old English Sheep Dog, but no we had to get a Teacup Yorkie. If you ask me, Itheink it looks like a very white and hairy rat.” He laughed.
“Haha. Hey Dad, if I may ask, where’s my room?” Julia said akwardly uncomfortable.
“It’s upstairs, take a left atthee Van Gogh, andtheen take a right afterthee Picaso. They have labels. Belinda tookthee pleasure of decorating it for you. You’re going to love it! It has it’s own bathroom. I hope you like Blue and Green. That’stheetheeme.”
“That’s very nice of her. And I do liketheose colors. Thanks Dad.” She was actually suprised of what wordstheat’d just escaped her mouth.
“No problem Jules. I miss our father daughter relationship, we used to have.” He sighed, regreting what mistakes he had made.
“Me too Dad. Is Erica here?” She was afraid of askingtheat.
“No, Itheink she’s going shopping with her friends atthee mall. And Julia, don’t feel like you can’t ask for any money from me or Belinda. There’s enough to go around for everyone intheis family.” He winked at her.
“Thanks Dad. I’m going to unpack.” She notified her father.
“No problem Julia.” He returned back to his work.
After goingtheroughthee maze of hallways, Julia finally made it to her room. She shutthee door behind her and sighed. The room was triplethee size of her room back home, and her room at home was pretty big. It was just as shetheought it would be. Amazing and luxurious. There was a large flat-screen T.V., a king sized bed, a desk complete with a laptop and a lamp. She walked intothee closet and foundtheat it wasthee size of her room back home and was already stocked with awesome clothes. She was really starting to like Belinda. Juliatheought to herselftheattheis might actually be a summer to enjoy.
Later that afternoon, Julia was still discovering her room. She saw a door that let out the floorplan into a balcony. She had a view of the entire neighborhood, including the neighbor’s backyard. Julia saw a guy playing fetch with his dog in the backyard. He looked her age, and she thought it was about time she met someone new. As Julia ran out she heard her father say something that was unimportant, she ignored him. When she ran out to the front yard she was hit by a tennis ball and then tackled by a giant dog.
“Omigod! Are you okay? I’m so sorry about that! Brutis gets kind of excited when he sees that ball fly.” The husky voice of a stranger was all she heard.
“I think I’ll be fine. Thanks anyway. Can I have some help up, please?” She asked kindly as she laughed. She thought he was actually kind of... hot.
“Oh. Of course. Are you new here?” The hot guy asked her.
“Uhm. Yeah. Well, sort of. I’m spending my summer before college with my Dad, Step-mom, and my Step-sister. I’m Julia Stratford, by the way. Ha-ha. And you are?” Julia giggled hysterically.
“I’m Carson Edwards, I live next door with my Dad, Greg, my Mom, Lynna, my thirteen year-old sister, Abbie, and of course our Great Dane, Brutis.” He told her.
“So, do you know my mean step-sister?” Julia asked slowly.
“Yup. Erica used to be my girlfriend, that is until she turned into a snobby b****. Now, we rarely talk at all anymore.” He explained to her.
“She’s terrible to me. We’ve never met in person but we’ve video chatted, and she almost made me cry by saying, ‘Your Dad never loved you and your mom. He always loved me and my mother. Yes, that means he’s been cheating on your mom for a while. If you ever visit us here in California, I will promise to make your life a living hell.’”
“That’s terrible! Hey can I show you something? It’s kind of childish but it’s cool.” He blushed at the words he said.
“Yeah! I’m up for anything.” Julia piped up.
Carson made Julia close her eyes as he guided her to the secret place. When their hands first touched she felt a spark of electricity between the palms of their hands. He told her to open her eyes and she was amazed to see a tree house in an old oak tree.
“Wow. That’s so cool!” She almost squealed.
“You wanna go up?” He offered sweetly.
“Of course I’d love...” She was cut off by the sound of her father’s voice telling her that supper was ready.
“I guess that’s your que.” He laughed.
“I’m so sorry Carson. Maybe another time?” Julia offered as she started to walk toward the house.
“Meet me up there tonight at 9.” He smiled at her.
“Okie Dokie. See you then.” She was completely ecstatic.
“Till then.” He said inaudible as she stupidly skipped away.
As Julia walked into the house she heard the noticible voice of a bitchy Erica. She was angry about her staying here in her home without her permission. How Julia was wreaking her perfect little bubble life.
“YOU LITTLE HOMEWREAKER!” Erica screeched at her.
“What the hell did I do to you Erica?” Julia yelled back at her.
“You came here. That’s what you did. Didn’t you remember what we talked about on our little video chat?” Her delicate face was twisted into a sneer.
“I was forced to! I have only one summer till I’m off to Harvard. Where will you be, dumbass? University of the Stupid Brainwashed Blonds?” Julia flashed a smile and walked on. She heard a scream and the front door slam.
Supper went by in a blur. At 8pm, Julia got out of the shower. She put on black skinny jeans, a XYZ jacket, and a pair of skater shoes. She applied some light make-up. When she was done, it was almost 9. She walked downstairs and was stopped by Belinda.
“Hi Julia. What are you doing?” She was really perky and nice.
“I’m just going over to the Edwards’ for an hour or two.” Julia exclaimed.
“Okay. Have fun kiddo.” Belinda giggled as she walked away.
Julia walked over to Carson’s tree house and climbed up. She was amazed at what she saw. It was a beautiful view of the ocean from here. The sound of the waves drowned out the sound of Carson climing the latter. She turned around and almost screamed. He burst out laughing to the point he was crying. She crawled over to him and wiped the tear away from his face. They stared at eachother for a moment until she said;
“I’m sorry. You just scared the hell out of me.”
“It’s okay. I’m sorry from scaring the hell out of you.” He laughed even more.
“I never asked this, but how old are you?” She asked calmly.
“I’m eightteen. I’ll be attending Yale in the Fall. What about you?” He said with a proud smile on his face.
“I’m eightteen too. I’ll be attending Harvard in the Fall.” She was amazed how smart they both are.
“That’s awesome! Where are you actually from?” Carson asked curiously.
“I’ve always lived with my mom in Leslile, Iowa. That’s where I was born and raised. My parents divorced over a year ago. He missed my graduation.” Julia was fighting tears but failing.
His warm hand came up to caress the tears away. She felt as if this is where she should be forever.
Julia woke up in tight arms. She whispered to Carson:
“We accidentally fell asleep last night. I have to go. Like now.”
He practically jumped up and held his back groaning in pain. They were both stiff from the tree house. Julia got down from the tree house and sprinted to the house, where Nick and Belinda were waiting impatiently.
“Julia Marie Stratford.” Her dad said in a disapproving tone.
“I’m so sorry Dad. Nothing happened last night. We just started talking for what seemed like hours. We got to a touchy topic and I started crying and he was comforting me and we fell asleep in his tre house. We just woke up, and I told his I had to go home. We were both freaking out.” Julia explained to them.
“Okay. You’re off the hook. No more funny business. Okay?” Belinda caved in.
“Okay.” She agreed.
“Hey Belinda?” Julia asked.
“Yeah girly?” She answered.
“Can you take me to get beautified, or made-over whatever the word for that is? Ha-ha.” She asked awkwardly.
“Of course Jules!” Belinda was almost honored.
“Thanks.” She said politely.
“Is this because of a certain boy?” Belinda pressed on.
“Maybe.” Julia blushed.
“It totally is.” She laughed, “Get ready. We leave in 5.”
The first place they stopped at was Monica's Hair and Boutique. Julia got a electric blue streak in her light brown long wavy hair. She got gel nails and a pedicure. Next stop was the mall for make-up and clothes.
“I don’t want to be asking for too much here, but back home I got my moped licence and I was wondering if...” Julia even felt rude saying that.
“If I could buy you one. I thought you’d never ask. What are we waiting for? Let’s go!” Belinda was so excited.
Belinda bought Julia a brand new cherry red moped with a silver helmet. She feltt like a completely new person. More confident than ever before. She knew that once Carson saw her, he’d be eating out of the palm of her hand.
“Thanks so much Belinda! You’re the best!” She hugged her step-mom.
“No problem Jules!” She hugged back, “By tonight he’ll frozen in awe after he see’s you.”
“I know right!?” Julia giggled.
“What’s your favorite hobby?” Belinda asked her casually.
“I love reading and writing alot. I was in complete awe when I came into my new room and saw a computer and a printer.” Julia discussed.
“Your father told me that you always love to read. If you ever want to write a book. I know some good editors and publishers I can put it through.”
“Thanks so much.” Julia smiled.
CHAPTER 4: Julia got to her room, she heard her phone; ping. Which signaled that she had a new text. The text had said; Had fun last night. Ur really cool Julia, and fun to hang with. I know we just met but it feels like I’ve known u for years. :) I hope we can hang soon. Just give me a time and place, and I’ll b thr -Carson Julia smiled that the message he’d sent her. In her whole life, Julia had only one boyfriend, Jason McGill, the football captain, and valedictorian of her senior class. After their two year anniversary dinner she was walking home, when she passed the park and saw Jason sucking-face with Gina Moore on the swings; “Yeah, Mom. I’m on my way home.” Julia said on the phone as she was on her way home from Jason’s. She was no longer a virgin tonight. She felt a lot different, than she did this morning. “I had fun. Mom, I’ve got to...” Julia dropped her phone with a loud crack as it hit the cement. She saw Justin on the swings with someone else. It was Gina Moore, a.k.a. The school bimbo. They were making-out. Justin was laughing, until he looked over and saw her standing on the sidewalk with tears reflecting in her blue eyes. As Justin got up to explain, Julia ran until she was out of breath. He caught up to her soon after she stopped. “Julia, I’m so sorry. That’s not what it looked like.” Justin explained, out of breath from running. “Then what was it? I gave you a part of me tonight, and you betray me. I loved you, Jason. F you ass hole. After two years of being together, you cheat on me. I hope you rot in hell man-whore!” Julia screamed every cuss word she knew, at him. “It was great, but lately you’ve been distant towards me. No need to get overbearing, Jules.” He said to her calmly. “Whatever liar. You have no right to call me that anymore Jason. We’re over. It’s not me, it’s you.” She was done with him. She turned away from him for good that night, and walked home. She just needed a fresh-start. Julia had no idea what to send back to him. She just sat around, thinking for fifteen minutes. Until she had an idea, she was going to flirt until something happened between them. She wasn’t going to be the one to make the first move, he was. She said; Me 2 ;) I really like hanging with you more! :D How about tomorrow at 11am. Let’s have a day @ the beach :). After a few minutes he sent back; Ha-ha! Sure, sounds like a plan. I’d love to see you in a bikini :P Till then hot stuff. Julia giggled at the message. She had to find something to wear! She walked into the large closet, and started scavenging for a bikini. She found three that she really liked. One was lime green with gold metallic polka-dots. Another was bright red with white stripes. The last one was just a smiple light pink. She chose the light pink and pulled out a white cover-up slip dress. After that she took a bubble bath and brushed her teeth. She called Sarah and they talked for an hour until she fell asleep. * * * When Julia rolled her alarm clock said 9am. She ate a quick breakfast then took another bath. She shaved her legs and brushed her teeth again. When she got done it the bathroom, it was 10:25am. She quickly got dressed, grabbed a towel, and put on her peach colored flip-flops. Julia told her dad that she was going to the beach with a friend, then headed out the door. She got to the patch of beach behind her dad’s house, laid out her towel, and sat down. “It’s so beautiful.” Julia sighed to herself and shut her eyes while listening to the peaceful sound of the waves crashing against the shore. “I know it is.” Someone said next to her. Julia’s eyes snapped open at the sudden intrusion of her tranquillity. Carson was sitting right next to her. He must’ve came over when she was in her peaceful state of mind. “Will you stop doing that?” She laughed and asked him sarcastically. “Why stop, when we’re having so much fun together.” They all chuckled at his comment. Julia finally noticed that there was someone else here, besides she and him. There was a girl in a yellow and black tankini sitting on a towel on the other side of Carson. “Oh. I almost forgot! Julia Stratford this is my little sister, Abbie Edwards. Abbie this is Julia. Abbie is going to join us for a little bit.” Carson said annoyingly while staring at his sister. “Is it true? Are you Nick Stratford’s daughter?” Abbie asked curiously. “Yes, I am. It’s great to meet you Abbie.” Julia said kindly. “I thought that you ex was Nick’s daughter? At least that’s what she told me.” Abbie asked her big brother. “Erica’s his step daughter. Julia is the real deal. She’s here to spend the summer with him and his family.” Carson explained to his little sister. “Oh. I see now. Where are you from Julia?” Abbie was just full of questions for everyone. “I’m really from a small town named Leslile. It’s in Iowa.” Julia answered her questions, with more yet to come. Carson got bored so he pick Julia up and playfully threw her into the water. They started kicking water at each other. Abbie came over with a clump of wet sand hid behind her back. To ‘see’ what was going on. She chucked it and it hit the back of his head. “Oh, this means war.” He said as his eyes narrowed and focused on Abbie. She squealed as he picked her up and tossed her into the water. Julia walked up behind him with more sand and dropped it on him. Carson turned around before She could run away and tackled her to the ground. They both laughed until they stared into each other’s eyes. Carson slowly leaned down until his lips brushed against hers. Electricity flowed between their lips. Their eyes were closed, they didn’t see Abbie sneak up with a bucket of sand and water. She dumped it over the two. “Ah! I think I got sand in my eye.” Julia shouted in pain. “Abbie. Go in the house. If you don’t, I’ll tell mom what you just did.” Carson told her, she nodded, and walked toward their house, “Julia, are you okay? I’m so sorry about that. She just got carried away.” “I’m fine thanks. I have to go. I’ll call you soon.” Julia said as she walked toward her house.