The Summer I Found Myself
By Anonymous, Flint, MI
Labor DayA few days went by as I sat around the house refusing to go anywhere. Shelly tried to get me out to a few parties but I told her that I’m taking me time.
My mother even intervened and asked if I wanted to go out to dinner with my mother and father. That sounded as appealing as letting monkeys throw poop at me.
I knew I had to do something about Mike. I missed him so much. I missed that straight perfect grin he always had. I missed the way his hand felt intertwined in mine. I missed the way he knew when something was wrong.
The best way to go about this is call him. I picked up the phone and dialed the numbers to his cell. As soon as I heard the first ring I chickened out and hung up right away. Stay Focused I thought. You can do this. I picked the phone back up and pressed re-dial. This time I let the phone ring. After about 3 rings I was going to hang up when I heard “Hey.” My throat went dry and I found it hard to breathe with my stomach up in my heart. I managed a cackled “Hi.”
“How have you been Macy?” Mike’s familiar voice came right through the phone, melting my heart.
“Good.” I sat there and then added “I miss you.”
“I miss you too.” He said.
After a few moments of silence I asked “Do you think you can come over? I want to talk.”
The line went silent when all of a sudden I heard “Yea, sure.”
My stomach went back to normal, but now my heart was racing at the thought of seeing Mike again. I hurriedly said “Alright, I’ll see you when you get here.”
“Alright. Bye Macy.” He said, his voice soothing my entire soul.
I hung up and ran into my room. I sat down at the bed thinking about what I was going to say to him. I thought about everything I prepared in my head. A silent speech but when I looked out the window and saw Mike pull up I forgot everything I rehearsed. I started walking out to the hall when I caught a glimpse of myself in my vanity mirror. My hair was a mess. I guess that’s what happened when you didn’t care for a couple days.
I raked a comb through my hair holding back the screams. I pulled it up into a pony-tail to get out of my way. I finally finished and heard the door bell ring. Thank god nobodys home I thought.
I finally reached the door and pulled it open. Mike was looking amazing as always. He was standing there with a somber look on his face.
“Do you want to come in?” I asked.
“Yea.” Mike said as he stepped into the foyer.
I led Mike over to the living room where he sat on the couch and I sat down on love seat directly across.
Mike looked around the room for a moment as if the room was more interesting than I was.
“So.” I said breaking his concentration.
“So.” He said back less enthusiastic.
“I just wanted to say that I’m so sorry about that night.” I said looking down at my hands.
Mike looked at me long and hard before finally saying “I accept.”
We both just sat there for a moment when he said “So, is that the only reason why you wanted me to come over? If it is then I think I got it and I should probably…”
“Wait.” I said interrupting him as he was standing up. “Mike, I don’t want to lose you.” I sat there looking at him waiting for a response. He stayed exactly where he was waiting for me to continue.
“I realized that I would rather die than live a life without you. You make me so happy. Just being around you brightens up my day.” I finished.
“Macy, I don’t want to continue our relationship if your going to continue to go crazy. The partying, I can handle. Not everything else. I don’t want to watch you while your smoking a cigarette or weed. I don’t want to worry about you like that.” He said.
“I know, and I’m not doing that anymore.” I sighed. “I’ve been trying so hard to be someone that I’m not. I thought that people, you, would like me better if I was someone different.” I looked up and met his eyes. “ I know, it sounds stupid, but I honestly thought If I changed that I would be more popular. I know now that popular isn’t what I want if I have to change to be that.”
Mike looked at me for a long time and I couldn’t help but feel so overwhelmed. Tears started staining my cheeks. At first, Mike’s breathing was all I could hear until I started whimpering so loud that everything else droned out.
Mike got up from where he was sitting and came and sat down next to me. He put his arm around me and rubbed my back as the tears were coming and I couldn’t stop them.
We sat there for a long time with Mike trying to soothe me. After what felt like an hour my breathing slowed and the tears finally stopped. I was able to regain myself. Mike took my chin in his hands and made me look at him.
“I love you.” He said and then he was kissing me. His kisses tasted like mouthwash. Clean and fresh. It was what I loved most about him. He always smelled clean.
“I love you too.” I said when I came up for air.
“You know, if you show your sensitive side more often, we can really make this work.” He laughed.
I looked down at my hands when Mike asked “What’s wrong? Did I say something wrong?”
I looked up at his beautiful sympathetic smile. He looked so good and I knew that I was so lucky to be with him.
“Macy, come on or we’re going to be late for the fireworks.” Shelly yelled from downstairs.
“Hold on a second.” I yelled back taking a couple more minutes to fix my hair and make-up.
Labor day came so quick. It seemed like just yesterday Shelly and I were going to our first party together.
I walked downstairs in my cotton sundress and minimal make-up. I met Shelly outside and she was looking good as always under her new beau’s arm.
“Looking good Mace.” Shelly said smiling.
“You too.” I said smiling at her. “So, I guess we’re going to meet Mike there at the beach. So, are you guys ready to go?” I looked at Shelly as she was kissing John, her boyfriend,
“Hello,” I snapped my fingers laughing when Shelly finally pulled away from him.
“Shall we?” shelly laughed.
“We shall.” I said walking over to my mother’s car.
We all piled in and endured the ride to Fort Raine. We finally pulled up and there were people everywhere as usual. Shelly spotted a parking spot off a little ways from the main street.
I texted Mike saying that we were here and he texted me back saying he was on the board walk.
Finally we got to the board walk and I bumped into Ayden.
“Hey.” He said smiling big down at me.
“Hey, haven’t seen you in a while.” I said.
I saw Shelly out of the corner of my eye give me a look and then walk away with john.
“Yea, So who are you here with? If it’s nobody too important maybe you can come and hang out with us?” he said,
“Actually,” I said giggling “I’m here with my boyfriend.” I gave him a sympathetic smile.
“It’s alright. I get it. Have fun.” He said as he patted my shoulder before walking into the crowd of people.
Mike came and walked up to me out of nowhere saying “Who was that? Should I be worried?”
I laughed at this and then said “No, I met him in the beginning of the summer. Just a friend.”
I wrapped my arms around his neck and then he leaned down and kissed me. It felt like the first time kissing. The whole world was drowned out and all I could think about was how great this felt.
This is exactly where I wanted to be at this exact moment. In his arms, knowing that he would keep me safe.
I leaned down as the sun crept completely out of the sky. “I love you.” He whispered.
“I love you too.” I said just as the first bang of the fireworks started. He grabbed hold of my hand and led me down to the beach where we found Shelly and John holding each other on a blanket. Mike and I sat next to him and watched as the different colors splashed the sky illuminated the beach. Red, white, green, as they popped into the sky.
In the beginning of the summer, I thought all I wanted was to be a normal teenager. What I didn’t realize is that there isn’t a set way you have to act or things that you had to say. You are, who you are. You have friends who shape you and choices you make that are all your own. People will influence you all the time but you need to decide whether you want those influences to make who you are.
I finally found myself through all the gossip, girls who didn’t accept me, the beer, the arguments, and the love. You never realize that you’ve lost yourself until you find yourself for the first time. For me, it only took one summer.