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a summer to summer to remember
Prologue: Mascara runs down my face and causes my eyes to appear dark and scary. Drops of blood form through my Abercrombie t-shirt. My dark hair is messy and tangled which twists and turns in all directions. The gash in my leg prevents me from being able to walk and drips with blood. I try screaming but no one is around. I look and feel like a mess. Who knew that a simple day at the mall with my best friend Lea could turn out to be such a catastrophe?
Chapter one (a small introduction):I sit under an old oak tree resting in the cool shade that it provides, protecting me from the intense heat surrounding me. The familiar smell of oak and freshly cut grass fills my nose. I am alone under the tree in my backyard. My summer reading book rests on my lap and I skim through the pages. Well, I try but my mind is elsewhere. My sweaty legs are exposed to the sunlight and are hotter than fire. My long hair is loose and causes my neck to itch. My mind spins giving me thoughts of swimming and ice cream. My house seems so far away but it is only a few steps from where I sit. I want to go inside. I want to get up and set my book down and fill a glass with water and ice. I want to take a break from the oven-like weather out here but I can't.
I promised my mom that I would read a lot today and then I would get to go to the mall with my best friend, Kate. As minutes turn to hours and my patience runs lower, I start to get more and more into the novel. Little by little, I start to enjoy what I am reading. The words are no longer words, but they are passageways to other worlds. The characters are not just made up things, they are given life through dialogue and people I actually care about. I feel as if I know them. Even the settings seem real. The icy powdery snow that dances in the breeze and piles on the ground seems as if it is here. As the clear blue sky turns to an orangey pink color and the subtle winds begin to cool. I find myself getting closer to the back of the book.
My mom pushes open the screen door and walks over to me. "You can be done today if you'd like." I nod my head and set the book down under the shade. I am surprised by how low the sun is in the sky. The sun is dark orange now and is melting color onto the the navy blue sky. It is a collage of color and darkness and light. I watch as the sky darkens and the air seems colder. The beads of sweat on my face are gone, replaced by goose bumps. I run inside.
Reading is now a joy to me instead of a chore. I find it entertaining and interesting instead of boring and a waste of time. I go to my room which is small and simple but cute and quite messy. Clothes pile the ground and my bed sits there unmade while covers and blankets spill out the sides. My desk is topped with papers and books for school. It has scrap paper and pencils all over it looking unorganized but I don't care. I slip on some PJ's hop down the stairs to help myself to pasta for dinner then leap into bed excited for tomorrow.
Chapter two (Summer reminiscing): I spring up out of bed ready to go shopping like my mother promised. The room is still dark and I soon realize how early it is. I try letting my head hit the pillow so I can fall asleep again and wake up at a normal hour. The clock says 5:30 am. I try but fail. Energy runs through me and I can't help but get up. I decide to read the end of my novel to kill time. I go downstairs, outside under the tree where my book is found right where I left it. I flip through the pages letting my mind get lost until I am in the world of snow once more. I see the snow flakes float down in the sky. I join in on conversations with the characters and see the events take place before my eyes. The ending is sad but sweet and I can't help but cry a little.
I look around me to see that the sky is at it's normal clear blue and the sun once again beats down on me, causing me to sweat a little and already feel its blazing heat. I hop inside grab a few belongings and shout to my mother I would be leaving to go to Kate's house.
"Lea," my mother calls to me, "don't be gone too late and make sure to give me a call if you need a ride home." I nod instinctively without listening to her words.
I pull open the door and walk over to Kate's house. She lives within walking distance. I press the doorbell and smile when I see her open it within the first two seconds of me waiting. She is wearing jeans, an Abercrombie t-shirt and mascara. She is also wearing a purse on her shoulder. Probably filled with cash. The expression she is wearing is readable. She loves shopping more than I do and I take it she hasn't gone in a while considering the repetitiveness in her clothing lately. Not that that's a bad thing. Just true.
She reaches over to hug me. I take a whiff of her strawberry scented perfume. "Long time no see," she says. She is right, we haven't seen each other since the beginning of summer despite the face that we are best friends and live about 5 minutes apart. We've both just been very busy. I spent the summer at a beautiful beach house in Cape Cod, in Massachusetts. The summer sun shinning gorgeously at the cool blue ocean, shimmering like gems. The sand warm and pebbly between my toes. The effortless fun I experienced with my family consisting my parents and two little siblings. While Kate spent her summer in camps and earning money with jobs. We had different experiences for sure and both of us are happy to see each other.
It is late August and high school is just around the corner. As excited as both of us are for the next four years to come in just two weeks, we are nervous and a little sad too. We are attending different schools. Which will be hard, because we haven't been separated since we were little. She is like a sister.
The mall is within walking distance which is a dream come true for any 14 year old girl, especially Kate and I, who spend more time there than anyone I know. We walk towards the mall with it in view and let our mouths go wild talking a mile a minute about our whole summer. She looks older than the last time I saw her, as if she aged years in months. Her dark hair seems longer and curlier. As her lips move while she describes her babysitting job for some bratty twins, I can't help but notice how different she talks too. Its as if she is a different person. I nod my head now and then to let her know that I am listening and I laugh at the appropriate times. When she finishes talking she looks at me and asks the obvious question next.
"What about you?"
"What about me?" I ask a little unsure of what she was getting at
"You know," she says while reaching in her purse to pull out a tube of chap-stick "you told me about the beach house in Cape Cod but what else?"
I look up and tap my fingers on the sides of my thighs to think. I watch from the corner of my eye as she applies the chap-stick. It smells like cherries. "I didn't do much," I say then realize how little I had done. The vacation was sweet and peaceful, just what my family needed, but the most exciting thing that happened all summer was the car trip and possibly the tan I had gotten though she showed no trace of noticing.
"Really?" She seems shocked by her voice, "but you seem so different, I thought maybe you did something exciting." I thought the same about her. Maybe it wasn't the summer that changed us, maybe it was the time away from each other, the time to experience the separation between us. We are growing up, and whether we like it or not, it is something we will have to deal with. Maybe going to different schools next year won't be such a bad thing. Maybe we needed the summer to grow apart to make the separation in high school easier. I look back to nights at Cape Cod. The days were lazy but repetitive. We woke up late, ate a large breakfast either a stack of pancakes in our beach house, or ate out.
Next we went to the beach. Most the time was spent there. My younger sister and brother built sand castles or played in the shoreline digging for shells and sand crabs. I did a lot of swimming. I swam far out to be in the deepness of the ocean. There is nothing like the feeling of being surrounded in the salty ocean water with the mist in the air, the hot sun warming you above, and the feeling that you can float and almost fly. It is a freedom. That is why I love the ocean. Nights there were the best.
Night skies there were pitch black but scattered with stars all over. More stars than you could ever imagine. The moonlight there also had an intense glow that kept your eyes widening as they watched it. Sometimes, when my family fell asleep, I would wander outside and take a look up just to examine the beautiful sky and take in the warm air and beautiful atmosphere. The smell of brine and salt would fill air and the sensation of the sounds of the ocean crashing against the shoreline made you tingle inside. I loved Cape Cod and couldn't wait to go back as soon as I left.
"Lea?" Kate asked while brushing a strand of hair behind her ear with two fingers.
"You seem quitter than you used to be, you seem different." When she said that I could tell from then on, things were going to be different between us. Whether the summer did it to us, or we did it to ourselves. Me and Kate were drifting apart.
Chapter 3 (shopping): We didn't talk much as we get closer to the mall. Kate and I used to be so close, we did everything together from walking to school, talking on the phone, shopping, sleepovers and dress up when we were little. We met the first day we moved in our small neighborhood. She had already been living there. Before, our family lived up in San Francisco. I was a hyper little thing at age five and when I met her, she was so put together with her little dresses and ability to not get dirty. Our worlds collided and we instantly clicked and became best friends despite our differences.
In elementary school we didn't have many other friends because we didn't have time for anyone else, we were always together. In middle school it was the same way however, we made a few more friends that fit in with us instantly but no one got closer to us than each other. Unfortunately the steady differences that we have ignored our whole lives are what is keeping us drifting. We arrive at the mall. The sign is welcoming and the automatic door opens, inviting us in with air conditioning, evaporating our sweat which feels good on my skin. I suddenly remember how hungry I am and so does she. We walk to the food court. The aroma of Chinese food and coffee fills the air. We walk to the line of a pizza place and each order a slice. The slices are long and piping hot when they are in our possession. The cheese is gooey and sizzles the grease on top.
I bite into it and am impressed with all the flavor exploding on my tongue. The creamy, greasy cheese burns the rough of my mouth but is soft and unique tasting too. The red sauce is thick and rich but gives off a subtle sweetness. The doughy knots of bread is what makes it though. We finish eating and head into the different stores. We try on just about every shirt, accessory and shoe in almost every store. It feels good being us again. laughing and running around, also taking pictures on our phones and admiring what looks good on us and what doesn't.
We had a blast.
Chapter 4 (the incident): In many ways, the awesome time in which we experienced at the mall was a reminiscence of our childhood. We hadn't acted like ourselves, more like the children we used to be. Running from store to store, laughing our heads off to the point where people are staring at us. We realize we didn't act very mature, but we definitely had fun and that's all that matters.
We walk home on the path that brought us to the mall. My legs ache from walking all day and my hair is messier than when we started. With shopping bags in hand, we walk peacefully without talking very much. "That was a lot of fun." Kate said while kicking a pebble in front of her.
"I had fun too." I agreed.
"We should do this more often, its been a while since we've had fun like that." Kate said, still kicking the pebble, again and again until it falls rolls in a bush I'm not quite sure what to say, and I don't really think she wants a response, so I remain quite. The sun peeking through a few clouds that weren't there before look peaceful. Too peaceful. The birds over head chirp beautifully, giving us music. We cross the street when the cross walk turns to the picture of the stick figure walking.
When we reach the other side, Kate stops "My shoe!" She cries while turning back to the middle of the street to retrieve it. I look down at my cell phone to reply to a text message to my friend. The next thing I know, I hear the sound of a car slamming on its brake and I hear a loud scream then s blur of silence. I look up in shock of the sounds I just heard. My jaw drops and so do shopping bags at the horrible sight. Kate is on the ground with a car right next to her. Her leg is bloody and so is part of her shirt. She looks like a mess. Tears run down her face, causing her makeup so smear. I stand close, but not close enough for her to see me behind the car. Quickly, the car door opens and out comes a twenty year old girl wearing a sparkly shirt and a little too much lip gloss. Her black boots reach her knees and she obnoxiously chomps her gum as she comes running toward Kate.
"I am SO sorry!" she cries while putting her face on her hands. "I wasn't focused on the road I should've paid better attention. Are you okay?" She says, her voice hysterical.
Kate manages to whisper some words but her voice is gone. As if the car hit it out of her. I still stand behind the car watching them but without saying a word. Too shocked to speak. My hands shake at my sides. I still can't believe what I see.
After a little while, The girl drives off but gives Kate a bundle of money for her leg at the hospital. Kate thanks her then calls for me. I run over quickly and call my mom. I take a seat next to her and pet her hair as she puts her head on my shoulder. "We probably should get out of the street," i manage to say while trying to help her up. She screams when her leg has weight on it. Blood seeps through her torn jeans. Soon my mom shows up. She throws the car door open and her I help Kate in to the back seat. I sit in the front. My mom's voice is panicky as she asks a billion questions. I ignore most of them as I let my mind wonder while starring out the window.
Chapter 4 (the end): The summer was filled with lots of interesting but exciting times. I enjoyed every minute of it. I did a lot of growing up and growing apart from my best friend. With high-school around the corner, I can only think future. The shopping trip with Kate was exactly what our friendship needed. I was glad to spend the time with her. I sit on my room on the first day of school getting ready for my very first day of high school. With my comb in one hand and my tooth brush in the other, I skim through my closet. My mind goes wild searching through my wardrobe deciding what to wear.
I end up picking a pretty floral top with a simple black cardigan and jeans. An outfit I bought while shopping with Kate which seems so long ago now even though it was nearly two weeks from today. Kate's leg was fractured but is now healed. It still has a huge scar where the gash used to be. That day, although scary and bloody, was also nice and very fun. So was the rest of my summer. The rest of my summer was filled with sleep, beach days, family and friends. Amongst the lazy days and slight boredom, I grew up a lot this summer and became my own person and not just the best friend of Kate. I, Lea, became more independent. As I throw on the jeans and unfold the top, I think to myself that this is definitely going to be a summer to remember.