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Our Summer- Chapter 31- Days
The days just kept coming. We got knocked over and beat up all the time. Some days were worse than others. And yet, Summer never missed a day of school. She showed up, with her heart breaking, and sometimes with tears in her eyes, but with her head held high. I’m not sure if it was confidence or survival, but it was impressive. We stuck by each other, occasionally I got a weak smile out of her when I cracked a joke but I never got a laugh. We were each other’s only friend (Dana was wishy-washy, because she had a reputation to protect). Things seemed to be better.
But they weren’t.
See, while Summer DID smile sometimes and come to school there were times when I knew she wasn’t okay. She slipped in and out of reality, it was like she was sleepwalking. She would suddenly get so distant, and her face would go completely still. It was eerie. Once, I tried waking her from it, and when I succeeded she started to sob. Literally, she curled up in a ball and just sobbed. In the middle of the hallway. I learned not to disturb her when she went into her trance, I just made sure nobody else disturbed her either. But that wasn’t all; her appearance changed. She cut her hair off, and even though her mom fixed it, it was lopsided and jagged. And then she dyed it black. And when her light-brown roots start showing? She dyes over it, almost violently. And her curls were basically dead. I have no idea how she did it, but her curls now hung limp and frazzled. Summer continued wearing black, and dark makeup. And she started liking violent movies. We’re talking about a girl who couldn’t sit through one horror movie, and now she was obsessed with movies like Saw where there was pointless blood and gore and death. Something was terribly wrong.
I don’t remember cutting my hair. I don’t remember dying it. And it’s not that I wear black or don’t eat on purpose; it’s just that my mind has completely shut down. Something else has taken over at this point; and certain things just….start….they….just…..slip…..away…….
….. It’s summer again. There’s laughter, there’s joy, there’s peace. We’re all just lying in the grass together; me, Tony, Dana, and LuLu. Tony and I are just friends, and Dana keeps checking her phone, smiling secretively to herself. We’re all at Dana’s lake, the year is 2008. Dana looks like she’s going to burst any minute now, and LuLu is desperately trying to get it out of her.
“Come ON! If it’s no big deal, then just tell me already!”
“Nu-uh.” Dana replied checking her phone for the millionth time. I was starting to get suspicious; Dana’s awful at keeping secrets, so this MUST be something huge. After 10 minutes of their non-stop banter, Dana’s phone rings. She jumps up to get it, but LuLu is too quick for her.
“LuLu, give me my phone!”
“Tell me first!” LuLu dangles the phone teasingly over the lake. The phone keeps ringing and right as LuLu is about to answer it, Dana tackles her causing it to skid across the dock. The two wrestle playfully trying to get at it while Tony and I just laugh and try not to get in their way. Dana finally grabs the phone on the last ring.
“THE DOCK!” she manages to squeal before LuLu tackles her again. LuLu grabs the phone back and holds it over the lake while holding Dana back at the same time.
“Trust me, you’ll thank me later!” Dana laughs
“I’ll thank you NOW if you tell me.” LuLu retorts.
We all turn to face a strange (yet very cute) boy looking at Dana and LuLu as if they’re crazy. He has messy, curly blonde hair and huge brown eyes and dimples. LuLu’s jaw literally drops, and so does Dana’s phone. Right into the lake. Dana screams as I start laughing in shock and as Tony gallantly jumps into the lake in a vain attempt to rescue Dana’s phone. LuLu and the boy just stare at each other in a shy silence.
“I’m LuLu. LuLu Evens.” She finally says flashing a sweet smile and letting her copper hair fall across her shoulder. Even when she’s crushing hard, LuLu manages to be the charmer.
“I’m Rob. Rob Bagarazzi.” He replied smiling back at her.
A few hours later, Dana’s phone was miraculously working and we were all walking through Town Street; it’s lights beginning to glow as the sky turned pink and purple. Rob and LuLu were walking hand-in-hand, as if they’d been together forever.
“Why haven’t I ever seen you in school, Rob?” Tony asked curiously
“Huh? Oh, sorry.” Rob snapped out of his and LuLu’s lovey-dovey trance. “Actually, I’ve been going to a military school up in New Hampshire. But I’m transferring here this year.”
“Ooo, LuLu got a bad-a** boy from military school!” I teased.
“Yeah, I’m planning on being a solider eventually.” Rob laughed.
“My dream has always been to join the air force.” LuLu sighed with stars in her eyes. The two walked ahead without us, giggling and whispering and loving.
“I wonder what that’s like.” I sighed wishfully.
“I knew they’d be a match!” Dana patted herself on the back.
“Nothing will break them up.” Tony stated smiling.
My trance ended as I looked over in time to see a book hit LuLu in the head. We both turned angrily to see the thrower, and it was no less than Rob himself.
“You’re pathetic.” LuLu spat angrily.
“I’m not the loser with a w**** for a best friend.” He retorted.
“I’m GLAD we broke up!” LuLu yelled.
“I WISH I’D NEVER MET YOU!” Rob screamed before storming away.
LuLu sat down her face red with anger and her eyes filling with tears, as she pushed her lunch away. I opened my mouth to say something comforting, the way she did for me.
But it was too late; she got up mumbled an excuse about needing go run for a bit, and ran out of the cafeteria as I sat motionless and unhelpful.
“Nothing will break them up.” Tony had said.
But he hadn't thought of the most dangerous thing that could ruin them;