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The Summer That Changed Everything (pt. 4)
“So, I haven’t seen you around here before. Did you just move here or something?” He asked.
“Well actually, I’m just visiting for the summer. I do every year. I used to live here though, a long time ago.” I explained.
“Oh. I just moved here last year.” He told me.
“Do you like it here?”
“Yeah. It’s beautiful. I just don’t like some of the people…”
“Well there’s this guy at my school named Damien. He is such a jerk. After Christmas break he was showing everyone a picture of this girl he was dating. She was so pretty, but he was making fun of how much she loved him. What kind of a jerk does that?”
I closed my eyes and felt my face redden with embarrassment. He was talking about me. Great.
“Are you okay? Did I say something wrong?” He asked worried.
“Well… actually no. That girl… was me. I was actually with Damien today… Did he actually make fun of me?” I felt my throat tighten, and tears forming in my eyes.
“I’m so sorry, but yes…” He admitted.
I nodded slowly and lowered my head. How embarrassing was this? I started walking away. I didn’t want him to see me cry. I was silently cursing my cousin for ever introducing me to Damien. I hated him. I really did. I heard Ben rush after me.
“Wait, will I see you again tomorrow?” He asked breathlessly.
I nodded again and left him standing in the dog park all alone. After I knew he couldn’t see or hear me I let a few tears fall from my green eyes. I ran into my grandma’s house as fast as I could. I went right up the stairs and into the room I shared with my cousin. I was sobbing like crazy. Kerry looked up from the fitness magazine she was reading and asked if I was okay. That only made me cry more. She knew I didn’t like to be bothered too much when I was this upset so she went back to reading her magazine.
Kerry has always been on the thick side. My family has always been on the thick side actually. Right now my grandma and my cousin were on a diet that excluded most food. The previous morning my grandma had pulled out a giant rice pot to make cabbage soup . There was enough to feed a small country, and she was the only one who would be eating it. She wouldn’t know what a small portion was if it slapped her across the face. Kerry teased her about it constantly. I smiled at the thought. My tears had dried, and I decided now was a good time to sleep.
The next day I tried to forget Damien. He sent me tons of text messages, and asked me why I wasn’t answering. I just shut off my phone and pretended he didn’t exist. I Asked my cousin about Jackson and she was gushing. She went on and on about how cute and sweet he was. When she asked me where I had been last night I just told her I went for a walk. I thought keeping Ben a secret was for the best.
I love Kerry. She’s my best friend, but she has always had a tendency to flirt with every guy she meets. Even some of my boyfriends, and I knew if I told her about Ben she would want to meet him. She accepted my answer without question. The day dragged on slowly.
Around eight-thirty my grandma called Kerry and I downstairs. She said she had something important to ask us.
“Taylor do you remember Andy?” She asked me.
“Uh… I think so.” I replied.
“Well he has a band now, and His mom invited us to go see them play.” She told us with such enthusiasm that you would have thought she was a teenager like us.
“What kind of band?” I asked immediately.
“Some kind of screaming rock thing.” She said.
I told her that it would be great to see them play. Kerry and I went “to bed”. Really we were just waiting for our grandma to go upstairs and fall asleep. She did soon after we “fell asleep”. We snuck out minutes after. Kerry tried getting me to go with her to Jackson’s house, but I told her I had somewhere to be.
“Where? You aren’t going to see Damien are you?” She questioned me.
“No. I just want to go and be alone.” I lied.
She interrogated me some more, but after she ran out of things to ask I was free to go. I walked to the dog park, hoping that Ben would be there. He was. He was sitting on a rock close to the edge of the riverbank. His back was facing me, and I just looked at him for a moment before I decided to talk to him. He was wearing an electric blue t-shirt and white skinny jeans. His hair was styled nicely, at least it looked like it was from behind. I walked up to him and tapped him on the shoulder.