I slipped into my salmon pink flip flops and then grabbed my suitcase which was filled with the clothes, shoes and other items I will be using this summer. It is the best time of year again where I get to go to aunt May’s house without my parents and without any drama here in Washington. I walk downstairs and see my parents sitting in the living room watching some television show on TLC. I walk over and wait patiently for them to notice me. They never have truly liked me going away for the summer each year. But this is my last year doing so since I technically am a freshman in college. Oh God, college is starting this fall. Yikes.
“You know you don’t have to go, Shailene. You can stay here with your dad and me.”
“I am going and that is final. I have for 18 years and why stop on my 18th year? I need to go. I have friends there and they’re expecting to see me.”
“Well, have fun and stay out of trouble. And, you’re coming home a week early so you can spend some time with us. We don’t want you just going off to college without saying goodbye,” my father says in his very monotone voice.
“Of course, well I better be on my way now. I don’t want aunt May to worry. I’ll call you, okay.”
They kiss me goodbye along with saying their goodbyes. And then I am free. I get into my light blue RAV4 and drive to the airport. I normally go on a road trip but I want to get there as soon as possible since I have to leave a week early because of my parents.
Once the plane lands I practically run out of the airport to get a taxi. When I do I tell the driver the address and then put my headphones into my ears. As the song “For the First Time” by The Script plays we pull up at the familiar beach house. I pay the driver and get out of the taxi.
I walk up to the house and smell in the lovely beach air. The house in three floors and is your typical beach house. It’s a rather newish looking too.
“Oh my God, is that my niece?” aunt May says.
I let out a giggle, “that would be me, aunt May.”
She pulls me into a tight embrace and then releases. I set down my suitcase and then walk into the living room. It has a tan sofa and a clear glass coffee table in the center. Along with a plasma screen TV in the middle of the wall facing the sofa and a DVD player set up to the TV sitting on the side of a bookcase. I take a seat on the sofa and then look out the window behind me. I see children, teens and adults on the beach. And then of all people I see him. Alex.
Alex and I go way back to the toddler days. We met when we were two and three years old. We are practically best friends even though we see each other once a year. Yet we talk to each other through texting and Facebook. I think it was when we were 13 that I began to have “more than friends” feelings for Alex. That was the year he grew out his blonde hair and his eyes got bluer. It also was the summer he began dating Justine Kelsey. She was the most popular girl at the school here. Even though I didn’t go to their school I still hated her. It took me a long time to figure out why I hated her so much and then it was finally figured out that I liked Alex a lot more than as a friend. He’s been dating Justine forever and I bet they are even more serious now. Probably engaged to be married which hurts me the most just thinking about Alex marrying that mean witch of a girl, I bet she doesn’t even love him. She just thinks she looks hot next to him or something.
I then got off the sofa and went back to the entry to get my suitcase. I dragged it up to the second floor third bedroom, which I normally always stayed in. I opened the door and saw that it looked the same, bed in the left corner, balcony doors straight ahead of my bed, closet next to the door and a table right next to the balcony doors. I set my things down and then walked to the doors to look out at the beach. Alex looked like he didn’t even move from the spot he was earlier. I then saw the pier that I sit on each summer. It brought back so many memories that I just smiled.
After getting comfortable in my room I decided that I wanted to go visit with my friends. I opened my suitcase and dug to the bottom for my light pink and bright green polka dotted bathing suit. When I found it I changed into it quickly and then put my navy blue tank top and regular jean shorts on over it. I slipped my flip flops on again and then grabbed my cell phone. I walked downstairs and then at the front door told aunt May I was leaving for the beach.
Once outside I felt like I was really home. I felt like this was my actual home and Washington was just some place I live for most of the year. I walked down the beach and then saw some of my friends. There was Savvy, Emily, Taylor, Oliver, and Alex. I walked over to them and waited for them to notice me.
“Wow, took you all long enough,” I joked.
“You’re here! I thought you weren’t coming this year,” Emily cheered.
“I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”
“I missed you so, so much, Shailene!” Savvy said.
After saying all my hellos to everybody I then walked over the ocean. I took off my flip flops and then began walking up and down the beach barefoot. The sand felt so strange yet nice between my toes. And then I realized I wasn’t alone.
“So how have you really been, Shailene?” Alex asked shyly.
“Oh you know same old, same old. Kind of nervous for college but other than that I have been okay, how about you, Alex?”
“Good to hear that you’ve been at least okay. I have been alright I guess. Still getting over my break-up with Justine and getting ready for college has been putting a lot of stress on me.”
I felt something drop in my stomach. Justine and Alex broke-up?! I know I shouldn’t be happy about that but I kind of am. It was a selfish act and I knew it when I then thought realistically. ‘Alex doesn’t like you in that way, you’re just friends.’
“Sorry to hear that you and Justine broke-up,” I barely spit out without feeling awkward.
“Oh it’s alright, I’ve wanted to dump for like a year but I was too scared she would do something stupid because she is such a drama queen.”
I let out a little laugh at his joke and then started walking down the beach. Whenever I saw something shinny in the sand I would stop and look at what it was. Alex got a kick out of it and whenever I would stop he would make a noise like ‘you got to be kidding me, hurry up!’ Like a little kid having to wait.
After spending most of the day with Alex at the beach I went back to aunt May’s beach house to freshen up I guess I could say. Tonight there was going to be a bonfire down at the beach and Alex invited me. Everybody else was going to be there and I was really looking forward to it.
I ran upstairs to the bathroom and took a quickly shower. After I put on a bit of makeup (black eyeliner on bottom and mascara) I put my hair in a classic side braid and wrapped my body in a towel. I walked to my room and picked out an outfit for the bonfire. I put on my bikini first and then slipped on a purple strapless summer dress that went a bit above my knees. I added flip flops and then went downstairs to ask aunt May what she thought.
“You look gorgeous.”
“Thank you, aunt May! You’re the best you know that?!”
She nodded and then I was out the door and at the beach bonfire. I walked over to Oliver and Savvy who were standing over to the side of everybody. They each gave me a hug and then told me the good news.
“Well, we’re dating as of now!”
I smiled and then hugged them both again. In the pit of my stomach I felt jealous. Not because I liked Oliver or anything but because yet some more of my friends are taken and I am still the single one. I walked over to Emily and Taylor who were talking about what shoes they wanted to buy. They were the two girly girls of our group. I still loved them to pieces even though I still wasn’t as girly as they are. I don’t think anybody could be any more girly than they are.
After socializing with a bunch of old friends and acquaintances I decided to make my way to the pier to watch the sunset. I saw the clear sky beginning to turn blue and light pink, almost purple. When I got to the pier I saw Alex siting on the edge of the pier looking out at the beautiful sky. I smiled to myself and then quietly took the seat next to him. I lay on my back and looked up at the sky.
“Oh hey Shailene didn’t see you were coming over here,” Alex said surprised and happy?
“I wanted to watch the sunset. Why aren’t you out at the bonfire?”
“I had to get away from people and I wanted to watch the sunset as well. I see that you have met up with all of our good friends.”
“The sunsets here are gorgeous. I love them. And yes, I have talked to all of our friends so far.”
The awkward silence began to be thick and I hated the feeling. I then felt Alex get up and then I felt sadness in me. But he then sat back and lay next to me. Which made me feel very special if I must say so myself.
As the sky began to turn dark I looked over at Alex who wasn’t looking at the sky. He was looking right at me which made me nervous. My stomach was doing all kinds of flips and tricks and I couldn’t control them. I just looked into Alex’s beautiful bright blue eyes and then smiled.
“Um, Shailene there is something you need to know.”
I got even more nervous. What the hell could he tell me now? That he has a new girlfriend or that he’s back with Justine? I sat up and looked out at the water.
“What do I need to know, Alex?”
He sat up as well and then looked over at me. I tried to just continue to look out at the water but he is just too gorgeous and I couldn’t resist.
“You need to know why Justine and I broke-up.”
Oh boy, why the heck do I need to know this? Does he think I actually care why they broke-up? I bet it was because she was too annoying or they didn’t get along. Or maybe one of them wanted more and the other didn’t.
“Do I really need to know? It is not really my business.”
“I think you need to know.”
He waited a few seconds and then looked out at the ocean as well. Then he began to talk, “When I started dating Justine I was 13 years old and so were you. That was—“
I cut him off, “I know that already though!”
“Hang out, Shailene. I have to tell you the story to get to the point!”
“Well, before I dated her we were the best of friends. We’ve been friends forever and I know that I could always count on you. But the reason that I asked Justine out wasn’t because she was hot or because I wanted to be popular or anything. The true, real reason I asked her out slash went out with her was because I liked you more than friends and I knew thought maybe if I went out with another girl I would somehow lose my feelings for you because I knew you didn’t like me like that. Yet each summer you would come back out here. All the way (well not really a long way) from Washington to California, I fell even more in love with you. Justine was crazy for me but I guess I was a big asshole to her because I was just using her. I did like her I guess but I always loved her. And then she dumped me last week because she loved somebody else and she knew I loved you. So, Shailene I guess I am telling you right here and now that, I love you….in a romantic way and a friend way of course but you—“
I had to cut him off again, this time with my lips. It took him a few seconds to respond but when he did I felt everything. I wrapped my arms around his neck and then he enclosed his arms around my waist, pulling me closer to him. His tongue made its entrance and I let out a soft moan. The kiss deepened and I was practically on his lap. He let out a groan and I smiled against him lips. The kiss slowed down and then finally we both released for air.
“I love you, too,” I said in a whisper.
Alex smiled and then pulled me closer to him. He then put his lips onto mine again and it felt just as good as the last time.
“Shailene, will you be my girlfriend? I know we live in different states and stuff but….I really love you.”
I smiled and felt like the luckiest girl in the whole world. I could tell that Alex really did love me and it made me feel special. He wasn’t joking and I knew it too. I never even though that he even liked me in this way but I guess I was wrong. Now I am more than happy that I came down here this summer.
“Of course I will be your girlfriend, Alex, even though we live in different states I say that it is worth it. Because I have loved you for years and I don’t think I can stop.”
He smiled a cheeky smile and then looked me deep in the eyes. “What college are you going to?” he asked softly.
“I am going to Columbia in New York,” I said honestly, “what about you?” I asked.
“Funny story, well I am going to Columbia in New York as well.”
I looked at him as if he was crazy and he smiled before kissing my lips again. “Are you being seriously serious?” I asked in almost a yell.
He laughed and then nodded, “it’s true and the best part is I have the most beautiful girlfriend ever. All the guys are going to be so jealous.”
I hit him in the shoulder jokingly and then kissed him. “This summer is turning up for the better and I’m just guessing that the fall, winter and spring will be amazing as well.”
“Best start of the summer ever in my book and just so you know it’s always been you….the girl I will always love and be in love with.”
We then kissed again on the pier in the darkness. I couldn’t ask for more. I feel like all of my dreams have come true. Alex really does love me and now we don’t have to worry about distance. We’ll be together for college. I could ask for anything better than that. This is the summer to remember and I wouldn’t change that for the world.