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Summer Break

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: BoMoWriCha Prompts


Written for the BoMoWriCha House daily challenge, on the word 'Summer'.

Submitted: July 30, 2018

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Submitted: July 30, 2018

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Summer Break.

From the end of March, we all begin to look forward to one thing and one thing only – the summer! Two more months of school, including those dreaded end-of-year tests, and then three months of absolutely nothing but ‘fun’.

April seems to drag a bit, but once it gets to May the clocks seem to hit a fast-forward button and the month speeds past. This year they are saying that the summer is going to be a scorcher, and we’re all kind of looking forward to it.

After being stuck in the classroom for hours on end, we’ll be able to lounge around, soak up the sun. Parties by the poolside; afternoons in the park, on the beach – it’s really going to be so much fun.

Some of us live to far apart to see much of each other over the holidays. In some cases that is definitely a good thing; there are even some class-mates that we kind of hope will move schools over the holiday. They will not be missed at all. But others, well, there’s always the internet, and our phones. We’ll hardly be losing contact.

Six of us make a last day pledge to see each other as much as possible over the next three months. There’s the guys, Greg, Brian and Cole; then there’s Gina, Ruth, and myself, Zoe. We all live pretty near-by to each other and have been friends for years. This summer is one we want to make the most of because next year is set to be one long study-grind with little leisure time to be found.

The last day of school and already there has been weeks of sunshine. “You know,” Cole says, “once the holidays start this is all gonna change. It’ll be rain all the way through until the end of August.”

“That’s just what I like to hear,” I answered. “A little bit of Cole’s optimism to cool off the fun.” I laugh, just to show that my remark was intended as no more than a joke. Truth is, he is more than likely going to be right, at least judging by previous years.

“So are we going to make any plans?” Gina asks.

“Hell, no. Plans and routine, that’s school stuff.” Greg stretches, gets up to go back for the final afternoon of studying, even though we all know there will be no studying done at all. “Summer is for going with the flow!”

He’s right, really, although no doubt plans will be made. Places to go, things to see, times to meet up; but for the first week or two it’ll be just a case of whatever happens, happens. No planning what-so-ever, just pure spontaneity.

So the first thing to go were those early morning alarm clocks. Who wants to be up at 7 or 8am during the holidays. Midday is fine, a perfect time to get up if your parents will let you get away with it. For the first week that’s what we all seemed to do, or if we did get up earlier we didn’t mention it. It’s sort of like a badge of honor – no one wants to admit they’ve been roused from their bed before then.

The only problem is the heat. So far it has turned out to be a scorcher all right. Too hot outside at midday and for most of the afternoon. We venture out to hang around the park in the evenings but everyone else is having the same idea and the place is packed. After a week of feeling too crowded in we decided on hanging around each other’s houses for a while. There was no way the weather was going to stay so hot for long.

But two weeks in and if anything it is just getting hotter. Sleeping under the covers, even a sheet, is out of the question. I keep the drapes drawn in my room, throughout the day as well as the night, and in spite of the increased insects the window remains open.

We talk a lot, on our phones, not so much in person; but there are a few pool parties to go to. They are great, kind of fun if you enjoy watching people make fools of themselves as they get drunk on some kind of lethal punch as though it were just lemonade. I guess it is some kind of miracle that no one got drowned.

The days were becoming a drag though. We’d try a different approach, get out early and beat the heat. Didn’t seem right having the alarms back on for college time but we were not going to get anywhere at all, if we did not give it a go.

Again we were faced with the same problem. Everybody in the whole town seemed to have exactly the same idea. Even those heading off to work were trying to get a bit of air in the parks before clocking in. We tried the beach but you couldn’t get near the place. And, let’s face it, it wasn’t that an attractive idea when you were going to be squashed up with either neighbours or strangers. The parks were the same. In fact, early morning you’d be pushed to avoid colliding with those out for their daily run or cycle – any time later and the heat would have built up. Even during the night it failed to cool down a lot.

One month passed and apart from those pool parties we’d got together to do nothing but hang around in one or other of our yards. It couldn’t carry on. It never carried on. I, at least, could not remember a summer where it had been this hot for any length of time. There’d be a couple of storms and then things would be back to normal.

The storms did not come though, and the days got ever hotter. ‘Drought’, screamed the headlines and water restrictions were brought in. No more pool parties. Hell, paddling pools were even banned let alone swimming ones. Showers were supposedly restricted, as was any unnecessary use of water.

The town became grubby-looking. The stores were stopped from having their windows and walls washed; there was no rain to dampen down the dust. Still, it seemed one of the best places to hang out though, for the air-conditioning. Didn’t take them long to get wise to the fact that their premises were packed out but their tills were hardly ringing.

“If we’re gonna hang out at the Mall we’re gonna have to pool our cash,” Greg said, and it was true. The store detectives weren’t so interested in shop-lifters any more, but loiterers.

The ice-cream parlour had to be THE place to be. It was tough, patience-testing, but we did get there a few times, even found seats. Problem was the heat was becoming so intense even their high-powered freezers couldn’t keep the ice in the cream.

Another month gone and barely even a drop of rain. The streets have melted in places, cracked in others. The leaves are falling off the trees long before Fall, and the grass, well, let’s just say it isn’t green. Dry, brittle, dead. To walk on it barefoot feels like walking on just cut wheatfields.

We had sleep-overs, where we’d stay up during the night, sleep during the day. We’d go round to the guy’s houses, hang out and watch movies on the TV. But it had to be one of the most boring, most exhausting summers ever.

The last month was approaching. The heatwave had to break. We’d still be able to get a few summer activities fitted in. Nothing to do with water though. Streams had dried up, rivers were not much more than streams and some of the lakes were more like ponds. If it rained solidly for the month things would not be quite back to normal.

No rain was forecast. The temperatures stayed high and it was so near to going back to school. We’d done nothing. Not really. What a waste of a summer. But then Ruth came up with an idea. We’d write. Okay, it was a bit too like college for us really but once we made a start we really quite enjoyed it. Sometimes we’d work in pairs, sometimes challenge each other. We even found a site on the internet to share our work.

Tomorrow it’s back to college. We’re each writing, all in the same room on our laptops or phones. The topic for this last night is kind of appropriate -- ‘Summer’. It is almost unbearably hot, airless, and the clouds, black ones, are rolling in thick and fast.

There’s going to be a storm and the weather is going to break. We’ll all be able to breathe again, to move again. Life would get back to normal. It’s just a shame it couldn’t have done it while we still had a summer to appreciate it in.

Lightning flashes across the sky, making our faces look weird, look eerie. The thunder is making the whole building vibrate; the storm must be right above us. I’ll just bring this to an end before the power.....

 

(1531 words)


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