As I ran out of the house, tears fell from my eyes as hard as a raining day in April. I stumble over to the tree in the yard and fall right under it barley catching my breath. This was our
tree. We spent many nights lying under this tree just looking up at the stars. This was the tree that we sat under when you spoke three little words to me for the very first time. I can still smell
the scent of your Adidas cologne, which I had gotten you for Christmas, as you leaned into kiss me. Then you took my hand and you entwined my hand with yours and you spoke those words to me. I
swear I can still hear your voice whispering, “I love you” in my ear. I start to cry harder.
I hear the sound of a door closing from the house. I knew this day would be hard but I would not have thought that I couldn’t hold myself together. I hear footsteps approach as I dig my head further and further into my hands.
“Julie,” I hear. I look up. It’s Nancy with tear stained eyes. “May I sit with you, dear?” I nod my head yes but I look away to the east of the yard where I can see that the sun is setting. Nancy wraps her arms around my shoulders and pull me close to her. I struggle to free my self from her and run towards your truck. The beat up old Chevy sat on the corner of the street. I fumble for the keys that are stuck deep in my pockets. I pulled the keys out and unlocked the rusty lock to the truck.
As I climbed onto the seat the scent of you rushed back to me. My lips started to quiver. I lie down on the seat and close my eyes. I remember the day we first met. I was having a really bad day and I walked down to the record store. You were playing a Gibson acoustic guitar in the far corner of the store. You caught my attention because you we’re strumming the chords to Bryan Adams ‘summer of 69.’ I stopped dead in my tracks when you started singing. I could listen to you sing and play for hours among hours. After that day I always came down to the store just to hear you sing. Then we finally introduced ourselves.
“Hi, I’m Nick,” you said smiling. I blushed.
“Hey, I’m Julie,” I said trying to act cool. “I hope you don’t mind me coming down and listening to you play.”
“Nah, not at all. I hope you liked it. I’m a little scratchy.” I was lost for words. I thought you we’re an angel when you sang, and you thought you we’re ‘scratchy.’ I laughed to myself.
“No, I loved it. I love to hear you sing ‘summer of 69.’ It brings back a lot of memories from all of my previous summers.” That’s what started it. We sat in the corner of that store everyday for a straight month talking and then one night you asked me out to dinner after I showed up to hear you play. You caught my so off guard. I was wearing an old t-shirt and a beat up pair of jeans but you smiled that smiled and said that I looked great. So I agreed to go have dinner with you. I think that was the first night that I knew I loved you. Even though our relationship hadn’t started yet.
I shivered as a cold chill ran down my back. The tears were still falling from my eyes. Were they ever going to stop? I stare up at the top of the Chevy and I see a picture sticking out from the visor. I reach up and grab it. It was our very first picture that was taken of us. It was taken out front of the record store. You said that that should be where our first picture should be taken because after all that’s where we started. I pressed the picture to my chest and exhaled heavily. I wipe the tears from my eyes once again and look out the window. Nancy, your mom, still sitting under the tree made me catch my breath. I reached for the door handle and opened the door.
I fell at her feet, my eyes filled with tears again, the picture still pressed to my chest. She leaned her head down towards mine and we sat there as we both sobbed. A few minutes, which seemed like an eternity, passed and we started to wipe away our tears. I looked out east again as the sun was just fading away. I could see some of the cars starting to pull out of the driveway. I heard Nancy exhale as she pat me on the shoulder.
“I need to go in and say goodbye” she choked on these words, “see some people off.” I nodded in agreement but remained seated, still as stone. I just kept looking at the sun fading away. Her footsteps grew harder to hear as she approached the house. I lay down under the tree and brought my knees up to my chest.
I closed my eyes and suddenly I remembered the first time we made love. I remember how scared I was but at the same time I wanted nothing more than for us to become one. I caught my breath and opened my eyes. “I love you,” I cried out, and I could swear I heard you say I love you back through the wind. I sat up slowly continuously wiping the tears from my eyes.
“Julie,” I hear coming from the door, “Julie, sweetheart, please come in.” With all of my might I picked myself up off the ground and started towards the house. As I walked through the door I was met by a hug from Nancy.
“I love you, Jules,” she whispered in my ear before letting go of me. I looked at her and see the tears she was holding back.
“I’m sorry,” I choked out. My throat burned when I started to speak. “I’m sorry I haven’t been able to take this well.”
“Oh, Jules,” Dan said getting up from the couch. “No one expected you to take this well. It’s hard on everyone, but especially you.” Dan is Nick’s dad. Ever since Nick and I first started dating Dan and Nancy have treated me like a daughter. Nick was their only child. Dan gave me a hug then kissed me on the forehead. Tears welled up in my eyes. When Dan did this it brought back memories of Nick. Nick would always give me a hug and kiss me on the forehead before he would play a gig. He said it was good luck.
“It’s only been two days and I already feel so lost without him,” I said fighting the tears.
“You’ll be ok Jules,” Dan said as he pulled Nancy and me into a hug. “We will all get through this together.”
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