Our Lake

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story of adolescent love with carelessness, romance, a hint of insanity, and an ending that will leave you with a tear in your eye.

Submitted: January 04, 2012

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Submitted: January 04, 2012

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Where should a story start?  At the beginning, right?  But what if there is no beginning?  What if it’s just one long chunk: a life?  Then where do you start?  I guess the closest  thing to the beginning of my story would have to be that Thursday afternoon, as I climbed onto my school bus, waving goodbye to Chris, who walked me to my bus every day.  I was laughing about something he’d said as I climbed up the steps and started to walk down the aisle to my seat.

Chris was a nice guy, not to mention brilliant.  He was at the top of every class — a straight “A” student.  We had gone out on a couple of dates and I thought I was happy, but then I stepped onto that bus.

When I got to my usual seat, I realized that it was already taken.  The kid had dirty-blonde hair, and gave me the goofiest smile I had ever seen when I looked at him.  Slightly annoyed, I sat down next to him. Despite my annoyance, I couldn’t help but smile back and introduce myself.

In reply, he gave me that same goofy smile. “I’m Randy.”

At first we just talked on the bus, but then we realized that we lived just down the road from each other.  Soon we were walking home together every day, and eventually we stopped going home right away, instead walking around the block so we could talk more.

I quickly learned that he was a Sophomore at my high school, and was exactly 351 days older than me.  He had a “D” average in all of his classes simply because he refused to do his homework, telling me that he would rather be outside.  His parents were divorced and he lived alone with his mom.  He said his dad was always drunk or high and Randy hated when he had to go see him.  He liked animals (except squirrels, for some reason) and had all sorts of weird pets from ducks to chinchillas.  He liked to fish and he eventually got me to go fishing in the lake behind our houses.  He caught and released about thirty fish and I got one, but it was still a lot of fun just to be with him. 

We sat on what Randy called Turtle Peak.  It was just a little rock, only big enough for two people to sit on. It stuck out of the water near the middle of the lake.  On one side of the rock, there was a slightly submerged sand bar that, if you knew exactly where to step, you could jump to Turtle Peak from without getting your shoes wet.  On the other side of the rock there was a shear drop straight into the black water.  Once or twice Randy and I tried to swim to the bottom from there, but we would always chicken out or run out of breath before we reached it.

We were sitting on that rock with our feet dangling in the water talking about mashed potatoes when Randy first kissed me.  We were a couple ever since. 

I thought I was happy when I was with Chris, but I was wrong; I’d never been as happy as I was with Randy.

We used to just sit out on Turtle Peak with our feet dangling in the water, not saying a word.  I would rest my head on his chest and he would play with my hair, holding strands up to watch the setting sunlight dance over them.  I would watch with him as the long, silky strands turned from blonde to gold and back as if by magic, mesmerized by him and the moment until there was no sunlight left to see by.

We did everything together and I couldn’t help but smile every time I saw him.  It wasn’t long until we decided that we would be together forever, and it was just as simple as that.  We didn’t even consider an alternative.  It was either us together or nothing at all.

We’d been together for almost a year when the impossible turned into our reality.  My friend Sharah and I were sitting at my picnic table outside doing our math homework — actually, I think we were laughing about something to do with the potatoes in the cafeteria — when Randy suddenly appeared on my driveway, walking down to our table. 

“Hey guys,” he said to Sharah and I.  He was out of breath. 

“Hi Randy,” I couldn’t disguise the surprise in my voice.  “Did you run here?”

He shrugged and I asked him why.

“’Cause I felt like it.”

Now he was panting and pacing, occasionally leaning on a tree for support.

“What’s wrong?” I continued to question him.

“Nothing.  I think I’m going down to the lake.  He started to walk, but then broke into a run.

After telling Sharah I’d be right back, I followed him.  I found him sitting on Turtle Peak with his back to me, so I walked over to join him.  Only after I’d sat down next to him did I realize that he was crying. 

“Randy,” I whispered, taking his hand “What happened?”  He didn’t respond.  “Randy?” I whispered again.  He wouldn’t look at me.  “Randy, what happened?”

“My mom died.” 

I gasped “Oh my God.”  I didn’t know what to say. “What happened?” I repeated in disbelief.

“My mom died!” He yelled, much too loud.

“Oh my God.  What are you going to do?”  Looking back, I realize that was definitely not the best thing to say under the circumstances, but I didn’t know what else to do.

“I,” He replied, taking a shuddering breath “Am going to see what’s off this ledge.” 

I had no idea what he was talking about. “What?”

He didn’t answer,  just stood up, taking off his shirt and shoes.  He emptied his pockets on the rock next to me.  I didn’t know what to say, so I just watched as he stood up tall and expertly dove into the water.  I saw him plummet deeper and deeper until I couldn’t see him at all.  I watched his bubbles, counting to myself.  1, 2, 3, 4…31, 32. He could never hold his breath for very long; he’d be back soon. 33, 34, 35, 36, 37.  He should have been back by now.  38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43. I stood up worried.  Where was he?  44, 45, 46, 47, 48.  I took my shoes off.  49, 50, 51, 52, 53.  I took off my jacket.  54, 55, 56, 57, 58. I took a deep breath and dove in.

The water was colder than I expected, but I didn’t let it slow me down.  I kept my arms out, fingers overlapping ever so slightly to make my body as aero-dynamic as possible.  I kicked with all my might.  I’m going to make it to the bottom this time, I told myself, I have to.  I swam harder and harder and before I knew it I could see something in front of me.  It wasn’t until it was right in front of my face that I realized it was a branch. I looked around and realized that I was surrounded by a giant tree, it’s limbs reaching in every direction.  I kept swimming down, I had to find Randy.  It wasn’t very much deeper that I found him.  He wasn’t moving, and when I got closer I realized that his left leg was jammed between two of the branches of the fallen tree.

I swam over to him as quickly as I could and tried desperately to shake him awake, but he didn’t move.  By now, I was sure my lungs were going to explode, so I moved to where his leg was stuck and tried with all my might to pry the branch off of it.  It didn’t even budge.  I braced myself against the bottom branch and pushed the top one as hard as I possibly could and I felt it wiggle the slightest bit.  My head was starting to go foggy, but I pushed the branch one more time with every ounce of energy I had, and this time it moved just enough for me to get Randy free.  I could feel my lungs trying to get me to breathe, but I had to pull him out of the water.  I grabbed Randy around his chest and pushed off the branch hard, aiming for the surface of the water.  I kicked harder than I had ever kicked but I felt like we weren’t moving.  I didn’t even notice the blackness closing in around me, pulling me down, down — until we were gone.

 


© Copyright 2017 Miley Nuhasker. All rights reserved.

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