My Best Part

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Laguna Beach

Flowers In Your Hair by The Lumineers

So now I think that I could love you back, and I hope its not too late.”

The warm breeze whipped through Summer’s long brown hair as she crammed two bright red suitcases inside her Jeep. They were over-packed with clothes and what she thought of as “road trip necessities,” AKA half her closet. She wiped a bead of sweat the fell from her hairline and pulled the sunglasses down from the top of her head to shield her squinting eyes.

Her features were not something you’d expect from someone with the name, Summer. She had warm eyes like honey and long wavy raven hair that she rarely brushed because it would just end up in a frizzy mess. Her petite stature was a contrast to Shane’s 6’3” figure that towered above her.

“You’d think our road trip’s gonna be a month long with the amount of shit you packed,” Shane mumbled behind his black sunglasses as he inspected the trunk. He ran his hands through his curly brown locks, a nervous habit he picked up when he was younger.

“Who knows if we are going to find a Laundromat, and you never know what we might need.”

“You act like we’re driving through the Mojave or something,” Shane teased as he rolled his eyes at Summer. He was much more carefree and go with the flow, whereas Summer had planned every little detail of the road trip, down to which gas station they were going to stop at.

“You know my motto,” Summer said as she furrowed her eyebrows together. “Always be prepared,” The stated in unison, though Shane said it with much less enthusiasm.

Shane put his suitcase and guitar case in the back seat and hopped in the passenger side of the car. “I’m glad Sandy’s taking us up the coast,” he announced, referring to the car’s name that they chose because of the permanent sand left in the cracks of the seats after countless trips made to the beach.

“Yeah, she’s the only one I’d trust,” Summer agreed, patting her car’s dashboard as if it was their pet.

The silver Jeep had been Summer’s “baby” since she was sixteen and just learning how to drive. Now at eighteen, her parents trusted the pair to take it for a road trip from their hometown in the suburbs of San Diego, all the way to Vancouver. Driving up the coast on Pacific Coast Highway was a trip they planned to do since they were freshmen in high school. With Shane starting his tour in Vancouver after they both graduated, it was only right for them to check this road trip off of their bucket list.

Summer wanted to be at Shane’s first real concert. She was used to seeing him play at local coffee shops and small-town events, not sold out venues. She was going to miss the late nights they spent on the beach with the guitar in his lap, listening to him singing with the crashing waves in the background. She was quite proud of how far he’d come at a mere eighteen years old, even if he was just the opening act.

Their first stop was less than an hour and a half away, in Laguna Beach. They parked at Main Beach and walked around to take pictures and browse the little shops that lined the shoreline. It was a warm June morning, not many people were walking around the beach. The costal breeze kept them cool under the heat of the bright sun. In a couple of hours, the sidewalks would be filled with tourists and locals alike, so they enjoyed the quaint atmosphere while they could.

“When I’m rich and famous, I’m gonna get one of those paintings in that art gallery,” Shane said half jokingly, pointing at the gallery across the street they were just browsing in. “That way every time I see the picture on the wall, it will remind me of this trip.”

“We aren’t even 100 miles in, what if you have the worst time of you life,” Summer laughed. They were only at the beginning of their adventure. They still had over a thousand of miles to go.

“Not when it comes to you and me, Sunshine. We always know how to have a good time,” Shane winked, remembering all of the crazy times the two of them had together in high school.

It was true, whenever the pair were out together, they were always the life of the party. Though, Shane was more of the charismatic front man while Summer always thought of herself as more of his sidekick. He was the stereotypical extrovert, always cracking jokes to make people laugh; he was the type of person who was friends with everyone. He was a natural born leader –prom king, class president, and star of the show, whereas Summer was an empathetic listener. She wasn’t necessarily a wallflower, she could be outgoing if she wanted to, but she enjoyed being an observer; she paid attention to subtle details that most people might miss.

Shane watched the way Summer skipped along the boardwalk and danced around to whatever song was playing in her head. He inspected her every movement carefully because she was so effortlessly beautiful. God, was she beautiful.He loved how her faint freckles that scattered across her nose were just starting to show on her sun kissed skin. They were only visible in the summer from spending too many hours basking in the sun. Summer picked up a yellow daisy from the grass and tucked it behind her ear, a habit that she continued for as long as Shane had known her.

After spending another hour wandering around Laguna, Shane and Summer found their way back to the car for their next stop. Summer blasted “Come Clean” by Hilary Duff and “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield as an “ode to my childhood,” as she called it, referring to the hit TV show, Laguna Beach, that she would binge watch and force Shane to watch with her. He was secretly addicted to the show too but he would never admit that to Summer; she knew he was into the show as much as she was but she went along with his disdain to save face.

When they drove through Newport Beach, Summer blasted “California” by Phantom Planet and sang it (or scream, as Shane would say) at the top of her lungs, hitting the wrong notes the entire song.

“You are such a dork,” Shane laughed as he turned down the music after the song ended.

“It’s all part of my charm,” Summer giggled, tilting her head on her hand. “Plus, not all of us can be rock stars.”

Shane just rolled his eyes at her. He looked at the way the wind caressed her cheeks and turned them a slight shade of pink and how her lips would pucker in a way that made him want to kiss her just to see if they were as soft as they looked. But that was something he would never admit out loud, not to himself and definitely not to Summer. He liked things the way they were and he figured it was something that would go away with time, especially since they would part ways soon. She was going off to Boston University for college and his career was just about to take off. So those butterflies he had in his stomach whenever she would laugh at one of his stupid jokes, were pushed as far away as possible, put away in Pandora’s box in hopes that it would never be opened.

“Where do you think we’ll be 5 years from now?” Summer asked, bringing Shane back from his thoughts.

“Well, you’ll be done with college, probably in grad school since you’re the smart one, and I’ll hopefully be touring the world and singing in front of sold out crowds,” Shane answered. It was a dream he never thought wouldactuallybecome reality.

“You’ve always been the dreamer,” Summer replied, sending a quick smile over to Shane. It was one of the many things she loved about her best friend. Ever since they were little, his head was always in the clouds. Summer would spend extra time after school with Shane, helping him with homework because he was always too busy daydreaming while she paid close attention in class.

“And you’ve always been the realist, Sunshine,” Shane countered, using her nickname he affectionately gave her when they were in middle school because she always said how summer was ironically her least favorite season.

Summer nodded, wondering how they could be so different but get along so well. Perhaps they balanced each other out. Summer was the levelheaded realist who would get them out of trouble, while Shane was the spontaneous dreamer who would get them in trouble.

They were the definition of “opposites attract.” They were forces of the universe that found each other –yin and yang. Born from the same chaos of the universe, they coexisted in perfect harmony. Yet they were fighting so hard to be apart, to be two separate halves. But you can’t keep two halves of a whole apart; eventually they are drawn towards each other like magnets.

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