The rain was still coming down in torrents. Reluctantly, I opened my car door and stepped into the knee-high grass. I had to come back; I couldn't leave before seeing it once more. Leisurely, I made my way to the deck, all the memories of the summer running in my mind creating a slide-show of events. It had been three months that I wouldn't forget. Abruptly, the tall blades stopped tickling my knees, and I had finally reached the old, wooden deck. Moss was almost completely covering it making it difficult to keep my balance on the slippery surface. I gazed out along the lake to the thick rows of trees which were barely visible through the heavy downpour. It almost seemed like his smell still lingered: the smell of aftershave and ice cream. I could almost feel those familiar arms around my waist. A soft but strong voice whispering something sweet into my ear. Gently, a tear drop fell from my cheek onto the deck.
I edged to the side of the deck, seeing my own reflection surrounded by the rain pelts and how much I had changed, internally and externally. Caught up in the moment, I barely realized that I had lost my footing until I fell into the chilly water. Just like that. Once, I had gotten over the initial shock, I opened my eyes to view complete darkness before panic started to spread throughout my whole body. I attempted to swim to the surface, however no luck. Something was pulling me down and away, maybe an undertow from the storm, but there was no way to tell. I was in such a panic mode; I had no idea what to do. No natural instincts were kicking in like they were supposed to. Then, it hit me, as I was struggling to retain consciousness by helplessly sinking; this was it. I was about to perish with so many regrets. Without saying good-bye, thinking that I should have tried harder. There must have been something else that I could have done.
I shook the horrible thoughts of dying from my mind; he wouldn't want this to be my end. I had to keep some hope. I attempted again to reach the surface, but it didn't help. Consciousness soon left me, and it felt as if those arms were once again embracing me.
Three Months Earlier
Mrs. Henry Owens. Mrs. Henry Owens. Mrs. Henry Owens.
I let out a profound sigh as I glanced at my notebook covered in, hopefully, my future name and hearts. Only if I paid as much attention to the teachers as I did my doodling, I would pass with no problem. However, it was too little, too late to be worrying about that now. High school was about to end in only a couple of moments, and the thought of that was both terrifying and exhilarating. I knew that I would miss it once it ended, but right now I was ready to have a whole three months of seeing Henry everyday. Henry was the guy that gave me butterflies and sent my heart flying. It may sound so incredibly cheesy, but every second with him was true and perfect. To think I used to the be the girl that would laugh at the cutesy, annoying couples that have endless inside jokes and constantly holding hands.
Unfortunately, whenever I thought of summer, the end of summer would always pop up in the back of my mind. The day when Henry and I would be heading off to different colleges. Henry to a local community college in our small town in Ohio. Myself, my dream school, University of Chicago, the one I will be heading off to with my best friend. I let out another deep sigh as I tried to shake the thoughts free from my mind as always. I carelessly twirled my curly, auburn hair as I gazed out the window.
However, the peaceful qualities of nature were soon erupted by a class countdown. The second hand on the clock moved slowly. Six more seconds of high school, 5...4...3...2..1! The whole class cheered wildly, papers flying everywhere, high fives awarded, and our teacher slowly sneaking out to enjoy her own summer vacation. Aly rushed over to my desk and gave me a big hug. "Estelle!" She squealed. "How amazing this summer is going to be! I mean we have so much to do. Remember that list we made the summer after junior year of all that stuff we had to do before we graduated, and I have to find a cutie..." I smiled kindly to my overly excited best friend as I grabbed my stuff and headed out the door.
Today, like everyday we had a chance, I'd be meeting Henry at our spot. I knew he'd be waiting, so I quickly walked with Aly, anxious to see him. One great thing about our spot, other than it being secluded from the outside world, breathtakingly beautiful, absolutely ours, and filled with amazing memories, was that it was assessable. I could walk to in a 15 minute walk from school or my house.
Aly already knew where we were headed and was happy to keep me company. "So," she continued. "I was thinking, possibly, we could do a huge, end of the year, seniors only, blowout party at your house."
I paused and thought how to avoid this. "Um, why not at your house?" Huge "blowout" parties weren't really my thing. I have too many memories of cleaning up after all of my brother's parties when he was still in high school and trying to hide the evidence from my parents, who always found out anyway. However, I knew Henry and Aly would love me forever if I had one, and I do have a pool.
"Come on, your house is huge, has a pool, and is legendary for parties. I'm sure your brother would help." Aly practically pleaded.
I bit my lip, knowing I would later regret it, but Aly pleads were too much. "Sure." I said so quickly it might have been missed.
"Seriously! Thank you so much! Don't worry, I'll basically plan everything. Love you." Aly said, giving me a suffocating hug.
"No problem." I halfheartedly responded because then I spotted him. Henry, with his shaggy, dark brown hair slightly blowing in the warm summer breeze.
"Ah, make-out session. I got it. Love ya." Aly said hurrying off backtracking her steps toward her house.
Henry didn't even seem to notice us walk up. I stood there, silently watching the wind blow his shaggy dark brown hair in the wind, how every hair was tousled but still seemed to be perfectly in place. His face was serene as he looked out at the sun shining down on the lake. He was leaning against the large oak beside the lake with his arms crossed across his chest, just tense enough that you could see his muscles through his shirt.
His presence completed 'our spot'. The one with the old tire, the wooden dock and the lake that extended for miles. Henry's eyes slowly drifted over to my face. As soon as he saw me, a smile broaden on his face and a certain glimmer appeared in his emerald eyes. I couldn't help myself. I ran over and gave him a huge hug. He returned it, lifting me off the ground and spinning me around. Henry sat me down as I stood on my tip-toes to give him a peck on the lips. I pulled back, and his scent still lingered. "Long time no see," I joked.
"Way too long, babe." He let his fingers graze the outline of my face as he laughed his signature laugh, which was between an actually laugh and a chuckle. I let my fingers naturally lace through his, as we walked slowly to the tire swing. I hopped on first as Henry always jumped on second to get the swing in motion.
"It's finally here." I basically said to myself in disbelief. The reality that we would have the whole summer, a perfect summer, together.
"Finally," Henry echoed, but his tone was more of relief than disbelief. He rubbed his thumb against the back of my hand. "Every day together, except the ones I have to work." He sighed.
I teasingly frowned. "I don't think I will be able to let you out of my sight unless free ice cream is included of course."
"Always for you, babe." Henry said before brushing his lips against mine. I closed my eyes and let the softness of his lips blend with the strawberry-flavored pair that were my own. I let his lips take the lead as I melted into the slow movement of them. I broke the kiss, but just so I could stare into his emerald green eyes. I softly stroked the side of his face as he did the same to mine. "I have so much planned for this summer for the two of us."
I was still lost in his eyes. "Hmm," I almost hummed as I was shaken out of the hypnosis I was put under.
Henry chuckled slightly. "I have a couple of surprises up my sleeve for this summer." He teased.
"Oh really? Sounds mysterious, but I can't say that I don't mind just this." I said going in for another, more passionate kiss.
"Works...for...me." Henry whispered between kisses.
"Let's just say that I have a few surprises myself." I teased back, breaking away before I went back to kissing the man that I would get to spend the rest of my life with and especially every moment of the summer with, or so I assumed.
A/N: First chapter! I had begun to write this story in 2007 when Quizilla was still a good site and then kindof gave up on it until now! Can't wait to continue it, and I hope everyone will keep reading and enjoy it as much as I do writing it!