I dreamt about you, well sort of, more like reminiscing about that summer. I’m driving down a never-ending road with various versions of myself in the car. I know it’s all me even though one is an old lady, I can just feel it in my bones. We’re listening to the same song over and over. It’s the one that reminds me of you every time I hear it.
“I think we knew all along,” spoke the 7th-grade version of me.
“Knew what?” present me asked her.
“She means that we knew we would find her in Texas,” that summer’s version of me answered.
“Oh, we definitely knew it. We didn’t even hesitate to move there, like something drawing us towards her,” Answered a more confident older version of me.
“I remember that summer like it was yesterday,” spoke the old lady.
I remembered it too, the first time I saw you walk through that door. My heart stopped and everything just clicked. Like my life finally made sense even though it had been messy up to that point.
“She was like a breath of fresh air; I get that saying now,” spoke the summer version of me.
“She was gorgeous,” squealed the 7th grade me. “Like seriously, have you seen anyone so freaking cute?”
“Too bad we were dating that horrible girl,” the slightly younger self complained.
“I know I had to look like a player flirting with her when I was with someone else,” confident me explained.
“We broke up with that girl before we started dating her. We knew from that very second we saw her that we had to,” the old lady informed us.
She was right, when you walked in the door I was sitting on the couch with my current girlfriend who I knew I didn’t love. I had been searching for a way out for the past year, but my life was such a mess that I didn’t think I deserved someone else. That is until I laid my eyes on you and I knew I had to leave her because I was meant for you, but I didn’t realize how much until later that summer.
“The thing that I remember the most is what a nervous wreck I was,” I laughed at memories.
“Oh, shush you did everything perfectly,” spoke the old lady.
“You think so? Because I’m with her and she still makes me nervous every time she smiles,” the confident older version of me admitted.
“Still?” I asked shocked.
“She’s the one. She’ll never stop giving you butterflies,” spoke the old lady.
“I was so nervous during that drive, I literally drove past the house,” admitted the slightly younger version.
I thought back to that moment last summer. I had finally gathered the courage to ask you to ride in the car with me instead of our friend as a joke. To my surprise, you agreed to it, but the car ride was super awkward because I didn’t plan for you to say yes to me. I was so nervous that I in fact drove right past our friend’s house. I shrunk back into my seat, embarrassed at what a mess I was at the beginning.
“Hey, don’t feel so bad it’s because of that car ride you were able to confess to her,” reassured my confident self.
“You know what my favorite part was?” asked my 7th-grade self. “When we stayed up talking about space and aliens.”
“That was the best night of the summer,” my summer self-agreed.
I thought back to the night you spent the night with me. We stayed up until dawn talking about how we were both probably aliens who had been reincarnated on this planet and still found each other. Thinking back to it, that was a crazy conversation to have so early at the start of our relationship, but you didn’t think it was crazy. You said it made you fall more in love with me because you hated normal people who made small talk. Man, we must look totally crazy to other people, but I don’t care because we’re perfect together.
“My favorite part was connecting all the things that led us together” shared my confident self.
“Like the football game!” Shouted 7th grade me.
“Oh, I remember that. The only football game we ever went to,” the old lady chuckled.
“She was there, and we didn’t even know it. We both went to the same football game and were just a couple of seats from the other,” I smiled.
In that small town, the college football team was a big deal. I received an invite from a coworker to watch her little daughter perform with the school’s cheerleaders. I never liked football and only stayed for the halftime performance, but then you told me you went to the same game. I thought it was crazy how much of my life in that small town was leading up to you.
“Then our favorite house,” the summer me pointed out.
That’s how I knew we were meant to be. When I moved to that small town there was a house down the street from me that I saw when I walked the dog. It was empty and run down but I remember going to it and looking at it with my brother and talking about what a great house it was. Growing up in a broken family, we dreamed about a white house with a picket fence and this one even had the tire swing to go with that ideal dream. Then when I walked with you past it you told me that was your old childhood home. I almost died from shock right there, I swear. Just another piece of the puzzle fitting together for us. In a single summer, I had put together all these pieces that had pointed to you and I knew you were my soul mate.
“Is that where we're headed now?” asked the old lady. “I would love to see it again.”
“Yep, we wanted to see it again before we move out of this stupid small town” admitted my slightly younger self.
We sat there quietly for a moment thinking about everything that went on that summer and then I realized I had never told them the memory that stuck out to me the most from that summer.
“The part I love the most was when she came back to South Carolina with us for grandma’s funeral,” I told them.
“She trusted you from the beginning. She had to know too that you were who she was meant to be with,” the old lady told us.
Only a couple of weeks after we started talking, my grandmother had passed back home. It was a nineteen-hour drive straight and I didn’t want to go by myself, but you volunteered to go with me after barely knowing me. I remember walking in your parents’ house with you and you telling them you were leaving for a week to help me drive. You were in the closet still then so I know it had to be scary for you, but you didn’t hesitate. All you wanted was to be with me in my time of need and I have never forgotten that.
“That summer was the most amazing moment of my life, despite grandma dying, and I’ll never forget it,” I admitted.
“And you won’t. We still talk about it,” admitted the old lady.
“So everything works out?” Asked my slightly younger self.
“I could tell you, but it's more exciting to experience it yourself,” grinned my confident self.
“It's kind of scary not knowing what’s coming,” admitted 7th grade me.
“Eventually you stop worrying about the future and only think about where you are at with her presently,” the old lady educated us.
We finally pulled up to the house but instead of the house being run down, it looked like someone had finally fixed it up. In the tire swing sat a curly-headed boy who had your smile. He kept swinging, ignoring us, trying to go higher and higher until he finally jumped off the swing.
“Who’s that?” I asked but I got my answer when I heard your voice call for him from inside the house.
“He’s a handful,” my confident self-told me, “but he’s worth every second of it.”
“He makes us proud. The things he accomplishes is worth every struggle you two go through,” the old lady told us.
“So is this a dream?” I asked them all. None of them answered but just stood there smiling as they watched the little boy run into the house.
Then I woke up to find you working at your desk as usual. Thinking about how I just barely met you last summer and how much we had already gone through together, just in that one summer. Some things harder than most, but we made it through and now we have a whole new summer to make more memories. I’m excited to see what this new summer will hold, and I hope you are too.riting here…
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