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Summer Limerence: Prologue and Chapter One
I used to believe that the most amazing thing I’d ever seen was the sunset over the ocean. That, however, was before I met you, up at my beach house this summer. You, with your perfect eyes, just the right mixture of jade and gold, almost like semiprecious jewels themselves. You, with your smile brighter any star I could ever find in the sky. You, with your adorable hair, the color of warm hot fudge, just the right length: not too short and not too long. Just… you.
As I sat on the beach, basking in the warm glow of the sun sneaking through the thin blanket of clouds, my eyes caught sight of your quite attractive face. You were here with your friends, of course. No time for me casually meander my way over to you, strike up a conversation, and have that perfect fairytale day that every girl dreams of, just the two of us. That had happened every weekend so far, though; you never come to your beach house without those two obnoxious, egotistical, hotheaded guys you call “friends”. I was used to it by now, but I still wished that you were alone every once in a while.
One of your friends glanced up, and caught me looking straight at you. I looked hurriedly away, red-faced, like an ashamed child caught breaking the rules. One of your friends whispered something in your ear… probably something like “Hey, look at the girl staring at you over there. I bet she’s checking you out!” or some immature comment that chances are I didn’t want to hear anyways. Still, though, I’m curious to know. You gaze in my direction for a short moment, and then snap your attention away somewhere else. What were you thinking about, in that brief instant, when your eyes met mine?
I lounged around in the sun on my balcony, listening to the ocean waves thrash about the beach. Next to sunset over the horizon, the afternoon waves were my favorite part of the day. In the complex next door, I could hear the sliding glass door gently slide closed and soft footsteps on my neighbors’ balcony, prompting me to open my eyes. There he was. My “summer neighbor”, whose family owned the beach house next door, was lounging around in the sun on his patio now. He glanced sideways at me, a soft smile beginning to appear. I gave a small nod of acknowledgement, and then closed my eyes once again. Between the waves, I heard a loud sigh of relaxation, as if the world’s weight had suddenly been lifted off of his shoulders all at once, and I can just picture him stretching out on a lounge chair with his arms behind his head and his own eyes closed like mine. Neither of us had time for silly, trivial things. The only thing that mattered right now was the sun on our faces, the rumble of waves on the beach, and the slight breeze through our hair.
“I saw you yesterday down on the beach.” Was I hallucinating, or was that his voice coming from the adjacent balcony? He had never spoken a word to me before, so why start now? My eyes shot open in disbelief.
“Oh, did you now?” I replied. The smile was back.
“Yes. Yes, indeed I did. It’s very hard to miss that fireball of hair of yours.”
“I guess it is,” I grinned. So he really did notice me after all.
“And, I sort of caught you staring,” He added. Oops.
“I’m sorry, I was just-”
“Hey, if I caught you, that means I must have been looking, too,” He interrupted. And the smile had made a third appearance. Could I make it to four?
“Oh, I didn’t know my neighbor was a stalker…” Score! Four in a row! This time, though, it quickly turned into concern. “I’m kidding, you know.” The concern faded to relief, then yet another golden grin.
He exhaled heavily, gazing just as heavily into my eyes. Laughing to himself, he appeared to have no response to my last quip. I realized that I didn’t even know his name; he was just a boy. A boy with hair the color of warm hot fudge and eyes the perfect mixture of jade and gold. A boy for whom I began to fall.
“I don’t even know your name, do I? I’m Bryce.”
“Like, the color red? I think that suits you.” More laughs. “It’s a pretty name for a pretty girl.” I blushed.
“Yeah, but two t’s and an e at the end.”
“Even better. So, I know I just met you and all, but I was wondering-“
This is crazy… Is he really...? I asked myself.
“-if you maybe wanted to hang out at the pier tomorrow afternoon?”
“Of course! I’d love to,” I answered.
“Great.” Smile number six. “So, here’s my number… tomorrow you could call me, maybe?” Call him, maybe I would indeed.