He was tall, with amazing green eyes, deeply tanned, and had the kind of white blond hair you usually only see on toddlers and the body of a swimmer—lithe, sinewy, and ever so faintly muscled. His hair had a slightly green tinge from the excessive chlorine in the pool, which I now think is kind of gross, but back then I just thought it made him even sexier. I had drooled over him all summer long, looking away and staring at my feet whenever his green eyes moved in my direction, So when I noticed he was staring at me one night at dinner in the crowded mess hall, my heart jumped through my faded red polo shirt, and I thought I’d fall face first into the tasteless plate of mystery mush in front of me as he slowly smiled, then winked.
He showed up at my bunk a few nights later and suggested that we take a “walk”–which we all knew was code for lets-go-to-the-darkest-place-we-can-find-and-make-out-until-lights-out. I remember walking with him through the darkness behind my bunk, the smell of the freshly cut grass, the sound of laughter rippling through the air as my bunkmates nervously giggled in our wake, the scent of suntan oil rising up from my skin in the oppressive humidity, the fireflies that dotted the hillside like tiny Christmas lights glowing in the distance. I was excited—and scared. I didn’t know if I was ready for my first kiss—I wasn’t even exactly sure what making out really was. He was a whole year older than me, and therefore way more experienced in my eyes. Back then I was very much like Casey, one of the main characters in my new Young Adult series THE ELITE, and I wasn’t at all sure of myself. In fact, I was always worried that whatever I did, it would somehow be the wrong thing. What if I did it wrong? Could you kiss wrong? What if he thought I was a bad kisser? Why wouldn’t my palms stop sweating? Thoughts raced through my head at a million miles per hour as he leaned toward me, time slowing down to a crawl as his lips brushed my own in the lightest of kisses—a sensation that immediately caused a swarm of butterflies to rise up in my chest, flapping their wings with happiness and relief as his hands grasped my own, and our lips parted.
In spite of the fact that many years have passed–or maybe because of it–this remains one of my favorite summer memories, even though I cannot, for the life of me, remember his name! (I know, I know. It’s shameful 🙂
What are your favorite summer memories so far?