Summer, 8 years ago
Chelsea and I packed our bags and jumped in the car. We were headed to the little town that I camped at every summer. This time was different, we weren’t meeting my dad, we were 18 and could sign for our own lot.
It was beautiful out, the sun was shining and we were telling stories and hopes on the 3 hour ride. We signed for our lot, set up the tent and ran into some friends. We couldn’t wait for night to fall. We smoked some weed and drank beer and pretty much laughed our asses off. Our site was the place for the party that night. People, mostly boys, kepting showing up.
Tyler was on of those boys that just happened to show up. He was there with his friend Seth and somehow Chelsea and I ended up talking to them for part of the night. Tyler was quiet so I spent most of my time bantering with Seth. Mostly play arguing, but there was something about Tyler. Some way or another Tyler bumped into me and that was when it started. Slight contact and flirting and we had found ourselves new friends.
The whole week we were there we hung out mostly with Tyler and Seth. From the 4th of July fireworks at the beach, where we got kicked out to riding on top of Chelsea’s escort. Before we left for home that week, I was infatuated with Tyler and his eyes. The way he talked and the things he said. He made me laugh and I think I actually called my boyfriend from a payphone and broke up with him just so I could kiss Tyler and not feel guilty. And kissing was something we did a lot of.
The rest of the summer was much of the same. We lost Seth to family vacations and he was replaced with Tyler’s friends or brother. But Tyler was a constant. He almost always made time to see us, though there was one occassion where he royally pissed me off and we didn’t talk much that weekend.
Through the course of the summer he told me he loved me and I whispered the words back. We bickered just so we could make out to make up. Toward the end of the summer he pulled away and when it was clear he hurt my feelings he apologized and said that the summer was almost over and we needed to just be friends because we might not ever see each other again.
Labor Day weekend we slept together for the first and only time. Through the fall and winter Chelsea and I made a couple trips to see Tyler. Well I wanted to see Tyler and I’m lucky my best friend supported me. But by winter I had been in college for a full semster and started dating someone (he was a complete asshole but my boyfriend none the same).
I planned to drive through the little town on the way to meet the boyfriend and I pulled my courage together and called Tyler’s house to meet up with him. I wanted it to be a happy reunion. We met at the beach. We awkwardly hugged one another. I still remember what he was wearing. We made small talk and then it was time to leave. He had a girlfriend, Lisa, and I drove away from him and that town and him.
I know you probably don’t believe me but he haunted my memories and dreams for years. I missed him and wondered desperetely what happened to him. And 7 years later it happened. I had been to that town camping after that summer and never saw anyone. But when Chelsea flew home from out of state we made a trip up there. And when we turned the corner I saw his beautiful eyes staring back at me…