Sleepy, silky streams of twilight caressed my face as the first day of summer drew to a close. Given my proximity to Jeremy Freeman—sitting as we were side-by-side on the dock behind my parent’s lakefront cabin—I found it entirely fitting that this was the longest day of the year.
Truthfully, I didn’t want it to end. Ever!
Oh, it wasn’t just that I had a raging crush on the boy, although I most certainly did, it was more about the day and the magical, mystical changing of the season. I mean, really, it was just another day on the calendar; just another twenty-four hour period marked by the arc of the sun burning its way across a sky almost too blue to behold.
“What are you thinking, Randi?” Jeremy said, his voice cracking comically on my name, a common annoyance for many fourteen year-old boys, even ones as gorgeous as he.
I breathed in a lungful of warm, mossy-scented air and said, “Oh, just this and that.”
“I was wondering whether you took what stupid old Cathy Edwards said seriously.”
“What, that I was a ‘brazen hussy for stealing you away from her?’” I said, mimicking her whiny, nasal-toned voice.
He laughed, his brown eyes sparkling mischievously. “That’s really good.”
“You know,” he said, “the way you do that—imitate people.”
I stared at him for a few seconds. He was small for his age, not even as tall as me, but he had the best face. I don’t really know how else to describe it except to say that it was completely and totally open, as if he wanted you to know what he was thinking.
I said, “Anyone can do it if you’re willing to take the time.”
“Naw,” he said, drawing the word out. “It’s more than that, Randi. You have a real, I don’t know, gift, I guess. I mean, I try to do it and can’t even come close.”
We sat in comfortable silence for a while, dangling our feet in the bottle green water and tossing pebbles at the tadpoles flitting around our toes.
Finally he said, “Do me a favor and remind me again why I should spend all summer hanging out with you.”
“Because I’m cute, funny and smarter than any other girl you know?” I queried.
“Nope,” he said with a sharp shake of his head. “But all of that is true about you.”
“Umm, because I dress well and have fine manners?”
He smiled and shook his head, “No.”
I snapped my fingers and said, “I know…because we’re the only people our age on this side of the lake.”
“That’s it,” he said with a laugh.
I heard my mother’s voice calling and said, “Race you to the porch.”
“You know you can’t win.”
We stood; I pushed him into the water and took off hollering, “First time for everything,” over my shoulder.
I had a feeling I would remember this summer for a long, long time.