I was about half in love with her by the time we sat down. That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty... you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are.
~J. D. Salinger
We met a week before work started. I went to a party two towns over, with three of my buddies on my wing. The night was humid; it was the 4th of July. I remember fireworks, bright yellow and red and blue fireworks, lighting up the sky behind the house. I was high as kite before we stepped through the front door, and it would only get worse from there.
A half bottle of rum later, and we noticed that the fireworks outside were building to a crescendo. The house was close to a golf course that was famous for its annual display. We ran outside to get a better look. The dark garden was briefly illuminated, and I saw a pagoda overlooking a hill in the far corner. I didn't see the stone stairway. Running full tilt towards the pagoda, I tumbled down a flight of stone steps, landing in a drunken slump at the bottom. The next thing I remember, she was helping me up.
We walked over to the pagoda, and watched the fireworks. We still hadn't said a word. Blue, red and yellow light played across her face, her eyes bright with possibility.
Next monday morning was the first day of work at a local day camp, teaching theater to children with special needs. I overslept, grabbed an apple, and booked it to my car. The camp was at a local elementary school, so i hightailed it there, and walked in, late, to the first staff meeting. There she was, sitting at one of the tables, in the same awful green uniform shirt that I was wearing. We whispered during the meeting. She was teaching theater as well. Good god.
For the next week, we hold full conversations, albeit cautiously, while playing theater games with a room full of 8 year olds. She keeps me sane. That friday, I ask her out. We go see Hamlet in Boston Common. Neither of us bring chairs, so she sits in my lap the whole show. We walk hand in hand, and we kiss under streetlights in the North End after the show.
I see her every day for six weeks; Eight hours straight at work, then hanging out all afternoon, going out for dinner, movies, fun. Work turns into finding excuses to sneak away with her. We share quick, fleeting touches, shared, secret smiles. One night, I take her to the beach, and we roll around in the sand for hours, before rising, naked, to the sweet black night, and losing ourselves in the dark waters of the lake. When we get out, the wind blows in, tickling, and we repeat the performance in my car.
At this point, i'm playing balderdash with her four siblings, two parents and grandfather on family games night. She is on one team, myself and her little brother on another. We both cheat to help the other win. Secret smiles, fleeting touches.
In three days, she goes to Disneyland for a week with her family. In ten days, I move back to school. This is it. Three days. I could love this girl.
But I could.
Today, we went through the woods to a bench next to a lake, crystal clear, the sun high in the bright blue sky. She leaned against me on the bench, looking out across the lake, her eyes bright with possibility.
After we kiss, after some silence, after long enough, the question asks itself.
"What's going to happen?"
I could be buried next to this girl. She wants possibility, to be free, no responsabilities. She tells me that there are people at her school who she has trouble making time to see, so how could she handle the time required for a boyfriend? Neither of us want this to end, but she doesn't want this to go much farther. Forever is a shorter time than I've ever thought possible.
We kiss in the car when I drop her off. The golden edge is gone. I already feel the void between us, and she doesn't even leave for two days.
I suppose this is a summer fling. It's just what I wanted this summer, exactly what I wanted. She was more fun than anyone I've hung out with in a while. I'm glad I had what I did, and I don't have any regrets. It's just... I thought that later, when I remembered her, I would have had something more to smile about. I suppose I'll just have to make do. I'm not sad. If anything, I'm inspired. Life, she is long, and full of possibility. I fell in love in six weeks; I have the rest of my life to keep falling in love. And I don't think I'll ever know where the hell I am. But I really don't mind all that much.