So, I wrote this in the middle of this past summer at 2 o'clock in the morning because I got the idea and couldn't sleep until I wrote it down. It end up being the longest oneshot I ever wrote -17 pages on Word. I decided it was far to long to post as one chapter, so I suppose it can't technically be considered a oneshot at least, not on here... Anyways, enjoy Part One of Summer Lovin'.
I hated the last day of school, as nerdy as it sounds. It's not so much that I was going to miss the teachers and textbooks and homework – in fact, I wasn't going to miss that stuff at all. I wasn't going to miss the pressure to tie up any loose ends before the three glorious months off, either. But I would miss having the upcoming summer to look forward to; I would definitely miss all my friends.
But the thing I detested the most about the final day before summer break was the drama. Girls crying because they have to leave their friends, the gossip about who is going to hookup with whom during our time off, the people apologizing for year long feuds only to accidently say something in the process that starts the whole predicament over again...it was all rather annoying if you ask me.
That's not to say I didn't have my fair share of drama this past "last day of hell," though. And it was completely and totally Harrison's fault, too. He just had to be such an idiot – given he was a hott, sexy, adorable idiot but still...
The interaction I had with him that school year went something like this:
"Hey, Gale," Harrison greeted when he sat dont next to me in American History 10 that day. He knew I hated when people called me Abigail, or Gale, or really anything other than 'Abby.' "Sad we have to switch to AP Euro next year? It might be kind of hard to keep up those A's when you can't kiss up to Mr. Kingston anymore."
I shot him a glare, before replying with a curt, "Well, at least I don't have a D average. I'm really not even sure how you manged to get into AP Euro."
"Why do you have to be such a bitch, Abby?" he had asked me, blue eyes hardening with every word. "All year, I say 'hi' to you in the hall, and you ignore me. I smile at you in class, and you look away. I can understand if you're intimidated by me – I mean who isn't? – but that doesn't mean you-"
I cut him off, "Whoa, whoa, whoa...someone's a little bigheaded, don't ya think?"
"That's exactly what I'm talking about! You can't say anything nice to me, no matter how hard you try. You put up this front like you can't stand me. Maybe trying to save yourself heartache or some shit by making me hate you...I really don't know. But you know what? It worked..."
"Lucky for you," I retorted, "this is the last time we ever have to sit next to each other in this class."
He scoffed. "Thank God for that," he whispered, before turning his back on me.
If only Harrison knew that I liked him more than could be healthy for a person to like someone else. If only he knew how right he was in his assumptions that I was intimidated by him, that I was afraid he would break my heart so I just did it myself. If only I could admit to him that I those gorgeous blue eyes of his appeared every time I shut my eyes. I loved him, and I hated him for it...
I walked the five blocks from my house to my mom's boutique, towing my little Yorkie, Miami, behind me. Every so often, she would yap at the people we passed on the sidewalk, but for the most part I was able to concentrate on my thoughts without interruption.
Of course, that wasn't necessarily a good thing...
I kept replaying my last conversation with Harrison over and over in my head, twisting the meaning of his words every possibly way.
Was he confessing that he liked me? Psh...I wish. Did he like me before but I ruined any chance I had by being a bitch? No, I really doubt that. He just isn't used to having people not like him. But he knows that I like him...at least I think so – he seemed like he knew I like him. Maybe he was just rubbing it in my face that I can't have him? No, no, I really don't think he's that mean. Or that creative.
And so the hopeful and devastating thoughts continued to float around my head in a jumbled pattern that was incredibly difficult for me to follow, even though they were my own. I tended to avoid walking without my iPod for this exact reason - without music, I was free to think and torture myself minus the distraction of Linkin Park or Breaking Benjamin.
Entering my mother's air conditioned boutique after walking through the late-June air was like stepping though the Pearly Gates after living in Hades for half of eternity. As I took in the familiar sight of customers browsing through the racks of brightly colored clothing, I couldn't help but smile; the boutique was like a second home to me. It was so nice to have something momentarily take my mind off of things.
"Abigail," Mom trilled from the general direction of the cash register. I cringed at her use of my full name. "Come say 'hi' to Mrs. H."
I scooped my tiny dog into my arms and headed toward Mom and Mrs. H., the middle-aged woman who owned the bakery next to my mom's store. I never actually did learn her last name – I'd just been told to call her "Mrs. H." since I was little.
When I reached the pair, I was wrapped in a hug from Mrs. H.
"My goodness, honey. It's been too long," she said upon releasing me, taking Miami from my arms and hugging her as well.
I laughed before defending myself, "I just saw you last week."
"Well, that was a full seven days ago!" she explained with a serious expression, before laughing along with me.
"Mrs. H. invited us to her Fourth of July picnic next Friday," Mom told me after my laughter subsided. "She said she wanted you to meet her grandson. You know, Caroline, I still can't believe you have grandkids. You're only what? Five years older than me?"
Mrs. H. shrugged. "Al and I had kids young."
I looked apprehensively from my mom to Mrs. H. The last thing I wanted was to be set up on a blind date with some kid that I would most likely never see again.
"Now, don't give me that look," Mrs. H. said. "He's unbelievably sweet and, if you don't mind me saying, he's good-looking, too."
My mom nodded in agreement. "I've seen pictures, hon – the kid is adorable."
"Yeah, but you guys know I like Harrison," I said, trying anything to avoid having to meet some random boy, even if it meant reliving a mortifying memory; just why it was so hard for my friends to keep their mouths shut...
"Oh, Harrison isn't any good for you," Mrs. H. said, smiling. "Just give my lil' boy a chance?"
"OK, OK, I guess I could try," I conceded.
That Friday, I piled in to the family car along with my parents and ten-year-old little sister, Nikki. The destination: Mr. and Mrs. H.'s house. It was about thirty minute drive from my house, a drive that I was somewhat familiar with after years upon years of random visits.
When we arrived at our destination, I saw that the whole place was decorated in red, white, and...green? Um, oh-kay...
"Mom, why is everything all Christmas-y?" Nikki voiced the question I was about to ask myself. It was a bit odd.
"I think it's a theme, babe," my mom replied. She, too, sounded a bit apprehensive. "You know, like Christmas in July?"
We exited the car and were immediately greeted by the host and hostess of the party.
"I'm so glad you could make it!" Mrs. H. welcomed us. She and her husband lead the way up the sidewalk, instructing Nikki and my parents to "go find friends their own age." I'm sure she would have given me the same orders had I not been caring an awkwardly shaped dish, that I think was some kind of Jell-O salad. Now I say think because though the contents of the container moved all by themselves (Jell-O is the only food I know of that does that), my mother is a totally unpredictable cook. I wouldn't put it beyond her to make something with the ability to be mobile.
"Oh, here," Mr. H. said, "I'll take that. 'Sides, I think Caroline needed your help with something."
"Come this way, hon." Mrs. H. linked arms with me, pulling me into the house - the interior of which also fit the Christmas theme, complete with a massive fir tree decorated with twinkling bulbs and lights. "Now, my grandson isn't here yet, but he will be any second. Albert will bring him in to meet you when my son decides to move his ass and get here. You mind helping an old lady make potato salad until then?"
I shook my head and followed her into the kitchen. She handed me a couple of potatoes, and I got to work.
We had been working for about ten minutes when the front door banged open, and we could hear Mr. H.'s voice boom throughout the first floor, "C'mon, she ain't gonna hurt you... Who knows? You might even like her."
Mrs. H. grabbed my arm and yanked me toward the door, just as her husband was leading their grandson through it. The first thing I noticed about the boy was his bright blue eyes – eyes, I instantly realized, I had daydreamed about far too many times to count. Suddenly, everything began to fit together. Mrs. H...Harrison's last name was Hunter. Mr. H's bright blue eyes...the exact same color as his grandson's. Upon this realization, I turned on my heel to walk away; Harrison did the exact same thing.
"Well, Caroline, I'd reckon that these two already know each other. Imagine that," Mr. H. said, holding out an arm to stop his grandson in his tracks. I could swear that I saw him wink at his wife, who grabbed my arm as well to prevent me from retreating as well.
"It would seem so, Al. Ain't that the just darnedest thing..." she said grinning like the Cheshire Cat. She turned her attention back to Harrison and me. "And just where do you two think you're going?"
"Somewhere else," I said at the same time as Harrison said, "Away."
"I don't think so," Mr. H. replied. "Now, ya'll need to look up." We did so grudgingly.
A piece of mistletoe glared back at us.
You have got to be kidding me, I thought.
"No way, Grandpa" Harrison said, attempting – and failing – another escape. "Come on, it's the middle of summer!" I was too furious at the middle-aged couple standing next to us to be offended by his rejection.
"Exactly, sweetie," his grandmother replied. "Ever heard of Christmas in July?"
Harrison and I just stood there, looking anywhere but at each other, arms crossed.
"Ya'll can't break a tradition," Mr. H. told us, "so you're gonna stand here till I see some smooching."
There was a tangible tension in the air, that neither Harrison nor I wanted to break; his grandparents just looked at us expectantly.
Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. Before I could talk myself out of it, I stretched up on my tiptoes and swiftly pecked the boy in front of me on the lips.
My first kiss – if you could even consider it that – and it was against my will.
"There," Harrison said. "She kissed me. Can I go now?"
"That wasn't a kiss," Mrs. H. contradicted her grandson. "That was...well, I really don't know...Al, what was that?"
"That looked like a chicken pecking at seeds on the ground."
I sighed, and looked at Harrison; he just rolled his eyes. I was about to try to make a break for it again, but a certain pair of blue eyes abruptly locked with mine.
I couldn't breathe.
Then, before I could protest, he wrapped an arm around my waist – the other hand secured behind head – and dipped me backwards prior to brushing his lips against mine. My eyes slipped shut, and I heard a low whistle come from Mr. H's direction. Somehow, my right hand found its way the back of Harrison's neck; the left rested on his shoulder. Taking that as a sign of encouragement, Harrison deepened the kiss, capturing my lower lip between both of his and gently tugging on it.
"Harrison," I whispered. His lips followed the movement of mine.
"Stop," I told him, though I didn't want him to. He brushed his lips against mine again in reply.
I started to push him away, and I was finally pulled upright. He released me; when I opened my eyes to look at him, his eyes sparkled with excitement and some other emotion I wasn't quite sure of. Amusement, maybe? Smugness?
Looking at him and the expression he wore, I was suddenly filled with anger. How could he do that to me? I mean, there was no why he could like me, at least not the way I liked him. He had to know I liked him, I mean, with what he just did and what he said on the last day of school...
Suddenly, I was trying to hold back tears.
I looked from Harrison to Mr. and Mrs. H., both of whom wore shocked but happy expressions. As far as they knew, they had accomplished what they wanted to accomplish. Neither one seemed to notice my sudden change in mood.
"Uh, Mrs. H.," I began, praying that my voice wouldn't break, "is there somewhere I could talk to Harrison alone?"
"Sure, honey, you can go up to mine and Al's room," she replied. "Up the stairs, second door to the left."
"I know. Thanks," I mumbled, cursing under my breath when my voice broke.
I took off for the flight of stairs, hoping Harrison would follow, but not really caring if he did.
The instant the door to the bedroom closed, his hand was on my shoulder – his attempt at comforting me, I suppose. I spun around to face him, knocking his hand away.
"What the hell was that, Harrison?"
"I had everything under control, and you had to go all Romeo. You couldn't just-"
"Oh, yeah, because your idea worked so well," he told me, voice – and eyes – hardening. "We weren't going to get anywhere without actually kissing, and you know it."
"I did kiss you," I reputed, angry unshed tears stinging my eyes.
"You call that a kiss?" I stared at him like he had just backhanded me – he might as well had with a comment like that. "My grandpa was right when he said it was like a chicken pecking at the ground. No, see, what I did was a kiss..."
I glared at him a moment before replying. When I had finally controlled my rage enough to speak, my voice dripped with venom. "Well, I'm sorry that I don't have much experience at this. You'll just have to forgive me." My face burned with this confession, but Harrison didn't seem to notice through his own anger.
"What does experience have to do with-"
"Do you get a kick out of screwing with people? Or do you just hate me so much you wanted to see if you could break me?"
"Abby, I don't hate you," he said as he brushed away a few tears that had spilled from my eyes. His own eyes softened. "I definitely don't hate you."
His lips came down on mine again, one of his hands resting on my cheek.
"Just stop," I said, pushing him away.
He looked genuinely hurt. Good, I thought, now he knows how I feel.
"Harrison, that was my first kiss! Do you understand that? My first kiss was against my will with someone who doesn't even like me. I can't get that back, Harrison! Now I have no chance of the perfect first kiss I always dreamed of..."
Harrison reached toward me again, and I flinched away. He didn't stop or hesitate, though. He gently lifted my chin, forcing me to look at him. I felt a surge of sorrow looking in to his eyes – he looked like he was in physical pain, as if my words had actually cut him. More tears fell from my eyes.
What have I done?
"Abby, I didn't know. And I'm sure if my grandparents would have known, they wouldn't have done this. I had no clue they were going to...When I told them that I liked you, how amazing you were... If I would have known..." He couldn't seem to find the right words. His hand dropped from my chin. "I'm sorry that I took your first kiss away from you, Abby."
He sat down on to the bed and buried his face in his hands. When he looked up at me a moment later, I could see that he was holding back tears of his own.
"Harrison, I'm sorry. I-"
"Abby, it's just..." his voice broke; he waited a moment before trying again, "I like you so much and it scares the shit out of me, you know? When I kissed you – I wanted to do that for so long. I guess that when you kissed me first, it sparked something in me. Made me think that you wanted it just as bad as I did. God, you must think that I'm such a jackass. Especially with the way I treated you all year in school."
"Harrison, please, I can't do this," I pleaded. More tears fell. I started to back toward the door.
His head returned to his hands, and I left the room closing the door swiftly but silently behind me.