The Summer I Fell in Love

When a young man and lifetime mommy's boy goes away to sleep away camp, the last thing on his mind is meeting a girl. But when he meets Taylor, he is thrown a curveball as he finds himself falling in love. Now, plagued with jealous best friends and hormonally charged emotions, Kevin must make the biggest decision ever: let Taylor go or go after her?

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4. A Midnight Stroll

We talked for several hours until the stars began to shine bright in the clear night sky. Checking my watch, I saw that it was 11:15pm. I looked at Taylor and said, “We still have a half hour before the fireworks start, do you want to take a walk and maybe look for Ryan and Casey.” I helped her up and Taylor chimed, “I would like that, I don’t know where those lovers got to come to think of it.”    We slid silently and casually away to the woods where paintball games were played, talking all the while and enjoying each other’s company and Mother Nature’s wonders. When we got to the woods, I peered through the thick brush and saw a light moving through the trees and the snap of a twig. Taylor looked at me with a glint of adventure in her eyes and said, “Do you want to go check it out. I can pick the lock on the supply shed and grab us some flashlights. What do you say?”    I laughed and said, “I say let’s go for it, after all, you are only young once.” Before I even finished speaking she had picked the lock on the shed and chucked me a flashlight. I flicked it on and she followed in due course, and we began to walk down the path that led into the woods.    We walked in silence until we were so far from the bonfire it was a mere flicker and the loud yelling sounded as if it was at the end of a wind tunnel. Finally, I broke the silence and asked, “You picked that locked pretty fast, I have to ask you where you learned?” She began to skip merrily and said, “Growing up with three older brothers, I picked up the skill of picking locks from my oldest brother Steve. I worked hard for several weeks until I finally mastered it. I remember getting home late one night from a movie with a friend of mine. I was past my curfew, the door was locked and neither of us wanted to stay out in the cold or knock on the door and face the wrath of my parents. So, I picked the lock and we never got caught. I never told my parents and I didn’t tell Steve for a long time, but when I did he laughed and clapped me on the back.”    I chuckled at the story and said, “Past your curfew, it appears I have a bad ass on my hands. You don’t seem the type.” She said tauntingly, “What is that type?” I stuttered and sputtered but finally managed to say, “The type of girl that would break the law.” She laughed and said, “I was not breaking the rules, merely bending them to fit my lifestyle. And it’s like you said, you are only young once.” I had no comeback for that and so remained silent for several minutes.    We walked a few hundred more yards into the woods until we came across a flat rock on which water trickled through the middle into a deep clear pool at the base of a small waterfall and there was a log from a gnarled oak tree which was used as a bench, its bark smoothed down from decades of use. There was no need for flashlights here as the trees opened like a window into the night sky, capturing the full moon. We flicked them off and decided to sit for a moment.    We sat there on the log, deep in thought until Taylor broke the tranquil silence by saying, “Did you hear that?” I snapped back to reality and asked sincerely “Hear what?” She said in a quavering voice, “Voices, footsteps, and there is a light now. Someone else is here.” Her tone was becoming stern and so I followed her pointer finger and sure enough, a flashlight reflected off the water very near to us. Reacting quickly, Taylor and I dove as silent as possible behind the nearest shrub.    We waited for a moment, covering our mouths to hide our heavy breathing. After a moment, two figures appeared that were not wearing camp T-Shirts. We breathed a sigh of relief and all of a sudden, next to me, Taylor snuffled a giggle. I asked her what was wrong and she exclaimed, gasping for breath, “That is Ryan and Casey!” I took a second look and was about to correct her when I realized she was right. We watched in utter silence as they sat on the long and Ryan put his arm around Casey, pulling her in close.    Taylor made a move to jump out at them but I had a feeling this could be leading to something so I restrained her. I mouthed to her that we should stick around and see what comes of it. She agreed and sat back, ready for a long wait. Surprisingly though, the wait was not as long as anticipated. Only five minutes after they had entered the clearing Ryan said to Casey, “ I know I have only known you for a few hours, but in those few hours I have realized I like you. Or, on a deeper scale love you. You make my life and I really like you, and I would really like to kiss you right now.”     I heard two simultaneous gasps, one from Casey and one from Taylor. I held my hand over Taylor’s mouth and for a moment Ryan looked in our direction but we ducked lower beneath the shrub and evaded his eye. Casey said, “I really like you too Ryan, you are so different from all the other guys I have dated in the past and I would love to kiss you right now.” Without a moment’s notice, shy and naïve Casey leaned in and planted her lips on Ryan’s. He returned the favour and wrapped his arms around her neck.    Taylor and I looked and each other and I whispered, “Ah, young love. As much as I would love to stay maybe we should leave and leave these love birds alone.” She said, “Ok, that is a great idea.” I helped her up and we linked hands and began to walk down the path back to the bonfire. As we neared the bonfire, again un-noticed, I noticed a sparkle in the sky and then a great bang, followed by a shower of sparks. I beckoned, “The fireworks have started, come on!” We slipped our shoes off and as we ran toward the crowd of onlookers, our feet slipped in the dewy grass and we laughed. We got onto our blanket just as the second firework exploded in the sky in yet another shower of sparks.    After a half hour of viewing the spectacular light show, Taylor folded up her blanket and we began to walk back to our cabins. As we walked up the steps to the lodge, Taylor said, “I had a really great time tonight, I think we are going to become good friends.” I laughed and said, “I think so too, can I save you a seat at breakfast tomorrow?” Taylor replied, “Absolutely, and lunch and dinner. Good night.” Then, she hugged me in a friendly way and skipped up the steps to her room. I did the same and stepped into my empty room (all the others were still watching the fireworks).    Feeling exhausted, I slid on my pyjamas and hopped into bed feeling content and happy with life. I breathed deeply and then closed my eyes and let my drowsiness slide over me, and I was soon sound asleep. I slept dreamlessly for what seemed like hours, but was rudely shaken awake by a dark figure. I flicked on my bedside light and saw that it was Ryan, in his pyjamas. I checked my watch; I had fallen asleep only fifteen minutes ago. Ryan said, “Did you enjoy the light show?” I knew he had not even been to the light show and so I said, “Yeah I did, did you enjoy your make out session with Casey?”    His face flushed pink in the dark and said, “What are you talking about?” I said teasingly, “Oh don’t be a liar Ryan, Taylor and I followed you to that clearing and saw you guys kissing. How cute is this!” He said, “It is actually cute, it turns out we have a lot in common. And if you are so mocking, I don’t see you making out with Taylor. What is up with that?” I replied, “Taylor and I are in love with each other, I can feel it, it is just neither of us know how or when to show it. When we kiss, it will be perfect and life changing. It’s like they say about good food taking time to prepare, well Ryan, a good kiss and a strong love connection takes a long time to prepare and even longer to cook. Now go to bed before I get up and knock your lights out.” I then shoved him off the bunk bed, rolled over and promptly fell asleep.  

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