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?


6. We all have our Secrets....

Ryan met up with me there with a dazed look on his face. I asked in a concerned tone, “What happened? You look like you have seen a ghost.” He replied woozily, “Casey kissed me again, man did it feel great. That girl is one of a kind I swear, like my own customized angel.” I chuckled at his love-struck personality and set up my harness as I would be climbing with Ryan.    About an hour later, as Ryan and I reached the top of a particularly difficult wall and rang the bell (much to the pleasure of the other campers), we decided to do one more wall. We rappelled down quickly and moved swiftly toward the Black Diamond, the hardest wall at camp. We began to ascend slowly, taking our time and ensuring ourselves of our footholds. About 20 feet up, Ryan asked me, “How do you feel about Taylor as far as having a relationship with her goes?” I was so surprised at the question I lost my hand hold and dangled some three feet from the wall.    As I grabbed at the wall and managed to regain my hold, I responded, “Taylor is like a spark in my life that has enough pep to start a forest fire. I definitely like her as more than a friend but I don’t know what she thinks of me.” For a moment he was silent until I turned to him and saw he had a huge grin from ear to ear and he said, “Well, judging by the way she is looking at you from the deck it is hard to tell but I don’t think you guys are just acquaintances.” I turned toward the lodge deck and squinted into the sunlight. I saw Taylor perched on top of the railing, flashing a white smile and waving her cast free hand at me.    I was so taken aback by her cute face and her evident jolliness that I lost my hold on the wall. I was thrown off and then back into the wall, so in reaction I flailed madly at any hand hold. All of a sudden, as if I needed any worse luck, a gust of wind flew by and I began to sway in the wind. After I had regained myself, Ryan swung over to me and I said, “I am going to start rappelling down, I will meet you in the mess hall.” He nodded silently with a dangerously devilish look on his face and swooped down, grabbed hold of my loose shorts and pulled them down past the ankles. My shorts slid off my legs and fluttered to the ground below.    I felt my face turn crimson as I began to rappel quickly down the wall to my shorts and my appending doom. As soon as I landed on the ground, I noticed a slender hand in front of me and that hand was holding my shorts. I looked up and almost robotically my face turned beet red. Taylor looked at me with an apologetic look on her face and said, “I think you lost these. And don’t worry; I will let you kill Ryan by yourself, as much as I would like to throw a punch on that guy.” I thanked her and quickly zipped up my shorts.    We then began to walk back up to the Mess Hall together, talking and laughing about the recent events of the day. As soon as I stepped into the Mess Hall, I was nearly blown back by a roar of cheers. I noticed everybody crowded around a boy I didn’t know. Curious to see what all the commotion was about, Taylor and I wandered over. I was immediately let through and I noticed the guy was holding a camera. With tears of laughter forming in his eyes he handed me the camera, I saw a high resolution picture of me with my shorts off for the world to see. This time I did not turn crimson but rather just laughed along with the rest of them.    After all of the commotion had subsided, we grabbed a table with Ryan, Izzy and Ty and dove into our calzones. Still angry at Ryan, I elbowed him in the ribs under the table. This small event led to a large and silent but furious poking fight which lasted the rest of the lunch period.    After lunch, I went back to my room and changed into a swimsuit so I could prepare for canoeing. I decided to go shirtless as I was going to get sweaty and drenched in water anyway, so there was no reason to wreck a good shirt. After I slid on my sunglasses, I headed down the hallway to the main lounge and threw myself into an old leather couch.    I closed my eyes and breathed deep the scent of life and decided I would go down for a nap. I was half-conscious and nearly asleep when a cool female voice asked me, “Do you want to go swimming, we still have a half hour until our activity starts.” I knew it was Taylor so I opened my eyes and said, “Why not, let’s go.” Without waiting for a nod, I grabbed my towel and headed out the door to the crystal clear lake. Taylor caught up with me and soon we had reached the beach, feet away from dock at which the canoes were soon to be launched.    I looked to my left and noticed a wooden dock floating about 50 feet from the main dock and from us. I nodded to Taylor in a way that challenged her to a race. Of course the answer was yes, and so she nodded and dove swan-like into the water. I followed her and dove under the clear water. It felt like swimming through pools of heaven. Unfortunately, it was short lived as I soon reached the ladder leading to the dock. I hauled myself onto the dock and helped Taylor up. We then positioned ourselves on our backs so the sun beat down on our chests and began to air dry us.    After a moment, Taylor rolled onto her back, looked me in the eye and said, “I am going to ask you a penetratingly deep question. Where did you learn to be so cool?” I replied, “I will answer a question with a question. Who taught you to be so cute?” She then replied playfully, “You first.” I thought for a moment as I laid out my answer and finally I said, “I got to say, my sister taught me how to be how cool I am. She knows what’s hot and what’s not and she taught me to always wear V-Neck T-Shirts and now I am hooked. Now, onto my question, who taught you to be so cute?”    She took a deep breath and began, “My dad died when I was three so I don’t really remember him, and because of that I had no father figure in my life. Rather than become a rebel, I gave it time and became incredibly close to my mom. She is my fashion aid, my shoulder to cry on and my role model. If it wasn’t for her, I would probably be on the verge of insanity.” She stopped with a sudden hiccough and I noticed a fat tear rolling down her cheek, so I wiped it away and said, “I am really sorry to hear that. I can’t imagine how sad you must feel, but I know for a fact you are such a strong girl with a great heart that things will work themselves out in the end.” She asked sincerely, “Promise?” I replied as I helped her up, “I promise, and I don’t usually let down on a promise.”    She smiled a half smile and, feeling spontaneous, I picked her up by the torso and tossed her into the water. As she came up gasping for breath with a huge smile on her face, a mysterious wave of guilt came over me and I moved to help her back up. As I grabbed her hand, she wrapped hers around my arm and dove back down, dragging me with her. As I splashed madly around beneath the water I felt the powerful urge to laugh at the situation and I burst out laughing. Unfortunately the water quickly filled my lungs and I shot out of the water for breath. Just as my head bobbed above the surface I saw Taylor swimming toward the canoe dock. I quickly dove back in after her and she gave chase. We were neck and neck for the whole 50 yards until at the end I decided to let her win and I fell back.  

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