Summer With Styles

Macey Calihan is a grown woman now, and when she comes in contact with an old box of keepsakes, she remembers a series of incidents that made her the woman she is today. As a youngster, she was struggling with past occurrences of suicide, self harm, and of course depression, all while trying to balance out the good and bad things of her life. She was so close to happiness when her adoptive parents informed her she and her brother, Carter, would be going to the U.K. to spend the summer at her father's recording studio. She then meets the boy -- or boys -- who save her life, only to pick it up and wreck it again in a new, exciting way. Macey falls head over heels for one, while another falls for her. The only thing standing in her way of happiness, is one decision. But as it turns out, some decisions make themselves whether you like it or not.

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9. Dancing on the Water

 

The next day was rainy and blue, and I was sick. Imagine that.

I ran to the store to pick up some medications, thinking that I could knock away these symptoms before they got too worse. But of course the lady behind the counter told me they didn't have anything to help “my condition” or something. Okay, now it's ruining my life.

Not that it wasn't already ruined anyway...

I got back to my flat and called Lizzie – who of all people understood my concerns. She told me it was normal, and that I shouldn't worry. But how could I not worry when I knew I'd have to tell Harry soon, and that just made me even sicker?

My stomach contorted at the thought of telling him.

Maybe he could just...casually find out.

I was okay with telling Lizzie; that was no big deal. Of course El and Danielle knew...and they probably told Gemma.

Oh. Shit.

Gemma.

Did that mean Harry could have already known? It was possible, but what if they kept it to themselves, or Gemma didn't tell him? Ugh, all the confusion was wrecking my brain.

I decided to just keep it to myself until further notice.

 

 

 

 

“I'm going out with Gemma, bye,” Carter said, heading for the door.

“You didn't do the dishes like I asked!” Lizzie scorned, pointing her finger at the heavy pile of dirty plates and glasses in the sink. “Look at that mess!”

“Have Macey do them. She hasn't lifted a finger ever since she met that Harry boy.”

I didn't even argue because it was kind of true. I never did anything but hang out with the guys and their girlfriends. I was losing connection with my family because I got so caught up in love...which was normal, especially in my case. I needed what Harry gave me like a newborn needs milk. If I didn't have it, I wouldn't live.

He exited and Lizzie turned to me. “You don't have to do them darling, you just rest.”

“Thanks mom,” I said as she got up and tended to the dishes herself. Not gonna lie, I actually liked the special treatment. It was something I'd never had before...but I could get used to it. “Hey, mom?”

“Yeah?”

“Is it cool if Harry comes over?”

“Since when do you ask my permission?”

“I only ask when you're actually here,” I laughed, texting him on my phone.

She laughed in response and said, “Sure, tell him to bring his mom. I'd love to meet her.”

WHAT!? NO! Don't Macey, don't.

But an hour later, Anne and Harry were at our condo, talking up a storm. Harry and I went to my room where we stayed the entire night, listening to our moms' conversation.

“What happened to Macey's real parents?” Anne asked Lizzie. I glanced at Harry.

“It's alright,” he said. “I kind of want to know myself.”

There was a long pause in the living room as if Lizzie couldn't stand the fact that she was indeed just my adoptive mom. Finally she spoke. “Carter was about seven and Macey was three or four. Their parents were killed in a car accident by a drunken driver. It was hard on both of them, especially when they had to move in with two strangers who couldn't have children of their own.”

I heard tears in her voice, and my heart collapsed.

“But at least you received two lucky, lucky kids,” Anne replied.

“That I did, and I love them so much. But sometimes they treat Joe and I like prison guards or something. They refuse to recognize us as parents and not just guardians. It really hurts because I practically raised both of them – even if it wasn't from birth. I still raised them and I love them.”

I felt bad then. She was right – Carter and I did treat she and Joe both like crap...I admit that. It was just that we missed our parents so much, and we could never really replace that void we both felt throughout the rest of our childhood.

“Wow...” Harry whispered.

“That's why I don't like to drink,” I whispered back. I felt his hand on my shoulder, and I turned, looking up at his beautiful face. He looked at me so wonderfully I didn't know what to think or feel. “What is it?” I asked him.

“Promise me that when we have children, one of the guys will be their godparent.”

“When?” I asked with a laugh. “What makes you think we'll have kids someday?”

Stop Macey, stop while you're ahead.

“Because...we're in love.”

He smiled and bent down to kiss me, which reminded me I had a present for him. “Wait!” I yelled, pushing him away and jogging over to my closet. I took the canvas out and ran back over, handing it to him.

“What is it?” He asked.

“Just unwrap the shawl.”

He peeled off the brown cloak and revealed a picture of the two of us I had painted personally. “It's beautiful!” He half-yelled, gasping at the sight of it. “Is my hair really that bushy?”

“For the most part,” I said, laughing.

One thing lead to another, and of course intimacy was out of the question considering our moms were in the next room. Kind of a low blow for me with my situation always making me crave affection in that way. We decided to take a trip to the lake instead.

As we walked up to the bank, I noticed a small wooden boat parked at the docks with silver beaded lights hanging on it. “What's that?” I asked, transfixed on the romantic outlook of it. Deep down I knew it was for us...or at least I had hoped.

“Come on...” he said, grabbing my hand and helping me onto it.

“It's too cold for this,” I said with a shiver.

“Here.” He took off his jacket and wrapped it around me, pulling it over my shoulders. “Better?”

“Loads,” I attempted to say with a British accent, which as a result I just ended up sounding idiotic. He got a good laugh out of it though, which made me happy.

He took the oars and released the boat, rowing out further and further from the bank. “How far out are we going? It keeps getting dark.”

Without any other words, he stopped and stood up, reaching out a hand. I took it and let him wrap his arms around my waist. “Harry...” I said in his ear. “Will you please tell me what we're doing?”

“We're dancing,” he mumbled.

“But there's no music.”

“Then I'll sing,” he laughed, and began to sing so beautifully I almost cried. With a voice like that, how could I ruin his career by telling him? I could never, ever.

So I just let him sing...

 

 

 

I pull out a black jacket from my keepsake box that I wore so many moons ago. It rested on my shoulders like a heavy protective barrier, and I decided to keep it for cold winter nights. I put it up to my nose, smelling the sweet smell of water late at night...it still smells exactly like him. It reminds me of chilly summer nights and dancing...sweet, romantic dancing. Harry taught me so many things, but one thing I will never forget is that a little spontaneity can make you forget everything. But just like all things, too much spontaneity can make you forget who you love.

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