Love On the Lake .

once upon a time, a little fishy told me to just keep swimming, so that's what I did .

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1. Just Keep Swimming .

     A little fish told me once to just keep swimming, so that's what I did . I pushed with all of my might, my arms and legs cascading through the cold, dirty water as I escaped to my happy place . Swimming was something I loved, something that brought joy to my life . These days not much did that . I had no one to rely on to make me happy . All I have is this small lake, outside of my house that I visited when I was worrisome, which happened often .

 

 

    Love isn't something I was used to, because I received it from a minimal amount of people . My two cousins-whom I live with-, my little sister-which is barely around-, and my Mom-which is in rehab . My Father died when I was 10, drugs were the reason . My sister and I were flown across the country to California to live with my cousins, Georgia and Elayna, when my Mother was sent off to rehab in New York . I don't know why she decided to go to a rehabilitation center in New York, besides one in Alabama . I guess she just wanted to get away from it all, all the memories, all the problems that caused her to start drinking . She started drinking once my Father died and then she couldn't deal with the stress of two children, bills, a job . She just gave up . She gave it all up for drinking . When Elayna had come down for a family visit, she saw how terrible my Mom had looked, even though it did take about seven years for her to notice . She talked with our Mother and shipped her off and we left our home in Alabama to live a life in California with our two cousins .

 

 

     When I had decided to depart from the water, the sun was beginning to set . The clouds were scarce and thin, letting the beautiful colors of the horizon set in . I pulled the towel that was waiting for me on the pier and pulled it around my sternum . I slid my flip flops on and pulled my hair into a wet bun and began making my way towards my home . I was mid-way up my concrete porch before I was tackled by my baby sister, ranting on about something next door .

 

 

“Wait, what ? Slow down, Chelsea . What happened ?” She rolled her eyes and stood up from her position on top of me and straightened out her shirt and reached down to help me up .

 

 

“As I was saying, there's this really cute new kid next door and Georgia and El are wanting to invite them over for dinner . If that's okay with you . They know how you hate people .” She smiled and twisted her body back and forth, awaiting my answer .

 

 

      To be honest, I didn't enjoy the company of people I didn't know . I didn't exactly hate them, but I didn't like them either . I thought they were always judging me and laughing internally . I didn't blame them if they were, though . I wasn't your normal teenage girl . I was always swimming, reading, doing homework, eating . I was doing pretty much anything that didn't involve communication or people . I was a loner, a loner by choice, a loner by other peoples choices . I didn't want anybody extra in my life . I didn't want anyone extra in my life .

 

 

    I just rolled my eyes at her “innocent” act and shrugged my shoulders in response . She jumped with glee and squealed in excitement . She ran back into the house and I followed close behind, shutting the door behind me . As I entered the foyer, the smell of cooking lasagna filled my senses . I walked into the kitchen and saw Georgia fiddling with her mittens, ready to take the dinner out of the oven . Walking past her, I squeezed her shoulder and made my way to the refrigerator to fetch some soda . I turned back to her, I opened the soda and leaned against the counter and watched my cousin set the cooked food on on the stove when she turned to face me and scanned my body up and down .

 

 

“Babe, why don't you go get cleaned up and put some clothes on . We're having guests over tonight,” she suggested .

 

 

“Actually, Gwen and I made plans tonight . We're going over things for her birthday party next Saturday .” I answered back, finishing off my Mountain Dew . Gwen was my best and only friend . She was the first person I met here, when I was twelve, and ever since, we've been like sisters . She's the only one who excepted me in a new world, new place, because she knew what it felt like to be unwanted . She's made more friends the longer she's been here, but I didn't . I didn't need to . I just needed one friend and that was her . I'm grateful for her everyday .

 

 

“You don't want to meet the new movers ?” She questioned, obviously a little disappointed that I didn't want to socialize . “Or eat my lasagna ?” She pouted her lip on the second question, trying to guilt me into staying for dinner .

 

 

“Sorry, but we've been trying to do this forever . We've had exams and have been putting it off the past week . Sorry, but maybe another time,” I stated .

 

 

“Okay ..” she said, “But, you know your curfew . Be home by eleven or it's no car for a week .” I just simply nodded my head, threw her a weak smile and ran up stairs to get ready .

 

 

      It was seven-thirty whenever I had finally finished getting ready . I called Gwen when I had finished with my shower and she decided that we meet at Chambleys for food before we went to her house . I decided on wearing my camouflage shorts with my white tank top and my black sandals . I grabbed my phone and purse, then retreated out of my bedroom door .

As I made my way downstairs, I saw Elayna setting the dinner table with Chelsea . They heard the stomps of my feet and turned to face me, confusion on their faces when they noticed my purse and phone .

 

 

“Going somewhere, Deanna ?” Elayna asked, putting her focus back on setting the table . I finished my way down stairs and stopped at the front door .

 

 

“Um, yeah . Gwen and I are going to eat and then, we're planning her party . I'll be back by eleven .” I opened the door to leave, but was stopped whenever my body collided with another, causing me to plummet to the ground . When I looked up, there were a set of blues eyes looking down upon me . Concern was etched on the boys face . He reached down to help me off of the cold ground and pulled me up with a quick jerk . I patted myself down, causing the dirt to leave my clean clothes .

 

“Sorry 'bout that, love . Didn't see you there,” The unfamiliar accent seeped through his braced teeth .

 

 

    He was a decent young man . He looks about my age, maybe even a bit older . His hair is dirty blonde, his brown roots peeking through . His eyes were sparkling blue, like the ocean with the sun on the horizon . He stood a few inches taller than I, being the short girl I am . He had braces, the kind that were barely visible and his smile shined brighter than the sun . He was actually a beautiful person .

 

 

 

“Um, you know . A-Actually, it was my fault . I wasn't watching where I was going . Sorry .” I responded, tilting my head down in embarrassment . The whole situation was getting a bit awkward, truthfully . I was just standing here in front of a cute, foreign boy, rocking on my heels and staring at my petite hands .

 

 

 

“So, you min' if we come in or are we goin' to stan' out here all nigh' ?” The blonde boy asked . I quickly moved out of the way, letting them walk through the open door . The boy, my age passed first and two middle-aged people followed close behind him .

 

 

 

     The man was slim and tall . His eyes matching the glossy blue of the younger boys . His hair was beginning to gray on the sides, but the majority of his hair was a light brown . On his face, you could see a slight shadow of a mustache and beard that connect on the corner of his mouth . He offered me a crooked smile and hand shake, which I accepted . He glided over to where the younger boy was standing and lit up a light conversation with him .

 

 

    The woman was much shorter than the man . Her hair was short and light blonde with a few grays sticking out . She sent me a gleeful smile, causing her eyes to wrinkle in the process . She pulled my body in for a hug and kissed me on both cheeks . She walked over to the rest of her family and held her hands together .

 

 

 

“Well, welcome to our home . I'm glad you could make it . I'm Georgia, this is Elayna,” She pointed to the body standing next to her, “This is our baby cousin Chelsea,” She pointed to the girl on the other side of Elayna and turned her head towards me and pointed her index finger my way, “And that is Deanna, Chelsea's older sister .” I waved my hand and smiled at the neighbors .

 

 

 

“Sorry, but I've got to get going . See you at eleven .” And with that, I opened the door and made my way outside in the cool night air and slammed it shut behind me and made my way towards my Jeep to accomplish my plans for the evening .

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