Summer Love

There was a time when Doncaster was a calm, quiet town. When nothing too exciting happened, on Sundays women wore dresses and men wore suits, kids played in the green lawns, and teens were as close to behaved as they'll ever be.
Louis Tomlinson remembers this time clearer than anything else, one 2009 summer over all. Louis had dated before, maybe even claimed that he found "the one," that was until he met Elizabeth Clarke. She was probably the last person he ever imagined to fall for, but somehow the pieces fell into place. Elizabeth taught him everything he never learned, the pain and prize of being in love.

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1. Prologue

The sound of bells filled my ears as I listened to her musical laugh in the summer breeze over the hum of the radio. My eyes drifted from the brown road just to get a glance at the way she would throw back her head when she's really amused by something. A smirk crossed over my face, knowing it was me who had that effect on her. 

"Faster Lou!" She giggled raising her hands out the sunroof of the truck as her chocolate colored hair whipped around her face while her pale blue-almost violet eyes glimmered with mischief. 

My foot slammed down on the pedal and she let out a squeal of happiness as we sped down the dirt path. We passed the farms and the fields full of fresh harvest we both knew we were probably supposed to be helping pick, but weren't. One of my hands left the wheel and found hers, holding it tightly as we took a sharp corner. I continued down a gravel path, slowing down my pace as we neared the stables. I remembered that seeing the gravel path and the first few stalls was all she needed to brighten up her face. 

 

 

~~~

 

 

All too soon I was brought back to reality when a splash of rain landed on my nose. Then, and only then was I upset to get up and leave the bench as the heavy spring rain pounded down on my old umbrella. With a sigh I shook off the memory and walked home to make myself a nice cup of tea as a midday treat. This happened far too much, but never did I think about telling people. I was known as the old man with a troubled past, once home I was in the comfort of her warmth and I was fine. That didn't stop the talk and the stories about me, but I could care less. Up the long steps I trudged into my house. I realized someone was here and ready to talk from how the wind stiffened at the sound of rolling gravel. 

 

 

~~~

 

 

Three minutes later the doorbell rang and I frowned. I grabbed my small walking came and peeked through the hole. Before I got a chance to put together who it was, the door flew open. My frown flipped to a happy grin and I assumed some of my weary wrinkles flattened out with him here as my shoulders relaxed and I cracked a smile. 

This guy was broad shouldered with a definite jaw and wrinkled indigo tattoos on parts of his arms where he didn't get them surgically removed. I laughed at the silvery-grey mop of hair that sat proudly on his wrinkled and worn head. 

"Well, you don't look a day over sixty-nine." He joked. 

"Harry." I grinned, he still had the same sense of humor at times. 

"Well, it's been too long. Haven't seen you since..." Harry trailed off as we both though about the last time we saw each other. It was a funeral, Zayn's. 

"We're old men, Harry. It's bound to happen." I sighed, the talk of death always brought back painful memories. Harry nodded discretely and glanced behind him. 

"You've got Laura with you?" I asked, referring to his third wife which none of us liked, but I was really the only one who could complain. Harry and I were the only functioning members of our fallen band remaining. Zayn and Liam had both passed in the last three years, and Niall was at an old folks home battling serious Alzheimer's. When it first showed up he mostly was convinced that the band was still up and successful, all he wanted to to was play the guitar. At this point it's taken such fatal turns to the point where he probably doesn't even remember his name, let alone the band. 

"Yeah, she's in the car. We were in the neighborhood so I figured we could pop bye and say hello, see how you're holding up." Harry smiled slowly. 

"I'm a fifty-eight year old man who is all alone. I'm fabulous." I rolled my eyes. 

"It's March 19th, isn't it?" Harry asked, already knowing the answer. I struggled to control myself as I nodded. He gave me a comforting pat, letting me know that he was here. 

Harry stuck around for dinner before Laura insisted it was time to go. I gave him a good hug and he did the same to me, but once we shook hands, he gave me a small business card. I read it and nodded, understanding what he wanted me to do. 

 

 

~~~

 

 

Harry Styles was the first one in the band to meet her. He didn't know her personally at first, but then after meeting her, his whole mind was rearranged. I smiled sadly, not even he knew the entire story about us... No one did. 

 

~~~

 

When I was nineteen, my life was altered completely. 

People give me strange looks on the street or at the grocery store because they have all heard about me. 

I stopped talking about it over thirty years ago, tired of all the sympathy I was given from friends, neighbors, and plain old strangers. Let me begin by saying this was never my plan, meaning that I never planned on this happening. 

 

I'm fifty-eight right now, but go back thirty-nine years then, my story might not make sense, it barely makes sense right now and it's been almost four decades.   

At this moment I am walking through the streets alone, although I know so many people I wished I could be with right now... One in particular. 

My tale is not one that could be wrapped up in a package that would easily be understood. Nor would it be able to make sense if anyone but me told it. My story is not just mine, there were so many other people involved, I was just one of the most effected. 

Thirty-nine years ago I would've denied anything and everything I now love. But, back then I was a immature teenage boy. 

 

It is March 19, my least favorite day of the year, but at the same time, my favorite. It was a huge reminder of my teenage years. 

As I leave my house again tonight, I glance around and take in the familiar, cloudy London sky. 

"Here we go again." I sigh as I begin my walk that I took every once in awhile to cheer myself up after long complicated days like this. 

As I start down the shady street lit by a few dim street lamps, I felt the memories flooding back. I knew these experiences would never be forgotten, but that's how I want it, I never want to forget that summer with her. 

I close my eyes and I can feel the gears turning back, taking me far away, rewinding to the best years of my life. As if I was watching from the sky, I could see my body reverse, my grey hair becomes its old brown color, my skin is young and slightly tan, and my wrinkles smooth out to make me look young and healthy again. 

Then, like me, my setting begins to change. Roads narrow or look newer. Forgotten shops are reopened. The area now home to shopping malls and parking lots regains its former glory of farmland or country housing. 

I never realize how much I miss all this until I'm back in the memories I hold close to my heart...

My eyes flutter open and I take in a deep breath, a hesitation. I know who I am at once, but I also know what is going to happen. 

My name is Louis Tomlinson, I am nineteen years old. 

This is my story, I swore to her that I would never forget, and I never have. 

This is a good story, it will make you frown, then smile, then cry. 

Don't say I didn't warn you...

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