I never thought that I'd see him again, but there he was, standing just a couple of meters away. We just stared at each other until Tyler excused himself from his friends and walked right over to me. My heart began to race, especially at the sight of him shirtless. I could not take my eyes off of his six-pack. And those biceps...wow. Were all hockey players like that?
"Christine? Is that really you?", Tyler asked once he approached me. I guess he still remembered me...
"Hi Tyler," I said with a smile.
"Wow, I never thought we'd see each other again. What are you doing here in Boston?"
"I'm attending Harvard next month," I told him.
"Harvard? Way to go!", he exclaimed, giving me a high five. "I guess we'll be seeing each other around a lot then."
Tyler asked me if I wanted to get anything to drink. I wasn't all that knowledgeable when it came to beach drinks, but a cocktail sounded pretty good right now. The last time I had something like that was back in Florida. I went to go find someplace to sit and Tyler came back moments later with a glass filled with some reddish drink that resembled cranberry juice.
"Here you go," he said, handing me the glass.
"Thank you. What is this anyways?", I asked him, staring at the drink.
"The Beach Breeze. It's a mixture of vodka with cranberry and grapefruit juice. Ladies love it," Tyler explained with a grin, sitting down next to me.
"There's vodka in this thing?!", I quickly protested.
"Just a tiny bit. You'll be fine, trust me," Tyler reassured, chuckling at my sudden outburst.
I brought the glass to my lips and took a small sip, wincing at the taste of it. Tyler laughed at the expression on my face. I took a few more sips and that's when I realized how good this drink actually was. After a while, you don't really taste the vodka. I drank about half of it then set the glass down.
"You like it?", Tyler asked. I nodded.
"It's delicious. How much longer is your offseason?"
"We have practice next week already," he replied. We just sat there in silence as the sun was about to set. I pulled out my phone and took a picture of it. "It's beautiful, isn't it?"
"It is. My uncle was the one who told me to come here," I said.
Tyler and I decided to get up after I had finished the rest of my drink. Thank goodness he finally put a tshirt on, or else I'd probably start drooling like a dog. His friends had already gone somewhere, so it was just the two of us. I felt the wind in my hair and the soft sand beneath my feet as we walked along the beach.
"Christine, remember the last time I saw you back in January?", Tyler asked, looking over at me.
"What happened that night?"
I instantly froze and felt the memories flooding back. Tyler just stood there and waited for me to say something. He had a look of genuine concern on his face. Part of me wanted to tell him, but the other didn't. I mean, even my parents never knew about it.
"My ex-boyfriend was all drunk and he wanted to get back together, saying how he missed me and all that other shit," I told him.
"That's it?", Tyler prodded.
"I cried because he couldn't see how much I actually loved him. He had no idea what I went through after our break-up," I continued.
"How'd you guys break up?", Tyler asked.
It had been exactly a year since that day at Karl's house. I remembered it all. The tears, the heartbreak, the pain. It was all just too much for me, and I was not reliving it again. But there was something about Tyler that made me want to open up to him. He was always willing to listen to what I had to say.
"He cheated on me with another girl. I thought that they were just close friends. It was on his birthday, too. I had gone out during a storm to get him a present, but I showed up at his house just to see him in bed with her," I explained, the tears brimming my eyes.
"That guy must be a total asshole for cheating on you. If I had a girlfriend like you, I would never do anything to hurt her," Tyler said with a hint of anger. I managed to smile.
"No problem. So have you dated any other guys besides him?"
"Nope. I just plan on living the single life for now," I replied.
"Sounds just like me," he said with a grin.
It was getting late so Tyler walked me back to my car. We exchanged numbers and he told me to give him a call if I ever needed anything. I had forgotten that he lived in Boston.
While I was driving back to Harvard, I mentally thanked my uncle for telling me to go to Castle Beach in the first place, or else I never would've seen Tyler. He was one of the few people that I actually knew over here, and hanging out with him tonight sure made my day.
When I got back to my dorm, Savannah was watching a movie on the couch. I went to change into a pair of pajamas and joined her. She probably was going to ask me where I've been all day, which she did.
"I was at my uncle's house, then I drove to Castle Beach," I told her.
"You were at Castle Beach all by yourself? Did you see the sunset?", she asked excitedly.
"Yes, it was absolutely breathtaking. And no, Tyler was with me," I replied. Savannah raised an eyebrow.
"As in the hockey player? Wait a minute, you know him?", she squealed.
"Yeah, we've met a few times," I said.
During the movie, I told Savannah about the times I've ran into Tyler and how we hung out. She told me that I was the luckiest girl alive. The both of us ended up falling asleep on the couch with the TV still on. I swear, the taste of the Beach Breeze still lingered in my mouth.