30 Days Of Summer

One year. Twelve months. 365 days to find myself and live on the wild side in Australia. It seemed like a long time at the start. I made friends, learned how to surf, got a nice tan. The usual. Then I met five crazy Australians who changed my life. It wasn’t just the fun, the laughs, the risks, the love. They showed me a part of myself I didn’t even know existed. And suddenly, one year didn’t seem so long anymore. {http://www.wattpad.com/story/11732664-30-days-of-summer}


3. Chapter 3

{ A/N - vote, comment and enjoy. }

♥ ♥ ♥

Riding a wave is the like the Perfect Storm. A simultaneous occurrence of events that provide an opportunity to become one with nature, while experienced the magical feeling of flying we imagined as kids along with the sense of achievement we crave as adults. When I surf, I lose myself in the powerful, unpredictable blue mass and set all my doubts free into the ocean.

I balanced effortlessly on the board as the wave rushed towards me, the frothy white tip grinning at me mockingly, daring me, teasing me. Gritting my teeth in determination, I braced myself, perfectly poised on my board to ride the swash and master the wave.

But instead, I felt the iron like embrace of the wave grip me, dragging me under. I gasped for breath, but a mouthful of intoxicating salty liquid rushed in. Arms flailing, I propelled myself to the surface and squinted for my board.

The surfing board was floating innocently a few feet away, and I paddled to grab it, hoisting myself back on. The murdering wave was crashing towards the shore, decreasing in size as it charged. I shot it the infamous death scowl I had been known for back in London and swam back, feeling defeated.

“Fail!” the sound of my friend’s laughter filled my ears, and I brushed my soaking locks out of my face to see Ellis bowed over with amusement.

“Glad you find it so funny,” I snapped, glaring at him. Ellis smirked, whipping his sandy tresses out of his eyes.

“It is. Absolutely hilarious,” he chuckled, prodding my arm. I glanced at Tiffany for support.

“I’d like to see you do better, Ellison,” she ordered. Tiffany had this unspoken power over Ellis; she didn’t have to shout or beg, but he would listen to her.

Ellis flexed his muscles. “Fine then. I’ll show you how it’s done.”

He propped his board under his arms and flashed us a cheeky grin, marching out to the sea. Once he was out of earshot, Tiffany and I burst into giggles.

“He’s such a clown,” she sniggered. I nodded in agreement, my gaze flitting down the beach to where a group of men were playing volleyball. Amongst them were five boys who looked vaguely familiar, but the distance between us blurred them out.

“I bet he’ll fall off,” Tiffany sniggered, her gaze following mine. “Those guys have had their eyes on you for ages now.”

“Who?” I asked in disbelief.

“The five ones standing still,” she explained. “Laughing at the people playing volleyball.”

I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, right.”

“No really, Lilly,” she insisted. I looked back at Ellis, who was riding a wave skilfully.

“Looks like he didn’t fall then,” I frowned. I watched as he surfed the wave accurately, looking effortless, his board skimming the water. It almost hurt how in just a few weeks, I wouldn’t be able to surf and joke around with my friends anymore. I almost felt scared. What if they forgot about me within a few months and never emailed or Skyped or called me again...

A loud wolf whistle pierced my thoughts and I snapped my gaze back to the volleyball match. The five boys Tiffany had pointed out earlier were charging towards us. As they got closer, I recognized Luke. My stomach flipped. He was only wearing shorts, revealing his muscled, buff body. He was accompanied by four guys I hazily remember from the park two days ago.

They drew up near us, hardly out of breath. Tiffany shot me a look, nudging me in the ribs. I glared at her out of the corner of my eye.

“What?” I hissed. She smirked, saying nothing.

“Lilly!” Luke chimed. He grinned at me – a smile so infectious I had to smile back.

“Lilly?” a thick accent said. I glanced at a boy sporting a jaunty snapback; the most muscled of the lot. He glanced at Luke then back at me. “So that’s the girl Luke’s not shut up about!”

Luke shot him a look almost as deadly as my death scowl and punched him in the arm. The boy doubled over in mock pain. “Shut up, Beau,” he growled.

Luke turned back to me. “You remember Jai,” he indicated to his twin, who nodded in acknowledgement. Then Luke gestured to the tallest of the lot who flashed me a charming smile. “James, my best friend. And Daniel, my other best friend. Who also likes to be known as Skip.”

Daniel had a mask of confusion plastered on his face. He was examining his arm, running his fingers over a tattoo, almost as if he was wondering how it got there. I chuckled.

“Nice to meet you guys. I’m Lilly.”

Beside me, Tiffany cleared her throat loudly. Then she glanced at me, a grin playing on her lips. “Aren’t you going to introduce me, Lil?”

The look on her face was almost like she was teasing me. I bit my lip. “Um...this is Tiffany, my best friend,” I said quietly.

“Hey, Tiffany,” all the boys chorused.

Beau, now recovered from being beaten up by his brother, eyed our surf-boards eagerly. “You surf?”

“Mmm,” I nodded.

“Luke, she’s a keeper,” Beau smirked. Luke growled lowly, a noise which sent chills straight down my spine.

“What’s the occasion?” a familiar accent yelled. I spun around to see Ellis trudging up the beach, water dripping from his shaggy locks and his board under his arm. He jogged up to us, grinning at me.

“I beat you. Did you see how high that wave was?” he beamed.

“Fine, fine. You win. Happy now?” I teased light-heartedly. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Luke tense. And Daniel still examining his tattoo.

“Daniel, it’s a fucking tattoo,” Jai grunted at him. Daniel looked up dazedly.

“Who are your friends?” Ellis said. He inhaled deeply, squaring up his shoulders and eyed the boys, like a male lion trying to decide who was the most dominant - the alpha male.

“James, Beau, Jai, Luke and Daniel,” I said, pointing them out one by one. Beau stuck out his hand and Ellis took it. They eyed each other, somewhat savagely, their handshake too firm and lingering too long. After what seemed like eternity, Jai dragged Beau away.

“Come here you faggot,” he grumbled. Beau scowled at his younger brother. Ellis retreated, standing by my side, his shoulder brushing against mine. He seemed almost...protective over me.

“Looks like you’ve got competition, Luke,” James mumbled. The words were barely audible, but I caught them. I glanced at him warily. Luke was clenching his fists, an expressionless look on his face.

“Too much testosterone,” Tiffany whispered in my ear. I giggled softly.

I scanned our surroundings. The beach was full of screaming little children dancing in the sand and paddling in the shallow depths of the sea with armbands too big for their little arms. Teenagers were dotted around the place, eating ice creams and catching a tan. There was a man with a greying moustache, twirled at the ends, artfully making a sculpture in the sand. The seagulls cried over the muffled lull of conversation, the sea lapping up on the shore and the salty scent tingling on my nostrils.

Then there was us. Tiffany, Ellis and I. Opposite five boys I barely knew yet at the same time recognized. We were all staring at each other awkwardly.

I only have twenty-eight days left.

The thought crossed my mind fleetingly, but in an instant it was like somehow had ignited a firework right next to me. I leapt forward, dusting sand off my legs and picking up my surf board.

“Are we just going to stand here all day? Because I want to catch some waves.”

Ellis leapt up too. “Same.”

“We can’t surf...” Daniel said, looking dazed. I couldn’t help but grin.

“Then I’ll teach you. Come on, it’s not that hard!”

 ♥ ♥ ♥

I swung my legs over the side of promenade, watching as the muted peachy pastels of sunset painted the horizon. The sea was shimmering as it touched the sky. My mahogany locks fluttered in the balmy breeze and I batted them away from my eyes. The sea was cool on my toes and I flicked the surf casually.

I smiled at my friend, studying her delicate features intently. “Tiffany?”

“Mmm?” she replied absently, twirling a strand of flaxen hair around her finger.

“What’s the story with you and Ellis?”

She burst into fits of giggles, lying down and resting her head on the edge of the promenade. I did the same, letting the sun glide across my stomach. “I’m serious!”

I'd known Tiffany right from the start; since I arrived in Melbourne. Through her I met Ellis because they were at college together, and the three of us have been inseparable ever since.

“Truthfully?” She told me quietly. “I don't know.”

I pushed myself up and let my legs dangle in the water. “Even Mark suspects something.”

Tiffany grinned. “Really?”

I nodded.

“It would be nice though...” She trailed off and nudge me lightly. 'Anyway, what about you?' Who were those guys at the beach earlier?”

I wanted to tease her for changing the subject, but the words came out before I could stop them. “There is this one boy...”

Tiffany’s eyes widen in excitement. “Tell me more! Is it one of the boys we met today? That guy...um,” she clicked her fingers, trying to think. “Luke! He totally had his eyes on you.”

My cheeks flushed, shaking my head in disbelief. “I've only met him twice, and he gave me his number but I-” 

'His number?'

“No, Tiff, I-”

She grabbed my hand and pulled me up, dragging me along the promenade. I shook my head vigorously and dug my heels into the sand deliberately. “What are you doing, Tiffany?”

She turned, flicking her long blonde hair over her shoulder. “You've got his number,” she raised her eyebrows. “So we're going to call him.”

“No,” I objected. “I’m leaving in a few weeks. Why get involved?”

“Because you came here looking for fun, Lilly. You came here to live a little. It’s not too late,” she told me matter-of-factly. I bowed my head. There was no use arguing. Instead, I let her drag me back to her car where our bags were, and dialled Luke’s number into my phone. I drummed my fingers against the dashboard nervously, staring blankly at my phone. It was too late. Too late to start something I couldn’t finish.

“Come on, Lilly,” Tiffany urged. I glanced up at her, starting to protest. But she pressed the green call button before I could say anything.

The obnoxious tone of the phone ringing seemed too loud. Luke’s voice sounded on the very last ring. “Hello?”

I gulped, suddenly extremely anxious. “Um...Luke? It’s Lilly.”

“Oh, hey Lilly!” I could hear the smile in his voice. “How are you?”

“Not too bad. You?”

“Still trying to recover from our...surfing lesson earlier,” he said.

I laughed. “Am I really that bad of a teacher?”

“No. Just Jai pushed me off the bloody board about a billion times.”

“Brothers, eh?” I chuckled.

“Have you got one?”

“Um...no. A sister...back home,” I swallow my nerves again. “I figure they’re just as annoying.”

“No way. Brothers are worse, especially when you’ve got two,” he replied. I could hear him grinning still.

Tiffany nudged me, signalling for me to continue. “So...um...I was wondering, would you like to meet up some time?” I sped up, stumbling on the words. “But, you know, only if you want to-”

“Sure,” his gentle tone almost startled me. “How about I meet you in the park tomorrow? At about four?”

“Yeah, that's awesome. I guess I'll see you tomorrow then?”

“Yeah. Bye, Lilly,” he said. Then the line went dead and white noise filled my ear.

“See,” Tiffany gave me a teasing look. “That wasn't hard, was it?”

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