Summer Story

let's get out of here, he said. you and me. let's just go.

i smiled (maybe laughed, even) but i didn't reply. what do you say when a life-changing possibility presents itself like that? if you were in a movie, you'd flutter your eyelashes and say something smart and sweet. where to?

anywhere, he'd say. anywhere we want.

this being the crushing dullness of reality, i said nothing of the sort. it was a joke, anyhow. and, admittedly, i was caught off guard in a major sort of way. hey man, what's going on?

you're awesome, you know that? i love that you just get out there and like, do your thing.

love?

i got hung up on that. it's a word that all at once thrills and calms.

it was dusk and getting darker by the minute, but on a summer night in southern california, you don't need a jacket. so there we stood in the middle of the plaza, t-shirts and skirts.

you keep on making the music and i'll keep on rocking, i said. clever, i thought. don't be cutesy, don't be a girl. be 'awesome' and casual and keep your cool. people like that in a conversation buddy.

rock on, he said. hi-fived me, and excused himself to a new group who had just walked over.

back up here. *record scratches* that was it?

well next time, you say. next time you'll look up with a glint in your eye and say let's do it. and it wouldn't be some carefree conversation starter.

would you be missed? probably. it'd be fifteen minutes, twenty tops, before one of you got a phone call or text.

maybe you'd only make it to the parking lot before the excitement of leaving it all and just going for it got lost in the fumbling of car keys.

maybe.

--

i don't really know what kind of line to end this story with. a message about romance? about taking chances? overanalysis of friendly chats?

it's about summer. it's about time, and choices, and connections and letting things in to fill up your life and give you a little something to dream about. that's how you start.