New short story.
Asked Jul 30, 2009, 11:09 AM
Burning Both Ends Of The Night...
The summer I turned eighteen, I was working with my father. Doing odd jobs, and constructon. Destiny must have been working with me. That was the year we were assigned the old Miller place. A renovation that would probably take all summer. Everything that could go wrong with that place, was wrong. Nobody had lived in it for a good, thirty years. It had been vacant as long as I was here. And I had been here my entire life. My dad said he didn't remember it ever being occupied either.
The trees and hedges were overgrown, surrounding the large, faded white, two story house. I remember, the smell of honey suckle, as soon as I walked in the gate.
Mrs. Walsh had some sheets out on the line, the wind making them dance. Her husband was crazy. What was he thinking, buying this old house, and renovating it? Didn't he know I that there was plenty of livable houses in the valley? Less than a mile down the road?
I pulled out a ciggarette, and put it in my mouth. As I went for my lighter, I looked to the porch, and there she stood. Long dark hair, longer legs, sheathed in a bikini bottom. A simple t-shirt slung over a bathing suit top. She had a pretty face, with large, bright green eyes. My gaze traveled from her, to the house, and back again. The sun was going down in a haze of red. The day was almost over.
She walked up to me, and smiled. I stuck out my hand. "Hi." I said. "I'm Thomas."
"Hello, Thomas," she replied. "Im dawnley." she was still shaking my hand.
I let go, and took a step back. "Going swimming?" I asked.
She nodded. "If I can find anybody to go with me." She had a real pretty voice. "Any takers?" she asked.
"Sure," I said. "I'll take yeah." I smiled at her, and took off my tool belt. "Hold on." I said. " I got to go tell pop." She nodded.
"Hey, dad!" I shouted. "Im done. I'm heading home. See yeah later." He nodded at me, and I left the house. She was waiting for me by the fence. "You ready?" I asked. She just nodded. I smiled, and opened the gate. "Then lets go." I said. I led her to my pick up, wondering where she wanted to go. There was the public pool, filled with little kids, the lake, filled with half drunk old men, or the river, which would be filled with my friends on a day like this. Duh, shurlock. The river.
She didn't say much on the way. Asked where we was going, and who all would be there. That was about it. She didn't seem to mind at all that we would be swimming with lots of other people, in a river. Dawnley seemed to enjoy the idea.
"So how old are you?" I asked her.
"I'm eighteen." she replied, in a deep southern drawl. "You?" she asked.
"Same," I replied. She smiled at that.
Once we were to the river, she started talking a little more. She had just turned eighteen, and she had one little brother, who was fifteen. She was going to Cal state in august. Her parents moved here, from Louisianna, and her friends called her Dawn. She was a sweet girl, and very pretty, as I said earlier. I noticed that her eyes had a ring of yellow in them.
That was the true beginning of the summer.
Daylight was spent with Rodger Walsh, and my father Dillion. Painting the house, trimming the trees, fixing a shutter, what ever needed to be done.
Nightime was spent with Dawn. Well, there's a weird sentence.
Summer nights in Mississippi were warm. The stars burned like diamonds, so clear you could name each one. It happened like a movie, or a song. But we both knew her daddy didn't approve. In August, she was heading for California, and I for Oklahoma. I'm not sure why, but it seemed that our deadline only made us more urgent.
every night, at ten oclock, she would meet me. We would sit in the back of my truck, and look at the stars, talking about the future, and making empty promises, that we knew we wouldn't keep. We put august out of our minds, and clung to each other.
It was the middle of July. I still remember that night. As soon as she got in the truck, I could tell there was something different. She had been crying. I prayed it wasn't the end. Not yet.
She told me to drive down by the riverside. Once we were there she kissed me. I could sence the change in us.
The night was warm and dark. A full moon was shining down on us. I could hear the midnight church bell ring. I couldn't help thinking that it was telling on us. It seemed to know the exact time to chime, signaling the end of our innocence.
Fireflys were buzzing around us, adding a magical glow to everything. Time stood still, there in that place.
It seemed, somehow, unreal to take her home. To go back to our normal routine. But we both knew that we had to.
The rest of July went by in a blur. It seemed like we had blinked, and it was gone. Before we knew it, it was August fifth. On our last day together, I kissed her. Right in front of her daddy. Then, I went and jumped in my truck. She was crying. I put the truck in drive, as a tear of my own fell. I looked in the mirror, knowing exactly what I was leaving behind. I loved her. And now it was over. I knew, instinctively, that I would never see her again. I pulled out of the drive way, leaving her behind.
Please tell me what you think. -paige.