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Summer Love

By Isa Adam

Copyright@2018 by Isa Adam

Smashwords Edition

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental.

It is intended only for adults over the age of 18 and all characters are represented as 18 or over.

I arrive at camp with my backpack clutched tightly to my chest. It's been a while since I've met knew people or at least left my house and I have to admit the people I see and the air around them scares me. As I leave my sister's car, I can't help but think that my fears are well placed. These woods give me an uneasy feeling. The huge foreboding trees, the cold still water all make me want to clutch my sister's hand like the child I have become and run away. However, I know this place is what I need and even though I now doubt its effectiveness to save me from the deep well of sadness I have fallen into, I am not willing to lay down and give up. I have to see it through. At least for my dear sister's sake who has worked so hard to see me get back to my normal self. My only consolation is that it is summer. My favorite time of the year. Long days. Short nights. The air full of excitement.

"Are you going to be okay?" my sister Anna asks. I look at her and can't remember ever seeing her so concerned. At least not since my wedding three months ago. Anna is not much of a hugger so she simply squeezes my hand to show her support for me. This simple display of affection almost pushes me to the edge. I suck back the tears threatening to fall down my face. I nod my head unable to give her a verbal answer. I wonder again how I got to this point. A point where I could no longer care for mu sister like I used to and she has to take charge of everything. I know it’s a lot for her to take on seeing what a mess I am and I yearn for a way to thank her. I have to try to get myself together at least for her sake.

"You'll be okay," Anna says looking at me with those doe eyes of hers. I nod again. She understands how I am when I get emotional so she doesn’t push me. I need to be alone and I guess that Anna can also see that. Without saying another word, she turns and leaves. I watch her until she disappears and her slim body and jet-black hair is nowhere in sight. Now I really feel alone.

I look to the ground to see what little luggage I managed to pack. I couldn't bring much when all I touched reminded me of him. That wasn't the point of coming to this place when I couldn't let myself heal. I needed to forget. I needed to bury the memory of what I had once been because that side of me died when he went. I know it's not entirely possible because he had been part of me once. Part of my soul and body. You could never forget a missing fragment o your soul just because it's gone for good.

The hooting of a car next to me brings me back to the present. I turn casually to the source of disturbance. It isn't parked very far away from me but I can't see inside because of the tinted windows. Everyone else seems to have noticed it and the buzz of sound that had previously filled the small site is dead. It seems that whoever is in that car is really important.

"Who do you think it is?" someone asks me. I notice a girl standing too close to me. I fight the urge to walk away. I need to make new friends while I'm here and this mousy creature could be just what I'm looking for. Someone who seems to share the same kind of grief as me.

"I don't know," I reply trying my best to keep the rudeness out of my voce and failing miserably. Instead, my voice comes off too high and awkward. I seemed to have lost touch with the real world. She doesn't seem to mind this nor care at all much to my advantage.

"It's Tom Owens," another voice this time deeper answers us. I look casually to the handsome young man and then to the girl. It seems that even without trying I can still make some friends.

"Tom Owens?" the girl who I later come to identify as Francine yells catching the attention of everyone around us. I smile to myself thinking that this is the same kind of reaction one should have expected from me not that long ago. The thought is almost too sad.

Francine, the man I come to know as Patrick and I join the small crowd that has formed outside the celebrity's car. Personally, I would rather see myself settled down and getting some rest but since this is what my new friends want to do, I make a compromise.

Tom Owens is a much more handsome man than the cameras and magazines show. Also much more is his ego. You can see it from the way he walks out of the car with his head held high as if expecting a camera to go off every second. He understands the need to look perfect all the time yet it irritates him. His face turns from a frown to an excited smile as soon as he sees all those people waiting to see him. He's clearly used to being in the spotlight and knows when to switch his act. He immediately stars giving autographs and taking pictures with his fans all to the credit of his publicist who happens to be here with him.

It amazes me how no one seem to think back to the reason Tom is here with us. We are all here for the same reasons after all and it would be foolish to forget that no matter how famous or good at hiding his feelings this man is. Of course when in the presence of such greatness, a few facts tend to be overlooked. Francine and Patrick are so awed by the idea of seeing one of their favorite celebrities that they join the sea of people also eager to get an autograph. There was a time I would have been just like them but right now I am anything but interested. Still, I shuffle along and where necessary squeeze myself through the crowd. It would be nice to get an autograph. Especially since my sister happens to be a big fan of the man. She would be dying to hear what happened when I'm home and if I wasn't wrong, I would be getting a few calls from her tonight.

"Hello beautiful," Tom is right in front of me. I can see the interest already apparent in his eyes and though I find him attractive, my gaze is cold and unresponsive.

"Hello," I reply under my breath and I have a feeling he had to read my lips to get what I'm saying. He seemed momentarily stunned. Probably because I don't shower him with the same attention given to him by his other fans. Nevertheless, he accepts my outstretched notebook and quickly sings it all the while looking at me from the corner of his eye. He doesn’t have to be disappointed by my blatant refusal to like him for much longer because Francine is in his ear suddenly. It distracts him giving me enough time to make my way through the crowd once more and beside the lake where I can finally have some quietness.

It takes a full hour but eventually my friends join me by the lake. By this time, Tom is tired of showing off to his fans and decided to retire leaving them disappointed but still happy to have a man of such great standing amidst them. After all, they still have two weeks to see him and fawn over him.

I watch him leave and our eyes briefly meet. He looks sad as we all do and I feel a dull appreciation for him. He seems not to want to pretend when in front of me. It suddenly dawns on me how hard he has it having to go around acting like he wasn't in any pain. If it wasn't for his recent and quite unexpected outburst he probably wouldn't be here with us. I'm glad he is because with us, he can relay his feelings without fear of judgment or the look everyone else's gives us hoping we would just move on and be done with it. It isn't that easy and only we understand that.

"He is totally checking you out," I jump up completely startled by Francine's presence. The girl has a tendency to sneak up on people that I found both cute and annoying.

"I don't think so," I dismiss the idea having no further interest to talk about Tom. Francine however doesn't seem to get the hint and she spends the whole night trying to convince me that Tom and I would be good for each other even though she's only just met the both of us.

I meet Tom the next day during a meeting to introduce ourselves. He's already managed to surround himself with some friends whom I know have made him into the centre of their lives. Tom sees me as soon as I walked into the room with the two new friends beside me. He smiles at me lazily and for some reason I can't refrain from the urge to respond. I give him a weak smile which Francine notices much to my dismay. I am going to hear about this for the rest of the day. The group has at least ten people but all I can see was him. In a place where all of us were faced with the same kind of problems, only Tom and I seem to exist in my mind. I know I want to speak to him just as much as he wants to speak to me but that has to wait. I don't want to attract the attention of his media friends. I'm not in the condition to be seen on camera as Tom Owens' new love interest.

It isn't until evening that we first have the chance to talk. I am standing by the lake with my back to forest. It is a secluded area where no one could spot me easily. I badly need some time alone having just escaped from Francine and Patrick who for some reason never stop talking.

"Hey there," his voice startles me and I turned around abruptly ready to swing the huge branch I am holding in my hand.

"It's just me," he said hastily before I could act and I dropped it.

Tom and I stand side by side until it is finally dawn, none of us having anything to say to the other. It doesn't seem necessary when I feel as if I understand him perfectly in the same way that he understands me. We've both lost someone precious to us. I lost my fiancé on the day of our wedding and he lost his sister. I don't know if this was how it should be. That we should be bonded to each other entirely by grief but this is how it is.

Tom and I meet at this same spot for the next three weeks and over time we begin to talk. He tells me about himself. Not the things I hear from the magazines and tabloids but what is really true to him and I tell him about myself. Being with Tom helps me heal. It makes me realize that I have been holding on to something that is long gone when I could have had something good all along. It has taken me a whole year to see this, but I have and for that, I am grateful.

"I'll miss you," I say one evening. We will be going back home the next day having gone through this painful journey together.

"What do you mean?" We could see each other after this if we want to," he says lightly. I nod unsurely as I know he gets my meaning.

Of course Tom and I could and will see each other. However, I am certain that things will change over time. Here at camp, with no one to get in our way, things are simple. A bit too simple. I am smart enough to know that when Tom goes back to his own worlds where he will be surrounded by the glamour he is so used to, he won't be the same anymore. He would have to take up his part again and act like the lovable star that he is meant to be. What would be left of me I wonder. I have grown so accustomed to having the real Tom around me that I find myself growing jealous at the thought of sharing me with others. Tom must know what I'm thinking because he pulls me closer and places a kiss on my forehead. Strangely, this is the first time we've had any physical contact and as simple as the gesture may be, I treasure it with my whole heart.

"Nothing will ever change between us," he says as he pulls me to his chest. I want to believe him as his eyes search my own but I can't. I won't let him know this however, so I nod my head and smile.

Tom is satisfied with this. I guess I'm also good at acting. He leans in and kisses me on the lips and all my worries dissolve away. Everything feels simpler now. I have one last day here with Tom and I will make the best of it. He takes off my clothes and lays me on the grass next to the river. It is here away from heir prying eyes and judgment that he slides into me. I close my eyes as a moan escapes my throat. I savor every second as Tom thrust himself into me. Soon, I am clutching him tightly eager not to let this moment go.

When I open my eyes again, Tom has rolled off me and is lying jus next to me. He cradles me in his arms and we watch naked as the stars begin to come up one by one. The summer heat in unbearable even though it is dark outside but that does not bother us one bit. Just like our first time here, none of us say a word. We both know what the other is thinking.

The End

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