Everybody loves a summer romance. Sun-kissed shoulders and cotton candy kisses and all that stuff. I mean, I know it worked for Baby and Johnny in Dirty Dancing. And loads of people went mental for that first summer in The Notebook--though I've got to say if I see one more video featuring their later kiss in the rain, I'll scream. That beard was just too much. Like a muskrat strapped to his chin.
But back to the point. Summer love. Cynical as I can be, I still see there's something about it. Something kind of magical.
I had my own little summer fling, though it didn't involve any of the typical tropes. There wasn't an epic ferris-wheel ride or a spontaneous midnight swim. And a walk on the beach wasn't even possible, unless I counted the muddy banks of one of Ohio's many mosquito-plagued creeks. And I definitely didn't.
So, my summer romance wasn't typical. It featured Nine Inch Nails, an ancient, rusty Honda and a mutual love of Pixy Stix. Not swoon-worthy, I know. And probably even less swoon-worthy was the guy I shared this little fling with.
He had a tragic haircut and probably weighed in at a hundred and seventeen pounds soaking wet. But his eyes were amazing. So, if maybe my memory hides him under a soft-focus layer that makes him look a little like Taylor Kitsch, I'm good with that.
Anyway, for a few blissful weeks, we were inseparable. We drove with the windows down and held hands so tightly, I can practically still feel the press of his fingers between mine. It was intense.
Our first real kiss happened under a meteor shower. Silver streaked through the sky and the world tilted beneath my feet. No joke, it was the stuff of fairytales.
And it ended.
He picked up more hours at his summer job and I picked up a curfew when the school -year started. Nobody cried rivers or screamed hateful words. We just drifted apart. And it was okay.
It doesn't always happen like that. Sometimes summer flings stretch into years. Lifetimes, even. But sometimes they're like the meteor shower, burning bright and wondrous and then fading away forever.
Personally, I'm cool with that. Life is all about individual moments--from the magical to the mundane. In my life and in my books, I try to cling to those experiences, savoring them not for what they might become, but instead for exactly what they already are.
Natalie Vawter won her first writing competition in the second grade with her short story about Barbara Frances Bizzlefishes (who wouldn't dare do the dishes.) She later misplaced her writing dreams in a maze of cubicles and general office drudgery. Natalie never forgot about Barbara or those dishes, and eventually she found her way back to storytelling, following the genre of her heart, teen fiction. When she's not writing or editing, you can probably find her wading through the towers of dog-eared paperbacks that have taken over her bedroom. Natalie lives in Ohio with her amazing husband and their three children, who inspire her every day to stick with her dreams. Natalie is represented by the ever-amazing Cori Deyoe of 3 Seas Literary Agency and her books Canvas Crossers and Pandora's Clock were finalists in the 2012 RWA Golden Heart® Contest.
So, what about all of you? Do you believe that summer love is worth it, even if it ends? Or would you rather spare yourself the pain of a hard goodbye?