campaign? Ah yes, I remember that campaign quite well.
I recall my best friend (we'll call her Cynthia) mentioning a water-polo player named Erik had a crush on me. I remember being flattered, but equally disinterested. I was new to this whole high school world, and for some reason I had it in my head that I was supposed to date a football player, I was after all a cheerleader. Wasn't that the natural way of things? (I was 14 and superficial, please forgive me). I did, I dated a few. But as my freshman year progressed and these other prospects failed, this Erik figure became increasingly intriguing. I too was on a mission, a mission to be taken. (Again, 14 and dumb, but back to the story). I saw Erik every morning as he picked up the attendance sheet from my physics class. He would wave to Cynthia and maybe smile at me, or was it directed at her? Until one day he did, I was sure of it, he smiled and it was directed at me! I guess, I realized, he was/is rather cute.
I told Cynthia, “I want to meet this Erik fellow, I think he's actually kinda cute.” She was ecstatic. Cynthia was conveniently dating one of his closest friends, so the introduction would be quite casual and simple. That day at lunch we waltzed over to the swimmer/water-polo table. What you don't remember high school social segregation and lunch politics? As Cynthia made her introduction Erik offered his hand and began to speak the words “Hi...” until a glob of spit fell straight from his lips to the floor. I giggled, it was a little gross but also endearing.
That weekend we partook in our first date, a double date to be clear. The four of us went to see a “The Day After Tomorrow.” Erik sat stiffly beside me while Dennis Quaid fought off a polar bear or something. As thrilling as the film was (sense the sarcasm?) I stepped away for a potty break. In that brief span of time Erik must have received a pep talk, because when I returned he placed his arm around my shoulder. I liked this, in fact I think I liked him too. Afterwards we walked around the mall while waiting for our ride, only one of us was barely 16. In waiting I observed him. I noticed his eyes were green, not brown, that geez did he have a great tan, and his teeth, my goodness they were perfect! I wasn't ready for this date to end, and luckily the other couple, young and in love, were not quite ready either. When we got back to Cynthia's house night had fallen. As she and her boyfriend escaped to make out somewhere, Erik and I laid on the hood of his friend's 1960's Mustang. As we gazed at the stars I put my head on his chest and listened to his heart beat, his breathing. I enjoyed his scent and the sound of his voice. In that moment I got butterflies like never before.
Not too long thereafter, we became official. Better yet, inseparable. It truly was a summer romance. Kissing in corners, playing in the ocean, talking on the phone until morning approached. We were utterly in love.
What does Nicholas Sparks say of summer romances? Oh yes... “Summer romances end for all kinds of reasons. But when all is said and done, they have one thing in common: They are shooting stars-a spectacular moment of light in the heavens, a fleeting glimpse of eternity. And in a flash, they're gone.”
Until next week... Read Chapter 1 of our story here.