It was the summer of cigarettes.
It was two a.m. phone calls and can you come overs, Pall Malls and Camels swapped on the front stoop, beers at a conversational room temperature, and sheets that stuck to skin through sex and sleep alike. In her yearbook, half a dozen people had scribbled Go have an adventure!, but he had written Come have one with me.
“That’s stupid,” she had said, and he agreed: “But what else are we going to do?” High school was dead.
It was the summer of Fuck it, why not?
It was a time of long lines for short rides, funnel cake, motion sickness, photobooth strips and silly faces; it was an age of endless sand underfoot and several weeks of sunburn. It was wine straight from the bottle, shotgunned beers and forgotten cups of water. Gin seldom touched her lips, but he swore to his friends that no woman should be able to handle her whisky quite so well.
It was the summer of self-delusion.
It was standing out on her balcony and sneering, “What do you know, shitbag?” at his half-baked sexism, while firecrackers exploded down the street and her uncle cooked hamburgers beneath their feet. It was arguing until the sun rose, screamed swear words, and slammed doors. It was remembering that the stars are still beautiful even when you look at them alone.
It was the summer of letting go.