This week’s Hump Day Hook is another snippet from my newly released novelette I Still Remember. As this story deals with revisiting a teenage crush, it contains a few flashback scenes and this is one of them.
We’d been swimming in a small pond behind Amy’s house. It was cordoned off from their garden by a bunch of pine trees and, as the afternoon progressed, the sun dipped away behind the trees, leaving us with early evening shadows. We were wet from the water and the sky was the colour of summer: blue streaked with soft yellows and dashes of pink I never understood. The colours that would forever remind me of Amy.
It was the height of my crush on her, a few weeks before we’d leave high school forever. All my energy went into trying to keep my eyes off her as she adjusted her bathing suit while we let the last of the heat dry our skin. I tried so hard not to look at her that all I did was stare in the distance.
“What’s wrong, Eli?” Amy playfully pinched me in the side, catching me by surprise. I swathed her hand away as if it were a vile mosquito, quickly regretting my impulsive reaction. To mask the turmoil ripping me apart inside, I shot her a quick grin before rolling on top of her and pinning her arms above her head.
I stared down at her, every cell in my body tingling. Her dark eyes smiled up at me and a surge of something I couldn’t control swelled inside my gut. I closed my eyes for a second and saw what was going to happen next. I was going to lean down and kiss her. I saw myself do it on the back of my eyelids. I could almost taste her lips and smell beyond the heady mixture of sun and lotion on her skin.
When I opened my eyes, it seemed as if hours had passed, but it was still the same Amy squirming below me on the grass. It was the same pond giving away its summery sparkle to the falling darkness. Amy’s eyes were still the same mocha brown and her hair the same shock of wild curls, but I had changed. I’d never come so close and suddenly I realised it was the closest I would ever get.
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