This scene is NOT from the manuscript I entered in the Blind Speed Dating Event (I'm entry #146), or from either of the other projects I've described on this site. It's from a special pet project of mine: an as-of-yet untitled YA Contemporary set in my hometown ... because apparently two WIPs weren't enough for me!
And now, the scene:
We stand on the strip of rain-washed asphalt, behind the orange barricade separating us from the line of cars. It’s misting, and water beads dust his hair as he looks at me, past me - I can’t tell. I look down at my shoes, and the familiar gravel of this walkway: the place to say goodbye.
Will speaks first. “Avalee?”
My eyes flick upward. Beyond him, a group of campers dangle out their window waving red plastic cups, honking and hollering as they inch toward the ferry.
“Remember that night, on the Fourth of July?” he asks.
The night the fireworks got rained out and we’d run under the trees wrapped in his wool blanket. His arm around me, pressed against the length of mine, and the musk of damp earth and madrone. I was suddenly so acutely aware of him. Him, the boy I’d known my whole life, yet hadn’t.
We used to pick blackberries together in the rush of August before the autumn fogs came, dusting the berries in powdered-sugar mildew. We’d crush their tang between our fingers and paint each other’s faces. I never noticed him grow up. And then Sienna came. And she did.
His eyes are still on me, reflecting the gray sea.
I should’ve said something, done something, back then. But I was scared. He went to the party, and I didn’t, and the next day, they were together.
Of course I remembered that Fourth of July. It was the night I realized I’d lost him.
He shifts ... closer? “I just want you to know - things would have been different if-“
He doesn’t need to do this. “Will, last night-”
“This isn’t about last night,” he says, halving the half-step between us. “It’s about right now,” he murmurs, finger on my cheek. “It’s about always.”
And then he’s there. His lips on mine.
And the fact that he’s leaving and I’m staying and we live in different states, doesn’t matter. In an instant all those years we’ve been apart melt away, and I’m back there, on that blanket on the Fourth of July, standing in the rain.