Hello, Goodbye: Summer Love

In front of them the sun continued to set, looking for all the while as if the water meant to carry it away. Pigments of light shimmering off in the waves. The air tasted of salt and warmth that seemed all too familiar carrying with it all the memories he'd built this summer. It was something he knew he'd miss the moment he and his family drove off onto the road, home bound. Anthony looked at Shawn. The two of them had spent their entire summer together. Nights spent muttering odd sentiments of love that both felt came untrue from the other. Knowing that by summers end that would be it. The school year would start up for them and they'd be going their separate ways leaving behind their memories of warm evenings and sandy beaches.

They had one last day left after this and Anthony felt that he should just follow his friends advice about cutting things off that day instead of waiting for tomorrow. If he'd done it tomorrow he was sure time would be against them and he wouldn't be able to break things off on a good note. Not that breaking up of any sort was something to relish or even possible to do on a good note in any manner. Positive that even the barest hint of bitterness would still linger long after the leaves browned and the air chilled so bad rain turned to snow. He paused in thought, and realized, that the feeling suddenly pooling at the pit of his chest was much different from the last time he'd prepared to do something like this. Before, it was all bland and passive something he knew he could live with. Shawn sat next to him, feet buried in the sand next to his, hand resting under his own. He honestly didn't want this to end and he ached as he started to speak.

"Shawn, this summers been fantastic, and I can't imagine having wanting to spend it with anyone else. The thing is we both knew this was just a temporary thing, right?"

The other boy raised an eyebrow, "Don't for a second think you're cooler then me just because you're trying to break up with me first."

"Excuse me?"

"Proven, if you break up with me before I do you, it won't "hurt", so go to hell for trying to spare your own feelings. I don't have time to be screwed with, Anthony, we're done talking, do me the favor of avoiding me next summer." He got up and dusted off the back of his shorts and walked off.

"That's not even the least bit true!"

"Yeah, sure, I'm gone."

"I'm glad we're threw, having to listen to you prattle on and on about your ex was annoying. You couldn't have sounded more pathetic or desperate," Anthony stood up and was yelling at Shawn's back.

"At least I don't rely on a pair of sunglasses in order to make me feel cool, talk about being pathetic and desperate. Ten to one, back home you're nothing, no one, and nobody misses you. You're freaking needy and it shows."

"Always looking down on me."

"You're so short, can't be helped." Shawn laughed and continued down the beach.

Anthony growled at the back of his throat and marched up to him and swung him around, "You can go to hell for thinking you got me all figured out. For thinking that you're better them me, for acting like you're the only one bothered by this."

"This what, Tony?"

"............" he opened his mouth and closed it a few times.

"Exactly, you're the one who led me on. You're the one who pretended he actually had feelings. You don't, get over it and yourself, in fact," he reached into Anthony's pocket and pulled out the pair of sunglasses he knew would be there pulled them out and proceeded to bend them till they broke, "Goodbye, Mr. Awesome."

"God, I hate you!" yelled Anthony picking up a random piece of small drift wood and chucked it as hard as he could, it missed the other boys retreating form and he just glared at the footprints in the sand.

Even as he watched in anger as Shawn walked on and out of sight he couldn't stop the feeling that maybe he did the wrong thing. That aching pain didn't subside in any manner and he stormed off back to the beach house his parents were staying at. By tomorrow he was sure things would be fine. They had to be. The pain had to be fleeting, just like how things started. Emotions weren't supposed to be attached when it came to things like this. But why was it that he suddenly regretted that it all ended with them yelling? Having said he hated Shawn? He didn't mean it. He looked over his shoulder, but there was nothing behind him, not even distant imprints of where he'd sat with Shawn moments before.

XXX

By ten o' clock it started raining and Anthony found that he just couldn't find sleep. Blankets were in a shamble his pillows sat on the floor and his clothes were all stretched and twisted. Even that evening he'd sat at the dinner table and felt so at odds with himself. For some reason things just didn't feel right and his mind kept drifting to Shawn walking away. The wind blew in cold from his window drops of rain from outside striking him every now and then. Finally around twelve he became fed up with tossing and turning in his bed, flinging the blankets off himself. He stared up at his ceiling pale blue pieces of paint peeling here and there. Sighing he sat up. The room was dark and he eyed his packed suit cases sitting in the corner. He couldn't leave things like this he'd end up regretting it, he was regretting it already. He had to see Shawn before it was too late.

Quickly he jammed his feet into his All Stars and climbed out his open window into the wet sand. He sprinted down the boardwalk and down the side to where the side walk started. Shawn lived close, well, his family had just bought a house for the summer. It was an oddly shaped two story white house flecked with windows and a roof you could pitch a tent on. But he'd barely made it around the corner behind the apartments when he saw him. Shawn was drenched much like he himself and had stopped the second he noticed him. Anthony quirked a smile and slowly made his way over to the other boy. Neither of them said anything for a while, the two, just staring at each other quietly in the dark covered in rain.

"What are you doing out here Tony?"

"I made a mistake Shawn."

"What?"

"I never meant to say that I hated you or to call you pathetic or de-"

"Tony, do me the favor of shutting up for once," Shawn closed the distance between them and wrapped his arms around Anthony and kissed him.

"What were you doing out here Shawn?" they kept their arms locked around each other.

"I felt like walking."

"In the rain?"

"What better time to clear your mind then the middle of the night with the possibility of getting mugged and murdered, right?"

"Not to mention a cold."

"Exactly......."

They say that summer romances are often full of excitement, exotic places, set off by brief moments of passion, and caused by anonymity and the ability to be someone you're normally not. Back home things are different. Everybody knows you, your personality, your faults, mistakes, all those things that people hold against you. But when you get the opportunity to spend it away from that place you finally get the chance to shine your best. You get the chance to fall in love and maybe if you're lucky you'll get to keep what you've found. Anthony was sure that, this summer, things had finally gone the way they were supposed to. He leaned his head down on Shawn's shoulder and the two of them started off down the beach rain slowly misting off to a drizzle.

"Hey Shawn?"

"Hm?"

"I have something to give you." Anthony none too subtlety removed the worn sliver ring around his finger and slid it onto Shawn's.

"What's this now?" he stared down at the ring adorning his finger.

"It's supposed to be a promise ring. In this case, I'm never gonna let you go, you're mine." Anthony locked eyes with him.

"You realize this does confirm my you are gay theory, right?" he turned his attention back to the ring.

Anthony furrowed his brows and smiled "I hope so."

"Yeah....me too." Shawn smiled.

"You feel like going home?"

Shawn looked up into the dark night sky, "Home, Anthony, is where ever you are."

Anthony smiled and the two of them were content to leave footprints in the sand.

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