Night Swimming

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Weaving right to left, he sped down the highway with the top down. The warm, humid air whipping my hair into a mess, so I pulled my hood up to contain the frenzy. The moon was hanging low and the fireflies had already retired for the night. Broderick was clearly at ease with the whole sneaking out bit. As he drove under a canopy of trees he shifted into the shadows that were cast upon him. I giggled in amusement as the steering wheel appeared to maneuver itself at times.

He took a few turns off the highway and we entered into an eerie, backwoods area I was unfamiliar with.

"We're swimming in the boonies?" Alarm was thick in my voice.

"We're going to a swimming hole I know."

I had seen way too many movies. "Um, Broderick?" My nervous demeanor bled through, "Did you ever watch Friday the 13th?"

He just laughed while he looped us through the country roads until we reached a dirt path. "Jules, how is it you can watch all those horror movies and still be terrified of real life?"

"Are you kidding? I think it's for that very reason I am so cautious at times. Granted, those movies may make me a bit skittish, but they also make me street smart," I quipped.

"How do you figure that?" he asked with a laugh.

"Well," I began to explain, "I know to always check underneath the car before I approach it in a parking lot and the backseat before I get in it at night."

"Okay..."

"And I know to never investigate a strange noise outside."

"True," he chuckled.

"And to never go walking on the moors during a full moon," I said quickly. His laughter ricocheted through the surrounding woods. The noise was unsettling.

"If you think that's funny, wait until I fill you in on my contingency plan for surviving the zombie apocalypse," I quipped.

He parked the jeep in a small cove of trees and helped me out of the jeep to make our way down the path toward the water. The moonlight that was able to peek through the mass of trees glittered in the water as it rushed by. Sovereignty. Me and him. The night and the moon.

We walked over to a large rock that jutted from the bank and sat on it. He stayed quiet for a moment as we listened to the light rush of the stream.

"So, are you ready for school to start in a little over a week?" he casually asked me.

Shaking my head, I gave an exaggerated shiver. "I hate school. I lose interest easily in class and I'm sick of the drama and gossip that circulates during the school year." I paused as I reconsidered my last statement with a mischievous grin. "Okay, I hate the gossip about me; I actually do enjoy listening about everyone else." I laughed.

"Remember what you said about my photos? Do you think they'd actually let me on the yearbook staff?" he asked thoughtfully. I found his insecurity over the matter amusing and very attractive.

"You're actually considering the yearbook staff? I think you're extremely talented, Broderick. They'd be crazy not to see what I see," I encouraged.

"I've secretly always wanted to do it," he admitted.

"You need to do whatever makes you happy," I informed him. He looked over at me and I silently reiterated, pointing a finger at him.

"And what makes you happy, Jules Taylor?"

I wrapped my arms around my knees and looked up at the moon as I sighed dramatically. "Music, movies, good friends, walks on the beach, vanilla lattes, autumn leaves, the smell of carved jack-o-lanterns at Halloween—"

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