~Melanie~

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~Melanie~

The blistering sun glares in my eyes as I slowly ease to a crawl in James' car. Since I knew the way by heart, the three-hour drive from Boston University to my family's lakefront cabin in Ludlow, Vermont had been smooth sailing until now. James sighs from the passenger seat. I look at him as he stares out the window, twirling his sunglasses pinched in between his pointer finger and thumb, around and around and around.

"Only one hour and thirty minutes left. I swear."

James grunts in response, "It's just so damn hot. It feels like we've been roasting in the car all day."

I sigh, "Yeah."

There is no breeze while we come to a complete halt. The sun bakes against my light skin, probably turning it red. I wipe the sweat falling down the side of my face. I can't wait to move again and have the wind cool me down. I hope there will be a breeze at Lake Rescue.

"So, who's going to be at the graduation party, again?"

"Well, there's my parents and my sister, Marisa, and her boyfriend, Kevin. Then both sets of grandparents and my Aunt and Uncle, and their kids, Kara and Sean. Then there's Bianca's family."

"Who's coming from her family?"

"I'm not sure. Definitely her parents and her younger brother, Ethan, but I don't know if her cousins, Graham and Charlie, will also be there. I hope so. They're hysterical. You would like them. If they do come, then I'm sure Bianca's grandparents and aunts and uncles would also be there."

"Melanie, doesn't your family's cabin only have, like, five bedrooms?" James tosses his hands into the air.

I chuckle, "I know. We like to camp out, too. You know, sleep under the stars. It's very romantic." I wiggle my eyebrows with a smirk.

James rolls his eyes as he smiles then looks out the window as our surroundings change from stores and shops to maple trees and fields of farmland. The breeze returns as the traffic clears up.

I can't wait to see everyone again. The last time I saw Bianca was when she came to visit me at college and we saw Demi Lovato in concert at the TD Garden arena. That was last summer, exactly a year ago, which is way too long to not see your best friend since diapers.

My parents were just in Boston last week to watch me walk at graduation, but I haven't seen any of my grandparents, aunt, uncle, or cousins since last Christmas. It'll be nice to see them again; though, I am not really looking forward to their prodding questions...

I wonder how tall Sean is now? Last Christmas, he was almost as tall as me, and I saw on Instagram Kara had dyed the tips of her brown hair lilac. I remember being nineteen and doing crazy things with my long, dark brown hair, too. I smile as I merge onto Highway 131 and cross the border into Vermont.

The last time I saw any of Bianca's cousins was at our high school graduation. I can't believe that was four years ago, and now, we've graduated college... The last time I saw Ethan was during summer break after my freshman year. He was still shorter than me at five and a half feet tall, with me being five-foot eight-inches, but Bianca mentioned he's taller than her now. He'd finally gotten his growth spurt. Bianca and I swore for years puberty had passed over him and he'd only ever be a pretty boy. I wonder just how tall he is now? I wonder if he's taller than James, who is exactly six feet? Greg, Bianca's dad, is pretty tall himself. I think he's around six-foot...

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