Chapter One: The Beginning

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*Summer's Point Of View*

I stare out the window of the car as we drive back to campus. The setting sun behind the skyline over the bay, burns a golden orange, spreading across the sky in a blanket of a fiery cloud. I blink hard as the feeling of sleep starts to creep up on me, from all the pancakes I had just eaten at Tony's Waffle House downtown. I slowly yawn as "Young" by The Chainsmokers plays softly on the radio. I turn my head to face Anthony, my boyfriend of a year, as he drives his Ford Explorer down the interstate. We love to spend our Saturdays downtown, grabbing a bite to eat, strolling along the streets holding hands.. just to drive back to one of our dorms and cuddle our hearts out. It's been our thing for the past year now, and I wouldn't change it for a thing.

I met Anthony at the end of my senior year of high school in June 2016. He was visiting my hometown, Fairhope Alabama, with one of his best friends Andy. Andy's grandmother just so happened to be my next door neighbor. He was outside one morning, with the blazing hot summer sun, that was beating down roughly that day. I only remember because his shirt was off and he was glistening with sweat as he mowed her lawn.

I walked past her house on my way to school; it was the last week of school before graduation.

I always walked to school, because I loved being able to have a moment alone to blow off steam. I'm a natural loner, but living with just my mother drove me insane more than half the time. Her and my father divorced when I was three years old, and ever since she's been a hoverer. I never felt alone, even when I was. The only reason I'm going to college was because my father could afford it... since he is the CEO of a cruise line based out of California. I never see him, but, at least he's paying for my education.

Walking past him, I remember I couldn't take my eyes off of him. I come from a very religious background, so my mother instilled in me that boys weren't worth it right now... only education as well as my self worth and growth through God. And that never really bothered me, I liked living my life that way. So for me to lustfully look at a boy, really, was not so normal for me.

I remember holding my books to my chest, my eyes glued to his physique. He pushed the lawn mower across the lawn, looking straight ahead, hair sweaty, and his mouth open as he mowed a perfectly straight line in the grass. I wondered why I'd never seen him before. I didn't understand. Because I would have remembered if he were to live next door... was he new to town? Did he work on yards? A million thoughts filled my mind in that very moment.

And with one swift glance, he turned and his bright green eyes stared into mine. Anthony tells me to this day I looked like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming car. Just his stare alone really intimidated me. So much so, I tripped and fell forward onto the pavement, just to hear the lawn mower shut off quickly and a large shadow appear around me.

"Are you okay?" He asked, squatting down next to me as he placed a hand on my left forearm that was holding me up from the ground.

The moment of staring at his gentle hand on my skin and then to his eyes, I remember all the words in the English language vanished from my mind. I couldn't speak.

He noticed my longing stare and chuckled, as he slowly helped me to my feet, then picked up my books for me.

"Your knee." He said, handing my books to me, as I silently took them. I looked down to see my knee bleeding. I didn't even realize. That's how much of a trance I was in.

"I'm a med student. Let me fix that for you." He said, crossing his arms, and then turning his back towards me and headed into the garage. I stood there, books in my arms, slightly buzzing from the adrenaline of the moment. I felt embarrassed, frazzled, infatuated, and shy all at once. With the hint of stinging from my freshly wounded knee.

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