I strode along the familiar pathway that led to the lake. The concrete was still damp from the previous downpour, and the humidity was just beginning to settle around me. My flip-flops flapped noisily against the concrete at each step that I took. The sky was already clear and calm, with birds slicing through its vastness as they soared in the air. There was no one else around but I, who enjoyed the quietness that enveloped the surroundings. The gentle summer breeze swept over the leaves on the trees, voicing a song out of nature's unspoken mind. There weren't any houses around anymore, considering that I'm already in the greener part of town. My heart's beating picked up a faster pace as I drew closer to my destination.

It's only been a few months since the last time I've been to the lake, but it all seemed like a decade. The town had barely changed, and it's like I've never left at all. I guess I just love this town that much to have known even the smallest details about it by heart. It's not even that big of a town after all. It's just a small patch somewhere around the Connecticut.

Not long, I finally caught sight of the dock by the lake. The surface of the lake rippled in thin creases as the afternoon sunlight cast a warm glow over it. I breathed in relief to find no people around. Usually, there would be a herd of suntanned girls hoarding the whole place to themselves. There would be a lot of splashing and squealing, which I highly abhorred especially their high-pitched voices. Times like that would often really trigger the urge for me to leave. My brothers, like the typical flirts and perverts that they are, would usually find the sight rather pleasant, and would often just sit back and watch as though they were in paradise. I, on the other hand, would always be rendered disgusted.

You see, that's one of the reasons why I don't have female friends in this town. For the past eight summers that I spent in here, all I ever witnessed are whiny and obnoxious girls who couldn't seem to be capable of acting like a sane person. I've given up on this town about ever finding a decent female friend. But if ever I do find one, I'd most certainly be damned.

I soon found myself walking down the dock, my flip-flops now flapping against the hard wood planks of the dock. Once I stopped at the end of the dock, I threw my slippers off my feet and sat quietly on the edge of the dock. My feet sunk into the still, cold water, instantly sending goosebumps to rise on my skin. I took in the beautiful view before me, savouring the place while I still had it to myself. It isn't everyday that I get to have it to myself, so I might as well enjoy while it lasted. My mind began to wander off to different places.

I thought about Mom's house which is a thousand miles away. I can't believe that our broken family could last this long. Nine years I waited. I had hoped that somehow, a miracle might just come around. A problem that I thought would only last for a week went beyond the tether of my expectations. Now that I remember it, I couldn't help but ask myself questions. How could I have been so naïve? How could I have not realized the night when I watched my dad drive away with my brothers having their bags in the trunk that it wouldn't be easy?

I continued to stare out into the void, not really noticing the scenery anymore. It was difficult to enjoy something amazing while having terrible things in mind. There seemed to have no escape for these kinds of situations. It feels as though I would be living like this forever. My gaze extended into the distance, where the sun was setting off a soft, bright, orange glow from the horizon. I sighed in content. Well, at least I still have this place to myself today.

I guess I spoke too soon because as soon as I thought of that, I heard a faint hooting sound coming from the distance. My head turned sharply to the direction where I heard the sound had come from. The louder the sound grew, the easier It was for me to distinguish its source. By the deep mellow of the sound, I could tell that it was a boy around my age. And by the sound of mischief in his voice, I could tell he's an idiot.

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