Special Chapter: Summer of 2010 (Part 2: Luke)

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“Alyson Wallace?”

“Yeah, man.”

Alyson Wallace?”

I nodded.

“Alyson Wallace?!”

A sigh of exasperation escaped from my mouth.

Yes, Ethan,” I said, rolling my eyes. “I’m into Allie – or Alyson Wallace, as you’d like to call her.”

He frowned at me from across the table. We were currently having lunch at the famous Charmuel restaurant. It had been a couple of weeks since Ethan came down here from New Jersey to visit me. And also to spend a little of the summer here, where there was a nearby beach.

I couldn’t believe that of all the people that caught me finally taking an interest in a girl, it had to be Ethan.

Ethan Tyler.

My most judgmental friend when it came to dating girls.

If he hadn’t come out here to visit me because he was bored two weeks ago, he wouldn’t have known about my unexpected encounter with Alyson. He also wouldn’t have witnessed my actions when I was with her, then he wouldn’t have lead to the conclusion that I was into her. That was the thing, though . . .

I was into her. And Ethan saw right through me. So I decided there was no point in lying. She was the best girl I’ve ever met; I was never going to deny that.

On the day that I first saw her in town, I couldn’t bring myself to believe that she was in the same town as me. Of all the places she could spend the vacation at; she spent it here in North Carolina, where I would be for the summer because my mother decided it’d be great to visit my grandfather this time of the year.

Since my folks’ divorce, I’ve been going back and forth from East to West of the country every Holiday. And being an only child, it’s not that easy.

Good thing Aaron and Ethan were around to keep me company through the years. It was such an odd coincidence but we were all an only child, which only made our bond stronger if I might say so myself.

In matters of coincidence, I didn’t expect to see Alyson that morning when I was planning to buy a new round of dog food for Tiny (my Mastiff brought all the way from England five years ago as my father’s gift for my twelfth birthday).

But there she was, right in front of me . . . smiling as though she just received her Christmas wish.

Then again, I thought. She always smiles like that.

“You’re here,” she said then, in slight disbelief.

I tilted my head. “And you.”

“I always go here for the summer,” she explained. I could still remember her putting a hand on the side of her face to stop her hair from going wild from the breezy wind. “So . . .”

I got the feeling that she was going to ask me why I was here. It was the usual thing people did on reflex. In time, it turned out to be predictable.

“I owe you for helping me out in the store,” she continued.

I blinked, caught off guard. But I quickly composed myself before she could notice. It was the first time that someone didn’t do what I expected them to.

Interesting, I thought.

“You don’t owe me any teaching spree,” I assured her, amused by her offer.

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