July starts with it's long, hot days and cool, salty breezes. I always thought that July was the best month of the year because it borders the month in which school ends and the month before school starts. Also, it is when the tourists start coming in full swing. Large amounts of pale travelers come out to Pueblo to tan, eat lavishly, and to explore what Pueblo has to offer. I enjoy the silence of Pueblo when it isn't tourist season, but during the busy weeks of summer I find myself feeling less lonely with so many other strangers around me.
I'm sitting on the front porch waxing my surfboard when my mom drives up in her Jeep. She hasn't said much to me since the day I said those things to Alycia and the memory forces me to come to a halt. My fingers run along the sticky back of the board that I was just waxing as mom steps out of the driver's seat and heads to the back of the car. She opens the back door and pulls out two large paper bags from the store that I work at.
I haven't seen Angela or Robert at the store, and as much as my heart would hurt to look at her, Alycia hasn't walked through the doors either. Manny, sensing my instability, keeps his distance at work, but dutifully keeps me busy outside of work with surfing, passing the football around, and occasionally biking.
"Well," mom says, looking up at me over the two large bags in her arms, "are you going to help?"
I rush to put up my board and the waxing block I was using beside the wicker chair. Running down the porch stairs to help her, I smile automatically.
"I'm really disappointed in you," she says, watching me closely. My smile falters for a moment, but she places a hand on my cheek after I take the bags from her. "But I know that you're hurting, so I think it's time for you to know the truth."
I stop smiling. "The truth?"
"Yes," she says walking into our house with me closely behind. "You have to understand why Alycia and her mom left, why she couldn't contact you afterwards, and why she's back."
I place the bags on the kitchen counter. "You better sit down, Dylan," she offers.
I do as she says and almost instantly she tells me everything, like a weight is being lifted off of her.