Avery has lost her first love in a horrible accident and when her family decides to go to Pueblo, Florida for a family vacation she is resistant. She fears forgetting, hates the sunny attitude of those who don't know Jacob's outcome, but most of all, she is afraid of finding someone else to love. Then she meets Alex, a tall sunny Pueblo guy, the exact opposite of Jacob, causing her to slowly question everything and, for the first time in months, she begins to let go and be human.
Summers have always started like this. A hint of surprise at the beginning and shadows of your spring leaving you entirely behind. The winds that traveled off of Lake Ontario never waited for anyone to say, "Okay, now you can blow on the city and make them forget everything before summer," it just went through, causing all sorts of havoc on the way.
I knew before my parents announced our vacation plans where we were going. My little sister Angela had never gone as far as where we were going. Her pigtails, full of dark curls, never paused to rest as she asked questions.
This was the summer where I turned eighteen, the summer after my worst spring. For me, there were no reliving trees, no blooming flowers, but the scent of soil as it went over the person I loved. The headstone was asked for specifically by his grieving mother, like as if nothing else mattered.
Now, when I walked down the lake I always saw the shadow of him, passing me by like he had so many times before, promising me everything, but without seeing me. Summer had nothing on his smile and the winds could never blow away his soul, but a car could.
"Avery!" My mom had yelled when she had found me several months ago, curled up into a ball, unmoving. She probably had thought that I was dead. I didn't blame her, I wanted to be the most dead that I could ever be. I had tried to end it all and be with him again, but I couldn't. Why couldn't I?
We're leaving for Miami, Florida the land of paradise. I laid my head back on the seat of the airplane as it started to shift, the movement rumbling the floor beneath us. My hands were holding the arm rests tightly. Maybe, I thought, maybe the plane will crash and I will be free.
My name is Avery Jones and I am seventeen, eighteen in June, a month from now. I'm on the trip that will forever change my life, though I have been through enough changes this year. They say it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all, but I did have a mutual love, and I had lost him by unnatural means. My mother always said that people were born here with a time and that Jacob's time had been then. I would always contemplate otherwise. When I pictured his silent, pale face in his casket whenever I closed my eyes I would always promise him and myself that I would love no other than him.