Editing, printing, cutting, and gluing until his fingers couldn’t take it anymore; Alex worked on a poster of everything Michelle said three nights ago. He researched her hometown, looked up the schools (which are excellent by the way), examined what exactly the Salmon Festival is about. He had texted her earlier what the street address to her old house and Googled what it appeared as. He found out about the tiny parks that were scattered around the town, what kind of church was there, and what sports are played. A library was located in the middle of the main part, a small grocery store right around the corner, a candy shop down the block, a ballet studio nearby, and a restaurant called Triple X, which apparently there is only one other and it’s in Indiana. Lake Sammamish is like a beach to the people, where you can boat in and swim. Also Pine Lake was somewhere in the county. He can imagine she went to one of them.
He copied and pasted the pictures from the internet, printed them, and placed them on a large poster board like a collage. To present this to her, he doesn’t know. All he’s concerned about is finishing it.
July passed, the heat increasing as it turned August. Most of his days were spent inside or in the pool. Michelle was off in her world, traveling to Colorado and Oklahoma with both families but at different times, obviously. His friends hung out with him also, but he hasn’t seen Whitney since June. Good. He can’t stand her face. Ryan broke up with her and started dating some girl from another school. Can’t imagine how they got to know each other. So currently Whitney’s single. That’s a first.
Every day he observed his poster, checking for any mistakes, seeing if he forgot something. Nothing came up, of course, until one morning he noticed.
The kids weren’t there. And the wedding. And the honeymoon.
He pulled out his laptop as if he had a deadline creeping up on him. Quickly, he typed in Port Townsend and was stunned at its beauty. No wonder she wants to get married there. Copy. Paste. Typed in Bahamas beaches, found a place called Pink Beach in Harbour Island. He visited there once, a few summers back. He remembered how pretty it was, and knew Michelle would love the place. Copy. Paste.
And now the kids. This is going to take a while.
He found a trusted “baby maker” website, and picked his favorite picture of Michelle from Facebook, and picked out one of his own to mix. Aw! They’re so cute! The boys have her meadow green eyes and his copper hair color, and the girls with her chocolate colored strands and deep brown irises. They’re going to have beautiful children. Copy. Paste.
There. Hopefully it’s completed. He put aside the poster for now and carried on the day doing nothing.

“What are you doing tomorrow?” I asked Cameron over Facebook.
“Hanging out with friends, basically.”
“Oh, well apparently my family is having a pool party. You can stop by if you’d like.”
“Cool, maybe I will.” We went on talking about recent events and such, normal things people talk about.
When I woke up the next morning, I wondered if he really is going to see me.
“I don’t even have my cell with me, so he won’t know how to get here,” I fussed to Mikayla on the home phone.
“He’ll figure it out, don’t worry.”
“Is it bad that I kinda want him to be here? I mean, I’m anxious and feeling butterflies and all that,” I revealed, not thinking about Alex. I kinda put him away in my mind for a while.
“You like him,” she teased, clearly not thinking about Alex either. “Of course you want him to come.”
“But you won’t, so it’ll be awkward to not have you around. I need a second person with me.”
“I don’t know why my dad said no, but you’re going to be fine without me. Maybe something will happen at the end of the night,” she predicted.
“Hmm. Maybe,” I said wistfully. I just want to see him for some reason, but I can’t place it.
We kept chatting and then she hung up so I can walk to the field and take random pictures of whatever I can find. When I arrived there, I did what I wanted, and sat down on the dirt, almost being concealed by the tall grass surrounding me. I breathed in the fresh air, blocked out the noise produced by passing cars, watched the sun dip below the horizon. This was a much needed break from the real world, the place where I can’t find peace. The glow settled on the meadow’s objects, making me so inspired that I start daydreaming.
Stop it, the angel told me. You’ll get hurt again.
Well, this time it’s about Cameron. If it was Grayson, then you couldn’t do this, the other side argued.
Fine. The angel permitted me to think, and I did so.
I turned around and heard Cameron yell my name from across the street. Every moment practically happened in slow motion.
“Hey! I looked all over for you,” he panted.
“Did you run here from my house?” I said, wondering why he would run in this heat. He nodded.
“Mikayla texted me your address and I went there, but you weren’t inside. I went to the back and talked to your parents, and they said you’d be here.” He plopped down beside me. “So I checked, and here you are.”
“Here I am,” I barely said. This is exactly like my dream!
“Pretty view,” he commented. He plucked a piece of grass and tore it up in tiny pieces. Precisely what I’ve been doing. “What are you doing out here?” he asked.
“I didn’t have any friends at the party, so I decided to walk to the field and relax instead of using my computer the whole time. It’s very liberating to not be tied down by technology for just a few minutes.”
“I agree,” he said. “The weather is terrible, but I like it right now, ha. It’s worth it to be here.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Well, I’m with you. I feel really calm for some reason.” Oh, right. I forgot he likes me.
Sitting there in silence, I remembered the first time we kissed. My first kiss. I left him at the park after he did that and he started avoiding me until the end of the school year, where I told him I didn’t want us to be like this. That’s when we were back to normal.
I just can’t help but think this is what should happen with Grayson. We’d talk again and be like first semester in seventh grade. But I know it will never be the same, and I can’t do anything about it.
My flashbacks are interrupted by Cameron.
“Hey, you okay? If you want me to leave, I will.”
“Oh, no. I was, well, thinking, as usual.”
“As usual,” he sighed with a smile. He took my hand and it rested in his palm. I’m not at all uncomfortable with this situation.
“I was hoping you would come, I just needed a friend at the moment,” I admitted.
“Well, I’m here,” he whispered. He looked me in the eyes, his head tilting forward. Without registration, our lips met. I’m not even thinking to pull away. I’m not thinking about anything.
Then, when we do stop, I’m seeing Grayson’s face in place of Cameron’s.
This is so messed up. Last week I was with Alex, now I’m with a different boy. I’ve never kissed Grayson nor stood close to him for a year, and I’m imagining him on someone else’s face. I still don’t know how I feel about Cameron, yet I’m kissing him like I don’t have a care in the world. The person I definitely know about is Grayson, but I think my love is slipping away from him… mainly because we don’t really talk, so why waste my time with someone like that.
Who do I really love?
I don’t even know how this happened, but I think I belong with him.

The End

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