The prequel to 'A Midnight Reverie', 'Her Eternal Summer' explores the life of Lillian's mother, Clarence Bourelle. A story centering around family difficulties, romantic exploits and friendships - a past that Clarence had always hidden from her daughter, now revealed.
I hadn't planned for it, for any of it.
Who ever does? Falling in love isn't something I prepared myself for. It just...happened. Like a supernova setting off within my heart; miraculously beautiful. Suddenly, nothing else mattered. Before, life had felt black-and-white. After I'd met him, colors were vibrant. They were real. And finally, so was I.
The beach was unusually chilly that night. I stood still, knee-deep in the water as the waves plundered relentlessly upon my frail and freezing body. Salty air combined with the sting of solitude while the numbness grew in my feet. I thought I felt the sand shift underneath me, like the Earth was trying to throw me completely off of its surface. I wouldn't have tried holding on if it really had.
Looking down, I stared at the tiny particles of sand, dancing in and out my toes as it followed the rhythm of the water above it. I'd always found the sensation fascinating. That's why I loved the beach. The tranquility it provides you as you just sit there in the water, feel the sand in your toes with the heat of the sun on your skin... It's even better when someone important is with you, someone who sits right next to you and shares the serenity of the moment. Even if it were in absolute silence, it would form one of the best memories in your life.
Lucian had come here with me many times. Sometimes in the scorching heat of a summer day, other times at night when the beach was completely deserted. He'd always said that one day, he'd make enough money to buy an island, just for the two of us, so we could go out for a walk whenever we pleased. I'd laughed, knowing that was impossible. But the warmth of his hand in mine, and the feeling of him so close was just enough to convince me that it could happen.
That was the thing about Lucian. No matter the circumstances I was in, he made me feel like I could achieve anything. He promised me that I could pursue all my dreams, as wild as they are and that he'd be there to make sure they came true. But promises were easier said than done.
Shaking my head, I forced myself to stop; to tear my thoughts away from the past. But how could I when the biggest part of it haunted me everyday? The diamond ring sparkled up at me, a constant reminder of everything I've been trying to forget. My left hand trembled as I reached for the ring, and slowly started to wriggle it off. The moment it slipped off my finger, I begun to miss the weight of it and not just the physical weight. I knew I was better off without the ring, without him and without the memories that continued to torment me every second of every day. Yet, I still clung to the past. I didn't want to let go.
The pain I was welcomed with each morning kept me feeling human. It kept me going somehow. Even though I wasn't headed in the right direction, I knew it was better than standing still.