This story is inspired by the song, The Boys of Summer by Don Henley.
Normally, I would post a link so you can hear the song on YouTube, but there isn't one!
I'll link you to the lyrics. HERE.
There’s nobody on the road, and nobody on the beach. Summer is ending, and he knows it. He’s running out of time. Late night drives help him think. He is in love with her. Always has been, and probably always will be.
Mike and Summer met 5 years ago. Both Freshmen at Seaside High School, both new in town, and both in the same homeroom. It started out as friendship. They found what they needed in each other. Someone to eat lunch with, do homework with, and go to football games with. He encouraged her to try out for cheerleading, and she said she would, but only if he tried out for the basketball team. He finally summoned up the courage to ask her to the Homecoming dance, and that’s where they had their first kiss. That was the spark that set them on fire. They were young, but they were in love. And it was real.
Near the end of senior year, Summer got accepted into a college in another state. Mike was accepted into the same college, but he chose to go to a junior college close to home because his Dad just passed away, and his mom needed him. They knew how much it would hurt to be so far away from each other, but it was the right thing to do. They vowed to make that summer their best one yet. They were inseparable. Movie dates, dinner dates, dates where they would just drive around town listening to the radio. She went to all his summer league basketball games, and when she was feeling down he would bring her a pint of Cherry Garcia ice cream. They went to parties together, rode bikes together, swam in the lake together. They swore to each other that they would always be together.
The first semester they were apart wasn’t an easy one. Summer was so busy with school work, and a new social life, so she couldn’t visit very often. And Mike having to go to school, and work, couldn’t spare a lot of time for a visit either. It all became too much over Winter Break. They were finally together again. They thought they would just pick up where they last left off, but Summer had all these new friends, and new stories. Mike was just hanging around the old places they did when they were in high school. Summer kept bringing up people he hadn’t met, and places he hadn’t been. While her intentions weren’t malicious, he thought them to be. He suddenly felt embarrassed. His insecurities got the best of him, and he started pushing Summer away. She noticed, and this caused them to start fighting. It was driving her crazy. When she brought it up he would scream at her! Many nights they spent fighting. Summer trying to figure out what was bothering Mike, and Mike hiding his true feelings. At the end of Winter Break, Mike called it quits. He told her to never call him again.
Months went by, and they were apart. Neither of them thought they could go on without each other, but here they were, living, and breathing, and apart. He went on a few dates, and she went on a few dates. Both comparing said dates to their high school sweetheart, and finding that no one could measured up. But it was summertime again, and Mike knew Summer would be back in town. He knew he wanted her back, he knew she probably didn’t want to see him, and he knew she would be at Danny Green’s annual pool party. But what he didn’t know was that Summer had her own summer plans.
The party was packed, but he knew she was there. He could feel it. He spotted her by the pool, lounging in a chair with her brown skin shining in the sun. She had her hair combed back, and her sunglasses on. His heart pounded in his chest. She must have heard it because she looked up. She took off her sunglasses like she was searching for something, and he knew it was for him. He kept his eyes locked on her, his heart still pounding. She turned her head, and their eyes met. If you were at the party, you would know that time stopped for a brief moment while these two stared at each other.
Isn’t it wild how you can know someone, be so close to them for so long, but then end up being total strangers? She got out of her chair, started walking real slow, and smiling at everyone. Except Mike. She walked right past him, and right up to another guy. What was happening? Didn’t she feel the magnetic force that was pulling on them. She felt it, but she was fighting it. She wanted to hurt Mike like he hurt her. This boy was one of many boys she planned to use to make Mike jealous. Because at the end of Winter Break, Mike didn’t just break up with her. He shattered her heart.
He made her feel guilty about going away to school. He said she would be happier dating guys from her own school instead of a junior college guy. She tried to convince him that he was the only one for her, but nothing worked. Like I said before, his insecurities got the best of him, and he said one of the worst things he could say. He told her he didn’t love her anymore.
That’s how the summer went. The games young lovers play are brutal. Summer brought a date to almost all the parties, and Mike took his sweet time finding the words to apologize with. Late in July, our couple is at the same party. Summer didn’t bring a date, and Mike is certain this is it. He brings her a drink. The conversation is light, and fun. He’s making her laugh so much, and he’s loving her smile. He brings up the topic of them. She says she doesn’t understand what happened to their love. He says, he’s going to get her back. He’s going to show her what he’s made of. He tells her he’s sorry, and that he was stupid. That he’s been missing her so much it hurts. She feels exactly the same way, but she’s still putting her guard up. She tells him that Charlie Walker has invited her to spend a week with him and his family at their summer cottage. That she’s leaving that next morning, and they could maybe talk when she gets back.
That’s where we find Mike. Taking that late night drive. Feeling that both Summer’s are out of reach. He sees the empty lake, the empty streets. He sees the sun go down alone. He feels alone. He can’t help but to drive by her house even though he knows she’s not home.
Except that she is home. Her car is in the driveway, and her bedroom light is on. Isn’t she supposed to be with Charlie? He parks his car, and throws pebbles at her window like he used to do. He sees her in the window, and she motions that she’ll meet him on the porch. She gives into the magnetic pull, and they embrace. When he asks her what she was doing back so soon? It’s only been a day. She says,
“Out on the road today, I saw a deadhead sticker on a Cadillac. I thought about you, and Cherry Garcia. A little voice inside my head said
"Don't look back, you can never look back.” You hurt me so bad that I thought I could never trust you again. I thought I knew what love was, but then you told me you didn’t love me, so what did I know? I thought those days were gone forever, and I should just let them go but, every time i closed my eyes, I could only see you. Your brown skin shining in the sun. With your hair slicked back and those Wayfarers on. Baby, I can tell you my love for you is still strong, after the boys of summer have gone.”