Sidney walked into the third house he’d looked at this week. He’d made the decision to move out of Mario’s and get his own place. He was 23 and it was about time. The realtor began talking about the house, pointing out some of its advantages and quirks. He took in the foyer and the tile floor they were standing on like he was told. So far it looked like the others. Then they walked into the living room.
He was struck immediately by how bright the room was with the sunlight. It wasn’t that there were more windows than normal, but they just happened to be situated so that every inch of the room was covered in light. Then he noticed that there was a window seat under a window that overlooked a pretty great view. Misty would love this room and that window seat. He could practically see her sitting there reading a book. She loved sunlight.
He was surprised by the thought because it had caught him completely off-guard. He hadn’t thought of her in either of the other two houses he had seen, so why this time? He walked over to the window seat and sat down for a moment. It was perfect. This room was perfect.
He then followed the realtor into the dining room. She told him some more about the house and the room before leading him into the kitchen. He was surprised for a second time when he could see Misty baking brownies at the stove or eating Chinese food out of the containers at the island. That hadn’t happened in either of the other kitchens either.
He tried a second time to push her out of his mind as he looked around the rest of the house. They finished off the first floor and made their way upstairs to look at all the bedrooms. He was pleased with himself when the only thought he had was that it was a perfect number for if his friends or family came in for a weekend.
The last stop was the master bedroom. Well, it was more a suite than a bedroom. It was enormous and full of sunlight just like the living room had been. He walked over to the window and saw that it held the same view as the window with the seat. There’d be no negatives to waking up to that every morning.
When the closet was opened he saw that there was way more room than he could possibly use. Of course, there was plenty of room for Misty’s stuff. He shook his head at himself when she popped into his head again. Why was he even considering her when thinking about this house? She wasn’t moving in here with him, and it wasn't even an option. He had to forget about her and make this decision on his own.
The bathroom proved to be a problem in that resolution when he saw that there were separate sinks and the shower door was clear and contained two showerheads and a seat. God damn, that shower. He had other thoughts about Misty right now that had nothing to do with her living there with him.
He forced himself to listen to the realtor instead of thinking about Misty naked in the shower with him and followed her back downstairs. They stood again in the living room as she gave him the last few bits of information on the place. Really, the only negative to it was that it was obviously not made for just one person, and he told the realtor that.
Just then his phone rang and he glanced down at the caller ID. He smiled just at the sight of her name. He felt like thinking about her so much this afternoon had almost conjured up this phone call. If it had been anyone else he would have hit ‘ignore’, but he wouldn’t do that to her.
“Excuse me for a moment,” he said to the realtor before picking up.
“I just had a table eat all but like two bites of their lunch and then tell me it was the worst thing they’ve ever eaten and they didn’t think they should have to pay for it. If it was so awful, why did you eat it instead of ordering something else?!” she exclaimed. He laughed.
“Bad day at work?” he asked.
“I swear, someday I’m going to invent a machine that will automatically eliminate every person in the world that I wouldn’t get along with,” she replied. He laughed again. Misty cracked him up when she was in one of these moods. “Anyway, what are you up to?”
“I’m actually looking at a house right now,” he told her.
“Oh yeah? Is it nice?” she questioned.
“Yeah, it is. Big kitchen, plenty of guest rooms, tons of sunlight everywhere,” he explained.
“If you’re dumb enough to get a place without tons of sunlight, we will no longer be friends,” she joked.
“Don’t worry, I would never dream of doing such a thing.”
“Which bedroom is mine when I come to visit?” she asked.
“Any one you want,” he replied.
“I’ll take the master bedroom then.”
He smiled when she said that. Despite figuring she meant she just wanted the biggest room when she came to visit, he liked to think maybe she’d meant she’d share it with him instead of taking her own room. They only talked another minute with a promise to talk again later. He turned back to the realtor who was looking at him with a smile on her face.
“Girlfriend?” she asked. He wasn’t sure if she was simply curious, or liked knowing more about his personal life than the rest of the general public.
“No, my best friend,” he told her. She nodded and asked him what he thought of the house. He told her he’d take it.
I got home from work that night and hung out with my parents in the living room watching TV for a little while before they went up to bed. Nick was back at school for the year, and I was left alone with Bauer. Like every other night I made my way into my bedroom because I didn’t want to disturb my parents while they were trying to sleep.
It was depressing being back home. I’d give just about anything to be back in Cole Harbour and have it be summer again. I’d been home for about a week, and there was no sign of it getting better. I’d grown up wanting out of this town, and here I was, not any closer to getting out for good. The summer away had only shown me how badly I needed out.
I thought back to the summer once again, like I had been over and over again since I’d been back. I smiled to myself at all the good memories I had and looked up at the pictures I’d put on my wall of everyone back there that I knew I’d keep in touch with. There were pictures of me and the girls posing and goofing off in front of the camera. There were pictures of the guys messing around. Then there were pictures of Sidney and I.
We had pictures that had been taken when we weren’t aware of it. There were pictures taken of us laughing together over something, pictures of us fishing, pictures of us competing over something stupid I’m sure. There were also the pictures of us posing for the camera, our arms around each other, grinning crazily. Lastly there was my personal favorite, the one where I’d planted a kiss on his cheek last second, and the shocked expression on his face, mid-giggle, was priceless.
When I left Cole Harbour I felt like I was leaving a piece of me behind so I’d printed out these pictures to never forget what I’d had that summer. I’d been on my own, with only myself and Bauer to rely on. I’d done it. I’d proven to myself that I could live on my own and not be dependent on anyone else. And I’d met some of the best people ever in the process.
I’d spent every day the week after Sidney left with at least one of the girls or the guys, or some combination of them. They’d wanted to make sure I was okay with him gone, and I’d wanted to spend as much time with them as I could before I left. The night before I headed home they’d taken me out for dinner and drinks. It was supposed to be an early night so I could get plenty of sleep, but we closed down the bars that night, just having too much fun to part. I’d paid dearly for it the next morning when I woke up to make the drive.
My head had hurt when I woke up and I downed a couple of painkillers with my coffee before starting out. Bauer and I stood out in the front yard for a while looking back at the house that had been our home for the summer. A tear had slid down my cheek when I turned to get into my car. I’d fully intended on getting right on the road, but I found myself heading somewhere else instead.
I’d pulled up to Sidney’s house and sat in the car for a moment, wondering what the hell I was doing there. I eventually got out of the car and walked out to the back, Bauer on my heels. I walked to the end of the dock and looked out over the lake for a while. When I turned to head back to my car I took one long last look at his house.
“Goodbye,” I’d said aloud, a few more tears escaping my eyes. Then I’d gotten back into my car and began the journey home.
The sound of my phone ringing jolted me out of my memories and I had half a mind to just hit ignore and retreat back into them. Deciding that wasn’t the healthiest option I glanced at the screen. I was glad I’d changed my mind when I saw a picture of Sidney had popped up onto it.
“Are you a homeowner yet?” I asked when I answered. He chuckled.
“The one I was in when you called earlier. The one with all the sunlight,” he told me. I grinned even though he couldn’t see it.
“Then we can still be friends,” I joked.
“Oh good, I was worried,” he responded sarcastically. I laughed along with him. “There’s a window seat with an amazing view, right where all that sunlight comes in.” My grin grew when he told me.
“Sounds like the place you’ll have to tear me away from when I come to visit.”
“Yeah, I figured that would be the case.”
We talked for a while longer and the smile remained on my face the entire time. Even though I was stuck here with my parents instead of in the town I’d fallen in love with this summer, it hurt a little less when I talked to Sidney. Everything hurt less when I heard his voice.