Summer romances are not for the hopeless romantic, as strange as that might seem. Romance for the romantic? How perfect. And it will be for a few months. You will have sand infested kisses and late night conversations, and you will fall for his summer build.
Here is the tragedy of his sunscreen flavored kisses and his rugged summer hands though- they will leave and you will forget how the sunscreen flavor trickled onto your tongue.
There will be other men everywhere you turn during the summer. They’ll have eyes of Pacific Ocean green and Atlantic Ocean blue and teeth that as white as Orbit gum. As much as they look like the lifeguards you imagine giving you CPR in your dreams, you’ll begin to find them cliché and boring. They don’t compare to the boy who taught you how to sail and how to camp on your nearby island.
He is as familiar as mosquito bites and tan lines. You will spend nights laughing in the sand after your parents think you’ve fallen asleep, and you will kiss him at parties when nobody is looking.
Spend the time you have with him basking in the sun; bury him in the sand. Sneak out and meet him at the pond down the street; spend days trying to ditch his friends and wink at him when he notices you staring. If your heart beats fast, put his hand on your chest and have him listen. Stare at the stars; pretend each messy collection of stars is a new constellation and spend hours naming them. If you want to kiss him, pull him in close and don’t let go until August packs its last bags.
When you want to cry thinking about leaving come September, laugh instead because it is June and you can stare into his murky brown eyes for two more months.
But when September finally rears its ugly head, understand that he will leave you- maybe not forever, but for now. It will be a bittersweet last night full of sugary kisses and sour tears. You’ll be mad, and he will wave as he drives away. The leaves will change and so will he.
He’ll replace his bathing suits with polos and khakis, and trade his beach bags for a backpack. He will date a girl who wears skirts and who spends hours putting her hair up just right; you in a bikini and scattered sea salt braids is a nice relief from reality, but not practical for his December kisses and city life.
Come next April (or three Aprils later), he will text you. It will be out of the blue, and probably contain some type of reminiscing. Your bones will ache, and you’ll imagine his callused summer hands on your tanned waist. You will bite your lip, and remember how he nibbled at yours, even when they were sunburnt.
He’ll remind you of those fish that ran across your calf while you kissed him in the lake; he’ll joke about the nights he was king, sitting on his throne of empty water and Gatorade bottles (formerly filled with liquor, this was before you were old enough to find your own). He’ll remind you of the nights you told him your secrets, and of the nights you broke what minimal summer rules your parents had given you just to see him.
He’ll tell you that you were different, and you will forget about that New York-wears-skirts-and-perfectly-hairsprayed-hair-girlfriend and every other piece of him that once made you mad. You will forget he never texted you after that night, and you will forget that you once asked your mom if you were pretty because he made you feel like you weren’t. You’ll tell him you miss him.
When he comes back you the next summer, you will forget the times he left you wondering, and the times he made you sad. Every attribute you deemed as a flaw, you will forget. You will only remember his laugh and how it shook the trees. You will remember his sun-kissed skin, and how you shot fireworks off the wrong direction on the lake three summers ago and burned him.
Oh yes, the times with him were nothing short of summertime fine, but your goodbyes were harsher than your worst sunburn.
Like the salt won’t leave the sea, he won’t leave the back crevices of your mind.