City Lounge: Paris (Book One, Chapter Six: How We Began)

Chapter Six: How We Began:

She was my first love.

Paula and I met in the summer of  2006. I was just about to enter high school. I remember that day very well too.

I had gone out to South Padre Island for the summer to see my dad and grandmother. South Padre had some good beaches and water parks. Actually, that day was raining. Pouring buckets. To be fair, I was a little idiot back then. I wanted to go to the beach anyway. My mom would’ve flipped at me going out in the rain. To her, I was as fragile as glass. She would flip out if I got a paper cut. My dad, on the other hand, didn’t worry about me too much. He thought that me getting banged up and sick would “build my character”. That day was no different.

“I’m leaving now!” I called from the front door that morning.

“Okay,” Dad said, half-asleep.  Luckily, grandma, who worried over me just like mom, was sleeping like a corpse in her room. I took a deep breath and walked out the door.

Unfortunately, there was nothing to do on a beach when it rains. There was no one in sight. The only living being I saw that morning was a stray dog running along the wet sand looking for shelter. Wonderful. The one day that I am free to go to the beach and my stupidity just had to come out. Yet, something inside of me wouldn’t let me go home just yet. I looked up at the sky, frowning.

Why did I even come out here?

Then she was there.

I happened to look over to my left and see a girl looking out at the roaring waves. Her long blonde hair was just as soaked as her over-sized white shirt. I have to admit, I felt less stupid for coming out to the beach while it was raining. I waved to get her attention.

“Hey! Hey!” I shouted. This girl didn’t look up. She probably couldn’t hear me over the waves. I jogged over to the girl, flagging her down. When I was halfway to her, she turned and looked up at me. I lowered my arm.

“Uh… hi,” I said. The cute blonde girl titled her head as she stared at me.

“What are you doing out here in the rain?” she asked. I blinked at her at first.

“I could ask you the same thing,” I said.

“I guess you’re right.” She pushed her wet hair behind her right ear. Her smile made me feel warmer.

“Do you live around here?” I asked.

“Nah, I’m on vacation with my family,” she said.

“Me too!” I rubbed the back of my head, chuckling. She had some of her bangs in her eyes. Her small brown freckles stole my heart.

“Uh… are you doing anything today?” I asked.

“Not really,” she said. I looked around on the soggy, empty beach.

“There’s not much to do around here,” I said. “Let’s just hang out.” The way that came out was the equivalent of falling off the stage during a school play. My face was so red after I realized that. She just shrugged her shoulders as she shoved her hands into her shirt pockets.

“Sure,” she said. I stumbled backwards with my jaw dropped to the sand.

“Are you serious?” I asked.

“Yeah,” the cute girl said. I whistled and rubbed the back of my head.

“Wow… Uh… Okay… Where do you want to go?” I asked. She turned back to the roaring sea.

“Nowhere, really.”

I gave her a strange look. “So you want to just stay here, then.”

“Uh-huh.”

I blinked with a dumb look on my face. She was cute, but I couldn’t figure her out at the time. Maybe she was a misfit like I was. I was never a popular kid in school and even the geeks didn’t hang around me. For the most part, I was alone. My only friend was my older cousin from Charlotte, North Carolina, but I only saw him twice a year. Maybe this summer would be different. I turned to my potential new friend.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“Paula,” the girl said. I smiled as I looked at her profile.

“I’m Will,” I said.

I remember we had lunch at Waffle House. It wasn’t exactly my first choice; we just found it on the walk back to town. The food was greasy, but that was some good syrup. Paula didn’t talk much on our “date”. (Probably should’ve taken that as a hint. Like I said, I was an idiot.) I couldn’t help but get the feeling that she was sad about something. I didn’t know whether or not to ask her what was wrong.

I lowered my fork.

“Hey,” I said. “If you are ever sad about anything, you can tell me all about it.” Paula stared at me with a confused look on her face.

“What?” she asked.

“I am here to listen,” I said. “That’s all.”

“You’re weird.”

“I get that a lot.”

The rest of the summer disappeared into a happy blur. I spent most of my days with Paula. We became an official couple by the time summer was over. Turns out, she went to the same high school that I did. She ended up becoming more popular than I did as our high school years wore on. I didn’t complain. She didn’t act like a snob towards me and she didn’t ignore me either. Paula still loved me and she stayed faithful to me. I would’ve followed her everywhere. Which I took an internship with her in Paris, France. Paula always wanted to and I always wanted to make her happy. Anything Paula wanted, Paula got from me with all of my heart. I thought that she and I would’ve gotten married and formed a future together.

Now that that traitor dumped me after cheating on me, I am not so sure about that future anymore.

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