138.

138. When I’m sitting down and I’m really relaxed, I start rocking back and forth without realizing it.

Summer. The sun is out, the world just barely coming out of spring. It’s warm enough to get wet and feel the freedom and recklessness that summer brings. I’m with all my friends, all the people I care about. Summer brings a lazy happiness, a happy carelessness, where time seems to stop and no one wants the moment to end, but at the same time, they all know there will be plenty of similar moments to come. Hearts beat fast at the thrills and dares we take in the hot weather. Laughter rings out loud and blocks out any source of negativity. The grass is green; the days are full of light and heat. Conversations get deeper; sunsets get prettier. I can’t help but love every second of it. That’s summer.

It was nighttime in this story though. It was still warm outside. Crickets were chirping and mosquitos and moths were flying around the light on the back porch. It’d been a long day for all of us. Some of the girls were playing guitar and singing as we all silently listened to them. It was beautiful—their voices, I mean. Their perfect voices filled up the silence and it was another lazy, careless summer moment that should have never ended. Summer does that to us—we all wish it was infinite. And that night, I don’t think anyone wanted it to end. No one wanted to go home, we all wanted to stay on that back porch forever with the guitars strumming. Because in some ways, somehow we all became a family that day…

I was scared, I was so scared. I needed to forget some things. Sitting on the back porch was comforting though. I was on the step right outside the door. My face was in my knees, hiding the tears I was fighting; hiding the exhaustion I was feeling. Sometimes the perfect summer moments we feel aren’t always felt in a state of pure happiness. I was trying to forget, focusing on the sweet melodies and words of the songs being sung. And when I’m sitting for a long time, I absentmindedly start to rock back and forth. And that’s what I was doing. Hugging my legs with my face down, slowly rocking myself back and forth, back and forth—quite a sight, I’m sure.

Then he came outside and sat down beside me. He used to make fun of how I’d rock back and forth—I wouldn’t realize I was, and he’d point it out and tease me. Well when he sat down he told me I was rocking. He might have thought it was funny, but I didn’t care. I just looked up at him and nodded then put my head back down. Rocking can be soothing sometimes. So I kept going back and forth, hugging my legs with my face down. I was glad he was with me. I was scared, and I know he was too. In that moment, I needed him there. I needed my newly formed family that had grown so close together that day. As we continued listening to the music on the porch, he started to rock with me, for what seemed like a long time. Back and forth, back and forth. And that meant the world to me…

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