It was spring break and I had to go to my Grandmothers house. I was furious. Not because I didn’t love Gran. No that wasn’t it. It was because I was supposed to go to California with my group of girlfriends. Visit the beaches and find hot single guys. Mother smashed those plans when she wanted to show Gran how well we’ve been doing since Dad left.
The trees where whipping past in the window. My iPod was on full blast tuning out my mother’s orders of not telling Gran that she hasn’t found another man since dad left five years ago. I rolled my eyes and nodded. The car slowed down when we pulled up to Gran’s house.
Gran lives out in the middle of nowhere. The only good part about visiting Gran is she has acres of land surrounded by woods on three sides. She has this field thats just filled with grass and past that is a beach. Not one of those beaches you see in California, more like the coast in Maine. I haven’t been here since I was twelve. I doubt any of my old friends were still around. Gran popped out of the house smiling pulling me out of the car.
“Oh I missed you Aliea! Your mom tells me that you didn’t have any plans for spring break. A pretty girl like you should have gone with her friends somewhere.” I shot my mom a look before hugging Gran. “I’ve missed you too Gran. It has been too long.”
“Mom, how long did you want us to stay here?” My mom asked pushing us into the house. She knew me too well, if she left me outside alone I’d take the car and drive it all the way to California. “As long as you want dear. I’ve been worried about you since Bill left you.” My moms face fell for a second before plastering on a fake smile.
“You don’t have to Mom. Aliea and I are doing well.” Gran smiled at this. “If you’re doing so well, why don’t you come live with me?” My mom was stunned by this. Her mouth was open to decline the offer.
But then I saw it.
The moment of hesitation.
She was thinking about how much easier it would be. Less bills, less calls from the school saying I was skipping class and smoking in the bathrooms. Gran saw this and tried to use it to her advantage.
“I only have Anthony, the boy next door, to help me around the yard,” She smirked at me when she said Anthony. I cringed internally, she's going to try to hook me up with him. “And old lady could use her granddaughter around here too. Someone needs to learn the family recipes.” She smiled. My mother glanced over at me with an apology.
“You can finish the rest of your junior year at your school now. But this summer we are moving over here Aliea. There will be no exceptions.” She said with a finality.
I wouldn’t be able to get out of this. I groaned and said I was going to go for a walk. They couldn’t deny me that. I was walking around the many acres kicking rocks and screaming when I found the place where I would always lay and watch the clouds.
I smiled over looking the grass. It use to be so green and cut short but with only my Gran and that boy helping her she couldn’t keep it up. I didn’t mind, it was still mine. No one knew I would sneak out here to just be alone. Not even my old friend Lucien. He was my best friend, we did everything together.
I smiled and laid down in the weeds looking up at the sky, remembering all of our adventures. I closed my eyes and frowned thinking that I wouldn’t be able to live in the middle of nowhere. I need to try to get out of this somehow. Maybe if Lucien was still here it would be bearable but Mom told me that he moved away years ago.
I heard my cell phone ring and I patted my chest not remembering if I put in my bra. Nope, not there. I continued patting down my body to my hips. Not there either, damn it of course it would be in my ass pocket. I lifted my hips to get my phone out and answered it. “Hello?” I asked annoyed that someone was interrupting my evil plans to get out of this hell hole. “Aleia? It’s Gran, Anthony is going to be here any minute and I wanted you to meet him.” She said this with a hint of something in her voice, she was up to something.
“Gran,” I said sounding whiney, “why do I have to meet him right now? I’m trying to come to terms with me starting my senior year at a new high school.” I was throwing a fit I knew this, but I new Gran was trying to set me up with him and I didn’t need this right now. “Aliea, I expect you in the house in ten minutes.”
“But Gran!” I stared at the phone. Gran had hung up on me. I groaned get up dusting off my shorts. I had to run back to the house to be there within ten minutes.” I heard people talking, I recognized Gran and Mom but there was another voice. I sounded familiar but also foreign. Intrigued I opened the door and walked into the kitchen. Anthony’s back was towards me and all I could see was a tall boy looked around my age with a black head of hair and a defined body. You could tell he took care of himself, you don’t get that figure by sitting around playing video games. Gran looked over his shoulder to me and he turned.
His hazel eyes turned to mine and he smiled. “Ali?”
I couldn’t believe it was him! It was Lucien! And boy did he grow up! I remember him being awkward and lanky.
He walked up to me and grabbed me in a huge hug and spun me around. I couldn’t help but giggle. He set me back down and took a step back to look me over with a smile on his face.
“You grew up Ali!” he smirked at me. I laughed again. “You did too Lucien! I thought you moved to New York?” He nodded. “My mom took me up there but decided that she liked it here better and I’ve been helping your grandmother ever since.”
I turned my head to the side in confusion, “Wait. You’ve been helping Gran?” He nodded. I turned to look at Gran. This is what she was up to the whole time. “Then who is Anthony?” I asked to Gran and Lucien. “It’s my middle name. Your grandmother loves to call me it instead of Lucien.”
I laughed. I couldn’t believe everything changed in such a small amount of time. I remember old times with Lucien. We played tricks on Old Man Jenson up the road and we even had our first kiss together. I was going to show him my secret place but that was the day my mom shipped us out as far away as possible.
My old feelings for Lucien sparked right back up. But it was something more, he was older and he was even helping Gran. “Are you going to Clearwater High next year?” I asked as I pulled Lucien outside, away from prying eyes. “Yep, I’m going to be a senior. What about you, you haven’t graduated already have you? You were always smarter than me.” I smiled, “No I haven’t graduated yet I’m going to be a senior at Clearwater high next year too.”
His whole face lit up at this. “Ali, are you serious? That is great!” He pulled me into a hug again and I pulled my arms around him tight. He smelled wonderful I never wanted to let him go. He pulled back and looked nervous. “What’s wrong Lucien?” He ran his hand through his hair trying to find the right words.
“You probably didn’t want to live here. Well...I mean leaving everything, your friends and boyfriend.” He wouldn’t look me in the eye. I pulled his chin down to look at me. “I don’t have a boyfriend Lucien. In fact I didn’t want to live here,” He looked away and I jerked his chin so he would make eye contact again. “I didn’t want to live here unless you were here. You make everything better Lucien. We’ve been best friends since we could walk!” He smiled at this and pulled me into his arms.
“What about you? I’m sure you have a girlfriend. You sure did fill out,” I said looking him over for the thousandth time. He laughed, “No girlfriend. If you remember the girls who actually live here, they are the same annoying brats that we played pranks on. The only difference is they grew boobs.” I let go of a breath I didn’t know I was holding. I’ve known I liked Lucien since I was twelve. That day came to the front of my memory and I smiled.
“Lucien. I want to show you something,” I pulled him toward the woods. He smiled as he trailed behind me. I came into the clearing for the second time today and this feeling beat that out of the water. I was finally sharing my secret place with someone. “I’ve never shown this to anyone before. It’s my secret place, my place to come and think.” I glanced at him. He looked down and me and grabbed one arm around my waist and instinctively I wrapped my arms around his neck, and he twirled me around before losing his balance and I fell on top of him.
I couldn’t stop my giggling. It just came pouring out of me. I couldn’t remember the last time I laughed like this. After my laughing fit I realized that I was straddling his hips and his hands were planted on my waist. I leaned forward and kissed his nose before falling over to the side.
“Aliea?” he whispered in my ear as I threw my arm across his chest. I looked up into his hazel eyes and smiled, “Yeah, Lucien?” “I’m glad you shared this with me. We’ve been best friends since I can remember. But, I think I want to be something more with you. Your beautiful, smart, funny, devious. Everything I want.” I closed my eyes listening to him as the wind blew softly around us. “Lucy,” he smiled at my old nickname of his. “I’d love to be something more with you.” I giggled again but this time he stopped it with a heart-stopping kiss.