I love parks. I think they are romantic. One of my favorites is Celestial Park in Addison.
Maybe it’s the steps with poem verses written on them or the sun dial at the top (I love the sun), but the place inspires my creativity. I not only love the park, I fell in love in this park.
“Where are we going?”
We’d been driving around for 20 minutes. The radio is load and I have to yell for him to hear me, but he doesn’t answer. He squeezes my leg, tries not to smile and continues to focus on the road.
He slows down and turns into a neighborhood. We don’t know anyone in this neighborhood. I know everyone he knows.
As I am about to yell again, he pulls in next to the curb and turns off the ignition.
“Come on, I’ll show you.”
From where we parked, I see a trail covered with trees. I can’t see where it leads, but through the trees I sees an open area elevated from the street.
He takes my hand and leads me to the trail. I can feel the gravel through the soles of my sandals. The air is filled with the smell of lavender and a hint of magnolias.
I notice he is still grinning. I can’t imagine what I am in for, but I can feel the excitement through his fingers as they grip my hand tighter.
The trail takes a hard left turn up ahead. Before we reached the turn, he stops.
“You have to close your eyes.”
“Trust me,” he smiles at me, squeezes my hand and I close my eyes, trusting him completely.
He lets go of my hand, but in seconds, I felt him standing behind me. He places his hand on the back of my arms and guides me forward.
We take a few steps and then he turns me to the right and wraps his arms around me. He whispers in my eye, “Open your eyes.” and this is what I see.
“Welcome to Celestial Park.”
This is where I fell in love.
Unfortunately it didn’t last, I was 15, but still special. Can you pin point the time and place you first fell in love?
It is time for the big reveal in the What I did Last Summer: Fact or Fiction? Blog Hop. Thanks so much to all the lovely people who stopped by and casted their votes. I was thrilled with the response and appreciative of all those who where concerned about my health and those who enjoyed the Universe setting things back in balance (You need to read the stories to get what I am talking about).
Taking a walk down memory lane and putting these two story on paper was a great experience for me. I truly enjoyed it and discovered I have many of these types of stories rolling around in my head. I can use them in my WIP, might be fun. You know – – –
Oh, all right. I will stop stalling. Here is what you all have been waiting for:
I would like to thank Emily and Melody for allowing me to relieve a painful and bitter sweet summer memory.
This particular memory occurred quite a few years ago, but it still makes me cringe every time I think about it.
My best friend and I had earned some extra money working in my dad’s warehouse. We did this a couple times per summer and it paid a lot; 10 whole dollars a day. That was a lot for a couple of 12 years. We decided to put our money together to revive my friend’s old fish tank. But, we were way to mature for fish. This time we were going to construct an terrarium with frogs, snakes and lizards.
Her mother had stored her old aquarium in the attic and we decided to go look for it. The attic was on the second floor or her house. It wasn’t a finished attic, but it looked safe enough. It had exposed beams that criss-crossed to make a floor and exposed insulation. I knew not to walk on the insulation. Plywood covered half the floor and several boxes were stacked along the walls on the plywood. It was August in Houston, Texas, hot and sticky. We wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.
“You look over there in the corner,” I looked in the direction my friend said and spotted it. Way in the back.
Only a couple of boxes were in my path. I stepped on a beam and moved the boxes blocking my way. I took another step and then another and then
I fell through the floor.
Now, I don’t remember falling and I don’t remember landing. I remember hearing the crash, but the next thing I saw was my friends face looking down at me through the hole in the ceiling. Her head looked so small and at that point we were both kind of confused. Then it registered to us at the same time what had happened. She started screaming, I started crying and then the pain hit.
My best friends mom came out to see what all the noise was and she sees me lying on the concrete floor. She starts screams. But, not at me. No, she is screaming at her daughter whose’s head is still sticking out the hole in the ceiling. “What the hell are you doing up there?” her mom said.
Thankfully she had the phone in her hand. She called 911 while now yelling at us both. “I told you I would get the damn thing?” “Why don’t you ever listen?” “You could have killed yourself.”
She was right. I had fallen between a patio table with a glass top and a bar b que pitt. If I had been off just 6 inches either way, I would have been hurt even more or worse. So, I guess you can say I was lucky.
I ended up breaking my back bone in three pieces. My doctor said I fell perfectly. I liked that. I felt pretty blessed.
Now the bitter sweet part, I had to spend the rest of the summer in bed. But, I watched movies, read books, and annoyed my mother to entertain me when I was bored. Oh yeah, and I got to keep the terrarium in my room for the summer.
Now, did this really happen? Come back on Wednesday and read another summer memory and let me know which one you think is true.
Central park was unusually loud on 5th Avenue at this hour, Alana noticed. The park side of the street was crowded and she was having trouble getting into a rhythm on her morning jog. She couldn’t remember ever having to dodge people like this at 6 am.
At 82nd Street, Alana barely missed running over a man who was sitting on the sidewalk crying. He was in an old dusty grey suit. Strange.
Alana decided to slow down and walk until she could continue her run at the 72nd street entrance to the park.
Moving through the crowd, Alana began to notice that the people in the crowd were not dressed appropriate for the time of day or the weather. It was November. Everyone was dress for summer. They looked like they were going to a garden party. To Alana, they looked happy and drunk.
As Alana passed by, a handsome man gave out a chuckle. The man looked like an extra from the party scene in The Great Gatsby. He was talking to two women. Both were stunning, in ankle length sun dress with big yellow, purple and pink flowers on them.
“The lights. Did you see the lights?” One women said.
“The music was phenomenal.” The guy with the smart looks and loud laugh said.
“I loved the food.” the other women said, “I hope we can go back.”
Suddenly an elderly women interrupted the three hipsters.
‘That women looks like my grandmother,’ Alana thought to herself.
“You can’t go back in. They never let you back in.” The old women was dressed in a similar dress as the two young ladies. But, where they looked like they were ready for a fashion photo shoot about the 1920’s, the elderly women looked like she had been wearing her clothes since 1920. The only reason Alana recognized the dress was because the large colorful flowers were still visible on the faded fabric.
Alana continued on towards where the crowd was entering Central Park.
A younger women grabbed Alana’s arm, “Have you seen it?”
“Seen what?” The women lead Alana to the park entrance. As they turned the corner, Alana saw it.
It was magnificent. It was a castle. A castle in the middle of central park. Alana had taken this route many times and she was sure that it had not been there before.
The women let go of Alana’s arm and took off towards the castle.
Most people walking towards it were like Alana, mesmerized and curious. Those walking away were drunk and happy, but those who had been before, just stood around looking old and angry, like the old women and the old man crying on the street. Angry and desperate to get back in.
A jet flew overhead confusing Alana. You don’t hear jet engines overhead in New York City. Which made Alana realize she wasn’t in New York anymore.
“I hope it’s worth the wait.” Emilynn said to John before he boarded the plane. “It will be. Trust me.” John gave her a kiss. It was a ‘I am going out for milk’ kiss, not a ‘I will be in Africa for 6 months’ kiss. This was all new for us.
When he first told her about his plan, she was supportive. She had to be. It was the first time he had actually had the courage to do what he wanted.
Emilynn and John had grown up together. They were elementary school sweethearts. As long as she had know John, he had always been concerned with what others thought.
His friends used to tease him because he was the first one to get serious about a girl. So, he would down play their relationship in front of them. But, Emilynn knew the truth. John loved her since the second grade.
His mother thought he was to young to be so serious about a girl, so their plan to get married after high school were postponed. “What was the hurry anyway, right?” John said. “We will be together forever.”
His dad wanted him be able to take care of himself before taking on a wife, so he enlisted in the army and the wedding was put off again.
It pained Emilynn to watch John change his own thoughts and beliefs much like a chameleon changed his colors to blend in with his environment. John just wanted to please everyone. He didn’t want to stand out. He didn’t want the people he cared most about to be disappointed in him.
That was why this news was such a shock to everyone. When he told his mom she went and got a thermometer to make sure he wasn’t sick.
The pressure from his family and friends and probably a little from Emilynn had been building up for a while. The pressure finally forced John to take some time to decide what he really wanted for himself. Why that had to happen all the way in Africa, Emilynn wasn’t quite sure. But, it was what John needed to do.
John had told Emilynn on her birthday. He was so excited. Emilynn couldn’t help but be happy for him.
He had given her a pen. “What is this for?” Emilynn asked.
“Write me.” He said. He thought he was being clever. They both loved the movie Say Anything, but John never did quite get the significance of why Diane gave Lloyd the pen.
She couldn’t fault him, though. It would have been bad manners on her part. He was trying. And, she knew he needed this. So, she was going to be supportive and wait. Wait for him to come back as the man she knew he wanted to be and not the man that everyone expected him to be.
Emilynn had been waiting all her life for John. She was banking on the real him being worth the wait.