Summer to me means a lot of linen, which I love to wear but hate ironing. It also means swimming pools, the smell of sunscreen, colorful flip flops and chatting with girls in one of the sidewalk cafés, enjoying the warm wind’s kisses on our cheeks.
Summer brings an excuse to take random candid photos “just because it’s nice outside” and to stay up late “just to listen to birds chirp at dawn.”
Leaning back leisurely and watching people pass by the coffee house window counts as a viable activity in summer. Sitting inside – be it an office or a home – while the sun is burning holes in the pavement counts as a crime on my heart’s watch.
I blame it on the season when social ties seem to become of utter importance, overshadowing other, more serious (who said?) things in life. I think it is completely the summer’s fault when my heart and mind suddenly decide to walk in opposite directions, pulling me apart persistently, with the heart scoring points toward victory two thirds of the time.
One of these warm summer nights brought a fight between me and you, one of my best friends. I don’t really want to know at this point whether it was our foolish youth running through out veins, a couple of beers or a mere misunderstanding fueled by a thing or two left unsaid. Let’s just blame it on this hot season and the overdose of emotions it throws at us, breaking the weak defense that is out reason.
When I saw you through one of those coffee house windows parking your bike at the curb, I thought it was meant for us to make up today. Why else would summer want us to run into each other like that in a city with abundance of places to go lick our wounds?
I put my pride somewhere deep in the back pocket and I came to you, my hands shaking, trying not to let go of some fair trade sugar I just grabbed. I apologized although I didn’t feel like I deserved your negative attitude. Would you come to my table, I asked, if I didn’t approach you first? No, you said proudly. I felt that you were unfair to me and our friendship and I thought that you, the older one of us two, should have acted more mature. I was angry inside yet I could not afford to lose you. The thought of this summer without you crept into the back of my mind as you were standing in front of me, paying for your coffee. I was scared to death that you’d turn around and walk past me, throwing our friendship away coldheartedly. I pictured bumping into each other awkwardly in little downtown restaurants and trying to share friends most of which we had in common. I saw the boring pool parties without you, that bottle of Sangria I bought to share with you left unopened, tedious shopping trips with other less fashionable friends and not having you on the phone late at night to laugh about our latest girly adventures. I was afraid of not being able to see you across the table from me – like tonight – leaning toward each other to share happenings at work, our sappy memories, grown-up dreams and random things like those few lines from your book on the history of rock.
It would be my last attempt to approach you, I knew, and you must have felt it. Which one is my table, you asked, following me. You accepted my explanation, and deep in my heart I felt that you were sorry too, although you wouldn’t say it. As we walked out onto the sleepy summer street after chatting for hours, you said you wanted to see me tomorrow. You pulled me closer, hugged me and kissed me, and in my mind I answered, “Don’t worry about saying a thing, my friend, because I already know.” I smiled, turned around and felt a touch of that playful warm wind on my face. It felt like summer.