Summer of A Lifetime   by Taylor McKinney

The Summer of a Lifetime

Sitting underneath the shady oak tree in my grandmother\'s backyard, quietly reading or drawing ,was a daily routine for me during the summer of 2006. Spending the summer with my grandma was the most exciting thing that had happened to the little eight-year- old me. My classmates bragged about cruises and amusement parks, leaving the state, and one even left the country. But I couldn’t have been happier with the one bedroom farm house only half an hour or so away from home. It was peaceful ,quiet and, best of all, I got to spend time with my grandma. Little did I know that my summer would not be peaceful for much longer.

One afternoon in July I resumed my position under the tree and pulled out a book. Before I could even finish the first page, a dog rammed into me, knocking me down and throwing the book into the air. The dog jumped on top of me and started licking my face. I closed my eyes and braced myself for the slobber that would soon engulf my face. Lucky for me, the dog was pulled off before any real damage could be done. I opened my eyes and slowly sat up, fearing the dog would attack once more. In front of me stood a boy that looked about my age holding onto the dogs collar. He smiled and apologized for the dog. I nodded but otherwise didn’t move.

“Go on Nikki, go home!” He pushed the dog, Nikki, off and she ran towards the house behind my grandmother’s.

He apologized again before offering me his hand and helping me to my feet. “I’m Stone. Me and my dad just moved in there.” He pointed at the house Nikki had ran to. “I saw a kid out here so I thought I would come out and say hi, but looks like Nikki beat me to it.” Stone smiled sheepishly. I nodded again but kept my head down.

Stone rubbed the back of his head and asked me what my name was. “Taylor,” I told him.

He smiled again and took my hand in his. “Nice to meet you Taylor.” He shook my hand as he spoke. “This your house?” he asked, pointing to the house behind the tree.

“No. It’s my grandma’s. I’m only here for the summer.” I spoke softly. I was very shy, and didn’t talk much.

“Do you want to play?” I looked up at him. He was a few inches taller than me, probably about 4’5, and had shaggy blonde hair. His skin was somewhat tanned, probably from hours of being outside. What really stuck out were his bright, sparkling, blue eyes and the freckles that surrounded them. I smiled shyly and nodded once more. That simple gesture is what triggered many events in that summer.

“Stone! Help me! Help! It’s stuck!” I screamed. The sun was high in the sky, with almost no clouds surrounding it, making a perfect day to be outside. My grandma and Stone’s father decided to take us fishing in the pond across the street. Everything was fine until I actually hooked something.

“Whoa, hang onto it. It isn’t stuck, there’s a fish on it.” He set his pole down and walked towards me.

“What do I do now? It’s pulling!” I asked. Stone laughed and grabbed onto the pole. He told me to watch him. I kept my eyes glued to the fishing pole and watched him tug on it and reel the line in. Soon he pulled it up, and I saw a little minnow hooked onto it.

“Awww he is so cute!” Stone said, pushing it to me.

“No! Don’t let it touch me!” I screamed. He laughed and chased me with it until my grandma intervened and threw the fish back into the water.

After that, I decided I was just going to watch. I sat on the bench under the gazebo as the three fished.

A few hours later, Stone pulled up his line too fast, and I saw the hook get caught in his cheek. I screamed and cried while he just laughed. He reached up and pulled it out with ease after telling me he was a fish. I looked at him with disbelief. He simply patted his cheek and smiled at me once more.

That summer was full of misadventures between the two of us. They ranged from tree climbing, apple picking, even going to the farm a few miles away. I had a great time, and Stone became my best friend.

I was really sad when it came time to leave and go back home. School started and I only got to see him every other weekend, when I visited my grandma. At the end of the year, I was very excited to go spend the summer with grandma and Stone. Near the end of June though, Stone and his father had to move to Texas. I thought it was the worst thing to ever happen. They promised to keep in touch, and after a tear-filled goodbye, they drove off. Sadly, I never heard from them again. I am very thankful for the time I did get to spend with Stone, and am glad I got the chance to live the summer of a lifetime.