lauren rushing

Everything about summer makes me think of you.

The heat, the drinks, the way my skin smells salty and my feet will never be clean. All of it seems to seep out of me and spell your name.

Every weekend for three months we would drive up to your family’s lake house. We’d blur by the tiny towns along the drive singing along to country songs on the radio, wearing sunglasses that would inevitably get broken or lost, and push forward at 80 miles an hour towards our own little oasis. I would always complain about being too hot even if the windows were down and immediately jump into the water upon arrival, and you’d be right behind me.

But at the end of this sunny drive, there was no lake at the end. And there was no you. There was only heat, only sweat, and only the knowledge that we’re in the same city again but I can’t call you.

Everything about adventure reminds me of you.

Spontaneity, risk taking, just making a decision and sticking to it no matter the consequences. Everything about just doing something for the sake of doing it brings back your blonde hair and your smokey voice and it’s like you’re right in front of me again.

We were so impulsive, reckless, admittedly to a fault. We would spend money we didn’t have and stay up later than we should’ve all in the name of having a good time. There’s a permanent reminder of my summer of impulsivity on my side and every time trace my own ribs with my fingers I secretly wish I remembered how your thumbs felt sliding up my back.

Everything about Los Angeles feels like you.

The bustle, the dreams, the way I fall asleep to a breeze that doesn’t quite feel tranquil but instead feels like it’s trying to wake me up. All of it seems to be whispering in my ear to make me miss you.

LA seems to have a certain sort of energy that makes people doubt themselves. Maybe it’s because everyone comes here to be something, someone. But it seems to have a looming sense of “why you” over it.

It matches everything you were to a t.

You were the first person I ever loved who made me doubt myself and my decisions. And I think I’m supposed to hate you for it. I’m supposed to curse your name, blame you for my problematic summer and my fear of driving to fast. I’m supposed to instinctually flinch when people yell and label myself a survivor of you. I’m supposed to never search for you or think about calling you or wonder what would happen if I turned around on Melrose and saw you staring back.

Instead I’m sitting here with my beginning of summer freckles, thinking about jumping into the ocean, and remembering what it felt like to love you. Because everything about summer, and adventures, and being in California makes me think of you even after years of trying to forget.

And secretly I’m hoping that somewhere out there, in a city of millions and dreams, you’re thinking about me too. TC mark

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