Chapter 57 Summer
I can’t believe how great Lauren’s family has been to me. They helped me get this house, found me a job, and even found a babysitter they know for Matthew while I work. I’ve never had a family that actually loves each other before.
My dad ran out on my mom years ago, after she had her last kid was born. Her second husband is the meanest man alive, well so I thought before Max, err.. Moe came along. I still can’t believe I fell for him. I think I was just so ready to leave Mom’s house that I jumped at the first chance that came along. He was so sweet in the beginning, but still I should have known something was wrong. As guilty as I feel about it all, I wouldn’t change a thing. I got to meet and help raise a wonderful little boy, with Lance. Wow, it’s hard to call him that, I’ve known him as Toby for so long. I got a beautiful son out of this mess and met the most wonderful family in the world. Plus, they think of me as family now. I loved Sunlit Tides, it’s a beautiful place. Maybe one day I’ll go back, but for now, I’m so happy here.
Lance comes by several times a week, he still thinks of me as a second mom, but he has remembered his real mom and loves her more than anything. He will always know that I’ll be here for him. I protected him from Moe several times and I think he is aware of that. I’m just glad I was there to take care of him, Moe would have killed that baby if I hadn’t of been there.
It’s almost every day that someone in the family comes by. I’m not sure if they feel obligated or what, it’s nice to have the attention when you aren’t used to it though. The boys come over and take care of the lawn, the girls come and help with Matthew, Lauren comes for “girl talk”, and Merrilee comes over and teaches me new receipes. I can’t thank her enough for getting me the job at the restaurant. I’ve started out at the bottom, but I don’t care. I love working, it gives me a sense of pride. I want to make something of myself, so Matty will be proud of me.
The nights are the hardest. I lay in bed and think about Max. Not Moe, the evil guy, but Max the guy I met online and fell in love with. Even though he had a temper, he did have moments when he was really sweet. Even now, thinking about how he would kiss me makes me weak.
I wonder if I’ll ever find anyone. I’ve confided in Lauren that I miss him. She understands because he did a similiar thing to her when she was really young. She told me that she felt guilty for ever loving him, which I guess is what I feel now. I just wish things could be different, wish he could be a different man.
I spend all my free time with Matty. He is such a good baby, hardly ever cries. We go on a long walk every evening and he loves spending time outdoors. The park is close to our house, so we usually walk there and I spread a blanket out for him to lay on and just enjoy being outside.
We walk back home and I feed Matt a bottle and put him to bed. I remember I forgot to check the mail today, I’m expecting my first bill to come any time and as strange as it sounds, I’m excited about paying my first bill with my own money. I pull the bill out and notice another envelope.
I walk into the house and sit on the couch to open it. It’s a letter from Moe.
My Dear Summer, I’m writing this letter sitting in my prison cell. I wanted to tell you that I’m sorry for everything and hope one day you’ll forgive me. I’ve been so obsessed with Merrilee, Rob, and Lauren that I can’t see anything clearly. I know I need help and I’m trying to get that here. I hope you are doing well and hope the baby is ok. I hope you’ll write me back and let me know if I have another son or daughter. I understand if you don’t though. All my Love, Moe
I sit here stunned. I can’t believe he would write to me. How did he even get my address. This is scary. I think about calling Lauren, but don’t want to upset her so soon after having her babies. Well, I’m not writing him back. He’s crazy. I fold the letter and start to throw it away. I walk to the garbage can, but something stops me from ripping it to shreds. I close my eyes and remember the good times with Max. I can’t think of him as Moe, Moe is an evil man, but Max had his good moments. I hide the letter in my dresser and lay on the bed. The tears flow now, how crazy am I that I want to be with him?
I wake up the next morning feeling much better. I had a moment of weakness thinking about Moe, he’s no good and I need to move on. People say you will always have feelings for your first love, I just need to put him behind me. I get Matty up and get him ready for the sitter to get here. I feed him a bottle and put him in the swing, then I start getting ready for work. The sitter gets here just in time, so I rush out the door. I have a busy day at work, and receive my first promotion! A little more money in my pocket and I’m one stop closer to getting my dream position of being a chef. I head straight home and pay the sitter.
Robin calls me and asks me if I want to join her and Merri tonight, they are heading into town and going to the casino and maybe one of the dance clubs. I’m a little hesitant, but she insists. “I’ve already called Mom, she’s watching Matthew. So get ready!”, Robin says. “I don’t have anything to wear out! None of my clothes are right.”, I say trying to come up with an excuse to stay home. “I’m on my way, I’ll bring a couple outfits that will be perfect! You are not backing out of this!”, she says happily. “Ok, thanks Robin! See you soon!”
Robin and Merri get here in just a couple minutes. Robin leads me into the bedroom and throws a bag on the bed. “Try this one on, It will look awesome!”, she says. Merri yells in, “I’ll pack Matthew’s diaper bag, Mom’s keeping him all night!”
I try on the first dress, “Oh no! I’m not going out in this! This is way too short!”, I protest.
“How about this one? I bought it right before we left Sunlit Tides. It’s pretty!”, I say as I pull a dress from the closet and slip it on.
“God NO! We are going out to the dance club, not church. Take that thing off!”, Robin says with a yawn.
“Ok, here try this one, it’s Merri’s dress, but she said you could borrow it.”, she says as she throws me another dress. I shimmy into this one and it isn’t much better, but what the heck. I look pretty good. “Ok, now to do something with that hair!!”, Robin grins at me. “What? I like my hair!”, I pout. “It’s too…. perky. We are going for sexy, not perky tonight!”, she says. She sits me down and starts messing my hair up and pulling it up. “I don’t know about this…”, I say.
She makes me turn around look in the mirror. I barely recognize myself. “Wow! Ok, let’s go!”, I say. We drop Matty off at Merrilee’s house, she tells me she will bring him home in the morning. I kiss his little face and hand him over. It’s hard leaving him, but the girls are pulling me away.
We stop at the casino first and grab a quick drink from the bar. We wander around and check the place out. We head to the slot machines and play a few rounds.
I quickly lose the money I set aside for gambling and quit, the girls play several more rounds and win a little. Merri says loudly, “I’m buying drinks for everyone!” Cheers rise up from the few people who are here.
Robin yells, “Let’s go to the dance club, I feel like dancing!” So, we call a car and head to the Club. Of course, being a “Land” in Lucky Palms, the car is a limosine. I’ve never ridden in a limo before, so I’m pretty excited.
We walk in the club, everyone stops and looks at us. That’s the thing with hanging out with celebritys, you get a lot of attention. Robin and Merri hardly notice as several people stop to take their pictures. We head to the dance floor and get our groove on for a while.
Merri leans in and says,”Hey, that guy over there is checking you out!”. “No, he isn’t!”, I laugh. I look back at him and he smiles at me, I look over at Merri and Robin and we all squeal and giggle together. He’s gorgeous, I must admit. Dark brown hair, square jaw line, he looks mysterious. A little bit later, I notice him again and he’s on the dance floor dancing his way closer to me.
I notice Merri and Robin both laugh and dance farther away. He smiles and leans in, “Hi, I’m John!” I smile back, “I’m Summer.” We dance a little while and then he says, “It’s hot in here, you want a drink?” “Sure!”, I say. We walk to the bar and he orders us both a drink. Mine is all sparkly and fizzy, I look at it nervously and John laughs, “It’s good, don’t worry!” I take a drink and it is really good, I see Robin and Merri keeping an eye on me from the other end of the bar.
It’s good to have sisters! John and I chat for awhile and he gives me his number. He starts to lean in and kiss me, but Robin and Merri both jump next to us and start chatting us up. “My girl don’t kiss on the first date and guess what Buddy, this isn’t even your first date. So, keep your lips to yourself!”, Merri says. Oh my gosh! I can’t believe she just did that! I laugh and poor John turns red, “I hope you’ll give me a call soon, Summer!”, he says. Feeling the effects from the drink, I smile at John and climb up on the counter, “I feel like dancing some more!”, I exclaim.
He smiles and shakes his head slowly, his eyes never leaving me. After a couple songs, John helps me down and gives me a hug, then he walks away slowly. The girls and I collapse on each other laughing, boy this has been a fun night! It’s almost closing time, but Robin pulls me up to the karoke machine and we sing a couple songs, we are terrible but have a great time. We have a few more rounds at the bar and then Merri calls for the car again.
The limo picks us up and drops me off at my house, I walk into the house and it’s lonely and dark. I had such a great time and really hated for it to end. I walk to my dresser and pull the letter out from Moe, I reread it and without thinking pull out my phone and dial. “…. hello?”, I hear on the other end. “Hey, it’s Summer. You want to come over?”, I say quickly. “Ummm, sure! Where do you live?”, he asks. I give him the number and hang up the phone. What did I just do? The drinks from the bar have went straight to my head.
I hear a knock on the door, I slowly walk over and open the door. John stands there looking super sexy, he has pajama bottoms on and nothing else. “Hey, I went straight home after the club and went to bed. I’m glad you called though.”, he says.
I smile and reach up and pull him to me, I press my body up against his and kiss him.
I hear him groan as he wraps his arms around me and lifts me up off the ground. He deepens the kiss and I lose all sense of control.
I moan and pull my face from him, I point into the bedroom and he picks me up and carries me in that direction.
He kicks the door closed with his foot and starts pulling up my dress. I can’t catch my breathe but don’t want him to stop. He lays me on the bed. He kisses me and then pulls away and looks at me, “Are you sure about this?”, he asks. I can feel my face flushing, I nod my head and pull him in for another kiss.
I lean up and look him in the eyes, he has such brilliant blue eyes. I lean in slowly and kiss him again. God, he’s a great kisser.
He leans back and pulls me closer to him, he doesn’t take his off of me until he kisses me.
I wake up in the morning, with my head pounding. I’m a little disoriented as I sit up on the side of the bed. I notice my clothes thrown on the floor and flashes of what happened last night come pouring back to me.
I look over and see John still asleep in my bed. Oh Lord, what have I done. I creep into the bathroom and jump into the shower, Merrilee will be here any minute with Matthew. I dress quickly and quietly walk through the bedroom, I pull the door closed and start straightening up my already perfect living room. Merrilee knocks on the door and I run to answer it. “Hey! I heard you girls had a great time last night! Plus, I heard you got a phone number!”, she says happily. She hands Matthew over to me and I snuggle him and give her a look. How can I explain what happened last night, I’m so embarrassed. There’s no way I can tell her. “Yea, we had a lot of fun. I think I shouldn’t have had that last drink though!”, I say casually. Merrilee starts to say something and she gets a funny look on her face as she looks behind me. I turn around and John is standing in the door of my bedroom wearing only a towel.
“Wow, Um… ok, Merrilee, this is John. John this Merrilee.. my ummm, friend?”, I stutter. I’m horrified. John casually walks over, “Hey! It’s nice to meet you.” Merrilee can’t keep from smiling, she shakes John’s hand and says, “Well, I’ll leave you all alone, have a good day!” She turns and quickly walks out of the house. I can tell she’s laughing. “I guess, I’ll go get dressed. I’m sorry, I didn’t know your mom was here, hope I didn’t cause any trouble.”, he says. “Oh no, it’s fine. She’s not my mom, just a dear friend. Don’t worry about it.”, I say with a flush. He walks back in the living room and looks at Matthew, “Who’s little little guy?”, he asks. “Um, this is Matthew, my son.”, I say. “Oh, wow! He’s so small. Can I hold him?”, he asks. “Um, sure…”, I say. I hand Matthew to him and he obviously has been around babies before, he holds him like a pro.
“Are you hungry?”, I ask. “Yea, sure. I could eat. You want me to run out and pick something up?”, he asks. “No, I can make something. You like waffles or pancakes?”, I say. “Whatever is easier, I can eat anything!”, he smiles. He continues to play with Matthew while I walk into the kitchen and start cooking. I tell him to put Matthew in the swing whenever he wants. A short time later, he walks into the kitchen. I’m almost done cooking breakfast. I tell him to sit down at the table. I bring us each a plate and we eat silently for a moment.
Then we both start at the same time, “Listen.”, I say. “Summer,…”, he begins. We laugh and he says, “Go ahead, you first.” I look at him and say, “I just got out of a terrible relationship, I’m really not ready to get into anything serious. I don’t want you to expect anything that I can’t give right now. I’m sorry. I probably shouldn’t have called you last night, but I was feeling lonely after the girls dropped me off and it’s been a really hard time and I didn’t want to be alone.” John smiles at me, “Hey, that’s fine. I’m glad you did call me though. I can understand completely. I’ve been in some bad relationships too, it’s been awhile, so I’m ready to find that special someone. I can take it slow, I can take it fast, I’ll leave that up to you.”, he says. He gets up and picks up the dishes and loads them in the dishwasher. God, he’s hot! I notice that Matthew is asleep in the swing, so when he turns around. I give him a flirty smile and walk back into the bedroom.
Apparently, John took the hint because he tackled me on the bed and starts kissing me. I think to myself, Oh goodness, what have I started?