Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer Nights-Jeff Skinner

“Avery, come on we’re going to miss the plane,” Michelle Maurice called to her daughter from outside of the bathroom in the small commercial airport in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.

“Coming mom, give me a second,” she replied washing her hands before grabbing her carryon bag and opening the door.

“The just announced the final boarding call, what took you so long?”

“Jamie called me and we started talking and I lost track of time, I’m sorry.”

Michelle smiled at her oldest child, “It’s fine but come on before the plane takes off without us.”

“Who am I sitting next to,” Avery asked looking at her ticket.

“You’re sitting next to Sydney and Jake. Luke is sitting in between your dad and I, we figured you could watch the two of them.”

“That’s fine, as long as they decide not to act like idiots.”

“Your father already told them that they will be on the first flight home if they decide to misbehave,” Michelle reassured her daughter as they boarded the plane. Sydney and Jake were already battling over who got to play with the DS first.

“Sydney, you have your own,” Paul Maurice said to his second born child, “Give it back to your brother.”

“I’ll handle this,” Avery said taking the DS from her sister and giving it back to her brother, “Sydney, yours is in my bag since I noticed you left it. Now please behave the whole flight there or I’m calling Aunt Melanie and she will take you two for the summer, am I clear?”

“Yes Avery,” they both said in unison as the girl sat down in her seat.

The plane took off shortly after and when they were high above the clouds and Avery felt it was safe to take off her seatbelt, she headed to the nearest bathroom.

Just as she opened the curtains of the first class section, one perk of having a father who was a coach in the NHL, she headed to the restroom in the back of the plane. Passing a row of young boys who looked her age, she made eye contact with the one that looked like he could have been a Jonas Brother.

The young boy gave her a smile that lit up his entire face and his dimples made her heart beat out of her chest as she returned the gesture and continued her journey to the back of the plane. Once she was finished, she went to open the door and heard someone groan.

“I’m so sorry,” she said bending down to help the person that she knocked over.

“It’s okay,” the male said standing up and laughing lightly, “No harm, no foul.”

Avery swallowed hard when she realized it was the boy she made eye contact with before she entered the restroom.

“Well, I better get back to my seat,” she said awkwardly, “We should be landing soon.”

Jeff scratched the back of his neck nervously as Avery walked back to her seat. Avery saw her brothers and sister were sleeping. Quietly slipping into her seat, she put her earbuds in her ears and fell asleep.

She was woken up a couple of hours later by her dad tapping her on the shoulder, “Honey, wake up we’re about to land.”

Avery groaned before sitting up and wiping the sleep from her eyes. They landed at Miami International airport and after claiming their bags from the baggage claim, the Maurice family headed to their beach front house that would be theirs all summer.

Avery grabbed a towel and lay on the beach with her iPhone firmly by her side. The sounds of “Even Flow” by Pearl Jam filled her ears. She was enjoying the sun when she felt someone sit down on the sand next to her.

“Why do I have a feeling we should know each other,” a voice said beside her. She removed her sunglasses and saw the same dimples that made her heart melt on the plane sitting beside her.

“You’re just stalking me now,” Avery smiled causing the brown haired man to laugh, “I’m Avery by the way.”

“I’m Jeff,” he said sticking out his hand, “It’s nice to meet you.”

“You too,” she smiled.

“How come you are by yourself,” he asked rubbing the back of his neck nervously.

“My family is jetlagged from watching my brothers and sister on the plane. I put my ear buds in and tuned them out and fell asleep, how about you?”

“I’m here with a couple of my friends from back home.”

“Where are you from?”

“Markham, Ontario. You?”

“I’m from Sault Ste. Marie but I spend a majority of my time in North Carolina.”

“Why there?”

“My dad’s job keeps him there a lot, so we bought a house there.”

“That’s cool, I guess,” Jeff smiled not pushing the subject, “So, have you eaten yet today?”

“Just when we first boarded the plane other than that I haven’t eaten anything.”

“There’s a restaurant around the corner, want to go get something to eat,” Jeff stuttered causing Avery to laugh.

“You’re adorable,” she said causing Jeff to blush, “How old are you?”

“Seventeen,” he replied, “You?”


Jeff smiled as he lead Avery to the small restaurant down the beach. They talked about everything and she found out that he played hockey and that he would be entering the NHL draft the following summer.

Avery and Jeff walked on the beach before sitting down. It was now dark out and the stars were shining over the ocean. Avery and Jeff both lied back on the beach looking up at the sky, admiring the stars shining bright over the ocean.

“It’s beautiful,” Avery said turning to look at Jeff.

“Yeah it is,” he replied smiling.

Avery stared up at the sky and Jeff sighed to himself.

“Can I kiss you,” he asked feeling his face turn red with embarrassment.

Avery turned her head and leaned in and pressed her lips to his. The two of them pulled away when her phone rang and it was her mom asking her where she was.

“I have to go,” Avery said, “Thanks for tonight.”

Jeff smiled awkwardly, “You’re welcome.”

“I’ll see you around,” she said grabbing her shoes, heading back towards her beach house.

“Let me walk you home.”

“It’s fine,” she called back walking up steps, “I’m home already.”

“Meet me for lunch tomorrow,” he asked.

“I’ll meet you at the beach,” she waved walking in sliding the door behind her, giving him a wave.

“See you tomorrow,” he mumbled to himself heading back to his hotel.

As the summer went on, Avery and Jeff spent almost every day together. By the middle of the summer they were a couple. When summer came to an end it was bittersweet for the both of them.

Avery and Jeff stood on the beach the night before Avery left to go back home to Canada.

“I’m going to miss you,” Avery said as Jeff held her close.

“I’m going to miss you too, promise we’ll keep in touch and we’ll try to visit each other.”

“I promise,” Avery sniffled causing Jeff to pull her close to him, “God, I thought stuff like this only happened in Grease.”

Jeff laughed, “Maybe we’ll meet somewhere unexpected again one day.”

“I could only hope,” she whispered before looking at the watch on her wrist, “I have to go.”

Jeff wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed her deeply. It was their last kiss, both of them knew it, summer love never lasted.

“I’ll see you around,” Jeff whispered as Avery walked away.

“Bye,” she replied giving him one last kiss before heading into the house. With one last look behind her, she felt her heart break as she watched Jeff stand on the beach waiting for her to come back.

The rest of the year seemed to go slowly for Avery. Every day she thought about Jeff. When the summer of 2010 came, Avery spent the summer at her grandmother’s house in Edmonton. When Avery returned to Carolina in September right before school started.

“Did daddy tell you,” Sydney asked as Avery came downstairs to the living room to watch her little brothers fight over the Xbox.

“Tell me what,” she asked.

“We’re getting a new house guest,” Michelle told her daughter.

“We’re finally getting a puppy,” she asked.

“No, not a puppy,” Paul Maurice said laughing coming through the door. Avery turned around and gasped, “The new rookie lives with us.”

“Avery, we’d like you to meet,” Michelle began.

“Jeff,” Avery and Jeff walked over to her and wrapped his arms around her.

“You two know each other,” Paul asked his daughter.

“Jeff,” Michelle whispered, “He’s the Jeff she met at the beach last summer. It all makes sense now.”

“You didn’t tell me your dad was Paul Maurice,” Jeff said as he and Avery sat on the back porch.

“Hardly anyone knows,” Avery said, “I try to stay out of the public eye.”

Jeff smiled and leaned forward to give Avery a kiss, “I missed you so much.”

“I tried getting over you,” she admitted, “It just wasn’t possible.”

“I’m here for three years and hopefully more after that,” he replied, “We’ll get to see each other every day and I only have to leave for away games.”

“What about when summer comes,” Avery asked.

“We spend it together,” he smiled pulling her close to him.

Avery wrapped her arms around his waist and they stayed like that until Michelle told them dinner was ready. Who said summer love only lasts in movies?

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