Hey! According to the "The Model Home" Summer's birthday should be today, August 13th, so I just thought I would write her a little birthday piece. Also, I'm halfway through my Never Look Back piece...it's taking me longer than I care to because I'm preparing to say good-bye to all my friends as we all go off to college and whatnot and I'm moving across the country by the 23rd, but I'm really hoping I can have Never Look Back done by then...so cross your fingers for me!

BIRTHDAY GIRL

"Mary," Summer walks into the kitchen earlier than she usually would be on a Friday morning, but her father had promised her a day of nothing but him and Summer, because she was the birthday girl and she would get to do whatever she want, and she wanted to get an early start. "Have you seen my dad? I was wondering when he wanted to leave for breakfast." But the expression on Mary's face reveals the truth, "he had to go to work, didn't he?"

"I'm sorry Miss Summer," Mary sighs, "he's very sorry too, but something..."

"Came up at work," Summer forces away the tears, "I know."

"He left you this," Mary holds out the credit card, "he wants the birthday girl to..."

"Go crazy, max it out, I know." Summer takes the card and then turns on her heel so as not to let Mary see her tears.

"Happy birthday Miss Summer," Mary calls after her.

"Thanks Mary," Summer chokes out. She shouldn't've expected anything, it happened every year, her father would promise her had cleared her schedule and in the end it was false promises and it always ended up with Mary handing over the credit card and wishing her a happy birthday for him.

In the safety of her room Summer sits gently on the bed, pulls her knees to her chest and cries softly and when she has her tears under control Summer regains composure, clears her throat and picks up her cell phone.

"Hello?" Marissa's voice on the other end of the phone sounds slightly jumbled.

"Hey Coop," Summer greets as cheerfully as she can muster.

"Summer, happy birthday!" Marissa's greeting is authentically cheerful but it barely has an effect on Summer's mood.

"Thanks, so what are you up to today?" Summer asks.

"I'm going to pick up Ryan, I'm so glad he's finally coming home." Summer can hear the excitement in her best friend's voice, Ryan was finally coming home, the thing with Theresa had fallen apart and Marissa got her boyfriend back, lucky her. "You said you and your dad were doing stuff, right? We're still on for tomorrow, right?"

"Yeah, yeah," Summer lies, "my dad and I are going out, you know he's taking me shopping. And we have plans for tomorrow, I was just calling to...uh..." 'Think Roberts, think.' "Just wanted to call you and let you know I'm happy Ryan's home, and to tell him I said so."

"Of course I'll pass along to the message, listen though Sum, I really gotta go there's a lot of traffic."

"Of course," Summer states, "I'll call you in the morning about tomorrow?"

"Sure."

"Bye."

"Oh, Summer?"

"Yeah?"

"Have fun with your dad today."

"Thanks," Summer hangs up after the word. Dropping her cell phone Summer lays her head on her pillow, pulling her knees to her chest and contemplating not leaving her room for the rest of the day, her father's guilt money wasn't going anywhere, she could take advantage of it the next day with Marissa.

Tomorrow would be the first time she had seen Marissa since Cohen had left, damn him. And damn her. Damn all of them. Damn her father who couldn't get is head out of his work or his wives long enough to notice that his daughter was in pain, and had been all summer.

Damn Cohen and the reason she was in pain in the first place. Damn his letter that said even though he wanted them to, they'd never work, they're too different, from different world even though they're from the same. Damn him for saying she was too good for him.

Damn Coop for never being able to hold anything together for long enough to see that she wasn't the only one who lost someone that day and totally breaking away from everyone. That sounded selfish and right now she didn't care, it was her birthday and she was alone, just like she had been for her entire life.

"Fuck it," Summer breathes softly getting off her bed, she wasn't about to lie around in her room all day feeling sorry for herself. "I'm going out today..."

In an hour she was ready to go out, she'd taken a long hot shower, changed into a simple but sexy summer dress and she was actually feeling a level above shit. "You're going out Miss Summer?" Mary asks and Summer knows that this surprises her, in years past Summer had spent her birthday locked up in her room.

Summer nods, "I'm going shopping, if anyone calls..."

"I let them know to call your cell phone," Mary offers Summer a pitying smile, both know what she actually meant. What Summer actually meant was, 'if my mother calls...' But she never did, and it wasn't like Summer didn't wait, if an unknown number came up on caller ID her hopes shot up, only to be dashed by a telemarketer trying to get her to switch her long distance provider.

She shouldn't get her hopes up, every part of her knew that, her mother had been letting her down for as long as her father had and while she couldn't remember the first three or four years of her life, she had thirteen or fourteen years of experience to tell her not to expect too much from anyone. But that never happened, the night before her birthday Summer would spend thinking about where she would go with her father. When she was younger the dreams always included a smiley face pancakes at her favorite breakfast place and a day at the zoo but as she got older her father filled birthday plans matured as well because she knew her father would never stoop to the level of taking his teenaged daughter to the zoo. But no matter what the plan was they never, ever, happened and Summer needed to realize this and stop giving herself false hope that this year would be different.

"Bye Mary," Summer calls as she grabs her keys from the kitchen counter where she'd dropped them the night before not expecting to have used them.

"Have a good day," Mary calls back.

Walking into the garage Summer sighs, she'd gotten this far in her plan not to sit and dwell on how lonely she was but this was where the plan ended, any idea as to where she was going to spend the day eluded her. "Took you long enough," the words cause Summer to jump, nearly, out of her skin. Glancing in the passenger seat of her jeep all Summer can do is stare at the beyond unexpected passenger, "I've been waiting here since ten o'clock...what'd you have to do mail order something in to wear? Mary came out and told me you were up at 8:45."

"C-cohen?" Summer continues to stare at the much tanner version of her boyfriend/ex, and her brain seems to have turned to mush in the seconds since she has walked into the garage.

Quickly Seth opens the door of the jeep and crosses in front of it to face Summer, "I was so, so, stupid to have left."

"C-ohen?" His last name is the only word she can manage.

"And what I said in the letter, I was an idiot..." Seth shakes his head, "and I realized that last week and I knew that if I was ever going to have a chance with you again I was going to have to be here today."

"Seth." Finally her brain was able to come up with something new, even if it is just the first part to his name.

"Happy birthday Summer."

With those words, the words she had been waiting to hear from anyone that she hadn't pushed someone into are all she needs to hear from him, launching herself at him she wraps her arms tightly around his neck and breathes in the scent of the ocean. "Does this mean you forgive me?"

"Yes," Summer murmurs, content to remain in his arms for the entire day.

"For leaving and that stupid letter?"

"Yes."

"Good, because I have a full day planned."

"You do?" Summer whispers, her dark eyes locking on Seth's, "what."

"It's a surprise."

"One surprise is enough for today."

"You really want to know?"

Summer nods, "please?"

"I thought we could start of with a pancake breakfast then maybe we could go to the zoo..."

"Really?" A lump is forming in Summer's throat again, but this time it wasn't out of sadness or anger.

Seth kisses her gently on the temple, "of course, you're the birthday girl."