Chapter 6 – Boys of Summer

Zach stood six foot, two inches tall, with light brown hair flopping down from his head in a pleasing and fashionable manner. His light blue eyes spoke of conviction and gentleness, while his athletic strong body conveyed strength and dexterity. He was the all-American son. He had the presence of a leader, the looks of a model, and the good-nature of a popular friendly guy. He was the sort of guy every girl dreams of taking home to their parents. He had recently moved to Orange County where his Senator father had brought a new beachside property to relax away from the stress and power politics of Washington. He had joined the water polo team and soon had a collection of friends to rival his previous LA high school. He had been so accepted so quickly he had begun to think he had found his natural home. The sun-kissed streets of the OC looked paved with gold to Zach Freeman.

Summer raised a hand up to her head and ran it through her hair. She briefly glanced across the room to where Zach was standing and talking with his friends. When his gaze drifted over to her and the group of girls she was with she quickly darted her eyes to the floor. She couldn't help her cheeks burning red and the nervous butterflies from flying in her stomach. One of her friends noticed her strange behaviour.

"Are you okay?" Christie asked.

Summer looked up at her surprised to find other people in the room. "What? Oh, yeah. I'm fine." Summer could not help herself looking back at Zach as she said this.

Christie followed Summer's gaze across the room to Zach and smiled. "He's single, you know."

"Huh? Who?" Summer asked with as much blasé as she could muster.

Christie gave her a grin. "Zach." She leaned down to Summer's ear and whispered. "Some of the girls have already tried." Summer became wide-eyed at this. "Apparently he's waiting for that someone special; seems like he's one of those romantic types." Christie said with undisguised cynicism.

Summer looked up at Christie. "Thank you."

Christie smiled down at her and nodded.

Summer turned her attention back to Zach and saw him walk off in the direction of the drinks table. She returned to Christie but she had already started talking to another one of the girls about the latest pink skirt fashion coming out of Milan. Summer started to make her way towards the drinks table. She did not see as she left the twinkle in Christie's eyes as she saw Summer leave, nor did she notice the front door of the house opening revealing two sharply dressed young men.

Seth saw Summer walking across the room. "There she is." He almost shouted to Ryan, partly to be heard over the incredibly loud music and partly due to the uncontrollable excitement he felt. "Don't wait up." He said. Ryan nodded. Seth pushed his way through the crowd of people putting himself on a collision course with Summer.

The loud heavy bass from the high-end thousand dollar speaker system slowly shook the family portraits on the peach-coloured walls. A haze of smoke hung near the ceiling preventing much of the light from the embedded bulbs from reaching the rest of the room. It was like a young early morning sun petulantly forcing itself through a polluted settled cloud hanging over the city of angels. A mass of bodies writhed, occasionally in time, to the hypnotic rhythm, as they systemically shredded what little clothes they were wearing. A pile of expensive ties lied crumpled in a corner of the house like a metaphor to the wasteful consumerism so worshipped by the inhabitants of this west coast paradise. But all Seth saw was her. A light shone from an unknown source highlighting her every feature. Her raven black hair blinded him as it fall effortlessly down her back caressing her smooth nimble shoulders like a father stroking the head of his firstborn son for the first time. Her feet, clad in a pair of beautiful red high-heeled shoes, seemed to drift off the floor carrying her fluently through the air like an elegant angel. Her skin gave off a glow of natural beauty that made him wonder whether there had every existed a creature so beautiful in all of eternity. He knew, in that moment, he would be forever bound to this girl. She was his Juliet.

Summer pushed her way through the mass of bodies before her. Due to her diminished statute she could not see to far ahead of herself. She hoped she was heading in the right direction and she prayed that Zach had not wandered off, or worst, had been assailed by some leggy blonde bimbo with a higher cup size than IQ. She pushed part some guy doing the robot, badly. Hello? It's not 1984. In the corner of her eye she caught a glimpse of something, or rather someone. No, it was less than a glimpse. It was a feeling. It hit her like a pile of bricks. She stopped boxed in by four gyrating couples. Her eyes closed, only for a moment, as she let herself feel this strange emotion. It felt like a sitting by a roaring log fire on a snowing winters' day. It felt like smelling freshly cut grass on a glorious summers' day. It felt like belonging. Her eyes opened and her body turned and the glimpse became a figure and the figure became a boy. This boy stood about ten feet away her and was just staring at her. He was stood absolutely still and focused entirely upon her. Yet he had failed to notice that she was now staring back at him. For moment Summer looked straight in his eyes and completely lost herself. The world around seemed to fade away leaving only the two of them, standing, staring. Then it was gone. The world came rushing back when a rogue football landed squarely in the boy's face causing him to fall back in a clumsy crumple of collapsing limbs until he found himself, rather bewildered, lying on the floor, much to the amusement of the crowd of people in his immediate vicinity. Summer struggled vainly to recognise the boy. She searched every part of her memory but came up blank. She dismissed it from her mind and carried on pushing her way through the bodies.