The Summer It All Began Contest
Word Count: 3249
Summary: Edward takes a journey and remembers the summer he and his love met.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my kiss-ass computer :-)
I slowly open my eyes and see the sunlight coming through the thin sheer curtains. I lay and watch the early morning breeze gently blow the curtains into the room.
Getting out of bed, I head into the bathroom for my morning routine. I only got up once during the night to use the bathroom. 'Not bad', I think to myself.
I turn the shower on and gaze at my reflection in the mirror. My thoughts drift back to the summer of 1950.
"Now Edward, I want you to go across the street and meet our new neighbors. I think they have a boy about your age."
"But Mother, I don't want to! I want to watch The Lone Ranger!"
"Edward Masen! You will not talk back to your mother."
"Yes, Father. I'm sorry, Mother."
"Edward, come over here so I can put this new lotion on you before you go out into that sun. This just might be the first summer you do not burn." Mother says, and I can hear the love in her voice.
"Elizabeth, dear, what is that you have there?"
"Oh, darling, I purchased it yesterday after Lilly told me about it. It's from some company named Coppertone. I thought if it was good enough for our men over in the Pacific, then it's good enough for us. Edward! Hold still!"
After Mother is done rubbing that God awful stuff all over any exposed skin, I go outside and stand on our large front porch. I look down the road and see other neighborhood kids playing kick the can. I sigh and look up the block. I see the moving truck in front of a small house across the street. I walk down our sidewalk and close the gate behind me.
Crossing the street, I walk up the short sidewalk to the house. I knock at the door and wait.
"Yes? How can I help you?" Asks the young woman standing in front of me. She looks much younger than my mother, and I'm shocked to see she's holding a glass of a brown liquid that looks like the stuff Father drinks after dinner. He drinks his in a short glass with ice, hers is in a large class, but there is no ice.
"Pleased to meet you, my name is Edward Masen; I live across the street." I say to her smiling.
"Oh, sure. You here to see Jasper?" I'm not sure who Jasper is, and I look at her confused.
"JASPER! GET DOWN HERE!" I almost fall off the little front porch, I'm so shocked by her yelling. I've never heard a lady yell like that before.
"Mama, what is it?" I hear the angry voice and the bangs on the steps as they get closer to us. I look over her shoulder and see blond ringlets bouncing as the owner of them bounds down the stairs. I look back at her in time to see her turn and head back into the house.
We stand there for a minute; I'm looking at my feet.
"I'm Jasper." His voice is so much softer than a few minutes ago. I look up and find myself staring into eyes as blue as the sky. I swallow and I feel something in me shift.
"Edward." I reply, and he smiles at me, showing me dimples that grace his beautiful face.
I wipe the steam that's clouded my image away from the mirror. The memory clouds just as quickly.
I climb into the shower and start to clean myself up.
I wish I knew or understood what triggers those memories from years before. It seems they just come at their own accord, leaving me a bystander simply made to watch whatever plays before him, my mind a picture show for one.
Most are pleasant, and I wish I could stay with them longer. A few are bad, and I am truly happy when the images fade.
I climb out of the shower and start to dress. I make the bed when I'm finished and eat a light breakfast before setting out on my journey.
I walk through the living room, and as I pass the grand piano, I look at frame after frame of photographs from over the years. The early ones are towards the back, and I walk along the side and pick one up. I smile as I look at the small photo that is now faded and looks sepia. I trace my finger over the smiling face of the one boy. So young, so beautiful. I feel my hands start to shake and place the photograph back on its old wobbly leg and run my fingers across the top.
I do this with a few of the other photos, stopping to recall memories as my fingers trace over them. Smiling faces, eyes gazing into the other's, weddings, births and deaths. Always a large, loving, happy family.
I take a minute and smile as I bring up my left hand and wipe away a stray tear.
Walking out into the garage, I start the car. The roar of the engine is loud, and the smell of the leather is thick in the car. My thoughts drift back to 1959 ...
"Jasper, someone might see us. I'm afraid."
"Edward, nobody's gonna find us. We only have your daddy's car for a few more hours. Please Edward, we've talked about this. We know how we both feel."
"You're right." I tell him. Quickly I look around. The road is dark, deserted. We are completely alone. I lock the doors and turn the radio up a little. Ray Charles just finished, and I can't believe Ritchie Valens is playing now. I look over to Jasper and smile.
He smiles back at me, the dim light from the dashboard makes him look so beautiful. His face is cast in shadow and light. I reach my hand up and stroke his cheek. He sighs and leans into my touch.
"Edward, kiss me? Please, kiss me."
I slide across the big leather seat, and he does the same. We look each other deeply in the eyes. Slowly we move closer to each other, and he rubs his nose against mine. I can feel his breath fan across my face.
There is a loud crack, the car is illuminated in light and suddenly we are sitting in a downpour. The rain is so loud against the metal roof, we both jump slightly at all the sound.
The rain makes me feel like I am alone, truly alone, with Jasper. I feel encased in a bubble of rain.
We both chuckle at our reaction to the sudden rain storm. Jasper is laughing, and God, he is absolutely beautiful. I take his face in my hands and lean in. My lips gently cross over his. My first kiss, our first kiss.
His hands are on my shoulders, and he pulls me to him. The kiss is stiff, dry and perfect. We are just pressing our lips together, but it's wonderful. I groan out as I feel Jasper's tongue touch my lips. I keep them closed, suddenly scared, not knowing how to do this.
Jasper leans back and looks at me, his eyes wild. "Ed, just do what feels good, ok? This is new for both of us, just feel and relax." He tells me as he leans back in.
Jasper always has made me feel so calm. Just being near him relaxes me.
His lips just touch mine, and I feel his tongue snake out and trace my upper lip. I shudder as I feel the electricity run through me. I follow his lead and do the same. We moan out together, taking in each other's breath.
I feel his tongue enter my mouth and do the same to him. Our lips mold together as our tongues explore the other's mouth. I've never felt anything like this before.
Jasper moves his mouth to my neck, and it feels so good. The only sounds in the car are the music on the radio, the rain and our heavy breathing. We are fumbling with each other's shirts, unbuttoning them, exposing newly discovered skin to the other. Of course we have seen each other without clothes on. Summers spent swimming at the pond will do that. But this is new, this is different. This is just for us.
Jasper pushes me back until I'm laying on the seat and climbs on top of me. His skin against my skin feels heavenly. It seems everything he does to me feels better than the last. My hands move to his back, and I love the feel of his lean muscles. I feel something hard against my thigh and realize it must be him. Oh, God, he's as hard as I am.
"Jasper ..." I moan out, as my hips involuntarily buck up into him.
I'm jolted back from the memory and into awareness by a bang as the car comes to a sudden stop. I put the car in park and get out.
Walking around the car, I see I've hit the mailbox ... again. I sigh deeply as I bend over and pick it up. I stop as my back tenses. I may need to call the doctor again. I hold the mailbox and look it over. There are many dings and dents on it.
I look over the painting of the pond and a simple green tent. I see my fingers start to tremble as I hold onto it. I smile to myself and carry the mailbox to my car. I'll fix it later.
I slowly back out of my driveway, remembering to look both ways this time.
I'm driving for about five minutes, when I look down and notice the gauge is just under half a tank. I should stop and top it off.
I pull into the service station, putting the car in park and turn it off. Even to this day, I sit there for a few seconds and expect to see the young men run out and pump the gas, check the oil and check the tires. I look around and see the price of gas. I sigh, remembering the days when gas was .27 cents a gallon.
I look over to the building and see a young boy, about 20, talking to a friend. I see their fingers brush against the other's and the sly glances they give one another. I smile, and I'm proud that they will have it so much easier than I, than we had it. We were, in some way, responsible for building more tolerance. We were very active in our day.
I hear the ring of a bell, and it reminds me of the 'ding ding' you heard as your car drove over the sensor at the filling stations.
I watch as he walks out of one of the bays. He has cherry red paint on his overhauls. He was so excited yesterday, telling me about the custom paint job he was doing on the '57 Ford Thunderbird.
He comes over and leans on my window. I tense a bit and look around. Jasper is always so much more laid back than I am.
"How is the painting going?" I ask.
He smiles and shows me those dimples I love so much.
"Oh man, Edward! That car is sweet! I know it's a few years old, but I love it. I want one someday so badly. It is a sweet looking ride."
I make a promise to myself that he will have a car like that someday.
"You have paint on your cheek." I giggle out. I reach up to brush it off, and as my fingers touch his face, he closes his eyes and smiles so sweetly. God, how I wish I could kiss him right now. I quickly remove my hand.
"Ed, can you get your daddy's car again tonight?" He asks with such excitement. We have taken Father's car every Friday night since that first Friday. It's been a month now.
TAP, TAP, TAP I hear on the car's window. I roll it down and look at the young lady. She looks concerned.
"I'm sorry, Sir, it's just that you have been sitting there for a while now. I was concerned and wanted to make sure everything was ok."
"Oh? I'm sorry. I was just thinking. I'm fine." I smile at her. She nods and walks away.
I get out and walk inside. I wait until it's my turn, I pay the man behind the counter and walk back to my car.
As I approach my car, I see a few men looking it over. I walk to the passenger side and start to pump the gas.
I can feel the men looking at the car and then looking at me.
"Hey, Pops?" I look at the one man; he looks about 25.
"Yes?" I say. I'm annoyed by the disrespect but do not care enough to attempt to educate this person.
"This is what? A 1959?" He asks as he runs his hand over the cherry red finish.
"No, it's a 1957. Second owner, I've had her since 1967." I answer proudly. It took me a few years, but I kept my promise to Jasper.
I climb back into the car and leave them standing there staring as I go. I have another car I drive for day to day things. But I always drive this car for this trip.
I continue on for another 10 miles and turn left onto the tree-lined road. This is the hardest part. I can never seem to get the road right. I find myself driving aimlessly until I see something familiar.
Pulling over, I'm hit with the smell of freshly cut grass when I open the door...
I'm so excited to be camping at Grandmother's property out by the pond for the weekend. This has been a wonderful summer so far. Jasper is working at the service station while I work as an intern at Father's law firm, preparing for college.
The nights have been spent exploring each other's bodies. The heights of pleasure he brings me seem to never end.
Emmett's green army tent is set up for us to sleep in for the weekend.
The tent is dark, but the light from the full moon is shining through the thin material, casting a light greenish glow around the small space.
"Jasper? Are you sure?" I ask, so ready for this but so uncertain at the same time.
"I love you, Edward. I'm ready, we're ready." He tells me with such determination.
"I love you too." I pull him to me, kissing him deeply, feeling his hardness grow as quickly as mine.
Jasper and I had talked endlessly about this. Both of us ready to receive the other. We had explored each other; touched, kissed and stroked each other with our mouths, fingers and hands. But tonight was going to be the night. He was right, we were ready.
Jasper insisted he go first, as he did not want to cause me any pain. He said he would not be able to enter me without first knowing what the experience was like.
I hear the lonely cry of a crow, and I'm brought back to the present. I'm still sitting there with my feet out the door. 'At least the car didn't roll anywhere', I think to myself.
Getting out, I shut the door and walk towards my destination. It seems to take more out of me every time I come here; emotionally and physically.
I walk leaning on the rows for support when the ground becomes uneven. Smooth marble there, rough marble here.
I get to the quiet area set off by itself. It can accommodate more than it does, but I wanted this space left open, so I purchased the space around it as well.
The cherry blossoms are in full bloom. It's beautiful here. I lean on the low branch and lower myself to the ground. I'm so tired today.
I look up at the tree and smile. Jasper always said these trees made him think of me; the flowers of white and pink reminded him of my skin and lips, the green leaves the color of my eyes and the brownish bark the color of my hair.
Finally, I look forward. My eyes rest on the double tombstone and start to tear up as the words become unfocused. I wipe at my eyes with my wrinkled hands.
I sigh deeply and look back at the stone, reading the words that are engraved:
'Edward A. Masen
June 20th 1941 -'
I look to the left and feel my shoulders shake as I read the words there;
'Jasper E. Whitlock
January 16th 1940 - June 15th 2010'
I'm overcome with grief as I cry. My head falls heavily into my hands, and I sob. It's not always like this, not every time. But some days are more difficult than others. This has been a difficult day.
I look back up to the tree and say out loud; "I miss you. Every day I miss you more than the last. I love you." My voice is weak and thick with emotion.
I again look back at the stone and read the words engraved below our names;
In loving memory:
I close my eyes again, feeling so tired. These last two years have been so difficult for me. My health and my spirit have seemed to falter so quickly without Jasper by my side. Our children and grandchildren have been more than supportive and caring, but I just feel lost without him. I feel like my direction, my compass, my true North is gone.
I feel the cool breeze blow across my face. I can see the sun shining through the tree branches behind my closed eyelids. I feel so peaceful, more peaceful than I have in a long time.
What? I open my eyes. Who said that? I look around and standing in front of me is the most beautiful sight I have seen in years.
"Jasper? It ... it can't be ... you"
He looks at me and smiles. He looks to be about 35, the year my sister Alice gave us our first child. We named him Emmett, after my brother, but he looked just like Jasper.
"Edward, it's time baby." He says to me as he holds out his hand.
"Time?" I'm confused, but I stand to be closer to him, to touch him. I'm able to get right up, and as I reach out to take his hand, I notice my skin and the absence of wrinkles and liver spots.
"Jasper ... I ... I don't ..."
Jasper looks over my shoulder, and I turn to look as well. I see myself leaning against the tree. I look old, weathered and tired. My hands are folded on my lap, and I have the most peaceful smile on my face.
"Edward, I've been waiting for you. It's time, baby. Lets go."
I turn back and look at myself one last time. Turning to Jasper, I feel my heart fill with love replacing the grief and loneliness. I take him in my arms and hug him tightly.
Turning, we walk off to our forever.