Inspired by Taylor Swifts ‘August’
The salt air and pastel orange of the sky stuck in my head like it was yesterday. Your head in my lap, my hands intertwined in your thick curls of golden hair. The picnic basket we lay on was covered in cake crumbs and speckles of sand. The waves crashed into the shore, a lulling background against the stories you told. Stories of you tricking your sibling, ruining your mums friend’s wedding and the countless trouble you and your mates got into during university. My laugh, constantly chiming at the jokes you told and funny faces you made. Watching the sky slip into darkness and holding me to keep the sandflies at bay.
The summer I fell in love, was the one I met you. No one had ever been so magnetic to me than you. Instant attraction. I never thought anything would of come of a quiet night going to meet old school friends. But they brought you.
I tried to ignore you. To play hard to get. Uninterested. And you. You knew there was something from the moment we met. Drunken desire aside. You gave me you coat, and formed a protective dance circle in the pub. You made me hot chocolate, and asked if I wanted to play video games. I knew if I went with you, something would happen.
I wasn’t ready at first. Ready to admit my friends were right. That I liked you. Ready to admit you weren’t my usual type. Ready to wear my heart on my sleeve. Ready to be vulnerable. But you never pushed at all.
A few weeks would drive other guys crazy. But you waited. The perfect gentleman. Texting me about the songs I was listening to. Asking how my day was. Sending videos of your cleaned room. The heat was unbearable. I didn’t want to lose you. To have misread the signals. To put myself out there again.
I couldn’t resist for long. Waiting at home for you to call, cancelling on my friends. They put two and two together. Another party, being dragged around by my friend and deposited at your arm. You spun me around and chatted away. When the rain began to pour, you grinned and looked at me a certain way. The cold drops of rain felt like nothing when your warm lips pressed to mine. I didn’t care if anyone could see, didn’t care about being sick. All I needed was the feeling of you against my hips.
Whispers of desire. Comments taunting my self-control to sit and behave with everyone right there. Cups of beer pressed into our hands, as I melted into your lap, watching the others play beer pong. My hand rubbing against the warmth of your leg, head tucked into the crook of your neck as the night grew later. I was finally in your arms.
Meeting in secret. Behind the back of the mall, gently holding me up against the brick wall. When the stars were out and everyone was home, we could be alone. We wanted each other to ourselves, for as long as we could. Slipping into your house and padding up the stairs to join you in bed.
Twisted bedsheets and glasses of wine. My jacket left on the floor, your flatmates began to question you more. It’s not that we didn’t want to tell them, but being in our bubble, there was nothing quite like it. The two of us against the world.
I never needed anything more. Your gentle smile and kind blue eyes made me fall deeper and deeper. August slipped away, into a blur of late nights and heavy kisses.
Strawberry ice-cream + hummus and crackers. You threw all my favourite foods into the back of the car and dragged me away for a beach picnic. Hands protectively holding mine as we wandered down the sand dunes. “You’re my favourite,” he whispered before drifting off to sleep. Your back beneath the sun, sand shining against your skin. I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world. To love you. To be loved by you.
All of this. It felt like love. A golden glow of passion, of care, trust and humour. I thought you felt the same. All the signs was there. You were there. My friends asked if we were a couple yet. I laughed, we didn’t need to define our relationship. He was mine, not anyone else’s.
I remember thinking I had you.
I never wanted to ask you what we were. Not when I’d so shakily put my all into being with you. If you left, I would fall back into the crushing darkness I had been feeling. You went away, home for a couple weeks. When you came back for a friends 21st, something was different. You looked tired, weary. I squeezed your hand as we stood around our friends dancing.
“Whats wrong?” I asked softy on our walk home.
“Nothing,” You replied, face blank and unshaken.
“Hey, it’s me,” I turned to look into your eyes, “You can tell me anything.”
Your eyes, sea blue and calming, were darker than usual, and face apprehensive. My stomach began to turn.
“This, I can’t give you this,” You gestured at the space between us, “Not right now, I’m sorry.”
“You can’t do what?”
“Be with you, give you more. C’mon Em, it’s not like we’re boyfriend and girlfriend.”
I flinched, my heart dropping into the pit of my stomach.
“Why have I spent the last month of my life being with you then?” I choked, biting back tears.
“I thought we were just having fun, you knew that,” You stepped towards me, arms to comfort, to embrace.
“No,” I took another step back, “Fun, just having fun? A summer fling, that’s all I am?”
“No of course not,” You looked conflicted and frazzled, and I. I felt broken.
“You don’t love me,” the words echoed in the dark.
You were never mine.
The hurt still catches me off guard today.