“Aww, Nicky. Do you remember this day?” My best friend Pepper asked me as she picked up an old photo of me and my old crush Andrew.
“We were so young!” I replied as I took a closer look. I smiled as I remembered everything that happened that day. Andy and I were 15 years old and spent the day at the beach. I was holding an ice cream cone while watching him surf. I remembered how he was so obsessed with his golden-brown hair. While I barely paid any attention to mine.
“It was so cute how you guys were very different yet so alike. Well, opposites do attract.”
I laughed and rolled my eyes.
“You look so different now! I wonder if he’s still hot…”
I rolled my eyes again. “Yea, I guess I never really realized how different I look now,” I said as I glanced at an old broken mirror. I stared at my light brown hair and tried to count my freckles knowing I would lose count and give up anyway. I studied my hazel eyes trying to find that little spot where I had a hint of green.
“Are you excited that he’s coming home for the summer?” Pepper asked me.
“Yea. But I’m also nervous. I mean I haven’t seen him since he left for college two years ago.” I said.
“It’ll be such a romantic reunion. You’ll start going on dates, he’ll decide to stay here and switch to a different college, you’ll make it official, you’ll get engaged at the beach on your birthday, then have a backyard wedding, and have three kids, two girls and a boy. You’ll name them Pepper, Riley, and Maddie. Oh, and you’ll have a hamster!”
I stared at her confused. “How long have you been planning my future? And I am not naming one of my kids after you.”
“I’ve only been planning it since the day he left for college. Oh, wait you guys can’t have a hamster he’s allergic. You’ll have a dog instead.”
I rolled my eyes for the millionth time that day as I walked downstairs out of the attic.
“Come on,” I said, “Let’s go to his house. His plane is gonna land soon and I wanna surprise him.”
Pepper tossed me the keys to our Jeep. “Here you drive!”
I climbed into the driver's seat and started to drive to Andrew’s parent’s beach house.
We arrived a few minutes after Andy and his parents got home from the airport.
I ran up to the front porch and rang the doorbell. A tall boy with very short golden brown hair with light highlights and blue-ish-green eyes answered the door. I knew right away that it was Andrew.
“I missed you so much,” I said as I gave him a hug.
He pushed me away and looked confused. “I’m sorry… Do I know you?”
Pepper and I exchanged a confused look. I remember every little thing about him and he doesn’t have a single clue who I am. I remember all the things we have in common and all the things we don’t. I remember the way he flips his hair out of his face on windy days. I remember how he never brought an umbrella to places on rainy days.
“Nicky,” his mom started as she arrived at the door, “why don’t you come on in. We have something we need to tell you.”
I walked into their house and sat on their couch, Pepper following.
Andrew was in the kitchen eating a snack. His mom and dad sat down in a chair across from the couch.
“The reason Andy doesn’t remember you is that he lost his memory.”
I sat there shocked, a lump forming in my throat.
“A storm started while he was surfing and when he turned his board around to come back to shore a giant wave knocked him into the water. He nearly drowned and is lucky to be alive. We thought it would be a good idea to bring him back here to the place he grew up. I hope something here will jog his memory and he can go back to California by the end of the summer.” His dad said.
Tears started to form in my eyes.
“Look, I know it’s a lot to take in but he will get his memory back soon.” Andy’s mom said. I nodded slowly and walked out of their house. Pepper chased after me.
The car ride home was quiet. I turned on the radio hoping it would make the ride less awkward but turned it off right away once I heard it playing Andrew’s favorite song.
“I’m really sorry, Nicky,” Pepper said as we pulled into the driveway. “He’ll get his memory back.”
“I know. It's just, I was really looking forward to spending time with him like we used to before we went to different colleges.”
“Here, I know something that’ll turn that frown upside down… We’re going to the beach!”
I smiled knowing everything goes good at the beach. We walked inside and got ready. I chose my light pink one-piece swimsuit that had pineapples on it and put on pale pink jean shorts. Pepper put on a light blue two-piece swimsuit with watermelons on it and added a white skirt. I pulled my hair back into a ponytail while Pepper left her strawberry blonde hair down. Right before we hopped in the car we each grabbed a towel and sunglasses.
When we arrived at the beach I saw two familiar faces. They belonged to Andrew and Pepper’s boyfriend, Liam.
Pepper ran ahead to go greet Liam while I walked slowly behind nervous about what was gonna happen next.
“Does he have his memory back?” Pepper asked Liam.
“No,” he replied. “I came over to his house a little bit ago and his parents thought it was a good idea to bring him to the beach.”
“Oh,” I said sadly. “Does he remember you?”
“No. But, I introduced myself and just pretended we just met because I don’t wanna put any pressure on him to try to remember things.”
I took a step closer to Andy. “Hi! I’m Nicky!” I held out my hand.
He shook it, “I’m Andy.” I smiled. I missed the feeling of his hand against mine.
Then we walked closer to the water and Liam grabbed two surfboards.
“Here, I’ll try to teach him how to surf again and maybe that’ll give some of his memory back.” He said as he handed a board to Andrew.
“I know it’s hard,” Pepper said, handing me an ice cream cone.
“Yea. I just, I don’t know didn’t picture this as our summer.” I sighed.
Pepper and I watched Andrew surf quietly. He was a little wobbly on the board at first but then got the hang of it. It looked as though he had never forgotten how to surf.
Liam and Andrew started yelling things at each other and I couldn’t quite figure out what.
“What’s he saying?” I asked.
“I think he got his memory back!” Pepper said excitedly. A small smile spread across my face. I wanted to believe it but wasn’t sure if I did.
The two boys started to swim back to shore.
“Hey! Is his memory back?” I asked.
“No… But I think it will come back soon.” Liam responded. I sighed and tried to force a smile.
Pepper pulled out her phone and we looked at some old photos she took of me and Andy.
“Oh, I remember that day,” Andy said as he walked over and looked over my shoulder. “It was your sweet 16. There was a big snowstorm and you were bummed that no one could make it. I kept you busy while Pepper set up a movie screen in your living room so we could give you something good to remember on that day.” He smiled. Pepper and I exchanged surprised glances.
“Your memory,” I started, “it’s back!”
“I guess it is! I remember how you always get annoyed that I pay way too much attention to my hair. I remember the way you aren’t afraid to speak your mind and embarrass yourself. I remember how you were always better than all the guys at school in sports. I remember that… I like you a lot.” He said. I bit my lip and smiled, before kissing him.
“I like you too.”
16 Years Later!
I guess Pepper’s prediction came true. We dated the whole summer, and Andy decided to switch to a different surfing school here in Florida. We got engaged on my birthday two years after we made it official. Our wedding was in his parent’s backyard. I now have three wonderful kids. One boy and two girls. The youngest is Riley, the oldest is Maddie, which makes the middle one name after my best friend, Pepper. We adopted a dog about three years ago and Riley has been trying to convince us to let him get a hamster. What an interesting life, am I right?