Saturday, December 26, 2009
"That Glory never shall his wrath or might extort from me."
"We're moving." The words fell out of my mother's mouth, and all I could focus on were her lips. It was as if they were moving in slow motion. I wanted to snatch the words and shove them back into the hole they were plummeting out of. My entire teenage universe came crashing down on me. It got even better after that. "We're moving to a small town in Oregon." What the...? I realized it didn't matter at that point what I thought. We were moving no matter what my opinion on the subject was. It had been decided way before I was even considered.
I cried myself to sleep that night and couldn't believe my mother and step-father would think of doing such a heinous act to a minor. I had already been to several schools because we moved a lot and I knew it sucked, but I had no idea until I grew up how really awful moving around is for a child. I was very out-going and always made new friends easily, but my older brother was not. He was an introvert and it was harder for him to sidle up next to a stranger. He wasn't complaining though, as usual. I complained enough for the both of us, at all times, and this time was no different.
I woke up the next day and had to announce the news to my best friend. We both cried and lit a cigarette. It was the end of ninth grade and my best friend lived on the same street as I did. We used to walk to the corner liquor store with a note from her mother asking if the clerk would please sell us a pack of cigarettes. After we did that enough times, we finally wondered what was so great about those damn creations, so we took one from a pack and experimented. The rest of that school year, every time we bought a pack for her mom, we would take a few for ourselves. Anyway, a few cigarettes and a considerable amount of Skid Row later, we both had come to the conclusion that my parents' choice was not going to falter.
The beginning of the summer before my tenth grade year we arrived in Sisters, Oregon. It was a beautiful summer in a laughable small town. We were to live at my step-sister's farm house on five acres until we found a home of our own. My parents had bought a small restaurant in nearby Redmond, thirty minutes down the road. Fabulous! There I was, in a five-bedroom dwelling with six other people. Along with my parents, I had arrived with my younger brother, a toddler at the time, and my older brooding brother, who was three years my senior. My step-sister and her husband were living there and she was pregnant with my now young adult niece (who I adore). It was a crowded house and I was out of my mind.
During the day, I would go out to the barn and play with the animals. They were my confidants and playmates. There were pigs (which we would later kill and eat), sheep, chickens, rabbits, hounds and my favorite, horses. I was in adoration of Chance, a retired race horse that I would ride bare-back through the meadows, without reins or bridle. This was my favorite part of living on the humble ranch. At night, my brother and I would ride our bikes while sun was setting and later, watch the storms on the horizon with the dogs on the porch. It was amazingly gorgeous out there and much colder than I was used to.
When we went into town for the first time, I almost fell over because of the culture-shock. Everyone was white for starters, and everyone said, "Hi" to you while walking down the street. It was a very simple life. The town consisted of three blocks and there were no Carl's Jr. or McDonalds to be seen. This was all very different than I was used to seeing in L.A.
Somewhere between writing letters and riding the horses, my step-sister told me that a family up the road was expecting their grand-son to visit for the summer and that my brother and I would have someone to hang out with. I was suspecting some loser farm boy, but at that point, I would have been happy to greet a barn sheep that could 'BAAAA' his own name. My brother and I rode our bikes down the way to meet the new sheep. I don't think I made it much through the door when I saw Summer Frog. Wow! He was brilliant. Blonde hair and blue eyes, this whole moving thing all of a sudden became more endurable.
Summer Frog and I became fast friends. We would take long walks at sunset and talk for hours. He was older and more mature than the boys I had met before and he really acted as if he genuinely cared about what I was saying. I had never opened up to a boy in the way that I opened up to him. I told him all of my fears and dreams in life. I was in love. Not the school boy crush, but the summer romance every teenage girl dreams of kind of love. He became not only a great friend to me, but a major distraction to my horrible move.
One night, we walked down to a deserted barn down the road, and tried the door. It had been empty for a long time and for some reason, no one locked the doors. We snuck into one of the rooms that had built-in bunk beds and snuggled together in the cool, hazy night. When Summer Frog kissed me, I felt it down through my toes. That kiss was a kiss I will always remember. It was so soft and innocent, just like I had imagined my Prince Charming would give me. When it had gotten late and I knew my parents would have been sending out the dogs for me, I told him we had to go back. He was honestly sincere and pretended that his ego was not hurt from me not wanting to do more with him. At that point in my teen years though, kissing was all I could manage. I had heard enough horror stories about teen pregnancy and vowed at a young age never to get myself in that kind of mess. Summer Frog reluctantly walked me home.
That is the last memory I have of Summer Frog. I know there were some more that somehow, somewhere got left behind in Sisters, but just like most of my childhood memories, I can't remember them. When school started and we had moved to a nearby town, I cherished the summer that was fresh in my mind. That is how I got through the first days of beginning a new school with new faces, buildings, teachers and most importantly, boys.
We swore we would keep in touch, but I knew how that story went based on my experiences with Ring Frog. Nonetheless, I held out some hope that we would. I never heard from Summer Frog after that. The following year we moved from Oregon back to California. I heard through the grapevine on the weekend we were moving, that a certain family was moving into town. The name of the family was Summer Frog's. I would, to this day, never know what might have happened, had I stayed in that neck of the woods. Maybe nothing and maybe that's the way I would like it to stay. It did not go unnoticed though, that if he really wanted to have stayed in touch with me after 'our' summer, he probably would have.
Lesson learned - If a boy wants to be your Prince Charming, and I mean, really wants to be, then he will find you again, no matter what.
(Much thanks to Monster-Children on DeviantArt for the great photo!)