Before That Summer- Part 3

Before that summer

Read Part 2 HERE

Bailey looks in her mirror for the hundredth time, examining her outfit, fixing and primping herself.

Keegan stands by the door watching her, with a grin.

“You look amazing. Can we go already?”

Bailey looks up startled.

“Ugh, yes. I’ve basically tried on everything in my closet. Let me just grab my purse.”

Bailey and Keegan walk downstairs where her mom and dad are loading peach cobblers into a big box.

Bailey inhales deeply.

“It’s officially carnival season. I cannot wait to have a piece of your cobbler, mom!”

Her mom smiles and she hands her dad the box, as he takes it to the wagon outside.

“You girls can go on ahead, I know you don’t want your parents messing up your night.”

Keegan and Bailey exchange looks and laughs.

“Mom, it’s ok, we can wait. I haven’t been home in months, it’ll be nice for all of us to walk over together.”

“Hunny it’s ok really, dad and I have to set the booth up anyway.”

“You don’t want any help with that?” Keegan asks.

“We’ve got it covered, go!”

“Ok!” Keegan says grabbing Bailey’s hand and rushing toward the door.

“Wha- Keeg!” Bailey says looking back at her mom.

“Shhh. The quicker we get out, the longer you’ll have to spend with Cow boy Romeo.”

“Ah. I like the way you think.”

“It’s all up here. Master plans.” She says pointing to her head.

They walk along the dusty road, as the town fills with folks on their way to the carnival.

“Bye girls.”

“See ya out there dad.” Keegan says linking her arm with Bailey.

“Do you really think I look ok, should I go change,” Bailey says tugging once again at her daisy dukes.

“Oh please, you’re a walking dukes or hazard fantasy. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t pass out.”

“But do I look slutty?”

Keegan gives Bailey a look.

“Are you kidding me, we all wear denim shorts in the summer, besides pretty sure those are mine. So if you’re a slut so am I,” she laughs.

“Keeg!”

“I’m kidding! You look great. Dad wouldn’t have let us out of the house if we looked…inappropriate.”

“Yea you’re probably right.”

“I am right,” she says smiling as they reach the town square.

Bailey looks around trying to spot Jimmy.

The smell of BBQ and Everdale’s Famous Sweet Cherry Pie waft through the air.

Red and Pink tents fill the scene. Hearts and roses dawn each booth.

Old Donny Fonny in a cupid costume. What a sight.

And carnival rides and games fill each free space.  

Young girls in flowy skirts or sundresses paired with cowgirl boots lace arms with boys in cowboy hats and blue jeans.

“So, any sightings yet?”

“No. I guess we should have been a bit more specific.”

“Well don’t worry, you’ll find him. If you need me, I will be flirting with Hester- the Ferris Wheel guy.”

“Ohhhh?” Bailey says questioningly.

“Yea. It’s a thing. We’re in the earlier stages, but I think he’s secretly in love with me,” she says flipping her hair and walking off.

Bailey watches with a laugh.

“Damn country girl, Jessica Simpson ain’t got nothing on you.”

Bailey smiles to herself, turning around she’s greeted by his bright smile and sparkling eyes.

 “Do you approve?”

“Sure. But I gotta think that if I’m thinking some not so pure thoughts right about now, some other guys may be doing the same.”

“Well lucky for you, I hadn’t noticed. You being the only one I have eyes for and all.”

She wraps her arms around his neck as he pulls her in by the waist, they fall into a kiss.

Jimmy pulls away and looks down at her.

“Come with me,” he says pulling her by the hand and walking out of the town square.

“What-where are we going? The carnival is this way, baby.” She says pointing in the opposite direction.

Jimmy stops and kisses her again, this time quickly.

“Just, trust me.”

“Ok. Fine. By we better be back-”

“Don’t worry, I’ll get you back in time for the fireworks,” Jimmy says smiling at her.

“You know me so well,” she teases.

Jimmy smirks and leads her toward the end of the road.

After a few minutes of walking, they reach their destination.

Bailey stops and looks at him; “The high school. Why are we back here?”

“Just trust me,” Jimmy says leading her toward the side doors, he pushes them open, pulling her inside.

“Oh my gosh, what are you doing? You’re going to get us into trouble.”

“Have you ever not been safe with me?”

Bailey looks at him with a soft smile and pulls him to her initiating another kiss.

Jimmy’s hands wrap around her pulling her closer to him, as a smile plays on his lips.

Bailey’s arms wrap around his neck as Jimmy leans her up against a nearby wall of lockers.

Bailey pulls away.

“Is this why you brought me here?” she says flirtatiously.

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“No. But it’s definitely a bonus,” he smirks taking her hand and walking her down the hall.

They walk into the gym and Jimmy looks at her, he sits on one of the benches of the bleachers. The bench.

Bailey’s whole body stiffens as she uncomfortably looks away.

Jimmy looks down at the bleacher, and pats the seat next to him with his hand.

“Will you sit down, please?” he says his voice a pleading whisper.

“Why? So we could ruin a perfectly good reunion by hashing up the most painful moment of my life.”

“I thought it was what you needed. I thought in some way it was what you wanted. That maybe you were trying to spare my feelings, by not ending things yourself. I’m sorry. If I could take it back I would. I’ve come here so many times since you’ve been gone, since we’ve been apart, replaying that moment in my mind over and over again. Just wanting to change it, wanting to fix it. Now that your here I think we have a chance to rewrite history. A chance to give this bench a new memory, a happy memory. So please… sit down.”

“Jimmy I-.”

He reaches for her hand and she looks at him. Their spark is undeniable. She never could fight  with him for very long. Him and his damn blue eyes.

Bailey sighs and sits next to him. Her body still stiff and tense.

Jimmy turns to her and she follows suit. He grabs one of her hands in his, bringing it to his lips, he kisses it. As he places his other hand on her thigh, rubbing it, trying to calm her obvious nerves.

She inhales deeply and lets out a sigh, looking up at him.

“Jimmy, I love you. I love your mind and your heart. And I know that you were trying to do what you thought was best. But it wasn’t best. Not for you, and not for me. You didn’t let me choose, you just assumed that I wouldn’t make room for you- the man I am madly in love with-in my new life. So if we are looking to move forward, I need you to promise me that you will never do that to me again.”

Jimmy looks at her, and cupping her face he leans in and whispers, “I promise,” followed by a soft kiss planted on her lips.

“There’s a lot to figure out though, I mean I’m home for the summer, but in the fall, I will be  back in New York.”

“I know.”

“Do you think we could make long distance work?”

“You know it’s funny you should ask that. On the subject of me promising you things, I actually have something to add to your list.”

“Do you?” Bailey says looking at her with a puzzled face.

“Yes.”

“Ok. What is it?”

“I love you Bailey. I have loved you ever since that very first day we met in pre-k and you lent me your glue stick. It was kind of a sign, huh? That somehow you’d always stick with me.”

Bailey lets out a small giggle.

“And I know that I just may have lost some cool points by saying that, but it’s the truth. Your eyes and your face and your body have been burned in my brain. I have never not been in love with you. I have never let a day go by these past few months without thinking about you, or wanting to call you and hear your voice. And I know you have big dreams and we got a lot to figure out, but I just thought that you know people go their whole lives searching for what we got. Searching for someone to love. Well lucky me, I found my one and only when I was about 3. And I can’t be foolish with you again, I can’t let you go. So I just thought that maybe we could figure the future out together.”

He takes Bailey’s hand and stands up in front of her.

“Jimmy- what are on earth are you doing?”

He kneels down on one knee and reaches for the tiny box in his jean pocket.

“Bailey Ray, will you marry me?”

Bailey stares at him, frozen in time.

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“Bailey, baby, did you hear me?”

“What?” she says in a daze, her hands shaking.

“Well I- I just asked you to marry me, in case you missed it,” he laughs nervously.

“Jimmy, I don’t know what to say. I’m just so taken back.” She says grabbing her chest.

Fireworks boom outside, as Bailey’s eyes look in the direction of the gym windows.

Jimmy follows her gaze, he looks down at the ring and closes the box, standing up he puts the box back in his pocket.

“Come on, let’s get you outside for the firework show,” he says reaching for her hand.

She snaps back to reality and stands up, following his lead. The looks of sadness and confusion shown on each of their faces.

They emerge from the side entrance of the school and start their walk back up the road towards the town square.

The pair continue to hold hands, but the silence between them is deafening.

Bailey’s stomach is in knots, this isn’t how this moment was supposed to go for them.

She holts and Jimmy looks back at her.

As town goers pass by heading into the town square. Some grabbing their goodies from the carnival booths.

The fire work display is lighting up the sky with all colors of the rainbow and little kids and adults “ooh and ah.”

“Can we talk about what just happened?” she says.

“You said no,” he whispers sounding defeated.

“I didn’t say no. I didn’t even get to give you an answer.”

“Well…I gotta be honest Bailey it wasn’t looking good.”

“And here comes the part of the story where you just write your own ending. It must be exhausting always knowing what other people are thinking or going to do or say. I mean how can you ever hear yourself think?”

“You’re mad? At me. For asking you to MARRY me?”

“No. I’m annoyed that you just don’t give me a minute to just be. You know me, you know that I’m not a hasty person. I never have been. My not giving you an answer was just me being surprised and in awe of a beautiful man kneeling down on one knee holding that beautiful ring.”

“Really? You weren’t internally freaking out?”

“Ok maybe slightly. But any 18 year old girl, in my position would. It’s just that I’m still trying to find myself. Trying to figure out who I’m going to be and what I want to do with my life. College is a start sure, but it’s a long road. I have no doubt that I love you. And I know for sure that I want you in my life in a big way. Marrying you is definitely on my to do list, but we’re so young. Does it have to be right now? Can I say yes and wear your ring but can we hold off on the wedding planning? Is that ok? Is that something you’d be willing to do?”

Jimmy looks up at her. He sighs of relief.

“That’s more than ok. It’ll give me time to save up for our wedding. I’m sure that’ll take a while anyway,” he laughs.

Bailey looks up at him, her eyes sparkling.

“So…You’re saying yes?”

Bailey shrugs her shoulders and a sweet smile plays on her lips.

Jimmy smiles brightly as he reaches for the box in his pocket.

“Wait! Pause.” Bailey says throwing up her hands.

Jimmy looks on confused.

Bailey smirks and grabs his hand pulling him back toward the school.

As their walking turns into sprinting, Bailey pushes through the doors and makes her way into the gym. She sits on the bench and looks up and him.

“Ok. Play.”

Jimmy smiles down at her and laughs.

“Hey you wanted to rewrite history, so that’s what we are going to do.”

Jimmy smiles and knees down on one knee, taking her hand.

“Will you marry me?” he asks staring up into her eyes.

“Yes,” she says as he slides the ring on her finger, “Ah!” she gasps.

 Standing up, they meet in a kiss, as he lifts her in his arms and spins her around.

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-A Few Months Later, The End of Summer-

Bailey is in her room packing up her suitcase.

She pauses and looks at her ring, she smiles as she looks at the picture of she and Jimmy from their high school graduation sitting on her night stand. She picks it up and places it in her suitcase.

“Hey, you ready, he’s outside.” Keegan says standing in the doorway.

Bailey scans her room, she closes her suitcase and zippers it.

“Yup!”

***********************************************************************

Bailey’s dad grabs her suitcase and heads outside as her mom gives her a cooler packed with homemade goodies.

Bailey walks outside to find Jimmy leaning against his pickup, packed with all his stuff and her stuff.

“Hey you,” he says.

Bailey hands the cooler off to her dad, who places it in the trunk as she rushes into Jimmy’s arms, hugging him tightly.

“You about ready?” he asks.

“Yea. Are you?”

Jimmy nods with a big smile.

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Bailey and Jimmy turn toward their families and town friends. They all hug and say their goodbyes and give their well wishes.

Keegan and Hester-the Ferris Wheel guy hold hands as Jimmy and Bailey pile into the pickup.

“Bye!” everyone shouts.

“Bye!” Jimmy and Bailey shout in unison as they wave, Jimmy starts the truck and they set off onto the road.

“Be careful, drive safe,” Bailey hears her mom say.

“Call us when you get there,” her dad says.

“Let me know when you decide to start wedding planning!” Keegan yells.

Jimmy and Bailey look over at each other and share a laugh.

“There’s a big world out there, there’s more than you think. We’ve lived here our whole lives and it’ll always be home, but there’s so much more beyond Everdale. And I can’t wait to show you,” Bailey says excitedly.

Jimmy looks over at her and puts his hand on her knee. At a red light, he leans over and kisses her.

“I love you,” he says.

“I love you,” she replies with a smile.

“So how stoked are you to be moving into our own apartment?” she says.

“Well I mean that depends?” he says his gaze forward and steady.

“On what?” she says her tone elevated and curious.

“On whether or not we get to sleep in the same bed.”

Bailey gasps.

“Jimmy, you dog!”

“What- I like to cuddle,” he says laughing.

“Yea sure,” she huffs with a laugh.

“Yes ma’am,” he nods.

“So if I let you sleep in my bed, cuddling- that’s all you wanna do?”

Jimmy looks over at her.

“No. That’s not all I wanna do.”

She smiles.

He pulls over to the side of the road, and leans over to her, she smiles as their lips meet.

Unbuckling her seat belt, Bailey climbs over to Jimmy as he smiles he reclines his chair slightly and she laughs as they continue to kiss.

In between kisses, Bailey says “Wait, don’t we have to be at the new apartment by tomorrow afternoon, we have a long drive.”

“We can be a little late, we can just say we suddenly hit traffic.”

“Bite your tongue,” she slaps him on the shoulder as she kisses him.

“That’s your job,” Jimmy smirks teasing another kiss.

“Hmmm, making out in your pickup while you spit out sexual innuendos- just like old times.”

“Mmm Hmm. I’m glad this old pickup is coming with us, it’ll be nice to bring a little bit of old to mix in with the new.”

“Agreed, now shut up and kiss me,” Bailey says as Jimmy looks at her they laugh and fall back in the seat, kissing. Bailey’s leather brown boot hits the car horn and the honk sounds.

They gasp in uncontrollable laughter as they look over at each other.

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“You ready?” he says nodding back to the open road.

“More than ever,” she says kissing his cheek and leaning back up in the passenger’s seat.

Jimmy straightens his driver’s seat and puts his seat belt on as Bailey follows.

“So where did we land on the whole bed issue?”

Bailey laughs and glares over at him.

Jimmy laughs and glances back over at her.

“In all seriousness though, you know how much I love you, right? he asks his eyes gleaming.

“I do, cause I love you just the same,” she smiles reaching over and squeezing his shoulder.

“Good. Let’s go meet our new home.” He says grabbing that her hand and kissing it. He peels out onto the road again.

“I am so in love with how that sounds.”

Jimmy and Bailey smile at each other as they drive along.

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-The End.-

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before That Summer-Part 2

Before that summer

Read Part 1 HERE

Bailey looks out her plane window as she sees the blue sky and white fluffy clouds, her mind is racing and full of possibilities.

Could Jimmy actually want to get back together?

Her life hasn’t been the same without him.

Even the miles in between them, hasn’t changed the fact that she loves him. Loves him more than she could ever fully put into words. More than bees love honey, more than horses love hay. She’s a country girl, she would know.

“We will be landing shortly in Oklahoma. Please remain in your seats and fasten your seat belts,” the pilot says, his voice echoing over the speaker.

Suddenly Bailey’s heart begins to race, she looks down at her twitching and sweaty palms.

***********************************************************************

Bailey steps off the plane, her brown cowgirl boots clicking against the white tiled floor. She makes her way toward baggage claim, as she approaches she sees the smiling faces of her mom, dad and older sister Keegan waiting with her bags.

Her face lights up as she rushes over.

“Welcome Home!” Keegan screams.

“Hi!” Bailey screams running into the open arms of her family as they fall into a group hug.

“I’ve missed you all so much! It’s so good to be home.”

“We’ve missed you too, you’re not allowed to go back, sorry,” Keegan says in mock seriousness.

Bailey lets out a sweet laugh. Keegan has always been more than a sister to her, but a best friend.

“By the way. Word around town is a certain someone is rather excited to see this little blonde bombshell back home in Everdale,” Keegan whispers, wrapping her arm around her sister’s shoulders and walking off with her toward the exit.

Bailey smiles to herself as her heart flutters at the thought of seeing Jimmy after all this time.

************************************************************************

The ride from the airport creates an anxiousness within Bailey, as they drive past the sign for Everdale, her stomach fills with butterflies.

What will she say? What will he say? Will it be awkward? Or just like old times?

“So shall we take the scenic route for old times’ sake?” her father asks looking up at her through the review mirror with a smile.

Suddenly Bailey is jolted from her racing thoughts of Jimmy and brought back to reality.

“Absolutely,” she says looking out the window as familiar storefronts and houses come into view.

She sees Jimmy’s old pickup truck alongside Frank’s Fix It a mechanics shop where he works. Bailey’s heart beat quickens.

“Hey dad, um… can we stop here for just a second?”

Her dad and mom exchange sweet knowing looks. With a slight nod from her mom, her dad pulls the car over to a stop.

“You’re not going to waste any time are you?” Keegan says smiling over at her younger sister, proudly.

“Not a minute,” she says hopping out of the car and walking toward the garage.

She saunters in noticing the muscular arm behind the hood of an old Chevy.

“Hey cowboy,” she says.

Jimmy straightens up behind the hood of the car, he’d know that voice anywhere.

Closing the hood quickly, his eyes meet hers.

She smiles seeing his face, and the rest of his body covered in dirt and grease, evidence of a hard day at work.

He rushes over to her and pulls her into a hug, lifting her up slightly.

She squeals and hugs him back tightly.

Setting her down, he cups her face and stares into her eyes.

“You’re home. You’re really home.”

“I told you, you’d be my first stop. I don’t break promises,” she smiles.

He gives her his knowing look, and as he’s about to lean in for a kiss, the owner Frank comes in from the back of the shop with a car part. He spots Bailey.

“Why little Ms. Bailey, I heard you were coming home, but now I finally believe it! How are you cupcake?”

“Hi Frank, I’m good. How are you? Business seems to be well.”

“Well you know them cowboys and their cars, always racing them and getting into trouble. Come over and give old Frank a hug.”

Bailey and Jimmy untangle from each other and Bailey makes her way over to Frank to be greeted with a bear hug.

“I’ll give you two a minute. He’s off at 5, just so you know.” Frank says raising his eyebrow, smiling, he walks off to the back again.

“Subtlety…there’s a shortage in this town,” Jimmy says looking down, feeling his nerves kick into overdrive.

“Always was.”

Jimmy and Bailey laugh.

 “Hi,” she says turning back toward him.

“Hi,” he says walking over to her and wrapping his arms around her waist.

He remembers he’s a mess and pulls back. Bailey looks on confused.

“Sorry. I’m a bit of a filthy mess,” he laughs.

“That’s ok. I think it’s kinda sexy.” She smiles looking up at him, as she reaches for his hand, her fingers lacing through his.

Jimmy sighs, his heart pounding.

“Oh girl, don’t say things like that to me,” he says looking down at their hands.

Bailey smiles and inching toward him she pulls him to her by his white t-shirt.

“Where were we?” she says.

Jimmy smiles at her, but pulls away.

“What is with you?” she laughs.

Bailey’s heart begins to sink, as the wheels in her anxious little mind turn and turn spinning into confusion.

“Are you seeing someone else?” Bailey says coming to a new realization.  

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Jimmy looks at her sternly.

“Oh my god, you are. Your- seeing someone else. Its Casey Fields isn’t it? God, she’s always had a thing for you. It was only a matter of time I guess…as soon as I left I’m sure she just couldn’t wait to sink her claws into you.”

“Hey, stop it,” Jimmy says with a laugh as his hands grab her shoulders, cutting into her overthinking-rambling session.

Bailey looks up at him, with worried eyes.

“I am not seeing anyone else. I never could,” Jimmy says. “No one’s claws are getting anywhere near me, well …unless they’re yours of course,” he says his eyebrow raising up.

Bailey looks at him, a blush creeping onto her cheeks.

“Oh my god, then why are you letting me hit crazy overload? You know my wheels turn a mile a minute. You have to shut it down quickly.”

“Hey you jumped to conclusions first little Miss,” he smirks taking her hands in his.

“Maybe so. So why is it that a guy like you, doesn’t wanna kiss a girl like me?” she says her eyes smiling up at him.

“I’ve waited a long time to see you face to face. I just want it to be perfect. Not while I’m covered in car grease,” he says laughing.

“Ah ok. I mean, I get it. I probably still have plane hair and I- didn’t think this through. I just, we were driving through town and I saw your car and I just didn’t really have time to think, I just kinda went for it, well because I miss you. And I wanted to see you and-”

Jimmy watches her in rapid dialogue mode, as he laughs, he sighs, and rolls his eyes, grabbing her face, he kisses her.

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Catching her off guard Bailey falls into it, as her hands wrap over his.

Pulling away Jimmy smiles at the mystical look on Bailey’s face.

Her eyes flutter open.

“Wow. That was so much better than I remember it. I mean of course I remember you always being a good kisser. I just meant that ya know this was just-”

Jimmy laughs again and pulls her into another kiss.

Bailey melts into his arms, feeling like everything is finally right in her world.

“Anybody ever tell you, you talk too much,” he says with a smirk.

“That was always our problem.”

“It’s not a problem,” he smiles, kissing her quickly one more time.

“Ok!” she laughs, slightly out of breath. “I should probably go, my family is waiting for me. And you have to get back to work. But I’ll see you later? For the carnival?”

“I’ll be there with bells on.”

“I’ll be the one in these leather brown boots,” she says pointing to her feet.

“Oh I noticed. Throw on your daisy dukes, and you may just have to sweep me up off the floor.”

“I’ll bring a broom,” she smiles and winks at him as she turns on her heel, her skirt ruffling in the breeze.

Jimmy looks after her, his eyes transfixed, his heart pounding, his knees buckling.

She always had a way of blowing into his world and changing everything, in the best possible way.

To be continued…

Working on Part 3 as we speak (posts this week are intended to stick to the Monday/Thursday schedule)

AND

**BIG NEWS after that I am going to be giving my other short story series

On The Run

some much needed attention.

ontherunposter

Catch up on the series from the beginning HERE

I’M BACK! 😀 #TakeThatWritersBlock

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

Before That Summer

Before that summer

Bailey stands in line at the local Starbucks, excited to get her daily dose of much needed caffeine when her phone starts to ring.

She looks down and her breath catches in her throat.

Him, she thinks.

What could he possibly want?

It’s been months and they haven’t spoken.

She freezes in line not knowing what to do. Her palms instantly clamming up.

“Next,” the barista calls greeting Bailey with a warm smile.

Bailey stares and looking behind her she smiles at an older woman standing there.

“You can go ahead, I really need to take this,” she says stepping aside.

“Oh thank you sweetheart,” the silver haired woman with a bright pink smile says, stepping up to the counter to place her order.

Bailey walks to step outside the coffee house doors and into the corridor. She inhales sharply, her heart beating a mile a minute.

She exhales even more strongly before answering the call.

“Hello?” she says trying to remain calm and collected, because remaining “cool”- at this point-wasn’t an option.

He- was her kryptonite. And she didn’t necessarily mind.

“Hey. (Jimmy’s eyes light up as he paces his apartment floor) Wow. You answered. I really wasn’t expecting you to,” he says his voice light.

Just the sound of Jimmy’s voice makes Bailey’s heart smile.

“Oh well you know I could- just hang up-” she says in a playful tone.

He laughs.

“No, I just meant I figured you’d be in class, or at some fancy New York City gala, or brunch, brunch is big up there, right?”

“We have been known for our brunch scene, yes,” she says with a slight laugh.

“Oh, I miss that laugh,” he says picking up a frame on his desk, he smiles at the picture of he and Bailey from their high school graduation.

Bailey’s stomach flips and fills with butterflies. Jimmy’s heart rate increases.

“I miss you. (Jimmy closes his eyes, taking it in for a beat) How are you? How’s everyone back home?”

“I’m good, everyone’s good. (He continues pacing) Home is home. Same ole small town filled with weird celebrations of the strangest things.”

“Ah carnival season.”

“It’s coming in like a freight train.”

“Oh I remember it well. So what’s the theme this year?”

“Love. Pink and Red basically threw up all over town. And they’ve got this cupid’s jingle playing every second of every day. Donny Fonny actually goes around dressed in a diaper with a Cupid’s bow and arrow shooting people and ordering them to “Love each other.”

“Oh my god, Mr. Old Donny Fonny in a diaper, I would pay big money to see that,” she says leaning against the wall of the corridor, just enjoying talking to him.

“And here I am complaining and I get to see it for free.”

 “Well I mean it’s basically Valentine’s Day in June. You must be overjoyed,” she giggles. “I know- it’s your favorite holiday,” she says sarcastically.

“Hey, my recent hatred has to do with the commerciality of it. I don’t think guys need a specific day to make them realize what they have should be celebrated. I could look at you every day and feel that. Hallmark doesn’t need to remind me. I know you’re amazing.”

“Jimmy.” She says her heart falling in her chest.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to call and hash up the past. I just…this whole love theme thing, it just made me think of you…more than I already do, and I wanted to hear your voice. Tell you that I’ve been thinking about you, and that I miss you. But that I’m so proud of you for making it out of Everdale and going for it. Chasing after your dream. I’ve always just wanted the best for you, even if it took you away from me.”

“You know…we could always revisit the fact that I did ask you to come with me? But you were the one who thought ending things worked best. I never understood that. It broke my heart. It still does.”

“It broke mine just as much you have to know that. But come on, did you really want to ruin your college experience by bringing along an anchor.”

“You were never an anchor Jimmy, come on, you know that.”

Jimmy flops onto his couch as he sighs.

“What?” Bailey asks as she steps outside the Starbucks doors and makes a B-line to the nearest path into the park.

“Nothing.”

“Talk to me.”

Bailey sits on a park bench as she watches couples interact in public displays of affection all around her.

“I can’t. Not over the phone. Not about this. I wish I could see you. Any plans to visit home anytime soon?”

“Well I actually have my last final in just a bit…so then my summer is wide open.”

“Interesting,” he says his smile bright as he kicks his feet up onto his coffee table and puts his free hand on the back of his head, lounging out.

“Very.”

“I guess we can call it perfect timing.”

“I guess so.”

“Do you think there’s any chance that you’ll look me up when you get home, city girl?”

“Hmm, I don’t know about any city girls looking you up, but I can promise you you’ll be this country girl’s first stop.”

“Country girl, huh?”

“Hey I may be in the Big Apple, but I will always love Everdale more than any place I’ll ever go, its home. Besides I packed my cow girl boots, no one’s taking the country out of me.”

“Glad to hear it. Because this old town misses you and your cowgirl boots.”

“Really? Do they now?”

“Yea I mean I know one guy in particular who kind of had a thing for a blonde in leather brown boots.”

“They were always your favorite.”

“They still are. So why don’t you hop on plane and bring them home. And maybe you and I can pick up where we left off?”

“Maybe. Like I said my summer is wide open.”

“New adventures.”

“And a few old ones.”

“I can’t wait to see you.”

“I can’t wait to see you.”

“Bye Bailey.”

“Bye Jimmy.”

Bailey hangs up as her lips curl into the biggest smile, the fluttering in her stomach settles into a warm feeling, a sense of hope and home.

Jimmy hangs up the phone as a smile spreads across his face, he walks over to his computer and sits down. On his screen a list of apartment listings in New York is shown.

Bailey gets up as she sets off to walking toward her campus and her last final, the key to the start of her most exciting Summer yet.

Jimmy opens one of his desks drawers and reaching into it he pulls out a small black box.

He opens it, displaying a sparkling diamond ring. His eyes shift from his next adventure to the same picture of he and Bailey on his desk. He smiles at her smiling face.

“I’m never letting you go again,” he says to himself as his heart flutters in anticipation.

-The End-

(for now)