By Katie Parkes

Sam sank into the Muskoka chair and uttered a deep sigh.  It was hot and he was tired.  Tired of waiting for her.  She was always late these days, leaving him feeling like he was last on her list of priorities.  She was busy, driving all over the place working a new job, but he just wanted to see her.  Wanted more time together.  He let his eyes close as his skin soaked up the late afternoon rays of summer sun.  Just relax, he told himself.

A few minutes later, he heard a car door slam and the familiar beep of her locking the doors.  Kelly.  He turned around to see her kick off her wedges and throw on her flip-flops as she made her way towards the dock.  She was running now, a look of frustration on her face, with two plastic glasses and their favourite bottle of red wine in hand.  It’s about time, he thought.

“I’m so sorry Sam,” she explained.  “Another stupid series of events made me late again, but I’m here now,” she sighed, putting his face in her hands and kissing his forehead.

“It’s all right,” he said.  He didn’t know if he was speaking the truth, but it was so difficult for him to ignore her constant apologies.  He knew she meant well.  She opened the bottle, poured him a glass and plopped herself down in the Muskoka chair beside him.

She looked beautiful.  She had grown her hair long because she knew that was the way he liked it.  Her blonde waves were radiant with the heavy, dying sunlight glowing upon them.  Her skin was tanned from weekends spent out on the boat with him and his friends.  As he watched her look at the lake, her blue eyes were like glass, sparkling and reflecting the stillness of the water.

She caught his gaze and smiled weakly.  Her heart hurt.  She felt terrible for the way things were between them lately.  But somewhere within her, she knew he understood and that one day in the future, once she finished school, they would be able to make something together.  How lucky I am to have him, she thought.

She asked about his day, his week, about all the moments she’s missed.  He told her the gist, leaving out the details, which made her feel like there were so many things she should have already known.  How did I let it get this way?  She wondered.  She was frustrated.  They have been in love for over two years.  There is only one more year of long distance, one more year of school… We can do this, she reminded herself.

She took a long sip of red wine.  She reached her arm out, grazing his forearm and making her way down to his fingers, entangling hers into them.  They sat there in silence for a minute, watching the sun go down.  It was as pretty as ever.  The pink and orange sky reminded her of so many nights like this one that they have shared together.  She thought of their fleeting summer romances, year after year, defining them both as hopeless romantics.

She looked over at Sam.  Sitting there, so handsome, so strong, and so full of love.  Her eyes traced over his big brown eyes, the rugged look of the scruff on his face, and his puffy, full lips.  She loved the lines around his mouth.

He poured them more wine.  It was almost empty already.  He squeezed her hand tightly, which he did often, making her smile and bringing her the greatest sense of comfort.

She had an idea.  She downed her wine and stood up as Sam’s eyes followed her, growing curious and confused.  Placing her cup down gently, she began to peel off her summer dress.  There was no one else around.  It was a Monday and the lake was quiet since most of the cottagers had fled home for the week.

She grabbed his hands and pulled him up.  She pried off his shirt and looked at the water.  In a matter of seconds, they stood there together on the end of the dock, hand in hand, naked, letting the air touch their exposed skin.

“1, 2, 3,” she screamed.  Splash.  Sam’s frustrations floated away with the ripples his body created.  Kelly felt freedom for the first time in weeks.  Red wine buzzed through their veins, their toes touched and they laughed.

This is why I love her, thought Sam.


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