Finding Ours

By: Megan Smith

Age Twelve

~ Rhea ~



“Mama, what’s Tanner doin’ over there?” I ask her as I point across the yard to Tanner who is standing right where our properties meet.

Mama lightly laughs, “I don’t know, sweetie. Maybe he’s lookin’ for something to do.”

I reach for my glass of sweet tea and take a sip before putting it back down on the ground next to the lounge chair I’m currently sitting on. I wipe the back of my hand across my forehead, wiping away the sweat that is pouring down my face. “It’s hot.”

Mama sits her book down on the chair where her legs just were then stands and reaches for the purple and blue inner tube that is sitting in the grass near the pool. She picks it up and throws it in the pool. Mama turns to me with a funny look on her face and walks over to where I’m sitting. “Whatcha doin’?” I ask as she reaches down and scoops me up in her arms. I start laughing and yelling, “Put me down.” But she doesn’t listen; she walks us over to the ledge of the pool and then drops me in the water.

I land perfectly in the tube. My butt hits the water first and I scream as the cold water seeps through my bathing suit and meets my burning skin.

“Mama!” I screech.

She laughs, “You said you were hot, Rhea.”

In the corner of my eye I see movement and before I know what’s happening I’m flipped out of the tube. I come up gasping for air and wiping the water from my eyes.

“Tanner!” I yell. “Why’d you do that?”

He runs a hand through his black hair and shrugs, “I was only doin’ what any friend would do.” He shrugs again. “I couldn’t help it.”

Tanner and I have been best friends since the day I was born. We really didn’t have a choice in the matter; our parents are best friends. Tanner and I were born on the same day only three years apart. Our families, along with the Mitchell’s, do everything together. Well, we used to until the Mitchells moved to New Jersey a few years ago. Most of our summers are spent at the Mitchell’s beach house in Myrtle Beach; it’s really the only time we get to see them now. I’ve always been the only girl in our little group but now that Knox and Tanner are getting older I have a feeling that’s not always going to be the case anymore. At least I’ll have Rex to myself for a little longer since he’s a year younger than me and still in that awkward stage in life. Eleven is an awkward stage in everyone’s life but never more awkward than for boys.

“You kids have fun. I’m fixin’ to go in the house to get dinner started.” Mama picks up her book and cup. “Be careful you two.” She calls over her shoulder as she walks away. With Tanner being fifteen now she trusts him to look out for me and make sure I don’t get hurt or into any trouble.

“We will.” Tanner and I say at the same time.

I’m floating on my back letting the sun warm up my body. It’s so peaceful and quiet out here. Some days I love it, others not so much. I get bored easily but thankfully Tanner’s house is right next to ours. And if I’m bored, I’m always guaranteed an interesting day next door with him.

Watching the clouds above me I point to one. “It looks like a heart.”

“Yeah, it does.” Tanner responds from somewhere near.

Knowing Tanner is distracted by looking up at the sky I right myself in the water and splash him, hitting him right in the face. “Sorry, you looked hot.” I giggle. Paybacks suck sometimes.

He wipes the water out of his eyes and smiles. Then a splashing war breaks out. Tanner picks me up and throws me into the air then slam down in the water. I come up for air and try with all my might to push his shoulders down to dunk him but it’s no use; he’s double my size. My hand reaches out to the side of the pool, “Alright, I win.”

Tanner flashes me his smile, letting that right dimple show, “How do you figure?”

“Cause I said so.” I splash him once more.

“Alright, Honey Bee, you win.” I asked him one day why he called me that, his response was I was sweet like honey but stung like a bee. Tanner goes under the water and comes up a little further away. Tanner will tell me just about anything I want to hear and I’m not about to stop him now.

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