Chapter 2 Recap: Eli explored Willow Creek and he was able to talk with some of the locals. By the end of the day, he was hired as a palette cleaner with Municipal Muses and met a spunky girl named Summer Holiday. Vowing to never sleep on a park bench again, he looks forward to what the next day will bring him… including an actual bed. Eli starts to wake up to the sound of chirping birds above him. As he stretches, he feels a twinge in his neck from the uncomfortable position he laid in all night. “Yikes!” he cringes “I am NEVER doing that again”. He sits up and looks at the world around him with squinted eyes. The sun, just peeking out of the horizon, colors the sky with bright streaks of red, pink, and orange. He yawns as he takes in the picturesque view.
I wonder what time it is… it can’t be too late.. I gotta be at work at 9am…. need to find a shower though, maybe the gym is open. He picks up his bag and heads over to Movers and Shakers. Thankfully, it’s open 24 hours a day, so he is able to head upstairs to the bathroom to take a shower and finally change clothes.
After a nice shower, he takes out his only other outfit; a white polo shirt, blue jeans and matching shoes, and throws it on. He checks himself out in the mirror, making sure his shirt doesn’t look too wrinkly. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have his maids and butlers anymore.
Before heading off to his very first day of work, he takes a deep breath and gives himself a pep talk.
Okay “Eli”… Impress Mr. Dennis with your artistic ability and maybe you will get a promotion in a day or two. This way, you will definitely have enough money to get some shelter and a bed… no more park benches for you… Oh yea andddd you have a little date with Summer tonight. You got this!
With one more glance at the mirror, he heads out to start his day.
After his first work day is completed, his growling stomach leads him to favorite grill by the water to create his “favorite” meal, charred hot dogs.
He scarfs a couple dogs down to help settle his hungry, yet nervous stomach before meeting Summer at The Blue Velvet. Every time, he thinks of her contagious smile and bright blue eyes, his palms become sweaty and his tummy does back flips. There’s just something about her that makes him feel……. complete. Isn’t it too early to feel that way?
After taking his last few bites, he head over to meet her.
As he approaches the club, he hears the muffled thump of music from outside the venue. “Okay… here we go”, he says to himself nervously. He walks in and spots her standing with her friends.
She turns around exclaiming, “Eli! You made it!” and she gives him a big hug.
A little stunned at her excitement to see him, he hugs her back, breathing in the scent of her sweet perfume “Nice to see you again, Summer” He chuckles.
“Let me introduce you to my friends!”, she takes his hand and brings him over closer to the table.
“Bella and Jax. This is Eli, the guy I met yesterday. Eli, these are my friends”
“Nice to met ya” Jax replies.
“Oooh so THIS is the guy you have been so excited about, huh Summer? Very nice…” Bella teases. “Ever since yesterday, all she talks about is Eli this and Eli that…”
Summer blushes and whispers in a hushed tone “Really Bella?”
“Alright alright I’ll stop…” she laughs “It is very nice to meet you, cutie”, she smiles and winks at Eli.
He chuckles at Summer’s embarrassed expression and nods to them “It’s a pleasure to meet you both”
Bella stands “Come on Jax, let’s give these two lovebirds their privacy… walk me over to the bar so you can buy me a drink… have fun you too!” she smirked.
Jax shrugs and they both head to the other side of the club.
Relieved that they left, Summer expresses “I knew she would that… typical Bella” she chuckles, tucking a few strands hair behind her ear. “I hope that it wasn’t too awkward for ya.. with her being flirtatious and all.”
He grins “Nah of course not. I’m only here for you anyway.”
They pause for a minute smiling at each other as a pop song starts to play.
“Oh! This is my jam!” she squeals before grabbing his hand and leading him to the dance floor. “Come dance with me!”
The two dance together for hours, song after song after song. Eli can’t remember the last time he had this much fun with someone.
After while, the two plop in a chair, tired and out of breath.
“Phew” Summer breathes “That was fun! You’re such a good dancer”
Eli laughs “yea, I know a couple of moves, but you’re a way better dancer than me”
“Why thank you!” she replies, batting her eyelashes.
“So tell me more about you, Miss Holiday. I want to know everything about you” he leans in closer.
“Well.. hmmmm let’s see….” she twists her mouth up thoughtfully “I’m pretty outgoing.. I love to meet new people if u can’t already tell” she giggles. “I’m generally in a cheerful mood, like, all the time andddddd I’m pretty active. I love to workout and stay in shape”
Mhm, I can definitely agree with that one, Eli says to himself.
“Oh! and I also want to become a famous chef one day. I’m only a dishwasher now though, but I am a great cook! You should come over to my house so I can cook for you one day.” she giggles.
“I would love that” he smiles at her.
She grins “Well, what about you?”
“Oh um… I got a job at the museum. My first day was today and that went pretty well. My overall goal is to regain my fortu….uh.. I mean build a family. I’m really family oriented and ambitious. I want to make it to the very top of my career.
Hmmm, cute, family oriented, ambitious, and realllllly attractive! Could this be my next boyfriend? There is just something about him…. she thinks to herself.
“But yea that’s pretty much it, I guess….”
“Oh wow that’s interesting” she replies “There is just something so different about you”
“Like what?” he asks
“Hmmm I don’t know. I can’t put my finger on it… but I like it” she grins.
The two take more time to get to know each other, talk about various topics, and of course flirt…. a lot.
The chemistry between Eli and Summer grows stronger with each minute they spend together. Summer’s bright and gregarious personality balances out Eli’s ambitious and highly driven nature. Being around her, almost allows him to forget the terrible events that happened to him just days before. Is this what falling in love feels like?
Hours pass by without them noticing, but after a while they know that their time together is coming to a close.
“Ah man, it’s 2am already” she sighs looking at her watch.
They both get up and Eli caresses her soft hands, her fingers touches his palms.
“I just wanted to say that I had a really great time with you tonight” he expresses.
“I did too, Eli. I definitely want to spend more time with you.. if you want to of course” she adds shyly.
“Of course I do!” he reassures.
“Yes…Tomorrow”, he smiles.
The music around them seems to fade as they look into each other’s eyes. She quickly glances towards his lips, longingly, but then looks back at him. Taking the hint, Eli slowly leans forward and Summer closes her eyes, ready for what’s going to happen. His heart begins to race as their lips touch, sending adrenaline throughout his body and making Summer’s heart skip a beat. As he breaks away, he caresses her cheek. She breathes in deeply and sighs.
Eli and Summer eventually say their goodbyes and head home, anxious to see each other again the next day. As he sluggishly walks home, their very first kiss leaves a smile on his face. He can still feel her soft lips against his.
Eli managed to save enough money to purchase a small bedroom to stay the night in. It isn’t much, but it’s a lot better than that park bench.