To me, summer smells like multicolored cotton candy and strawberry ice cream.
There's no such thing as too much food coloring when it comes to kids' parties and theme parks. I see colors everywhere, from the sky tinging hues at dawn and dusk, to the clothes people wear at Carney High. Rayna Adams, queen bee of Carney, loves wearing pink and red. The skaters love combos of green and grey. The jocks are into electric blue and brown. My go-to is black nowadays.
Today is the fifth anniversary of the day my father died. He was a good man, not perfect, but good. My parents were happy together. My dad was a university professor. He taught Literature. He loved ice cream, and he loved me and my mom. He introduced me to all the kinds of ice cream at an ice cream shop called Jilly's. The place where I learned how to imagine and dream.
I once dreamed of starting an ice cream shop. I wanted my ice cream shop to be called Lake & Sledder, the two last names of my childhood best friend and me. We would have themed events, all the wackiest and yummiest flavors, and the best blend of retro and modern decoration.
I pass by the traveling circus on my way to and from school every day, and I smell the sweetness in the air. The clowns juggling, trying to make people laugh. The ticket sellers outside the venue. The stilt walkers, and the dancers.
A girl runs by, the evidence of pink ice cream smeared across her chin and lips. Nostalgia in its purest form. I watch her run into her father's arms, and he embraces her.
"Hey nugget, you got something right there." He swipes her chin and gets a wet tissue for her.
She looks up at her father with the roundest eyes, like a cat with those puss-in-boots eyes.
I look away after a few beats in time and keep walking down the street.
I don't eat ice cream anymore.
"Thomas, phone call!" My dorm parent Mrs. Haines shouts my name from downstairs.
I take two steps at a time, going through my violin practice song in my head.
"Yes, I'm coming!" I respond, sliding down the stair banister to get there.
"Hello?" I say.
"Hi honey, I'm looking at flights right now, you want a window or aisle?" My mom asks.
The only thing my mom ever talks to me about is my going back to Roseton or she's gossiping about what happened to this person and that.
"I told you I have my internship here this summer, mom," I say.
She's always like this. She forgets about what I'm doing and she only focuses on that damned shop.
"Oh my, I'm so sorry...but you can do your internship next summer can't you?"
"Next summer I'll be done with school already and getting ready for college," I say.
"I already applied to the internship," I say.
I'm trying to convince her that it's more important for me to stay here. It's a losing battle. She always knows how to pull the cards.
"Your father would have wanted you to carry on the family business. I've worked so hard for you and to support your education, is one summer too much to ask?"
She brings dad into the conversation and bam. K.O.
I don't talk about a lot of things with the people at this school. I'm trying to get grade eight for the ABRSM exams, and I'm also learning as much as I can about history in general so I can become a museum curator.
I glance at the calendar on the wall. I realize I haven't been back home in a couple of years. Every summer I'd choose to stay with my uncle down south instead of going back to Roseton.
My mom has worked hard, but so have I. I have no choice but to go back home. After all, my mom is the one who finances my studies and she is my rightful guardian. Once the summer holidays start I'd have nowhere to stay and no way to survive if I got cut off from my mother's allowance.
"Yeah, thank you for supporting me. I'll be back next week." I mutter.
I don't hate Roseton. But I don't want to go back to that place where everyone's the same and everywhere I go, there's a reminder of what once was, and what now is not. There's only one person I'd want to go back for, but the bridges have been burned. I don't see how the pieces of what used to be friendship could ever fit back together.
I haven't thought about her in a while.
I wonder how she's doing.
A/N: what does summer smell like to you? So I'm trying a new format. I'll split each chapter up in both MC's POVs. Let's see how it goes. This will be an attempt at dual POVs plus shorter chapters than usual to be more digestible lol.
Your daily dose of ice cream
See y'all in the next chapitre!!