I loved observing the different friends, and couples seeing how things seemed to click so perfectly for them. So many of them seemed to be in flawless sync and looked as if they were made for each other.
The first person to catch my eye and hold it was the one person I had secretly hoped would be there. But he was the very same person I had hoped wouldn’t. Ford. He was wearing a pair of red swim trunks, which accented his tan more than I had seen. He was throwing a Frisbee with another guy whose name I didn’t remember.
He stopped when he saw me climbing in the back of a truck that belonged to Shay’s dad and smiled as he walked over to us. The guy that he was playing with followed suit and kept his eyes on Shay without moving.
“Ford.” I smiled.
“Have you met …”
Shay spoke up. “Luke.”
“Nice to meet you, Luke.” I smiled. He smiled back.
“Ya’ll ready for a swim yet?”
Shay answers for both of us. “Yes.”
“Ahhh … Thank you but no, not yet.”
“Your loss.” She hopped off the tailgate and swayed her hips to the water where Luke gladly followed her. He didn’t seem to take his eyes off her for a minute.
Ford sat beside me, and I was trying every trick in the book not to look over at him.
“This is Deer Creek. I’ve been coming here for as long as I can remember.”
“It looks amazing.”
“Like you,” Ford says sweetly.
I looked up at him and saw the sweetness of Ford Kelly.
We heard screams and yells and laughs as Shay and Luke were playing in the water. He seemed to be acting as if he was going to throw her in. Others were making their way to the creek and laughing.
“You ready to get in?” Ford jumped off the tailgate and extended his hand.
I resisted but every part of me wanted to grab the olive branch he was trying to extend.Jesus Christ, Elise, not everyone is like Bryan. And Ford most certainly wasn’t anyway.
I jumped off the tailgate resisting his hand, and he put it down seemingly frustrated. Who could blame him? I was a looney toon, and I knew it. I removed my tank top as fast as I could getting ready for my next move.
“Last one to the water has to clean the pig pen tomorrow.” And I took off running. I ran faster than I have ever run even through the giggles and the urge to turn around and see how far Ford was behind me.
I made it to the water before Ford and turned around with my hands on my hips to announce and rub it in his face I had won. I had actually beaten a running back. From what Shay had said, he ranked third in the state of Texas. I was pretty impressed with myself.
He walked up to me in the water and stood right in front of me. He wasn’t the least bit out of breath and smiled watching me enjoy my victory.
“I WON! I beat the fastest running back at Humble.” I did a little victory dance.
He moved a little closer to me.
“This is the thing, Elise … with me … I would always let you win. You would always be first.”
My heart started to ache. That was the sweetest thing a person had ever said to me.
“Most definitely.” He focused his eyes on me almost leaving me lost in a trance. I felt like I couldn’t turn away. And what was worse, I didn’t want to.
“Wait! You let me win?” I asked. I put on a mad face so he would think I was serious.
“No … well, yes … well …”
“Well, what?” I asked.
Luke swam up behind me. “Of course, he did. So he could see your ass as you ran like I did with Shay.” Shay splashed Luke and jumped on him to push him under.
“Is that true?” I asked.
“Absolutely not,” Ford said while he was nodding his head.