As five girls walked down to the beach, they could see the bonfire roasting in the distance, flames leaping up from the chalky sand and shining onto the sea. Each wave that came into shore became illuminated and reflected the red and orange light. Massie Block took a deep breath and the salty, earthy tones tickled her nose slightly. The scent felt like a sneeze coming on, light and fragrant, but it never truly arrived, like a hushed whisper.
Massie’s eyes scanned the beach, taking in the group of people. Some of the faces looked familiar, memories whisking through her mind as she felt a glimmer of recognition but then they were gone. Some of the faces were completely foreign, something Massie loved but hated at the same time. There was nothing worse than trying to meet new people when all you wanted was the comfort of home.
“Hey Sterling!” Massie called out, the ocean wind lifted her hand up to a wave.
Those bright blue eyes caught Massie’s in the crowd and she felt a jolt down her spine. Sterling was gorgeous in that all-american boy kind of way. His sandy blonde hair, green-blue eyes, and strong arms made her knees weak and literally slowed her mind down to a crawl. There was just something about the way he smiled at her that melted her heart.
“You have a boyfriend…” Alicia whispered in Massie’s ear, jolting her out of her daydream.
Massie shrugged her off, “Duh. Sterling is a long-time family friend, nothing more.”
“Hey Massie, how have you been?” Sterling gripped her in a hug, his hands tickling the hair that hung down her back.
“Good! Ohmygosh, you look so much older since the last time I saw you!” Massie giggled up at him.
“I could say the same for you. Want something to drink?” Sterling winked and grabbed her by the arm and led her over to the table that was laden with tropical punches and sparkling ciders.
Ten minutes later, Massie was sandwiched between Sterling and Alicia, goosebumps rising on her arms even though it was a balmy 84 degrees that night. They had marshmallows on the best sticks they could find, and they were quickly browning due to the large bonfire everyone was huddled around.
“How’s your first year of High School been? Not too tough, I hope,” Sterling asked, the fire dancing in his eyes.
“Pretty fun actually. We joined the cheer team for a little bit but then we quit. Now we’re just kind of seeing what happens next,” Massie said with a shrug as she took a bite out of her browned marshmallow.
“Cheerleading, huh? Was there a football-playing boyfriend you were cheering for?” Sterling said with a sly grin.
Massie blushed, “No football playing. He’s more of a soccer boy.”
“Mmm,” Sterling said with raised eyebrows.
Massie felt her heart flip as Alicia jabbed her in the ribs with her bony elbow. She hadn’t realized she was eavesdropping but apparently she was picking up on Sterling’s flirtatious comments. The problem was, Massie had always had a crush on Sterling ever since she was a little girl. They were always paired together during social events even though Sterling was one year older. Over the years, they had grown closer, always setting time aside to hang out when Massie visited the Hampton’s. She hadn’t been able to see him last year but she could tell he had missed her visit. The way his knee brushed up against hers told her that he was more than interested in catching up on lost time.
Massie’s phone beeped and she grabbed it, quickly looking for a way to avoid an awkward moment.
“Hey Sweetie, I miss you! I heard a crazy story today, Monica said you guys quit the cheerleading team. Did you?” the text from Derrick made Massie look over her shoulder as she became nervously aware at how close she was sitting to Sterling.
“Yes we did 😦 We quit right before we left so I didn’t get a chance to tell you,” Massie responded.
She smiled up at Sterling and noticed a busty blonde sitting on his other side, she was flirting with him with one hand on Sterling’s leg and another wrapped around a strand of her unnaturally bleached hair.
“Oh god, her hair has taken enough trauma, does she really have to twirl it around like that?” Massie whisper-giggled to Alicia and Dylan who were staring at the new mystery girl.
“Is someone jealous?” Dylan said with a wide grin as she wiggled her eyebrows knowingly.
“No! I just feel bad for her hair. Split ends make me nervous,” Massie said as she popped another marshmallow into her mouth, completely ignoring the fact that it was her third one in the past ten minutes.
Her phone beeped again.
“How’s Sterling? His parents said he’s planning on going to Princeton once he graduates! Such a sweet kid. Anyways, don’t forget your curfew, we don’t need to be sending Isaac out to look for you girls again.” Her mother had already texted her twice asking about Sterling, the perfect boy for their daughter.
“Ehmagawd, is your Mom still mad that we stayed out so late last night? Didn’t you tell her our cover up story? I can’t have them mentioning it to my mom,” Kristen fretted.
“It’s fine! They thought we were taking a ‘midnight dip’ at the country club. They don’t know about the party,” Massie said as she eyed Sterling and blonde-girl walking down by the water, their heads tilted back in laughter
“Okay good,” Kristen sat back.
“Let’s take a walk!” Massie jumped up, eyeing the water as it lapped the shore.
“Let’s talk about our boyfriends! Has Derrick texted you a million times in the past hour?” Claire said with a wide, fake smile.
“What is with you guys? Sterling is my friend. How many times do I have to say it?” Massie’s glowered at her friends and their annoying obsession with her love life.
“Okay, okay! Let’s walk,” Alicia said as the girls took off down the beach, the moist sand squishing between their toes.
Massie stood with her toes in the water, the cold water sending chills through her tanned legs. She was holding her Steve Madden sandals in one hand as her teal tank top pulled in the wind when she felt a splash of water tickle her legs. She glanced up to see Sterling sporting a wide smile and wet hands as he pretended to not know who had been the splash-culprit. She squinted her left eye at him as she brought her foot back, ready to send an incoming wave his way.
“Don’t you dare,” he said with a smile, his pearly whites sparkling in the moonlight.
Massie grinned but not before she brought her foot forward, sending a wave of salty water all over Sterling as he stood in shock, trying to hold back laughter.
“I can’t believe you!” he said as he lunged toward her, splashing as he tried to run through the heavy waves.
Massie and the girls screamed as they tried to run up onto the sand, almost smacking straight into blonde-girl.
“Hey! I don’t think we’ve officially met, I’m Lilly,” Lilly said with a big smile.
“Hey,” Massie said coldly as she glanced up at Sterling, gauging his reaction.
“Sorry for not formally introducing you guys earlier. Lilly is my girlfriend,” Sterling said as he wrapped an arm around her waist.
Massie felt the wind get knocked out of her chest as she stared into Sterling’s warm and trustful eyes. Girlfriend? Since when?
“It’s so nice to meet you! We’re going to go make more s’mores,” Massie smiled politely as she led the girls back up the beach. She grabbed her purse and went straight for the parking lot, not even stopping for the Pretty Committee as they called her name. Once she had texted Isaac to come pick them up, she finally sat down in the beach parking lot next to an abandoned beach ball that was deflated and faded from the sunlight. Massie almost knew how the rejected balloon felt.
“Ehmagawd, you seriously can move,” Alicia said as she doubled over, trying to catch her breath.
“I’m sorry he has a girlfriend, Massie. But you have Derrick. You shouldn’t care.” Claire trailed off as she chewed at her nail beds.
“I know, I know. It’s just…” Massie trailed off, her eyes looming over the beach as her voice caught in her throat. She coughed and then turned back to the Pretty Committee.
“I love Derrick so much but have you ever gotten bored? Like there’s nothing new lying ahead in your relationship? We’ve been together so long that everything is just another date or another kiss. It’s not like anything would have come from Sterling but it felt nice when he looked at me. Like I was something worth looking at,” Massie said, brushing away a tear that was forming in the corner of her eye.
Claire fished Massie’s phone out of her bag and handed it to her.
“Call Derrick and tell him what you just told us,” Claire said seriously.
Massie eyed Claire and then eyed her cell phone.
“Really?” Massie asked, skeptical.
“Yes. Trust me,” Claire said.
Massie shrugged and picked up her phone and walked away from the Pretty Committee. Derrick’s ring-back tone played “Everybody Talks” by Neon trees as she anxiously kicked a couple rocks, waiting for him to pick up.
“Massie?” Derrick said, his sweet voice rushing emotions back to her.
“Hey, can we talk?” She asked.
Her voice cracked as she considered her future without him, wondering if her life was about to change forever.
Sorry I haven’t been around to comment lately. Now that the school year is approaching, I probably won’t be commenting around on people’s blogs as much as I usually do, sorry about that girlies. I’ll still be on MBL because I really enjoy writing this new way. I’d rather write on WordPress than Fanfiction, so I’ll be sticking around for now.
Don’t forget about the Friday Night Sleepover chat this Friday!
I’ll be announcing the next Beauty Bulletin and new PC members in my next post.