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The Lake



Author's Note: This story is based on something that happened to me last summer. In order to keep the privacy of the people involved, I have changed the names. Nevertheless, 95% of the things in this story actually took place, even some of the things said.

Paige exhaled a frustrated grunt as she dragged her tired body out of bed. Half asleep, she managed to pull a blue sweater over her head and tug a pair of jeans off a hanger.

"Another day," she mumbled as she forced herself to keep her eyes open. Not enough time to eat anything, she grabbed her keys off the hook on the wall. Quickly running her fingers through her brown hair and looking at herself in the rearview mirror, she put her key in the ignition and pulled out of her driveway. Everyday had come to blend together into one blur. She couldn't decipher one day's events with the next. Paige had her school work, her job, her friends and her boyfriend. Everything seemed blissfully content and yet at the same time, blissfully void of excitement.

She arrived at school, and parked her Jetta next to her best friend's car. Entering the school, she was engulfed into the crowd of her fellow peers. Paige said hi to everyone she needed to, and found her boyfriend leaning against her locker.

"Hey," she smiled and kissed him, just as she did everyday. They had just started seeing each other two weeks ago. Nick seemed as if he was the "perfect guy" at the time: played the drums in a band, played football for the varsity team, and had that certain long-haired, rugged look about him that instantly attracted Paige. But even still, the "new phase" of their relationship had already lost its excitement, and that naive desire to see each other as much as they could...and it scared her.

"Hi, how was your day yesterday?" he flashed his broad smile.

"Same as always," she laughed nervously, trying to hide the seriousness that lay in her response. It wasn't like she didn't have romantic feelings towards Nick- quite the contrary. It was simply that she had come to the conclusion that there wasn't much real conversation between the two of them; there were just playful remarks, sexual innuendos, and interview-like questions traded in order to feel as if they knew a lot about one another. Paige's former boyfriends weren't exactly the best conversationalists either and, as a result, she had come to find that it was a personality trait that she needed her partner to have...and Nick was lacking in it.

"You wanna maybe to do something tonight? Go see who's playing at the club?" Nick stepped closer to his girlfriend and put his hands on her hips.

Paige put her hands on his arms and responded looking at the floor. "Nick, I have to work tonight, remember? Everything's been pretty busy around the store lately and I really need the money. I'm sorry." She looked up into his eyes, waiting for an answer.

She felt his hands slowly leave her body as he took in a deep breath. "It's alright. I'll call up Randy and see if he wants to come along with me," Nick pushed his hair out of his eyes as he began to walk away from her. "I'll call you tonight okay?"

"Yeah," Paige tried to yell after him as he began to blend in with the people. Paige stood in her place for a second and thought to herself. "Randy...."The name of her boyfriend's friend echoed in her head. "How easily he was able to find a replacement for me "Oh stop," she mumbled out loud to herself. "You're just being overly emotional..." She rolled her eyes, as if to herself, opened her locker to get books for her first period class.

She arrived at her Journalism class and sat next to her best friend, Sarah. They had been best friends since they fourth grade and knew just about everything about each other. Sarah was the one that helped Paige meet Nick. She didn't, however, know the doubts that she was already feeling about him. Paige felt guilty to even think the thoughts she was; she certainly wasn't ready to voice them, even to her best friend.

"Hey! What's up?" Sarah playfully nudged Paige with her elbow.

Paige laughed, "Nothing really. I noticed you got that nasty dent fixed on your car?"

"Yeah, I'll have to remember not to hit another one of Mrs. Welsh's flower pots..." Sarah smirked.

"Ha, and I'll have to remember never to let you drive my car!" Paige winked and avoided Sarah's playful hit.

Paige drove the 20 minutes to her job. She worked at a computer store owned by her friend's father. The store had just recently opened and her boss needed her primarily for odd jobs: cleaning, filing papers, guarding the front desk, and things of that sort. She parked her car next to her co-worker and friend, Dan. As she stepped out of her car, rubbed her hands vigorously together in order to warm up her hands and watched her hot breath hit the bitter winter air. Walking in, she came to see Dan at the front desk with a costumer, filling out an invoice.

"Hey Dan," Paige smiled weakly and acknowledged the customer he was helping. Taking her coat off, she continued to walk to the back room and to her boss's office. "Hey Mr. Miller. How are you?" she asked politely.

"I'm good Paige, and you?" he smiled and put his hands behind his head, leaning back in his chair.

She shrugged and averted his eyes by looking at the massive stack of papers, "I'm hanging in there.....Anything in particular you want me to start with?"

He pointed to the pile of papers she was just previously concentrating her range of vision on, "You could definitely start with them. When you're done with that, I'd just appreciate it if you would keep an eye out at the front desk and call me or Dan if any customers come in."

She jokingly saluted him and reached for the papers.

When she finished with the papers, she headed up to the front desk, finally getting a chance to sit down. When she got there, Dan was already there talking with two boys standing at the other side of the counter. They looked around Dan's age. Paige caught the eyes of both boys, but didn't put much thought into them; they were just another group of people that came into the store.

"Alright guys, I have to go into the back and finish up this one system by 5, so I'll catch up with you later," Dan backed up and turned to go into the back room.

Paige sat in the stool he was just in and checked her e-mails at the front desk computer: nothing but junk e-mail, Spam, and chain letters. Bored, she looked up to the boys....but there was only one now. Where the other boy went, she didn't know; now there was just the one that stared back at her. He was very attractive to say the least. There was an almost mysterious look about him. He smiled at her.

Paige, to be friendly, smiled back and tried to strike up conversation. "So you're friends with Dan?"

He raised his eyebrows slightly and looked down at the counter to respond, "Uh, yeah...we go to school together."

Paige gave a little lopsided grin and nodded, also looking towards the smooth, black counter. She flashed her eyes back up at him. "So where do you guys go to school?"


"Oh, really? That's about 30 minutes from where I go...I go to Stanwick." she explained.

"That's awesome," he answered. He then leaned in and looked straight into her eyes, "You know, you look a little young to be working here. How old are you?"

Paige laughed, considering she got that a lot from many other customers, "Fifteen."

"Really? Well, that's great you have a job like this."

"Yeah, I guess."

Just around the time things would have started to get awkward, Dan came out from the back room. "The boss wants us to get a DVD from the video store to put in the 42'' flat screen (TV). You guys wanna come?"

Paige and the boy agreed and walked to the store to pick out a movie. As they walked, Paige stole glances of the boy walking next to her. She had definitely felt a good vibe from him, but wasn't quite sure what the feeling meant to her. She tried to shake it off as just another temporary interest that would quickly fade away.

The three spent what seemed like forever disagreeing on movies to bring back to the store; half because they didn't want to go back to the store, half because they just simply didn't agree.

"Hey! What about this movie?" the boy lightly touched Paige's arm to get her attention. Paige didn't want to admit it, but his touch gave her a feeling in her stomach similar to the one someone gets when they are on a roller coaster...the one she felt she should have around Nick. She didn't even know this guy's name, but there was an aura about him that simply intrigued her. His smile was definitely the trait that was most attractive about him. It was genuine and truthful, yet playful and almost mischievous.

She snapped herself out of her present trance, "Uh, yeah...that looks good, let's get it." She took the movie from him and brought it to the front desk to pay for it.

When they came back to the store, Mr. Miller told them that there wasn't much left to do in the store, and to simply watch the movie in the front and help any costumer that comes in. Delighted for the much deserved break, Dan and Paige, along with the boy, sat down to watch the movie. There were only two seats in front of the flat screen, so the boy sat on the floor with his back against Paige's chair. During the movie, all Paige could do was look down at him. During the middle of the movie, the boy's cell phone rang.

"Hello? Yeah? Right now? Alright.....yeah I'll get a ride home. Bye." the boy hung up the phone and looked up at Dan. "I gotta get a ride home. Do you think you can drive me?"

"Yeah man, sure. Just let me tell Miller and then we'll go." Dan responded as he went to go back to the backroom. When Dan was out of sight, the boy looked up at Paige and smiled.

"It's been a pleasure to hang out with you....what was your name again?"

Paige laughed to herself, considering she had never given him her name in the first place. "It's Paige."

"Paige, it was nice to meet you," he held out his hand for her to shake. "I'm Aidon."

"Well it's nice to meet you Aidon...I'll see you soon."

He nodded as Dan came from the back room. "Yeah...definitely."

Paige closed up the store that night with her small encounter with Aidon lingering inside her head. It seemed so naive and stupid...she had a boyfriend...and she had only known this guy for a day, but she couldn't get over the fact that he had this certain way about him, this certain way that attracted her to him.

The next few days at school with Nick were rather awkward. Paige felt guilty for taking an interest in Aidon and tried to make up for it by being extra affectionate to Nick. Nick was indifferent, however, making Paige's efforts eventually strained and, to her, worthless. Towards the end of the week, Paige had given up with improving her relationship with Nick, and just hoped it would get better on its own somehow. Instead of getting better, though, it became even more dull and repetitive. Paige began to look forward to the next time she would work, eager to see more of Aidon.

The next time she worked at the store was a few days later. When she arrived, Aidon was no where to be found. She wanted to ask Dan where he was, but Dan knew full well that Paige had a boyfriend and she didn't want him to suspect anything. Just when she was ready to give up on seeing him for that day, she heard someone call out her name.

"Paige," Aidon smiled and walked toward the front desk.

"Hey. How's it going?" Paige tried to resist the urge to smile.

He sat down across from her, leaned over the counter and smiled. "You gunna keep me company while Dan works?"

"Yeah, of course." Paige replied, finally breaking out the smile she couldn't resist. "Are you guys hanging out when he gets off of work or something?"

"Yeah," Aidon shifted on the stool. "We were planning on seeing a movie."

"Oh, really? My friends and I were planning on doing the same thing! They're gunna meet me here after we close the store."

"Yeah? Maybe we should all go." Aidon suggested shyly.

"Yeah," Paige slowly nodded. "I would like that."

In her head, though, Paige tried desperately to justify the event that she had just agreed to. It wasn't a date of course...she had a boyfriend. And it wasn't going to be just him and her.....her friends and Dan were coming along too. It was simply coincidence that they were both going to the movies. It wasn't like she planned it. But no matter how much she convinced herself that her get- together with him was purely innocent, she couldn't escape the fact that she was anxious for her shift to end.

Six o'clock rolled around and Paige was thankful. She locked the store up and met Dan, Aidon and her friends at the front of the store. Her friends weren't aware that there was going to be other people attending the movie with them. Paige explained to her friends the situation and she introduced everyone. When they got into the movie, Aidon sat himself next to Paige. Paige desperately tried to control herself. She almost felt like her body was shaking, trying to fight her new feelings and the excitement of what she wanted to do, what she wanted to happen. The movie started, and Paige and Aidon joked about the people in the movie, just to keep a conversation going.

At one point during the movie, Paige felt Aidonís touch graze her arm. He was just barely running his fingers up and down her arm, but Paige loved the feeling of his touch. She knew that it wasn't right because of Nick, even if their relationship was less than perfect. Paige tried to nonchalantly get away from his caress by turning to her friend on the other side of her to comment on the movie. Paige felt bad because she had been flirting with him the entire day, but now couldn't respond to any of the signals he was giving her. He leaned over after a while and asked, "So what are you doing tomorrow? I really want to hang out with you before I go on vacation in two days."

"Oh, I have a concert to go to tomorrow. I really wish I could hang out with you though," Paige smiled weakly, figuring her response told him that she didn't want anything with him. She really did have a concert the next day, though, and she really did want to see more of Aidon. "Here," she handed Aidon her cell phone. "Could you hold this for me? I have to go to the bathroom."

"Sure," he said as she got up from her seat and squeezed between him and the seat in front.

When she came back, she took back her phone and got comfortable in her seat.

When the movie ended, they all went outside the theater to say goodbye to one another. "I'll call you later tonight," she said to her friend Rob and hugged him before he walked away to his car. She hugged everyone else, until she got to Aidon.

She wrapped her arms around his neck and whispered in his ear. "I'll see you later."

When she got home that night, everyone in her house was asleep, so she decided to turn in for the night as well. Before she did, she noticed that there was a new phone number in her cell phone's address book. Curious, she started to look through all her names and the first one that came up was Aidon's. He must have put it in there when she had gone to the bathroom. She smiled to herself. He did these little romantic things and gave her those looks of his...she couldn't help but like him.

The next few days went by. Things with Nick were the same as they always were and Aidon was on vacation at the shore for the next week. The more Paige saw Dan at work, the more she wanted to ask him about Aidon, anything at all. But if she did, there were bound to be consequences. Then, about a week and a half after Paige had last saw Aidon, her phone rang.

"Hello?" Paige answered, opening the refrigerator to get a glass of water.

"Hi. Is Paige there?" the voice answered.

"This is..."

"Oh, hey Paige....It's Aidon."

Paige's hearted jumped as she paused standing in front of the refrigerator. She tried to keep her voice relatively even. "Aidon...hey! How was your trip?"

"Oh man, it was horrible."

"Really?" Paige exclaimed. "Why is that?"

"Didn't really get to go swimming."

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that..." Paige responded.

Then, there came an awkward silence. After what felt like forever, but only lasted a few second, the silence hovering over them was ended by Aidon's next statement. "So, do you wanna hang out sometime, you and me?"

"Yeah sure...I would like that..." Paige's voice trailed off as she smiled into the phone.

"Well, umm....there's this really awesome lake near my's practically the only piece of land that hasn't been taken for real estate in Bloomfield. We could go there and just talk....chill... Aidon tried to explain.

"Yeah, the lake sounds like a good idea."

"Here, let me call you back in a second. I wanna call my friend and see if I could borrow his quad for the day so we can ride it."

"Yeah, sure. Bye." Paige said as she heard the phone click off and disconnect her from Aidon. "The lake..." she repeated. It sounded so romantic and perfect. But then her thoughts were shadowed over by thoughts of Nick. This was gunna be impossible. If they were to go to the lake....we would get to talking and something was bound to happen...and she couldn't do that to Nick. She had never cheated on anyone before and she certainly wasn't about to start now.

Snapping her out of her thoughts, the phone rang again. "Hey," she said as she picked it up; she already knew it was Aidon.

"Hey, I have some bad news. We're not gunna be able to have the quad any time soon because my friend is working on fixing we'll have to reschedule that. Is there anything else you want to do?"

"Umm....," Paige paused. "How about we go to the mall and see a movie."

"Yeah, that sounds good. Then we could go get some dinner."

Dinner and a movie, Paige thought to herself. Nice. " Saturday sound good?"

"Yeah definitely...I'll see you then."

Saturday came around fast that week and Paige was happy. She had called up Sarah and told her what was going on with she though that he was amazing and wasn't exactly sure about Nick anymore. Although Sarah didn't really approve the whole "date" thing, but Paige decided to go through with it anyway. She got in her car that day, and started to drive to the mall. To try to avoid any traffic and be on time, she took the back roads. That soon proved to be a problem when she encountered a car backup that lasted about a mile. "Oh my fucking God...." Paige slowed to a stop behind the car in front of her and put her forehead on the steering wheel.

This was the last thing she needed, and she didn't have Aidon's cell phone number to tell him. He's probably gunna think that I ditched him, she panicked. She honked her horn and held her fist to hit. "COME ON!" she yelled, knowing very well that it wouldn't help her get the traffic moving. "6:15...I'm only 15 minutes late..." she mumbled to herself as the traffic slowly began to move again.

By the time she got there, she was 20 minutes late. As she parked her car, she prayed that he hadn't given up on her and left. Paige ran from her car to the mall's entrance and looked for him. He was no where to be found. She sighed and continued to walk farther into the mall. Finally, she saw him get up from one of the benches and started walking toward her. He smiled when he got to her, hugged her and took her off her feet (literally).

"I'm so sorry I'm late. I think there was an accident and traffic was all back up," she explained as he carried her to the movie.

"It's okay, I didn't even notice. I just figured my clock was fast and I was too early....I already bought our tickets so we can just go in."

"Oh," she shook her head as he let her down. "Let me pay you back," she reached for her wallet.

"No no," he pushed it away from him. "I asked you to come here with me and now I'm gunna pay for it."

Paige shifted her weight onto her one leg and put her hands on her hips, "You really are something Aidon."

He smiled to her as they walked into the theater. They sat down in an aisle close to the screen. Things went smoothly. There was a few times where it seemed that if there was nothing there to stop them, they would have kissed. It was the moments where their faces were close and they would smile at each other, look down quickly, only to look back up into each other's eyes. At those points though, Paige would smile weakly and look away. It was killing her.

After the movie, they went to a restaurant that was in the mall. This was the point where Paige really started to become attracted to Aidon; he had the one trait she had been looking for. He was never at a loss for words and everything they talked about was real and intelligent. It showed her that he had smart and mature thoughts in his head. When he would talk she got lost in his eyes, and she liked it there.

Then, it was time to leave and go home. But before they got up form the table, Aidon put out his hands for Paige. She put her hands in his and looked up into his eyes. "Paige," he started. "You know I want what we have to be more than a friendship, but I know you have a boyfriend. And I don't know how long you guys have been going out, how serious it is, or what memories you have with him."

"Yeah," Paige looked away from his eyes and smiled nervously. "I really like you too," she admitted.

"Yeah, I thought so... That's why I figured I should tell you this. I don't know what you have with your I want to let you know is that I will wait for you to make a decision. I want you to take this into consideration enough so that you can feel that you have made the right decision. My feelings for you won't change." The whole time he explained to her how he felt and what he wanted her to do, he looked straight into Paige's eyes. She could also feel him rub his thumbs across the top of her hands as he held them. All Paige could do was wish Nick wasn't a factor in her life and etch Aidon's face into her mind.

My feelings for you won't change. Aidon's comment didn't leave her head for the rest of the night.

Paige got home that night and the first thing she did was call Sarah. She just had to tell her about what happened.

"Sarah! Oh my God, he's incredible." Paige gushed.

"Oh no..." Sarah mumbled.

"WHAT!?" Paige squealed.

"Well...what are you going to do with Nick?"

"I don't know yet...Aidon told me to make a decision....and I guess I have to.."

"Do you have any idea who you're gunna pick?"

"I really wanna pick Aidon...but I don't know. I'm afraid I'll make the wrong decision. But he's just so amazing. I don't know how I would be making a wrong choice....Listen I gotta go. I'll call you later."

The next few days, Paige was in a daze, until she called Dan. She was gunna go to Dan's later that week, so Aidon was scheduled to come over too.

"Hey!" Paige said as she hugged Dan when he opened the door for her.

"No one's here yet so make yourself at home."

"So do you know if...anyone's....coming?" Paige inquired as nonchalantly as she could.

"I don't know...Aidon's probably not coming."

"Oh.." Paige said quietly.

Two hours later, Paige and Dan were sitting on the grass talking, when they heard a black car pull up into Dan's driveway. Three guys came out of the car, and then another from the back....the other was Aidon. Paige felt her stomach jump. He said hi to Dan first and they talked about something in private. Then, Aidon looked to Paige, still sitting on the grass, and smiled.

He put out his hand for her to grab and get up. When he did, he pulled her up into a big hug.They then went inside. With really nothing to do, they just sat around, tried to play Nintendo, and played Ping-Pong. When setting up the Ping-Pong table, Paige and Aidon went behind the side of the Ping-Pong table that was still upright, constricting Dan's view of them. With the few moments alone, Aidon grabbed Paige's arms and whispered in her ear, "I finally get to see you," as he kissed her twice on the cheek. They played Ping-Pong for a while, and after, sat back down to watch some TV. &!quot;Can I?" Aidon asked Paige quietly and he held out his hand to hold his.

Paige, beginning to feel guilty, replied, "I can't....don't be mad..."

Aidon shook his head. "No it's okay, I just wanna do this so bad," he explained. Instead, he put is arm around her as they watched TV.

Eventually, it was midnight, and it was time for Paige to drive home. She hugged Dan and then Aidon.

"I'm going to cheerleading camp in two days," she explained to him.

"When will you be back?"

"Thursday night."

He smiled his famous smile. "Good," was the last thing he said before Paige went to her car and drove away.

Two days later, Paige went to cheerleading camp. Every spare minute she had, she would lay in her bunk bed and think of what to do. She weighed every trait of Nick and Aidon's. Personality, looks, humor, talent...whatever came to mind. She finally decided on about the third day that she had made her decision. She was going to take her chances with Aidon. She came home that Thursday as scheduled....but Aidon was no where to be found. He wasn't online and no one was answering his phone. Two days after school started, Paige got a call from Dan. He told her that Aidon was sent somewhere by his parents. They didn't know where he was, but knew he would be back at the end of the next summer, about one year from then.

Paige never did get to tell Aidon how she felt about him, or what her ultimate decision came out to be. She ended up breaking up with Nick, even after she found out about Aidon; half because she had feelings for Aidon, half because she knew the relationship wasn't working out. Paige wrote to Aidon by sending a letter to his house and trusted in his mother to give it to him. Where that letter is remains a mystery, whether it was never given to him, or he has decided not to write back, or he is somehow unable to reach her. Paige ahd just recently found out where he is, but is not in liberty to say, for privacy reasons. Until then, she can only hope and dream....

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