This is the last chapter... hope you all enjoy…
The next morning I dressed in my favourite jeans, a pale blue t-shirt and a light green sweater. I left my hair out and packed a few things to take with me in my one shoulder bag.
As I walked to the lake, I took my time to enjoy the scenery around me, remembering when me, Jennifer and James used to race past all this and dive-bomb into the lake while our parents watched us from the park nearby.
Soon I was standing on a hill overlooking the lake, taking in the fresh air and remembering all the fun we used to have here and I truly started to miss being little.
The strange thing was, James was no where to be seen.
I looked at my watch and realised I was fifteen minutes late.
He can't have left after just fifteen minutes, so where is he? I thought curiously, beginning to think he was late.
That's when another thought, I should I say fear, crossed my mind.
"Great, stood up on my first date in nearly a year" I muttered out loud, dropping my bag and flopping down on the hill and resting my head in my hands grumpily.
I was about to get up and go home, thinking I could catch up on a little more sleep, when I noticed a very familiar looking dog across the lake, sniffing all over the place.
Could it be... no, it couldn't, I thought, but when the dog started to get closer I was almost sure of it.
I decided to try and call the Alaskan Husky, knowing that if it responded I would know for sure.
"Toby!" I called ad when the dog perked its head up I knew it.
"Toby, c'mere boy!" I called again, slapping my thighs to make him come.
The dog ran up around the edge of the lake, then up the hill to where I was to get a big cuddle.
Toby was James and Jen's dog. His face was all white, with a grey streak running across his nose, that's how I knew it was him.
The last time I'd seen Toby was when he was about four months old, and that was nearly five years before.
Now he had grown to half my height, with fur so soft and clean you could sleep on it.
"Oh what a good boy you are" I cooed patting his head and back while cuddling him.
"He's grown, hasn't he?"
I looked up to see James kneel down beside me and stroke Toby's back.
"Yeah, he has, but is he the only reason you wanted me to come here? I mean not that I mind, Toby's a great dog and..."
"You know it's not" He whispered leaning towards me and giving me another light peck on the lips. I felt my cheeks go red so I changed the subject.
"This place brings back so many memories, I almost forgot how much fun we had here"
As I said this Toby must have caught an interesting scent and hurried off, sniffing away. We both got up and James replied "Yeah, I know. I remember all the times you and Jen ganged up on me and dunked me" We both laughed, remembering those times.
"Well, we did it for a good reason" I said smiling mischievously.
"And that was?"
"For the honour of all girls and the downfall of all the boy cootie carriers" I said with a straight face and a steady voice, which made James crack up laughing, causing me to loose it and laugh along with him.
That's when we both seemed to become shy of one another, and an awkward silence fell between us, with neither of us knowing what to say next.
That's when I thought of something fun to do.
"Hey, I just had a brainstorm" I said, knowing it was wrong but still wanting to try it.
"What?" he asked, raising his eyebrows at me.
"Now, it may seem a little... fast, for our relationship, but..."
"Sophie, what is it?" His voice was stern but I could see by the way he kept glancing at the water he was worried.
"Let's have a race to see who's faster" I finally blurted.
"Huh?" he was clearly dumbfounded by what I'd said, so I repeated myself, loudly and clearly, until he understood it and nodded, looking like a ten ton weight had been lifted from his shoulders.
Finally his boyish smirk returned and he challenged,
"All right, you're on. We start here..." He went down to a flat part of ground near the lake and drew a line in the dirt with his foot "... and run all around the lake, and the first one to get back here, and draw their first initial in the dirt wins"
"Bring it on then bubba" I grinned, standing beside him.
"All right... ready….steadygo!" He bolted off, and I cried out, racing off after him.
We started off pretty evenly, but by the end, James was trailing about three feet behind me.
I got back to the starting line first, drew an S with the sole of my sneaker and collapsed, breathing heavily.
James joined me, panting.
"Great, beaten by a girl, and what's worse, I was beaten by my own girlfriend!"
"Ha ha" I huffed, sticking my tongue out at him playfully.
We both took a few moments to catch our breath before James said in a normal voice "You can really move when you want to"
"Thanks" I replied, grateful that he was such a nice guy.
He got up and helped me up and I couldn't help but smile at him. He returned my smiled, and for the first time since we'd gotten together we looked straight into each others eyes.
Soon, we got lost in the moment and before we knew it we were kissing passionately with our arms wrapped around one another.
Soon we broke the kiss, and looked at each other with our arms still wrapped around each other.
"I thought we were going to take it slow" I asked, still tasting his lips on mine.
He licked his own lips and smiled his boyish grin, shrugging his shoulders the best he could and said "I guess our hearts were thinking differently than our minds were"
"Yeah, but that was still nice"
"Yep" he agreed, then held me to him gently, and once again I felt safe and secure with James.
Our peaceful silence was soon interrupted by Toby deciding to join in, squeezing in between us and breaking us apart. I couldn't help but laugh.
"I guess someone doesn't want to share you"
"Yeah, I know" he snickered, then shooed the dog gently away and pulled me close again.
Oh if only this moment could last forever, I'd be the happiest...
We practically sprung apart to see the rest of the gang coming down the hill towards us.
"Don't blame me, I didn't ask everyone to come here! Unless... Jen must've" He replied looking as bewildered as I felt.
"And he couldn't be more right" Jennifer said at that moment coming into earshot of us.
"Now don't get mad at me-"
"Give me one reason why we shouldn't!"
"She just thought it would be best not to leave you guys alone for too long" Lee spoke up as they reached us.
We both sighed exasperatedly as everyone started to talk about what they could do at the lake.
"Great. Our first date and everyone decides to come along and baby-sit us" James grumbled, resting his head on my shoulder.
"I know the feeling" I replied, patting him gently on the back.
"C'mon guys, let's go for a swim" Mandy said cheerfully grabbing both our arms and starting to pull us towards the lake.
"We'll join you in a minute!" I almost snapped, shrugging her off me.
"Okay, but don't be lo-ong!" She sang, then ran off, stripping down to her two-piece swimsuit and dive-bombing the lake with Lee and Chip close behind.
Immediately, and almost unconsciously, I turned to Paul and Rachel with a questioning look.
"Look, this wasn't our idea, we just came to try and talk Jen and the others out of it"
"Out of what?" James asked curiously.
"Out of coming here because she called us all up and asked if we'd like to have a picnic at a lake somewhere then when we all met up told us about you two being here and I knew what she was up to"
"But what was she up to?" I asked, wanting to know what her deal was.
"I get it now. She wanted to make sure we don't do anything stupid, like..."
"Yeah, I get it. But she should know by now we're too smart for that"
"Oh well, guess she doesn't"
There was a short silence before Rachel said "So, what are you waiting for?"
"What do you mean 'what are you waiting for'?" James asked.
"She means that while they're busy soaking each other, you two grab your gear and make a run for it"
"But... what about you guys?" I asked stupidly.
"We'll stall them and act dumb, like we don't know where you've gone"
"Oh thanks guys" I smiled gratefully, giving them both a big hug.
We grabbed our stuff quickly, then said a finally goodbye to both of them and took off, half-running, half walking through the park until we got back to the street pathway.
"That, was the first time I've ever had to run away from my friends before" I laughed as we eased into a casual stride.
"Yeah, and it's the first time I've ever felt that I needed to run away from Jen" he laughed with me, pulling the strap of his sports bag up on his shoulder.
We fell into another short silence, before James said,
"You know what though?"
"It was worth it"
"You think?" I asked, looking up at him.
"I don't think, I know" he smiled at me with his usual boyish grin wrapping his free arm around my shoulders.
I snuggled into his side, finally realising how lucky I really was to be with someone who cared about me so much.
Annnnd, that's the end. There's another dumb smidget that drones on and its not really that important, soo... yeah.
I really hope you all enjoyed this story... please, feel free to review and tell me what you thought of it and... yeah...
Until the next time I decide to write... ciao...