Chapter One

"Ow!" Eight year old Aurora bumped into Ten year old Riley, which ended with her sprawled across the gravel.

"Watch it, will you?" Riley turned around to face her. He then felt a pang of remorse for the small ash-blonde girl as she inspected her stinging palms.

"Sorry, I'm such a klutz." She replied, pushing big black lens-less glasses up the bridge of her nose.

Riley sighed, running a hand through his black hair. "No need to apologize, princess. I'm just having a rough day."

He didn't know why he suddenly started calling her 'princess.' He definitely knew her looks qualified for her to be one.

"That's okay. Wait, how did you know my nickna-" She was interrupted by Riley.

"Your knee's bleeding." He squatted next to her, and she tenderly examined the gash through her already ripped trousers. He didn't see the point in it, wearing jeans that were damaged in the first place.

"That's the third time this week!" She complained.

"Why are your jeans all ripped?" He asked out of curiosity.

"Oh, these?" She glanced up at him with big grey eyes. "My sister got them for me, otherwise I wouldn't wear them. Very impractical if you ask me." She beamed, proud of herself for using a long, grown up word she'd recently learned.

Riley was stunned. He'd never met a girl in his life who wasn't into clothes before. Or practical ones, for that matter. She seemed to spark his interest. The recess bell rang in the distance, its shrill calling for the children, echoing around the playground. Riley stood up.

"Come, let's go to the nurse, princess. We wouldn't want that to get infected." He grinned at how smart he thought he sounded. He extended his hand, which she gladly took.

"I'm Riley, by the way." He pulled her up, and steadied her by holding her waist. Her knee throbbed and she was forced to limp.

She looked into his dark blue eyes. "I'm Aurora."

"So you are a princess!"

"Yeah yeah." She rolled her eyes.


~ 6 years later~


Aurora walked out of the classroom, her legs feeling much like jelly. She stretched out along with the other students.

"That was brutal." Adriana said rubbing the back of her neck. "I think I might collapse right here."

"Don't worry, I'll catch you." Ben said with a grin.

"With muscles like those? I don't think so." Aurora laughed.

"Hey! I have muscles!" Ben put his hands on his hips.

"Sure you do, Ben." Adriana slung an arm over his shoulders.

"Come on, let's get lunch. I could eat a horse." Aurora rubbed her stomach, and the rest of them followed her to the canteen.

"Hey guys!" Aurora exclaimed as they caught up to Mavy and Riley in the lunch queue.

"How's finals been?" Mavy smiled and tossed brown hair over her shoulder.

"Look at me cous, I can't even stand properly!" Ben complained to his cousin.

She giggled. "You can't stand properly, anyways."

"Hey!"

"I'm just kidding, Ben." She patted his arm.

"How about you, princess?" Riley asked Aurora.

"So hungry..." She moaned, praying that the line would move faster.

"You're always hungry." Adriana rolled her forest green eyes.

"No, I'm only hungry at designated eating times. Not always, Adriana." Aurora informed.

"Geek." Adriana playfully punched Aurora's arm.

"Better than being dumb!" Aurora grabbed a couple trays, then handed them to her friends.

"So what's your summer looking like, guys?" Mavy asked them, picking up a Greek salad.

"Oh, yes, good news! I won't be going to camp this year." Ben announced.

"That's great! How'd you convince your Mum?" Riley asked, taking a turkey sandwich.

"I asked Dad to." He shrugged.

"Remember when we were kids, and we had all those crazy adventures together?" Aurora reminisced.

"Those were the days, princess." Riley sighed.

"It was so fun!" Adriana exclaimed. "Those were definitely the days."

They payed for their food, and sat at an empty table.


~6 years ago~


"Hey Riley!" Aurora waved at him as he approached on his bike.

"Hi princess! What are you up to?" He asked, pushing black hair off his forehead.

"We're planting cherry trees." She replied.

Next to Aurora stood a small girl, with kind brown eyes and soft brown hair. She was clutching a rag doll to her chest protectively.

"Oh, and this is my neighbor Mavy. Mavy, this is my friend Riley." Aurora motioned between the two of them.

"Nice to meet you, Mavy." He extended his hand and Mavy shook it.

"You too, Riley." She had a slight French accent. Barely noticeable, but clearly there.

"Wait, you're not from around here?" He asked.

"No," She shook her head, wavy hair following. "I moved here from France."

"Cool." He replied.

"Now, let's get the trees." Aurora said, and they ran to get the young cherry blossom trees.

They dragged them over, and pushed them into the holes that Aurora's father had dug earlier.

"Daddy said that one day they'll be really big." She said they covered the hole with dirt. "And maybe we could put up a tire swing."

"That'll be so fun! Don't you think Cheer?" Mavy asked her rag doll, whom she named 'Cheer.'

"And maybe Ben can make us a treehouse." Aurora said tucking ash blonde hair behind her ears.

"That's if you can convince him to come out of his room, first." Mavy sighed.

"Who's Ben?" Riley asked.

"He's my cousin." Mavy swung Cheer around. "We could go over and meet him, if you like."


Author's Note: So this story I started in the middle of a blizzard, when I started to miss summertime. This story is kinda like how I wish my childhood was like near the ocean, whereas I grew up in New York City. I usually found myself fantasizing about the beach and such. It's a really fun and carefree and happy story over all. Summer just can't come fast enough.

-Mayah