Chapter 5

Lynn showed up at the cottage early on the morning on Patrick's last day. She knew he and his grandparents had to be out by noon and she wanted to spend some quiet alone time with him in the waning moments of their friendship.

She rang her bike bell which Patrick heard through the opened window of the cottage. The storm was long gone and the morning sky was clear blue with the sun rising in the east. It was already warm and it was going to be a gorgeous day even though it was also a sad final day.

"Want to take one last ride?" Lynn asked when Patrick came out of the cottage.

"Of course," Patrick smiled.

Lynn was wearing a halter top and shorts. Patrick was in jean cut offs and a tee shirt. They didn't talk as they pedaled along the familiar lake road, both aware of the finality of the moment. This was going to be the last time Patrick was going to see The Girl On The Bike.

The country store hadn't opened yet and The Book Barn was closed too, of course. In fact, they didn't come across a single living soul from the moment they left the cottage. They were on the far end of the lake when Lynn suddenly and without warning turned her bike off the road and onto a dirt path that cut through some tall grass. There were trees and for a moment Patrick through Lynn was going to stop at one and flop in the shade to rest and visit one last time.

And there was the lake again and suddenly Patrick knew exactly what Lynn had in mind. The blue water beckoned instantly and Patrick had the urge to jump in the inviting water. He knew Lynn had the same idea as she stopped her bike and climbed off of it.

"You know you want to, Rick," she teased.

Patrick definitely wanted to. "So, we'll swim in our clothes?"

"I don't want to get my clothes wet," Lynn replied as they stood among the tall reeds by the lake shore.

Patrick glanced around and realized there were no camps or cottages within eye sight. He knew what Lynn had in mind.

"Nobody will see us," she promised.

"I'll see you," Patrick told her.

"That's okay," she smiled. "Consider it a going away present."

Effortlessly, she unfastened her halter top and let it fall to the ground, exposing her white milky teenage breasts. She shimmied out of her shorts and she was instantaneously naked, the sun appearing to shine upon her as though she was an angel.

Trying not to stare at her revealed natural beauty, Patrick quickly stripped off his clothes and he joined Lynn as they scrambled down the short bank into the welcoming water - their personal fountain of youth and joy, feeling the mud of the lake bottom squishing between their toes before they shallow-dived into the water which was cool, invigorating, and wonderful.

"This is as great as I could imagine," Patrick said as they floated together along the water's surface, the water clear enough so that they could still see each other.

"Don't talk, Rick," Lynn said. "Just experience it."

She splashed some water at him before dunking her head underneath the water's surface and pulling her wet hair back when she surfaced. An instant unforgettable memory.

"We shouldn't stay in too long," Lynn warned after they floated around for a few minutes. "We won't be alone forever. Early fishermen and all that."

"Yeah," Patrick sighed.

She giggled at his disappointment and they swam back to shore, carefully scooting through the mud and up the bank naked to where they left their clothes. Dripping and grinning, they glanced at each other waiting for the sun to dry them as they stood naked in the tall grass reeds looking at one another.

"Summer memories," Lynn told him.

"Yeah," Patrick agreed.

Eventually they dressed, picked up their bikes, and continued their ride around the lake with lightened spirits and a new appreciation for one another. Neither spoke, but they both kept looking at one another and smiling knowingly.

"You have a story to tell but you can't tell anybody," Lynn said.

"I know," Patrick replied.

They reached Lynn's aunt house and she stopped the bike in front of it.

"Summer love always comes to an end," Lynn sighed as she gave him a final hug, a tear running down her cheek. "I'm not going to insult you by promising to write every day and all that," she said. "What we had was short but oh so sweet."

"You gave me a new outlook," Patrick said,

"Go home and be a good brother," Lynn told him.

"I want to be a good person," Patrick said.

"And remember me."

"Always," he vowed, giving her a final kiss goodbye.

She waved as Patrick pedaled away, the boy on the bike riding out of her life.