View Full Version : THE SUMMER WHEN I WAS 17

January 5th, 2012, 05:32 AM

“Julie we are going on a cruise soon, would you like to bring a friend? It’ll be much funnier that way”, grandmother said typing away on her laptop.
“Well, I don’t really have many friends that parents would be so cool with that” I said eating a bag of lays chips. “Would you be willing to talk to their parents?”
“Of course, it would only be the right thing!” she said looking up to me with her serious face. I was almost scared to ask but she is a really cool grandmother.
“You wouldn’t mind me bring maybe someone that is not like me, would you?” I said looking down at my keyboard.
“What do you mean?” she said.
“I mean like perhaps a boy?” I said blushing and scared out of my mind at the same time.
“Your boyfriend Julie?” she said.
“Yes I mean it’s not like we are going to share the same room on the cruise anyways so… I just thought it would be fun.” I said looking around the room avoiding eye contact. She stared for about 5 minutes at me.
“Okay, that would be perfectly fine with me but only if his parents agree” she said. Gosh that will be the hardest part, his parents would not let him go out with a stranger over the sea let alone, they don’t even know I exist. He probably won’t even ask his parents.
For the past almost 10 months I’ve had this boyfriend, he is sweet and amazing and totally in love with me. He can be a bit shy sometimes but the problem is we still have yet to meet. We talk all the time and have fun talking to each other. So one day logging on Skype I asked the question. “Hey Kevin, take a trip with me?”

Yes! I finally asked, now just for the explaining like always. –Beep. Oh look, he replied. What do you mean Julie? Thinking in my head how to reply has been all tongue tied. Why am even wasting my time, he will say no anyways. “Well my grandmother asked me if I wanted to take someone on a cruise with me and I thought of you first” I replied. It was silence for a while then I get a messaged popped up “Kevin is calling” I thought to myself like why is he calling me, I was really nervous. But I swallowed my guts and answered.
“Hey Kevin” I said
“Julie.” He said in a sturdy yet troubled voice “you know I can’t accepted your invite, my parents would kill me if I asked if I could go on a cruise with my girlfriend and they haven’t even met you or anything plus under this circumstance.”
“Yeah of course, sorry for even asking” I said on the verge of crying. I’m so stupid, why did I think things would go smoothly.
“Are you okay?” he said worrying.
“Psh, yeah I am hahaha” I said. I could feel I was causing him trouble so I dropped the whole conversation trying to move on to something else. I mean it wasn’t even THAT big of a deal. “so what are you doing?”
“Nothing just editing and looking at videos” he said. “Julie did you really want me to come?” he said. I just died inside, omg he is bring up again? Does this mean he wants to go to! So exciting!
“Yeah I did” I said, holding back my excitement
“Well maybe I could mention it to my parents and explain a few things” he said. OH YES! My god he is really going to say something? Great now I won’t be so unknown. I mean not even his brother and sister know about me. At least my parents have a clue I have a boyfriend and all my friends and some of my close cousins know about him. It kind of sucks but, this is what I get for being involved with a guy over the internet.
“BRB Julie” he said
“Right now? You are going to ask them right now?!” I said going out of my mind
“Yeah, if I don’t come back in an hour that means I am dead. Hahaha” He said joking but serious. It has been 56 minutes listening to music and hoping he doesn’t get into much trouble. What if he can never talk to me again?
“Hey Julie!” he said loudly.
“Gosh you scared me!” I said still shaken up a bit. “So, how did it go?”
“Well for one, they want to meet you.” He said. Dear lord just help me now. This is going to be a long tale.
“Well it would be rude if I didn’t come to meet them, when is a good time?” I said trying to keep my cool.
“What about this weekend, say, Saturday?” he said.
“Great, I’ll bring my grandmother too? I’m sure they would like to meet my guardian who is not some freak.” I said laughing.


Saturday came and my grandmother and I prepared the car. I was driving because my grandmother doesn’t like driving. As soon as 9 o’clock struck we hit the highway.
“Grandmother what if Kevin’s parents don’t like me, I’m not the best person in the world either.” I asked.
“Julie you are really smart and pretty, if they don’t like you they are out of their minds!” she said. I love my grandmother she is always so nice! So five minutes later we pulled up to his house and looked around.
“This is a pretty cute neighborhood, don’t you think?” I said. She looked around some more.
“I guess if you like this kind of stuff” she said.
“Grandmother I’m so nervous can’t we just forget this and turn back around!” I said. She glared at me and proceeded forward to the door. –knock knock. My heart starts to bounce and climb up to my head and back down. The door starts to open slowly and I began looking at myself and realized I forgot to put on lip gloss! My god I’m ugly forever. I look down and just as the door is fully opened I looked up and put on a killer smile. A nice beautiful lady opens the door.
“Hello” Mrs. Khoeun said as she looked at me and my grandmother.
“Hello Mrs. Khoeun, I’m Julie and this is my grandmother.” I said. Her eyes widen with surprise and looked back into the house and then looked forward.
“Welcome Julie, please come in” she said. I am officially dying. I am in Kevin’s house. I wonder where he is, doesn’t matter. I am too scared to meet him. As we walk through the house and turn the corner I see Kevin and what appears to be his dad. I am so nervous; I mean what are they going to ask? Doesn’t matter, I just have to answer each question seriously and honestly.
“Hello Julie” Kevin said while smiling and staring at me. I feel so much tension, I wonder if it is too late to escape. He gets up to shake hands and greet my grandmother properly and sat back down.
“Please sit Julie and Mrs. Hardrick” Mrs. Khoeun said. I sat down by my grandmother and sat up straight at least have the appearances that I am a lady. “So Julie, tell us about you.” I was stuck. What would they want to know? What do I tell them? About me?
“Well my name is Julie obviously I am a freshman in college and I’m studying molecular biology and I live in St. Louis and I’m 17. I love learning new things, swimming, and playing the piano” I said in my professional voice. Yes! I have this in the bag hopefully they are impressed by that. Mrs. Khoeun smiled and sat there for a second before replying.
“Not exactly what we wanted to hear but that is very impressive.” Mrs. Khoeun said. Fuck shit. I messed up. WHAT IN THE HELL DO THEY WANT TO HEAR? I remain calm in myself.
Not questioning I said, “Thank you very much”. She nodded back as she offered me some tea.
“So Julie, you and my son are together?” she said. I looked at my grandmother and looked at Kevin. I was officially put on the spot. Fucking damn.
“Yes Mrs. Khoeun.” I said politely. She looked at Mr. Khoeun and then at Kevin the back at me.
“Oh I see.” She said. Oh my, I said something wrong, didn’t I? Crap my life. My grandmother finally jumped up and popped the big question which she was coming down to discuss.
“Mrs. Khoeun, I came down here to discuss the cruise, Julie is always so bored on it and I told her she could bring a friend. I will be watching them the whole time. Julie is a nice and sweet girl and she really likes Kevin, I say just let the kids have some fun.” My grandmother explained to her. Mrs. Khoeun looked at her husband. Mr. Khoeun nodded to her.
“Okay, I bet it would be fun. This is fine with me and my husband. Kevin would you like to go with Julie and her grandmother on this cruise?” She asked.
“Yes I would, I’m sure it’ll be fun too” Kevin said.
“Okay then, Thank you Mrs. Hardrick for coming down here meeting us and you too Julie, it was a pleasure meeting you.” Mrs. Khoeun said.
“Likewise, the pleasure was all mines.” I said sweetly. We left that afternoon and stopped by the bread company before hitting home.


As we start preparing for the trip my grandmother send all the information to Mrs. Khoeun they were talking almost every day. I think my grandmother really liked her; I have to admit she is a person pretty likeable. I got off to my room to call Kevin, first time meeting him and we didn’t even get to say no more than 5 words to each other.
“Hey Kevin I missed you.” I said in my flirty voice.
“I missed you too.” He said
“So what is up?” I asked this is our first time talking since I got back from his house things were kind of awkward.
“Nothing just been talking to my mom all day about this trip. It’s pretty unreal that this is really happening.” He said
“I agree haha, we didn’t even get to really talk while I was down there” I said
“Yeah I’m sorry about that but we will have lots of time on the trip” he said
“It’s not your fault Cameron it is fine!” I said. I’m so nervous but this is so fantastic.
“So are we going to watch a movie tonight?” he asked.
“Of course! Let me look” I said happy as ever. He is so cute and all mines. We watched the movie that night and fell asleep as always on call.
It’s a week before the cruise; the cruise is 5 days long. Spending all day with Kevin playing games and having fun is so fantastic. We would be heading to Tahiti and Fiji Islands so the beaches have to be magical. I can’t wait to swim.
“Julie, come here for a second” my grandmother requested.
“Yes grandmother?” I rushed over to her.
“You know, you are Kevin aren’t sharing rooms.” She stated
“Of course I know that grandmother, I’m not planning on losing my virginity” I said laughing. She smiled back and sipped on her coffee. “Grandmother thank you so much and I love you!” I said hugging her from the back while she sits down.
“I know Julie. I love you too” she said. That morning I went out shopping for some cute swimming suits, all I have is ugly one pieces and Kevin is not going to see me in that! I have to pick something not to reveling like I’m trying to hard but not something elementary either. I looked through about 20 racks and finally found the perfect one. “Yes this is the one.”
That night I logged on to Skype as usual and I get a call from Kevin.
“Hey Kevin you’ll never beliv—“I said but interrupted
“Julie I don’t think I can go anymore. My parents are having second thoughts.” He said. I looked down and start to cry. This is not fair!
“Why is your parents having second thoughts I thought we was set?” I asked.
“Well they don’t think I am responsible enough.” He said. I lay down and my head starts to hurt. We just stayed quiet that night and went to sleep.
It is 1 more days before the cruise and I still having got the official okay back from Kevin.
“Julie it’s time to go! We have to catch the plane down to Florida to get on the cruise ship early in the morning tomorrow.” She said.
“But Kevin, I still haven’t got okay from him. What if he can’t come?” I asked.
“Well if he is coming we will see him down in Florida” she said. I just went along with it and got my stuff and left. That next morning we started boarding the ship. It is such a long line. After getting through it the long hot sunny lines my grandmother gave me the keys to my room. And still no sign of Kevin. This day sucks ass.
“Grandmother I thought we were sharing rooms?” I asked.
“Well I thought I needed my own space plus you have way to much luggage and what if I want to pick some hot guy up and bring him back to my room?” she said laughing. I rolled my eyes and went to my room just as I open the door something was blocking it. I pushed harder and harder. WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THIS? I squeeze my head through the door and I see shit right in front of the door. What kind of bullcrap is this? I kick the door more to move enough of stuff to get through the door.
“Hey Julie” Kevin said. I look up really quickly and stare hard.
“Kevin?” I said shocked.

The take off

“Kevin what are you doing here? I mean you should be here but what are you doing in my room we aren’t supposed to share rooms!” I said frantically
“Calm down Julie your grandmother changed her minds she said we have to share rooms because she wants to hook up on this cruise” he said laughing
“Oh that makes totally sense… WHAT THE FUCK.” I said exploding totally mind fucked.
“So Julie I don’t think we probably said hello to each other, come over here and give me a hug” he said. I died looking down to my feet eyes so wide they might fall out.
“ummmmmm errrrrrrrr” I said at least I think you can classify it as saying something. Kevin laughed as he came over and wrapped his arms around my shoulders and across my back.
“I love you Julie” he said in a soft sweet voice. I began to shed a tear and wiped it off before he could see. I have a rep to keep. So acting all cool I hugged him back.
“umm Kevin.” I said awkwardly. He let go hugging me.
“Oh yeah haha I’m sorry” he said. The awkwardness becomes heavier.
“Hey do you want to go eat? I know you are hungry because I sure am” I said. So we head down to one of the restaurants. Could this possibly be classified as a date or just going to eat? AHHH! I don’t know so frustrating.
As we are sitting down eating we kept looking up staring at each other it was pretty awkward but I didn’t know what to say. So I said the only thing that I did know.
“So how’s life?” I said. He busted out laughing so much.
“We finally and officially meet and you ask me How’s life? You are so silly Julie” he said still laughing. Well embarrassed as I was I didn’t have anything else to say.
“WELL WHAT DID YOU WANT ME TO SAY KEVIN?” I said laughing and smiling. After eating it was around 3pm and the ship was heading off the land and into the sea heading for Fiji.
“Do you want to go to the arcade Kevin? I bet I could bet you in race cars.” I said. He smirked and accepted my challenge. We started the contest.
“Hey! You are cheating Julie! No way I’m behind this much” he said.
“Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” I said. He glared at me and challenged me to air hockey. “You are on Kevin! I’ll bet you at that too.” I said. When we got done playing all those games it was about 10pm and we were tired.
“Julie I’m hungry lets go eat dinner” he said.
“Yeah okay, want some pizza?” I asked.
“Yeah let’s go” he said. We went to the pizza parlor on the main deck. After eating it was about 12am and I was officially dead. We headed back to the room and we walked through the door. I looked around and turned on the T.V. I just realized it was only one bed. FUCK MY LIFE. I mean it is a really big bed so it’ll be okay right? As long as I don’t make it obvious this night might go by smoothly.
“Want to watch a movie tonight on the TV Kevin?” I asked.
“You bet I do this is like our first time watching a movie together like in the same room” he said. Why does he do that? He makes everything obvious and awkward, how am I supposed to reply now, I’m so shy.
“ha-ha yeah, well, I’m going to take a shower first you can look through the movies.” I said. As I get into the shower I start thinking Kevin is right in the other room. I wonder what he is thinking. He seems pretty cool about everything, I wonder if he is freaking out like me. 20 minutes passed and I got out and put on my Pj’s. “You can go now Kevin if you like.” I said.
“Thanks Julie, I’ll be out soon then” He said. I crawl on the bed and get on the far left side.
“Okay this should be fine I mean it’s not like we are going to do anything, and I don’t think he is thinking that either. But what if he is” I said freaking out and about to pull out my hair. After about 15 minutes he comes out, his hair is all wet and he looks so sexy, gosh what am I doing? I should look away but I can’t!
“Okay are we going to watch the movie now?” he asked. Half way through the movie he fell asleep. I look over to take a closer look at his sleeping face, he looks so cute. Gosh I’m such a pervert. Looking in a person’s sleeping face. What is wrong with me? About 30 seconds has passed.
“Kevin you are so cute” I said. OOPSS. I said it out loud fuck my life. What if he heard that! Well it doesn’t appear that way. I guess I am in the clear. Just as I’m about to roll over to my side he grabs my arm.
“What? You aren’t going to kiss me. I pretended sleep for nothing hahaha.” He said. I stopped and was shocked to death. But I had to say something OH I KNOW. I dropped dead and started fake snoring.
“Julie. WTF. I JUST HEAR YOU SAY I WAS CUTE. I KNOW YOU ARE NOT ASLEEP.” He said. Damn. It didn’t work. So I got up and looked at him.
“Well you wanted me to kiss you or something?” I said trying to turn this on him
“Yes I did” he said just bluntly. I sided over to his side and closed my eyes and kissed him. Just a peak but I don’t really know how to do anything else. Just as I was about to release my lips from his, he pulled my body closer and stuck his tongue inside mines. I couldn’t believe it . We was really making out. I just went along with it, I mean he never made out with anyone at least I don’t think so, so I don’t think he would know if I was bad at it or good at it. We started hugging and kissing that night for almost the rest of the movie and we fell asleep cuddling that night.

Day at sea

It was about 11am and I started waking up. What is this on me? Just as I was about to push it off I realized that it was Kevin’s hands around me. I died under the blanket. Should I get up or just lay here and wait for him to wake up?
“Kevin?” I said softly. “Are you awake?”
“Yeah baby, I was waiting for you to wake up” he said. I died again. Why does he say things that are so awkward to reply to?
“err okay.” I said. “Well I’m going to go put on some clothes. I’m hungry. Like a fatty.” I said.
“You aren’t fat Julie” he said. I ignored that. Just as I was about to get up from the bed he said,
“Aren’t you forgetting something Julie? I looked around wondering what I forgot. I was dumbfounded. I looked at him; he was closing his eyes and puckering his lips. I looked away blushing and then I got myself together and leaned in to kiss him.
“Good morning Kevin” I said laughing. When we got dressed we headed down to the buffet. I got some fruit and Kevin got some meat and eggs and pancakes. I just looked at his plate grossed out. Well he eats what he eats and I eat what I eat.
“So what do you want to do today?” he asked me. I thought really hard on it.
“Oh! Let’s swim and then Jacuzzi and then I guess we can go to the teen club.” I said
“Teen club? Really Julie? Really?” he said really sarcastically.
“Well do you have any better ideas?” I said.
“As a matter of fact I do! Let’s go to the blue man show at the theater on deck 5” he said. Well why not. It sounds fun. I guess he does have good ideas.
“Yeah let’s do that then, when does it start? I asked.
“It starts at 1pm so after we are done eat we should head down.” He said.
“Then after that we swim?” I asked.
“Yeah” He said chuckling. We got on the elevator and headed down to deck 5. As we were walking he put his arms on my waist I was shocked and put my hands in my face for a second. Be cool Julie! We watched the show while holding hands for about 2 hours. It was then 4:30 and I was ready to swim. We headed back to the room to change. YES! This swimsuit is amazing. It was so worth looking for hours. I walked out and Cameron stared at me for a bit
“You look amazing Julie” he said. I looked down dying inside. We walked out to the main deck and I jumped in the pool.
“Hey this water isn’t deep is it?” he said. That’s right, he can’t swim.
“No it’s not but this would be perfect depth for me to teach you, come in Kevin.” I said giggling. So he got in and we practiced for about 2 hours and it was starting to get dark so we went back to the room.
“I’m so itchy I need to take a shower” I said. He looked at me.
“Would you like me to come in with you?” he said laughing. I looked around and just started laughing.
“No you can’t dummy” I said laughing and joking. So once we took our showers it was about 8:15. We didn’t know what to do. We started just flipping through channels on the TV. One hour passed and I fell asleep. It was 10:45 and I woke up, to my surprise Kevin was still awake watching the food channel on the end of the bed. I got up slowly and hugged him from behind, scaring him.
“Boo!” I yelled. He jumped then turned around and pinned me to the bed and started kissing me.
“I love you Julie, I’m so happy I’m here with you” he said as he hugs me tightly. I hug him back. He rolled over and still holding my hand while watching TV again.

January 9th, 2012, 10:54 AM
More imagery? You could give more descriptions...what's she/he look like...the room they're in, etc.

Slow the pace? one thing you could do is add a bunch of commas, which would make pauses...ok, I'm bein' a smart a** here, but you do need a whole bunch of commas. I'm not gonna tell you where...as far as slowing the pace...I don't know. Perhaps the descriptions would break it up. I never thought about that one before.

Format: this site doesen't let you indent (like we all learned in school) so, you gotta put a space(a line skipped) wherever you would have normally indented. That means between each character's dialog, too. Check out some other submissions to copy their pattern. I think you'll get more people reading it, too.

January 28th, 2012, 05:06 AM
I agree with Kevin. Grammar and punctuation are huge when you are writing. Your story will be much easier to follow if you put a line in between paragraphs, dialogue.

Take a deep breath, take your time. Close your eyes, picture what is happening in your story... and write what you see.

January 30th, 2012, 04:39 PM

Staff Deployment
August 18th, 2012, 01:07 AM
Two things.

1) You shouldn't look for ways to increase the imagery. You should be looking for ways to support the meaning and themes of your piece through your writing.
2) [redacted]

You definitely have some neat ideas here and I think you should continue this story right to the end. I am being legitimate here: I really would like to see more from you.

April 16th, 2013, 04:36 PM
I always write like I'm watching a movie, or having a dream.

What are the things I notice? Catch at least two senses anytime I move the scene to a new location. How do I feel about them? There should be emotion drawn up by the descriptions, otherwise they are pointless and just bossing the reader around. You don't want to TELL a reader what to see or feel, or hear or touch... You want them to see your world their way. What to they lend to the scene? If they don't lend anything I don't mention them, but I might imply them.

A painter doesn't tell you what to feel or how to see their masterpiece. They simply combine color and strokes to give you a view of their world, and you see it your own way. Same with writing. Too much is just too much some times. Too little can have the same effect.

Plus, its really hard to gives the right feeling to scenes in first person. Imagine watching a movie thats shot like a FPS game. Where you just see the hands of the main character and the world as they see it. There's not much feeling, and its harder to get it. It's not bad, It just takes lots of work and lots of skill. If you're watching a movie and seeing the main character you're able to "feel" based on their acted emotions (described emotion in a book).

Youre doing an awesome job with this writing.

April 19th, 2013, 05:59 AM
If you just started this story, I wouldn't worry about the imagery yet, either. When I write a first draft, I mainly enter the action, because that's what drives my characters. The actions dictate not only the plot, but the character traits. Then, on the second draft, I enter the details and imagery that I missed. I know my characters much better by then, so I know what imagery is important to them, and I know how they would describe something (for example, two people could look at the same snowfall, but one might think it looks magical, and another might think it's just a pile of work being dumped in the driveway). We process so many sensory images every second. The beauty of literature as opposed to cinema is that we can take the time to freeze a scene and simply appreciate (or despise, analyze, etc.) what is being perceived. So I use my second draft to freeze those moments where applicable. Then, when I revise, I go back and determine whether my details are adding to the story or not. Sometimes, I need to add even more in order to give my scene its due. Other times, I realize that I've just wasted space, so I delete the imagery. The bottom line is, if this is your first draft, don't overthink. Just let the story take control.

Sorry if my post was a little long-winded, but I remember feeling the same way when I started writing. I needed to move from one moment to the next, but then I realized my story was unfolding too quickly. It took time for me to realize that the rules are different in writing. I don't have to rush a scene, just because real life moves quickly. I can slow down and acknowledge a character's thoughts and impressions. This revelation was a huge turning point for me, and hopefully, it will be for you, too!

Best of luck,

Cara Stone

July 16th, 2015, 05:03 AM
A lot more imagery and try to make them sound less like gangsters when they say like "where was you going cuz i was like I'm all f***** up now" and instead saying something like "where were you going cuz I was all like, I'm all messed up right now!"