"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves"
       ~ James M. Barrie
The final hour of Spring semester is winding away. Summer vacation will began at the sound of the bell. The entire freshman class of Southcolt High School is attending the annual, "First Year Survival Meeting Part 2". They are being honored for their success and effort in completing a safe and educational school year. Several members of the freshman student body are falling asleep while principal Jack Reeves gives his speech. The jokes are not funny, the speech is too long, and the students are becoming restless. From the center of the auditorium someone yawns out loud. Three seconds later the bell rings. As the students began to leave the auditorium, Principal Reeves yells, "Exit slowly students and have a safe summer vacation". The school yard is now flooded with teenage pimples and knee-hi skirts. Summer plans are the topics being discussed by everyone. That is everyone but freshman student, Laurel Cheeks.

This summer will be the first summer since the death of her older brother, Jeffery Cheeks. Laurel was not looking forward to spending this summer without him. Laurel and Jeffery did everything together. They traveled, played catch, fished, shopped and enjoyed all of the benefits that were offered by the summer weather. These were truly summers to remember. As Laurel slowly walked away from the crowd, the sadness in her face was obvious. From a few feet away the sadness in Laurel's face was noticed by a junior student name, Brad Cossel. Brad was the hazel eyed stud of Southcolt High School. He had brown colored hair and a caramel complexion. Every girl in school became nervous and weak in the knees when Brad entered the cafeteria. Brad and Laurel's families have been neighbors for over seventeen years. Laurel has always considered Brad more of a brother than anything else. Picnics, barbeques, and other recreational family outings were regularly shared by their families.

As Brad approached Laurel he cautiously thought of what to say to her. He was aware of the pain that Laurel has bared since Jeffery's death. He too was going to miss his friend. The start of summer was just a few feet outside of the school yard gates. Brad was not going to allow Laurel to spend her summer in misery. He slowly placed his arm upon her shoulder and said, "Hey Laurel, how about taking a drive down to Memory Lake?". Laurel was confused, she knew of no place called Memory Lake in their town. Brad quickly grabbed her hand and they began walking out of the school yard. As they approached Brad's car, Laurel asked , "Where is this place called Memory Lake?". Brad just smiled and said, "Closer than you know and as far as you make it". Now Laurel was really confused. She then decided to just enjoy the ride and the company of Brad.

As the car began to slow down Laurel noticed that they were approaching the old red barn that was once owned by the Bishop family several years ago. She said to Brad, "There isn't a lake several miles of this place, are you going crazy?". Brad said, "Yes there is, come with me". In the rear of the barn, Brad showed Laurel a hole in the ground that was filled with water. This hole was about five feet in diameter and ten inches deep, with a sign next to it that said, "Welcome to Memory Lake".

 Brad began to explain to Laurel that he and Jeffery had built this lake together and named it Memory Lake. He also explained that they would sit down along the side of the lake and one at a time they would drop pebbles into the water. As the water began to ripple each or the them would tell of something good that has happened to him in his past and something good that will happen in his future. They both believed that the words that were spoken at this lake were sacred words to cherish. These words would last forever in this lake and the hearts of those who spoke into the lake. Brad then told Laurel to have a seat as he gathered some pebbles from the ground. As the day passed along Brad and laurel shared good memories of the past and good moments that were in the summer days to come. The sun was minutes away from setting. It was almost dinner time and their parents would be expecting them home soon. So they decided it was time to leave. As they approached the car, Laurel said to Brad with tears in her eyes, "Thank You Brad, you've helped me to harvest the good memories of my brother Jeffery without feeling pain or sorrow as a vehicle. I don't know what I would have done without your help". Brad then looked at Laurel and said, "Always remember that there's a place for everything that's good and a dream for everything that's soon to come"......
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Summer Time Memories
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