Finding Ours Page 1

Author: Megan Smith

Series: Finding #1.5

Genres: Young Adult , Romance


Age Twelve

~ Rhea ~

“Mama, what’s Tanner doin’ over there?” I ask her as I point across the yard to Tanner who is standing right where our properties meet.

Mama lightly laughs, “I don’t know, sweetie. Maybe he’s lookin’ for something to do.”

I reach for my glass of sweet tea and take a sip before putting it back down on the ground next to the lounge chair I’m currently sitting on. I wipe the back of my hand across my forehead, wiping away the sweat that is pouring down my face. “It’s hot.”

Mama sits her book down on the chair where her legs just were then stands and reaches for the purple and blue inner tube that is sitting in the grass near the pool. She picks it up and throws it in the pool. Mama turns to me with a funny look on her face and walks over to where I’m sitting. “Whatcha doin’?” I ask as she reaches down and scoops me up in her arms. I start laughing and yelling, “Put me down.” But she doesn’t listen; she walks us over to the ledge of the pool and then drops me in the water.

I land perfectly in the tube. My butt hits the water first and I scream as the cold water seeps through my bathing suit and meets my burning skin.

“Mama!” I screech.

She laughs, “You said you were hot, Rhea.”

In the corner of my eye I see movement and before I know what’s happening I’m flipped out of the tube. I come up gasping for air and wiping the water from my eyes.

“Tanner!” I yell. “Why’d you do that?”

He runs a hand through his black hair and shrugs, “I was only doin’ what any friend would do.” He shrugs again. “I couldn’t help it.”

Tanner and I have been best friends since the day I was born. We really didn’t have a choice in the matter; our parents are best friends. Tanner and I were born on the same day only three years apart. Our families, along with the Mitchell’s, do everything together. Well, we used to until the Mitchells moved to New Jersey a few years ago. Most of our summers are spent at the Mitchell’s beach house in Myrtle Beach; it’s really the only time we get to see them now. I’ve always been the only girl in our little group but now that Knox and Tanner are getting older I have a feeling that’s not always going to be the case anymore. At least I’ll have Rex to myself for a little longer since he’s a year younger than me and still in that awkward stage in life. Eleven is an awkward stage in everyone’s life but never more awkward than for boys.

“You kids have fun. I’m fixin’ to go in the house to get dinner started.” Mama picks up her book and cup. “Be careful you two.” She calls over her shoulder as she walks away. With Tanner being fifteen now she trusts him to look out for me and make sure I don’t get hurt or into any trouble.

“We will.” Tanner and I say at the same time.

I’m floating on my back letting the sun warm up my body. It’s so peaceful and quiet out here. Some days I love it, others not so much. I get bored easily but thankfully Tanner’s house is right next to ours. And if I’m bored, I’m always guaranteed an interesting day next door with him.

Watching the clouds above me I point to one. “It looks like a heart.”

“Yeah, it does.” Tanner responds from somewhere near.

Knowing Tanner is distracted by looking up at the sky I right myself in the water and splash him, hitting him right in the face. “Sorry, you looked hot.” I giggle. Paybacks suck sometimes.

He wipes the water out of his eyes and smiles. Then a splashing war breaks out. Tanner picks me up and throws me into the air then slam down in the water. I come up for air and try with all my might to push his shoulders down to dunk him but it’s no use; he’s double my size. My hand reaches out to the side of the pool, “Alright, I win.”

Tanner flashes me his smile, letting that right dimple show, “How do you figure?”

“Cause I said so.” I splash him once more.

“Alright, Honey Bee, you win.” I asked him one day why he called me that, his response was I was sweet like honey but stung like a bee. Tanner goes under the water and comes up a little further away. Tanner will tell me just about anything I want to hear and I’m not about to stop him now.

We’re swimming around just relaxing without a care in the world on this hot summer day. “So, where’s Susie at?” I ask Tanner.

He brought a girl over to his house last week and they came over for a swim while I was on the deck reading. As soon as Dad opens the pool for the year, normally sometime in May, Tanner and I always somehow manage to end up in the pool by the end of the day. After school we did our homework first and then went for a swim. So when he showed up with Susie, I was surprised and a little hurt. Susie giggled at everything Tanner said and was batting her eyelashes every time he looked her way. Tanner caught me one time sticking my finger in my mouth and making gagging noises. He laughed but Susie didn’t find it very funny.

Tanner goes under the water for a minute and then comes back up on the other side of me. “I don’t know.”

“That’s nice that you don’t know where your girlfriend is.” I turn my back to him so he doesn’t see the smile that’s playing on my lips.

Tanner grabs my arm, “She’s not my girlfriend, Rhea.”

I look down to where his hand is holding on to my arm. I get these butterflies in my stomach. It’s been happening more and more lately. I don’t know what it means but I can’t help these feelings, all I know is that I like it. The older Tanner gets the more handsome he becomes. His dark hair is longer than it normally is; he has the longest eyelashes I’ve ever seen with the brightest green eyes. Now that he’s playing football for the high school his body is getting muscular and I see all the girls noticing him, although Tanner doesn’t act like he sees it. We used to be close in height but over the last few years he’s grown a lot and now towers over me.

Rolling my eyes I say, “You could’ve fooled me, Tan. Why else was she over at your house, to play in the dirt with you?”

Tanner looks down to his hand that is still holding onto my arm. He lets go but comes closer to me. “She’s just a friend who wanted to hang out.”

I shrug and swim away. He really doesn’t notice the way the girls act around him and I’m not the one who is going to point it out to him. I like that he doesn’t see. I like that he still wants to hang out with me. I’ll admit though, I’m worried that once he notices his fan club he’ll forget all about me. I don’t fool myself into thinking that that time isn’t just around the corner though.