Here's the description:
Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over her ex-boyfriend and graduate high school—simple as that. But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player—was never part of that plan. And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying "yes" to every crazy, fun thing they could think of.
But then Matt leaves town, breaking Ella's heart. And when he shows up a year later—wanting to relive the night that brought them together—Ella isn't sure whether Matt's worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the past can help them create a different future.
And here's to a night that I said yes:
It was no earlier than 1 a.m. on an April morning as we scampered in the sand. In a town known for catering to lavish summer clientele, the off-season meant making your own entertainment. Driving to 7-Eleven. Hitting up a dive bar (bring your friends; you'd be the only people there). More often than not, we'd hang around the dorms to watch a movie or walk through campus in the fog, looking for ghosts.
|All gussied up for the holidays.|
On this morning, "we" meant Lauren, my friend from home who basically lived in the dorms with me, and Tony, my boyfriend in those tender early relationship stages. We ran toward the ocean, halting when the frigid foam sprayed too close. I did some handstands. Tony did, too, gallantly flopping into the sand. Behind us, the mansions stayed back safely on the dunes, windows dark. Their occupants wouldn't return until Memorial Day at the earliest. The beach was ours.
Then someone said, "Wouldn't it be awesome to go to Montauk for the sunrise?"
Nods all around. Montauk rests on the tip of Long Island's South Fork, jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. It's the site of World War II conspiracy theories and contemporary surfers. It is, as the T-shirts in souvenir shops advertise, the end of the island. And it's the first place to be hit with sunlight over the watery horizon.
Driving out there would be spontaneous. It'd make for a good story. But it'd probably leave us exhausted once the sun was high enough.
We looked at each other.
"Let's do it," said Tony, and just like that, we were on a mission. We climbed in his car and drove off into the night.
(Well, after we went to 7-Eleven for the essentials, like a blueberry muffin (me) and coffee (Lauren).)
We listened to music and laughed, amped up as we drove down near-empty streets. At some point, the bottom of my muffin disappeared, never to be seen again. (When Tony finally got rid of the car, he cleaned it out. No muffin. One of those crazy time-traveling theories at work?)
Once in Montauk, we drove past the lighthouse and found a spot in the empty parking lot. The sky remained dark, with dawn still hours away, so we hunkered down for unsatisfying naps in our respective seats.
As the sky began to lighten, we roused ourselves. We hurried down the path to the beach, brushing past branches and reeds, and emerged onto the rocks. The water was calmer here than the waves we'd faced hours ago, but the wind was fierce.
|Winter jacket + sweatshirt = ready to rumble.|
The sky bloomed pink and purple, the ocean glowed orange, and through squinted eyes, we served as the first witnesses to the dawn.