That was the safest, happiest time of my youth. That time we played like kids, loved like teenagers and attempted to act like adults. Back when we would spend all of our summer in a tent in her back yard, in a lazy attempt to get away from both of our parents and have just enough privacy to explore the many facets of love.
We spent all our time outside. We crawled out of our tent when the sun came up, and sat on the terrace long after it went down. We would either be in your back yard, at the market in the city centre, or cycling through the fields that surrounded your house. The summer was ours.
I didn’t spend much time at home those summers. A hundred times I had to choose between the damp apartment in the city or the fresh air of your back yard. That choice became more difficult as the summer progressed, with my parents urging me to come home because they hadn’t seen me in weeks and school would start soon. I would always hesitate for a moment, then glance at her and tell my mother that I would call her again tomorrow.
That first summer we spent doing nothing at all. Our main activities were laying in the grass, looking at either the clouds or the stars, and bothering her dad with the kind of questions nobody had an answer for. Her dad was a rich farmer. He owned all these big machines and employed a dozen people that did all the physical work. He would sit in a lawn chair or walk around with a stack of papers, cursing God and talking about taxes and profits to nobody in particular. Sometimes, he would sit down and start teaching the basics of our economy to an ant or a bug that crawled over the cobblestone. “Supply and demand, that’s the basic idea around most of it. If you desire something, we’re talking demand. Now, if you have the ability to fulfil the desire of another individual, that’s what we’d call supply.” We would walk over to him when we heard him talking like that. He would keep his eyes on the little creature and continue to talk to the ground. He always ended his lecture in the same fashion, by looking up at us and asking: “Why do we make it so complicated for ourselves to live a happy life?”, followed by another curse directed at God.
The very first day of that summer we spent by sitting on a terrace looking out over the river. We ordered a bottle of white wine, served in an ice bucket. I paid for the wine and filled up your glass. We were so happy about the start of the summer. No school for the next two months. No homework, no papers, no teachers, just the two of us together day and night.