Okay, confession time. I have never gone to Florida for Spring Break. I’ve never gotten drunk at a beach side bar at 3 am. I’ve never taken off my bikini top and danced on the beach (who are we kidding—I’ve never even worn a bikini top).
There was never any debate about where my college Spring Breaks were going to be spent. As soon as my last class finished I would dash to the airport and head back to New York to see my boyfriend. In my Freshman dorm at Duke, of the 100 students, I think 50 had Hometowns, as we called high school sweethearts. By Thanksgiving Break, most had broken up and by the end of Freshman year I think it was down to me and my friend Amede. (okay, if you lived in Hanes Annex that year and want to dispute my numbers, go ahead—I’m trying to be as accurate as I can). By the middle of sophomore year even Amede and his girlfriend had succumbed to the difficulties and pressures of long distance dating.
I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who married my Hometown.
What kept us together? Well, it helped that he had a beautiful deep voice. Since so much of our relationship was over the telephone, I’m not sure my affection would have remained if he’d been squeaky-voiced. And pure and simple, I think it was a profound love; a connection that to this day I can’t really put into words. I got lucky—I met my soulmate when I was 17 years old.
How does this help me as a writer? Well, every day I have a reminder of what it’s like to be a 17 year old in love. That infatuation you feel and the heart-skipping excitement. In a way, I got to relive it with Sam and Emmi in Change of Heart. I remember what it was like to wait desperately for someone’s phone call or how I felt when our eyes would meet and the whole world and all of your problems would disappear, even if only for that moment.
So do I regret never going to Florida for Spring Break? Not for a minute. In my eyes, New York was just as sunny on those March days and just as warm.
Happy Spring Break everyone!
What is your favorite spring break destination?
Author Shari Maurer is a young adult writer from New City, New York. My debut novel, CHANGE OF HEART, will be published by WestSide Books in the Spring 2010. You can visit her website to learn more about her.