The short story begins with a detailed exposition, introducing readers to the time of the events, the setting, and the characters.

We find out the events take place during the summer of 1986 when Lionel Richie released the song ‘Say You Say Me’: “That summer was the summer of R&B and slow rock and dancehall. Lionel Richie topped the charts and we spent weekends grinding to ‘Say you, say me’...” (ll. 1-2).

The events are centred on a group of girls living on an island between Cuba and the US (perhaps in the Bahamas) where Cuban refugees arrive by boat: “And then the Cubanos arrived.” (l. 7).

The arrival of the Cubans marks the inciting action, which follows the story of a local girl and one of the refugees: “The first girl to snag one …



The rising action develops by describing how local women would flirt with the Cuban refugees and how the men would welcome their attention: “They had a hunger on them, like seamen or jailbirds. Their eyes glinted like knife-blades. We wanted to see how close we could get.” (ll. 25-26); “They noticed us. Of course they did. We’d developed our own little careful swaggers…” (l. 30).

We then find out that Jewel starts seeing Abel and they begin a sexual relationship: “Jewel’s two best friends, Maxine and Sherry – the Stepsisters – reported to the rest of us, gleefully, that the first time Jewel and Abel did it, when she’d seen his thing poking out at her like a dowsing rod…” (ll. 37-38).

A backstory about the Cuban men reveals aspects about…



The falling action shows Abel tending to his child and ignoring Jewel’s calls, while Jewel’s friends do not know what to say: “Inside the camp, he crouched to kiss his little girl, who danced away into the dust ribbon. Maxine put her hand on Jewel’s calf. None of us said a word.” (ll. 142-143).

The resolution confirms Abel was never who he claimed to be and that Jewel has no option but to accept her situation and admit that she let herself be deceived: “And we knew that, whoever that man was, Abel was someone we’d invented. He was just a boy made from summer, and to summer he had returned.” (ll. 144-145).

The resolution is closed as the girls all have a realisation of the truth at the same time, with the implication that summer is comin…

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