Summer Skin | Teen Ink

Summer Skin MAG

By Maria Diaz SILVER, Phoenix, Arizona
Maria Diaz SILVER, Phoenix, Arizona
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The cool breeze sifts through my limbs, slipping and sliding through unexplored parts. For a moment the rest of the world slips away, scrubbed clean and absolved by the waves. I’d like to dive into that ocean, feel the water crash down on me, suppress me, remind me that I’m not the only thing that matters. But I can’t. Not now. Not yet. I should be here when you wake up, because that was the one sincere promise I made you.

I don’t even want to try leaving right now – not when it was you who looked at me in that way that taught me what it was to feel the ground beneath my feet disappear. Tiny rivulets of water slither down your temple, and I’m tempted to brush them away. I hold back, remembering what my father always told me: “The one you mark is the one you keep.” And I don’t want to mark you because I’m not sure if I’ll keep you. I’m not sure if I’ll keep you, and I’m even less sure about whether you’d survive it. Maybe it’s because I know you feel me slipping away despite your desperate clutching, like the grains of sand you held so tightly in your palm not two hours ago. Or was it years? It doesn’t matter.

The past has passed, and what’s left of it except a few recollections that’ll be buried beneath a surface of newer memories? Maybe you don’t feel the same way, and you’ll wake believing that the past is the segue to our future. Oh, what I wouldn’t give so that you’d wake to think about your next encounter instead. A part of me – the part that wishes this would never end – wants to convince me that I should stay, because you’re too bruised and too vulnerable and too fragile to do this on your own. The part of me that knows it’ll just be later rather than sooner overpowers the other.

The sand shifts slightly and, without looking, I know you’re reaching out for me. I bite down on my tongue gently, forcibly swallowing a groan of frustration. Against my better judgment, I offer you my hand and feel yours slip into it, entwining and tangling. Your hand is as familiar to me as my own, the leathery feel of your skin and long-dried salt strangely comforting. How could it not be, when I can recount thousands of paths traced upon the lines of my face with the wandering pads of your thumbs? Every trail embedded on your palm tells of every secret meeting we’ve had, all testaments to our fairy-tale story.

Fleetingly, I wonder if I’ll have the courage to stay when the silvery tones are replaced by glowing warmth. Then you stir again and it’s not hard for me to remember why I can’t stay within fields of golden scenery and humid, still air.

You exhale and I inhale. The moon is bright, illuminating the sky and shining like a large quarter in the expanse of navy blue above us. I tilt my head and glance at you, carelessly sprawled out. Surely you wouldn’t be so nonchalant if you knew. Your sunset skin and long limbs make me think of our summer, brightness and oceans bursting behind my eyelids. Your face is all angles and planes, like a high school geometry lesson. You’re squirming again, and I know that it’ll be only a matter of minutes before you wake.

“You’re leaving?” Your voice is rough with sleep, but somehow it’s still like warm molasses.

“Well, you’re awake now,” I say neutrally. It’s not a direct answer, and I know you hate it.

Your hand slips from mine and you rub your eyes, so blue they put the spring sky to shame. “Are we ever going to talk?”

“There’s nothing to say.” I shrug and promptly wince, remembering why I hate the sun. My shoulders are red and achy, sensitive even against the thin fabric of my shirt.

“Okay.” You nod slowly. “Okay.” We’re quiet for a few moments before you reach out and brush a strand of hair from my face. I know there’s more to this. “Things get lost without anyone noticing on the way, you know.” Your tone is quiet. Not angry. Not sad. Quiet.

“We’re a mistake we knew we were making,” I reply. “Four weeks isn’t enough to make something real. It’s not like we could have had forever.”

“Love that’s real doesn’t need to have forever,” you say, just as quietly.

I contemplate my words carefully. In the end, honesty wins over tact. “This isn’t real.”

It takes another long, steady moment before you decide to speak again. When you do, I sigh with weariness.

“You were the loneliest place I’ve ever been in.”

“And you thought you could fix that?”

“I wish I could have.”

We are both looking up at the sky, wondering why the stars aren’t out. Maybe they’re hiding behind a veil of thin clouds. Your arm is barely brushing mine, almost inconceivably. I think of how many times I pictured this moment, this ending point. It’s nothing like the dramatic scene in my mind. It’s almost as if the strings connecting us had been snapping one by one, softening the final blow.

I’ll miss you, your broad smile and loud laughter. I can close my eyes and almost picture you bounding up the stairs to my family’s summer home. I’ll miss the days we spent on the dock, playing that stupid game where we name the passing boats. I’ll miss your black leather jacket that always smelled of humid afternoons and sunshine. I’ll miss your golden hair and the small freckles that dot the bridge of your nose and the tops of your cheeks. I’ll miss the birthmark right below your left shoulder blade, the one shaped like Italy. I’ll miss your family. I’ll miss your dog. I’ll miss your room. I’ll miss your car.

Somehow, despite all of this, I still say, “See you around.”



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This article has 136 comments.


on Sep. 6 2010 at 5:07 pm
sleepingsoundly BRONZE, Unknown, Massachusetts
3 articles 0 photos 15 comments

i've now got this imaginary heart ache.

this was beautifully written and i wish i had the vocabulary skills to put into words how much i loved it.

definitely keep writing. check out my work? =]


on Sep. 6 2010 at 12:20 pm
meganwagner21 PLATINUM, Old Bridge, New Jersey
42 articles 0 photos 139 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Sometimes good things have to fall apart so better things can fall together." -Marilyn Monroe
"Nobody can go back and make a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." -Maria Robinson

wow ! great job. check out my work?

on Aug. 17 2010 at 2:49 pm
MaddieWo PLATINUM, Marstons Mills, Massachusetts
28 articles 0 photos 112 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If I'd a knowed more, I would a loved more." -Pilate Dead, Song of Solomon

Depends on the kind of question. I think you should leave a few questions for the reader to answer themselves. Making connections myself is my favorite part of reading. If the author spells everything out, it cuts down imagination and creativity.

J.Dawson GOLD said...
on Aug. 15 2010 at 10:18 pm
J.Dawson GOLD, Connersville, Indiana
11 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I love you. You hurt me again and again, but I love you"-Reality Bites

But don't you see? That's just it. You have to be the one to decide what happens

on Aug. 15 2010 at 4:19 pm
kfelt158 SILVER, New Era, Michigan
7 articles 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A dream will only be a dream until you work hard to make it a reality."

I absolutely LOVED this story!!! I think everybody sooner or later is going to be in this postition and I could definately relate.  I loved every little detail of this story.  Great job!

on Jul. 27 2010 at 9:06 am
CrazyWriter GOLD, Lorton Station, Virginia
16 articles 2 photos 102 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Once you have given up on the most important thing in your life, you begin to die, because then, you gradually lose your true self"~Hana Kimi
"Someone who can lie to themself. . . is lonely, and in pain"~Hana Kimi

 I guess you are right....

on Jul. 27 2010 at 9:05 am
CrazyWriter GOLD, Lorton Station, Virginia
16 articles 2 photos 102 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Once you have given up on the most important thing in your life, you begin to die, because then, you gradually lose your true self"~Hana Kimi
"Someone who can lie to themself. . . is lonely, and in pain"~Hana Kimi

I guess you right....

on Jul. 26 2010 at 8:41 pm
Someone_Who_Is_Loved GOLD, Mount Forest, Other
10 articles 0 photos 82 comments

Favorite Quote:
This quote is one I made up.....
"You can't climb a mountian without a harness." It means that you can't go where you want to get in life without the help of your friends or family.

Not at the end...... Throughout the book ya, but not at the end :P

on Jul. 24 2010 at 10:02 pm
DiamondsIntheGrass GOLD, Martinsville, New Jersey
14 articles 1 photo 279 comments

Favorite Quote:
Worry is simply a misuse of the imagination.

I'm confused.  does she  have some mystical power or something?  Why can't they stay together?  its really well written, but i could use some more explaining.

on Jul. 24 2010 at 7:41 pm
beautifulworld SILVER, Memphis, Tennessee
9 articles 0 photos 60 comments

Favorite Quote:
What's the point i wearing my favorite rocket ship underpants if no one asks to see them? -Calvin and Hobbes

Wow! I loved this piece. I could picture everything that you were writing perfectly. Each sentence had me hanging  on to your every word. Excellent work!!

on Jul. 24 2010 at 4:39 pm
AelitaReloaded PLATINUM, Scottsdale, Arizona
22 articles 0 photos 179 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The pen is mightier than the sword" author unknown (to me)

I like it- but you hinted at something more supernatural... what was that?  Can you please check out my stories?

on Jul. 24 2010 at 1:27 pm
CrazyWriter GOLD, Lorton Station, Virginia
16 articles 2 photos 102 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Once you have given up on the most important thing in your life, you begin to die, because then, you gradually lose your true self"~Hana Kimi
"Someone who can lie to themself. . . is lonely, and in pain"~Hana Kimi

i disagree a reader should have some questions to guess at what happenes.

on Jul. 24 2010 at 1:25 pm
CrazyWriter GOLD, Lorton Station, Virginia
16 articles 2 photos 102 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Once you have given up on the most important thing in your life, you begin to die, because then, you gradually lose your true self"~Hana Kimi
"Someone who can lie to themself. . . is lonely, and in pain"~Hana Kimi

This is amazeing-ly awemose-ly great! you should write a sequal or something. i love i just had to keep reading Great work!!! :)

~CrazyWriter


on Jul. 24 2010 at 11:00 am
deus-ex-machina14 BRONZE, Stewartsville, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 439 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There are two main tragedies in life. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it." -Oscar Wilde

Your writing is wonderful!! I was just captivated, don't EVER stop!!!:D

on Jul. 24 2010 at 10:38 am
MedievalMouse94 SILVER, Toms River, New Jersey
8 articles 3 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A broken heart may heal with time, but even the smallest of wounds leaves a scar."

Excellent descriptions and use of vocavulary. I could picture everything. The story is sad and sweet and romantic all at once. Simply amazing.

on Jul. 24 2010 at 10:33 am
MedievalMouse94 SILVER, Toms River, New Jersey
8 articles 3 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A broken heart may heal with time, but even the smallest of wounds leaves a scar."

I agree with Someone and Exile. Jealousy is not becoming. Just because you can't understand someone's writing doesn't mean they can't write. Maybe you just need to invest in a dictionary.

on Jul. 13 2010 at 10:14 am
abigail(: BRONZE, Kamuela, Hawaii
4 articles 15 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know whatcha gonna get"

your writing is so beautiful! (:

on Jul. 2 2010 at 9:44 pm
Someone_Who_Is_Loved GOLD, Mount Forest, Other
10 articles 0 photos 82 comments

Favorite Quote:
This quote is one I made up.....
"You can't climb a mountian without a harness." It means that you can't go where you want to get in life without the help of your friends or family.

I liked it, but I kind of didn't understand the plot. I still have questions, and that's not good. A reader should never have questions.

on Jul. 2 2010 at 9:38 pm
Someone_Who_Is_Loved GOLD, Mount Forest, Other
10 articles 0 photos 82 comments

Favorite Quote:
This quote is one I made up.....
"You can't climb a mountian without a harness." It means that you can't go where you want to get in life without the help of your friends or family.

I agree with ExileOnMainstreet. The part that says "Get a new hobby" was harsh. I liked the story :) Keep ur hobby!!!!! U'r good @ it.

on Jul. 2 2010 at 3:43 pm
Breezy41 BRONZE, West Plains, Missouri
2 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Never let yesterday's dissapointments overtake tomorrow's dreams."

Wow! This is amazing. Great job! (:


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