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Do You Remember? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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June was you by the pool. The day we first met, remember? I thought you were just one of those brawny lifeguard guys – you know the type: pretend to be all sweet, save the little kid from drowning, then go out and get totally hammered at night. I paid no ­attention to you, thought you were one of the heartbreakers, the ones I couldn’t care less about. But you had that smile with the dimples, and you came over just to offer me a watermelon Jolly Rancher. My favorite flavor. How did you know? That’s when I knew you were different.

July. August. After work we’d spread ourselves out on the field and drown in the sun, laugh at all those stupid jokes that aren’t even funny anymore. Why did we laugh so much back then?

Your studio, an explosion of color with your paintings enclosing you like a corral. Sometimes they made me jealous, when you saw them more than you saw me, but I loved them all the same. I loved that one of the beautiful girl with the long black hair, the one who looked so sad, but you wouldn’t say who she was. You’d never say. I’ll never know. So many secrets locked up in that little box of yours. You were fun, but you were serious.

“I want to be painted like that,” I said, because the painting was so beautiful. And you said, “Okay. Let’s do it.”

I still have that painting of me, by the way. You can only see half my face in it. “Why is that?” I asked. You shrugged. Another secret.

September. October. I love October. And you loved it too. When the leaves dance on the sidewalk and twirl through the air, when the world bleeds orange and red, and the air is like your stepmom’s apple crisp. We breathed it in together. We stood on the hill and closed our eyes, stretched our arms and spun around like five-year-olds, forgetting there was a world below. We listened to the wind whisper our names.

October was when we took the train downtown. It was fun that day, I don’t remember why. We skipped school (that was when school didn’t matter) and we rode downtown with your easels and paper and chalk and pencils, and we were going to draw fall. We drew the houses and trees, little kids flying a kite in the park, a mother duck and her ducklings wading through a river, a man asleep on a park bench, a maple leaf crisper than your stepmom’s apple crisp.

And you said, “Fall is a bit sad.”

And I asked why, and you said, “I dunno. It means summer’s over. It’s like ­losing something you can’t have back, like love.”

And I said, “But summer always comes back, doesn’t it?” And you said maybe.

We raked up a pile of leaves with a stick. We made this really big pile, laughing and running around it, losing half the leaves ’cause we’d stuff them in each other’s hair and shirts. We held hands, almost afraid to jump, like little kids taking their first dive into the deep end. One, two, three, go! And we sank into the big orange bed together.

I remember your easel that I carved my initials into. I remember the dimples on your cheeks, the eyes that were always on me. Your worn-out copy of The Great Gatsby that you read to me sometimes, and your plaid red scarf. I have that scarf, by the way. I wish it still smelled like you.

It’s October again, and the leaves are still dancing and the geese are still singing their good-bye song, and the bullfrog doesn’t sing because the pond’s almost frozen over. I wore your scarf yesterday as I rode the train downtown. I crossed the street to the park where we made the bed of leaves, and I tried to remember exactly where it was. And fall feels a little sad this year, like losing love.

I’m waiting to see if the summer comes back.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 284 comments. Post your own!

SarahNearol said...
Apr. 11, 2009 at 11:10 pm:
Wow... I could just feel the time passing, the love waning... I loved it. It has such great feeling and mystery. You need to keep writing and improving... but I don't really know if you need to improve. Your writing is perfect just the way it is.
 
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ktbelle1226 said...
Apr. 16, 2009 at 9:58 pm:
omg it was AMAZING! juat one question what happened to the boy?
 
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K~Diggity said...
Apr. 9, 2009 at 1:29 pm:
Hey. You not only need to keep submitting more writings but you also need to send some to a publisher. You could make it big in life if you really tried. my mother would always say 'To get what you want you must always try hard.' I dont think you need to personally. Just get up the courage and send them in.
 
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luvtwilight said...
Apr. 7, 2009 at 8:30 pm:
This story was simple yet very touching.
I was just curious about where the boy went?
luv it otherwise!
 
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CloudedCrystal said...
Apr. 4, 2009 at 3:05 am:
Okay, I'm a sucker for love stories and, even though i love fall and winter, there is always part of me that always wishes it were summer. Love it!
 
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Asho said...
Apr. 6, 2009 at 11:04 pm:
I started reading this with an open mind, and you didn't let me down. It was amazingly beautiful and nostalgic, and it almost made me cry it was so sweet. So very wonderful!
 
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CatCaveThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 30, 2009 at 3:22 pm:
I almost cried. Great job! Keep writing and polishing your writing skills.
 
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flutemusique said...
Mar. 29, 2009 at 3:24 am:
I just love this story . . . your language is so poetic!
 
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MySocksAreYellow said...
Mar. 25, 2009 at 8:18 pm:
Okay, this was beautiful! I loved every second of it. It's an amazing talent the one you have. Keep writing!
 
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redsoxgirl said...
Mar. 24, 2009 at 7:49 am:
this was beautiful. i don't agree with what some have said about the characters not being believable, they seemed very real to me. keep up the good work!
 
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Dulcenina1210 said...
Mar. 23, 2009 at 7:18 pm:
wow, really good. i love how you tied the next fall back to him.
 
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LexayLee said...
Mar. 21, 2009 at 10:43 pm:
This made me cry. It's so real, and so true. I love it.
 
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Melinda L. said...
Mar. 21, 2009 at 1:04 am:
wow. that's just... an amazing story. it made me feel conected to you in some way. keep writing
 
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bre said...
Mar. 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm:
i love your story I want more it reminds me of a relationship a friend once had
 
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saratana95 said...
Mar. 19, 2009 at 6:38 pm:
Aw. That was a sweet story.
 
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Gwendolyn M.This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 19, 2009 at 12:34 pm:
I think it's simply amazing that the lines of black on my computer screen put on there by some kid halfway across the world can touch me here in my tiny study room late at night when I'm all alone.

YOU ARE A GREAT WRTER!
 
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Kathleen B. said...
Mar. 13, 2009 at 6:00 pm:
This is amazing! It's very descriptive-I feel like I am there almost. I can visualize the boy and his dimples, and the details, like the Jolly Rancher, were awesome. Keep up the good work =]
 
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libby said...
Mar. 13, 2009 at 12:33 am:
this is fantastic!
 
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Karlie V. said...
Mar. 9, 2009 at 1:28 am:
I really loved your description, i could almost feel the leaves in my hand. Also I love how you inner twined the story. You talk of fall and how it is like the end on summer or love. Fall is almost remembering. Like after losing love and looking back at the times of love and laughter.
 
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MickBeth4ever said...
Mar. 6, 2009 at 3:37 am:
that was one of the most amazing stories ive EVER read!!!
 
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