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

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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Katie-jo said...
Dec. 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm
This story is seriously amazing! It made me laugh and cry, all within a few short paragraphs. I always try to capture the moment when I'm've mastered it!
HollywoodHotshot said...
Dec. 14, 2011 at 2:58 pm
I can only really think of one word to sum my feelings up in......WOW!
Nora2012 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 3, 2011 at 10:08 pm

I love how you go back to what you talked about in the middle of the story. The leaves and October and summer. It comes around full circle. I also love the mystery and wonder in this. I'm left hanging with one question: what happened? I know your heart is broken and symphathize with you. Through your story I really felt your suspense building up the dread and heartbreak. You have talent :D


garthgirl8888 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 24, 2011 at 11:41 am
Good job. I liked it a lot. At the beginning I was afraid it was going to be just another sappy, stupid piece about love, romance, etc., but it wasn't too much like that, so good job.
JoPepper said...
Nov. 24, 2011 at 10:46 am
I could go on and on and on about the things I absolutely loved about this piece but.....the last two sentences were brilliant!!!!! Keep at it!!!! :D <3
iDealinDreams said...
Nov. 23, 2011 at 5:38 pm
This is absolutely breathtaking! The imagery, the language, the little snatches of pure brilliance - it simply sucked the breath from my lungs. Your writing is amazing! Don't ever stop :)
kairi.kaylyn said...
Nov. 23, 2011 at 12:02 pm
I thought this story was beautiful. I do wish love could come back too.
countrygirl28 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 23, 2011 at 10:04 am
Beautiful!!! I could picture the entire story in my mind. Your writing style reminds me of Sarah Dessen's-Wonderful!!
JuneTaz said...
Nov. 23, 2011 at 9:26 am
My eyes were tearing up near the end. I love your figurative language and word choice. They improved the story greatly. I LOVE that last line! The idea of him hiding secrets in paintings was cool too. Totally deserves a spot in the mag!
TaylorJade said...
Nov. 23, 2011 at 12:39 am
That. Was. Amazing. (: you did a fantastic job on this story. Really. (: I'm not sure where you got your inspiration on this... maybe experience? Anyway. I could really relate to this. Its pretty much what happened to me. I fell in love... and... now. Fall is different. Instead of waiting for some great change, like the color of the leaves, I'm waiting for my summer to return. So... yeah. Again. Fantastic job. (: you wrote this so perfectly! It was so different! Just... aaaahhhhh! (: I loved i... (more »)
ashleyX13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 22, 2011 at 3:22 pm
this was beautiful!! i absolutely love it! great descriptions of color and leaves! 5 stars! :D
RanaHewezi1998 said...
Nov. 16, 2011 at 8:57 pm
wow so deep! It deserved to be published! Keep it up!
olivevines said...
Nov. 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm

This is wonderful. I'm glad it got published.*adds to favourites*

I love how you wrote the whole "fall is a bit sad" part, and then how at the end it says "And fall feels a little said this year, like losing love. I'm waiting to see if the summer comes back." I thought that was ace.

DreamWeaver said...
Oct. 31, 2011 at 9:25 pm
I love this article. You did an amazing job!
billgamesh11 said...
Oct. 31, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Oh wow

This was really great!!!

I just want to know, how did you get your inspiration for this story?  Sorry if I sound nosy, it's just that I really want to know how you came up with such a great story!!! Great Job and Keep Writing!!!:):):);)

ThePeaceDaisy said...
Oct. 31, 2011 at 1:54 pm
I can relate...I lost a friend last year because I told him I liked him, and now we don't talk. But some people might get lucky and their crushes will like them back! Anyways, I love this story!
Kidlet This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 31, 2011 at 9:45 am
I adore this. I can totally relate. :)
Luckybear290 said...
Oct. 9, 2011 at 8:06 pm
Really good story, the details were great.
Pumpkinscout said...
Oct. 9, 2011 at 4:13 pm
Peacful and kind of reflective, but I can't say I understood it exactly...Why isn't she with him anymore? What exactly happened? It's good though, I liked it.
jealousofamar said...
Oct. 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm
i liked it:) was good
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