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.

Join the Discussion

This article has 284 comments. Post your own now!

Allister said...
Apr. 18, 2011 at 9:15 pm
i loved all the elaborate descriptions, so beautiful!
KaitlynCallahan said...
Apr. 16, 2011 at 3:02 pm
My heart broke while reading this, it's so touching and beautiful. I can relate to this feeling you portrayed and it's now on my favorite list.  Great story! Keep it up.
Aishwarya S. said...
Apr. 16, 2011 at 12:25 am
this story was beautiful... it was as if u poured out ur feelings.. immensely touching... if possible read sm of mine:)
rookgirl said...
Mar. 3, 2011 at 5:13 pm
I really enjoyed your story, i loved the mood you created. it was sweet and a little meloncholly. It made me a little sad, but in a good way, like i was remembering a happy memory and it's only sad because  it can never be re-lived. But that's the whole point, right? great job.
Mikky-girl replied...
Mar. 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm
i agree. couldnt have said it better myself :)...i enjoyed it..awsome work!
jstevens said...
Mar. 3, 2011 at 4:40 pm
I really like this article..
SkylarApril said...
Mar. 3, 2011 at 2:30 pm
This was a really good piece and i really think you should keep writing. Really Really good. I believe in you! GOOD LUCK!!!
HelloKarissa said...
Mar. 3, 2011 at 10:10 am
I think I felt my heart break a little bit when I read this. It was amazing.
teeninkwasspilledhere said...
Feb. 9, 2011 at 11:00 pm
wow that was beautiful. i can totally relate; i think there's something about your story that everyone can feel; a little piece of everyone inside there....
pinkypromise23 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 9, 2011 at 4:27 pm
ShelbyMarie93 said...
Feb. 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm
That was adorable! Oh, I loved it! You have such amazing talent! Keep writing, please!
anne.Brooke said...
Feb. 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm
Amazing...I could totally feel it...
amanda1997 said...
Feb. 9, 2011 at 9:43 am
I loved it. It was expressive and touching. It nearly made me cry. And it made me wonder ...the idea of fall, is it real? It was amazing. you have to keep writing. It's clearly what you nwere ment to do.
YellowRose79 said...
Feb. 9, 2011 at 8:49 am

Pretty story, it is very creative and i love the picture in my head while i read this. Great job!

(Anyone: check out my work please!)

xprezzionstar said...
Dec. 27, 2010 at 9:58 pm
this was so beautifully written!  keep writing this is truely amazing
AlexAldridge said...
Dec. 27, 2010 at 6:32 pm
this is just beautiful. so much wonderful description and everything! don't ever stop writing!!!
lyssa28 said...
Dec. 27, 2010 at 3:22 pm

did he die or did they break up? either way, it made me want to cry


CoughingColours said...
Dec. 27, 2010 at 10:07 am
Oh my goodness. When I first read this tears just about sprung to my eyes. It's absolutely beautiful. I'm just wondering though, what happened to them? Did he leave her or... what happened?
Lucie97 said...
Dec. 6, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Unbelievable! When I looked at your profile I couldn't believe how much we have in common, starting with the same favorite quote. This is so well written! Never stop writing, anyone who knows a little about writing (or nothing at all :) can see that you've really got it in you. No matter what never give up! :)

Lucie Underwood

dylanlalala said...
Dec. 5, 2010 at 9:01 pm
Unbelievable. Phenomenal. It was tugging at my heartstrings.
Site Feedback