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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!

doubleblacklover said...
Dec. 5, 2010 at 4:31 pm:
I loved the way it flowed, one month to the other. Also I loved the short sentances striaght to the piont so clearly but so beautifully. Great job, maybe you can help me out with my stuff?
 
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rustlingleaves said...
Dec. 5, 2010 at 10:20 am:
awesome...
 
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xAllegria said...
Dec. 5, 2010 at 6:10 am:
Lovely flow.. good job :)
 
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lazerynnichelle said...
Nov. 24, 2010 at 7:59 pm:
This is so real,open and honest. 
 
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ilovepolkadots said...
Nov. 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm:
Wow, this is such a heart touching story. Keep writing more like this! I love it!
 
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Overachiever said...
Nov. 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm:
That was wonderful! I truly enjoyed reading it!
 
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maabeille82 said...
Nov. 13, 2010 at 10:14 am:
I love this, it has such a mellow, almost disjointed feel. Like she doesn't quite know where to go now that he's gone. Excellent.
 
babydollies replied...
Dec. 5, 2010 at 12:16 pm :
you stole the words right out of my mouth!
 
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writergirl13 said...
Nov. 13, 2010 at 9:54 am:
This is absolutely touching. It's very-well balanced and a delight to read.
 
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writingrocks This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 13, 2010 at 6:44 am:
Amazing story!!!!!!!!!!!!! Loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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IamtheStargirl said...
Oct. 22, 2010 at 6:09 pm:

This is so beautiful, like a whispered breath of autumn wind. Like a lover''s secret that was whispered on your shoulderblade, cold and gentle.

I really loved reading this, and am feeling the loss of it's end.

I would favorite it, but I can't have any more favorites, not because it's full, but because it's a glitch of some sort.

Thank you for warming my heart.

 
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DakotaShadowThis 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...
Oct. 22, 2010 at 4:54 pm:
i almost started to cry, ligit
 
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GuitarGirl92851 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm:
Wow, this was amazing. I loved it.
 
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eehearn2011 said...
Oct. 22, 2010 at 12:51 am:
very good :) I am definitely impressed.
 
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Dragonscribe said...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 6:52 pm:
I love it but...what happened to him?
 
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iforgot said...
Oct. 1, 2010 at 11:50 pm:

Amazing...I wish I could write like this :)

And I just have to ask...are you from Sudbury, Ontario?? 

 
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awesomeaugustThis 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. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm:
I really like your style of writing- the tone you bring to this piece is great. Kind of a wistful, bittersweet mood, and somehow you made all of those cheesy "lost love" stories seem legit. Pretty evocative piece.
 
awesomeaugustThis 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. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm :

Keep it up!!

:)

 
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TheShadowsHaveEyes said...
Sept. 30, 2010 at 6:06 pm:

ooohhhh I like this. A lot. A lot a lot. Now I'm no literary genius, but it feels to me like there might be a bit of truth in your words. (Isn't that the basis for a good lie, to be based on truth.) I find that statement true with fiction, if you put enough of yourself or someone you know into a character, it sort of becomes real. I really like how you gave little to no description of who the characters were, or even where they were, how you told the story mostly through feeling and a few eve... (more »)

 
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Kresint50401 said...
Sept. 30, 2010 at 10:43 am:
It's great; this makes the reader actually miss the person you're describing and makes it feel as though you're actually remembering all these things. Love it! =)
 
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