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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This article has 284 comments. Post your own now!

Honeybunn said...
Apr. 25, 2010 at 11:16 am
Wow. this was really good. (like that really come to a surpise though :]  )  thanks for commenting on my article. after reading this, i feel honored that you liked mine.
haleybabe14 said...
Apr. 8, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I keep looking back at this post. It makes me feel kind of sad, but at the same time, it makes you feel happy to hear about a love like that.

You're an a amazing writer.

explain_love said...
Apr. 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm

this brought tears to my eyes . the way you described the seasons was perfection. and the line "it means summer's over. It's like losing something you can't have back, like love." was brilliant . don`t change anything one bit .

you have an amazing gift (:

Annabell said...
Apr. 7, 2010 at 9:03 pm
I agree with the others. This was great. It made me keep reading till the end, a thing I don't always do. I don't think you need to change or add on to it in anyway. Remember in the end, it's still your writing and no one elses.
neimyne This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 7, 2010 at 8:42 pm
Your style reminds me very much of another writer I admire. You both certainly have a sweet melancholy in your pieces <3
Kathryn K. said...
Apr. 7, 2010 at 12:45 pm

this was really good. what exactly happened to them? 

keep up the great work!

sadimcm said...
Mar. 18, 2010 at 12:52 pm
OMG i LOVE THIS!!!! it is amazing!!!!! what happend to them?
wishing4thebest2day said...
Mar. 16, 2010 at 9:48 pm
That is amazing! It made me wonder and think... It made me feel strong somehow. Keep writing because this is amazing!
francinejar said...
Mar. 16, 2010 at 8:52 pm
angelgirl1011288 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm
Great job! This was a beautiful piece.
StormyxD said...
Mar. 1, 2010 at 1:09 pm
I'm a total sucker for nostalgia so you had my intrest at the title. I loved the way you incorperated the turning of the seasons into the changes in our lives and how their almost connected in a way. Great job, keep writing. (:
Kaitlinsmiles said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 7:41 pm
This really touched me. I could relate on it to an indescribable level.
nancy12 said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 7:22 pm
simply beautiful... i really like it!
RachelFord2068 said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 5:32 pm
This was Amazing !!! I loved it !!!!!
<невидљив> This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm
This was beautiful! I really enjoyed your imagery and the way you described the whole memory... great job!!!
firstsnowfalls This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 3:03 pm
Wow! This is awesome. I love it.
twiwrite said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm
this was beautiful!
SharpestSatire said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 10:56 am
Wow, this so sad. What happened to them???
PoetLaureate07 replied...
Mar. 16, 2010 at 9:47 pm
That's what I wanna know... did he die or something.. but it is still perfect.. romantic, great imagery... everything!!! Keep writing!!!!!
ZacP. said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 10:53 am
This was really good... you should add more to it like if he does come back or not.
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