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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PadfootPattz95 said...
Feb. 13, 2010 at 11:08 pm
This was amazing. Not detailed, not long, not toooo informative, but that's what made it perfect. I loved it, and really liked the concept of the months passing by. REALLY GOOD :)
SilverLuna replied...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 9:41 am
Wow, this was very well written, you created scences but it was poresented as a memory. Great Job!
Lonleydandy said...
Jan. 31, 2010 at 4:36 pm
I normally don't comment on things with a lot of comments already on them.....but this is an exception. This is absolutely amazing. I can totally relate to it. In a sense, I'm waiting for summer to come back too. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT
armygirl4larsen said...
Jan. 31, 2010 at 3:32 pm
this is fantastic. The images were all so clear in my head as I read. I felt like I was wearing the scarf waiting to see if summer would come back. keep up the great work.
Tigerstarz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 31, 2010 at 3:20 pm
This is so beautiful- with a terrific ending as well! The talent behind such a cool piece is amazing!
mads942 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 31, 2010 at 2:01 pm
This is really wonderful...the retrospective view makes it so interesting. I love how the ending is sad but still hopeful.
kittkatbar0676 said...
Jan. 31, 2010 at 11:51 am
Goosebumps! :) This was amazing.... The mystery of it... You're painting with words, adding your own element to it, and that's such a rare thing.... What talent! :) Definitely one of my favorites!
elizabethlaura said...
Jan. 31, 2010 at 11:31 am
this is one of my favorite stories that i've read on TeenInk. amaaaaaaazing job !!! :)
emajin96! said...
Jan. 31, 2010 at 9:52 am
A lovely piece! Absolutely exquisite! :) Please please PLEASE keep writing, I would love to read another one of your pieces!
@rT$y_and_@We$()mE said...
Jan. 31, 2010 at 9:02 am
May 19 1849
she sat in front of the fire that raged behind her. Her black hair was oily purple in the wake of it's light.She could not feel the flames or the heat that pulsed through them like a beating heart. Her eyes were closed tight. Maybe if she closed them tighter she could shut them out, shut them out. Her mind was like a glass brain shattered. Pieces fading in and out and her head bulging, crying out in pain.Her limbs felt hollow, not connected. Harrowed bones that did not be... (more »)
lily1411 said...
Jan. 26, 2010 at 5:31 pm
This almost made me cry! I loved it loved it loved it!:D
*BYEbyeSANDYclaws* said...
Jan. 9, 2010 at 9:38 pm
Brilliant. Love how u compare him to the summer.
Mohammed H. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 9, 2010 at 6:52 pm
I could smell the seasons and see the leaves. Amazing piece!
Daryl C. said...
Jan. 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm
This is really good, I really enjoyed it.
StormyJ said...
Jan. 9, 2010 at 10:30 am
CuteCourt101 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 9, 2010 at 9:08 am
This is so great! I loved it! I can imagine evrything going on, the leaves, the scarf, the paintings, everything. Great Job!!
MusicInMyHeart<3 said...
Jan. 9, 2010 at 8:42 am
this is so's like a bittersweet sadness and the way you describe it, I actually felt the emotion and saw all the things and places you described. Beautifully written.
invisiblesoul said...
Dec. 18, 2009 at 9:49 pm
AW, I like it!
TorioT4 said...
Dec. 18, 2009 at 12:37 pm
wow tht is amazing i loved the details how did u come up with that was it a personal experience or just pure fiction
sillyaardvarkabc said...
Dec. 18, 2009 at 9:27 am
This is amazingly written, it has GREAT description. I love how you left some info out, so we could imagine the rest. Good job!
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