Do You Remember? | Teen Ink

Do You Remember? MAG

By Emily Kurtz, Sudbury, MA

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.



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This article has 284 comments.


on Dec. 13 2009 at 2:09 am
SerenityMine BRONZE, Not Saying, California
2 articles 0 photos 156 comments
Wow!!! That was really good!

on Nov. 26 2009 at 11:39 pm
twizzlerhero SILVER, Anchorage, Alaska
7 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"He gave her 12 roses 11 were real 1 was fake he told her he would love her till the last one dies" -?

gggrrrr WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

maki:p GOLD said...
on Nov. 26 2009 at 10:06 pm
maki:p GOLD, Rocklin, California
17 articles 1 photo 47 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The only journey is the one within" and "You can't help anyone who doesn't want to be helped."

I like the end. Where it leaves us open to imagine the rest.

on Nov. 26 2009 at 10:03 pm
blackrose326 GOLD, Burlington, North Carolina
19 articles 0 photos 45 comments

Favorite Quote:
If who I am is what I have and what I have is lost then who am I? Anonymous
Beauty can not be found in worldy views for these are; corrupted veiws straight form the gates of hell - Anonymous

D**** that was deep, I dould see it playing in my mind. You have amazing writing capabilites. Def one of my fav's

KEEP WRITING PLEASE!!!

on Nov. 26 2009 at 9:33 pm
waiting_to_be_found GOLD, Conifer, Colorado
10 articles 1 photo 73 comments
I absolutly adore this piece. They way it is writen is so refreshing!

on Nov. 26 2009 at 6:26 pm
Wow. It's a beautiful piece. I actually saw the story play out infront of me.

Great work.

Rachie_P. GOLD said...
on Nov. 26 2009 at 6:17 pm
Rachie_P. GOLD, Virginia Beach, Virginia
11 articles 0 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
don't spend your life hiding from the monsters under your bed> go out and enjoy life to the fullest

wow that was so beautiful. what happens to the guy?

on Nov. 26 2009 at 4:49 pm
this was really great. what happened to your lost love ???

on Nov. 26 2009 at 11:03 am
MayaChristine GOLD, Stocksfield, Other
11 articles 0 photos 28 comments
Amazing, really beautiful. What happens to the dude?

StarsMoon said...
on Nov. 26 2009 at 10:24 am
StarsMoon, Lehi, Utah
0 articles 0 photos 49 comments
sad but beautiful at the same time...

thnx for the great read! it was truly amazing. :)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! :)

on Nov. 26 2009 at 8:21 am
Miss_Bliss GOLD, Waban, Massachusetts
17 articles 0 photos 31 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If we did all the things we were capable of, we would literally astound ourselves."

-Thomas Edison

Amazing and beautifully written, but what a cliffhanger! Artfully done, and now I'm dying to know what happens. Is there more?

RLJoy DIAMOND said...
on Nov. 4 2009 at 8:09 pm
RLJoy DIAMOND, Glen Rock, New Jersey
56 articles 0 photos 89 comments
this was wriitne so well! ur such an amazing writer!!!!!!!!!

on Nov. 4 2009 at 6:59 pm
mcgreevy BRONZE, Moscow, Idaho
3 articles 0 photos 6 comments
wonderful, this seasonal story has me falling and leaves me begging for more.

on Nov. 4 2009 at 6:49 pm
literaryaddict PLATINUM, Albuquerque, New Mexico
23 articles 3 photos 157 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We're almost there and no where near it. All that matters is that we're going." Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls
"The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound." Lady Bracknell, The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde

powerfully written. wonderful, wonderful imagery. i love the use of small seemingly-meaningless details to bring a sense of reality to the writing like the watermelon jolly rancher. details like that make it a joy to read something. just WONDERFUL!

on Nov. 4 2009 at 6:10 pm
4everluvjc BRONZE, Plantation, Florida
3 articles 0 photos 44 comments

Favorite Quote:
nothing is impossible with God! Try him and you'll see :)

Tell me, what happened!

it's not fair when people do this, they create suspense but don't end it.

I like that technique, but I don't like when it's done to me....especially with stories like this...

Now I'm gonna keep wondering what happened.

on Nov. 4 2009 at 5:14 pm
weirdonpurpose SILVER, Georgetown, Texas
6 articles 12 photos 56 comments

Favorite Quote:
art is happening

ack! what happened?? cliffhanger!!! :D

on Nov. 4 2009 at 5:04 pm
CaseyLeigh PLATINUM, Moraga, California
31 articles 6 photos 137 comments

Favorite Quote:
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to.

At the end of this story I literally said, "Oh my god." Incredible.

on Oct. 13 2009 at 6:04 pm
PunkRockLobster GOLD, Manhattan, Kansas
17 articles 4 photos 25 comments

Favorite Quote:
Carpe diem quam minime credula postero (Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future)
And if not now, when?

this is amazing! it really moved me. very vivid words and writing. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BOY?

on Oct. 13 2009 at 5:39 pm
costarican93 GOLD, Washington, Louisiana
14 articles 0 photos 33 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The city looks so pretty do you want to burn it with me?"- Hollywood Undead

OMG amazing!!!! i loved it almost cried. what happened to the boy? please tell me. and if you dont want n-e one else to know tell me secretly somehow haha.

novacekn said...
on Oct. 13 2009 at 1:27 pm
This was a really good piece. At different times I felt like I was in this story because you are so descriptive. The only thing you could improve on is the use of "you" and "I". Besides working on word choice, there are no errors in this piece. I wish you were a real writer who wrote books!!


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