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 Mar. 1 2009 at 5:17 pm
KennisLora GOLD, Palm Harbor, Florida
10 articles 2 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"the air is like your stepmom’s apple crisp."

"I have that scarf, by the way. I wish it still smelled like you"

"I’m waiting to see if the summer comes back."

So powerful! These lines just were like *whump* right to the heart. That last line was just so wonderfully intertwined within the story. You really just come to the understanding, because summer=love. And you (as in the writer) are waiting for love to return.

Just lovely.

on Mar. 1 2009 at 12:08 am
RainWashed PLATINUM, Park City, Utah
46 articles 1 photo 88 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Repeat the good and the bad. Do it all again. And pile on the years."

I loved your story. It was really good for someone submitting to Teenink. I think you should persue writing as a career. Your a very good writer!!!! :O

mycatquacks said...
on Feb. 28 2009 at 11:20 pm
mycatquacks, New York, New York
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
I like the writing a lot, and you certainly have talent. The characters were a little too good to be true, even though there was a sad ending, so I suppose that could be improved if you did a rewrite. Also, I thought the space between last October and this October was way too short - it just seemed awkward in a way. But all in all, talent good piece = awesome.

on Feb. 28 2009 at 6:11 pm
its not one of those not like real life storys. it seems real. like it can happen. i hope it happens to me!

Trinh Le said...
on Feb. 17 2009 at 2:00 am
I like how you capture feelings. But there are not many conflicts...

in a way this story was bittersweet, like grapefruit.


SharPeiSaver said...
on Feb. 16 2009 at 5:02 pm
Didn't you also write A Wish For Her? That was genius! So was this one. I always enjoy reading your articles.

Desanyx SILVER said...
on Feb. 15 2009 at 7:27 pm
Desanyx SILVER, Westfield, New Jersey
5 articles 0 photos 30 comments

Favorite Quote:
The imagination is man's power over nature. -Wallace Stevens

Good imagery, but the characters were hardly believable.

on Feb. 14 2009 at 9:52 pm
TheCodeHero BRONZE, Elgin, Illinois
4 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
Write here, write now.

i really enjoyed was simple, sweet, and sad.


gogreen118 said...
on Feb. 13 2009 at 6:48 pm
I loved this story! I was sucked into it after the first paragraph. You definitely have a way with words!

The--Camster said...
on Feb. 12 2009 at 7:07 pm
This is really sweet and sad, but awesome!

tweedle dee said...
on Feb. 12 2009 at 3:56 pm
this was georgeous. wish stuff like this actually happened!

smiley said...
on Feb. 10 2009 at 3:49 pm
this piece is really cute. I can imagine the guy with cute dimples =]

madirox said...
on Feb. 8 2009 at 7:27 pm
i am going to be honest, i didn't like it. u seem to have talent though because of your use of personification and symbolism, but otherwise, I didn't really like the plot. u have talent though, i am serious about that. be a writer, help the world.

on Feb. 7 2009 at 3:23 am
Truely genius. I love it.

xCblue44x said...
on Feb. 3 2009 at 4:35 pm
This is pretty good. I love and hate that I almost have to make my own assumptions as to why he's not there anymore. It's fairly obvious, but yet there are other conclusions to be drawn. This is good! Good luck.

on Feb. 3 2009 at 12:50 am
Is this the new one you mentioned? and i like it more then the other, i'm not sure why though

YoungWriter said...
on Feb. 2 2009 at 9:19 pm
The simplicity of the story was admirable, and as I read the stories published on Teen Ink, I come to a reoccuring quality. You were able to portray beauty in such a short piece, with unimpressive language.However, I believe the story was not woven as well as it could have been. Good luck as a writer!

ohyou said...
on Feb. 1 2009 at 9:50 am
I really liked it but it was just that the male character seemed contradictory,

but still I loved the style, very good :)

clyn12 said...
on Jan. 29 2009 at 9:03 pm
I like this. Its very well written and cute....but it seems to me alot like ''Colors of love,'' another peice I read on here.

lizzi98 said...
on Jan. 29 2009 at 1:27 pm
this is beautiful. poetic and has enough change to let it keep a soft steady pace.

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