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 Feb. 22 2010 at 9:41 am
SilverLuna SILVER, _________, Washington
8 articles 0 photos 230 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Come fairies take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.".... W.B. Yeats.
"Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss." - Douglas Adams

Wow, this was very well written, you created scences but it was poresented as a memory. Great Job!

on Feb. 13 2010 at 11:08 pm
Padfoot95 SILVER, North Vancouver, Other
7 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
Everyone is the age of their heart.

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 :)

Lonleydandy said...
on 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

on Jan. 31 2010 at 3:32 pm
divinelove33 GOLD, Ballwin, Missouri
12 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Our fingerprints never fade from the lives that we touch

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.

on Jan. 31 2010 at 3:20 pm
Mzday73 PLATINUM, Princeton Junction, New Jersey
31 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt and live like it's heaven on Earth." -Mark Twain

This is so beautiful- with a terrific ending as well! The talent behind such a cool piece is amazing!

mads942 SILVER said...
on Jan. 31 2010 at 2:01 pm
mads942 SILVER, Houston, Texas
6 articles 0 photos 24 comments
This is really wonderful...the retrospective view makes it so interesting. I love how the ending is sad but still hopeful.

on Jan. 31 2010 at 11:51 am
beautifuldownfall, Kkk, Iowa
0 articles 0 photos 20 comments
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!

on Jan. 31 2010 at 11:31 am
justsmile164 BRONZE, New York, New York
4 articles 0 photos 73 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Talent is nothing without character."

this is one of my favorite stories that i've read on TeenInk. amaaaaaaazing job !!! :)

on Jan. 31 2010 at 9:52 am
emajin96! BRONZE, Millersville, Maryland
1 article 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
"

A lovely piece! Absolutely exquisite! :) Please please PLEASE keep writing, I would love to read another one of your pieces!

on Jan. 31 2010 at 9:02 am
seven_stones GOLD, Atlantis, Massachusetts
16 articles 0 photos 45 comments
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 belong to her, on loan from a different beast entirely. They clamored together as tendrils of flame shot through her. But her skin was not singed in the blaze. It lay milky and cool to the touch, more like water then fire, it's spiteful cousin. Tighter and tighter she squeezed her eyes. Shut them out shut them out! And then the end of her yellow lace dress started to curl like a withered rose. And black swallowed the wine colored satin. And she grabbed the necklace from her neck, the fine copper chain snapping as she did, and hurled it as far as she could. They stopped, the voices, It stopped. She cried in joy at the silence in her head as flames engulfed her, yet she felt no pain as she blackened. Instead she welcomed her end, for she had prayed for her misery to end for years and years.

I jolted up from my sleep. Tears streamed down my face.I had another dream about my great great great aunt Cora Irene Hadley. I was breathing heavy, my black hair glued to my forehead with sweat. I checked the clock. three in the morning. I tried to get back to sleep but I kept seeing Cora's face being drowned in flame. I got up from the bed and walked softly out towards the long twisty hall. There Cora's Victorian portrait hung. My parents say that she died on her birthday. May 19 . That was the day I was born as well. My entire family was devastated, they were the superstitious types. I remember being little and hearing my parents arguing in the kitchen. "What are the odds mike? That Cora would be born, die and my little Ethel born all on the same date?" "Kathy stop this. A date dose not define her!" Cora died at the age of eleven, much younger then I. I finally stopped in front of the weathered photograph. The most frightening thing of all was that my great aunt Cora Irene Hadley looked exactly like me

she was my mirror image. She had a look of welsh beauty with a small inverted chin and shiny black hair. Family members called it eerie. The same frowning tight line of a mouth and big disk-like eyes with semi-circle brows. I came here often when I woke from nightmares about her. Just to stare at the photograph, so mysterious. There was allot of mystery around Cora. People say that she died in the St.Louis fire in 1849. They found her burnt up in the center of a field with her hand over her heart. It is said that my great great great grandmother Ethel Hadley, who I am named after, could sense that she was about to die miles away visiting a sick friend. They say that right before Cora died she saw a single raindrop fall into the palm of her hand from a cloudless sky, and she screamed out Cora's name because somehow she knew.

I traced my fingers over the portrait in the dark hallway. "Only a superstition" I said out loud to steady myself. I reached out to touch the portrait again and it was white hot. I screamed and fell back.. when I looked at my hand it was severely burned. Gasping for air I ran back to the room, but not before I looked back at Cora,

she was smiling

I locked the door and examined my hands, trying not to vomit. Bits of white bones were exposed amid mottled flesh, the cusp of which was blackened and charred, flaking off like a crumb cake. However I felt nothing, not the slightest bit of pain. I ran into my parents room. They were asleep in a billowy mountain of comforters. I shook them with my good hand. "Mom mom mom... I burned myself I don't know how it just happened and look! Look!" I thrust my hand out. "Ethel I don't see anything honey... did you have a nightmare again?" "Mom I'm not five and look at it! Look!" I looked down at it and gasped as I saw nothing but a healthy unburned hand. "Oh lord" I whispered. I ran from their room and into the hall at Cora's portrait. Now cool to the touch, I picked it up and hurled it of the wall down he stairs, hearing the glass smashing off the frame. I tentatively looked down the stairs, half expecting Cora to crawl from her photo. But instead I saw a glint of something amidst the shards of broken glass. A necklace with a copper chain.

on Jan. 26 2010 at 5:31 pm
lily1411 BRONZE, Fargo, North Dakota
2 articles 0 photos 69 comments

Favorite Quote:
Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it.

--Benjamin Franklin

This almost made me cry! I loved it loved it loved it!:D

on Jan. 9 2010 at 9:38 pm
FindingTheTrueMe BRONZE, Boca Raton, Florida
4 articles 0 photos 11 comments
Brilliant. Love how u compare him to the summer.

on Jan. 9 2010 at 6:52 pm
Mohammed Hussain GOLD, New York City, New York
10 articles 0 photos 15 comments
I could smell the seasons and see the leaves. Amazing piece!

on Jan. 9 2010 at 5:32 pm
makeupsomethinglater BRONZE, Bailieboro, Other
3 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
I've never been an intellectual but I have this look

This is really good, I really enjoyed it.

on Jan. 9 2010 at 10:30 am
XxCrazyGurlXx SILVER, Whiteville, North Carolina
6 articles 0 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Besides my fashion sense? I play a mean harmonica." -Fang (Maximum Ride)
"I never wanted a part like this in my life." -Demi Lovato on Camp Rock
"Pink isn't just a race or color, its an attitude." -Myself

Awesome!!!!

on Jan. 9 2010 at 9:08 am
CuteCourt101 SILVER, Newark, Delaware
9 articles 1 photo 64 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Acting like someone else is a waste of who you are!" ~Unknown

This is so great! I loved it! I can imagine evrything going on, the leaves, the scarf, the paintings, everything. Great Job!!

on Jan. 9 2010 at 8:42 am
this is so beautiful...it'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.

on Dec. 18 2009 at 9:49 pm
invisiblesoul BRONZE, Covington, Georgia
4 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
Be strong now, because things will get better. It may rain now, but it can't rain forever.

AW, I like it!

TorioT4 BRONZE said...
on Dec. 18 2009 at 12:37 pm
TorioT4 BRONZE, Rural Hall, North Carolina
4 articles 4 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
you have two chocies in every situtaion: make it or break it. Choose wisely.
- Me

wow tht is amazing i loved the details how did u come up with that was it a personal experience or just pure fiction

on Dec. 18 2009 at 9:27 am
sillyaardvarkabc BRONZE, Riverside, Connecticut
4 articles 0 photos 63 comments
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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