What You Need to Remember

February 2, 2017
By , Hillman, MI

A boy was cleaning his room, and spotted a crumpled piece of paper lying under the bed. He grabbed it and read the note. ‘I know what you did’ was scrawled in an almost illegible hand.

“I said I was sorry. What else do you want from me?” the boy had asked to a girl’s retreating back. She turned around.

“How about ‘keep your word’?  Is that too hard? God, I don’t even know why I dated you. It’s over. Don’t talk to me, don’t ask your friends to talk to me on your behalf; I don’t even want to know you exist from now on,” she hissed at him.

She turned around and stalked away.

He shredded the note and hurled the pieces into the wastebasket. He continued the search for items to toss into the trash. Still under the bed, he saw a card, red and in the shape of a heart.

“Hey, sweetheart. I love you.”

He had presented her with a bouquet of flowers with a box of assorted chocolates. He had given her a hug and pressed a kiss on her head. The wind had blown her hair slightly, the sun causing it to shine gold.

“I love you too,” She said, having pulled back and she presented her gift.

He ripped open the colored paper and opened the box. Inside was a necklace, a dark rawhide cord with a black fang on the end, and a card at the bottom.

“What is this from?” he asked, testing its weight. It was heavy and metallic.

“I asked I guy I know to make a dragon’s fang. I hoped that you would like it,” she smiled hopefully.
“I love it. Thank you.”

Tears formed as his hand grabbed at his neck, gripping the necklace that carried a metal fang. He tore it off and flung it across the room, crumpled the Valentine and sent it after the gift. An older woman came in.

“Son, what was that … noise,” she asked her voice falling on the last word, upon seeing him crying.

“Honey, I’m here,” she said as she crouched down to hold her son. “Is it because of the break-up? Never mind, of course it is. You want to talk about it?”

“It just hurts so much. I did what she asked; everything she asked,” he sobbed, “Now I’m not even allowed to talk to her. Where did I go wrong?”

The day had been warm and humid; the sky a bright blue with no blemishes on her fair face. The wind had blown softly, and as he had walked up to her, he had felt nerves like had never felt before. This was worse than basketball tryouts, worse than going to the doctor for shots, worse than anything he could ever imagine. He had looked behind him, and spotted his friends giving him thumbs up, telling him that he was doing a good job, that he should continue.

Before him was his crush, the girl he had liked since the beginning of last year. Why wouldn’t he be nervous? Her eyes were the bluest that he had ever seen, with long blond hair. Why, she would have felt right at home on a Broadway show. And if rumor was right, she was currently single.

He set his shoulders and continued on, straight into the gaggle of girls that surrounded her.

“Hey, can I talk to you, Tina? In private?” he asked, his face a faint shade of green.

“Sure. Can you guys give me a minute? Thanks,” the ladies had dispersed, whispering in groups of two and three, probably on why he had wanted to talk to her. “Are you alright, you look like you’re going to be sick.”
“I’m alright. I wanted to ask you if you were free this Friday. I was going to go catch a movie, and grab a bite to eat after.”

“Are you asking me on a date?” she asked coyly.

“If I was would you accept?” he answered.

“Why, of course.”

“Then, yes, it’s a date. Pick you up at six?”

“My parents will want me back by ten, just so you know.” she said flouncing away, unable to hide her grin.

“Sometimes things just aren’t meant to be. I know when I had first met Dylan Collins, I had thought that we were going to be the next ‘high school sweetheart’ story, but in the end, he decided that he needed to be with someone else. It had hurt when he left, but without that, I wouldn’t have met your father, and you would not have been born,” she told her son. “This is just a step in your life. You don’t need that girl. You need to move on with your life. Don’t waste your time thinking about a girl who doesn’t care about you. Now, I want you out of the house and to go hang out with you friends. Go see a movie or something. Okay?”

He turned to his mother, his blue eyes still shining with tears, his black hair a mess. On his face was a tentative smile that had been hidden for a long time. “Okay.”

“Now go get yourself cleaned up,” She stopped at the door. “And wear this.”

In her hand she was holding the dragon fang. “Despite the fact you need to look forward, if you don’t look back, you cannot fix your mistakes.”

He took the necklace in his hand. He remembered Christina, from the day they had gotten together to the day it all fell apart. He saw her smile when he had gotten the nerve to ask her out, her laughter when he had jumped during Sinister. He remembered holding her as she cried in his arms, her apparent openness that allowed him to be open too. He took the necklace and slipped it over his head. “Thanks Mom.”

“I just want to see you happy. Go have fun. I’ll clean up in here.”

“Alright. Thanks again.”

He went out of the house as his mother, standing in the center of his room, let a single solitary tear, run down her face.

Join the Discussion

This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

valkyrie1212 said...
Feb. 9 at 11:01 pm
Wonderful story :)
Carstairs replied...
Feb. 10 at 10:35 am
thank you!
HannahIsOkay This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 7 at 7:29 pm
Wow!! This was so good, keep it up.
Carstairs replied...
Feb. 7 at 7:30 pm
thanks, glad you liked it!
Carstairs said...
Feb. 7 at 8:27 am
@LaurenKitty @Gnutt @KassKazz Tell me what you think please!
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