September 24, 2009
By , Sulphur, LA
Tell me why, that when I first met you, my gut didn’t burst out of my stomach or my heart from my breast. I saw you under the dim lighting of the fluorescents, and I thought you might be someone interesting to talk to. Nothing more. And then, the next time, my heart skipped a beat when you hugged me close. I saw you a few more times after that, and then the summer came and I didn’t hear from you anymore. But I thought about you constantly. In those few, precious times that we were together, my attraction to you grew. When I had that first conversation with you on the phone- the first ever from a boy- I didn’t want to hang up. We talked for an hour and a half, and I could have listened to the sound of your laughter all night long. The fact that you had a girlfriend didn’t really cause me hindrance- not as long as I didn’t see her.

When you went away for the summer, to wherever it is you went, you took with you my plans. This was to be the long, three month period where I let myself be free and have fun. I was about to turn seventeen, after all. I wanted to flirt with boys and be confident. My friends joked around that a boy couldn’t hold my attention for more than an hour, the very reason I remained perpetually single. I was going to go to the summer dances and hang out with cute guys, flip my hair over my shoulder like the idiotic girl I wanted to be, if only for a little while. That was the only thing I wanted from life. And you took it away. I tried my hardest to not cling to the fact that you were the first boy I ever related to so easily. Maybe it was just your nature, to be that way with everyone… But would that be so bad? It was a confusing argument, and one that I thought about more often than not. I flushed every single time a song came on the radio that reminded me of you. I couldn’t stop thinking about when you asked me to slow dance- also my first one. With guys, I’d always learned to be guarded and keep a safe distance intimately. Maybe that was a fault of mine, but one I couldn’t help. With you, though, I don’t know if the walls ever went up.

Your smile remained in my memory, and I called upon it often. A guilty pleasure. I knew you would be in school with me that year, and I waited for it with excitement and fear. I wanted to see you again before the summer ended. So fleeting was our friendship that I sometimes questioned the substantiality- had I romanticized you or were you real after all? I couldn’t help but think of you when someone mentioned the tiniest detail in conversation that could be traced to your name. Eventually, though, I became frustrated with myself. You weren’t here, and my imagination was only so good. Couldn’t I have some fun until I saw you again? I tried hard for the second half of my summer… I tried to flirt with other guys, talk to them like I wasn’t thinking about you in the back of my mind. But on the inside, the compliments would turn to dust in my throat, and I couldn’t say them. A strange impatience would take over me when a new boy came to talk to me- when was he going to leave? Didn’t he know I wasn’t interested? And then they all left me alone. I finished out my summer in an eager desperation to see you again, to talk to you. I needed either to find my feelings for you were true or that you were just an image I’d blown up and molded to my own liking. Both options offered a strange relief.

The first day of school was a hard thing to handle. I did see you, but when we talked, I only saw a glimmer of the boy you’d been this summer. Some of the closeness was gone, replaced by a buddy-buddy vibe. Unfortunately, I was hardwired to respond in the same way. Now, almost two months after that day, I barely know you. That friendliness, which was lesser than at the blooming freedom, slowly shrank into what it was now- the occasional acknowledgement, a hand gesture, and a lot of staring. I know you watch me, just as I watch you. I never found out if you still had a girlfriend, but that didn’t matter. You treated me different, even from the first day, than you acted towards your other female pals. A sense to know why burns inside of me, sometimes as small as an ember, other times as big and vast as a wildfire. You changed me, somehow, in both good and bad ways. At the beginning of the summer, I knew it was you who I needed to be with. I held this in my mind with an utter confidence that I would only be with you or no one. Now it is a sad confirmation, because I still believe it.

Some days you make me angry, so I don’t even look at you anymore. Other times, I feel sad and nostalgic, and I smile at you shyly. The responses you provide are mixed, but always with the same distance. I’m hoping that we stop being lost in a sea of uncertainty soon. I want us to float back to that mystical place of the summer, and start over from the beginning. I want the pounding of my heart to be the sole and core emotion, breaking free of the disparity and sickening turmoil that come with it.

I just want you, the boy I used to know.

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This article has 36 comments. Post your own now!

GodSpell98 said...
May 10, 2012 at 5:41 pm
I can relate totally to this!! This is the story of my nonexistent-romance life, I'm not kidding!!! Very well written.
Fia-fia said...
Nov. 11, 2011 at 8:41 pm

This is really good, and really well written. You desplay the emotion very well. I can kinda relate in a different way, but i think most people can relate to the changes people go through, and having to deal with those changes, despite not liking them. THank you


CaseyDawn said...
Nov. 1, 2011 at 2:43 pm
This is a great article. I can relate it. I really can... But, this... this, is amazing. It really is!
Pumpkinscout said...
Sept. 11, 2011 at 7:20 pm
I agree that it's nice because it's unpredictable, no "It was true love after all and they could never be separated and they lived happily ever after" but it ends the way a lot of (at least my) crushes have, sort of slipping away gradually, no dramatic breakup or tearful goodby, just sort of falling out of love, I guess, but not quite. Because you weren't actually "in love" to begin with. It was just a big huge crush. It's hard to explain. Great, great story!!!
Kelsey_O said...
May 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm
I like this. I think I like it because they didn't end up together. Almost every story you read now, the couple gets together. It becomes repetitive. If you think about it, so many old movie don't have a fairytale ending, but modern ones do. Thanks for taking us back a little bit. 
DeeJay replied...
Aug. 2, 2011 at 6:09 am
no problem:) and what's funny is... this is a true story. down to the last word. and he is my best friend now, and i am in love with him:P
ChocoMint replied...
Oct. 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm
So cute.  I love the story!
Megi24 said...
Apr. 27, 2011 at 3:56 pm
I absolutely love this! It is amazing in both material and writing style. This is almost exactly like my ex and I are now. The whole awkwardness and always staring at each other thing. My favorite sentence is towards the end of the third paragraph. ( I needed to either find... molded to my own liking.) I think this happens with me as it seems to yourself. Maybe it comes with the territory of being suckers for romantic fiction and having avid imaginations. This is great!
Hammi said...
Apr. 10, 2011 at 4:26 pm
its good :)
prettyuglygirl said...
Mar. 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm
OMG! All this is like happening to me. Ilove it Keep it up
sabina22 said...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 9:12 am
that's really deep! and, for me, relatable (ahaha). the title caught my attention, and after i was done reading it i couldn't help but want to read it again and again! congrats on a really awesome piece! i hope you keep writing.. :)
DeeJay replied...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 10:10 pm
thank you so much... comments like me really make my day:). i will continue to write and one day will be on the new york times best seller list! lol.
xynab-emogrl-u-wud-luv said...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 3:43 am
WOW.........i like's kinda vry deep............:) :) <3
SilverLuna said...
Sept. 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm
This was amazing in two ways. One, I enjoy your style of writing immensly. Two, this relates to me. Really, everything here is what I've experienced except it wouldn't be summer, it would be my freshman year. This kind of, overwhelming similarity, blew me away. This is a great piece. Could you read some of my work too, please?
Saysh said...
Sept. 8, 2010 at 8:43 am
Amazing! Very relatable and excellent writing! :)
Waiting_For_Love said...
Sept. 2, 2010 at 8:21 am
i totally relate to that right now!!!!!!!! :):) especially the beginning where you say each time the character saw him the attraction grew stronger. i so relate!
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 22, 2010 at 7:32 am
That was amazing!  It is so relatable!  Almost everyone has been in a situation like that, and you put out to the world what every teenager has thought but been afraid to vocalize.  I love how you point out her fear of "blowing him up" in her head.  I have totally done that, and it all seemed so real!  I also love how you included that he was the first guy to ever call her.  It's something that seems trivial (and therefore isn't often written about) but is oh so imp... (more »)
DeeJay replied...
Aug. 2, 2011 at 6:11 am
well you could say you know her, considering it was me lol.
Eleanor A. said...
Aug. 11, 2010 at 9:47 am

I love this piece. So much. It says everything that a lot of people aren't brave enough to say, and it takes all of those emotions, and makes them so attainable, in the way that "the boy she used to know" isn't. The sense of longing and nostalgia is beautiful too.

Keep writing! ;D

giggles101 said...
Jul. 14, 2010 at 6:52 pm
This is an amazing piece oF writing, i totally related to it! Its going in my favorites...can't wait for part 2!
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