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The North Carolinian This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   I looked at the picture on my shelf the other day, and it actually brought a tearto my eye. Joy, sadness, sorrow, regret ... I'm not sure exactly what made me crylooking at our picture. I think it was some combination of all those emotionswrapped together in a confusing little package, framed and sitting atop myshelf.

If one saw our picture, they would mistake us for a couple. With myarm around her as we smiled, so relaxed and comfortable, it just seemed like wewere meant to be. One would never guess that we had known each other only twodays. Only two days. That doesn't seem fair. There was so much more I wanted tolearn about her, so much more I wanted to experience with her, but I was onlygiven two days.

Two days before that picture was taken, I was trying towork up the nerve to talk to her. Trying to think of the perfect thing to say tokeep her attention. I stared at her from across the room at the conference. Itwas a week away from my family and friends, but also a week with this gorgeousNorth Carolinian that I wanted to learn so much more about.

I remember itso clearly. We all had to be dressed up for the presentation that was to takeplace in the auditorium. I casually took a seat next to her in the crowded room.A thousand people I'd never met, and the only one I wanted to know anything aboutwas her. It seems corny now, but I remember the first thing I said to her, andhow fast my heart was racing. I remember her laugh, and the smell of her hair. Itwas so perfect.

I remember spending the next day with her. I didn't lether leave my sight. I wanted to soak up as much of her as I could as fast aspossible. She talked and I waited with childlike anticipation for what she'd saynext. And when I talked, she gave me every ounce of her attention. I'd never feltso important, so interesting. She hung on my every word as her emerald eyesstared into mine. At dinner, she asked if we could have our picture taken. If Ihad known it would be my only remembrance of her, I would have said"No" and demanded something better. But I didn't, and now this pictureis all I have.

Two days - that's all I got. She boarded her plane, andI boarded my bus. When I hugged her, she promised she would write. That promisesomehow slipped away. Maybe it is better that way. We left our relationshipuntainted, just perfect and simple. I think that's why my throat tightens and myeyes blur when I look at this picture. No one has ever talked with me the way shedid. No one has ever held my hand as tightly as she did. No one has ever lookedat me the way she did, and I doubt they ever will.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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