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A Summer Love Triangle This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

It was July, the summer of 2007. Briny air clung to my skin as I stretched my towel out over the sand. The sun was hot but not uncomfortable. I reached into my beach bag, excited to have a free day at the beach. I pulled a tattered, mildew-scented paperback out of my bag and groaned. Maybe this wouldn’t be such a restful day after all.

My dad is a voracious reader, and for his fiftieth birthday I had created a private book club for the two of us. He is constantly traveling for business, so I thought it would be a great way to spend time together doing something we both love. The first book on our list was Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield. My vision had been lofty: we would read side by side in huge leather chairs and discuss interesting themes while sipping cappuccino and educating ourselves with great literature.

Dad had embraced my vision and plowed through the heavy tome with gusto. In fact, three months had passed since he finished the book, while I hadn’t gotten past the first three long, dull pages.

Surprised by how quickly the summer days were drifting by, I promised myself that July was the month of Dickens and Dickens alone. But the constant lure of the warm ocean and cool breezes left me with little time to settle into a good book. When I sunbathed with my friends, they would doze, flip through magazines, or read chick-lit beach books. There I was, the next towel over, trying to focus my sun-soaked eyes on the pages of Dickens’ magnificent yet exhausting prose. The margins were so small, the print so miniscule! As the days sweated along, I began to dread opening that torn and musty book resting reproachfully on my nightstand.

I had made some progress (page 20 of 805) when, on July twenty-first, just as I was dog-earing my page to grab some lunch, my mother called up that a package was waiting for me in the kitchen.

I double-checked the date before I allowed my heart to start racing. It was the twenty-first, to be sure – the date pre-ordered books had been promised. My hands began to shake with anticipation; every limb in my body trembled as I realized the long-awaited day had arrived. I flung poor David Copperfield to the foot of my bed and sprinted downstairs, each mad footstep screaming Harry’s name.

The shipping label stated to the world that he belonged to me. After I’d spent months dreaming of his arrival, Harry Potter, the seventh and final, was at last mine. Thoughts of young Copperfield and his foolish wife, Dora, were swept aside as my elated mind cleared room for incantations and potion recipes.

With excitement, I tore open the package, freeing Harry from his bonds. Cardboard shreds fell to the floor as I held the book for the first time. Its brand-new yellow cover shone like the blazing sun. Mine, all mine! I hugged the thick novel to my chest, welcoming Harry into my arms, welcoming him home.

Eating wasn’t necessary; I had a private date with Harry Potter planned for this evening. I carried him to my room and placed him on my pillow. I unconsciously put Copperfield in my nightstand drawer, hiding him in the darkness while I slowly opened the cover of my new treasure.

Harry smelled delicious. I think he was wearing my favorite cologne: new book. Not a hint of mildew in his beguiling aroma. Propping the book up on my knees, I dove into the magical world I had missed so dearly.

Hours passed me by unknowingly until it was three in the morning; I was the only one up in my house. I pulled my lamp closer so the room was black except for the halo of light surrounding Harry and me. Guilty thoughts of my abandoned David flickered across my mind as I turned the pages. I had never stayed up this late to be with him, never skipped dinner to enjoy David’s quiet company. I felt like I was in a whirlpool, being sucked deep into this addictive relationship with Harry.

A corner of my mind considered David, growing dusty in my drawer, alone and deserted. What would he think of me? I feared his judgment, his mute reproach. But wait, Harry had defeated Voldemort! He was going to beat him once and for all! My eyes swelled with proud tears and my throat tightened at the thought of my beloved grinning triumphantly over his fallen enemy.

Thoughts of Copperfield vanished as I realized that it was over, all over; the boy I had spent five years of my life obsessing and fantasizing over was now a grown man and married. The epilogue left me no room for interpretation; Harry was lost forever, bound to that red-haired brat. He was gone, ­escaping from my eager grasp as quickly as he had entered it. Rejection stabbed me like a Cruciatus Curse.

The next morning I was cranky. My scrambled eggs had a copper aftertaste, and I gave a nasty look to anyone who asked me to pass the orange juice. I felt dissatisfied not only by the mediocre eggs but by the way Harry Potter ended – and the realization that it had ended. I had let myself get so absorbed in this fantasy world that I couldn’t fathom a return to reality. Had the past 12 hours really ended? Could it be? Was Harry no longer a part of my life?

I couldn’t accept that I would never experience that tingling rush of excitement upon opening a just-released Potter book again. Never again would I smell the distinctive bouquet of freshly printed pages mixed with mystery and anticipation. Never again would my imagination be so thoroughly captivated that I could hardly eat or drink, let alone sleep.

My melancholy attitude persisted throughout the day. Lying on the blistering sand as my magical fling faded, my thoughts reverted to an earlier and perhaps deeper love. Dear old David Copperfield sat patiently in my canvas bag, awaiting my caress. The paperback felt flimsy in my hands, so used to Harry’s durable hard cover. The texture was not unwelcome, however, and I admired David’s classic appeal with a new appreciation. The novel fell open to where I had left off and, like a lost friend, he raced back into my life with undiminished fervor. With one last longing sigh for my lost Harry, I dove back into my relationship with David with renewed commitment.

As the humid July nights melted into cooler August ones, I nestled close to his fictional body. We sat together throughout the tiresome five-hour plane ride to California. His intelligent prose comforted me as I fought with my best friend. David aged, became a widower, and wrote a book as I made new friends, enjoyed the summer heat, and readied myself for the coming school year.

The dense pages began to loosen up as I learned to appreciate David’s wit and remarkable intellect. Where I had previously thought us so different, I began to see that we shared much. Throughout the time we spent together, he made me laugh, cry, and think. My eyes grew accustomed to the small print as I felt myself being drawn into an even more vivid world than Harry Potter’s.

My friends questioned the bulky novel I lugged around. Why wasn’t I reading the latest Gossip Girl? Could that thick text really be just for fun? No one could understand my relationship with Copperfield, nor could they identify with my desperate need to stay up all night with Potter.

I never mentioned to David my activities that night he spent in the drawer. The adulterous secret burned in my chest like a hot coal. But I decided that what David didn’t know couldn’t hurt him. As I lay awake one evening, shivering in the cool breeze from my window, I realized that few people could comprehend the affection I shared for my two conflicting loves, David and Harry.

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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This article has 149 comments. Post your own!

Deej6595This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Nov. 28, 2012 at 9:25 pm:
This is a good story. I have many connections with book so this is totally relatable.Is it true?
 
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DifferentTeenThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Sept. 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm:
Ugh. You spoiled the series for me, I hate that. I love Harry Potter and I plan on finishing the series some day. Haha, I'm kind of kidding, then again I am upset I read that part about the ending. Anyway! I loved how I clicked on this article to read a story about romance and a freshly broken summer heart. I realized it was going to be about her love for the two book characters when she said her every footstep was screaming Harry's name. Loved it with a passion! Great job!
 
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BlueSunset said...
Sept. 17, 2012 at 3:42 am:
I absolutely adore your work! It was so cleverly written and you used good descriptive vocabulary. You are very very talented! More articles like this please! p.s. I love Harry Potter too haha ;)
 
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sunshine04 said...
Jun. 2, 2012 at 6:01 am:
i lovedd it so amazing how u described the love affair 
 
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KatnissEverdeenThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
May 31, 2012 at 8:30 am:
This is SUCH AN AMAZING STORY. :D I LOVE HARRY POTTERRRR. <3 
 
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Coral Y. said...
May 30, 2012 at 6:55 pm:
LOVE the Harry Potter books....... my friends don't understand that urge to stay up all night reading a book either. I do it all the time though :)
 
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JessicaRae7 said...
May 30, 2012 at 7:53 am:
I love Harry Potter. This whole piece is amazing! Loved this!!
 
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thelittleghostgirl said...
Apr. 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm:
Oops. Hit "reply" instead of "new comment" sorry 'bout that...
 
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Lindsey31 said...
Apr. 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm:
I LOVE Harry Potter and can totally relate to that part of the article! Nice job!
 
thelittleghostgirl replied...
Apr. 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm :
My God you could be my twin... I. Relate. *happily looks over at my beloved copy of A Tale of Two Cities and my equally beloved Harry Potter books*
 
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Kitty-Anneli said...
Apr. 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm:
wow- i love it and i can totally relate to it! really good job
 
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theautumnleaf said...
Apr. 16, 2012 at 8:00 am:
This is pretty much awesome.
The way you express books as people...I can totally relate.
Great work. :D
 
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RamitaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 3, 2012 at 1:08 am:

This is so amazing (: I can totally relate. I LOVE reading and almost all my friends don't. 

Keep on writing please!

 
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Bandana56 said...
Feb. 10, 2012 at 9:21 pm:
really good job, a couple times i forgot for a sec that you were talking about books and not guys, thats how good it was!!!
 
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Caravana said...
Feb. 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm:
This was so good I loved the way you described it like a love affair. You took something simple and expanded on it so well making it your own. loved it :)
 
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invisibleme said...
Feb. 10, 2012 at 9:24 am:
It was creative and diffrent. i loved every word, it was an unexpected story with a pleasently deciving title. Keep it up ^-^
 
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SaraSmiles said...
Dec. 28, 2011 at 10:48 pm:
Your writing was amazing!I loved it :)
 
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yaythisisavailableThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 28, 2011 at 8:21 pm:
This is absolutely BRILLIANT
 
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SparkoraThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Nov. 14, 2011 at 7:09 pm:
I LOOOOVVEEEEE Harry Potter!! But I was happy he ended up with Ginny in the end. I always thought they were perfect for each other:) The reason for my hating the ending was that it didn't leave any room for continuation!!! It kills me to know there's nothing more to learn:( Awesome story, five stars:)
 
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zadiekatie23This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 1, 2011 at 11:59 am:
This was a brilliant piece of writing. Throughout it I had to keep reminding myself that it was nonfiction. I liked the way you made the characters real people that you had relationships with and connections to. Congrats on making magazine; you deserved it. ;)
 
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