Summer Skin | Teen Ink

Summer Skin MAG

By Maria Diaz SILVER, Phoenix, Arizona
Maria Diaz SILVER, Phoenix, Arizona
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The cool breeze sifts through my limbs, slipping and sliding through unexplored parts. For a moment the rest of the world slips away, scrubbed clean and absolved by the waves. I’d like to dive into that ocean, feel the water crash down on me, suppress me, remind me that I’m not the only thing that matters. But I can’t. Not now. Not yet. I should be here when you wake up, because that was the one sincere promise I made you.

I don’t even want to try leaving right now – not when it was you who looked at me in that way that taught me what it was to feel the ground beneath my feet disappear. Tiny rivulets of water slither down your temple, and I’m tempted to brush them away. I hold back, remembering what my father always told me: “The one you mark is the one you keep.” And I don’t want to mark you because I’m not sure if I’ll keep you. I’m not sure if I’ll keep you, and I’m even less sure about whether you’d survive it. Maybe it’s because I know you feel me slipping away despite your desperate clutching, like the grains of sand you held so tightly in your palm not two hours ago. Or was it years? It doesn’t matter.

The past has passed, and what’s left of it except a few recollections that’ll be buried beneath a surface of newer memories? Maybe you don’t feel the same way, and you’ll wake believing that the past is the segue to our future. Oh, what I wouldn’t give so that you’d wake to think about your next encounter instead. A part of me – the part that wishes this would never end – wants to convince me that I should stay, because you’re too bruised and too vulnerable and too fragile to do this on your own. The part of me that knows it’ll just be later rather than sooner overpowers the other.

The sand shifts slightly and, without looking, I know you’re reaching out for me. I bite down on my tongue gently, forcibly swallowing a groan of frustration. Against my better judgment, I offer you my hand and feel yours slip into it, entwining and tangling. Your hand is as familiar to me as my own, the leathery feel of your skin and long-dried salt strangely comforting. How could it not be, when I can recount thousands of paths traced upon the lines of my face with the wandering pads of your thumbs? Every trail embedded on your palm tells of every secret meeting we’ve had, all testaments to our fairy-tale story.

Fleetingly, I wonder if I’ll have the courage to stay when the silvery tones are replaced by glowing warmth. Then you stir again and it’s not hard for me to remember why I can’t stay within fields of golden scenery and humid, still air.

You exhale and I inhale. The moon is bright, illuminating the sky and shining like a large quarter in the expanse of navy blue above us. I tilt my head and glance at you, carelessly sprawled out. Surely you wouldn’t be so nonchalant if you knew. Your sunset skin and long limbs make me think of our summer, brightness and oceans bursting behind my eyelids. Your face is all angles and planes, like a high school geometry lesson. You’re squirming again, and I know that it’ll be only a matter of minutes before you wake.

“You’re leaving?” Your voice is rough with sleep, but somehow it’s still like warm molasses.

“Well, you’re awake now,” I say neutrally. It’s not a direct answer, and I know you hate it.

Your hand slips from mine and you rub your eyes, so blue they put the spring sky to shame. “Are we ever going to talk?”

“There’s nothing to say.” I shrug and promptly wince, remembering why I hate the sun. My shoulders are red and achy, sensitive even against the thin fabric of my shirt.

“Okay.” You nod slowly. “Okay.” We’re quiet for a few moments before you reach out and brush a strand of hair from my face. I know there’s more to this. “Things get lost without anyone noticing on the way, you know.” Your tone is quiet. Not angry. Not sad. Quiet.

“We’re a mistake we knew we were making,” I reply. “Four weeks isn’t enough to make something real. It’s not like we could have had forever.”

“Love that’s real doesn’t need to have forever,” you say, just as quietly.

I contemplate my words carefully. In the end, honesty wins over tact. “This isn’t real.”

It takes another long, steady moment before you decide to speak again. When you do, I sigh with weariness.

“You were the loneliest place I’ve ever been in.”

“And you thought you could fix that?”

“I wish I could have.”

We are both looking up at the sky, wondering why the stars aren’t out. Maybe they’re hiding behind a veil of thin clouds. Your arm is barely brushing mine, almost inconceivably. I think of how many times I pictured this moment, this ending point. It’s nothing like the dramatic scene in my mind. It’s almost as if the strings connecting us had been snapping one by one, softening the final blow.

I’ll miss you, your broad smile and loud laughter. I can close my eyes and almost picture you bounding up the stairs to my family’s summer home. I’ll miss the days we spent on the dock, playing that stupid game where we name the passing boats. I’ll miss your black leather jacket that always smelled of humid afternoons and sunshine. I’ll miss your golden hair and the small freckles that dot the bridge of your nose and the tops of your cheeks. I’ll miss the birthmark right below your left shoulder blade, the one shaped like Italy. I’ll miss your family. I’ll miss your dog. I’ll miss your room. I’ll miss your car.

Somehow, despite all of this, I still say, “See you around.”

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This article has 136 comments.

on Jan. 16 2011 at 8:32 pm
Ms.Anonymous GOLD, Sanford, Florida
11 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Suck it"

This is beautifully written. I felt like I was in your shoes. (And it was kind of relatable for me in some way.) I love how descriptive you are, it really brings the piece to life. It was like I was watching a movie! I really love this piece, congrats it's my new favorite, keep writing, I'm sure we would all love to read more of your work (:

TorioT4 BRONZE said...
on Jan. 16 2011 at 7:38 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 veryy beautiful great illustration of real lifee some parts were a little confusing but you tied it together very well

on Jan. 16 2011 at 1:24 pm
lswithspunk BRONZE, Opheim, Montana
3 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
\"why take life seriously, none of us make it out alive anyway\"
\"censorship is like telling a man he cant have a steak because a baby cant chew it\"--Mark Twain

Sometimes stories are best when they're discreet.  That way you can daydream about what happens next. :)

Loved It!

on Jan. 16 2011 at 5:52 am
alwer299 BRONZE, Florence, Massachusetts
1 article 1 photo 27 comments

Favorite Quote:
when in doubt, eat chocolate.-me
fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant, filled with odd waiters, who bring you things you never asked for, and don't always like.

- Lemony Snicket

wow. very good. totally origanal. i dont have enough sleep to write complete sentences.

MDiaz said...
on Dec. 24 2010 at 1:02 am

Hey, guys.

It's the author here. I haven't really been on this site (or revisited this story) for a long while now. I get e-mail notifications from comments all the time, but I usually just delete them after all of the accusations of plagiarism. Given how good my syntax is, I think you all know that I'm not stupid. Posting a plagiarized story on a public forum is flat-out idiotic.

But anyway. I wrote this long before The Last Song ever came out (I'm not sure about the book, but I definitely posted this way before the movie was out), but now that the comment has been made, I definitely see the similarities. 

As for all the questions and the suggested supernatural aspect of it, I don't really have any answers. Like I said, this story was based on the song "Summer Skin" by Death Cab for Cutie. It was just a scenario that popped into my head as a result from the song, so I didn't really flesh out any sort of plot. I had to write a Teen Ink entry for my junior year English teacher, so I just kind of banged this out, really. I apologize for leaving you all with so many questions.

Thank you for anyone who was left kind, encouraging, and thoughtful comments. :) They are very much appreciated, as are the helpful critiques.

As for the hateful comments, I don't particularly care about what you have to say. I have my talent and class while all you have are spiteful words. I think it's clear who the winner is here.

Thanks again, guys!

TeenStar25 said...
on Dec. 3 2010 at 2:34 pm
hey fuzzy not much how bout u

pickle*eater said...
on Dec. 3 2010 at 2:30 pm
thats ur comment lol

TeenStar25 said...
on Dec. 3 2010 at 2:29 pm
Hi fuzzy pickles didnt u love this article????????????

pickle*eater said...
on Dec. 3 2010 at 2:27 pm
wats up teen star?

TeenStar25 said...
on Dec. 3 2010 at 2:27 pm
sure what r the called

on Dec. 3 2010 at 12:20 pm
skyblue95 PLATINUM, Bear, Delaware
35 articles 1 photo 40 comments

Favorite Quote:
I am paraphrasing, of course. "My only fear is that when they are turned to loving they will find we are turned to hating." -Reverand Msimangu, Cry, The Beloved Country (a book by Alan Paton)

Absolutely amazing. I actually felt that some (or all) of this had actually happened to you. It was pure genious (sorry, I'm not good with spelling, and I know it's wrong, haha). Anyway, if you can, I would really appreciate it if you commented on some of my work. I need feedback and reviews. Thanks and keep writing!

Chanchie GOLD said...
on Dec. 3 2010 at 7:05 am
Chanchie GOLD, Trivandrum, Other
17 articles 4 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
A writer who writes without zest, without gusto, without fun, without love is only half a writer.
-Ray Bradbury

this was...just too good!! :)

on Nov. 11 2010 at 8:47 pm
MayaChristine GOLD, Stocksfield, Other
11 articles 0 photos 28 comments
This is amazing! You write beautifully. I love it, and I'm adding it to my favourites :D xx

on Oct. 28 2010 at 12:05 pm
Beautiful! I love it. :)

on Oct. 20 2010 at 4:14 pm
Someone_Who_Is_Loved GOLD, Mount Forest, Other
10 articles 0 photos 82 comments

Favorite Quote:
This quote is one I made up.....
"You can't climb a mountian without a harness." It means that you can't go where you want to get in life without the help of your friends or family.

I agree with DiamondsIntheGrass.... Im confused too..... :/

on Oct. 20 2010 at 4:13 pm
Someone_Who_Is_Loved GOLD, Mount Forest, Other
10 articles 0 photos 82 comments

Favorite Quote:
This quote is one I made up.....
"You can't climb a mountian without a harness." It means that you can't go where you want to get in life without the help of your friends or family.

Ya, but I had questions that sum readers SHOULDNT have. And I had tons of them too :) Whatever, I still like the story

on Oct. 20 2010 at 11:52 am
JordanNicole SILVER, Spartanburg, South Carolina
7 articles 0 photos 44 comments

Favorite Quote:
\"Love is strange, powerful, and sneaky. You won\'t know it until you find it...and when you have it, never let it go!\" ~JordanNicole

I totally agree with MaddieGr. As a writer you want your audiance to ask questions and send feedback. That way you can help them understand your work and become a better autor at the same time.

on Sep. 28 2010 at 8:55 pm
Alice_in_Wonderland GOLD, San Clemente, California
16 articles 0 photos 620 comments

Favorite Quote:
“I could give up, I could stay stuck, or I could move on, So I put one foot front of the other, No no no nothing’s gonna break my stride, “ –David Archuleta (The Other Side of Down)

Wow! Great job! I liked it.... will you please read and comment my articles?

on Sep. 28 2010 at 12:58 pm
Piccalily_Potter GOLD, Staffordshire, Other
15 articles 0 photos 8 comments
You write really well; great grammar, style, vocab etc, though I didn't really understand. Obviously that's a major flaw, but everything else was great so you are obviously a talented writer. Please check out my stuff.

on Sep. 28 2010 at 7:03 am
dizzydoo BRONZE, Grand Mound, Iowa
3 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
Realized today that the evening news always starts with "good evening" then proceeds to tell you why its not

wow that was a great story, i really loved the detail..........keep writing!