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.”

Similar Articles


This article has 136 comments.

Wilde29 said...
on Jul. 2 2010 at 4:45 am
Wilde29, Prai, Other
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
*Slams Oscar Wilde's works on table*

this is pretty cool. the story's kinda sad. But its good. I really like it! Two thumbs up and a smile!

fh4life BRONZE said...
on Jun. 17 2010 at 11:01 am
fh4life BRONZE, Na, New York
2 articles 0 photos 5 comments
I think your story was amazing! and like nothing i ever read before! keep on writing!

on Jun. 10 2010 at 8:01 pm
BlackKittie SILVER, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
8 articles 1 photo 55 comments
this is good...but it doesnt sound natural at some parts...too many adjectives and big words can take away from your main point because the reader is trying to figure out what you mean...over all, its good.keep writing!

on Jun. 10 2010 at 5:53 pm
HurtTiger SILVER, Jacksonville, Florida
9 articles 2 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
Sometimes you gotta be cruel to be kind.
No risk, no reward

This  was amazing.......thats all i can say. :) keep writing please.

Kgirl BRONZE said...
on Jun. 10 2010 at 4:10 pm
Kgirl BRONZE, Hopewell Junction, New York
2 articles 0 photos 30 comments
And that sounded nothing like Jane Austen or Hawthorne.  They lived during a time in which their books would have been banned if even published for creating the imagery of a boy and girl unchaperoned and embracing on a beach.  Plus it wasn't the language they use either...

on Jun. 10 2010 at 12:08 pm
starfishgurl BRONZE, Dgsdfh, Mississippi
3 articles 0 photos 11 comments
I know! The writing painted a beautiful picture in my head. I wanted to read it more and more. So descriptive! :D

on Jun. 10 2010 at 12:07 pm
starfishgurl BRONZE, Dgsdfh, Mississippi
3 articles 0 photos 11 comments
the story was a little - just a little - like the last song. but the writing was your own. very unique and i admire your great detail and amazing talent you put into this. please write more :)

on May. 19 2010 at 9:39 am
x0x0Luckyx0x0 SILVER, Enterprise, Utah
6 articles 2 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Killing under the cloak of war is still murder.."-Albert Einstein.

Don't get me wrong, you did an amazing job, however, I feel like i've read it before. It sounds a lot like "The Last Song" by Nicholas Sparks. The lines are lines I've read before in other books and somehow I feel like maybe you got to carried away with trying to make it sound like all the other love/romance novels and stories out there. Make it your own. This is an amazing peice, but make it more unique to the characters and yourself. :] I really enjoyed this peice.

on May. 10 2010 at 6:34 pm
look if you  want to call someone out for plagirizing, go for it, I respect that. But if you're just going to rip on not only this author but great authors like Jane Austen (not Austin), please keep it to yourself. This is for critiques, not for people to rip on each other, okay 'girrrrrrrl' ?

on Apr. 27 2010 at 6:03 am
PrincessPineapple GOLD, Chesapeake, Virginia
18 articles 0 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
"To love someone is to learn the song that is in their heart, and sing it to them when they have forgotten." ~unknown

Wow! This is an amazing story. the descriptions are beautiful. i can picture the exact scene in my head. well done!

QiYueR. BRONZE said...
on Apr. 27 2010 at 12:35 am
QiYueR. BRONZE, Cave Creek, Arizona
4 articles 5 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.”-Oscar Wilde

This is super good! Keep up the good work!

. said...
on Apr. 5 2010 at 6:03 pm
that's a different way of putting it.

on Apr. 5 2010 at 12:34 pm
PureBlue101 BRONZE, Bellingham, Washington
4 articles 2 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
The Future Belongs to Those Who Believe In the Beauty of Their Dreams.”

--Eleanor Roosevelt

This was a really good story... but it seemed kinda sad that they both figured out that their love was dead. Very good.

Zoya* said...
on Mar. 16 2010 at 6:19 pm
Zoya*, Denver, Colorado
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
The story Summer Skin, by Maria D. really puts a poetic feel to the strongly shown character development that is woven throught her story.

The 3 elements of character development that I saw the most when reading this was Characters opinion, Dialogue and backround knowledge. Each element gets the reader closer to the character being developed.

This story is narrorated in first person foremost. You can really hear what Maria D. was thinking. She would tell me things that were about this person, this character that she was developing. “Maybe it’s because I know you feel me slipping away despite your desperate clutching… Not two hours ago. Or two years ago? It doesn’t matter.” This tells me that this person doesn’t want to loose her, and is holding on tight. I could really start to see this character being formed.

The next element that I thought pieced your character together was Dialogue. You had a very strong dialogue between you and your character.

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

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

“You were the loneliest place I ever been.”

“And you thought I could fix that.”

“I wish I could have.”

When I read this part of your story I could hear this person’s voice. Its seems as if this person is trying to get you back, but you are saying that he was the loneliest place you ever been. I am really starting to get an image of this character.

The last element backround knowledge was really created for me after I read this story. I got a scene that this person did hurt you emotionally, and was trying to get you back. But then again that you missed this person. And that tells me that you had a past with this person.

Your story was very suspenseful and left me with a feeling of joy, but also this feeling of sorry. It’s like you created this character that seemed so connected to you, had disappeared. It was a great story, and I loved it.

Meli138 said...
on Mar. 14 2010 at 11:11 pm
Meli138, GP, Texas
0 articles 0 photos 56 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Like a bird with broken wings its not how high he flies but the song he sings"
"Everybody live like its the last day you will ever see tell me tell me do you feel the pressure now?"

Wow this was amazing! Just so great it was so peaceful and sad. :)

on Mar. 14 2010 at 8:55 pm
Bambi3226 SILVER, Grants, New Mexico
9 articles 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever." - Lance Armstrong

I've said it once, I'll say it again. Love is like a rose. It buds, flourishes, and then...dies. Nice job.

bobgrlz SILVER said...
on Mar. 14 2010 at 1:35 pm
bobgrlz SILVER, Bellevue, Nebraska
5 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There is nothing perfect... Just life." -Sue Monk Kidd, Secret Life of Bees

amazing wording! nice way of describing!

darbie BRONZE said...
on Feb. 20 2010 at 7:56 pm
darbie BRONZE, Ruston, Louisiana
3 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
Politeness, n. The most acceptable hypocrisy.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
US author & satirist (1842 - 1914)

I felt happy after reading this. Just happy. I mean not quite a happy ending. But just an amazing piece. Thank you for writing it.

j-rye SILVER said...
on Jan. 29 2010 at 12:42 am
j-rye SILVER, Toronto, Other
6 articles 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace - Jimi Hendrix

i was drawn in by the first few sentences!

please take a look at some of my peices:)

on Jan. 7 2010 at 6:14 pm
weirdonpurpose SILVER, Georgetown, Texas
6 articles 12 photos 55 comments

Favorite Quote:
art is happening

do you see all these comments...? all the people who love this? i can say i am one of them. your are a true artist, putting poetry in motion.