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Grade
8

I walked into my summer cabin, looking down at the ground. Being away from home always made me uneasy. I hugged my pillow closer to my chest as the door shut behind me, closing me in with two other girls. One of them ran over
to me, practically jumping out of her shoes.

 

“Another girl! We
’re going to have so much fun. There’s a lake behind our cabin and the lunchroom is next door! We can sneak in there after dark, like we do every year!” The girl dragged me towards a bunk that had my name on it: Analise. I never liked my name. My parents said they chose it because it “represented our heritage
”. That didn’t matter
 to me.

 

The other girl glanced at me, uninterested, and bent back down over her book. Why couldn’t this be a camp for reading? I thought to myself as I sat down on my bed. I didn’t bring a book with me to read, unfortunately. Before I got bored, though, a bell rang somewhere on camp.

 

“That’s the dinner bell! Come on, I have so many people you need to meet!” The first girl yanked me out the door and into a large cafeteria where many others were sitting. She led me to one
of the tables and introduced me to each person.

 

“This is Jennifer, Emma, Rylee, Rex, Frederick, Ash, Aubrey, and my name is Charlotte and
ohmygoshwearegoingtohavesomuchfuntogether!” Charlotte spoke so fast
that I almost couldn't understand a word she said. I sat down across from the boy
that I thought Charlotte said was Rylee, and he smiled at me. I saw that he was holding a book also: Fahrenheit 451. I had finished that the day before I left for camp.

 

“Have you read this?”
Rylee asked me, smiling. His green eyes glimmered in the dim lights, secrets hidden behind them. His dark brown hair fell over his face, and he reached up to brush it back. He had freckles that brushed his cheekbones and nose, like stars in the galaxy. He was beautiful.

 

“Y-yes, I have.” I stuttered.

 

“Good.”
Rylee looked back down and continued reading. After about five minutes he looked back up at me. I realized I had been
staring, and muttered an apology.

 

“You
haven’t gotten any food yet. Come with me.” He held out his
hand, and helped me stand up. “The potatoes are atrocious, but the sandwiches aren’t bad. I suggest the ham and cheese. Basic, yet filling.” He continued chattering about the daily lunch menus while I looked on. He seemed more interested
about the food here than the book he was reading. Or he was so interested in his book
that he didn’t want to talk. I couldn’t tell. We finally got to the buffet, and I hastily searched for the ham and cheese sandwiches.

 

“A little eager now, are we?”
Rylee returned to my side with a plateful of food. Potatoes were the main dish.

 

“I thought you said the potatoes were atrocious!” I laughed.

 

“Yes, I did. Atrociously good!”
Rylee smiled and grabbed a plastic fork and napkin. We walked back over to the table, sat back down across from each other, and
started talking.

 

For the rest of the summer, we never left each other’s side. We did everything together: swimming, horseback riding, rock climbing. We snuck out of our cabins together and went for midnight swims under the clear sky. We sat and skipped all our daily classes and talked about life. Everything about it. We slowly, but surely, fell in love. It was a slow realization at first; just a small ache when we were apart, and my heart racing when he was near. Then I noticed that whenever my bunkmates talked about love, my mind went straight to
Rylee.

 

On the last day of camp, we had a talent show. I sang a song (and failed miserably at it), but
Rylee played the violin. He started out with a song I had never heard before, but it transitioned into my favorite song. It was heavenly.

 

When he ended, I was in tears. Everyone stood up and clapped. There were no winners awarded that day, but if there was one, I knew it would have been
Rylee. But that was the last time I ever got to see him. Immediately after, my family whisked me away to my home: Florida.

 

I tried to move on. I swear I did. But all the loves I had between
then and now? They never amounted to anything more than a horrible breakup, leaving someone in tears. I was heartbroken.

 

Ten years later, I moved to New York City. Back to
Rylee’s hometown.
Of course, I never tried to contact him. He had moved on, and I had not. It was as simple as that.

 

I had almost forgotten him when I moved to New York. But I could never forget the feeling
that he gave me when he looked at me with his bright green eyes and smirked. And when I walked into that coffee shop the day I moved in, I saw the same green eyes. The same smirk.

 


Rylee!” I
exclaimed, and rushed over to him. He had been staring down at his computer, and I got a glance at what he was doing. Writing. I always knew that he would become a writer.

 


Umm, hi,”
Rylee said, but he didn’t look like he recognized me.

 

“It’s me, Analise! Remember, from the summer camp up in Maine ten years ago?” I asked him. He still didn’t look convinced, and I was losing my enthusiasm. He probably had a family by now. I had no right to be storming into his life like this.

 

“I don’t remember going to a summer camp. Especially not when I was 17.” Rylee chuckled, but then frowned. “Now
that I think about it, I
don’t remember anything from that summer.” Rylee looked down and went back to his writing. I sighed and went to order
some coffee and a pastry. As I was waiting, I looked back at Rylee. It was just my luck
that he didn’t remember me. It was for the best,
anyways. But how could he forget a whole summer?

 

“You really
don’t remember anything?” I asked as I sat down.

 

“Nope. I can’t recall a single event from that summer. Especially not a summer camp.” He put away his computer as the barista called my name. I
went and grabbed my coffee, and when I came back,
Rylee was reading the same book he
was reading that day at camp. Fahrenheit 451.

 

“Remember that book? You were reading it on the first day of camp. And we were talking about it all day…” I trailed off. He wasn’t even listening, but he had to remember. He had to. “Remember when we used to sit on the roof and talk together at night? You would sneak out of your cabin every night.  You almost got caught about fifteen thousand times, but you still
managed to make it up there. We would sit up there, night after night, and sometimes we didn’t even talk. We would lay there, holding hands, watching the stars and clouds and life go by.” He was looking up now, watching me, a curious glint sparkling in his eyes.

 

“Remember when we went kayaking in the lake after lunch one day? We got on the other side of the lake and
started going down
some rapids. We both fell out of the kayak, and we never saw it again. You even broke an arm! How could you not remember that? You were in the infirmary for two days, moaning about how I ‘betrayed you’ in getting you to the nurse. I knew that you were being sarcastic, but I played along.

 

“Remember when we first kissed each other? We were washing the horses. I was rinsing them off with the hose I had, and you sprayed your hose at me and I started chasing after you with mine. But then there was a huge pile of mud that I stepped in and fell over right into you. I landed on top of you, and we laughed about it, and when we stopped laughing you kissed me. It was my first kiss, and I knew I messed it up. I was so embarrassed, but you didn’t care. You just laughed and kissed me again.

 

“Remember all those times? Remember how we fell in love with each other, tore each other apart, and bled out when we left each other? I do. I remember every little thing about that summer, because it was the best summer of my life. I would do anything to get that back.” I finished speaking, tears running down my face. People were staring, but Rylee was smiling.

 

“I remember every part of that summer,” he said, then stood up and kissed me. We were finally united. Finally.

State
MS
Zip Code
39402