This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by Figment.com, an online community writing site for young people.
By Jaelynn Anderson
What's my favorite part about summer?
As I raced through the brilliantly colored lavender field, with daises mixed in between, I thought over the summer. I thought about how I wanted to go back in time.
I wanted to memorize every little detail of his perfect face, the planes of his chest. What it felt like when we kissed.
Our favorite thing to do was have races in this beautiful field, one of my favorite places in the whole wide world.
The one thing I had left was my faith.
And my love.
My beautiful, sweet undiluted love.
One of my much loved songs, ‘American Honey’ by Lady Antebellum began to drift through my mind.
“She grew up on the side of the road, where the church bells ring and strong love grows. She grew up good; she grew up slow, like American honey.”
“Nothing’s sweeter than summertime and American honey.”
“I miss him,” I said. Slightly breathless after racing through this stunning field, I sat down in the middle of those amazing, fragrant flowers.
He was my best friend, my confidant. The one person I could depend on.
And now he was gone.
He had, at the insistence of his overbearing father, gone off and joined the Navy. I remembered that conversation as clear as day it happened.
“I really don’t want you to go.”
“I have to. My father said I need to fight for our country, that it would make me a man.”
“But you’re already a man. You’re mine. I suppose you have to go, but know my love will always be with you.”
Everyone had told me he would return. That was three years ago. Now I was going off to college, Harvard as a matter of fact. I would be jumping into this crazy life head-on.
I continued to ponder what my life would have been like had he chosen to stay. We would have built a life, had a family. I even had a cute little house picked out that was the prettiest shade of blue I had ever seen. That was no longer a possibility, because he was gone.
That had been one of the most agonizing days of my life.
It was an unusually hot summer day, when the naval officer pulled up in front of my dad's house.
He took off his cap and said “Are you Miss Lillian Johnson?” he asked with a look of sorrow on his face.
I was immediately filled with dread. “Yes, Sir that’s me. What is it?”
“I regret to inform you that Jonathan Alexander has been killed in action.”
I froze. My heart shattered into a thousand pieces. Jonathan, my Jonathan. Gone, never to return to our little southern town.
“Please tell me this isn’t true. This can’t be.” I broke down and began to shed tears like a faucet was let loose inside my soul.
He took one more look at me, gave me a hug and said “I’m sorry, Ma’am. I’m so sorry.”
I came back to the present. He’s been gone for so long, but he would want me to be happy. He would want me to love again.
It just wasn’t possible. Maybe one day, but not now.
He would always be my love, my other half.
I wasn’t quite ready to leave Taylorsville, Georgia. I wasn’t ready to live my life without my love by my side, but I remembered one thing he said long ago.
“Lillian, promise me you’ll always remember one thing.”
I smiled. “Yes, Jonathan?”
“There’s nothing sweeter than summertime.”