This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by Figment, the online community writing site for young readers and writers.
I fling open the door, bracing myself against the cold November wind. The force of the chilly air knocks the breath from me, but I don't care. I need to be reminded that I still need to breathe.
Maybe he'll call me tonight...
Maybe he's just as lost as I am...
Maybe I'll face the fact that he's forgotten about me.
Never in a million years would anyone have expected a boy like Luke Gray to take notice of a girl like me, Emma Jacobs. But, at the beginning of my junior year, the senior star running back for the Westside Rebels asked for my number.
I thought that only a fool would turn down that opportunity, so I of course gave it to him.
But I'm still a fool.
In a small town, word travels fast. The football star and the lyricist were dating by Labor Day. By then, everyone was convinced we were meant to be. Everyone thought we made an adorable couple with our matching brown hair, green eyes, and freckles. (And, I must say, we did.)
Everything was perfect. From our first kiss after the homecoming game (we won 46-12), to hearing those three little words fall from his lips on senior night.
He loves me. He loves me.
That very night, the words chorused in my head and I went home, grabbed my guitar, and wrote a song.
Call me Taylor Swift. I don't care.
You should hear the breakup songs.
I cheered for #82 all season long. After each game, he would slip his red and white letterman jacket over my shoulders and kiss me on the tip of my nose. "It looks better on you," he'd say and smile, even though it was two sizes too big and totally consumed me.
He was always so sweet, and totally honest and caring. Everyone has always loved Luke. I desperately loved him- - although I'm not sure if he knew how much.
I don't know if I even knew.
Luke always, always looked forward to the future. He was headed for college to play football -- maybe one of the only things that truly mattered to him. His eyes would light up when he'd talk about touring the campus or football practice and I should have seen then that he was slipping away.
Graduation. He was so incredibly handsome in that cap and gown, proudly waving his diploma and sending a wink in my direction as he walked across the stage.
Our summer was short. He spent most of the time in practice. I was working, saving up for a car. We made crazy plans and wishes on stars while sitting in the back of his truck on so many summer nights. He promised to call me every day. He swore that being 150 miles apart wouldn't change anything. He'd look me in the eyes and say he loved me and I believed him with all my heart. I knew everything was going to be okay.
The night before he left was the last time I saw him. Just him and me spent the evening at the lake, talking and just being there with and for each other. I was already missing him and crying by the time it was time for him to take me home.
Before I got out of his truck, Luke kissed me like it was the last time we'd ever kiss. "Emily," he said eventually. He reached into the backseat and pulled out his letterman jacket. "I want you to keep this. Until I get back." Luke smiled at me and placed it around my shoulders and kissed the tip of my nose, just like in the wintertime.
"I love you," He said.
And then he was gone.
Nearly four months later, I'm standing outside in the dying light, tugging Luke's jacket closer to my body to shield myself against the cold wind. He said I could keep it until he got back.
But he never came.
I don't know what happened. That first week he called me every day. The second week, every other day. The third, twice. The fourth, once. By September, he stopped calling at all.
I thought maybe he'd come back to town to visit. But his parents moved closer to the college. He had no reason to come back.
Except for me.
I called. I waited. I called.
No answer. I know through mutual friends that he's alive and well.
I also know through mutual friends that he's found someone who isn't me.
I don't know if it's better like this. Everything is perfect until, one day, it's gone. There was never a hint that he'd change like that. There was no sign that he was falling out of love. I had no clue that I was so forgettable.
The jacket still smells like him. I only allow myself to put it on when I can't do anything else to alleviate the pain. I know I should stop. I should burn it, or store it away, or give it back. But I can only sit and trace his name, trace the number 82, bury my face in the red and soak it with my tears.
He's forgotten me.
I guess in a world outside of senior high, there's too much for him to see --
Enough to make him forget about me.