10/29/2012 03:32 pm ET Updated Dec 29, 2012

A 'Moonrise Kingdom'-Style Romance

Dear Sam,

I'm a hopeless romantic. I'm not sure if you knew that when you kissed me.

To me, a kiss has always been, in Edmond Rostand's words in Cyrano de Bergerac, "A pledge properly sealed, a promise seasoned to taste, a vow stamped with the immediacy of a lip, a rosy circle drawn around the verb 'to love.'" I'm not sure what it meant to you, but that's what it meant to me.

But we began with gravestones that summer, your smile animated in the dusk of a cemetery. We treaded the line between friendship and romance, and I didn't know where you stood. I had a summer bucket list. I said I had things to do before I died. One of them was to visit a cemetery. Now, that seems somehow symbolic, as if our summer fling, or whatever you call it, was doomed from its very outset.

You were going off to college in the fall, and I still had to complete my senior year of high school. There was a bridge that you were about to cross over that I couldn't follow. Yet I held on anyway, for that fleeting hint of summer romance that I so desperately craved.

I liked how you used phone calls, the traditional way, rather than texting or Facebook messaging, as many guys do these days. In the night, our words seemed to mingle through the phone wires, as if occupying some third space between where I was and where you were. You asked me why I believed in existentialism. I couldn't give you an answer.

You said I reminded you of "Moonrise Kingdom," the oh-so-hipster film directed by Wes Anderson. Now, I think maybe you just wanted me to help you recapture that feeling of freedom and innocence encapsulated by the two adorable leads. You wanted me to help you feel young again, one last time, before you headed off to college.

So you kissed me. I even set it up perfect, albeit unintentionally. I wanted you to come explore the abbey with me, because the romantic side of me had always dreamed of wandering in the deserted meadows behind the abbey with a boy. So you came and we saw butterflies with orange wings, tall grasses and a stone hovel.

This is the moment I cannot forget. This is the moment I freeze your image in -- when you took a step into the dark stone hovel, turned back, and extended a hand, palm facing up. You didn't let go, instead, pulling a hand around my waist and taking another step forward.

I'm a hopeless romantic, and I can't let go of that moment. I'm not sure if you knew that when you kissed me.

You didn't call afterwards.

Some things, I reasoned, I had to let go of before they let go of me. So I wrote you, just like the kids in "Moonrise Kingdom" wrote letters to each other. Just a few words scrawled onto a Post-it note, yet holding so much fear and confusion. "If this is just a summer fling, we can stop here," I drafted for the fifth time, "but I hope you find everything you're looking for."

And I meant it. I hoped you found the girl of your dreams, the discovery you hoped to one day make, the future you so eagerly craved. But I left out my last hope -- that after you found everything, you would remember a stolen kiss in a holy hovel and come back to resurrect what I had reluctantly relinquished.

Your return postcard was cryptic, referencing the future and the day that you would play me a song and show me the first letter. I believe it. I wrote a story in my head in the sparse style of the New Testament of the day that we meet again. I believe it.

I'm a hopeless romantic. I'm not sure if you knew that when you kissed me.

It's autumn now. But now I can't forget it. I can't forget you, or the kiss, or the stone hovel, or the feeling of "Moonrise Kingdom;" of being young and carefree. I hope I read that letter someday. I hope you come back. I hope you remember the silence of summer. I hope you remember me here at summer's end.