Summer is gone. When every year gets to this season, it reminds me of someone. Someone who had been so special to me, but eventually ended up becoming nobody.
When I just reached 20, I had a job offer as an English teacher from a private academy. On the first day of work, she was there. She was sitting at the front row in the classroom. Just like anyone who would sit at the front row, she seemed very bright, determined, and hard-working.
Just as I thought, she was a hard worker. Until the academy closes at 10, she stayed up late at night every day in a study room. She came to my office almost every two hours to ask questions. The more she visited my office, the more we became to know about each other. I also found out that she is also 20 and lived in only a few minutes away from my place. So we went home together every day, laughing with silly jokes we share one another.
I did not have any feelings for her at first. Maybe because I thought I am not supposed to. First of all, she was my student. We were at the same age, though. I felt bad to go out with someone I teach. Second, she was too good for me. If I were given a chance to date someone, she looked like the last person I could ever do. She spoke smartly, behaved confidently, and she basically outdid me in almost every part of myself. But she did not seem to be bothered by anything I worry about. So I chose to shelve my sense of guilt for a moment. We often met outside the academy, having dinner or just walking around in our neighborhood.
As the July sunlight poured down, we were strolling at a nearby park lying right next to a small stream. The summer breeze was gently caressing her dark brown hair and the fresh scent from green tree leaves was tickling my nose. We stopped at the bench under a bridge arching over the river and sat down. Not speaking much, we just enjoyed the perfect view that peaceful afternoon was presenting to us.
“Um…”, she suddenly broke the silence.
“I don’t feel it’s right.”
“I don’t go for a walk, have dinner together, or make silly jokes with someone I am not into.”
“So...don’t you have anything to say?”
This is how our story started.
Each day was too short for us. She knew how to make a day look colorful, something I never knew how to. We spoke in our own language, which would have sounded cringy and cheesy to others. But nothing could be more sweet and mellow than that. Being a smart girl, whatever she spoke sounded so right. Every single moment with her I could feel my soul growing up and becoming abundant at the same time.
I could not believe how this kind of luxury can be allowed to me. So I once said to her,
“I think I am in my prime-time throughout my life. I can’t even imagine losing it.”
She replied with her smile instead, which had been my all-time favorite.
Just like any other first-love story, mine is not an happy-ending either. On one summer day serving in the military, she started to not answer my phone call. I thought she might be busy preparing for her finals. But I was wrong. After checking out her social media account, I could find her new photo uploaded. Wearing that smile I like the best, but with a random guy.
For this time, for the first and last, I was right. Those two years with her was my prime-time in my entire life. Not that she is not with me anymore. But after having an unbearable heartache by someone I gave my all, nothing seemed interesting to do over another same plot again.
My summer days are gone, and I have no feelings left for her. That makes sense. More than three years flew away from that heartbreak. She is nobody to me now, but I still cannot forget the way how she adorned my life. She brightened up my world, making everything look so magical. And I am so glad she gifted me a bittersweet but stunningly beautiful moment in my life. Every time I recall that dazzling summer day, sitting next to her and replying with my trembling lips,
“I love you,” I think:
‘Sure, I did love once.’