A fiction based on a collection of SIPA students’ summer love stories
by Sarah Hong
Dear Summer Love,
It’s the beginning of September. I’m back in New York, sitting in one of my classes...when my mind drifts to you.
Do you remember how we met?
I fell in love with you when you asked me “would you like milk and cream?” that one groggy Monday morning. Or maybe it was when we said hello in the elevator on our way to the internship. It was that Saturday night, when we danced the night away.
We were strangers at first, of course. A coworker. A friend’s friend. A Tinder date.
You were...you were, something. Sure, I’ll admit you caught my eyes because you’re cute. But it’s more than that. Maybe it’s because you were the only person I could relate to in a place unknown. Or maybe it’s because you were something new, a breath of fresh air, in a place I was getting tired of.
Maybe we spoke the same language. Or didn’t. Does it matter? We could understand each other, nonetheless. When I looked into your eyes, I was confident that their sparkles meant that you were enjoying us as much as I were.
Do you know that I think about you still?
I think about the time we traveled together. Late night drives, laughter, and deep conversations. That time we watched the sunset together on your roof, when you first put your arms around me. When we would sneak in kisses in front of everyone else. When we sat together and read books in a library, our hands touching the same page and voices saying the same words. When you first held my hand in public.
Slowly, you were trusting me with your vulnerabilities. Whenever we were saying goodbye, you would always hug me so tight. Sometimes you let your emotions slip, letting me think that maybe, just maybe, this is more than what I thought it would be.
But the sun doesn’t shine forever. Summer is over, and I guess we are too. There are so many things left unsaid; I miss you. I miss us. Parts of me still wishes that we were together, but we live in a different world. Whenever your name appears on my WhatsApp contact list and my Instagram feed, my heart flutters - what we could have been only if we lived in the same place, if we were in the same position, if we both had rooms for each other in our hearts.
I wonder, will I ever see you again? Could we have been right for each other? Who knows. All I know is that you are a regular in my mind, as I continue on my life in this concrete jungle. During the MTA rides, walk to school, and happy hours at my favorite bar, you never fail to remind me what we could have been.
Should’ve, could’ve, would have been.