Sam Chalekian | When August Left June
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When August Left June

When August Left June

When August left June, he often wished to slip back in time for one more night with her. Sitting alone on the hard mattress at the top of his eight story walkup, there were days when her embrace would have palliated his hardships. Eventually this desire faded, for time put distance between the two of them. Yet he found it difficult to forget June, for it seemed her birthday was engraved in his skull, her phone number tattooed on his arm. He need only see something and then she would burst into his mind, her memory overtaking his present.

July did his best to console August, for he was no stranger to Indian summers himself. One night, while hunched over cold beers in the fading heat, August explained, “I feel like I’ve been tossed into the ocean after sitting on the beach,” He took a sip of his beer, and sunk back further into his metaphor. “I knew high tide was coming, but I never expected it to wash me away.” July slapped him on the back and with a wide grin said, “There’s plenty of fish in the sea, you just need to date other girls.”

But August had tried to date other people. May was perfect for him, everyone said so. An effulgent, vivacious girl who always wore a smile and a flowing dress. On the eve May left to visit June, she told him breathlessly that she loved him. The words tumbled out of her, full and bright, replete with the joy that life brings. “August,” she said, “I love you, I love you so much,” August smiled wanly, and said, “I love you too.” But when she left the next day, waving and laughing and promising a thousand happy tomorrows, he couldn’t say he wanted her back.

Then one day, November came along. She was sickly, her eyes heavy with dew, her body smoldering against his. November left deep trenches of silence between them, filling them with what she considered to be quiet affection. She clung to him and forced him to think of things to say. August could never leave a silence alone, so he filled the void with half thoughts and meandering dialogs. The sound of his own voice infuriated him, so August left her, flabbergasted, clutching at his heels, clawing for a reason.

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