Short story: Reminders

This is about how no matter what you do, everything always reminds you of the object of your affection when you’re in love. Basically, when you got it bad.

I’ve been wanting to write some sort of short story for a while, but I’ve been feeling a little uninspired lately. I don’t think it’s earth-shattering or anything, but it’s my best attempt. It was inspired by something my dear Aunt Gigi said about a handsome man, haha. Pretty good for trying to scrape something together at 2 a.m.


When my friend from grammar school said, “I can see why you’re attracted to him. He has a lovable face,” she was talking about the Winnie-the-Pooh doll in the toy store window that I had been lusting after for the past week – and I knew she was. But I couldn’t help but think she was talking about you.

That happens once in a while. I’ll be walking around, minding my own business and suddenly someone says something that reminds me of how wholehearted, undoubtedly, undeniably in love I am with you.

“He is so dreamy,” someone says about Joseph Gordon-Levitt. “Yeah, he is,” I say about you.

“It always makes me feel better at the end of a hard day,” about looking up the kids who were popular in high school on Facebook and seeing how miserable their lives are now makes me think about how we loved to lounge in that place behind Newport Mall with pretty good bubble tea and awful service.

“Man, this is so big,” about Sonic’s Coney Island dog makes me think about – what else? – your gigantic heart.

That song all those hipsters are listening to with the super light and airy instrumentals and the catchy, carefree chorus makes me think of how we wished we grew up somewhere with mountains and pine trees and school buses and trying to compensate by running through the creepy “woods” near the Newark Bridge in the winter. We always tried to go ice skating on the frozen “lakes” without getting kidnapped by the crazy ogres that we were absolutely sure existed and lived in the area, preying on young kids like us. Remember the time we found a gigantic, black bag in the “woods” and thought it was a dead body? I do, and I can’t forget it.

Bottles of Jack make me think of how you had spilled a bottle all over your shirt at a Britney Spears concert after-party on 30th Street that you like to say you crashed. (Everyone knows her street team accosted you after the Heaven and Hell concert. You can’t fool anyone with your hard rock style.) And then the star herself waltzed into the club, lit up the room and began hugging a bunch of people – including you. Remember how you couldn’t stop bragging to everyone about how automatically cool you were? I do, and I can’t forget it.

Toyota Solaras make me think of that day we drove out to Lambertville and got stranded when your car broke down. We shrugged our shoulders, leaned the seats back and spent the night snuggling in your ride – or doing our best to snuggle, anyhow, with the gear stick between us. Remember how you kept me warm with your bomber jacket when the temperatures dropped in the middle of the night? I do, and I can’t forget it.

I had a dream that I was over at your house – well, it didn’t look anything like your real house but in my mind, it was supposed to be your house – and you asked me to sit on your bed where you were laying down. Inevitably, we curled up together and I nestled my face in the crook of your neck. You wrapped your arms around me and said, “Put your hand in my pocket.”

I ran my palm down your side until I found your hip and reached inside. “Now what?”

“No, not that pocket,” you laugh.

I try your back pocket and find something. I pull it out. Tickets to see Foster the People.

“Foster the People!!!” In gratitude, I kiss your forehead, your eyelids, your temples, your cheeks, your nose, your mouth. I kiss you over and over again. “Whoa. Where did you get these? I didn’t even know you liked them!”

“I don’t. But every time I hear their stuff playing in a trendy-young-people store, I think of you.”

“You do?”

“I do,” you confess. “A lot of things make me think of you.”

We kiss and I wake up. It is 3 a.m. and I’ve wasted the whole evening asleep. I realize that I was just dreaming, that none of that was real, but remember that a long time ago, it was.

A week before the concert, I left you for another man and vowed to never look back. Half a year later, I can’t bear to look forward.

So now when I see kids lining up for the premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” I’ll think of the peculiar birthmark on your forehead that you claimed gave you magical powers like Harry.

When I see, smell or taste Indian curry, I’ll think of how much you hate it because you threw up once after having it and you swear eating it would make you sick again.

When I meet a nice, decent man who could respect, love and protect me and do his best to make me the happiest woman this side of the Hudson, I’ll think of how the love of my life could’ve done the same and more.

Remember how I totally missed out on you? I do, and I can’t forget it.


About Summer Dawn Hortillosa

Summer Dawn Hortillosa is a journalist specializing in arts and entertainment. Among other things, she is also an award-winning playwright, director, singer-songwriter and actress. Her work has been seen in The Jersey City Independent, The Jersey Journal and other publications.
This entry was posted in Fiction, Prose, Short Stories and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Short story: Reminders

  1. George says:

    lovely piece.
    But the reference about Newport and bubble tea was odd for me, because it didn’t make any reference to “him” while every other detail did. Unless I missed it, which is possible due to how late it is.

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