Can We Ever Go Back?

I still have the polaroid of us from that summer.

Jillian Spiridon
7 min readMar 19


Photo by Polina Tankilevitch via Pexels

The July heat always reminded me of us. I could close my eyes and go back to the flare of that welcome warmth as it poured over us in waves. That day in your dad’s pickup truck, it would have been so easy just to reach out for you and trail my fingertips down your cheek. But I held back because we were just friends. You were my best friend — the one to see me through every storm — and I didn’t think you’d want to be with another girl. You always told me about your crushes with your eyes wide and gleaming, the guys of the moment changing from week to week.

When you laid back in bed each night, did you picture one of their faces behind your eyelids? Did you ever wonder what it would be like to kiss them — long and slow or fast and feverish? Did you ever pretend to feel their weight on top of you as you lost yourself in the sensations they awakened under your skin?

Because that was the way it was for me when I thought of you. Sometimes I even smiled as tears burned in my eyes. You were my blessing, but you were also my curse.

The day I left for college, you hugged me tight as if one of us were going to the gallows. “Don’t forget about me, okay?” you said, and I could hear the waver to your voice as if you were on the brink of crying. I closed my eyes and inhaled the soft scent of your favorite peaches-and-cream shampoo. Even now, I could remember how it felt to have you so close yet still so far away. Sometimes it was like we were in different universes entirely.

I nodded then, but I didn’t end up keeping any of my promises.

We weren’t an almost story. We were a never story.

It would have been poignant if it hadn’t been so damn sad.

I kept the one polaroid of us from that last summer. I tacked it to my bulletin board in my dorm room and often stared at it between bouts of study sessions. You were the first thing I saw when I woke up each morning. And you were the last thing in my mind before I fell into a restless slumber.

At parties off-campus, I kissed plenty of girls. I sometimes kissed boys too just to see if one of them might awaken within me an attraction to the opposite sex. But, no, the girls were…



Jillian Spiridon

just another writer with too many cats