Joelle had never ran into someone she knew at a bookstore. Back home before she moved all her friends were partiers and never once stepped foot inside a bookstore, but Joelle on the other hand loved books. Even when she was drunk she had tried to read a book before she went to bed. So on a Thursday morning she found herself in the bookstore looking for another read. After moving to Denver she hadn’t brought her books so she needed to get some even if she had read them before. She saw one of her favorite books, The Great Gatsby, on the shelf and she reached for it, her fingers brushing another. “Oh.. sorry..” She looked over at him. “You want to party with Gatsby too?” She laughed. 


You’d just turned twenty-two, and decided to move away from home to pursue a life in New York. The eggs seemed like a good place to be, and you were just happy that your aunt was letting you stay in the sweet little home she owned next to the Sound on East Egg. You’d be there for the Summer, going to school at the college in the central city area. You made friends during the first few days, and they’d already been buzzing and coaxing you to go to one of the famed Gatsby’s parties. So you went in a car with them, feeling slightly underdressed because you thought it’d be something small, and there were people all around flashing mounds of jewelry and overly-sequined dressed. You’d worn a gold, silk dress your mother bought you for your birthday, with a small choker you’d received when you were young. You still remembered the man who gave it to you seven years ago…and your heart still fluttered at the memory. Your first love. The tragedy of its end lived in that necklace once he’d written saying he found someone else; you were only fifteen and “deserved more freedom.” You played with the pearl droplet dangling between the fine carvings of your collar bone, remembering that pain while watching your friends dance with their boyfriends.

Gatsby had finally gotten Daisy to come to one of his parties. Nick was to be thanked for that. For the moment on the dancefloor, it was just him and her—until he saw you. Suddenly he revisited his younger days and the birth of Jay Gatsby. He remembered the younger girl he spent all his time with when her parents were kind enough to give him a place to stay when he couldn’t go home during his services in the military. You were a nice girl, a smart girl, a beautiful girl. He foolishly let you go, thinking your love was temporary, despite your constant letters. Daisy only had one of the hundreds of perfect qualities you possessed. Suddenly, he could see the body language of a goodbye to your friends, Daisy’s quiet swooning drowning out. He had to know if you were the same girl—he had to stop you from leaving. You’d barely just gone out the front door when you heard someone calling your name. You turned to see Gatsby himself. His slicked back hair was losing hold as a few strands of his hair came to his forehead. Neither of you could find words as he met you outside the front door. A smile slowly formed on your face as he struggled to find the words to talk to you. It was hard…you’d grown up so breath-taking.

His constant obsession over Daisy had erased like magic. Just seeing you that night drove him wild with feelings from the past. You told him about your college, that you still wanted to travel the world like when you first met him. He told you about how he came into riches, but you were reminded of something. Daisy was on his mind, Daisy was the lucky girl he did all this for. You could feel that heartache once more, when he lit up seeing the choker he gave you around your neck. His hand drifted up from your pearl choker to your cheek, stroking your cheek. You’d received your first kiss for the first time in years. You were so confused. You weren’t blind each time he left your side he went to see Daisy. You left once the party ended, despite his pleading for you to stay. He knew one of your college friends who gave him your telephone number to call; he didn’t stop. It was just two people having a friendly conversation within the first few minutes, but immediately he would move into confessing his love for you, asking you to overlook what he did to you seven years ago. He’d follow up by asking you to see him, but when you didn’t come, he decided to come to you.

You opened your front door where he stood with at least seven men carrying bouquets of forty roses each. You let him in while he told his servants to leave the roses in the large, empty vases on your porch. You didn’t hesitate as you cupped his face and returned the kiss you couldn’t give him at his party because of doubt. You’d always be anxious because of Daisy, but Jay was always there to make that fear go away. Maybe the past could be repeated…or at least leave its remnants in the future. 

Worn for the Great Gatsby tea party on the Rydel Tea Party Tour

July 11th, 2016