Certain Young Dreams

Certain Young Dreams

A Story by Paris Kim

one of my earliest works, written in 2007 i believe. the young continue dreaming, those around admire.


“What, Terry?”

“Refresh my memory and tell me all about how we’ll turn out.” Sam Morgan and Terry Danes, sitting outside in the sun, were having their lunch at Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café, a fun and lively little diner that became their personal rendezvous in the past four months. She had something from the breakfast menu, the French Toast “Deuces Wild,” and he was devouring a filling Crunchy Asian Tofu Salad. The place was Emeryville, a nice warm Saturday with occasional breezes from San Francisco Bay, blue skies, semi-busy streets lined with hollowed-out and revamped warehouses with the occasional Emery-Go-Round transportation whizzing by the white block of eatery that had RUDY’S CAN’T FAIL CAFÉ in neon blue letters on a backsplash platform of orange and white stripes, situated just on the roof overlooking the street.

As Sam took a sip of fresh-squeezed orange juice, he dabbed his mouth with his napkin, and remembering Terry’s plea, began, “My God, I’ve only figured this all out last night sweetie! I haven’t even gotten up to seven years!”

Terry simply shrugged her shoulders. “Alright, then just sum up the next two years for us. Please, last night you were so full of enthusiasm for those years, and how I’d love to hear it all again!”

He contemplated her reasoning as he slowly chewed his salad. He took another sip. “Well, love,” He began in a rather soothing voice, looking down and mixing his salad, “You have one more year for your scholarship at the SF Academy of Art, and I have one more year myself until I graduate from Cal.” He looked up at her; her face looked blankly at him with only a smile. He went on. “In that time you’ll find an internship for a studio, to get your photography career going.”

“Sam, you know how badly I want to work for a magazine. Why would I want to start at a studio?” Terry disagreed.

“Baby steps,” Sam reminded.

“F**k baby steps, you know how long it takes for a child’s mind to develop?”

He ignored her and continued, “I’ll finish up my bachelor’s degree, and if I still have my job here at Rudy’s, I’ll have enough saved up and we’ll find a place together.”

“Please do,” Terry commented again, “my roomie’s a killer! I’m just dying to be with you.”

 “Ok, well when we find a place you’ll continue to commute to San Francisco and until we graduate, you’ll hopefully have worked up some deal with a magazine, and I’ll work some more in the summer. Then the next year we’ll hopefully have enough saved up to go to London. I‘ll get my work permit and we’ll obtain visas, and I’ll apply at the best magazines available. We’ll work as a team, journalist and his photographer. ”

“London! I’ll get to shoot at Abbey Road.” In excitement she squeezed his hand and leaned over to give him a peck on his cheek. “Oh it’s all wonderful sounding. You really think it’s possible.”
            Sam, assuring her beaming brown eyes and wide smile, said, “I’d make sure anything was possible for us.”


A woman and her eight-year-old-son got out of their car that was parked in the adjacent lot, and she couldn’t fail to notice Terry’s random act of affection. She eyed the young, active student with a slight envy and jolt of desire. She began to think about her own husband, their nine years together, their divorce papers mutually signed two months ago. She was seeing someone new, but the feelings weren’t the same. She had matured, she had aged. Her emotions weren’t as wild, her heart not as affectionate. The affection was mostly directed toward her only child, whatever was left over she transformed into motivation, which she put towards her tedious career. Even as they went inside and stood waiting to be seated, she continued to watch the young couple, sitting in each other’s presence and making the most of their moment together.

She reminisced on her own past, her romance she failed to appreciate until it was too late. As she was led to her seat in the back of the cramped diner, she flashed one more look at the couple and hoped that their relationship wouldn’t stand a chance in the future to come. But then she saw her son, gaily tapping at the “Operation” game encased within the transparent surface of the table, laughing. She smiled, and suddenly regretted her spite towards the innocent sweethearts, whose only offense was having their lunch and enjoying it together.


“Are we ready?” Sam asked as he drew out his debit card after reviewing the receipt. Terry was the first to stand up and waited for Sam, as the waitress hadn’t returned with his card. When she finally came back, she said, “Too bad you don’t work Saturdays, Sam.”

“Hope that’s not a problem Sue,” he replied sarcastically, and he and Terry walked down the street arms enfolded around each other. As they neared Sam’s Jetta, he stopped suddenly and stomped his foot in disgust. “God-damn it!” he swore, “I just remembered that I didn’t put enough change in the meter. I hope that we didn’t get a ticket. Just an honest mistake.”

Terry tried to conceal her knowing giggles. “Don’t worry about it,” she began to explain, “I noticed that you didn’t put enough, so I added some more. You should’ve saw your face when you stomped. Hilarious!” She full-on laughed out loud. He eyed her with both wonder and bewilderment. “What a mess I’d be without you,” he said as smiled and put his arms around her.

They drove up to the Oakland Pier past the Emeryville Bay shops and the colossal Ikea store at the edge of the Bay. They drove past buildings and remote streets along a narrow stretch leading up to cypress trees enclosing the way to the dock. They parked the car, but decided to sit awhile and listen to whatever was on the radio. Only Terry’s window was cracked open, and the music escaped, being loud enough for a police officer strolling along the path. Hearing the racket he turned his head to see where the faint cacophony was coming from. He saw the two youngsters seated in the car, singing along to a soft indie tune. He had a notion to confront them, but after giving a thought to their happiness, he walked on shaking his head and smiling. “Young kids,” he chuckled. He decided to let them have their moment of amusement.

They finally decided to get out and made their way to the Pier. It was two in the afternoon, and the wind had picked up to rapid speeds as they collided against the currents of the water. The air began to smell of salt and passed rapidly through Terry and Sam’s lungs, both taking in the relaxation and ecstasy it brought to their walk. They kept close to feel each other’s warmth and the comfort of not being alone, of being with someone special at a moment like theirs. The wind was beating against the aged wood of the Pier, and pressed against the couple’s stiff bodies as they came up to the far edge of the ramp overlooking the Bay.

The two stared into the distance, into the sky beyond the visible Golden Gate Bridge and then down into the Pacific. Terry looked up at Sam, and nudged in closer to him, using his height as protection against the now strong wind. Seagulls suddenly touched down on the ramp and skipped about, scavenging for remnants of leftover food left about from the snack vendor or remains of fish abandoned by fishermen. Terry found amusement in their hunt, and, pulling out her coin-purse, went to the vendor and purchased herself a bag of stale popcorn. She ripped the bad open and individually scooped out pieces which she fed to the small but quick gulls. Sam followed her motives and began to take some pieces himself, and chucked them at the birds as well.


An elderly couple, in their mid-sixties, happened to be strolling by, doing nothing in particular, not even engaging in conversation together. They simply walked about the gusty Pier, passing these two younger lovers, happily feeding little seagulls for both the benefit of the gulls and for their own enjoyment. The young woman began to laugh, her voice full of contentment and elation. The aged couple paused to examine these two, a couple forty years their junior, who seemed to find delight in each other’s company.

These two were people, much younger in spirit, in physicality" they could stand each other and love one another; years seemed to be the only excuse that was keeping this worn pair from doing the same. But a person’s youth and spirit could never be changed, it could never be tied down and make way for bitterness and silence. The old couple looked at each other. The two of them may have been older in age, but had their spirits and tolerance altered? They had been together all these years, stayed by each other’s side for the sort of person they were. They still were, but now they had forgotten to admire the things that had first lured them together. The elderly gentleman and woman began to walk again, this time smiling at each other with affection, and laughed along with the young sweethearts who were still tossing popcorn to the gulls.


When the seagulls had flown away, Terry turned her back to lean on the ramp, and tilted her head into the sky, inhaling the deep scent of the ocean and fresh air. She turned to Sam, who was now leaning over the edge of the ramp, his mind fixed on seaweed floating towards the Pier.

“Sam, don’t!” Terry cried as she struggled to pull him back.

“Christ! Terry,” he snapped, but calmed his nerves as he stepped back. “I’m alright.” They were silent for a second.


“What now, Terry?”

“Tell me again all about how we’ll turn out.” She began to grin, taking his hand into hers and holding them close to her chest in a manner of appreciation.

Sam looked down at her, and returned the smile. “We’ll turn out all right,” he assured her.

© 2011 Paris Kim

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Added on March 1, 2011
Last Updated on April 8, 2011
Tags: love, couples, San Francisco Bay Area, people, people watching, ocean


Paris Kim
Paris Kim

San Francisco, CA

an optimistic college student who takes her life growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area and turns it into truthful fiction. always finding a way to smile and laugh and make the most of anything thro.. more..

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