Kim This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Her short, black hair flew in every direction after she opened the car window while driving fast on a side street. She abruptly closed it, making my ears pop. Glancing at her out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that she still looked great, while I looked like I'd just rolled out of bed.

Her unpolished fingernails tapped on the steering wheel as we waited for the light to turn green at an intersection. She pushed a cassette into the tape player and cranked the volume up. Screaming to the words of her favorite song, her face became flushed from the growing heat inside the closed car. Suddenly she turned to me and smiled, revealing a set of perfectly white teeth.

"Do you mind if I smoke a butt?" she asked sweetly, knowing full well I'd say yes.

"Of course, it's your car and it's your health," I replied, adding that bit about smoking's cancerous results.

"I know, I know, I gotta quit. Thanks for the reminder," she resignedly stated.

After lighting up, she inhaled deeply and sighed. The car danced to the music as we drove down familiar back roads, not really intending to reach any destination.

I started to wheeze and cough and finally she took the hint. She opened the window just enough to allow the brisk, fall air in, and the smoke out.

Her squinty brown eyes stared out at me from behind eyeglasses. Glancing back and forth from the road to my hair, she put her fiery red cigarette out among the millions of other ashes collecting inside the ashtray.

"Your hair shimmers. I wish I had blonde hair that shimmered," she whimpered, while tousling her own soft, black mop.

"You think you do, but you don't know how unmanageable it can be, and how much time I have to spend on it before I can go out in public!" I retorted.

"Do you realize this conversation sounds exactly like a shampoo commercial?" she announced, obviously trying to change the subject.

This time I took the hint, and I soon found myself looking at the black outfit that she was wearing. Her lack of color and jewelry would have made anyone else think that she understated herself. I knew otherwise. She not only didn't have the money to purchase those things, but she constantly shirked from material possessions because they "shadowed true appearances."

Noticing a bunny rabbit jump out into the street, she swerved and drove over a small bump. She quickly turned her head away from me trying to hide the newly-sprung tears in her eyes, but I saw them.

As we sat in silence, I watched her. She seemed so simple, yet so interesting that I yearned to know everything about her silent complexity.

Brushing the tears off her creamy, white face, she turned to me and laughed.

"I have to laugh, or else I'll start crying again," she blubbered.

"Are you still crying over the bunny?" I softly asked.

"No, I'm just really glad we're friends, ya know?" she sadly remarked, asking a question that I didn't need to answer. By looking into my eyes, she already knew the answer. n

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 8 at 11:41 am
i love this !
honest_iago This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 26, 2014 at 12:09 am
Lovely dialogue :) It felt very authentic, like real people--which is hard to pull off in stories.
Alexia_Grey said...
Dec. 15, 2010 at 10:27 pm
GREAT story i luved it! I quick question tho! why does it finish with ... 'knew the answer. n' i dont know if my computer is glitching or if its not there... so yea.. THAT WAS REALLY GREAT THO!!
missTaco said...
Oct. 8, 2010 at 8:10 pm
i like your story a lot. do ya think y'all could read mine and give an opinion? (btw its my first) thx!
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