Encounter

May 7, 2008
By
I didn’t read it. Why should I? Why should I show such weakness, especially in front of a hallway full of gaping rubber-neckers? As if they really care. As if any of them expect to offer a helping had, or a reassuring word. All they want is something to put in the news, hot gossip on the latest battle. I won’t give them anything to report, not today.

His icy blue eyes have melted, and become desperate, pleading, as he delivers the letter to me with trembling hands. His movements are slow and seemingly labored, and I know it’s not real. Drama queen. I snatch the letter out of his quaking fingers to put him out of his misery and he cringes, shrinks away from my harsh gesture. Our eye meet, flame to puddle, and he’s doused. He scampers away with his tail between his legs.

I glare at the onlookers, watch them take sides in their heads, before I turn on my heel and march to my next class. There are hardly any of his allies on this front, only a few kids who have a basic idea of who he is. I’d prefer a better audience, with at least one messenger to report the deed back to him. But the show must go on. Whatever evidence this piece of paper holds of his delusions, proclamations of everlasting love, pleadings for forgiveness, this list of grievances must be destroyed. The weapons it conceals, disguised as meaningful words, will blow massive holes into this persona, breaking it down until there’s nothing left. I can’t allow myself to sit exposed, defenseless and vulnerable in front of the enemy. All eyes are on me, or so it feels, and I wrack my brain for a fool-proof strategy to lead me to victory, to regain my honor.

The paper resists, then a satisfying rrrrrrrip breaks the message in half. Another, and it’s in quarters, and after a few more, a meaningless mass of remnants. Each rip lets something loose inside me, like adrenaline or crack; whatever it is it leaves me wanting more. I tear and tear until the pieces are too small for even my fingertips to break, and I’ve won this battle.





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LiveInTheMoment said...
Mar. 13, 2011 at 6:57 pm
This was a great piece. I loved how suspenseful it was. I could definitely relate to it. Keep writing! ;)
 
Nancy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 30, 2010 at 6:41 pm
I'm not sure if this is the same person that left a comment on "Milk, Saltines and Laundry Detergent" but if it is I'm sorry it took me so long to read you piece.  I liked it. The metaphor of being at war was really interesting.  One suggestion, you might make it more clear earlier what the situation is and who's the "enemy."  Other than that it was really nice.
 
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