A Wish For Her This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.

“Is that her?”
“What? Who?”
“Shh … here she comes.”

“Oh … her.”

We avert our eyes as she walks by. We clutch our books tightly to our chests, stare down at our sneakers, and hold our breath as she passes. Whispers follow her like shadows as she scurries up the stone stairs, through the metal doors. Lisa and I exchange looks. The bell rings in our ears, and we head inside.

“Who’s she with today?” Lisa asks at lunch.

“Toby,” I scoff, biting into my ­sandwich.

“Figures. Apparently they had a great time at Jack’s apartment last weekend.” I make a face.

“Disgusting.” Lisa laughs.

“I bet she has all sorts of diseases.”

“I bet she’s wearing his sweatshirt. The one that smells as bad as he does.”

“I bet she’s gonna be one of those girls who never goes to college and ends up on the street.”

“I bet she’s gonna be a …” I look around to make sure no teachers are listening, “whore.”

That’s her new name. It spreads like a foul disease around the school, through the hallways, passed from one lip-gloss-smeared mouth to the next. Some kids just call her “The W,” or “The H” for the stupid ones who can’t spell. It’s what she is. It’s who she is. And none of us like her. None except Toby and Mitchell and all those guys who are too dumb to see her for who she really is. We see her kissing guys in the alley after school each day, like she doesn’t even care, like she doesn’t even know.

Don’t worry, we’re gonna make her realize who she really is. We’re gonna make her feel so bad she’ll shrink like a little mouse and learn her lesson and stay away from all of them, especially Devin, who liked me all of sixth grade ’til she stole him last summer.

We isolate her. We don’t speak to her, not even when she asks what the homework for last night was. Find it out yourself, stupid. We leave notes in her locker, and we snicker as she walks by.

Have you learned your lesson yet, princess? Are you ever gonna stop wearing so much lipstick and eyeliner and skirts that are way too short? Are you ever gonna put out that cigarette or throw out those bottles? You’re 13 – what’s wrong with you? Didn’t your parents ever teach you what’s right and wrong? Half the grade hates you. Sticks and stones, you say, but soon it’ll be real. I will smash up your pretty face if I have to. I’ll break your bones. I could snap your neck over my knee.


I walk home from Lisa’s house, and I take the long way because I want to look at the moon and the stars. I want to cross the cornfield, because once I saw a shooting star. I have to walk through the sketchy neighborhood to get there, though, but I should be okay if I hurry.

Suddenly, I hear a man’s voice ­coming from one of the houses, the one with the shingles falling off and the rusty car in the driveway. He is yelling. I rush behind a tree, heart ­racing so loud I’m sure he can hear. Suddenly I see a familiar figure. It’s her. She and the man are yelling at each other. He lashes out at her, and I wince. I can hear the slap.

And then the door closes. She is alone, and she sits on her porch steps. And she cries. I’ve never seen her cry before. Alone, with no boys, out in the cold night, crying, crying, crying so hard she can’t breathe. Her tears make ugly black lines down her face. And suddenly, she looks up, and our eyes lock. I run.

I run past the houses and the deli and the gas station with the creepy owner, and the ice cream store where we get really great slushies. I cross the street, my heart racing, out of breath and into the lush grass of the cornfield. I collapse on the ground, my arms and legs spread apart, trying to catch my breath and hold back the tears, though I can’t understand why they’re coming.

She was so alone. So sad. She is loved by no one but those boys. And I’m not sure they even really love her.

Suddenly I look up and see something sparkle across the indigo sky, a little explosion of white like a firecracker on the Fourth. I close my eyes.

And I wish for her.

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

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the January 2009 Teen Ink Fiction Contest.

Join the Discussion

This article has 544 comments. Post your own now!

skyblue95 said...
Nov. 12, 2010 at 7:11 am
Wow... It was amazing. I know everyone else who's commented is saying the same thing, and I wish I knew a better word for it because amazing does not even come close. I had a friend in middle school who turned wrong, wrong as in just like the girl in this story. One day I went over to her house and police cars, a fire truck, and ambulences were there, in the middle of broad daylight. Her father was being handcuffed and she was on a strecher. I can relate to this story a lot, and I think you shou... (more »)
love2write4ever said...
Nov. 5, 2010 at 7:04 pm
Wow, this is a really great piece of fiction! Keep up the good work!
KatieM. said...
Nov. 2, 2010 at 2:47 am
this was amazing
knd071 said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 9:06 am

I enjoyed reading this. It's short, but there are many great points packed into it, such as the details to the characters actions towards the end. There is never a dull moment, and the dialogue, along with the characters, seem real. It would be awesome if you continued, because the story ended just after the shooting star streaks across the sky. What happened to the girl? Is the girl mad that she was caught?

My only suggestion is to add more details in the beginning dialogue. It is wel... (more »)

elizabitty said...
Oct. 27, 2010 at 8:34 pm
Oh my god this is so great! Its so touching and real.
emmilove24 said...
Oct. 25, 2010 at 7:44 pm
This is absolutely amazing writing. straight from the heart. as it should be. keep writing. your names gonna be in a book someday! :)
dream4ever said...
Oct. 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm
wow, this is intense. you are a very skilled writer.
XxRiskeyRomancexX said...
Oct. 21, 2010 at 9:55 pm
This is amazing, hun. Keep writing! Your really good at it!! :D
DaydreamBeliever This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 21, 2010 at 8:40 pm
very good:) i loved the detail and how relateable it was. im sure everyone knows a girl like that and dont even know it.
springdance said...
Oct. 21, 2010 at 7:07 pm
This is great! It makes me think of what the girls at my school who are like her are really like when they're not in school.
luvtaylor16 said...
Oct. 21, 2010 at 5:30 pm
that was such a good story. When you first started discribing her, i thought of a girl at my school. She is just like that, goes out with any1 she wants, kisses them, thinks shes better then every1. But then at the end, when her boyfriend slaped her, i thought of my boyfriend. ik he would NEVER do that to me, but yea, great story, i feal sorry for her. KEEP WRITING!!!!!!!
SheilaZyra said...
Oct. 21, 2010 at 4:57 pm
FIVE STARS!!! Great job!! It's so sad to think how often this happens, and it's great that you could put it out there so well!
M.K.Slate said...
Oct. 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm
ftheworld said...
Oct. 21, 2010 at 11:27 am
God Bless The Dead
McNinabean said...
Oct. 21, 2010 at 10:04 am
This is great! I love the feeling you but into it :)
JDlaxerx0x06 said...
Oct. 21, 2010 at 9:18 am
AMAZING. great work. very stong.
peregrinefalcon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 11, 2010 at 4:44 pm
This is beautiful. So much truth. Amazing.
communicativedistractions said...
Oct. 6, 2010 at 6:39 pm
At first i was like wow what a brat! haha :) it's real life stuff though. Great work :)
bluegirl440 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 4, 2010 at 9:56 am
fantastic! one of my favorites
SoccerMonster said...
Sept. 29, 2010 at 7:40 pm
This was phenominal :) This is really telling people what teenage girls go through and what they do at the age of 13 :) This was very true and i hope you keep posting more work :D
Site Feedback