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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.

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“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.





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This article has 533 comments. Post your own!

nelmichellexo said...
Feb. 20, 2009 at 3:20 am:
Wow, that's really good! It's so well written and it's very creative. Awesome job.
 
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Krissy said...
Feb. 19, 2009 at 4:19 pm:
This is one of the most amazing, heartfelt stories I've ever read. Write more soon!
 
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Ieneco said...
Feb. 19, 2009 at 12:59 am:
WOW. =O

That was awesome.. !!
 
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mmmary<3 said...
Feb. 17, 2009 at 8:40 pm:
Perfect, just perfect. Pr
 
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danny01761 said...
Feb. 13, 2009 at 2:31 pm:
that was relly good and i'm a guy really doesn't like poetry but i sure did like this ust kepp on writting! :)
 
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olive7 said...
Feb. 11, 2009 at 4:00 am:
The writing was different to me...in a good way. I also liked how here was elaborate description in some areas, but none in others. Very Hemingway.
 
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annkaykay2011 said...
Feb. 14, 2009 at 10:01 pm:
Amazing Story, kinda sad but amazing!!
 
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vampluv11 said...
Feb. 11, 2009 at 7:16 pm:
Woah... that was just... woah. Really deep, and thought provoking. Excellent job!
 
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i<3you said...
Feb. 10, 2009 at 8:12 pm:
Hmmm... Well, I was more or less disturbed when it got to the part of " I’ll break your bones. I could snap your neck over my knee." But other than that is was good. Not great, but good.
 
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tomboysoccerstar said...
Feb. 10, 2009 at 1:58 am:
i especially like how you did immense detail in some places, but not so much in others. that really balances out the paper. good job, i kinda felt that you could have been telling a true story, rather than a fictional tale. i really like your work. both of them.=)
 
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Wiskat09 said...
Feb. 7, 2009 at 9:07 pm:
Ok.. really great message. but the wording needs work. Like when you wrote

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

instead. at the end say.. Said (name) and making a face of disgust.. something like that. your story is more.. i said she said this happend that happend... you need to be more desciptive and show the readers whats going on instead of telling them... i have had similair problems. but y... (more »)
 
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Melissa N. said...
Mar. 4, 2009 at 6:04 pm:
This is amazingly written, I love it.
<3
 
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forgetmenots said...
Feb. 2, 2009 at 11:51 pm:
omg yea this is really good that's better than what i could've written. Im deaf so i have a little problem with the words but you're good! KEEP WRITING!
 
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natsuki34 said...
Feb. 10, 2009 at 8:36 pm:
i really like it it is really the truth in some situations and thats sad

i wish too
 
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smileitsnakea said...
Jan. 28, 2009 at 3:26 am:
omg.. this is nicee. i lyk how its realisticc, and i love the twistt
 
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Ama B. said...
Jan. 27, 2009 at 10:47 pm:
I cried. I seriously did. That was good, in a different sort of way. 8 out of 10. More description could have been nice. You seem to be able to create stories with feeling and moral. Good for you. Write more!
 
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ShamrockWriter said...
Jan. 27, 2009 at 5:31 pm:
Really good. I agree that some more descriptions would make it so much more intense, but the ones you have now are great! So much truth in such a small piece. Real reality! Makes the reader think long after they're done reading. Every school has the "W" girl and this makes us realize that there can sometimes be more to her than just a skank. That goes for everybody. Great job! Has amazing potential and I think it could be one heck of a book! Keep Writing!
 
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dancerr63 said...
Jan. 26, 2009 at 9:39 pm:
thiss iss reallyy amazingg itss a tear jerker withoutt beingg to long it expresses what some of us highschool students failto see when we look at peoplee esuberent job<3
 
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lil_miss.mollie said...
Jan. 25, 2009 at 10:24 pm:
wow this is really good it hits home really well good job keep it up
 
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WonderfullyWicked said...
Jan. 22, 2009 at 10:34 pm:
WOW. It's very relatable, at least to me. I think everyone knows the "local flirt," or something close to it, don't you?

The writing style is great. I especially liked the feeling at the end of the first part: "...I could snap your neck over my knee." I loved that. Nice use of descriptions and background. I did feel it could have been a bit longer as far as plot goes.

My only concerns are the descriptions and length, and that the voice is just a ... (more »)
 
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