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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!

dolphinportkey7This 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...
Jun. 20, 2011 at 6:48 pm:
You nearly made me cry. And I don't cry alot. Thank you for writing this...people shouldn't judge the way they do. I knew a girl kinda like this, and she seems happy now- I hope the character in your story finds happiness, too.
 
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DisicpleofChristandJesusEnthusiast said...
Jun. 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm:
AMAZING!!! GREAT CONCEPT!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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Tink1350 said...
Jun. 20, 2011 at 10:51 am:
that was great! keep it up! and if u could check out some of my work thatd be amazing. Thanks in advance!!!!!!!!!!
 
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ChasingFantasy said...
Jun. 15, 2011 at 1:12 pm:
That was so good! It makes you think. I like that. But mostly, I like that it represents real life problems that people face everyday. I like how you think! Keep writing! :D
 
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citylightsgirl93 said...
Jun. 13, 2011 at 2:01 pm:
this was amazing. great job, and definitely keep writing!
 
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evergreen232 said...
May 29, 2011 at 6:55 pm:
emily, this was fantabulistic!!! keep writing, i can tell that you'll go far :)
 
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CrazyBeautifulLifee said...
May 29, 2011 at 6:27 pm:
This is actually one of the most well-written pieces I've seen on Teenink! If anyone would check out my poems Asthma and Untitled and comment/rate them, I would really appreciate it. I'll do the same for you if you ask!
 
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PixieDoll2698 said...
May 29, 2011 at 11:52 am:
this is such a great article!! i love it!
 
secretlypoetic replied...
May 29, 2011 at 1:34 pm :
Very good! I loved this! Almost seems like it could be an RP.
 
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MansiManic said...
May 29, 2011 at 9:26 am:
it was a real piece emily. plz expand it for i would love to read it.....
 
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ClairesWork said...
May 29, 2011 at 6:55 am:
This is so great and realistic!
 
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Lilly3217 said...
May 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm:
that was REALLY cool Emily. to me it tells me you don't know someone till you get to know them
 
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twilightlover said...
May 7, 2011 at 10:29 pm:
wow that is a really great story. it proves that you cant  always judge a person from their apparence or their actions. its really sad to see a little of what the girl goes through and all that.  but overall still good.
 
evergreen232 replied...
May 29, 2011 at 6:53 pm :
ya, it made me realize not to judge someone until u kno a lot about them
 
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Edmondeeee said...
May 7, 2011 at 10:06 pm:
wow, this was so much better than I was expecting. I really felt like I was in her shoes. Good work!
 
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ArianaNightengale said...
May 7, 2011 at 9:25 pm:
Pretty darn awesome! Short, sweet, to the point, but with a bit of flair. :)
 
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PrettyInPurpleThis 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...
May 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm:
Very good! I loved every moment of reading it!:)
 
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Nai N. Nameli said...
May 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm:

powerful emotional drive, beautifuly written from the first line to the last. inspirational beyond recognition.

UNFORGETTABLE.

 
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AmySeldom said...
May 7, 2011 at 6:48 am:
LOVED IT. PLZ KEEP WRITING!!!! <3
 
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ashleigh01 said...
May 7, 2011 at 12:18 am:
I really love this story! My favorite part is how you ended it with the wish:)
 
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