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!

sidneynicole said...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 7:11 pm
this was real good
Sammmmmmmm said...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 3:15 pm
thumbs up all the way!!!!!!!!!!!
LaceeJade This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I Really Liked This You Should Check Out The Story I Wrote & Tell Me If U Like It Or Not Lol. I Need Some Feed Back So I Know Its Good Or Not. and im alright if you dont like something about it or if i messed up on something im always looking for something to learn from:) Thanks


DiamondsIntheGrass This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 9:36 am
beautiful.  the ending really made me sad...  :'(
dbzfan4life said...
Jul. 11, 2010 at 2:16 pm
beautiful writtin plz keep it up ^_^
Fallen_Freak replied...
Jul. 11, 2010 at 5:11 pm
Amazing. Great job writting. Wish there was a second chapter, it would make a great book.
courteycat said...
Jul. 4, 2010 at 10:49 am
I really loved it. At first I didn't like the girl but at the end I felt sorry for her. Keep Writing:)
Cassie H. said...
Jul. 3, 2010 at 9:37 pm
wow that was really intense but in a good way i loved it.......wow the girl reminds me of another girl at my school whos just like that haha
littleBit said...
Jul. 3, 2010 at 3:37 pm
I love how the main character finally "accepts her" In a way.
gracielikerain said...
Jul. 3, 2010 at 3:01 pm
Oh my goodness... this is great. Kind of an abrupt ending though. But it's great!
ilovepolkadots said...
Jul. 3, 2010 at 2:50 pm

This story has really good emotion. Your style of writing is really good!

Oh, and by the way, one of my friends wrote a story on here and she wanted some comments on it, so could you check it out. Type "Blah. Blah. Blah." in the search box and it should come up.

Kaileigh918 said...
Jul. 3, 2010 at 10:34 am
wow... amazing... congrats on getting it put in the mag! then again, it would be a mistake if it wasnt in the mag. :)
Shelbs13 said...
Jul. 3, 2010 at 12:53 am
This is beautiful
acaciaflower said...
Jun. 30, 2010 at 6:30 am
it's great,really!...'don't judge a book by it's cover', eh?...
midnitewriter said...
Jun. 27, 2010 at 12:40 pm
Ahhhhh- maazinngggg
Minderella said...
Jun. 26, 2010 at 1:39 am
I really like this piece.  I love the emotion conveys--it reached the depths of my heart and I'm speechless with admiration.  So I'll just smile :)
G-jerde said...
Jun. 24, 2010 at 2:48 pm
Aww, that one made me get all emotional! Great job and keep it up! You really grasped the whole 'middle school atmosphere' thing!
socrchik33 said...
Jun. 21, 2010 at 8:34 pm
stuff lk this happens all the time...im glad someone finally jst came out and said. this was a really amazing peice you should be proud :)
DancerBabe said...
Jun. 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm
That was amazing! It the truth and you desribed in a wonderful way!
kaloridley said...
Jun. 11, 2010 at 9:15 pm
This is such a good story!!!! I love how you pulled both parts together to get your message across to the readers.
Site Feedback