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.

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andromeda13 said...
Aug. 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm
that was amazing!!! i loved it. =D
RhythmAndRhyme said...
Aug. 3, 2011 at 11:24 am
Aw! So cute. :3 Nice descriptions.
Dragonfly_Girl said...
Jul. 12, 2011 at 11:33 pm
I love this! fabulous!
BitBit said...
Jul. 12, 2011 at 9:43 pm
It was great, I really enjoyed reading it.
k.s.h This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 12, 2011 at 8:43 pm
I really liked it.  Especially the part where their eyes lock--there's a big boom there for me.
Keeeeeely said...
Jul. 12, 2011 at 7:49 pm
I absolutely LOVED this! The title caught my eye and I just had to check it out... and sure enough, it was just as great! Keep up the great work and check out my work! :)
Flashlevitation This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm
I'm taken away! great description and what a realistic ending. this is what a lot of people should realize at school, that everyone doesn't come from the same lifestyle that you do. 
Me_Music_Love said...
Jul. 12, 2011 at 11:40 am
Simply brilliant.
iamonecoolradiator said...
Jul. 12, 2011 at 11:40 am
really incredible........wish it had gone on for longer! kinda realistic too.....
PriceX3Jayme said...
Jul. 6, 2011 at 2:02 pm
I know a boy exactly like the lonely girl in this story. Everyone hates him because they think he's a player. But ive always known the truth. Perfectly portrayed. I believe people have deeper reasons for the horrible things they do. I hate no one.
Iluvmybff said...
Jun. 20, 2011 at 9:30 pm
Its amazing! It seemed so real. Like i could almost imagine being there!
dolphinportkey7 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.
DisicpleofChristandJesusEnthusiast said...
Jun. 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm
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!!!!!!!!!!
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
citylightsgirl93 said...
Jun. 13, 2011 at 2:01 pm
this was amazing. great job, and definitely keep writing!
evergreen232 said...
May 29, 2011 at 6:55 pm
emily, this was fantabulistic!!! keep writing, i can tell that you'll go far :)
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!
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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