The Breaking This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Tears roll down her face as she speaks to him. "I'm falling in love withanother guy," she says, biting her lip, waiting to see what hesays.

"I know." Not even a moment's hesitation. She feels herthroat clogging up. If he knew, why couldn't he have told her so?! She didn'teven know herself until earlier that day.

"Do you hate me?" Sheis frightened. He hasn't hated her for anything so far - what if this is the onething that will make him?

"Of course not." No?! She hatedherself! How could he be so forgiving?

"You know I still love you,don't you?" She did, with all her heart and soul.

Silence. She canpractically hear his gentle smile. "I love you, too."

"Ineed some time to think." Please, please, please don't take that the wrongway.

"All right. I'll talk to you . . . whenever." When? She hatedhis indefiniteness.

Slam. Down goes the phone. She throws herselfbackwards, onto the bed, stares at the ceiling, cries for all she's worth. Tearstrickle back into her eyes, making her eyes sting, making her contacts swim awayfrom her eyes, making her blink and shake her head in sudden agony.

Thephone rings shrilly, cutting through the silence of the room like a very sharpknife or maybe nails raking down someone's skin. She picks up the phone, says"Hello?" The person whose voice she least wanted to hear at thisinstant is at the other end.

"Did you tell him?" Of course Itold him, you egotistical idiot. You think I'm going to hide something like thatfrom my boyfriend?!

"Yeah." Duh.

"How'd he takeit?" How would you take it, you lowlife sack of -

"Pretty well.He still loves me." And he always will, no matter how hard you try to changethings.

"So do I." Jeez. Why did he have to pick now to startacting sweet?

"Leave me alone!" Sudden anger again. Why, oh whywas she taking it out on him? She could have stopped the flirtation long ago, butdidn't. It was her fault, not his.

"Please listen to me . . . "I've listened to you for too long, and look where it got me.

"I'mgoing to hang up the phone now, okay? I don't want you to call back, becauseit'll be unplugged. And when we see each other next, don't talk to me. Don'ttouch me. Don't do anything. Just pretend you don't know me." There. Thatoughtta do it.

Slam. The phone goes down again, over his protests. Shesits up, and stares in some surprise at the red-faced, red-eyed, red-nosed girlstaring back at her in the mirror. Her mother calls upstairs for her to come todinner. Go to the bathroom, wash her face, go downstairs.

A fresh-facedyoung girl, quick to smile and quick of tongue, seats herself at the table thatnight, giving no sign as to the pain she carries in her heart. No one guesses thefact that her heart is breaking. But the only thought in thatgirl-in-the-mirror's mind tonight is what she'll do . . . tomorrow.


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






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