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Another Time This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Another Time by C. A., Anson, ME

"Christie," she said curtly, urgently, dragging me by the arm from my conversation. I looked down with impatience at the mauve-lacquered nails gripping my sweater. "Christie," she began, again.
Irritated, I shook her hand away from my arm and pivoted to face her. "What?" I snapped.
"She is saying stuff about you again and I thought you should know," she stated bluntly and then paused, blue eyes hard as ice, waiting for my reaction.
I relaxed my posture slightly and an amused grin slowly spread across my face. This was almost a game between this girl and me - a personality conflict. "What's she saying?" I asked, with a smirk and an audible exhale of breath, a silent laugh.
"Chris, you wouldn't be laughing if you knew," she warned, a slighted expression exposed as she pushed back stiff blond curls. I sighed in resignation and tried to make my expression match the seriousness she obviously felt the situation deserved.
"Okay, I said rolling my eyes, what'd she say?"
"That you're gay," she said flatly, eyebrows raising in indignation.
My heartbeat accelerated and I felt my hands go cold, as if the warmth had been drained like bath water. 'Indian' I consciously reminded myself quickly, desperately. Lazily, I averted my eyes to my sneakers and back, and shifted my frame to lean against the wall. "And?" I drawled.
Disbelieving blue chips searched my blank face for something to belie my uncaring facade, but finding nothing, Raspberry Paradise-covered lips burst out, "Well, you aren't going to let her get away with saying that, are you?"
It's amazing how quickly the thought process works, and pain pushes it into overdrive. Think fast, no expression, no words. What does she want to hear? Does she know? Do I say anything? No!
"Look," I said, with unconcealed impatience, "it's been fun playing cat-and-mouse with her and everything but y'know, it's getting old and I'm tired of playing games. As for what she thinks of me or anyone else for that matter, frankly Scarlet," switching to a British accent, "I don't give a damn." I finished with the pasted-on, have-a-nice-day smile.
"You say that now, but you don't know how many people she's told," she stated, lips pursed, eyes glaring with unspoken irritation.
I felt the brick wall pull at the back of my hair as I tilted my head up to the ceiling, "And would it be so bad," I began slowly, bringing my eyes down to meet hers, "if I were?"
Uncomfortable and with lips pursed, she pretended to examine the tiles of the floor. "What's the big deal anyway?" I pressed on, forcing her eyes to mine by sheer will. Slowly I said, "Would it make any difference?"
"Oh, will you stop it!" she burst out, dissolving the small cloud of uncomfortable doubt entering her vision.
"You act like I'm the one saying it! For Christ's sake Christie, I'm on your side."
Forget it. Not the right time, not the right person - just forget it.
I exhaled heavily again and sighed. "I know. I'm sorry. I just get sick of all of the crap, y'know?" I put my arm around her and led her back to the crowded room.
Another time.


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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