Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

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

By
   Laughter by J. W., New City, NY

The girl stepped toward the teacher with an awkward step and an uncomfortable smile. Her shaky hand passed a schedule to the teacher's large, cold fingers, as he asked her how to pronounce the name typed on the piece of paper. She could tell he was angry or perhaps upset; his stare never crossed her face.

"Lin," she said quietly and quickly and without true emotion. But behind her dark, beautifully shaped almond eyes was a longing that she was back home with teachers who smiled back warmly at young, nervous students. And as she was pointed to a seat next to a boy wearing ripped jeans with boxer shorts showing underneath and a girl wearing an old flannel shirt whose long, curly hair covered her entire face, the girl in the knee-length skirt and white button-down blouse tried holding back tears that would only reveal her hopes to return home where all the girls looked as she did and boys didn't smell of cigarette smoke. Without looking any farther, she sat at the small desk and softly placed her books on the floor.

The tall teacher with his gray, balding head began teaching his lesson on motion versus velocity. He paced back and forth and quickly jotted notes on the blackboard. His confusing words drifted through the room, as the girl with her flowing black hair and beautiful young face yawned nervously. Suddenly, there was a soft, hesitant tap on her shoulder. The boy with his broad smile, thick lips, and red, flushed cheeks revealed his happiness and warmth with a quick nod and a soft hello. She noticed his understanding, reassuring eyes, which looked so much like her brother's; and when he stood up, she also saw his torn jeans.

When the loud, piercing bell finally rang, the boy began to help this new student with her many textbooks. She thanked him in delicate, uncertain English, and he responded in fast, unbroken Cantonese. Lin could not help smiling widely, completely relieved. The two young students continued to speak for at least five minutes, and when the conversation seemed to be ending, the smiling boy told this new girl a joke he happened to know. And first she laughed softly, a bit nervous to make too much noise, but then the laughter and her incredible relief set her free, and she laughed wildly until her stomach was pained with cramps. The girl in the old flannel with the long, curly hair noticed the laughter, and although she did not know the joke or the language, she knew the laughter so clearly. She could not help but smile.


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






Join the Discussion

This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

In_Love_with_Writing said...
Jan. 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm
Very cute. And check out some of my stories! Please rate them, subscribe, or comment if you can. It really means a lot and brings a smile to my face each time. Thank you so much!
 
Aamna said...
May 9, 2011 at 8:56 pm
Nice piece. I love how you described the characters' appearance - it made me guess their personality which made me read through the whole thing. Check out my story Precarious Pursuit and tell me what you think!
 
Debbie1 said...
May 6, 2011 at 5:12 pm
Oh! I love this poem, especially the ending! It was great!!! Good job!
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback