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The Know-It-All This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


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She was a know-it-all. A complete know-it-all. She was never wrong, apparently, and knew something about everything. Sometimes, I think she'd just make it up. She'd say, “The legal height of a midget is four feet five inches,” and the thing was, no one could prove her wrong until later, so she would always win. Even when we knew she was wrong, no amount of arguing would change her mind.

While she was nothing but determined, she was anything but civil during an argument. She could cause a weeklong headache with her screaming and carrying on. The few choice words I shared with her still echo in my head, causing the occasional mental earthquakes.

She thought she was funny. Really funny. It is one thing to be funny, like Bryan Regan or Frank Caliendo, but it's another to be Carlos Mencia. Newsflash – Carlos Mencia isn't funny. I think she tried to take a page from his book with her offensive comments, like when she called me a “boy boycotter” when I didn't feel like talking about guys, or “catty cow” when I didn't feel like hanging out with her.

Spending time with her was a nightmare. She could never be quiet. She talked through class, through church, through plays. She once told me in a whisper at a sleepover that silence was like a rope, slowly squeezing the air from her lungs. She filled every moment with chatter in hopes she wouldn't get squeezed.

The worst part about her being so deadly afraid of silence? Sometimes, she would run out of things to say and just start thinking out loud. She would tell us things we would never, ever normally discuss. Like the fact that her socks didn't match and wasn't that just so sad? Then she would expect you to look at her one blue sock and one red sock and actually talk about the fact that they didn't match. She expected an actual conversation to form about mismatched socks.

But the thing that bothered me more than anything else was that she thought she was the smartest person in the world. She told us all she was. She said, “Look, guys, don't feel bad when I do better than you in class. You don't have a chance, anyway, so don't get your hopes up.” I could almost imagine her adding: “They say I'm just a few points off genius. You can't compete with that, can you?”

Then we took the SAT junior year, and she did badly. Really badly. She didn't even come to school the day after the results were released. I remember her crying for days. I almost didn't have the heart to show her my scores.

She was determined after that, studying almost constantly for the test. Well, studying while still pretending to be a funny, smart know-it-all. She'd always have this look on her face like the world had suddenly grown too heavy for her. Yet, at the same time, she'd giggle, “Catty cows, please be quiet. I need to do well on the SATs. Good scores are almost to die for!”

She might have been a know-it-all. She might have thought she was witty and cunning. She might have thought she was pretty and beautiful and amazing and popular and awesome and special and fantastic. But she was none of those things to me. She was just one thing, in fact.

She was a girl who happened to be my best friend.

And when she killed herself at the end of junior year, I hated her more than ever. I hated how she couldn't accept failure. I hated how she always talked through movies because even the silence in the theater was too much. I hated how she brought me soup when I was sick, gave me rides to school every day, and helped me pick a prom dress even when she didn't get asked.

The first thing I said to someone after she was buried, after the last echo of her never-ending chatter had finally ended, after the last of her always mismatched socks were given to Goodwill, after she was really, truly gone, was, “You know, the legal height of a midget is four feet five inches.”

Then I added, “You catty cow.”

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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This article has 10 comments. Post your own!

elites5 said...
Oct. 2, 2012 at 1:43 am:
This is really good! I love the surprise ending. Can u check out my stuff too? :) I would love the feedback.
 
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FreedomIsMyVirtueThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Nov. 10, 2011 at 7:02 am:
Your word choice made your tone seem nonchalant but you can make readers emotional. Great story!!!
 
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SabrinaAnnFaith said...
Aug. 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm:
This story reminded me of one of my best friends, and that twist at the end was heartwrenching.  Please keep writing!
 
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StarWorks said...
Feb. 19, 2011 at 1:57 am:
It was really good. I didn't expect that she would kill herself. I loved how surprisng that was. Keep on writing! :)
 
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Scatty2693 said...
Jan. 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm:

Wow! you're a really talented writer! Is this a true story? It caught me by surprise in the end when she died, may her soul rest in peace. Did she get the SAT scores she dreamed for?

keep up the good work!!

thanks for commenting on my article! :)

 
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vampirexchickkk This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm:
I loved this story. As you read it, you get so tired of listening to this girl complain, just as if it was real life. But when it says "And when she killed herself" I was shocked. But if you go back to read the beginning again, why should it be shocking? She falsely tries to make herself better than others because she really doesn't feel too good at all. It's a vicious cycle, and most people are quick to judge, never understanding how someone really ticks.
 
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LeslieAnn said...
Dec. 19, 2010 at 2:47 am:
This is increadible. The buildup is what does it I think. Becuase the few paragraphs smack you in the face. You'd never expect it and it was very well done. Congrats.
 
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SophiaCross said...
Dec. 10, 2010 at 8:29 pm:
I can't really explain why, but I love this story. I can't stop reading it!
 
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eehearn2011 said...
Oct. 26, 2010 at 4:17 pm:
love love love it! <3 got chill bumps :)
 
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echome94 said...
Oct. 25, 2010 at 5:30 pm:
The good thing about most stories is that they make you think. My best friend is very similar to the girl in this story. Only im the one with the random facts. This is amazing definatly keep writing
 
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