Manso's Shame

March 11, 2011
By PJD17 SILVER, Belleville, Illinois
PJD17 SILVER, Belleville, Illinois
8 articles 0 photos 624 comments

Favorite Quote:
I do the best imatation of myself- Ben Folds


My name is Manso. Manso Folds. It’s not much of a name I know, but there’s nothing much I can really do about it, is there? Even if there was something I could do (and I suppose there is technically. After all, how hard could it possibly be to have your name changed?) I don’t think that I would do it. I like my name you see. It sets me apart from other people. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that I am the only Manso in my school.

Anyway, I have something I must confess to you. First of all, I steal things. I steal things frequently, and I enjoy every second of it. I don’t steal because I need the things I take. Quite the contrary. I steal because I love the feeling of it. I love every single doubt that goes through my mind as I prepare myself to violate the law. I love the anxiety I feel as I walk through a store with unpaid for items in my pockets. I love most of all the feeling of great satisfaction I get when my shoplifting, or burglary’s go successfully.

So yes, I am a thief, and a young one at that. I’m only seventeen you see, and I’m sure quite a few of you are thinking to yourselves what a shame it is that a boy my age has already begun violating the law. Well if you’ve ever seen the news, you know that people younger than I are committing far worse crimes then me. When you put it in that perspective, my occasional theft seems measly in comparison.

The purpose of my writing this is not to tell you about my disregard for Illinois law (oh, yes I live in Illinois by the way) but to tell you about something far more shameful. If you had the pleasure of having met me, you would know me to be fearless, witty, smart, and quite handsome if I must say so myself (and modest to boot). So, after learning all of those things about me, you would be very surprised to learn that I had a shameful weakness.

As I sat in the cafeteria of my favorite high school (or the one I go to anyway) this weakness had me in its treacherous grip. I’d really rather not continue. I’d much rather just leave things where they are now. I had a weakness. It had something to do with high school, or perhaps cafeteria food, but now I’m over it enough to write about it. Still, since I’ve gone this far, there really isn’t much of a point in stopping, so I suppose I will just continue on, for your benefit. Just keep in mind that you’re about to see a side of me that is certainly not typical.

So, I sat in the cafeteria at a circular table surrounded by a group of people who I suppose are my friends. I say suppose because I don’t really care all that much for them, but they seem to follow me around and try to spend time with me, so I tolerate them. I myself would do just fine without them. My hobbies take up more than enough of my time, and maintaining relationships is not something I am desperate to do.

They were talking about something, what I cannot remember, and I would nod occasionally to let them think that I was listening. I wasn’t of course, but they didn’t need to know that. Normally I would pay at least a little bit of attention to them, even if it was a tedious task trying to keep up with their boring lives. I know it sounds insensitive or whatever to call their lives boring, but they certainly aren’t entertaining. Seriously, you should hear them. Their awful. All they ever talk about is sports teams they’ll never play on, music they’ll be tired of in five minutes, and girls they wouldn’t even dream of talking to. So, believe me when I say that if you haven’t met this group of gentlemen, you certainly aren’t missing anything.

This story isn’t about them though, and I feel like I have spent far too much time talking about my lunch table drama (is drama the right word? Probably not, but whatever) so if it’s all the same to you, I’ll just continue on with the story. Where was I? Oh yes. My attention was elsewhere.

Lunch had just started, but only just. There were quite a few students who haven’t even made their way to the cafeteria yet, including her. And who is her you might ask? Well be patient, I’m of course getting there (though if you had any deductive skills whatsoever, you would have at least been able to figure out that she is the source of my troubles). I glance at the entrance to the cafeteria every so often, making sure that my “friends” don’t catch my glances. Even if they did, I’m sure they wouldn’t make anything of them, but better safe than sorry.

I glanced again just in time to see her enter. She looked lovely as usual let me assure you. She walked with a group of friends to her customary table, set her backpack down at a table and left for the lunch line alone. If ever there was an opportunity, this was it.

I told the… oh lets just call them people shall we? I’m getting tired of putting down friends, and then having to add quotation marks so that the word becomes “friends”. I just don’t like the way “friends” sounds, or for this particular situation, reads. So, I told the people at my table that I was feeling hungry and that I was going to get some food. They gave me a nod and then returned to their conversation.

I must admit that I told a bit of a fib. You see, I wasn’t really hungry at all, but I felt that if I told them that, and then took my place in the lunch line, it might have provoked some inquiries as to why I was doing so. Since I really had no desire to answer such questions, I instead told a little white lie. I felt bad about it, let me assure you, but then sometimes you can’t always be completely honest.

My timing was perfect. I made it to the lunch line right after she did, and took my place right behind her. For those of you who were biting their nails, you can relax now. I’m about to tell you who she is, and as a result, tell you my shameful secret.

Her name is Kelly, and if you haven’t figured it out yet, I have a bit of a crush on her. Let me tell you this right now. This is not one of those horribly clichéd stories where a nerd has a crush on the head cheerleader. She is not a cheerleader, and I am certainly not a nerd. If anything, I am higher up on the high school social ladder than she is, not that high school prestige means anything to me. I was pretty sure that she felt the same way as me about the importance of popularity, which I think is part of what attracted me to her.

I’m not really sure how she feels about anything though. You see, I don’t really know Kelly all that well. I have had a few classes with her over the years, and she has always seemed like a nice enough girl, but I certainly never thought about her this way. Then, all of a sudden, for no reason in particular, she’s all I can think about.

That’s the funny thing about crushes though, isn’t? You never know why they are there or where they came from, but regardless, you are stuck feeling that way until the crush runs its course. That’s the other thing about crushes; they always leave suddenly and without warning. I knew that if I really wanted to, I could wait a month or two, and I probably wouldn’t feel a thing for Kelly.

I didn’t want to wait though. I wanted to be with her, get to know her. The problem was, I was scared to death to talk to her. Don’t ask why, because I can’t think of a single good answer for you. It’s not as if I have any problem talking to girls, but as you probably know its far harder talking to a girl you have a crush on. It’s even harder still when you are dead set on asking that girl out.

So now I’m standing behind her, and in my mind there are a million things I would like to say to her, but for the life of me I can’t think of a single way to get her attention. Now, I’m sure you clever readers at home can think of ten good ways to get her attention, the best probably being a simple, “hi Kelly.” Unfortunately, your new bud Manso couldn’t think of any of these refined, socially acceptable methods. Instead, he, or I, I should say (you see what happens? You refer to yourself in the third person one time, and before you know it, you’ve made a habit of it) decided that the best method would be to call out across the cafeteria like a Neanderthal.

“Mark, did you do your math homework?” Mark turned from the salad line and looked at me, shook his head no (way to go Mark) and went back to the task at hand. I must say though, my plan, as pathetic as it was, did get the attention of Kelly.

“Oh, hi Manso.”

“Oh, hi Kelly. I suppose I could have asked you.”

“Asked me about what?”

“Math homework.”

“Oh. Well, I did mine if you need help.”

“No, I’m fine. I just wanted to make sure Mark was doing his work. You know, just checking up on him.” You’re probably wondering why I didn’t accept her offer to help me with me homework. I am too. Looking back, I now see that as the perfect opportunity to spend time alone with her. Unfortunately, I didn’t take advantage of her offer when I had the chance, and on top of it, my response to her offer came out as just plain bizarre.

“Oh, I see.” She had just said something, so the proper thing to do would be to promptly reply. Unfortunately, I could think of nothing at all to say.

This was much harder than I had anticipated it would be. As I already told you, I hardly knew this girl at all, so it was very difficult to make conversation that didn’t come off as just small talk. I knew she was sweet, and I knew that I would like to get to know her better, buy neither one of those facts could serve as adequate conversation piece.

Dangerous thoughts crossed my mind. Was it weird to ask a girl out that you barely knew? Would she say no? Worse yet, would she laugh at me and then say no? I tried to push these thoughts aside, but it was difficult.

“So, do you have any big plans for this weekend?” I said, finally managing to speak.

“No, not really. I’m babysitting my sister tonight, but other than that, nothing. How about you?”

“I was thinking of seeing a movie.”

“Oh yeah? What movie?”

“Oh, I just forgot the name of it. It’s that new comedy. You know the one with Adam Sandler?”

“I know what movie you’re talking about. That does look funny. I wouldn’t mind seeing that myself.”

“Really? I don’t have anyone to see it with, and I’d rather not go to the movies alone, so do you think that if maybe you had the time you would like to go with me?” As you might imagine, there were quite a few thoughts flying around in my head in the split second it took her to respond. Almost none of those thoughts were positive ones. Fortunately for me, her response was a positive one.

“Sure, I’d love to go. What time?”

“Tomorrow, noon?”

“Sounds good to me.”

So there you have it. My weakness. My nerves of steel soften when I talk to a girl I like. Isn’t it nice though, that a story I consider to be one of my most embarrassing awkward memories, still ends with me getting a date?


The author's comments:
I had the idea to write about a teenage burglar, but didnt know how to write him. Instead of jumping right into stories about what crimes he committed i decided to write this first just to get a feel for the character. I have already written a few other Manso stories and plan to write more

Similar Articles

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

This article has 159 comments.


PJD17 SILVER said...
on Apr. 1 2011 at 8:29 pm
PJD17 SILVER, Belleville, Illinois
8 articles 0 photos 624 comments

Favorite Quote:
I do the best imatation of myself- Ben Folds

haha  i dont know how true that is but i really appreciate it  and i think that i will submit at least one more short story to teen ink  probably this weekend  i dont know when it would be up though

treelover said...
on Apr. 1 2011 at 8:27 pm
Just reread your story, and its even better the second time  cant wait for more

PJD17 SILVER said...
on Apr. 1 2011 at 7:41 pm
PJD17 SILVER, Belleville, Illinois
8 articles 0 photos 624 comments

Favorite Quote:
I do the best imatation of myself- Ben Folds

Well thank you i look forward to your feedback ill probably submit it this weekend, but knowing teen ink, i really have no idea when it would be up

RickGrimes82 said...
on Apr. 1 2011 at 7:40 pm
Awesome i look forward to it  i'll be sure to comment on it when it is up

PJD17 SILVER said...
on Apr. 1 2011 at 7:38 pm
PJD17 SILVER, Belleville, Illinois
8 articles 0 photos 624 comments

Favorite Quote:
I do the best imatation of myself- Ben Folds

Thank you  im glad that you like the character,  im afraid you might have to wait, for the novel at least  im only on the second chapter  i think i might post at least one more short story of Manso though

RickGrimes82 said...
on Apr. 1 2011 at 7:10 pm
Well, id love to see more of him, but if you would prefer to wait for to finish your novel first, i guess thats ok  it is your character after all, cant wait for you to finish the novel

PJD17 SILVER said...
on Apr. 1 2011 at 7:08 pm
PJD17 SILVER, Belleville, Illinois
8 articles 0 photos 624 comments

Favorite Quote:
I do the best imatation of myself- Ben Folds

Thank you, and i have written more  im writing a full novel length story on Manso right now though, and im thinking of putting some of those stories, and maybe even this one in it, so im not sure if i should submit them individually or just wait until im finished with the novel and then put the whole thing up

RickGrimes82 said...
on Apr. 1 2011 at 7:06 pm
Amazing story  keep it up  i love Manso, he has such a unique voice  your story is very orriginal and extremly funny  i laughed out loud a few times  i cant wait to read more of your work and i really want to see more Manso stories 

PJD17 SILVER said...
on Apr. 1 2011 at 4:14 pm
PJD17 SILVER, Belleville, Illinois
8 articles 0 photos 624 comments

Favorite Quote:
I do the best imatation of myself- Ben Folds

thanks i really appreciate the feedback

on Apr. 1 2011 at 7:07 am
lexi1313 BRONZE, Aslkdfj, Texas
1 article 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
what u can tolerate u can not change..

I liked it aside from the whole stealing part bhut whatever im a dork! I love how it was written! Its was really cool :D

PJD17 SILVER said...
on Apr. 1 2011 at 6:21 am
PJD17 SILVER, Belleville, Illinois
8 articles 0 photos 624 comments

Favorite Quote:
I do the best imatation of myself- Ben Folds

thanks i really appreciate it  i m glad that you liked it

PJD17 SILVER said...
on Apr. 1 2011 at 6:20 am
PJD17 SILVER, Belleville, Illinois
8 articles 0 photos 624 comments

Favorite Quote:
I do the best imatation of myself- Ben Folds

thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my artical  i really appreciate the feedback

on Mar. 31 2011 at 11:26 pm
koolaid-dragonwarrior GOLD, Los Angeles, California
17 articles 1 photo 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils"
- Louis Hector Berlioz

i liked this article.  i've felt that nervousness before, and this kinda reminded me of it. x) the description of Manso's character was really thorough and easy to grasp, and the ending was nice.

and thanks for commenting on my article. :)


tahir GOLD said...
on Mar. 31 2011 at 10:32 pm
tahir GOLD, El Cerrito, California
17 articles 0 photos 25 comments

Favorite Quote:
"the beggar can be the king as the king is the beggar"

i love this article. your amazing man or girl any way thanks for commenting on my article. 

PJD17 SILVER said...
on Mar. 31 2011 at 7:44 pm
PJD17 SILVER, Belleville, Illinois
8 articles 0 photos 624 comments

Favorite Quote:
I do the best imatation of myself- Ben Folds

thank you i really appreciate it  and i am so glad that you picked up on that  i didnt really think that Manso was Arrogant but i guess that was because i wrote him knowing that he was insecure  you know how it is, somtimes you think somthing in your own work is really obvious, because it is to you, but then other people dont really pick up on it     somtimes you spend so much time thinking somthing up in your head that you dont take into consideration that people wont understand your work as well as you do

on Mar. 31 2011 at 5:07 pm
KaonKiroko BRONZE, Bakersfield, California
2 articles 1 photo 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Your thoughts become your words.
Your words become your actions.
Your actions become your habit.
Your habit becomes your character.
Your character becomes your destiny."

My pleasure. =)

The insecurity  detail was well-expressed the way Manso would stray off topic to [in some cases] defend himself or deny something, that normally would not be assumed until he suddenly denies it out of no where. The story itself was well-balanced in my opinion, between when he back tracks on sommething else, then continues with the story. Well done.


PJD17 SILVER said...
on Mar. 31 2011 at 3:55 pm
PJD17 SILVER, Belleville, Illinois
8 articles 0 photos 624 comments

Favorite Quote:
I do the best imatation of myself- Ben Folds

thanks i really appreciate the feedback

PJD17 SILVER said...
on Mar. 31 2011 at 3:54 pm
PJD17 SILVER, Belleville, Illinois
8 articles 0 photos 624 comments

Favorite Quote:
I do the best imatation of myself- Ben Folds

thanks  for the feedback i really appreciate it

Jessoxo BRONZE said...
on Mar. 31 2011 at 2:28 pm
Jessoxo BRONZE, Telford, Other
1 article 0 photos 1 comment
Hey i really liked this one I think the character is easy to link to and a lot of fun. Oh and thanks for commenting on mine

on Mar. 31 2011 at 10:53 am
shadowcoven BRONZE, Austin, Texas
1 article 0 photos 3 comments
great story loved thi shift from confidence to to insecurity my only advice is in the beginning there was alot of repitition maybe switch some words out but all in all awesome story




MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!