Anger Breaker

June 28, 2011
I was in a bad mood, and the whole freaking world could know it. There wasn’t a specific reason for the mood, it was just there. I suppose I was mad. Mad at the world. Mad at God. Mad at my whole damn situation.

The chill of the night air blew across my face. Flipping the leather of my collar up to my face, I let it block most of the wind as I walked. My older brother could have come with me, usually would’ve, but he knew not to bother me when I was like this. He just let me slam the door of the house with nothing but a book and my wallet, which I had hastily shoved into my pocket.

Despite its size, the house was suffocating. I had to get out; leave my brother and my uncle for the night. If I wasn’t blinded by my bad mood, I probably would have taken my car and slept in it for a night. But I didn’t—I just walked.

Down the road a little ways was a diner. People who lived in Carson City only went there; anybody else, tourists maybe, would have found it too seedy. It was actually a good place to sit and think, talk, eat, drink coffee…albeit a little dirty.

Neon lights advertising the name hung over the diner, seemingly floating in the darkness. I shook my head to try and free my face from some of the hair. Haphazardly, I pulled it into a ponytail. As an act of personal defiance, I had grown it out after it happened. He... my brother had once had long hair before my Uncle made him cut it—I wanted to look like him, at least a little. My Uncle didn’t mind when he did it, but freaked when I decided to wear it long. Most people said that it made me look dangerous, the way I wore my hair in an elastic. It showed all the piercing on my ear, and cast a shadow across my face that made my eyes gleam. That’s what they said, not me. I just cared about being able to see five feet in front of me.

Coming up to the diner, I pulled on the door. A bell jingled over the top, signaling my arrival. There were a good few other late night diners, apparently having the same need to be out as me. One looked up. We nodded respectfully to each other.

David, the owner, came out from the back while wiping his hands on a rag to see his new arrival. Seeing it was me, he raised his hand in greeting. I normally would have responded, but I didn’t. He saw the book under my arm and didn’t press his hello further. Whenever I needed to be alone, I came here and read. He knew that.

Settling myself in the booth, I nodded at David behind the counter. He knew that was his cue to give me coffee, and lots of it. I was tired, but I couldn’t sleep yet. There was too much going in my mind.

Flipping my book open, not bothering to find the page but instead starting over, I unsuccessfully tried to concentrate on the pages. Every word, sentence, and paragraph blurred in front of me, supplying me with a nasty migraine. I hadn’t remembered to put my contacts in this morning, and was so mad I forgot to grab my glasses.

Rubbing my temples, I set down the book and looked around. The bright floodlights only worsened the headache.

Aside from the other people sitting in window-side booths, there was only one girl sitting at the counter. She had a black skirt and red shirt, the diner’s uniform colors. It flared out at the sleeves to let the air inside—In Nevada, loose shirts kept you cool… in the daytime. At night, the desert was cold and dry. She must have been freezing.

She turned to look at me, almost as if she sensed my gaze. Her long, milky chocolate hair flowed as she moved, and the floodlight behind her cast a halo against her face.

Embarrassedly, I turned my head and feigned interest in my book which I had thankfully left open. I heard her giggle, and push back her stool. The clunking on linoleum was quickly followed by the sound of pouring coffee.

I was still in a mood, although not as intense, it was still there. People knew not to talk to me when I was in this mood—my brother, my Uncle, David, people at school. So, when the white china coffee cup, filled to the brim with steaming brown liquid, slid towards me, I was startled when it was accompanied by a, “Hi,” and the sound of a tiny body sliding into the plastic booth seat across from me.

Looking up, I felt the mood begin to subside.

Join the Discussion

This article has 24 comments. Post your own now!

Timekeeper This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 11, 2011 at 3:58 pm
You really succeeded at keeping the "no names, no history" idea. It was very easy to imagine who these characters were, you brought them to life with their characterization. A great example of showing rather than telling.
Hazel-daisy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm
i really like this, i think the plot is good  but what holds it together is the writing skills beneath it! good job :)
CoffeeKat replied...
Aug. 24, 2011 at 8:33 pm
Wow, thank you! I'm very happy you enjoyed reading, and the compliment made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. =) I really liked your story Dear Dad. Very beautiful, it makes me happy to get a comment from such a good writer!
Hazel-daisy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 25, 2011 at 7:43 am
aw thanks! That comment just made me feel warm and fuzzy inside! :)
PaigeStreet This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 24, 2011 at 12:03 am
Nice! Great narrative style. Kinda S.E. Hinton. *****
CoffeeKat replied...
Aug. 24, 2011 at 8:29 pm
Thanks so much! And wow, somebody got it! S.E. Hinton is one of my favorite writers, I kinda got inspired by her writing to do this. =) I love The Outsiders. Anyways, thanks for the rating and the nice comment! Cheers! =D
BorderlineGenius777 said...
Aug. 23, 2011 at 11:31 pm
very good. i saw a few grammar mastakes, but other then that, very enjoyable.
CoffeeKat replied...
Aug. 24, 2011 at 8:30 pm
Oh, really? Odd, I didn't see anything while proofing, or perhaps that's just my untrained eye. =) Thank you for the kind comment!
tealbird said...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 11:41 am
This is great, and I loved the tone. I do have to say that I thought the character was a girl until the end, but I am intrigued by the characters. Please post more with them in it!! :D
CoffeeKat replied...
Aug. 23, 2011 at 9:33 pm
Thanks so much for the kind words! I'm happy that you liked the story, tone and characters. I do want to do more with these characters, but I'm at a loss. If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them. =) Your story, Leaving Neverland, that was beautiful too, by the way. =) Thanks again!
tealbird replied...
Aug. 24, 2011 at 3:48 pm
Again, I thank you for your comments. :D As for your story, the first things I thought about with these characters was some sort of suspense story. I don't know why, but I can picture these two in a life-or-death, shoot-'em-up, hunt-'em-down kind of plot. I think you've done a great job at setting the scene for both of the characters, and there is no where for this story to go but up. Don't stop writing, please! :{D
CoffeeKat replied...
Aug. 24, 2011 at 8:39 pm
Heehee~ Don't worry, to stop writing is the last thing I plan to do! And you're idea actually inspired a whole new story with these two! Thank you again for the nice comment, and I hope you read the story when it's completed and uploaded. =)
tealbird replied...
Aug. 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm
Oh trust me, I plan to :D. I've read a lot of stories on this website, and this one I promise you is one of the best ones I've read. I'm glad that my random comments (:D) helped give you some ideas, and I hope your writing goes a long way.
M.Trainor said...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 11:02 am
I thought it was good. It makes me want to find out about your charcter's life, why he acts the way he does. I think your voice really worked with this story.
CoffeeKat replied...
Aug. 23, 2011 at 9:31 pm
Thank you so much, and sorry for the late reply. The voice of the character was what I was really focusing on in this story, among a few other key things, such as how a reader would want to learn more about him. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the feedback! Loved your story, by the way. Cheers!
.Izzy. said...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 10:05 am
I liked this! Your description was nice and simple- I'm glad you didn't go overboard! I was a little confused at the end because I thought your character was a girl. So my only advice would be to make it the fact that he is a boy a little clearer
CoffeeKat replied...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 7:54 pm
Thank you--I'm pleased with the discription as well. =) I'm happy that you liked it except for the confusing gender issue. Cheers!
renthead96 said...
Aug. 7, 2011 at 7:01 pm
I really enjoyed your writing style. I liked that it was clean and simple, but did not lack the description needed. My only criticism is that I wasn't able to tell that the narrator was male until the end of the story. Otherwise, it was very good and I will definitely be picking this as a favorite piece on teenink.
CoffeeKat replied...
Aug. 7, 2011 at 10:25 pm
Thank you so much! It was a writing excersize for writing clean and simply--It was a little rushed and I was thinking really quickly and working with a Character I almost always do. Thusly, I kind of forgot important details like gender. Whoops! I totally get and appreciate your constructive critisism--I'll definatly keep it in mind. Thanks for your kind words too; I'm happy you like it! =)
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 7, 2011 at 5:21 am
I liked this! Your descriptions were very good; I really felt like I could follow your character. I'm a bit intrigued by the story. I really want to know more :)
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