Rita used to be Steve

May 27, 2012
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Steve and I have been friends more than five years. At first we were hardly alike that it was surprising how well we got along. But at least we did. I wish I could say as much now but something happened in those five years that caused our relationship to speed downhill. I tried to be like Steve. I don’t know why. I knew he was my friend, despite our differences. It seemed like he would always like me. But I still messed up. I started to be like him, to do what he did, like what he liked, act how he acted. My old self, Rita, was no more. Rather than pointing out “Steve and Rita” when we passed, people would be better off with “Steve and Steve.” I was comfortable with being Steve, for a while. He must have realized I’d do anything and everything he did because every now and again he’d mention things like “I’m doing it,” while trying to convince me to go somewhere or try something new. Whenever he threw out a comment like that, I’d mistake it for encouragement. Then things started getting worse. Steve started doing things I didn’t want to do. Not necessarily bad things, I just didn’t feel ready for them. For a while, I continued to be Steve, following in his footsteps, even though I was uncomfortable. And then one day I realized how he had changed me. I remembered the Rita I used to be, the Steve I was now. I knew I had to do something about it. Steve was changing my life, keeping me from being myself. But perhaps it wasn’t Steve, it was me. I chose to become Steve; it was my very own choice. And I have another choice now; to keep on being Steve or to be Rita, myself. To live his life or mine. I chose mine. The decision wasn’t hard, but fulfilling it would be. I decided to tell Steve how I felt-how I seem to be him. I’d tell him that all the peer pressure will have to stop. I didn’t know if he’d understand or if he’d still want to be my friend. But I’d tell him anyway.
That afternoon when school got out, I spotted Steve in the hallway with a few of his friends. I knew them; after all I’ve liked everyone Steve has for years now. I approached them and told Steve I’d like to talk with him alone. We went around the corner to the lockers and I told him everything. His response I almost expected. “If you don’t like me anymore, then fine,” he said. “Go be yourself.” And as he rushed off, that’s exactly what I did. I won’t pretend that I don’t miss Steve. I see him every day and remember when we were friends- Rita and Steve. But I’ve never denied myself and gone back to him. He can’t like me as I am, and I can’t like myself as Steve. I’m far better off being myself. And now when I walk by, it would be best to say, “That’s Rita. She used to be Steve. But she isn’t anymore. Now she’s herself.”

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StrangeJade This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm
Good! :) It could use some clearing up, though, both mechanically and in terms of content. Mechanically, it just needs more paragraph breaks, especially between lines of dialogue. In terms of content, I would suggest adding a specific anecdote or two to get your point across. What sorts of things did Steve make Rita do? What were the consequences? You'd be surprised how much fun you might have fleshing out these characters. Otherwise, very good job. ^^
Adi-heid replied...
Aug. 20, 2012 at 9:40 am
Okay, thanks! I'll keep this stuff in mind for my next story! :)
Lauren S. said...
Jul. 13, 2012 at 9:40 am
Great story! I love the moral about just being yourself no matter what anyone else thinks. 
LongLazyDays55 said...
Jul. 8, 2012 at 10:17 am
A great story with a good message! Loved it. Keep writing! :)
Adi-heid replied...
Jul. 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm
Thanks a lot! I'm hoping to finish another article by next week or so! I know I'm a really slow writer!
Free.Me.Maybe.This 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...
Jul. 7, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Great job! It has a very good meaning behind it all! Wonderful! Thank you for commenting on my story! Keep up the great work! :D


~ Free :)(:

Adi-heid replied...
Jul. 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm
Thanks! And I love seeing/reading other people's articles and stuff!
Katie-jo said...
Jun. 17, 2012 at 6:28 pm
This is so amazing! I love the characters and the thoughts Rita has! So true with an honest simplicity only you could write with!
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