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War Girl

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There once was a girl

Who lived in a house similar to mine

With a rusted fence and concrete steps that led up to a double wide front door.

Both houses had the same plot of craggy grass and a mangled tree sat center in the middle.

But though this other house, the one that was not mine, appeared to be the same, you open the door and see a whole new world, different from my own.

So one Monday, I sat her down, the wooden chair beside my desk creaking, and asked her about the bruises on her face.

"Why miss", she said "I tripped down our concrete steps".

And I believed her. Because just the other day, my son fell and ripped his lip and busted his jaw.

And so she resumed her classes.

Then came Tuesday.

Again she ended up in my office, where I asked why she had two scraped knees and a permanent frown.

"Why miss", she said "my soccer game was mighty hard and rough".

And then her frown turned upside down and so I believed her, for my daughter had been sent sprawling at her last soccer match.

And so she went home.

On a bright, chilly Wednesday, I found her trotting into my office yet again. And so I asked why her lips were red and swollen with cuts along the edges.

"Why miss", she said "I just got braces".

And so I believed her, for when I was a child of her age, my braces scarred me as well.

And so she resumed her classes.

Then Thursday came.

I had already grown accustomed to the jangle above the door as she hobbled in. So I sat her down, the chair moaning, and asked why her hands were cut and bleeding.

"Why miss", she said "we did arts and crafts in class".

And so I believed her, for my husband lacked any skills with scissors also.

And so she left my office for the last time.

And Friday came and passed and so did the ever present weekend. And I sled with my children in the great park across our street and ate with my husband, all the while expecting to see the girl.

But Monday came.

The door never jingled.

The chair didn't groan.

Nothing happened for weeks until I got the invitation to her funeral.

There once was a girl

Who lived in a house similar to mine

With a rusted fence and concrete steps that led up to a double wide front door.

Both houses had the same plot of craggy grass and a mangled tree sat center in the middle.

But though this other house, the one that was not mine, appeared to be the same, a war was being waged on the inside.
And like every war.
There has to be some casualties.




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This article has 9 comments. Post your own!

ShagunThis 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. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
today at 10:22 am:
I loved how you wrote this poem from the view of the teacher. I feel it gives a deeper meaning to it. I really, truly loved this poem. I especially love how you drew comparisons between the two hoses, saying the things are never whet they appear to be. Just....amazing 
 
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AnInklingThis 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...
Sept. 18, 2013 at 11:50 am:
I really liked the meaning of the poem, and you developed it beautifully through the eyes of her teacher. However, I am having trouble finding any rhythm in the poem, and I know that it is free style, but it is nice to be able to find a nice rhythm. So it is more like broken, emotional, descriptive  prose than a poem, if you get what I am saying. However, I really liked to poem so much that I have trouble even saying that something might not be right! I loved how you repeated par... (more »)
 
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Hi_AlisonThis 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...
Aug. 31, 2013 at 1:45 pm:
"It was beautiful and depressing for me. It gave me a clear view of reality, well done,' said Alison
 
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guardianofthestarsThis 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. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 24, 2013 at 8:36 pm:
That was so beautifuly written that I got chills.  You are so talented! This is a really moving piece that makes people want to do something!
 
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TreesThis 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. 23, 2013 at 11:36 am:
Absolutely beautiful!  The layout and flow of the story was greal.  5/5
 
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LexusMarie said...
Jul. 12, 2013 at 1:36 pm:
Hey Livy-Loo, guess who? (: I feel like I haven't read your work in awhile or maybe I have and just never got around to commenting? Ugh, I don't know! Anyways, I really really like this story Liv! It's such a serious topic and sometimes it's hard to capture the seriousness of something while still being modest. Is that the right use of that? I think so. I know about domestic abuse as both of my grandparents went through it with previous husbands as well as my mom with a step... (more »)
 
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MckayThis 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. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm:
You're a talented prose writer. I've told you that before. And I don't say that to warm you up. I like this story and the case you present. You once told me that with my poetry I showed concern for various present topics. And with this story you do that. Demonstrating domestic violence. Let's begin with the little cons, ok? Few typos here and there: main commas. Editing always takes care of that. I found a few so's and and so's. I know that makes me soun... (more »)
 
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Hanban12This 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. 8, 2013 at 7:32 pm:
OMG I am speechless after reading this with chills running down my spine. You capture the readers attention immediately with a bang and you end with a bang. The whole concept is brilliant and you left me thirsting for more. Congrats on this piece; I believe it shouldve gotten editors choice! You say so much without saying at all, and the denial on both sides is very realistic. The ending was a perfect close, for it summed everything up and tied in the title. What a phenomenal writer! :)
 
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chronosunThis 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. 8, 2013 at 6:52 pm:
 Capturing the girl in the details (the knob, the chair, etc.) was a creative idea. I enjoyed the denial of abuse on both sides and the use of excuses to fool (on the girl's side) her friend and (on the friend's side) to fool herself. 
 
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