Four Little Words

October 17, 2013
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Leah’s eyes had two bags underneath the both of them. It was clear that she hadn’t had a good night’s sleep in over a week. We were all sleep deprived, but something about her gave me a feeling that there was something more to it with her.

“I’m going to fail. That’s just it. I’m going to fail.” She nodded at her statement as if that would give it more truth. “I didn’t even touch the carpel last night.”

“Just for the record, you probably don’t want to be touching the carpel anyway.” I snickered at my own joke. If she had the energy, she would’ve rolled her eyes and then give me that twinkle that shows me she was just hiding a smile. “All you need to know about the carpel is that it’s the female reproductive structure and comprises of the stigma, style and ovary.”

“The style. That’s held up by the stigma, right?”

“Other way around. The style holds the stigma.” She looked down and I could see her eyes start to water. This was going to be a problem. “Give me your hand.”

“Cheating will get me a zero.”

“I’m not going to make you cheat.”

She gave me her hand, and I pulled the pen from off my ear. I started storing my favourite pen just above my ear when I realised that I hated digging through my bag for one every single time I needed it, which was all of the time. I wrote four words on the palm of her hand, and we each turned to our tests.

During the test, Leah kept looking down at her palm. It got to the point where the teacher had noticed, which caused him to frown. I truly hoped what I wrote wouldn’t get her into trouble, but I didn’t dwell on it too long since I had my own test to finish. Leah had nothing to worry about on the carpel front; it wasn’t even on the test.

Upon handing it in, the teacher grabbed her hand and turned it over, reading the message I had left. Smirking, he let her go, never mentioning it a second time. As we left the class, she whispered to me.

“Thank you.”

The four word phrase eventually turned into our private joke. For Christmas, she painted the phrase onto a plain T-shirt. I returned the favour on her birthday when I wrote it on her cake with icing. Slowly it turned into a pre-test ritual. I would go over to her house to study the night before, and when we finally get to the test the following day we’d whisper it in each other’s ears.

As the years continue to go pass me by, I still remember beautiful Leah and the four words that were solely ours for a little while. When I think of high school, I think of her; my unlikely friend from a wonderful place. Even now, our four words ring in my head just when I need them to:

“You can do it.”

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Poetic_Person This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 17, 2013 at 7:21 pm
5 out of 5 stars :) A wonderful little story.
JRaye This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 11, 2013 at 9:07 pm
I love this so much! :) I love how you took something you saw on somebody else and wrote a cute, delightful story. This just made my day - you've got a gift right here.
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