Monkey Bars This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

December 18, 2008
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When we were younger, I remember sitting on the monkey bars in the snow. We took off our hats and scarves, one at a time, to see who was the strongest, the bravest. I always won because you’d freaked out when your hands stuck to the metal – you were afraid they’d never come off. I’d call you a little girl and you’d throw your hat at me.

The snow would fall and we’d talk about kid stuff, and I’d wonder why I liked you so much. We would talk about things we thought were so important: Pokémon and Digimon, and all of the other “mon” type things that I can’t even remember anymore; you were always better at them than me.

The snow fell and the soft glow of the streetlights made each flake seem like a fallen firefly, a lightning bug processional that I could never tear my eyes from, except to look at you. Our breath would hold the light as well. You would put two fingers to your lips and pull them away, exhaling and pretending that you were smoking a cigarette. I was afraid to do that because my mom smoked and I knew it was only for grownups.

Now it’s snowing again, and we’re sitting outside on the hood of your white compact car. It’s dark – three in the morning. The only light comes from your headlights and sends a dull pain through my eyes. I like the darkness.

Well, that’s not true. The second light comes from a small orange ember between your fingers, between your thin lips. Now your breath mingles with real smoke, creating a ballet of young and old, of mature and immature, of ignorant and just plain stupid. My legs are crossed and I watch you, wondering when exactly we grew up, or if you ever really grew up at all. Am I sick of the burning of secondhand smoke in my throat, the smell it leaves on me … or does it only intrigue me more?

You smile at me, your ball cap flattening your hair into your brown eyes. Your free hand grasps mine comfortingly. I inhale deeply and cast my eyes down, knowing that I was never going to be strong enough to remove the particular layer that led to nicotine. Or perhaps it’s the other way around, and I’m the winner again.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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PoeticPenguin said...
Oct. 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm
This was beautifully sad. Way to capture human emotion so well, great poem, very powerful to read
vballgirl99 said...
Sept. 26, 2012 at 12:17 pm
Fantastic writing! It was so well-worded that I teared up at the end! Great job:)
Therese said...
May 17, 2012 at 10:13 am
Made me cry!! :)
hobo12321 said...
Mar. 12, 2012 at 11:29 am
Wow, love how you captured the emotion, and moment so perfectly
TerraRocks said...
Jan. 28, 2012 at 11:33 am
this is very touching :)
MoraleAsh said...
Jan. 6, 2012 at 1:06 am
This is a great piece. I love the beginning and it just gets better from there. Keep writing!
Dizzy.Bird said...
Dec. 15, 2011 at 8:16 pm
I love it.... <3
pedro valdez said...
Dec. 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm
it was a really good piece of writing and i liked it how it got depressing at the end of the story. but it was fantastic and i just really enjoyed reading it. kepp it up!! =D
Adnama said...
Nov. 23, 2011 at 9:57 am
I likes this story.  It was touching.  It's sad how your childhood goes by so quickly and suddenly your older.  This was a good presention of the idea.
FreedomIsMyVirtue said...
Nov. 11, 2011 at 8:05 am
I like this story. Other writers don't usually use the second person as if they were really trying to talk to them through writing. But you did well here :D

This story kinda reminds me of my childhood. And the end is so sad; it was so touching. Great story!
StarWorks said...
Nov. 1, 2011 at 6:55 am
Wow... 5 stars! I like they way you communicated the relationship between the two people, the message and the way it progressed from being a kid to growing up (and making not-so-clever decisions)
natdancer101 said...
Oct. 7, 2011 at 9:46 am
this is a SUPER great story!  love it so much!
HollerGirl26 said...
Aug. 27, 2011 at 9:23 am
I liked this..very personal, thoughtful..good job!! <3
inkers This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 22, 2011 at 10:53 am
I like the way you wrote this. I could visualize everything, and it all felt very personal. Very good job.
Duchamp said...
Mar. 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm
That's great. I love how person it gets with the childhood memories.
Kwoww said...
Mar. 4, 2011 at 9:02 pm
I don't like it, I LOVE IT! keep writing, please! You're going to go far! :)
Selene2391 said...
Feb. 10, 2011 at 12:39 pm
This is really good:) keep writing:)
Nannabanana22 said...
Nov. 14, 2010 at 2:33 pm
I like the simplicity of this that's what makes it so amazing :D
HurtTiger replied...
Nov. 14, 2010 at 3:16 pm
words taken righht out of my mouth.
Das454 replied...
Jun. 22, 2011 at 11:33 pm
Almost always, it's the simple things that are beautiful. I'm glad I read this. Great job!
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