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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This article has 52 comments. Post your own now!

DreamingOutLoud This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 14, 2010 at 12:39 pm
This is amazing. Like....amazing.
bubj98 said...
Nov. 14, 2010 at 11:14 am
i liked how it showed that when the other character imagined they were smoking as a kid and then were actually smoking into adult hood.i loved the chemistry and how poetically beautiful it was.great job,keep writing .and check out my work everyonce and a while.thanks.
Alexis H. said...
Oct. 1, 2010 at 10:28 pm
You did a good job writing this. I like how you kept it short and sweet, but added enough details. Will you check out my work? I only have one story so far, but I'll submit more soon.
Coop123 said...
Oct. 1, 2010 at 6:32 pm
 and to you.. :}
Coop123 replied...
Oct. 1, 2010 at 6:33 pm

awesome wat i ws trying 2 say is smokin is dumb...


Macx14 said...
Jul. 27, 2010 at 8:12 pm
Very interesting and unique. Great!
DarkMountain said...
Jul. 27, 2010 at 5:22 pm
Great descriptions... Loved it! 5 stars
socrchik33 said...
Jul. 27, 2010 at 1:32 am
so good and sad yet amazing all at the same time. basically it was jst beatiful i loved it so much
still-a-novice said...
Jul. 5, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Like kksme said, the change was good.


kksme This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 13, 2010 at 6:34 pm
I really like the change from childhood to adulthood. This was really good.
renthead101 said...
Jun. 13, 2010 at 3:12 pm
this is great!
haleybabe14 said...
Apr. 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Its really good.. I just don't really see where nicotine and cigarettes comes into it. Then again, maybe I wasn't paying enough attention.

Anyways, you're a great writer(:

MamaF said...
Feb. 1, 2010 at 1:21 pm
I thought it was awsome!
MamaC said...
Feb. 1, 2010 at 1:11 pm
i loved this piece of writing!
lrlr17 said...
Feb. 1, 2010 at 11:52 am
you did a great job
crazyforpeace said...
Nov. 5, 2009 at 12:56 pm
this article was good. how old were you when you used to hang on the monkey bars?
bluesky0728 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 27, 2010 at 1:59 pm
this is in the fiction section...
emily.louise said...
Oct. 11, 2009 at 1:21 pm
C'mon, Whatsyourname! Stop smoking!!!
Lol:):) FABULOUS story! Best one that I've read on Teenink!
Caylee R. said...
Aug. 22, 2009 at 4:31 am
Honestly, that was a amazing piece of work. Hit me a little, i have family that smokes and i really want them to stop; but that's never going to happen. You did a great job :]
luvtwilight said...
Apr. 7, 2009 at 8:42 pm
interesting and sweet.
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