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

January 12, 2009
I was surprised when Ali called and invited me to the movies. We weren’t very good friends, though we orbited in the same social solar system. But Harkins had given her some free tickets to a prescreening of “The Island,” and she had to go with someone. It was mid-July, and our rich friends had ditched the white hot Arizona sun for islands with delicious names. Barbados. St. Bart’s. Turks and Caicos.

Anyway, I was convenient leftovers, and I wouldn’t say no to a free movie, especially if it contained Ewan McGregor kicking major clone booty astride a futuristic motorbike. It was the summer before high school, so my parents had to drive us. We picked her up at her place. I remember that we accidentally wore the exact same shade of green, and that she looked better in it than I did.

“So, Ali, how are your parents?” That was my dad.

“Oh they’re great, Mr. Ramos! We’re all having a great summer!” Her normal modus operandi is so determinedly cheerful that it seems pharmaceutically enhanced, but she is really just that happy. I remembered why we weren’t better friends.

“And are you looking forward to high school as much as my daughter?”

At this one Ali and I exchanged a glance.

“Um‚ I don’t know.”

Maybe she wasn’t so bad.

“You should be jumping up and down. It’s the best time of your life, you know.”

Another glance. “I suppose.”

With their duty as inquisitors ­fulfilled, my parents turned up the ­music, leaving us free to indulge in real conversation – a.k.a. talking about guys.

Both of us were madly in love with upperclassmen‚ Cole and Brandt, respectively. It was just about the only thing we had in common, the might of our crushes. They left battle scars: Ali’s narrow shoulders sunburnt from hours spent watching Cole from her roof, my fingertips ­callused from learning jazz guitar to impress Brandt.

But even the minutiae of our potential love lives weren’t enough to last the whole drive. Casting around for a topic, I landed on high school.

“So, you’re about as thrilled as me about being a freshman, huh?”

Ali laughed. “You have no idea how many parents I’ve had tell me it’ll be the best time of my life … and how many high-schoolers tell me it’ll be the worst.”

“I know, right! I’m totally terrified. It’s like, you have to get a job, get a car, get a boyfriend, get involved, get great grades so you can get into a great college so you can get a great job.”

“Exactly. What happens if you don’t get it all?”

There followed a nervous silence, but it was mercifully cut short by our arrival at the theater. In all the bustle of finding seats, we could almost forget about it. Almost.

The movie wasn’t very memorable, a standard summer orgy of explosions and chiseled actors. Afterwards there was about a half hour before my parents’ movie got out, so we needed to find a way to waste time.

We walked out of the theater to wait in the thick, hot night under the dim ­orange lights by the wall of upcoming movie posters with the clusters of other middle school kids. All of us were ­trying to look as though we weren’t being picked up by our parents, like we didn’t even know such things as parents existed – we just popped out of test tubes and were spared all that embarrassment. It was awkward.

Ali and I had run out of safe, ­superficial things to talk about before the movie. I mentioned the already thoroughly dissected subject of our high school expectations, and we found five minutes worth of material, talking too happily and too loudly in our relief. All too soon we were quiet again, and in my desperation I said, “I wish …,” and could not think what for.

I looked around for inspiration, hoping that it lurked somewhere in the stifling, aching night. What could I say? I wish for everything? It was true, but not right. Sweat trickled in that hideously unpleasant way down the small of my back, and suddenly I knew.

“I wish it would rain.”

Unbelievably, impossibly, miraculously, out of the blank black sky a ­solid wall of water whumped down on us. Heat lightning fractured the horizon, and thunder came so loud it pulled at our ribs. The heat that had smothered the sienna desert pulled away, and that wet dirt mineral smell filled the air. For a moment Ali and I merely goggled at each other, matching green shirts and matching expressions of wonder. Then we screamed and danced like dervishes in the warm rain, shouting all our other wishes to the sky, more than half believing that they would come true too.

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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albinotiger said...
Jul. 6, 2012 at 11:22 am
oh thats such a good story i love it :D
AlwaysAbditive said...
Jul. 6, 2012 at 12:15 am
Really great story. Sounds like a great memory as well. I hope you and Ali are still friends!
broadwaystar1998 said...
Jun. 14, 2012 at 2:40 pm
i absolutely loved it! Keep on writing girl!
ActressSingerAuthoress said...
Feb. 3, 2012 at 9:31 pm
This is fantastic. It feels so, so real, and it was written in a way that felt poetic but not contrived. EXCELLENT job--keep it up!
beautifyyourname This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm
I thought this was really good! Something I struggle with at times is showing and not telling, and I think you hit it spot-on. :)
SweetTart said...
Dec. 21, 2011 at 11:18 pm
this is wonderful:) You are an awesome writer & I loved this so much haha you captured that awakward 'we're friends but not really' sort of atmosphere PERFECTLY! Keep up the great work & maybe check out some of mine(:
amesgriffey said...
Nov. 7, 2011 at 4:01 pm



mmb77 said...
Sept. 24, 2011 at 8:35 pm
I like it because it's so normal and relatable, but it has that little hint of magic that makes it special
writerfreak21231This 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. 11, 2011 at 5:41 pm
wow that was amazing! I loved the story alot!!! ur an awesome writer!!!! if anyone had time could you check out my new story called Terror out of this world: The whole story
Steph0804 said...
Jul. 19, 2011 at 12:08 am
I almost cried when they said, "What if we don't get it all?" but I laughed out loud when it rained.
Odessa_Sterling00 said...
Apr. 23, 2011 at 10:24 pm
It seemed kinda straight forward, not really catching me on anything paticular.
RedheadAtHeart This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 19, 2011 at 10:13 pm
that was absolutely beautiful and so heartbreakingly true. I almost cried. "What if we don't get it all?" That part really rang true.
LetLoveLive said...
Dec. 12, 2010 at 12:33 pm
I have no words except this was FANTASTIC! It reminds me of when I met my friend nearly the same way! You bring memories in your writing! Keep It Up!
DreamingOutLoud This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 7, 2010 at 12:48 pm
This is amazing!
JennaBeaSwimma said...
Aug. 24, 2010 at 10:06 am
Really good! I felt like I was reading a real book. I'd like to vote for it but I don't know how! I'm new on here and I've been trying to figure it out. Does anyone know?
DiamondsIntheGrass This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 2, 2010 at 7:35 pm
so. realistic. cool.  wait... this is ur first article!? wow.
TheLifeLiver said...
Aug. 2, 2010 at 6:17 pm
You're only supposed to put periods inside of quotations if someone is talking. It was right.
animelover said...
Jun. 19, 2010 at 6:31 pm
This is your FIRST article?? It's absolutely fantastic!! I wish I could write that well! (Maybe my wish will come true now!! lol =3) 
~dreamofwriting~ said...
May 28, 2010 at 2:28 pm
this is great! nice work and good grammar cuz bad grammar is hard to read and it's my pet peeve on here!
Aidyl replied...
Jun. 19, 2010 at 8:51 pm
I enjoy how you didn't use capitals in that sentence and said "cuz" instead of "because". lol I'm just saying.
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