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

I could have said anything. Anything but this. Yet it was like my lips acted of their own accord – you know, the way the girl always dreams that the guy's lips will. As if they would just kiss you the way you tacitly pray that they would. It could have been so easy. But me? I always make it difficult.

I watched as he blinked, his eyes lingering closed longer than usual. I bit my lip while his piercing eyes were veiled, and waited for my words to sink through his skin.

In my daydreams it was always smoother. I'd say it; he'd smile. I imagined his heart would race as soon as he had processed the confession I'd set free. In my mind it was in slow motion, black and white, like the movies. In real life, it flew by as fast as my heartbeat.

I watched as his eyes opened and the corners of his mouth flickered the way they always did. It was like he had said something funny and was waiting for me to react. I watched as he inhaled deeply, my heart catching. If his voice were any sweeter, any more gentle, I would have felt my eyes flood with tears.

“No, you don't,” he said. He let a small smile take over his beautiful face. I watched his lips spread out in his most breathtaking way, his dimples cutting sharply into his cheeks.

In my dreams, he would say it back, like when someone says “How are you,” you must always reply, “Good. And you?” It wasn't like that. He didn't say it back. And me? I was frozen.

He smiled, a little flustered, and pulled me into a hug. My blood, running like ice in my veins, made my head spin. I was so shocked that I didn't wrap my arms around him when he embraced me. Numb as I was, his hug sent electricity coursing through every pore of my skin. But the embrace wasn't passionate – it was cautious, ­fatherly.

“Uh … I'm confused,” I admitted, pulling away. He looked at me, understanding in his eyes.

His eyes … so many days I had simply thought of those eyes, like windows into a world I could see the key to but could never reach.

“I know that you might think you love me, but you're young, sweetie. You'll grow up and someone better will come along. Someone who can love you, too. It's not that I don't like you – because I do – but it's just … too ­complicated for us to be anything more than friends. Besides, even if it feels like you love me, I promise you don't. Okay, bud?”

He took my hands in his. His grasp, so much bigger than mine, nearly enclosed my clammy fingers.

“I'm not that young.”

My voice came out as a squeaky whisper, and for a moment I wondered if he would even hear. My eyes were averted to my Sketchers as I waited to see if my response had been ­audible.

“Of course you're not!” he boomed, “but some day, when you're older, you'll find someone who's better for you. They'll be better than me, too, I promise!”

He stood up, so that I had to lift my chin to hold his gaze with my sad, pleading eyes. His big hand, so calloused and scarred, reached down and ruffled my hair. I sighed at his gentle, avuncular touch. In that one, final graze of his hand in my hair, my little heart broke.

“Hurry up, kid,” he said warmly, “you'll miss the bus.”

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 46 comments. Post your own now!

SmileyBabe said...
Nov. 24, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Who is the guy???? Other then that very good


me who else replied...
Sept. 6, 2012 at 12:01 am
hmmm... i don't think its her father nobody has that type of relationship with their father
prettylittlewriterThis 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...
Oct. 9, 2011 at 6:18 pm
wow this breaks my heart!!!!! aww i feel so bad for her. you have a true talent for writing, please continue!
Beth328 said...
Sept. 10, 2011 at 11:35 pm
This is so beautiful and deep. It pulls you in and makes you hope as much as the little girl in the story that he'll like her the same way but in the end he's just her teacher and after all she is his student. Love your work.
monkeyface replied...
Sept. 25, 2011 at 12:39 pm

all of the emotion wa totally there nothing was mising

andi  know how it \feels

i asked a guy out and he siad no

many times your heart is broken

this is one of the worst feelings

yu did terrific...

if i were to describe this it wouldnt be nearly as good as this.


HollerGirl26 said...
Aug. 26, 2011 at 8:05 pm
What a pleasing surprise!! :) very well-written...I appreciate the unpredictability and the've got somethin' going for ya, girl!! <33 ..btw..I looove how this is like Aria and Ezra from Pretty Little Liars.. :)
PeaceLoveMusic77 said...
Jun. 30, 2011 at 8:41 pm
I love this! and I love how at first you think it's two teens but in the end it's a little girl with a crush on her teacher! It's so cute :) No need for more details, it has this kind of "what's happening?......ohh! i understand" vibe going on :p Great Job! (:
xBaByGiRrL22x replied...
Aug. 26, 2011 at 11:35 am
I completely agree(: Great Job !
Kelly P. said...
Jun. 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm
Wow this is amazing! Honestly, I've read published books so much worse than this.
DoubleN said...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 8:28 pm
great job! i loved the way this was written!
AnnaCwell said...
May 29, 2011 at 8:06 pm
I thought the lack of detail is exactly what this short story needed. It adds a sense of mystery to it, because it keeps your mind analyzing the situation constantly. At first, you assume it is just two people of the same age having that awkward "I have feelings for you" moment... but then it changes to maybe an older brother figure, and at the very end (as it should be), you can conclude it is an adult. I loved it. Keep writing : )
LaChapis said...
May 3, 2011 at 11:00 am
I got very confused. Your metaphor though is good.
MaryKate said...
Apr. 3, 2011 at 7:25 am
Who was the guy? How old were these people? These are details we need. You need more details hun.
wonderHaley replied...
Aug. 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm
Actually, no. It doesn't need more detail. This is how the story is meant to be. It's supposed to keep the reader guessing. Its what keeps it interesting.
BriannaM. said...
Mar. 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm
so tragic!
Nerd34 said...
Mar. 19, 2011 at 8:56 am
this is good maybe a little more detail. Great Job! 
VampiresEverywhere said...
Mar. 11, 2011 at 7:42 pm
How old is this girl? not to young... that would be kinda creepa. But I liked it!
reckless-abandonment This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 6, 2011 at 3:31 pm
the little girl is supposed to be a young girl with a crush on her teacher...i tried not to make it obvious, so as to leave it up to interpretation. thanks for the feedback :)
beautifulmudblood replied...
May 17, 2011 at 3:12 pm
I loved the free reign of interpretation, it kept up a certain element of mystery. 
TeaCat said...
Mar. 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm
I like this story a lot. It has a very unique voice.
Tiannasquigglescake said...
Mar. 2, 2011 at 7:46 pm
Well wrtitten, but some advice; might want to put more description into the article. I was confused. If this guy called this girl "kid", then how old is the girl? And how old is the guy? What were the surroundings like? I only learned of the location in the end. 
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