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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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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. 
reckless-abandonment This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm
thanks for the feedback - actually, the point of the man in this being fatherly, and telling the girl that she will miss the bus is supposed to show you that the man is the little girl's teacher:)
LovelyMiss This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 2, 2011 at 5:27 pm
Wow this was really good but I don't get the ending why does he say "hurry up kid you'll miss the bus?" and when they are taking when he calls her "sweetie" and "bud," something a father would say so it was kinda a visual I didn't want to be seeing. But I loved the descriptions!
Chimzzy said...
Mar. 1, 2011 at 1:13 pm

This artcile  was really well written!

I absolutely loved the descriptions and the soft tone you put into your words!

Well done, keep it up! (:

Luna1 said...
Feb. 28, 2011 at 6:51 pm
Loved it. I can really feel the passion your words describe.
AnimalGirl said...
Feb. 28, 2011 at 6:11 pm
that was amazing. i loved it. it reminded me of the Vampire Academy series, by Richelle Mead. it was really good! :)
yasmina.tabbal said...
Feb. 28, 2011 at 12:37 pm
I honestly think I felt like it was me you were talking to. Excellent story. Keep it up :D
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