Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Read My Lips This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Tempe, AZ
It was August. Now, it gets mighty hot down in Arizona, especially during August. Temperatures reach into the 100's like they're trying to touch the starts. Makes 120 easy, no sweat. Put some grapes out on the front porch in a little plastic bowl to see if I could make raisins. Checked on 'em 20 minutes later; all I found was a puddle of melted plastic and raisins the size of pebbles, hard like 'em too.
I couldn't make raisins. I couldn't whistle either. Not with braces; no way, no how. Everyone else could, but I couldn't. Felt like a rose bush in the middle of a desert. I got thorns and soft, velvety petals, but I can't make a sound. When the coyote howls at the bright yellow moon, all I do is sit and watch, wishen' like Pinocchio to howl along with the night.
Jackson knew I couldn't whistle. He often teased me for it. Made fun of my face when it got all red from the effort of making a tune escape my lips. He'd call me "Fishy Face". That was a few years ago. I still have my braces, but Jackson doesn't mock me anymore. You know, he's teaching me how. He's spent all his Saturday mornings for a whole two months trying to teach me how to whistle.
We meet at the bookstore, where they have air conditioning, and he fails and fails again. I never make a sound. Sometimes he gets frustrated. Says I'm not trying hard enough. I tell him that I am trying, and I want to learn how more than he does. He calms down after that.
It was August. We were inside, enjoying the cool, air conditioning like a smoker enjoys their fist cigarette after going without one for a month. Soaking it in and thinking about how eventually we would have to go back out again.
Jackson told me I would get it this time, he was sure of it. I told him that he said that every Saturday, but I never got it and maybe he should stop saying that because he's probably been jinxing it. He said fine and told me I wouldn't get it today and I that I would never learn and remain whistle-less my whole entire life. I told him he was a pessimistic jerk. He laughed at that.
Jackson got real close to my face and looked me dead in the eye. I could see every blue speck in those sky colored eyes. His eyes reminded me of the many warm, cloudless days when all you could see was this brilliant blue. It flushed out the color of everything else in sight. The blue was the star of the show.
He told me to focus on my lips and the way they stick out like a camera lens. I said okay and moved my lips outward and could feel the braces brush up against the insides of my mouth.
Then, suddenly, his lips stuck out and hit mine. Lip against lip. Braces against beautiful, pearly white teeth. We were kissing. When the kiss ended and we pulled away from each other, I pulled my lips in whistle position. I blew through my teeth and a gorgeous, long lasting note escaped my mouth. I had done it. I had whistled to the moon. I had whistled for Jackson. But, you know what, I really didn't care. For one last time my lips came together, I leaned over, and kissed him back.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback