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The Price Of Painted Toenails This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

The paint on my toenails was chipping today. Pieces of green and orange fluttered to the floor where the wooden boards swallowed them up, remembering my stiff waddle when I first painted them. Remembering my sandals the next day, so that everyone could see how happy I was to have perfect toenails, that – God forbid – didn't even have a crack in them.

Until they did.

The tiny lines would bury in the paint, despite the many coats of paint I applied, how many times I told my toes I love you, don't go, I could never replace you with that acid green in my bedroom cabinet because it's too clumpy and hard. I wondered why my toes wouldn't listen.






You liked the cracks. “Leave them,” you said. And you laughed with that laugh that made us tower above the small flat world so we could avoid the breaks in the sidewalk and count the stars with our smiles.

Your laugh was the summer when Tuesday became Sunday, and Friday was Wednesday, and I ate the same number of Cheerios each morning. It was the summer when we held hands and I learned to hate tomatoes and never removed the nail polish, not once.






I saw you today at the restaurant where you told me that the only thing that scared you more than death was tomorrow. You were smiling at someone who used to be me. Used to hate tomatoes and lose track of time. Used to. I bet the paint on her toenails was flawless.

You were there and I was here and we were separated by an entire round world of smiles and breaks in the sidewalk.

My toenails were bare today. I tried to laugh and convince myself that they looked better that way. And you know what? They almost did.

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 16 comments. Post your own!

LillyZ83This 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...
Jan. 8 at 1:35 pm:
Lovely... absolutely lovely... extreamely poetic! Maybe you could read my story sometime and give me some advice!
 
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Jea.Lively said...
Nov. 12, 2013 at 11:48 pm:
Please never stop writing :) i loveeddd this!
 
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Dramarama said...
Apr. 18, 2013 at 7:53 pm:
Great symbolism!!! :)
 
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MissBlondiee said...
Feb. 2, 2013 at 2:30 am:
I fell in love with this piece. I can't even find the words to describe why. It's wonderful. Keep it up. xoxo
 
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In_Love_with_Writing said...
Jan. 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm:
That was really sweet :) Comment on some of my stories?
 
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jetta.ckThis 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. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm:
Wow, this is really amazing. This is a phenomenal piece! I'm very impressed. Your story is very poetic and you can almost interpret it any way you want to. Great job!!
 
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someinfinitiesarebigger said...
Dec. 6, 2012 at 3:25 am:
this beautiful writer is my best friend in the whole world so ha ha ha, your writing is great risa
 
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KatsK This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 8, 2012 at 11:38 pm:
Yet again, wow. This gave me goosebumps. It's great. Reading this made me want to write. Thanks for igniting the spark again.
 
Lovemelovemenot replied...
Oct. 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm :
I'm usually one of those people who you can't get to shut up. This left me speechless. That just shows how amazing you are, please write more and never change you brilliant person you!!!
 
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Rebekah_Cruz said...
Sept. 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm:
Wow. That was amazing. I didn't relaize exactly what was going on until the end, but then...Wow. Blew my frickin mind. Keep on writing.
 
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cuckoo_for_cocoa_puffs said...
Sept. 8, 2012 at 10:42 am:
Wow. I really like this. It's just so real I can't help but relate. It's not a Edward-and-Bella-Forbidden-Romance sort of nonsense, that's comepletly alien. it's kinda how I think. the best kind of writing is where a reader can connect and relate. Good job!
 
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Queena said...
Sept. 7, 2012 at 11:11 am:
...I have absolutley no words for this peice. I can tell you that I am crying right now. You just wrote my thoughts in a way that I would never be able to say them... This is my favorite peice I have ever read on this website. It's...it's amazing! I'm breathless right now. The minute I finish writing this I am going back and reading it again. This is amazing...you're amazing... PLEASE write more. The world deserves to hear what you have to say.
 
wishingtheskywasbluer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 8, 2012 at 12:04 am :
oh my goodness thank you so much! you don't know how much your comment means to me:) 
 
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awesomeaugustThis 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. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 8, 2012 at 6:51 pm:

so. good.

I love your style!

 
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Annette11 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 2, 2012 at 8:13 pm:
great story i loved it!
 
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SilverSunThis 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...
Apr. 24, 2012 at 9:26 am:
I like this a lot. I think I understand what youre saying, but I'd love see an explanation. 5/5 stars!! Goooood job!!!!
 
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