The pennies hit the ground one by one. "How can you find a Jew in a crowd?" he sneered as he threw the pennies at me, his eyes burning a hole through me, his piercing laughter reverberating off the walls. I wanted to cry, but I wouldn't give him the satisfaction that I was hurting. As the tears swelled in my eyes, I kept telling myself, "I'm not going to cry; I'm not going to cry." I made it back to homeroom, wondering if all those unsuspecting eyes could sense my dirtiness. Through the day, the pain grew heavier, but still I did not cry. "I am not going to let him ruin my Valentine's Day." I kept all my feelings inside. Each hour, they raged inside screaming, "Cry, cry!" but I couldn't . The incident kept replaying in my mind, over and over, the pennies, the words, the laughter, but still I didn't cry. It was Valentine's Day. Love was in the air, and I went home and ... cried. To this day I cannot bring myself to pick up money from the floor. And as for the boy, well, he's just another worthless penny on the ground. c
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.