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Eyes of Silver This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Her eyes were focused on her notebook, as if in a trance. She was determined to finish the task at hand before time was up. Her head hunched over and her hair spiraled in all directions, making it almost impossible to see her complexion.

What I did know about her was her smile. She had a straight row of teeth, and gums that could be seen when she smiled. If you told a joke, it instantly lit up, almost like a dog wagging its tail. Her silvery eyes, slightly magnified behind her wire-framed glasses, caught your eye. In seconds you would both be laughing for no apparent reason.

With the snap of a finger, she would be back to her notebook. Even though her drawings and sketches weren’t for anyone in particular, they still had to look their best. She sat with a few other people on the pavement in the little inlet right by the gym doors. It was a place she always sat when she brought her notebook. As others kicked soccer balls and swung on the monkey bars, she perched with her legs bent, her notebook and mechanical pencil balanced on them. She wasn’t like the others.

She had this imaginative, fun sense about her – something others couldn’t completely understand. There were times she would come out empty-handed and choose to play Pokémon with a small group. This was one of those fads that I never really caught on to. If I joined them, I felt awkward, wondering, What are the others thinking of me? I thought of her group as people who would draw attention with their strange games and oddities.

I kept this self-consciousness for much of my childhood. I questioned if I wanted to hang out with her and do the things that she and her group did. I chose to be ambitious and go on a quest in search of new friends. I would always keep her in the back of my mind as a fall-back friend to go to if it didn’t work out. I didn’t know.

***

The king and queen have just been crowned, and a familiar song begins to play. The music is slow, and entrancing. She glides with poise across the floor in her teal gown as I take her in my arms. There may be others I am in love with, but for now, she is the one. She feels incredible, and she looks it as well. I am surrounded by my friends and their loved ones.

I gaze into her eyes and catch a flash of silver from behind a pair of contact lenses. She has grown into a beautiful woman whom I feel lucky to know. I didn’t know then, though. It’s surprising how life can be like a boomerang. Things you thought might never happen do, and you stick with people whom you later wonder why there was ever a doubt in your mind about.

***

The others were all the people who I felt were watching me and every move I made. Even though they probably had no desire to know what someone like me was doing. I wasn’t like the others. I was different, and it was my job to become like them.

I first tried the group who played sports. I played soccer for years, and thought that I could bond with them. After a while, I got bored playing every day. I wasn’t as good, and I felt left out. There were times when I found myself drifting back to the inlet by the gym doors to be with her and her friends.

At the end of the day when I returned home, my mother always asked who I was with that day. I felt ashamed to tell her that my attempts to branch out were not working and that I was going back to my old group. She replied with a nod. She didn’t seem fazed by my frustration. I wasn’t embarrassed by them. I just wanted so badly to belong with people other than those who were in my predicament.

***

The place is cool and calm. The walls are painted orange and lime green, and the ceiling is completely black. The pipes and ventilation are visible if you look close enough. I walk up to the counter and order my first bubble tea. She reassures me it tastes like heaven, and that it’s up to me whether I choose to drink it with tapioca. “They taste like eyeballs,” she says. We laugh, and order them anyway.

We sit facing each other in this relaxing environment, talking, laughing, and reflecting on these eight years. Her eyes remind me of the crescent moon hanging outside in the sky: mysterious, shining, and silver. My head aches from the freezing drink. We get up to go, but don’t leave until we hug good-bye. The coldness clears.

***

A year passed. I moved onto another group, the “popular crowd.” I’m not sure what gave them this ­title. They were loud and obnoxious sometimes, yet something drew me to them. I wanted to be like them. So I tried.

At first it seemed I was welcome. Then I felt odd being with them. They weren’t the nicest people to me or to others. They had interests that were not mine. I had strived hard to be with them, but it turned out not worth it.

She had moved on to another group. I felt lost. Who was there to turn to? I didn’t know.

***

She sits across from me at the new tea shop. Who would have thought after all this time we would still be close? I was so engrossed in what others thought of me that I lost sight of the people who really mattered. I had a realization when I was alone: I needed to surround myself with people I loved and who loved me. One of the only people I could think of was her.

She smiles at me and takes a sip of her new favorite blend of tea from a white china teacup. I feel lucky to be in the presence of her eyes of silver. After all, they were with me the whole time, I just didn’t realize it. I didn’t know. For the entire time, she was there. My best friend.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

meredith P. said...
Apr. 9, 2009 at 2:49 pm
i got 1 word for you.......AMAZING!!!!!
 
Jonathan B said...
Jan. 26, 2009 at 6:14 am
Thank you all for such nice comments. This story as you can see, I dedicate to my truly best friend who has been there for me in all of the times that I need her. I couldn't ask for anything more. I hope you all have enjoyed! :)
 
dmcnn said...
Jan. 23, 2009 at 2:20 am
This is amazing..
 
sunnysall said...
Dec. 30, 2008 at 12:12 am
this is a vey great story i love how it is descriptive and cute she mus be a very lucky girl:)
 
sun baby said...
Dec. 16, 2008 at 5:03 am
Wow. This is an amazing story. I love how the years pass, I too try to switch up my group, hang with the popular kids, but I always go back to the ones I love. I wold love to hear more about this story!!! Very wel written!!
 
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