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Alone This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     She was alone. Sure, there was her mother downstairs, discussing macaroni and cheese recipes with the neighbor. Without looking, she knew her mother was inspecting every one of her acrylic nails for a chip so she could go to the salon and chat with the ladies there. Her mother, trying to act like Super Mom.

She had a father too, but he didn’t really count. He was too drunk half the time to notice her existence, too caught up in his own issues. Her sister was just down the hall, playing with makeup and trying to figure out a way to look like she was in high school so she could get into the dance at the Catholic boys school. And, of course, her brother was locked in his room, lost in the false reality of the Internet. Thus, she was alone.

Sure, she had friends, girls who all looked the same with gossiping personalities but kind hearts, and boys who teased her good-naturedly. And, of course, in response, she would pretend to be mad and get all flustered. She knew all the lines, knew her role by heart. She knew the words to say to stay in character.

Except to him, because he wasn’t an actor. He was real. And that’s why he scared her so much. After all, she only knew her lines when others were fed to her. When he walked by, when he caught her looking at him, when he smiled, it was like getting up in front of a crowd awaiting a Tony-winning performance when you have no vocal cords.

She shouldn’t feel this way. After all, he was just a guy, just like every other one she shamelessly flirted with. But for some reason, he was different. In a good way. He made her stomach flutter and heart race. He gave her, the ultimate showstopper, stage fright.

And it was this she was contemplating as she sat on her bed, completely alone. She was happy and sad at the same time, and it scared her, especially because there was no one to talk to about it. No one cared, and it didn’t frustrate her, because it was normal. But when she closed her eyes, a million possibilities flashed before her eyes, things that could happen with him. She wished, and not for the first time, that she was in fourth grade again when romance had consisted of the “Do you like me? Check yes or no” note.

Sure, romance back then consisted of talking through one’s friends and maybe hugging, but it was so much easier. Now, there was popularity, and how far you would go to keep your boyfriend happy while staying safe, and cheating to worry about. Romance wasn’t worth it, or so she thought. But every time she saw him, love became worth the sacrifice and inevitable heartbreak. Romance was worth it. He was worth it.

Maybe taking the huge risk of making the first move wasn’t so daring, she thought. Just look at the rewards. There was one immense pay-off that she would foresee.

She wouldn’t be alone.

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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BGIRL4LIFE said...
Apr. 5, 2016 at 10:46 am
I feel your pain
 
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