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

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     It was late August. While making my family a spaghetti dinner, I took the chance to think about all the things that had confused me that summer. I added the bay leaves to the sauce and thought, Why is it that things change so much? Why can’t we just stop creating drama? Three more days until cheerleading camp meant only two weeks until school; I was dreading it.

As I oiled the pan, I thought about the fight. Was I going to have to see him again? I hadn’t changed, but things had changed. He changed his views of me. Completely incomprehensible. The oil swooshed around the pan, just like his feelings found their way around his heart and eventually out of his fingertips. The same fingertips that typed those hateful words online. As I rolled the meatballs, it became even clearer. Things hadn’t changed. Things were exactly the same. He changed. His heart was the complete opposite.

In my kitchen, I felt the heat of the flames. I heard the gerbils running around in their cages. It had been a while since I heard them drinking. Did they need more

water? I shoved the thought of him out of my mind. I tended to the animals and went back to the bubbling sauce. His words still burned through my brain. I threw the meatballs into the pan.

Only three days until cheerleading camp. Then I could focus on the tasks at hand. Maybe we won’t miss a spirit stick this year, I thought.

I remember, on that August evening, I called him. It was the sorriest mistake I ever made. I tasted the sauce. Salty and bitter. Just like our words, and how we had changed. The world around us remained the same.

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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