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


   The first image I remember ofthat night was the two girls. They were, by far, the youngest ones there. I foundout later that the lip ring on one was fake (I thought so). The girl with her hadthese cute little glasses, mousy brown puffed-out hair and wore khakis. But backto the first girl.

"She's been on a television show," my friendtold me when Ms. Faux Lip Ring floated by in fishnets and a large pair of sparklyfairy wings. I could imagine her prancing from leaf to leaf and then removing thefake ornament from her lips and basking under the moon, letting its pale beams,like soft hands, massage her cheek.

I also remember the rainbow balloons.The girl jumped around, prancing with grace like some preternatural being,tapping up the balloons until they sank back down to where she would grab them.The greased dance floor was bare - but just for a few minutes, as crowds formed.Some people held hands behind the fringes of the shadows and others lingered inthe light - like me - and surveyed the others. I watched the girl. That's how Ifeel inside, I thought. Small but graceful, singular yet spectacular among themasses.

Behind them, a lithe young man in a tank top twitched with energy.His pink, pouting bottom lip shone against the Technicolor light and mixed hueswith the rainbow balloons that dotted the floor. Those two girls danced, theirbodies grooving, and the young man stood like a tall jewel, a Greek legend, astring of pearls beneath his black wife-beater, faded jeans and uncallousedhands. And those eyes. Blue like sapphires, and just as sparkling. I had met himbefore, coming out of the bathroom. We had talked. In a silvery voice, he told mehow he had been kicked out of school. Very young. He had been home-schooled. Hisnails were glassy and healthy, his black hair spiked, treated andconditioned.

The girls fluttered like two butterflies around him. His eyeswandered from them, to me and then away. He met up with the tall blonde he hadbeen waiting for, and the two kissed sweetly. They, too, begandancing.

The entire place was soon jumping. Crowds swayed and ebbed aslips met, hands shook, friends and lovers met for the first time. And I thought,These kids have never fit in. Anywhere.

I sank farther into the shadowsand stepped into a role that fit like a good pair of loose jeans - that ofObserver.

A lone boy danced among a group of hip-swaying girls wearingchunky black boots and rainbow barrettes. His face erupted in unchecked surpriseand despite his tall, muscular figure, despite his cute baggy jeans, despite theintelligent light in his eyes, and the purse of his manly lips and the way thathis jaw jutted over a fine face and paw-like hands, I thought with apprehension:Oh, no.

He sat down and talked to me. And talked and talked. He waseverything I would want in someone.

Almost.

This is the firsttime he had ever felt like a minority, he said. He wasn't sure he liked thefeeling.

Two hours crawled by as he flirted with himself, hoping I wouldjoin in.

"Absence demands presence, doesn't it? The absence beingouter space, and the demanded presence being the ball of matter that started thiswhole thing - this universe, everything that we know and have not yet discovered.Ever think about that? You know, maybe the planets are just molecules. Electrons.Or an element. What do we have in our solar system? Nine planets? Ever think thatmaybe we were just a molecule of ... what? Neon?"

I looked at him.Flicked my eyes back to the dance floor - the only party atmosphere that had everwelcomed me. Here I didn't have to turn my eyes away when she walked by. When Ithought that, I thought maybe I had been staring a bit too long.

And thetwo girls walked by. Holding hands.

Adonis had been kicked out of schoolfor wearing a dress to show and tell. His lips unlocked and locked with his loverlike a plush zipper, and set all my denial on the back burner.

"I'msorry," I told him. "I have to go."

And I left that placewith a penciled version of his number, smudging hopes unfulfilled. I walked outof my place in the world, back into normalcy. He had forced me out of my peacefulspot in this particle of Neon that refuses to understand, and to this day I hatehim for it. He woke me up from a Rip Van Winkle sleep, one that I had been lulledinto like some true-life Grimm fairy tale. And as I was driving home, it began torain. The sun bobbed on the horizon, and rainbow tears splattered onto the frontwindshield.

For once, they were no longer in my eyes. See, all had notbeen lost. I had gotten another phone number earlier that day.

She'dwritten in pen.




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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