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A Simple Confession This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Schoolnights were always the longest, with nowhere to go and no one to see. For me,that changed the end of junior year. For at least a month, I stayed up to allhours of the night, eating cookies and drinking milk while chatting on the phoneabout trivial issues with the boy I adored, the boy who moved miles away forcollege. Night after night we would talk, the hours flying by. It was absoluteheaven. Never had I felt so wonderful about anyone.

Every day was thesame: I'd rush home from school, pick up the phone and arrange a plate of Oreocookies while waiting for him to answer, then I'd run to my room. We talked abouteverything attainable to the human imagination. I told him all my secrets andconcluded that even though he gave me goose bumps, he was one of the few peoplewho never made me nervous. It wasn't until the night I heard the magic threewords uttered in his voice for the first time that I realized how wrong Iwas.

It was just like all the nights before: milk, cookies, lying on anunmade bed, and discussing nonsense. I had already changed into my worn flannelpajama pants and an old t-shirt and was making myself comfortable under theblankets while playfully arguing about which was the better baseball team, theYankees or the Red Sox. The conversation started to die out after a bit, and thebed was much too comfortable to resist. I started to drift off, and told my phonebuddy that I was tired and wanted to go to sleep. I was excited to hear thedisappointment in his voice when he asked in a pained voice if I were reallyleaving.

"Yes, I'm exhausted," I replied. He proceeded to tellme good night, and as soon as I repeated sleep-well wishes to him, he blurted,"Don't go." I started to protest, but he asked, "Please, will youstay?" I couldn't say no, and sleepily told him I would, but only for a fewminutes. I could sense he was smiling, which in turn made me grin.

We weresilent for a moment before I started to mention an incident that I had forgottenbefore, when he interrupted and stuttered something so quickly and muffled that Iasked him to repeat it.

"I love you," he said again, and I heardhim hold his breath for my response. I sat for a moment trying to comprehend whatI'd just heard; and before I could fully grasp his confession, my whole body wentnumb with heat, and the blood rushed to my face so fast I thought it might startpouring out of my nostrils.

I tried to reply "I love you,too," but no words came out, just spastic breathing. He asked if I was stillthere, and somehow I managed to mumble yes. He repeated himself, only this timewith less assertiveness. Again, I could not respond. I sat like a trembling fishout of water, clinging to the phone and looking at it with a horrifiedexpression, as though something terribly disgusting had just shot out of theearpiece. Finally, without saying a word, I hung up the phone, stillshaking.

In a second, the phone rang. If I answered I could pretend thehang-up was an accident. Of course, I'd be stuck having to face the threemind-numbing words. I picked up the phone and placed it right back on thereceiver, praying that it wouldn't ring again. After a minute I laid down. Istared at the star-covered ceiling, wondering about what had just happened. Then,before I closed my eyes, I whispered to no one, "I love you, too."

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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