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

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   Kissing Frogs

by Michael K., Randolph, NJ



"Kiss Me"

Once upon a time there was a frog ...

But he wasn't really a frog.

He was a prince who looked and felt like a frog.

A wicked witch cast a spell on him and only the kiss of a beautiful maiden could save him.

But no one wanted to kiss the frog!

So there he sat - an unkissed prince in frog form.

But ... one day along came a beautiful maiden who gave this frog a great big smack.

Crash - Boom - Zap!

There he was - a handsome dashing prince.

(And you know the rest - they lived happily ever after.)

- Anonymous



What does it mean to be a frog? I know. It was a cool, crisp fall day. I was six years old. My dad had promised to take me and my sister to the YMCA to go swimming. I was thrilled. My mom had a headache, so he wanted to get us off her hands for a while. We had a great time. We went swimming, and watched the people playing racquetball. By four o'clock my sister and I were exhausted, as little kids are after a long day, so my dad took us home. I ran into the house prepared to tell my mom about the fun we had had, but I never made it that far. Something had happened that would change my life forever.

My mother had committed suicide. At first, it was hard for me to grasp; three hours before my mom was going to lie down and now she was gone. I felt alone; no one was there for me. I had so many thoughts running through my mind. What would I do? Would the kids at school tease me because I didn't have a mom? I was a confused little boy.

After the funeral, it felt like a piece of me was missing. My dad spoke with my teachers who were very supportive. However, the other children weren't as understanding. There were days I came home from school crying because I had been teased for not having a mother. I felt alone. Kids who were supposed to be my friends were teasing me left and right, and it hurt.

One day we were outside for recess when a group of kids began to mock me. I wanted to curl into a ball and die. But my neighbor, who was no small kid, stood up for me and they stopped laughing. All of a sudden I felt a thousand times better. He had come to my aid when I needed a friend. He helped me get through my time of sadness. It wasn't like he had donated a kidney; all he did was stand up for me. Looking back on the whole incident, I find it amazing that such a small gesture could be so meaningful. In the following weeks, the kids continued to tease me, and sure it bothered me, but just not as much. I felt as if I had the added edge.

My neighbor and I had been friends before this whole ordeal, but I feel it brought us closer. Today, even though he has moved, we retain a strong relationship, and are there for each other through thick and thin.

Though eleven years have passed, my mother remains an instrumental part of my life. I feel it is safe to say that I matured faster than those around me. Watching my father try to remain strong was almost as painful as staring into the eyes of my deceased mother. All the counseling in the world could not have rebuilt my shattered life. That day changed my outlook on life; I feel it has prepared me, in a sense, for what is to come. Although she is gone, my mother's spirit will always guide me through life's journeys.


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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