She's sitting next to me. Her hair, long, brown and silky. Her eyes, a soft brown, sooty eyelashes without a trace of makeup. She's tall and slim. Guys raise their eyebrows as she passes. She laughs and smiles, showing her newly perfect white teeth. Her wide grin makes a smile tug at my lips as well as everyone else's at our lunch table. I grimly run my tongue across my teeth, knowing that too soon they will be cluttered with metal. Also knowing that those guys who had once told me that I was attractive will quickly look away. I stare at her with shameful envy and jealousy. She is confident, but she talks and acts with such sincerity that being a snob would be impossible. As she tells a story, everyone is in tune with her, listening intently, laughing when she does. Her laugh, full of happiness and bliss carries throughout the cafeteria, turning heads along with smiles, all knowing who the laugh belongs to. She notices none of this, now too caught up in her English story to think of anything else. Everyone but her knows that she will pass the quiz on the story with flying colors like everything else. Words and lectures float around her head and always seem to find themselves content inside. They stay there where they will remain. The local newspaper will later show her name under High Honor Roll, while mine is down a bit at Honor Roll. Honor Roll is nice, but being up there with only five other names from our class, just once, would be better. But I know that's wishful thinking: it will always be her happiness, not mine. I stare sideways at her, loving her, admiring her and envying her. How can I love this person so much and have these feelings just the same. The answer is there as loud and as clear as a bell sounding off in my head. She is my best friend, and all these feelings are like whispers against the loud screaming and pounding of how much I love her. c
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.