Happy Endings This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

April 25, 2013
At age nine, I lived for recess
For ten-thirty in the morning
When all schoolwork suddenly vanished
Like the lights did whenever we watched a movie
And all of us swarmed like ants from our classrooms
With clumsy feet and ear-to-ear smiles

The scorching sun made the monkey bars hot
But it didn't stop us for a second
The zip line was too high
I couldn't even reach it if I jumped

The tree branches in the corner were a cave
Relief from the glowing furnace in the sky
They came down low so I could reach them
I spent a lot of time there on my own
It was my pride and joy
And I thought highly of myself
for finding such a place in a mere playground

The playground's platform was a pirate ship
And its steps were the plank
The rock-climbing wall was the center, the sail
We climbed up to the tallest point and proclaimed “Land ho!” as we sailed through the wood chips
Our hands cupped around our eyes were binoculars, and they worked quite well

Recess was for running and playing and laughing
And for living
Every second was ours until the bell marched us back to class

We made up pretend fantasies and played with “what if”
There was no plot or conflict to our story
Just us and happy endings

At age nine, I lived for art
For painting with watercolors
And capturing the beauty of a simple sun and its squiggly orange rays on a canvas
For having my mom display it on our wall for the world to see

There was no sadness or despair. No darkness. No reality.
Just flowers and butterflies, bright colors and smiles.

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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