What It Takes | Teen Ink

What It Takes

October 7, 2013
By deafening-fan GOLD, Kutztown, Pennsylvania
More by this author
deafening-fan GOLD, Kutztown, Pennsylvania
10 articles 1 photo 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

Author's note: I hope that people realize love should be sweet and pure, not just short lasting relationships you throw away out of the blue.

I kicked the multicolored piles as crisp leaves fell under the chilly morning sun. I was walking to Cedarwood Senior High School, my school. I just needed to make one stop.

“Anne? Anne, where are you?” I said when I came to our meeting place at the intersection. Suddenly, a group of girls dressed in pink, pink, and guess what? More pink. It’s like a princess play set dresser threw up on them. Pink sweaters, pink shirts, pink headpieces, pink boots, pink earrings, pink... well, I guess you get it. But the worst part was the sparkles and sequins. They sparkled like the Milky Way in desert Utah.

Although they may seem harmless, they’re actually diva queen piranhas. Once they bullied a girl so bad, she moved away, which is big news since NOBODY moves away from Cedarwood. I’m serious.

When they came in sight, I knew I was in trouble. I bolted into the nearest, which happened to be the drugstore. I knew I had to buy something or they’d throw me out to the Pink Piranhas. I quickly went for an Arizona Iced Tea when I bumped heads with someone.

“Oww. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to...”

“Not, it was my fault. I should have looked where I was going,” said a young voice. I looked up to see a tall, blonde-haired boy with strikingly gray-green-blue eyes. He helped me pick up my dropped books. I reached for my history book when he did, and his hand touched mine. I blushed fiercely and retreated. He handed me the book and I noticed what he was wearing. He was wearing jeans and converses with a gray Led Zeppelin t-shirt. He got two teas and gave one to me.

“Thanks,” I said my cheeks still pink.

“No problem.”

“You go to CWHS right?”

“Yeah, yeah. I’m in Mrs. Hakati’s homeroom.” My eyes lighted up.

“Really I do too, and now I remember you. We have physics together right?”

“Yeah... Hey, I didn’t get your name. I’m Joshua Parks.”

“I’m Thea Green.” He smiled and mouthed my name to himself.

“You have a really pretty name.” I blushed fiercely and brushed a strand of my light brown hair away from my face.

“I’ll see you around some okay?”

“Yeah, I’d really like that. Maybe we could hang out during study hall?”

I nodded and walked away to the counter and paid for my drink.

* * *

I explained to Anne why I wasn’t waiting by the stop sign. I think you need to know more about the clique. There used to be like 5 or 6, and they weren’t as bad. Until Jessica Riles. She made her own clique. I’m in her year (juniors) so I’ve seen it all. The Clique War shall live in CWHS infamy. From senior to junior, junior to sophomore, sophomore to freshman. A clique war is when all the cliques try to out-rumor each other. In the end, the Alpha Pack was the only one left standing, they were crueler, and so much worse than the other cliques that no one made another one. They’ve ruled the school ever since.

I walked to my next class, and glanced over at Josh, who was talking to his best friend, Tyler. They looked up and I returned to focusing on Mount Rushmore. Also, it seemed like Mr. Franklin’s moustache was becoming very interesting.

Days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months, and soon it was December. Anne started to hang out with me and Josh, and then Tyler hung out with us. Soon we had a nice little quartet. Josh would play his guitar while we sang.

A few days before we got out for Christmas break, I was thinking about Josh, maybe he would ask me to the City Council Christmas Ball. Probably not, Jessica Riles had been hanging out with him a lot, pushing me out of the way. Oh well, I thought as I wrapped my scarf around my neck, ready to tread out into the cold. Suddenly, my older brother Riley came in from outside with a large box.

“Mail from Aunt Lillean!” My twin brothers, Mateo and Maxwell, came crashing through the house, there backpacks hanging from their shoulders loosely, and a bit of toothpaste on their face. Our cat Sophie cleaned herself under the Christmas tree near the fire for warmth. Our dog Nathan, wagged his tail happily, and my father came down, dressed in a shirt and tie, ready for his day teaching at the main campus of the University of Eastern Pennsylvania., which was located in town (that’s why Cedarwood is still a large town with small town charm). My mother, who was expecting her fifth child, came in from our kitchen with a warm mug of cocoa, which she drinks in wintertime instead of coffee.

Aunt Lillean is a rich architect who lives in New York City. Every year she sends us Christmas presents, a few days before she arrives for Christmas. She also sends us birthday presents. It was always fun to get her presents, because she said we could open them before Christmas!
“I guess I could drive them all to school before I go to my 10:00 class,” my father said with a merry smile on his face. He has strong shoulders, rugged from the navy, but he also coaches the college basketball team. We ripped open the package with glee. My brother got some new sneakers. The twins got two toy light sabers. The baby got a blue night light for the nursery. I searched for my gift and picked up an envelope addressed to a ‘Miss Thea Greene’. I opened the envelope and the flap said, happy flying. I took out a ticket and read it. My eyes couldn’t believe what they read. One ticket to New York City. I looked at my parents’ faces, smiling. I burst out laughing and crying.

“Thank you thank you thank you thank you! I’m finally going to New York!”
* * *

Later in the month, I was packing in my room when Riley knocked on my door.

“Come in,” I almost sang.

“Hi, listen, Thea, I saw you with Parks today.”

“Yeah, so?”

“I don’t want you near him,” I stared at my brother.

“Why? What’s wrong with Josh?

“Well, I’ve seen him look at you, and I know you like him, but...”

“But what?”

“But Jessica Riles likes him. A lot. I don’t want you getting hurt by the Alpha Alpha.”

“I’ll be fine. Trust me.” He just sighed as I continued to pack. Tomorrow I was on my way out.


“Ladies and gentleman. We’ll be making our descent in fifteen minutes. Please put on your seat belts.” I looked up from National Geographic Magazine and put my seat belt in place. I watched the city come into view. I was there.


“Thea! Thea! Over here.” I ran and hugged my Aunt Lillean.

“My! You’ve grown so tall! Come, we should get to the apartment.”

I nodded, excited to see the city. It was huge! And so much to see. I went to Philadelphia for a school trip but it was huge here.

When we got to the apartment I went to the guest room which had a great view down Wall Street. I unpacked my things, eager to start my adventures, when an envelope dropped out of my backpack. I opened it and took out some pictures. One was of me on my bed in home reading a National Geographic Magazine. Another of me and Anne in Philadelphia. Yet another of the quartet singing in the quad. Our red and brown Woodpecker gear bright in the setting sun. There was a video. Hey There Delilah was playing in the background, while a video of me in a cardboard plane flew around the yard. Another video of me at Halloween. The last one was of my family, Tyler, Josh, and Anne waving. I smiled.

“Let’s go Thea!”

“Coming Aunt Lillean!” I rushed out with my things. We had a great time. We went to the Empire State building, the Chrysler building, even Times Square! We then went and saw Lion King the musical, followed by dinner at Applebee’s. I wanted to go into the Toys’R’us, to get a few things for family, but my aunt looked tired, so I sent her home. The store was closed when I got there, and it started to rain, so I called a cab. I got one, but I rode with a strange guy, who kept staring at me. When I got back, I locked my bedroom window. Then I went to sleep.

The next day, we went to Good Morning America, and then went ice skating. When I got home, the phone rang, and when I picked it up, it was Riley.

“Thea.... oh gosh how do I tell you this.... it’s Josh..... there’s been an accident with a truck.... oh gosh Thea.” My heart thumped, and I almost dropped the phone.

“I’m coming home now.”

“No, Thea you sho.....” But I already hung up. I told my aunt and she got me a ticket back home. I was restless all the way back. I thought to myself, Josh, oh Josh be ok.

Back in Cedarwood, the friends and family of Joshua D. Parks was seated in a waiting room in the Cedarwood Hospital.

“We will be allowing non-family visitors now.” Tyler jumped up and ran to Josh. He had been waiting for news for about three hours now. When he got inside, he sighed in relief. It was just a broken arm.

“How you feeling Josh?” Joshua smiled and waved with his free hand.

“Like I got hit by a truck.... oh wait.... I did,” he said. Tyler smiled sadly.

“You’ve never had a good sense of humour. How long till you can play again?”

“Give me a pick and a guitar right now and I’ll tell you.” Suddenly the sound of giggling and heels resounded in the hallway. “Oh great,” muttered Josh, “Just what I need, pink to make me throw up.”

“Joshie-boo! Oh I was so worried!” Jessica Riles clip-clopped into the room and squeezed his wrist with her manicured hand. Tyler had been pushed off to the side by her pink pack. He was trying to get back to Josh, but he was on his own now. A girl gave a disgusted growl as someone came to the doorway.

“What is SHE doing here,” Jessica said in disgust. Josh looked up hopefully, and saw his savior, his guardian angel, which was me. He smiled in gratitude. I wasn’t dressed up like Jessica, I was just wearing jeans and a t-shirt, my hair was a mess, but I had came. Josh tried to speak, but ‘Miss Riles’ cut him off.

“What are you doing here Greene? I thought you were in New York with your little Aunt.” Her pack laughed with her. Now I was just fed up. I was tired, Josh was hurt, and this girl was really bugging me.

“I’m really sick of you Jessica, just leave with your pink and give us some peace. You think you’re better than everyone, but you’re not!” I was toe to toe with her now, toe to toe with the girl the entire school was afraid off. She stared at me, apparently humiliated. She had to retort some way to keep her Alpha status.

“Soooo cute Greene, but you’re little charade of sorts, is over. You are nothing compared to me. Just look at you. No style, no talent! I’m surprised you even came back to Cedarwood, because we all know that you hate it here, and wish more than anything to get away. You’d give up anything and everything.” I clenched my fists, but it was true. I don’t know how many hours I’ve spent rambling on and complaining about my home. Every kid loved it in Cedarwood. Everyone but me. I had no witty retorts. I was like a caught pig, just waiting to be slaughtered.

“Hey Riles! Why don’t you just shut up! Thea has more style and intelligence in her then in your stupid, egotistical head!” Jessica stared around bewildered, wondering who dared speak out against her. All eyes turned to Josh, who was sitting up in bed, fuming.

“Joshie-boo,” she asked incredulously. Josh just fumed more and started twisting in bed.

“Yeah! You heard me! You bigheaded, self-centered, egotistical pig! Ugh, and someone get these stupid IV off me!” He started ripping and clawing, and the little heart-beat thing starting going crazy. The nurse came rushing in.

“What is the meaning of this?!” She whipped around staring at each and every one of us.

“It was Thea Greene, Miss,” Jessica shrilled while pointing a perfectly manicured, pink nailed hand at me, who was now over by Josh, trying to calm him down. That just blew the top off him.
“You lying vain, narcissistic, self-absorbed, conceited RAT!” Josh was as red as a tomato, while Jessica just stood there, becoming even redder than before. “Nurse, she is lying, they were causing me stress. Thea here was trying to calm me down.”

“Very well, all of you leave! Mr. Parks needs his rest.” The Pink Rat Pack clopped out, noses held high.

“This isn’t the last you’ve heard of me Parks! I swear by it.” Tyler followed them out.

“Wait nurse, can Thea stay? I haven’t been able to talk to her.” The nurse looked at us, then quietly left the room..

“You came back,” Josh sighed happily. I laughed.

“Of course I came back you big oaf! I wouldn’t just leave you to those clique-girls.” I smiled at him, and he returned it with an even warmer smile. We sat there in each other’s company for a little.

“Listen Thea,” Josh said, breaking the peaceful silence. “I’ve only known you for a few months, but I just want to say I...... I....” I leaned forward and in the light of the Christmas tree, and kissed him. Sparks seemed to fly in that dark room. It happened there, in that hospital room, with snow gently falling. His little heart rate counter beeped fast for a second then return to normal. He smiled at me, and I blushed.

“Sorry I did that, I don’t know what...” He grabbed my arm and tugged me forward, returning the kiss. His hand softly touching mine, and just melted into his soft, sweet kiss. My father once told me, that love should be the pure attraction between two people. It did not matter of race or color. Where you live or what you wear. It should simply be the happiness of two people being together in each other’s company. Standing there, I could honestly relate with my dad for the first time in my life. I thought about all the years pretending to be an explorer, or flying a plane over distant oceans. Now all I wanted was for that kiss to never end, nor that feeling of what I finally realized as simply, love.

The End

Similar books


This book has 1 comment.

on Oct. 22 2013 at 9:35 pm
bigash123 BRONZE, Merritt Island, Florida
1 article 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Be the change you want to see in the world." -Ghandi

Hi! I read your story and i think you have real talent as far as writing goes, i just wanted to say a few things that hopefully will help you better your future pieces. you have a gift of pulling people in with your writing, not everyone has that. i would just suggest that you work on character development. i really liked josh, i just didnt know enough about him. i think its really important to develop your characters and not only that, but the relationship between them. keep writing, the more you do the better you'll get!!