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  |   July 16, 2012    1:11 PM ET

This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by, an online community writing site for young people.

By Jaelynn Anderson

What's my favorite part about summer?

The flowers.

As I raced through the brilliantly colored lavender field, with daises mixed in between, I thought over the summer. I thought about how I wanted to go back in time.

I wanted to memorize every little detail of his perfect face, the planes of his chest. What it felt like when we kissed.

Our favorite thing to do was have races in this beautiful field, one of my favorite places in the whole wide world.

The one thing I had left was my faith.

And my love.

My beautiful, sweet undiluted love.

One of my much loved songs, ‘American Honey’ by Lady Antebellum began to drift through my mind.

“She grew up on the side of the road, where the church bells ring and strong love grows. She grew up good; she grew up slow, like American honey.”

“Nothing’s sweeter than summertime and American honey.”

“I miss him,” I said. Slightly breathless after racing through this stunning field, I sat down in the middle of those amazing, fragrant flowers.

He was my best friend, my confidant. The one person I could depend on.

And now he was gone.

He had, at the insistence of his overbearing father, gone off and joined the Navy. I remembered that conversation as clear as day it happened.

“I really don’t want you to go.”

“I have to. My father said I need to fight for our country, that it would make me a man.”

“But you’re already a man. You’re mine. I suppose you have to go, but know my love will always be with you.”

Everyone had told me he would return. That was three years ago. Now I was going off to college, Harvard as a matter of fact. I would be jumping into this crazy life head-on.

I continued to ponder what my life would have been like had he chosen to stay. We would have built a life, had a family. I even had a cute little house picked out that was the prettiest shade of blue I had ever seen. That was no longer a possibility, because he was gone.

That had been one of the most agonizing days of my life.

It was an unusually hot summer day, when the naval officer pulled up in front of my dad's house.

He took off his cap and said “Are you Miss Lillian Johnson?” he asked with a look of sorrow on his face.

I was immediately filled with dread. “Yes, Sir that’s me. What is it?”

“I regret to inform you that Jonathan Alexander has been killed in action.”

I froze. My heart shattered into a thousand pieces. Jonathan, my Jonathan. Gone, never to return to our little southern town.

“Please tell me this isn’t true. This can’t be.” I broke down and began to shed tears like a faucet was let loose inside my soul.

He took one more look at me, gave me a hug and said “I’m sorry, Ma’am. I’m so sorry.”

I came back to the present. He’s been gone for so long, but he would want me to be happy. He would want me to love again.

It just wasn’t possible. Maybe one day, but not now.

He would always be my love, my other half.

I wasn’t quite ready to leave Taylorsville, Georgia. I wasn’t ready to live my life without my love by my side, but I remembered one thing he said long ago.

“Lillian, promise me you’ll always remember one thing.”

I smiled. “Yes, Jonathan?”

“There’s nothing sweeter than summertime.”

  |   June 30, 2012    7:54 PM ET

This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by, an online community writing site for young people.

By Tyra Lechner

There was a small click and I knew we were locked in. It was pitch black. If I wasn't clutching onto his jacket, I wouldn't know he was there. He was so quiet too. That's always how he was. I smiled sheepishly, even though he couldn't see it. He let out a long breath and something in his torso moved. Maybe he was rubbing his knuckles along his jaw, the way he often did when he was thinking, or running his fingers through his hair, the way he did when he smiled. Or when he was flustered.

I let out a breathy little laugh. I knew they wouldn't let us out for about six and a half more minutes and if he wasn't covered in my lipstick stains, we'd get shoved back in here. My eyes strained to adjust and I could see the whites of his eyes and his beautiful blue irises. Next I started to see his white skin and the basic outline of him.

I'd always liked him. There's just something about him. No, he wasn't some super popular, hot, jock. He was just some boy I'd met at church. I'd known him for three years and at first, he was just this quiet, loner guy. The guy behind the scenes who happens to know everyone on a personal level. Then he started hitting on me. It started out softly enough. Soft touches on my lower back and a few flirty smiles here and there. But that's how he treated all the girls. Then it grew worse … err, better. He showed me who he really was. A dork with ADHD who stumbles over his words around girls he likes. A boy who goes to military school. By choice.

Then I saw his white teeth in the shape of a smile. He took in a breath, as if he was about to say something. I, in turn, held mine.

"Hi." He breathed with a little chuckle.

I couldn't help but giggle. "Hey."

"How's it goin’?"

"Pretty good." I whispered, leaning closer to his face. "And you?"

He smelled like peppermint and... something else. But either way, he smelled pretty dang good.


Something shimmered and I looked at it. It was the little lipstick thingy. He was holding it. Then with a jolt of realization, he was holding it towards me.

I gingerly took it and put some on. "I can't do this in the dark. I probably have a pink moustache."

"Yummy." He laughed.

I could hear the teasing in his voice, but I could also hear the nervousness. I licked my lips, a nervous habit of mine, then leaned in and kissed him. He was a surge of warmth and a chill ran down my spine. I guess my hand was on his chest because I felt it rumbling with his laughter.

"What?" I smiled against his lips.

"Well in case you haven't noticed, I've had a gigantic... crush on you for like, the past two years." He murmured.

I could feel the vibrating of his chest and it made me giggle.

"Even when you had your girlfriend?"

"I wanted you."

I laughed a little and kissed him again. Then there was a little click and a blinding light. I shut my eyes, but didn't really pull away until I was yanked out of the closet. I heard him laughed softly and everyone around us was murmuring excitedly to each other. Some people were giggling and others were glaring at me. I looked over and saw that his face was flustered and I couldn't help but laugh at him.

He was the one with a pink moustache.

  |   June 23, 2012    3:23 PM ET

This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by, an online community writing site for young people.

By May K. Rebey

I smelled his shirt that he let me wear. It was to prevent my pirate costume from being scandalous, since I had forgotten a white undershirt of my own. As soon as I was alone with it, I brought it to my nose. Never had I smelled anything so fresh, so clean, so sweet as this simple white shirt. How is it that this shirt, that had been on his back for hours, could smell like it had just come out of the dryer? How precious was that shirt, the shirt of the boy I had loved since freshman year.

I met him when I was in the seventh grade. Actually, he and I had gone to the same school since kindergarten, but we didn't become friends until junior high. He, along with his group of friends, opened their arms to me, when my old "friends" left me in the cold, alone. This group of friends, became my world, the source of joy in my life. I was completely and utterly happy. I still am.

Then things started to change. As our bond grew stronger, my heart would beat faster when I was near him. I began want to spend more time with him. I would dream about him. But then, my best friend told me she liked him a lot. Being the loyal friend I was, I backed away, burying my feelings. I almost convinced myself that I didn't like him anymore. Besides, what can an eighth grader do with such emotions? I was too young to date.

Then freshman year struck. That is when I fell hard. I love him. I love him. But who could I tell? My best friend still liked him, and by now, it was obvious that the feelings were mutual. So I kept quiet, simmering in the agonizing silence, always telling myself, Wait until he graduates. Then you can tell him.

I waited. I waited so patiently, always being there for him, even as his passion for her grew stronger. I was there for him. Sophomore year pulls around. She has transferred schools, and subconsciously, he and I grow closer together, trying to fill the void that she left behind. We became the closest we had ever been.

This beautiful friendship means the world to me. All this time, I had been learning what love really means. To sacrifice my wants for his, to support him as he pursued someone else, but always being his friend, even when it hurt.

That is when I realized...I could never tell him. It would only make things weird between us; nothing would ever be the same. She would hate me, and he and I would become estranged. So that is when I resolved to keep simmering in my emotions, enduring the pain, because seeing him so happy only brings me joy.

Today, I was crying from the stress of school and life caving in on me. He came to me, told me to stand up, and he hugged me. There, with my head on his chest, I smelled it. The scent so fresh, so clean, so sweet that was in that shirt that he let me borrow for the play a few weeks before. It was then I realized that it wasn't the scent of laundry soap. It was him. That is when I knew for sure it was what heaven smelled like. Because I knew if I could ever truly be in his arms, to have him whisper in my ear how he loved me, then I would be in Heaven on earth. How taunting is it to be so close to such amazing joy, and yet have it just out of reach. But no matter what, I will be there for him, because he is there for me, in the best way possible, even if it isn't what I think I want. I can still love this Heaven on earth.

  |   June 15, 2012    4:45 PM ET

This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by, an online community writing site for young people.

By Sarah Wernher

It was 4:30 a.m. when my eyelids fluttered open. Maybe I’d heard something under my dreams. I wished I hadn’t. I had been dreaming about her, and I wanted to keep hearing her voice, keep holding tightly to all the memories and songs that had belonged to us. I wanted to tell her never to leave me again. But the soft, vague tune from the last song I heard her sing was fading from my mind, and I couldn’t remember the words…

Ages ago, it seemed, at this time of morning she and I would be walking to our favorite hill to see the sun come up.
The dreams were my only respite from a hopeless reality that I refused to completely realize: She was gone. No matter where I looked, I would never find her. But it felt as if somewhere just beyond my reach was another reality, a time where she was still alive, and I just had to be patient and wait for the day that she would come to my door in the morning and we would run through the early chill to see the dawn.

I started to lie down again. I was so tired…

Wait… I had heard something. Maybe a knock… a knock. On the door. Someone at the door. Someone at the door, ready to watch the sun rise. My heart began to pound. Had I been right about her coming back? Was she finally home? No, surely not. That would be too wonderful, too wonderful but so impossible! But still…. Please let me have been right. Let her be there.

For a minute I forgot all reason. I sprang out of bed and raced to the front door, slightly disoriented from sleep. There I paused, saying softly, “Anyone there?” All was quiet. I held my breath and turned the knob. The hinges creaked loudly, but that was the only sound, and before the door was fully open, I knew the answer to my question.

Soon the sun would rise as it does no matter what happens. And of course she wouldn’t be with me to watch it.

I closed the door and walked back to my room. Then I sat down in front of the mirrored closet doors and stared. A person with a tired face, sad eyes, and hair in terrible need of cutting stared back.

"Who is this?" I thought. "Where is the real me? Did he die when she did?" I put my head in my hands.

When I finally looked up I gasped. The one I saw in the mirror was not me. It was her. She was sitting before me, just as I remembered, with the same dark hair and pale face and smiling brown eyes.

“Hello,” she whispered.

For a second, I was speechless.

“Hi.” I finally choked out. “Where are you?”

She gave me a rueful smile. “Guess.”

“I miss you. Why did you leave me?”

“ Do you really think I’d have left you if I’d had a choice?” Shadows came to her eyes.

“I’m sorry.” Talking is hard when you want to say so much.

“I wish you were here.”

“Me too. Can I somehow get to you? Please, tell me there’s a way.”

“There’s no way right now. Don’t break your heart trying to find me.” Her voice was pleading.

“I’ve been looking for you ever since they came to tell me you were gone. My heart’s already broken. It feels like it’s only held together with tape.”

She sighed.

I went on. “Do you remember watching the sunrise? How beautiful the sky was? We loved doing that. Don’t you want to do it again?”

A tear glistened on her cheek.

“Yes. I want to, so badly. But I have to go.”

“You’re already gone! You can’t leave again!”

“I’m not even here, really.”

“Please, please come back.”

“I wish I could.”

“Will I ever see you again?”

“Yes. I promise. With all my heart and more. Someday.”

“Don’t go,” I breathed.

“Goodbye, for now. I love you.” She was fading.

“I love you, too. I love you, I love you, I love you! Please…” But she was only a mist now.

And then I was awake. Sad blue light streamed through the window. The dream was over.

That morning I decided to walk to our hill. It was my first time there without her.

I watched as the sun rose. Colors flooded the sky, drowning the stars. Then I remembered a time we were both sitting here, taking it all in. Smiling and laughing, she’d exclaimed, “ This is so amazing!” Then she flopped on the grass and sighed, “ Maybe Heaven will be like this.”

I hoped it was.

I was alone in the world. I wouldn’t have to be alone forever, though.

In a far off time, we might watch the sunrise together, again. I just had to be patient.

  |   June 9, 2012   12:34 PM ET

This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by, an online community writing site for young people.

By Julie Wittenberg

It had happened early in the morning. I always forgot what to expect from days like those. They start the same as any, the sun comes up and travels through the sky as it’s supposed to. Only that day more than others I was the most terrified.

She’s still in her bed this morning and I’ve been sent to the garden because I wouldn’t understand. I sat for a while and studied the flowers. Colors shifted in and out of focus. Soon it was just a mix of the colors, and I could vividly replay the sight in my head. It’s like I wanted myself to see it, hear it like it was happening right in front of me. It was torturous, and it’s yet to happen.

By then tears are rolling down my face. All my life these nightmares have haunted me, but how can you have nightmares when you are not sleeping? How can these nightmares, come true? I wish I could play and smile like others my age but it’s so hard to smile when your whole body is elapsing into devastation.

Until today the nightmares showed people I have never met before but I get the vague tug when that person dies that I have lost something and I need it back before it’s too late, too late for what?

“Harper,” Behind me now is Gloria, my nanny. It’s time, isn’t it? “Will you follow me?”

I need not to cry anymore because there’s nothing I can do and the scene I have already seen time and time again today, is about to become a reality. I’m about live my nightmare. I’ll be able to feel the heavy envelope of expiration in the air filtering from her room out into the hall, dimming the lights overhead and blurring my vision.

Quaking, I’m by mother’s death chair. She never wanted to die in a bed. It’s too cliché. She was never one to give in easily. She wanted to go in a way that looked like she was merely sitting with a glass of wine. I managed a smile that barely traveled to my eyes.
She smiled at me, a real one. “Are you okay?

No. You’re leaving me. But you already knew that, didn’t you? “I’m fine. I will be. For you.” My voice barely shook. My mother is a strong woman and I want her to see me as one too.

“That’s my girl.” Her smile was gone but only from her mouth. She swallowed hard, I can tell her pain was increasing, “You know you can’t ever give up, right?” Suddenly she was sad. “Not like me.”

Ice erupted in my stomach and I choked. Tears sprang into my eyes and it took everything in my power not to fall to the ground right in front of my mother’s chair.

“I-don’t-know what you mean- mommy.” Instead of falling I leaned closer to her. Even on her deathbed she smelled like comfort, and lilacs. I remembered to cherish that. The smell will fade, but she wont.

“Don’t be defeated by your fears.” At every word she got paler. My nightmare is coming to an end.

My last time to say it, “I love you.”

She didn’t cry, or smile. She only looked at Gloria. That was her cue to remove me from the scene. Gloria was the only one my mother let herself be vulnerable around. Maybe someday I’ll understand why. Right now there are a lot of things I don’t understand. The only thing that keeps me going is that one day I’ll be older and wiser and maybe then I’ll understand.

In the hall I counted to ten.

One… It’ll be okay.
Two… Maybe I can learn to grow without her.
Three… What if I can’t be strong if she’s not there to show me how?
Four… This is the worst one yet.
Five… What will happen to me?
Six… Who will tell me how to fight my nightmares?
Seven… Will the lights be this dim forever now?
Eight… I can’t do this.
Nine… What if I can stop it?
Ten… How much longer do I have before I go crazy?

  |   May 29, 2012   11:43 AM ET

This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by, an online community writing site for young people.

By Annie

In some ways, my life is partitioned into two very distinct categories: the Before and After. Before the day we met, and after. That is the extent to which you have changed me.

It was Spring break of 0’10. My friends and I were on the beach, living the college dream. We had been planning this trip literally since New Years, working overtime to dredge up enough money for condo fees, Coronas, and bikinis. Our bodies were fit and toned from week upon grueling week, an anticipatory precaution that ensured we look good in those bikinis. All around us, hundreds of rowdy 18 to 20-somethings flocked to the white sandy beaches of Padre, yelling happily to one another and balancing coolers on their shoulders. A stage had been set up in front of the ocean, complete with massive stereos blasting Top-40 hits and a DJ who was clearly enamored by the sound of his own voice.

There was a celebratory feel to it all, a camaraderie that extended beyond the various University flags and petty school rivalries. Fight songs broke out from time to time, but they were tempered by laughter and good-natured ribbing. Blue devils and Tar heels came together to do shots and play raucous games of beer pong; Longhorns and Aggies intermingled without a second thought. We forgot for a while that we were competitors and simply relished in being young and happy and free, kids really, with the world at our fingertips.

It was late in the afternoon when I ran into you—quite literally. I had a nice buzz going at that point, as did my friend Emily, and for some reason we decided it would be fun to sprint into the ocean. But fate had it that you were in the way, and as Em disappeared into the surf, I slammed into you at full speed.

I got the wind knocked out of me (although you like to joke today that I was floored by your good looks and charm). Then I felt your hands on my shoulders, steadying me. The moment I laid eyes on you, I knew that nothing would be the same. Tectonic plates shifted beneath my feet. The earth shook. The walls I had so meticulously assembled to keep others out crumbled to dust. I was yours, entirely, right then and there. Could you feel it, too?

When I looked at you I thought of sunshine, and every other sappy romantic cliché that before I had considered meaningless fodder for the gullible. Your crooked, dimpled smile lit me up from the inside out. I fell headfirst into your bright azure eyes and never managed to climb my way out again. I was drawn to you in a way that was beyond explanation.

After I caught my breath, after we exchanged introductions, the rest was history. We spent the rest of the day together. Then the next. And the one after that. We danced at every bar our friends dragged us to and fooled around in the back of a taxi, which was not my usual style. Later, my feet started to hurt in my strappy too-high heels so you swooped me up into your arms and carried me. The next night we ran down to my condo’s little beach and waded hand in hand through the surf, watching for dolphins. You brought down your guitar and played a song that almost made me cry, but instead I teased you about pulling out all the tricks, and you laughed and kissed me slow and sweet.

It scared me. I was walking on air, of course, but I was terrified too. Never before had I fallen for someone so abruptly and absolutely. I felt like we had known each other for years; your arms were the most natural place in the world for me to be in. Leaving you, after those whirl-wind three days, was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. You held me and kissed me and we both struggled to comprehend the enormity of what had taken place. I fought back tears and you swore you would call.

You did.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost two years now. There are precious few Spring Break success stories as far as romance is concerned—you could probably count them all on one hand. It's weird to think that we’re one, that our friends still shake their heads and marvel at us. The timing, as it turned out, couldn’t have been better. I was ready for you to come into my life, even if I didn’t know it then.

You have flipped my world upside down and rearranged all the pieces, and that is precisely how I like it.

  |   May 26, 2012    8:56 PM ET

This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by, an online community writing site for young people.

By Anna Emerson

I heard people speaking, very seriously, as I was constantly coming and going to and from that dark land called “unconsciousness”. I saw an elderly woman, I had no idea who, wearing a black felt hat, gently placed on top of her white-blonde hair, and solid brown dress, looking very conservative, which reached down to her pale ankles. She had a pleasant smile on her face, and was laughing so sweetly.

There were other things as well, like the soft purr of a kitten, and the sound of a loud, thunderous sea of clapping. More than those things, though, there was one thing that reverberated throughout my entire mind, soul, and heart. It filled my entire being. It was the sound of a young man, again someone I did not know, but felt I should have known, sobbing. “I love you,” he gasped out, as I heard him return to his weeping.

But now I was gaining consciousness again. It felt different this time, more solid, more constant. As I regained awareness of my surroundings, I began to look around. I was lying in a white, hospital bed, in a white hospital room. There were three chairs sitting in a row along the wall at the foot of the bed. And there sat the elderly lady. She must have heard me stirring, because the moment I looked at her, she rushed out of the room, returning quickly with a nurse in a lab coat, which was, like everything else in this hospital, blindingly white.

The nurse began to check my various IVs, and then turned to me. She asked me, pointing at the elderly woman, “Who is this?”

“I don’t know,” I replied truthfully. At this, the elderly woman, who was now dressed in a white dress, every bit as conservative as the brown dress, started. She looked shocked, fearful, and mournful all at once. I felt a pang of sympathy for her.

The nurse wrote this down on a clipboard that had been lying on a table near the side of my bed. “Alright,” she said, “What is your name? How old are you? Where do you live?” By now, I was quite terrified. Why was she asking me these things? Was I supposed to know “Conservative”? What had happened to me? I was gradually starting to feel a throbbing pain throughout my entire body. I felt like I had bee slammed against a wall.

“I don’t know,” I whispered as sobs began to wrack my body. Just then, a young man, looking very forlorn, entered the room, carrying with him two salads, one with tomatoes, and one without. As soon as he saw that I was awake, his expression lit up. He nearly ran to the side of the bed, shoving the salads onto the table, and fell to his knees.

“You’re awake!” he exclaimed joyously. I began to inch my way toward the other end side of the bed, feeling very nervous and unsure of myself. Was I supposed to know him? Alarmed, he looked up at “Conservative” questioningly. She met his gaze looking quite dejected.

And then, she gave my diagnosis: ”She has no idea who we are.”

  |   May 22, 2012    4:05 PM ET

By Ellie Papadakis

Ellie is a junior at Elk Grove High School. She’s a student reporter for The Mash, a weekly teen publication distributed to Chicagoland high schools.

If you enjoyed reading Nicholas Sparks’ “A Walk to Remember” or Aidan Chambers’ “Dying to Know You,” John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” holds the same amount of heartbreak but also has a lot of happiness mixed in.

Hazel Grace Lancaster has thyroid cancer, which has spread to her lungs. Hazel’s mother forces her to join a “cancer kid support group.” She reluctantly goes to keep her mom happy, but meets Augustus Waters, a former basketball player and amputee.

Hazel and Augustus become closer as they go through a journey of ups and downs while learning to cope with their illnesses. Throughout the novel, they bond over Hazel’s favorite book, “An Imperial Affliction,” which eventually leads Hazel and Augustus to Amsterdam.

Green’s protagonists have unique personalities that bring them to life. Reading the book is like reading about real people. Hazel, who narrates the book, has a sarcastic sense of humor that even makes the bittersweet moments seem enjoyable.

This is no ordinary book about being terminally ill. You’ll cry, but you’ll also laugh at the humor and love that’s found in the novel.

Green has a way of capturing emotions -- even when he’s writing from a girl’s viewpoint. The amount of thought and planning that Green put into writing this book is evident as you read, which made “The Fault in Our Stars” even more enjoyable for me.

Read it. Just make sure you have some tissues ready.

More stories from The Mash:

  |   May 19, 2012    5:34 PM ET

This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by, an online community writing site for young people.

By Zahra Hadi

I really hate it when my mom yells at me to clean my room. I mean really, like come on now mom I’m not a baby, I can deal with my own room okay? It’s like she feels the need to control every part of my life ever since she realized that I’m growing up. And my dad, oh man he’s even worse. He thinks he can tell me what to do whenever he wants. It’s like what I think doesn’t even matter. The most annoying part of it is if I say anything back to them I get yelled at for being “disrespectful” which, for immigrant parents like mine, is as bad as being uneducated. Well where was your respect when you came barging into my room? Did you eat it like I swallowed my pride? I hope it gives you indigestion.

One weekend I had a chance to get away from this: my messy room, parents, school, all of it. So, naturally I casually asked (read: begged and pleaded) my parents to let me go to Dallas, Texas for the weekend to have a huge reunion with all the friends I made at summer camp just two months ago. They flew in from all over the United States: the US map would have massive chicken pox if we drew dots from where everyone came from. I gotta tell you, after years of asking permission before going to any party, any dance, or even just to cross the street, three days of doing anything I could possibly dream of was the moment I learned the true meaning of the word freedom in a way that not even The Narrative of Frederick Douglass or 1984 could teach me. But of course, I wasn’t going to get away without a long lecture that I can no longer remember.

Because my loving, caring, overprotective, wise, parents were not there to tell me not to go out with people I didn’t know well, I did just that. I mean come on, I spent nineteen days with these people over the summer, we brushed our teeth, talked, slept, ate, changed, borrowed each other’s clothes, anything you can name, we did together. I was sure I knew them inside and out, so I decided to trust them to drive me and take me to their favorite places to hang out.

We were going to The Cheesecake Factory, which was only a few miles away, or so I was told in front of my aunt and the parents of all my friends. With only four cars amongst the thirty or more of us, we had no choice but to get strategic and have the plumpest people get shotgun while the rest of us piled on top of each other in the backseat. Sitting in some random guy’s lap was not my idea, but I was convinced that it was absolutely necessary to fit in the car so, what the heck, who was watching anyway? As soon as the train of cars was far enough away from plain sight of any adults that could potentially get us into trouble, Jay, my super responsible driver, got onto the freeway and headed toward another city about an hour’s drive away.

Jay is a really popular guy, him and his friends do this all the time and never get caught so what was there to worry about? We were going to The Cloud! Now, I know you need ID to get into a place like that, but because everyone else was old enough I thought I’d just sneak in with them and no one would notice. What a great move that was, I mean really, my pure genius comes out only at times when I need it most. The guard at the door was not lenient by any means so, once my friend showed her card and got in, she passed it down to me and well, I guess you could call it recycling. No guard was going to keep me from having a great time with my best friends! Although I was kind of surprised to see them drink because they all seemed so clean at camp I figure a little drink never killed anyone. The first sip was the best, but after a glass I was starting to feel a little funny and decided to sit in a corner while my friends drank up. I wasn’t on time-out (I was away from home): just taking a little break you know. I had freedom, at least the dizzy kind, at last.

The ride home was eventful, to say the least. Jay reassured me he was okay enough to drive and that I just needed to chill out and take a drink to go or something. I didn’t want to be the lame loser so I didn’t say anything but the last thing I needed was another drink. Note to self: when in an unfamiliar city, do not sit in a boy’s lap on the ride back, especially in a hailstorm. I started panicking but was undamaged for the most part. I forced Jay to pull over while I called the other cars to make sure they were all okay. The car directly in front of us flipped over, I mean like total 360 and after the first three turns I closed my eyes but could hear the hail pounding on the car like an angry giant. Why couldn’t I have just stayed at home with my little cousin and watched Spongebob? I used to love that show! You can never be too old for Spongebob right?

All right, so I obviously made it home alive and thanks to the obliviousness of my friend’s parents we got in no trouble. No wonder they all go out like every weekend, it’s because their mommies don’t make them clean their rooms. Okay mom, I get it, I’ll clean my room… when I feel like it. Just stop nagging already.

  |   May 12, 2012   12:06 PM ET

This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by, an online community writing site for young people.

By Katherine Paik

In the morning,
when the sky is barely
to a pale, water blue,
I stumble
into a chair.

Slumping down in my seat,
a stray lock of hair
lying across my forehead,
I stare,
out the window.

Coffee in one hand,
hot bowl of oatmeal in the other.
I don't care enough to do anything
in the tendrils of steam rising up from my cup of coffee and
the nights dreariness.
My gaze roves,
coming to rest,
on a
tangerine cat.

She watches me out of the corner of her eye.
Perched next to the door,
contemplating me with her eyes narrowed into slants like the a bird of prey,
her whole stature is taut as if ready to leap
Her fluff and floss orange tail is wrapped around her side lazily,
the tip swishing
back and
A tuft of fur stuck onto the bristles of the carpet,
she pins me with her stare.

The two golden globes just above her nose focused in that
wonderful gaze.
Silently challenging me to shuffle across the room and
the door to let her out.
Her eyes are a mix of golden and orange light
like splashes of sunshine,
I laugh,
orange juice.
Suddenly her eyes flick sideways, away
and the moment is broken.
Me returning to my cup of coffee,
her eyes focused sideways on a red breasted bird ,
its chest almost indiscernible amongst the rose petals of the little bush
window .
It's soft, downy feathers are the light brown color of the waterstained chip of coffee bean on the side of the
my cup of coffee rests on.

  |   May 9, 2012    5:02 PM ET

This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by, an online community writing site for young people.

By Eva Sirois

Soft grass tickled her bare feet as she walked through the garden. Different aromas overwhelmed her senses, sweet, spicy, and sharp. The humming of insects added a gentle melody to the swishing grass and whispering trees. Flowery shrubs and leafy bushes adorned the garden, making its beauty thicker in the warm sunlight. Birdsong echoed through the trees, adding a harmony to the sonata of music.

It was peaceful here.

It was her sanctuary.

Yet, even dark thoughts can invade one's sanctuary.

Her heart heavy, Angla Lake slowly sank onto a stone bench underneath a willow tree. It's soft tendrils gently shielded Angla from the rest of the world, the wonders and horrors, hurt and betrayal.

Did she dare think of him?

Did she dare ponder upon the pain in her heart, the constant ache whenever she thought of the sight of him in another's arms?

Yet he had begged for her forgiveness, which she had gladly given then.

Angla knew that it was a foolish thing to do, but she was in love.

In love with one who betrayed her.

Angla leaned back in the bench, gathering her dress around her, and settled herself against the soft bark of the tree. She could feel its comfort and warmth radiating from it, and its encouragement.

He was the only one that truly made her feel needed. Wanted.


She was not ugly.

But yet she was not shiningly beautiful either.

Angla was a dreamer. She was always dreaming of true love, of fairytales coming true, and coming to her.

When Angla met him, she knew immediately that he was the One.

Perhaps she had been wrong?

No, Angla thought. It's true love. True love can conquer anything.

If it's true love, the traitorous part of her mind whispered, then why did he betray you? Your trust and love? All for a few moments satisfaction.

He came back for me. He apologized. His love for me has been unswayed, Angla argued back.

The practical voice in her mind remained silent.

It was in the past, anyway. That was not her problem now. She could trust him. She felt that he could. He had messed up, yes, but he had admitted it! And he wanted another chance! Of course she would readily give it to him!

Her poor, sweet, darling love.

Who wanted to become more than that.

She leaned back, pondering. Angla knew that all of these thoughts were a shield for what she had been desperately trying to forget. To cover up. Her mind unbiddengly flashed to an image of the day before.

"He's fooling you, Angla. I saw him with Lucy last night."

Coldness swept through her body. Her heart pounded loud in her ears. Angla managed to croak out, "No! I don't believe you!"

The sad look in her friend's eyes was like a bucket of ice cold water dumped over her head.

Angla was not being lied to by her friend.

Tears erupted down her cheeks, falling in droplets onto the cold stone bench underneath her. Angla had only been fooling herself. He was not faithful, and he never would be.

Pure strength flowed into her, and Angla knew in that moment what she must do.

Footsteps sounded on the grass in front of her, and she looked up to see him. The one that she needed to talk to.

Hope and love shone in his flawless, beautiful face. Angla felt her heart melt at the sight, but she made her resolve steel again.

"Have you come to your decision? Will you marry me?"

Angla stood up and faced him, a calm, serene look on her face. The whispering trees and carressing wind behind her gave her the strength to do this. Just one word. Just one tiny word, and she was free.


  |   May 5, 2012   12:04 PM ET

This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by, an online community writing site for young people.

By Jake Walters, hoping to get a home run someday

I never was the hitting type
But this season I practiced more then ever
A ball over the fence
Is any hitter's dream

It's time for the first game of the season

The leather gloves fill the air with a strange aroma
Wood is cracking as it hits a hard ball for practice
Dirt is in my eyes and they water up
My hands are soiled and dry

I glance around and take some swings
And I feel the tension rising
I pull my arm above my head
Wince, then stretch

The cold of Autumn
Gives me goosebumps and the shivers
My warm hands rub my skin
It isn't very effective

I forgot my gloves
And my breath is clearly seen
But the dirt of the field is satisfying
When it hits me and warms me up

Salt and butter is the new smell
My family bought popcorn
The concession stand opened up
That means only one thing...



I am breathing heavily
I am extremely nervous
I am next up to bat
I'm not ready yet

Two outs
Bottom of the ninth
No one on base
Tied up

I grab my helmet
And step up to the plate
The pitcher looks at me,
Then the catcher

He is concentrating where he will pitch
And what pitch he will throw
The pitcher pulls his glove in
And throws the ball

I swing and miss
"Steeeeriiike one!" yells the ump
The pitcher repeats
So do I

"Steeeeriike two" shouts the ump
His loud voice makes me mad
I make sure to hit the ball this time
I step out of the batter's box to take a breather

Back in the box and ready to go
I pull my bat up to my shoulders
The pitch is fired in
And I swing with all my might

As I swung I closed my eyes
The only thing I heard was a loud ping
My eyes excitedly burst open
The bat drops and my feet thrust dust and dirt

I round first base
The ball is still sailing
Second base
I am sprinting as fast as possible

So fast like my butt's on fire
I squint my eyes and and focus
Third base and my coach tells me to slow down
I pretend as if I didn't hear, smiling

Had I glanced at the outfielders climb the fence
I understand why Coach is laughing now
And I hit my forehead with my palm
I am thinking I should have jogged

It would have made it feel much cooler.

  |   April 28, 2012   10:06 PM ET

This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by, an online community writing site for young people.

I met her the summer before her sixth grade year. She was so different back then. When you spend enough time with her, however, you'd find some things haven't changed. Now she's in her senior year, and it's hard to believe she'll be heading off to college soon.

I still remember the way she was back then. Her hair was always back in a ponytail. Thin-wired glasses framed her big, bright eyes. Her favorite color was yellow. That's how I came to be. I look at her now, and I'm always amazed. She no longer wears glasses around her blue eyes. She rarely ever wears her perfect blonde hair back. At one point, she was oblivious to her looks. Although she's still modest, it's now no secret how beautiful she is.

I've seen her when she was weak, proving she was human and not some fictional character out of a fairytale. I was there when her father remarried without notifying her. She didn't know she had a new step-mom until three days after the wedding. She wasn't surprised when he called her to wish her happy birthday two days after she turned sixteen. He didn't want to drive to pick her up on Christmas day her junior year. She didn't understand why, but once again, she wasn't surprised.

I remember her first true love -- and her first agonizing heartbreak. She had never felt so strongly about anyone ever before. She cared about him so much that love made her blind. It wasn't until he left her for another girl without even telling her it was over between them that she realized she had been played. She realized she had been used and thrown away. I watched her cry herself to sleep every single night for months and months without exaggeration. I watch her cry occasionally about it even now, after all this time. I've never seen so many mascara stains on one pillowcase. She'd shower multiple times a day, trying to wash the guilt and feeling of stupidity off of her. I watched her get up at three in the morning to just clean the kitchen and wash the dishes.

That betrayal was what triggered it. No one realized what was slowly happening at first, but the signs were always there. I watched helpessly as her jeans stopped staying around her waist on their own. I watched as her shorts seemed to grow larger each week. Her belts eventually wouldn't tighten anymore. I watched her spine and shoulder blades stick out from underneath her skin, slowly becoming more defined. The knobs that were her wrists and knees grew more pronounced.

Time seems to stop now. I wait for someone -- anyone -- to help her. I wait for the boy that broke her heart to come back and fix her, because she deserves it. I wait for her new boyfriend to notice that she shouldn't be as thin as she is. I would do something myself, but what can I do? I am simply just a yellow wall.

If you're struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

  |   April 27, 2012    3:37 PM ET

This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by, an online community writing site for young people.

By Danielle Osero

I was nearly shaking with nerves. He would be here any minute. Would he think I was beautiful? I hoped so. My crush on Jackson had only grown since he first sat with my friends and me at lunch our freshman year. Until recently, we had been just friends. Then a month ago, he texted me the one word that changed it all, “Hey.” We had always been school friends, nothing more, but as our texting increased, so had our interest in each other. Every text had me diving for my phone like a star athlete after the ball. I prayed each night that he felt at least half as interested as I did.

I’d known something was up when he asked me to come on a walk with him two weeks ago at lunch. After a few minutes, he paused and inhaled deeply before plunging ahead, “I’ve really enjoyed texting you Kailey. You’re funny and unique.” He handed me a bag of my favorite candy. The pieces were Caribbean blue, my favorite color. Confused, I smiled, “Thanks Jackson, this is really nice of you.” As I was about to put one in my mouth, I noticed the square white card attached to the bag. Picking it up in my fingers, I nearly gasped. In tiny gold lettering it read: Will you go to Homecoming with me? I looked up into Jackson’s hopeful green eyes and smiling face. I giggled, “I would love nothing more.” He gave me a hug, and held me tight as I held onto the hope that in the future he would ask me more than just to Homecoming.

For the next two weeks, the anticipation heightened and I scrambled to find the perfect dress. I finally chose a satiny dress with a sweetheart neckline the same shade of blue as the candy. Pairing the dress with black heels and silver accessories, I decided to curl my hair and let it fall around my shoulders. A silver butterfly clip with rhinestones held back the left side of my chestnut brown hair. Carefully manicured nails and my favorite flower-scented perfume finished the look. As I studied my outfit in the mirror, I hoped Jackson would like it as much as I did. More importantly, that he would like me. Then the doorbell rang. The object of my wonderings had arrived.

I descended the staircase as my father opened the door. I prayed he would not make good on the promise to completely embarrass me by interrogating Jackson. Reaching the entry to the living room, I took a deep breath and walked in. Jackson stood up, a dozen peach colored roses in his hand. He smiled and handed them to me. I took them and saw a card just like the first one. It read: Would you do me the honor of being my girlfriend? The moment I had waited so long for was finally happening and my “Yes” began one of the best nights of my life.