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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Polarity (From Bad to Worse)

These aren't particularly polished pieces, but I thought they were well-written starters and invoked emotions (and personal experiences of mine), and were fun little reads. I have been finding the material for these tiny little posts I've been uploading in a folder on my computer called "Where Do Good Ideas Go When They Die?" from when I would do random writing exercises in Creative Writing class.


Matt sat in the same place he always did: in the corner by the eighth grade hall entrance. He opened his brown paper sack and arranged his sandwich, pretzels and baby carrots in the order he would eat them. He took a bit of tuna fish and began searching for her.
            She was so beautiful today; she had her hair half in a ponytail and was wearing yellow—he had happened to catch a glimpse of her on the way to P.E.  He loved to see the sparkle in her eyes, wishing they would have contact with his just once. She moved so gracefully, laughed with such a musical noise.
            His heart leapt and his stomach tickled as he saw her sit down two tables away, directly within view. He smiled. How perfect! Today he could admire her throughout the entire lunch hour. Half a ponytail swung like a strand of golden silk.
            She sat with the other cheerleaders, poking at her pizza, when a large figure in a dark green sweatshirt sat down right in front of her.
            Matt could still see her eyes, and they were smiling at him. Cameron. Matt’s eyes narrowed and the food in his mouth turned to ash. He could see Cameron touch her arm, make her laugh. Look into her eyes.
            Matt put the rest of his lunch back in the bag and dropped it in the trash on his way out.
*          *          *
As I paced the floor again and again, wearing a trail in the carpet, the phone on the bedspread seemed to grin and wink. I knew her number. My fingers knew it so well they could do it without me looking at the buttons. I had dialed it so many times—I just couldn’t leave the phone on long enough for it to ring.
            I counted down from 45, holding the winking phone in my hand, then dialed again. I hesitated before I pressed the “call” button, resisting the urge to turn it off. No, I thought. No, no, no. I pressed it, and then forced myself to hesitate, even for a single moment.
            It rang. I almost dropped it, but instead I listened, practicing the algorithm of greetings and possible responses I would give when it finally stopped ringing. She wasn’t expecting a call. Not from me. What if she was doing homework, and my call was interrupting? What if she thought it was going to be a quick call? My finger trembled against the “end call” button, but there was no backing out now. She would see my missed call and then wonder why on earth I had chickened out.
            It kept ringing. I realized just how hard my heart was beating, and fought desperately to relax my grip on the phone. Why wasn’t she answering? Was she looking at the number on the phone and laughing to herself? Or was she sighing in frustration at who was on the caller ID? Or was she going to pick up any second? And then there was her voice, suddenly answering. I almost blurted out a greeting but she kept talking, telling me she had missed my call and to leave a message after the beep. Then there was a beep.
            “I…” I blinked, then hung up the phone, melting onto my bed and sighing. I put the phone back in its holder, stretched out. I sighed again. My mouth grew into a smile. “Yes,” I breathed. “Yes, yes, yes.”

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