Questionable Love | Teen Ink

Questionable Love

May 19, 2011
By Odessa_Sterling00 DIAMOND, No, Missouri
Odessa_Sterling00 DIAMOND, No, Missouri
87 articles 108 photos 966 comments

Favorite Quote:
All gave some, some gave all. -War Veterans headstone.

The teacher is sitting at his desk in the back of the room, a boring video on cell reproduction is playing, and I have my head on my desk. I should be watching, taking the required notes, but if I lift my head up, I’ll stare at him. I don’t know why I like him, love him, I mean. He’s rude, he’s mean, and I can even say he’s not that attractive. But my heart aches for him. I love him.

“Kendra, are you ok?” The boy next to me, Robert, nudges me with his elbow. We share a table. I wished I shared one with him.

“Leave me alone, Rob, I’m trying to sleep,” I mumbled softly so the teacher, Mr. Howard, wouldn’t hear. The volume on that movie wasn’t up very loud.

My heart was beating fast, being in the same room was hard. I wanted to cry, to run from that room, to be anywhere but there.

“Kendra, head up,” the teacher called me out from the back. I tried swallowing, failed, and lifted my head up slowly, brushing my black bangs from my face.

“Thank you,” Mr. Howard went back to grading papers.

I focused my eyes on the projector screen, listening to the man ramble on about cells. My eyes slowly moved to the right side of the screen, then the posters on the wall, and then to Max. Once my eyes were on him, I was frozen. His dark hair was combed back from his face, waving beautifully, in my opinion, down to his shoulders. He had his head propped up on his hands on the table. He stared at the screen and as I watched him his eyes moved from the screen to me. I gave a small wave and he just made a face at me. I looked back at the screen, pain in my chest making it hard to breath. That was the normal between me and him during science.

I watched the video till the teacher flicked on the ugly florescent lights and said the bell would be ringing soon. He walked over to his VCR and fiddled around with it, trying to rewind the movie. I glanced over at Max, who was turned around in his chair, talking to Harper, who was laughing and twirling her bleach blond hair around her index finger. I have nothing against Harper, were actually friends, but just the fact he was talking to her made hatred rise up in me. I was such a jealous freak.

The bell rang and I stood from my chair, pushing it in with my foot and walking towards the door.

“Hey, Ken,” Max hurried over to me, bumping my shoulder on purpose.

“What?” I looked at him, trying to seem casual, like normal.

“Are your cells reproducing?” He glanced down, towards my chest, then back at my face, smirking like a monkey.

“Shut up,” I said stepping out into the hall.

“Shut up,” he mimicked me, but followed my to my locker. I sat my stuff in it and he through his binder in the bottom.

“Give it back later,” and then he was gone. I saw him running after Nick, one of his friends. I grabbed my bag and shut my locker, my heart pounding. I made it outside into the sunlight and headed towards my bus.

“Hey, Kendra,” my friend Maggie poked me and walked beside me. She rode my bus, too.

“Hey, Mag,” I said glancing around, seeing if Max was around. I made it to my bus and climbed aboard. Me and Maggie took our seats together in the back as usual, across the aisle from each other. Our bus never got very full, so everyone had their own seat. Nick climbed up the steps and my heart jumped to my throat when Max walked up after him. They both walked down the aisle to us, Nick sitting in his seat behind me. Max plopped down next to me.

“Hey babe,” he said winking at me.

“Why are you on my bus?” I asked scooting an inch away from him. If I was to close I might have a heart attack.

“Going home with Nick. Nick lives across the street from you, right?” He leaned towards me, our shoulders touching.

“Sorta,” I said, my muscles tensing up.

“Cool,” he spun around, legs hanging in the aisle and started conversations with the people around us. I took a deep breath and looked at Maggie, who was doing something on her phone. “Good idea, Maggie,” I thought to myself, pulling my own phone from my pocket. I fiddled around with it, not having anything really to do. I texted a few people and then waited. None returned the favor.

“Nice phone.” Nick leaned over the seat, his head close to mine.

“Thanks, Nick, but you can’t have it,” I joke. Nick made a face and then put his hand on my head. I flinched at first, hoping he would move it, but he didn’t. Max turned around and Nick ran his hand through my hair.

“What are you doing, Nick?” I laughed turning around, running my own hand through my hair.

“Nothing,” he sat back down in his seat.

Max looked at me for a moment the turned back to the aisle. Was he jealous? My heart fluttered like a butterfly on steroids.

“Nick,” Max turned to look over the seat, glancing at me, then back at Nick.

“What,” Nick said sitting up straighter.

“Got any sticks?” Max held out his hand to Nick, who dropped a cigarette in it. Max turned to me now.

“Switch me seats,” he said sitting down. I stood up and scooted past him, and I felt his hand brush my butt. I acted like I hadn’t noticed and when I looked at him pulling the window down he was grinning. He lit up next to me and seemed content curled up by the window. I just shook my head. He nudged me with his elbow.

“Want some?” His face seemed sincere, like he meant it.

“No,” I said shaking my head. He shrugged, but his eyes stayed on my face as he popped it back in his mouth.

“What,” I said squirming in my seat, nervous.

“Nothing,” he said, and he pulled his eyes away to look out the window.

The author's comments:
This seems to happen to me.

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This article has 6 comments.

on Jun. 17 2011 at 1:52 pm
AvengedJasonfoldForever BRONZE, Middletown, Delaware
3 articles 0 photos 39 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You are about to die. Scream if you Must." -Fire Emblem character

yup no problem :)

on Jun. 17 2011 at 1:05 pm
Odessa_Sterling00 DIAMOND, No, Missouri
87 articles 108 photos 966 comments

Favorite Quote:
All gave some, some gave all. -War Veterans headstone.

Ok i see what you mean now.  Thanks for the advice.  (:

on Jun. 17 2011 at 12:56 pm
AvengedJasonfoldForever BRONZE, Middletown, Delaware
3 articles 0 photos 39 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You are about to die. Scream if you Must." -Fire Emblem character

What I meant was the actual mechanics of dialogue exchange. The conversation length isn't the problem. Being realistic and unique as possible is good. But you don't want to interrupt your dialogue too much with stage directions.

If you've got people on a date at dinner, do you talk about every time the waiter fills their glass of water and every time they take a bite? If you did that, the reader gets distracted from the conversation.

Sure if the guy says something flirty, and the girl blushes, you pause the dialogue to describe that action, but that's not going to take away from the actual flow of it. But if the guy says "Excuse me, I have to go use the restroom" your tag shouldn't be "He said as he got out of his chair" unless he crashes into the waiter or something. You'd want to fast forward past him getting out of his chair unless there's something interesting about the way he gets up. Maybe you notice a stain on his shirt. But if he's just getting up and nothing's interesting about it, you don't need to describe that. The reader will see it. I'll show you how: 

"Did you like Disney World?"

"Loved it." he smiled. "Especially the water rides."

"Me too! Omigod that was my favorite part!"

"Yeah, uh, speaking of water, if you'll excuse me one second I have to use the restroom."

"Oh. Yeah, sure."

"Be right back." He smiled.

While he was gone, I did a quick check on my lip gloss--just in case later on at the doorstep he'd step smile like that again and shuffle towards me and...

"So what was your favorite ride at Disney World?"

As you can see, I never mentioned that the guy got in or out of his seat, but you could still tell that he did both. You could also tell that my narrartor reached in her purse to get her make-up and mirror and whatnot. You could also imply that she blushed every time he smiled, and if I did a good job characterizing her earlier on, you'd know that she hates to admit that she blushes around this guy.


on Jun. 17 2011 at 12:32 pm
Odessa_Sterling00 DIAMOND, No, Missouri
87 articles 108 photos 966 comments

Favorite Quote:
All gave some, some gave all. -War Veterans headstone.

See you were saying short conversations and skipping the boring part but some where in my brain I just can't do that cause I don't want to confuse the reader.  The short conversations I don't really like because it just seems so typical or something.  I want it to be as realistic as possible and i simply don't have short conversations with people.  It's also another problem of not wanting to confuse the reader.  I explain as much I can in detail out so that the reader see's what I see.

on Jun. 17 2011 at 12:12 am
AvengedJasonfoldForever BRONZE, Middletown, Delaware
3 articles 0 photos 39 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You are about to die. Scream if you Must." -Fire Emblem character

So I glanced at several pieces and landed on this one because the story seemed like more of something I'd enjoy compared to divorced parents or people who are in a brother-sister relationship. I've noticed a couple good and bad tendencies you have. Which do you want to hear first? Well let's get the bad out of the way real quick...

I shouldn't say bad because everyone has this problem: you tend to use to many unnecessary stage directions. What that means is that you use too many words to describe what you see. There is an art to using less words to convey the same meaning. If you haven't read Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCathertry DO IT because you'll enjoy it and it will help you become a better writer.

In this piece one of the biggest problems was that you have extremely long tags inbetween dialogue. That makes it verrrryyyy slowwwww. Dialogue exchanges should have minimal pauses--in normal conversation, you don't pause to look at someone's hair color, so you wouldn't do that when you're writing either. Get through the conversation, or keep the tags short. Example:

At 11:45 the bell rang: Joe had exciting news:

"Yo, Jason, about that party tonight,"


"I can drive. Dad said I could have the car."

"Cool beans, man," I mumble as I throw open my locker.

"And we can pick up Shane too," he says.

"Sounds good man."



See how the exchanges are quick? I don't mention them exiting the classroom, gathering their books, but you could kind of see it all happening. We fastforward through all that boring stuff with dialogue and it makes the whole thing more enjoyable to read. Takes time to learn the shortcuts, but they're well worth it. Trust me.

The good things are that you write A LOT which is incredibly awesome because the more you write the better you will be. You also seem to have very good dialogue voice (it seems natural just work on its structure with the tags)

and you seem to have a good voice. What I'd like to see is you make your voice stand out more. I think right now you're thinking too hard about making it gramatically correct and getting your point across to your readers. Think of how you would tell these stories to your friends at lunch. Then use that voice.

on May. 27 2011 at 4:34 pm
TIMLUVER03 SILVER, Valdosta, Georgia
6 articles 0 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
We can't all be hereos because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.- Will Rodgers

I like it. I wanna know what's gonna happen! you just can't end it like that. Keep writing!