The Know-It-All | Teen Ink

The Know-It-All MAG

April 2, 2010
By Kayla Haskins GOLD, Mars, Pennsylvania
Kayla Haskins GOLD, Mars, Pennsylvania
14 articles 0 photos 0 comments

She was a know-it-all. A complete know-it-all. She was never wrong, apparently, and knew something about everything. Sometimes, I think she'd just make it up. She'd say, “The legal height of a midget is four feet five inches,” and the thing was, no one could prove her wrong until later, so she would always win. Even when we knew she was wrong, no amount of arguing would change her mind.

While she was nothing but determined, she was anything but civil during an argument. She could cause a weeklong headache with her screaming and carrying on. The few choice words I shared with her still echo in my head, causing the occasional mental earthquakes.

She thought she was funny. Really funny. It is one thing to be funny, like Bryan Regan or Frank Caliendo, but it's another to be Carlos Mencia. Newsflash – Carlos Mencia isn't funny. I think she tried to take a page from his book with her offensive comments, like when she called me a “boy boycotter” when I didn't feel like talking about guys, or “catty cow” when I didn't feel like hanging out with her.

Spending time with her was a nightmare. She could never be quiet. She talked through class, through church, through plays. She once told me in a whisper at a sleepover that silence was like a rope, slowly squeezing the air from her lungs. She filled every moment with chatter in hopes she wouldn't get squeezed.

The worst part about her being so deadly afraid of silence? Sometimes, she would run out of things to say and just start thinking out loud. She would tell us things we would never, ever normally discuss. Like the fact that her socks didn't match and wasn't that just so sad? Then she would expect you to look at her one blue sock and one red sock and actually talk about the fact that they didn't match. She expected an actual conversation to form about mismatched socks.

But the thing that bothered me more than anything else was that she thought she was the smartest person in the world. She told us all she was. She said, “Look, guys, don't feel bad when I do better than you in class. You don't have a chance, anyway, so don't get your hopes up.” I could almost imagine her adding: “They say I'm just a few points off genius. You can't compete with that, can you?”

Then we took the SAT junior year, and she did badly. Really badly. She didn't even come to school the day after the results were released. I remember her crying for days. I almost didn't have the heart to show her my scores.

She was determined after that, studying almost constantly for the test. Well, studying while still pretending to be a funny, smart know-it-all. She'd always have this look on her face like the world had suddenly grown too heavy for her. Yet, at the same time, she'd giggle, “Catty cows, please be quiet. I need to do well on the SATs. Good scores are almost to die for!”

She might have been a know-it-all. She might have thought she was witty and cunning. She might have thought she was pretty and beautiful and amazing and popular and awesome and special and fantastic. But she was none of those things to me. She was just one thing, in fact.

She was a girl who happened to be my best friend.

And when she killed herself at the end of junior year, I hated her more than ever. I hated how she couldn't accept failure. I hated how she always talked through movies because even the silence in the theater was too much. I hated how she brought me soup when I was sick, gave me rides to school every day, and helped me pick a prom dress even when she didn't get asked.

The first thing I said to someone after she was buried, after the last echo of her never-ending chatter had finally ended, after the last of her always mismatched socks were given to Goodwill, after she was really, truly gone, was, “You know, the legal height of a midget is four feet five inches.”

Then I added, “You catty cow.”

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This article has 10 comments.

elites5 SILVER said...
on Oct. 2 2012 at 1:43 am
elites5 SILVER, Langley, Other
9 articles 0 photos 23 comments
This is really good! I love the surprise ending. Can u check out my stuff too? :) I would love the feedback.

on Nov. 10 2011 at 7:02 am
IAmWhoIWantToBe PLATINUM, Manila, Other
41 articles 0 photos 650 comments

Favorite Quote:
‎"I’m learning how to drown out the constant noise that is such an inseparable part of my life. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. I only have to follow my heart and concentrate on what I want to say to the world: I run my world." - Beyoncé

Your word choice made your tone seem nonchalant but you can make readers emotional. Great story!!!

on Aug. 6 2011 at 1:47 pm
SabrinaAnnFaith BRONZE, Hillsborough, New Jersey
2 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Scars remind us of where we've been, but they don't necessarily dictate where we're going." - David Rossi, Criminal Minds

This story reminded me of one of my best friends, and that twist at the end was heartwrenching.  Please keep writing!

StarWorks said...
on Feb. 19 2011 at 1:57 am
StarWorks, A, Other
0 articles 0 photos 22 comments
It was really good. I didn't expect that she would kill herself. I loved how surprisng that was. Keep on writing! :)

on Jan. 21 2011 at 2:01 pm
Saffron_tides GOLD, Dubai, Other
14 articles 0 photos 54 comments

Favorite Quote:
My candle burns on both ends,
It will not last the night;
But Ah! my foes and Oh! my friends it gives a lovely light.

Wow! you're a really talented writer! Is this a true story? It caught me by surprise in the end when she died, may her soul rest in peace. Did she get the SAT scores she dreamed for?

keep up the good work!!

thanks for commenting on my article! :)

on Jan. 8 2011 at 1:58 pm
vampirexchickkk SILVER, Clinton, Connecticut
7 articles 0 photos 5 comments
I loved this story. As you read it, you get so tired of listening to this girl complain, just as if it was real life. But when it says "And when she killed herself" I was shocked. But if you go back to read the beginning again, why should it be shocking? She falsely tries to make herself better than others because she really doesn't feel too good at all. It's a vicious cycle, and most people are quick to judge, never understanding how someone really ticks.

on Dec. 19 2010 at 2:47 am
LeslieAnn BRONZE, Midvale, Utah
1 article 0 photos 47 comments

Favorite Quote:
\\\\\\\"Dream as if you\\\\\\\'ll live forever, Live as if you\\\\\\\'ll die today\\\\\\\" \\\\\\\"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain.\\\\\\\"

This is increadible. The buildup is what does it I think. Becuase the few paragraphs smack you in the face. You'd never expect it and it was very well done. Congrats.

on Dec. 10 2010 at 8:29 pm
SophiaCross SILVER, Plattsburgh, New York
7 articles 3 photos 89 comments

Favorite Quote:
To love, to be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and vulgar disparity of the life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”

I can't really explain why, but I love this story. I can't stop reading it!

on Oct. 26 2010 at 4:17 pm
eehearn2011 SILVER, Lake Wales, Florida
5 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."-Dr. Seuss

love love love it! <3 got chill bumps :)

on Oct. 25 2010 at 5:30 pm
echome94 PLATINUM, Daleville, Virginia
32 articles 3 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
When the world around me ceases to exist and then i will open up and let a cruel man like you in


The good thing about most stories is that they make you think. My best friend is very similar to the girl in this story. Only im the one with the random facts. This is amazing definatly keep writing