And She Calls Me a Cynic | Teen Ink

And She Calls Me a Cynic

September 22, 2011
By raggedyanarchy PLATINUM, Jackson, Mississippi
raggedyanarchy PLATINUM, Jackson, Mississippi
31 articles 3 photos 13 comments

He has a sweet smile, she says, with white teeth that can outshine a supernova. I can tell she wants to add something else, but she represses her rants and chooses to focus on AP Physics. But her green eyes are the emerald trees of the Pacific Northwest forests, aloof and undecided. I hopelessly answer every question correctly as she jots down answers that may or may not be correct. She can’t help being a preposterous romantic, I tell myself stubbornly, she’s been corrupted by popular beliefs.


She twirls her dark ringlets around her index finger as she speaks, looking up at him through delicately long lashes. I turn away, repulsed by this obvious display of primal need. I want to shake her, to explain in extensive vocabulary that this is not love, but a simple combination of chemical reactions. She would never understand, at least not in this awestruck and spellbound state. I want to thrust the evidence of her first B in three years at her, to demonstrate her sudden change of priorities. I want her to know that she’s acting exactly like the mainstream girls who can’t even spell superficial or disintegration of character; much less understand that their futures are in danger because of them.

Grayson lent me his jacket, she rambles as we try to study AP Latin, isn’t that nice? No, I want to yell at her, it’s unoriginal and clichéd. Instead, I politely suggest we focus on fully conjugating the verb amo, amare, amavi, amatum. She agrees, but continues to behave as if she is a lovesick third-grader. In a way, I suppose, she is.


I break my attention from the Honors English that lies in front of me long enough to see him stretched out beside her locker, his left arm expertly placed on the very top of the locker, and his feet nonchalantly leaning against the ground. It is the first time I realize how tall he is, how far down his scruffy blonde hair cascades onto his shoulders. He looks like a lounging cat, only he is standing upright. She is positioned near bye, so close I’m sure the atoms in their bodies are bonding covalently, providing a connection so strong not even heaven can tear it apart. He is looking at her as if she is the last glass of water on Earth, and he has just journeyed for a million years in the searing Sahara desert, his eyes the color of golden sand to match his hair. She is delicately placed underneath his arm, so that he can aim uncannily timed glances down her tight pink shirt. I have never seen that tight pink shirt before, especially not on her. Her clothes are all of the professional and mature kind, unsoiled and efficient.


My face burns scarlet with wrath and confusion. She can no longer be any kind of best friend of mine, if she is this easily influenced by a handsome face in the crowd. He is temporary, goddammit, I almost bellow, and can’t you see that I am permanent? I am so irritated I could swear, which is enormously uncharacteristic of me, because adults always give you preferential treatment if you are good (and swearing is most definitely not good).

As she saunters over, her eyes like olive infatuation, to tell me that he has invited her to prom (even though prom is 3 months, nine-teen days away, and I am sure he will be all over some other willing beauty by then). She urges me to find someone, especially one of his handsome friends, to go with. So we can go together, she explains slowly, and rent an elegant limousine, which Grayson’s dad will be paying for. I nod, and proceed to inform her that I will be missing junior prom for an intensive two-week introduction to college life and studies at Stanford in three months, eighteen days. She laughs at my rain check, insisting that I needed to get my head out of the books and “live a little.”

Later Monday
I’m sure she has forgotten that she also applied for the introduction, but was unable to be accepted because her parents could not afford to pay the bill. She is just jealous because I am going, I think, and she is not. Grayson is just a mechanism used to get back at my parent’s wealth and my going, I realize, and state my reasoning. She looks at me funny, as if she has encountered something that I have not, something she knows far more about than I do. She retorts that I have a lot to learn about life, and that our futures aren’t as important as our presents, and our pasts don’t matter much at all.

I contemplate what she said all night, failing to fall into the blissful ignorance of sleep. I mull over the density and mass of her words, the nominative nouns and subject-verb agreement imprinting upon my brain. In the morning, I take one glimpse of her tiny frame twined around Grayson’s and make a startling discovery: she does not have the slightest idea of what she is talking about.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Sep. 24 2011 at 5:10 pm
rainbowwaffles BRONZE, Stony Brook, New York
2 articles 0 photos 89 comments
I really enjoyed this! Your writing voice is spectacular- I could totally imagine the speaker in my head. Very sad and heartbreaking, loved it :)