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Coming of Age Fiction Teens & Young Adult

Emotion Force

By Violet Peris

I walked to my new school; Cumquat High, and realized I was much less confident than I was when I left my new house that morning. I hoped no one would notice me since I was starting a few days later than everyone else. Once I got there, there were teenagers outside slapping, kicking, and pushing each other. It seemed as if whatever emotion they were feeling, they acted as much! I squeezed by them as I wondered, “What the heck is going on? Aren’t the teachers aware?” Just as I pushed through the last few kids, somebody grabbed my arm and pulled me into the building. “Hi! I’m Zia. I’ve been here since kindergarten, and I still can’t figure out why all the other kids act like this. Are you new here?” Zia waited for me to answer, but not before saying something to a few other random kids passing by as we walked through the halls. Obviously, she was popular here. I already knew I stood out with my dark brown hair and green eyes. Her stereotypical blonde hair, blue eyes with all the latest clothes made me ashamed. Who was I to come here and be friends with this girl? I wanted to stop her and say, “I can’t be friends with you. You’re just going to stab me in the back when I least expect it.” Wait, why am I even thinking about saying something so rude? That’s not who I am! I haven’t even gotten to know her yet. Instead, all that came out was, “My name is Sophie Brickson, but you can call me Soph. And yes, I am new here. Who’s your homeroom teacher?” She seemed exasperated at the question. “I have Mr. Thompson. He’s so boring and mean. I had him last year too, but he moved up to tenth grade this year.” That made me relieved and sort of nervous at the same time. “We’re in the same class!” She was excited, but me, not so much. I tried to hide my disappointment, but I could tell she saw through me. “Oh come on. This is great! We’ll get to be partners every day, and always stick together! Oh! And we’ll be best friends and always have sleepovers and you can join the cheerleading squad with me! I just know you will love it!” She just went on and on while I added in the occasional, “Yep” and “Uh-huh.” I sort of tuned her out as I still puzzled over why I had started to think so rudely of her. As we passed the other people in the hallway, I saw many turn and stare at Zia and I, as if we were the ones acting crazy. 

We finally got to Mr. Thompson’s classroom after climbing several flights of stairs and making wrong turns every five seconds, and I realized he was just like the other kids. Always acting like how he felt.. That explained why nobody stopped the disobeying kids. Everyone in this school was like this! But why? I’d figure it out later. A kid came up to my new teacher complaining about how hard the homework was last night, and when that didn’t work, he switched to talking about not having enough time to do it because of football practice. As soon as he was finished, I saw Mr. Thompson’s face turn bright red. “I’ve had enough of you! Get back to your seat!” He screamed at the boy and to my surprise, even slapped him! The boy turned and sulked back to his seat. I could see a red mark on his tan skin; his brown eyes almost crying. I saw him glance at Zia when she looked towards me, assessing my reaction to what I had just seen. He definitely had a crush on her, but she didn’t even know! “Come on. Let’s find a seat next to each other.” She pulled me towards two empty desks and after seeing that the boy who had been slapped was next to one of them, she purposely took the one two seats away from him and let me have the one right next to him. 

After we had a boring lecture from our teacher about being on time and always doing homework while giving a meaningful glance towards the boy, we walked towards our next class. While we were walking, she whispered in my ear, “Did you see that boy? The one who sits next to you in homeroom? Well, his name is Max Grand, and he’s my crush. I mainly joined the cheerleading squad for him! He is the star quarterback on our football team and is such a hottie!” I didn’t see it. Why would she be into a guy like him? He didn’t even do well in school! She could pretty much get any boy in the school. Why would she pick him? He wasn’t even cute in my opinion! I decided to not crush her. So far, she was the only person to try becoming friends with me, so why not keep at least one friend? “I think you guys would make a great couple!” I could tell she liked the teasing, but she wouldn’t admit it. She giggled. “Shush! Someone might hear you!” I just hoped that this wasn’t the only thing we were going to talk about. 

When I got home, I decided that my impressions were probably wrong because it was only one day so far. Max, Zia, and Mr. Thompson were probably decent people, I just didn’t see it today. I really hoped so! I went to sleep not suspicious at all about the strange behavior of everyone at school. 

The next day, I found myself thinking those rude thoughts a lot more once I got to school. “That’s strange,” I thought to myself. When I sat in my seat, I started scrolling through TikTok before school started when I noticed from the reflection of my phone screen that Max looking at me. When I turned towards him, I could see his face flush bright red as he turned away. Why was he looked at me? I thought he was into Zia. I tried to talk to Zia about it in the hall, but surprisingly, Max pulled Zia away from me and looked very embarrassed. I gave her a smile and a thumbs up when she glanced back at me smiling bashfully and looking surprised. When she walked back over to me, she looked like she was going to burst out in tears. Instead, she started yelling at me! “Why did you ever come to this school? All you did was make things worse for me. Now that you’re here, Max is obsessed with you! He wants me to ask you if you like him or not, but I told him no and that he is a jerk. If you aren’t, you’ll say you don’t like him.” When I didn’t answer because of how stunned I was, she just got angrier. “Well?!? Aren’t you going to tell me the truth?” I didn’t know what to say! I did not expect this! “I guess that’s my answer. I thought you were a good friend!” She started to run away. “Zia! Wait!” I called after her, but she didn’t even look back. I was still wondering where that came from, so I wasn’t thinking straight. When I finished my next class, I realized that she was acting just like everyone else in the school. By then, I was really creeped out. Was everyone here under some sort of spell or something? 

When I got back to Mr. Thompson’s classroom, I was even more confused. Zia came up to me and apologized for everything she had said. “I’m so sorry! I don’t know what came over me!” I was shocked and didn’t know what to make of all this drama, but I couldn’t think of anything else to say other than, “It’s okay.” After that, we just pretended like nothing had ever happened. She even invited me to a sleepover! I texted my mom to ask, and she seemed more than happy to let me go. Weird. She never lets me do that kind of stuff. Plus, it seemed like she was trying to get rid of me as much as she could. Whatever. I could deal with that later now that my friend drama is over. I would soon realize that this was not at all normal teenage life drama. 

After our sleepover, I was really tired and wasn’t thinking straight. When Max came up to me at school, I didn’t think much of it. But what he said definitely woke me up. “Would you be my girlfriend?” I was so surprised by the question, I couldn’t answer right away. When I finally spoke, he cut me off. “Your answer doesn’t matter. I already know the answer. Of course you’ll say yes.” Just then, I saw Zia look at us with pain in her eyes, but her smile only showed encouragement. I turned towards Max again just to have him try to give me a hug! I pushed him away and Zia came to my defense with a punch to his nose. “Ouch! What’d you do that for?” 

Zia looked like there were daggers shooting out of her fire filled eyes. “That’s for hitting on my BFF. Now get out of here and never talk to either of us again.” “Okay, okay, sheesh. You didn't have to make such a big deal about it,” he defended himself. Max walked away holding his nose and glaring in Zia’s direction. I was dumbfounded! “What made him think he could just walk up and do whatever he felt like?” Zia seemed just as surprised as I was. “I don’t know! I only liked him because he wasn’t like everyone else; always doing something before thinking. Now, he is the same as everyone else.” We both stayed as far away from him as possible the rest of the day, which was pretty hard because he was in most of our classes, but we made it work. Even through this horrible experience, I tried to look for the good in it. We were amazing friends to withstand that, and together!

When I got to school the next day, everyone seemed in a trance, worse than before. Everyone was either really mad at each other, or crying. Everyone seemed to be in a fight! Even the teachers. I walked over to Zia, only to find her with tears streaming down her face battling with herself. It finally came together. “Zia, did you do all this?” I asked, putting a hand on her shoulder. She turned to me and wailed. “Yes. I’m so sorry! There was no stopping it! I was experimenting with our school’s endurance of whatever problem I could think of, but it got out of control today.” I sat down next to her, and she poured the whole story out. When she was done, I knew we had to fix it. I didn’t know how exactly, but I knew we had to. Just as I started to speak and tell her what I was thinking, a huge, gaping hole appeared in the wall. Zia looked at me with a look that defined sadness and said, “I know what I have to do. In order for this to be fixed, I have to be forgotten.” I couldn’t let that happen! “No! There has to be a better way!” Zia was not changing her mind. “I have to go! I’m sorry!” And with that, she hugged me goodbye, and jumped into the hole. I screamed! “No! Zia!” I sobbed and sobbed until I realized I was back in my own bed. Wait, why was I crying again? I couldn’t remember. Super weird. I got ready for school, and walked towards Cumquat High and decided it was going to be a good day at my new high school.

November 14, 2022 15:52

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1 comment

Trebor Mack
06:11 Nov 20, 2022

I'd suggest you brush up on what constitutes a 'paragraph.' This story might have been easier to read had you incorporated more paragraphs .........., especially where you've included dialogue.

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