Middle School

“Come on, Laura. I know you can do it. Just tell me that I’m cute. Just do it. I know that you think that I am. Just spit it out. Come on,” Justin half joked. 

No matter how they double-dogged dared me, I just couldn’t do it. I was literally not able to, no matter how I tried. 

“Justin, stop teasing me. You know I can’t. It’s because of my acquired brain injury. You guys all know it.  So, just stop bullying me.” 

“Liar liar, pants on fire! Laura is lying! Laura is lying!” came the chants. But I’m not lying. In fact, just the opposite. I can’t lie. Literally impossible. I had ABI (acquired brain injury) when I was young, and I literally cannot tell lies. My mom always envisioned that I would be flocked by people wanting an honest opinion, but no. Instead, I’m the one that bullies are always picking on. They say that I’m lying about not lying. It’s pretty twisted. 

And to make things worse, I was the new kid halfway through the year. Even though I’ve been at this school for a year now, the bullies still come to me. I’ve tried to stand up to them, but nothing works. Someday, those jerks will get what they deserve. Someday. 

I gladly would have told Justin the truth, but he knows that I kinda liked him before I knew he was a bully. I would have told him that he’s mean and I don’t like him any more, which is the truth. But he wanted me to lie by telling him that he’s cute. Which he isn’t. Like I said, twisted. 

Later that day, when we were in class Samantha, a good friend of mine, passed me a note and her eyes pointed behind her, where Justin sat. And then she shrugged like she didn’t know why, he of all people, sent me a note. I nodded my thanks and slid the note in my bag to read later. I continued back to the story I was writing. 

At break, Sam came over to me and said, “Hey, have you looked at the note yet?”

“Nope, I guess you want me to though, right?” 

“Exactly. I had no idea that you can’t lie and can read minds!”

“Haha, very funny. Let’s go over to the tables and read it.”

I pulled the torn paper out of my bag and opened it. I read it in a whisper so only Sam could hear. 

Hey, Laura. I didn’t mean to tease you like I did before class. The guys pushed the point. They know that you would talk the truth to them, so they wanted me to do it. Truly, I really didn’t want to. Hope you’ll accept my apology. 

Eyes on you,

Justin L.

Sam followed a moment of pondering with, “What?!? You mean that twerp still likes you? I don’t suppose you want to leave me in the dust and follow the bullies around, do you?”

“Sam, what makes you think that?”

“Oh, only that last bit, ‘eyes on you, Justin’. He really likes you, Laura.”

“It’s just an apology, and I accept it. You are so focused on the love factor, that you missed the point. And plus, why don’t you worry about your own life and I’ll worry about mine?”

“Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. But you are my friend, and I’m just showing that I care about you. Is that so bad?”

“No, it’s not. And I do appreciate your kindness that you’ve shown me since I’ve been here. Thanks for that.”

“No problem! That’s what friends are for! I should probably go now, so I will see you around.”

“Yeah, see you around.”

The bell rang and everyone headed to their next class. I headed to science, one of the two classes I didn’t have with Sam. 

As we were settling down in our seats, Professor Clergy took her seat in the front of the room. 

“Class, I have an announcement to make. This week we will be dissecting frogs as a class. ” The class groaned and moaned as a whole. I stuck my tongue out, just thinking about it. Gross slimy beasts, what’s so interesting about them? I thought to myself. “You can pick the people you work with as long as there are no groups of five. Partners, threes, or fours, will suffice.” continued the professor. 

Someone blurted out, “Why can’t we work alone?” I recognized the voice as Tim, who often doesn’t raise his hand. 

“You cannot work alone because I said so, and the curriculum says “No Loners''. Now if you will allow me, I will continue. I have made permission slips and there are two things you need to write on them. One, your name and two anybody you are working with. Please, take this five minutes to talk to your school mates and write both of your names on the bottom line under ‘Teammates’.”

I totally would have wanted to be a ‘loner’ on this one, but I had no choice. I scanned the room looking for options. Tim, “the blurter”, nope. Maggie, seems to already be paired with Susie. Thomas, too messy. William, part of the bully group so nope. Sally no way. She is the ‘prettiest one in the room’ she self-proclaimed. I wish Sam was in this class, but she wasn’t, so wishing wouldn’t get me very far. I glanced at Justin, who seemed to be the only one not paired up. Oh, no way. This cannot be happening. I have to find somebody and fast. Alan, taken, O'reilly, taken, Jacob, taken. Shoot. Looks like I ended up with Justin after-all. At least it only lasts a week. I stood up and walked over to him. He smiled shyly as if he wanted this to happen.  

“Okay, Justin. Let’s get this over with. It’s only for a week, okay?”

“Where do I sign?” he asked a little over-excitedly. 

“I think you know very well where to sign.”

“Right right. Hey, I think that you and I got off on the wrong foot, wouldn’t you agree?” 

Oh, no. Stupid reaction of no lying. 

“Yes, I agree,” I said through gritted teeth.

“I want you to tell me some things, and I know you will tell the truth. So, where to begin? Ah, yes, something I’ve been wondering for a long time. Why did you stop liking me?”

I  sighed. “I stopped liking you because I found out that you were a bully.”

“What, so that automatically gives me a bad reputation because I’m a bully?”

“Yes, it does. Bloody noses, fights, black eyes. You guys kinda do that a lot. It gives anyone with the title of “Bully” a bad reputation.” 

“Okay, so if I wasn’t a bully would you like me again?”

“Okay class,” The Professor said, “Hope you all have your groups! Come back to your seats now please.”

“Tell me at lunch, Laura,” Justin whispered as I turned around. 

Science dragged on and lunch finally came. 

Justin headed my way and called me over to a bench. 

“So, about that question. Would you?”

“Depends. I guess as long as you wouldn’t hurt me and yes resigned from the bully group. I will tell you this, looks don’t matter to me entirely. I care about character and personality in people. Yes, I wouldn’t marry a messy guy who never does anything including hygiene. But I wouldn’t marry a fancy rich guy who completely sucks on the inside. I need a balance.”

“I would be your balance. A cool guy who is clean but sweet, caring, loving, compassionate. Please, at least say that you’ll give me another chance?”

“Sure. I can do that. I’m a second chance person. One favor, to prove yourself. Publicly announce to your friends that you are no longer friends and tell all girls that you have your love. Can you do that for me?”

“Yes! And I will. How about the next assembly?”

“Yes, great opportunity. I will see you there. “

“Yes I will have my eyes on you and only you.”

January 09, 2021 17:54

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Valerie June
19:26 May 25, 2021

I enjoyed reading this one. The title was spot on! Ze romance: qwdvbjoiuytrewqaszssxdcfvbhnjmmkopineuhvfbhuvnicdwwxxnwiubebgyfv Oh, and this part. --> “You cannot work alone because I said so, and the curriculum says “No Loners''. Same, I'm not a fan of group projects either. Working alone is much better. XD Oh, and dissecting frogs isn't too bad really. I remember I did that once in school and my group named our frog Steve lol. The things you remember in school, am I right?


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Radhika Diksha
14:34 Mar 05, 2021

You won't believe me but today suddenly I remembered the story but wasn't sure who the writer was. I searched the whole library of mine and when I found this story I squealed. This story has imprinted my mind, I really love it. I remember every sentence and character, especially Justin.


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Radhika Diksha
05:27 Feb 22, 2021

Please don't write stories like these. Because it makes me cry and reminds me that I am single for ages. You won't believe me I literally cried reading it. Justin is so sweet and he makes me wanna have a boyfriend. Can Justin please date me? Loved the story and all. Loved Justin like hell.


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Chase .
01:57 Apr 27, 2021

Great story! I really liked it. You are a great writer and I am looking forward to your next story!


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21:28 Feb 24, 2021

Those internal thoughts really added to the story! It was a bit creepy (also, dissecting frogs! I’ve managed to skip out on every dissection my school has ever done, and I’m so glad for that!) your characters really felt alive at points, especially with the dialogue!


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Amany Sayed
22:49 Feb 22, 2021

I feel that Tim kid, I'm always trying to be alone in team projects. Mainly because I'm 'smart' aka I do good in school work aka I will not let a project be bad aka anybody trying to team up is 90% of the time trying to use me. Anyway. Your dialogue is a little stiff. I recommend contractions 'don't instead of do not' and just read it aloud to make sure it's natural. Then again, this is an old story, so you've probably improved. It's a cute romance and it reminds me of Ella Enchanted. Good use of the prompt! :D


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17:11 Jan 25, 2021

Amazing story!


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Michael Adekanle
04:54 Jan 21, 2021

Impressive !!! Keep it up champ !


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Carole Cobos
22:47 Jan 20, 2021

good story, (I really wanted to write about the fae for this prompt) I like your take on it. There is a kind of simplicity to this that makes me imagine that the characters in this are in grade school. Which I think is sweet. Maybe 8-9 years old. :D, your writing was fun to read and I enjoyed reading it. Take care!


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Kay (:
07:58 Jan 17, 2021

So to start off, I don't think a brain injury could cause someone to tell the truth. Do you even know the symptoms of Acquired Brain Injury? It's a cute story, could use some work on the telling the truth part, you mostly explained it, try showing it. I also did a story on the same prompt, Truth be Told, and would appreciate some feedback on it!


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01:56 Jan 12, 2021

Awesooommmeee storyy, I loOove romance, and this story is giving me romancy vibes :) Happy writing!


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