Thursday, 14 July 2011


I just came up with the idea for this short story during class. Hope you guys like it :D


 “Is there anyone sitting here?”

 I looked up from my fish fingers and found myself face to face with one of the most beautiful girls I’d ever seen. I remained speechless for a while, then quickly recovered from my trance and shook my head. The girl wearily plopped down on the seat in front of me and picked at her food.

 I sneaked a couple of looks at her in between bites. She had straight, sleek hair, the color of a raven’s wing, which cascaded down to her shoulders like a waterfall. Her fair, creamy skin brought out her dark eyes, which were deep-set and serious. She had a small, slender body with a pretty, oval-shaped face. She wore a lacy, flowing, white dress and a black, knit cardigan. I was starting to wonder if she was a black and white photo that had come to life.

 “You’re very beautiful,” I suddenly blurted out. She appeared shocked, as if I had said something offensive. I reddened and started to apologize for my outburst, but she suddenly gave me a small smile and stopped eating.

 “I’m Leiah,” she said, holding out her hand. I shook it, and tried to swallow the huge bite of fish fingers in my mouth.

  “Devin,” I replied, mouth still full. I wanted to kick myself. Here I was, finally having someone to sit with at lunch, and couldn’t even say my name properly. I silently prayed that her first impression of me wouldn’t be a slob and a weirdo.

  “You know, it’s great to finally have someone to sit with, and you seem like a nice person. Usually, it’s just the trashcans and me. We’re pretty tight,” I said, trying to start a conversation. She probably didn’t hear me, or chose to ignore me, because she picked up her fork and started eating without looking up.

  “The, um, fish fingers are kind of salty, aren’t they?” I tried. She didn’t reply.

  “You can talk if you want to, you know,” I reminded her. I regretted saying those words as soon as they came out of my mouth. It made me sound so stupid and desperate for a friend, which I was exactly what I was.

  She just smiled, and we continued eating in silence. I was thrilled that I’d made a new friend, sort of, but I had no clue on what to say next. I finished my meal and washed it down with a glass of water. I was still thinking of what to say next before Leiah picked up her tray and stood up.

 “It was nice meeting you, Devin,” she said, walking away. I reluctantly watched her leave before she disappeared into a sea of high school students.

  “Nice meeting you, too,” I called out. But she was already gone, and once again, I was sitting alone with no one but the trash cans to keep me company.

   It was just after school, and I was sitting by myself in my favorite quiet spot on a bench near the park, sketching and while enjoying a Twix bar. The soft sound of pencil rubbing against the paper filled my ears, somehow calming me. I was sketching a scene from my favorite book, The Hobbit. It was the scene where Bilbo was feeding a bunch of starving dwarves in his home. I had just begun sketching a few raspberry tarts when I heard the sound of someone crying. I looked up, and was surprised to see Leiah standing in front of me. Her eyes were red, and tears were streaming down her face.

 “Leiah? What’s wrong?” I asked, immediately putting down my pencil and chocolate. “Sit down.”

  She shook her head and continued to cry, softly. She was shaking, and tried to say something, but no sound came out of her. I felt lost and helpless, not knowing what to do. I had never been in a situation like this before. Upon impulse, I stood up and hugged her. Her body stiffened, then relaxed as she allowed the hug to envelop calm her. She felt so soft and smelled so nice, like flowers.

  I blushed a bit, embarrassed, and told her to sit down next to me. This time, she did, and wiped her tears with the sleeve of her jacket. We sat there silently for a few minutes, but the silence wasn’t awkward. It was kind of comfortable, actually. I opened my sketchbook to a new leaf and picked up my pencil. Then, I began to sketch her.

  “Thank you,” she whispered, breaking the silence. I grunted as I tried to get the shape of her face right. I finally did, and moved on to her nose. It was a bit tricky, since it was profile view, but I managed to make it look similar to the real thing. I glanced at her eyes, ready to draw them. Her eyes were even more intriguing up close. They looked as if they held many secrets, waiting to be shared. I carefully shaded her pupil, working slowly and wanting to capture their mystery.

Finally, she spoke up.

  “No one’s ever called me pretty before.”

  “They’re all either blind or jealous,” I replied, not looking up. “And, you’re welcome.” I grinned and started on her hair. It was fun, letting my pencil glide on the paper while finishing each stroke softly.

  “Devin?” she asked.


  “What are you drawing?”


  “Can I see it?”

  “Yes, you may see it, and have it,” I replied, sticking out my tongue. She chuckled, which relieved me. It made me feel really good inside to know that I had made her laugh. Well, not really, but it still counted.

 “Hold on, let me just finish this part…. There.” I tore the page from the sketchbook, which she took from me. She studied the picture for a few moments and seemed pleased with it.

  “You’re a really great artist,” she said, still looking at the picture. “I sat here for just a few minutes, and you were able to capture every little detail perfectly.”

  “Thanks,” I said sheepishly. “No one’s ever complimented my work before.”

  “Even your parents?” she said, a bit shocked.

  “Well, my mom does, but that doesn’t really count, because she kinda has to, since she’s my mom,” I laughed. Leiah grinned and continued to admire the drawing.

  “You see that smile?” I asked, pointing to the drawing of her mouth. I had drawn her relaxed and her rosebud mouth forming a smile.

  “What about it?” she asked, frowning a bit and studying the picture.

  “You should wear it more often,” I nudged her as if we were old friends.  Her expression softened, and there were tears in her eyes. I panicked, wondering what I’d done this time.

  “Are you an angel?” she whispered through her tears. I was about to laugh, then thought the better of it and simply said that no, I wasn’t. She closed her eyes for a moment and breathed as a single tear rolled down her cheek.

  “Devin, I wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for you,” she said, eyes still closed.

  “What do you mean?”

  “I mean, I was going to kill myself today. I had the knife ready under my pillow so that I could do it when I got home. But then, you came along and called me beautiful. You said I was a nice person, became my friend, and taught me to smile again. You made me realize that I’m not alone in this world.”

  I looked at her, shocked and speechless. Leiah had almost killed herself! I opened my mouth to say something, but didn’t know what, so I just closed it and stared off into the distance.

  After a long pause, Leiah stood up from the bench, said goodbye, and started to walk away. Her skirt swayed and flowed with each step she took.

  “Leiah!” I called. She turned around, waiting for me to continue.

  “The trash cans and I were wondering if you want to join us for some salty canteen food again tomorrow,” I yelled, grinning widely. She smiled, nodded, and went on her way. I waved even though I knew she couldn’t see me. I picked up my sketchbook and went back to sketching the raspberry tarts.

   A boy of about my age suddenly came plodding down the path, hands in his pockets and his head down. His shoulders sagged, making him look smaller than he really was. I watched him walk past me, and thought a few moments before yelling,

   “Someone out there needs you, man! Never forget that you’re special!”

    The boy stopped in his tracks and turned around. His eyes widened, and he slowly smiled.

     “Thanks!” he waved, and ran off. I rested against the bench and promised myself to help every Leiah I came across. I grinned and took a big bite out of my Twix bar.

      Life is good.