Today I was lucky enough to be a part of the annual Power of the Pen competition. For those who don’t know, in a nutshell, it’s a creative-writing competition. 3 rounds, 40 minutes each, a random prompt. My team did GREAT today. JV got 3rd place. Varsity got 1st. And as a whole, we got 1st place out of everyone (I’m announcing that in the most humble way possible). I personally didn’t feel my best about my work…I struggle to write narratives, my thought process is unintentionally poetic, so everything I write sounds like a poem, but they don’t always like that. I’ve read and reread all my pieces and I think I’ve decided which one I’d like to share. The prompt for this piece, we were asked to write a narrative based on the following sentence: “That’s the best excuse I’ve ever heard.”
Today I titled this “Hearts Think Faster”.
We met during my first week of school. I was in the back left corner of what they call the commons (what happened to calling it the cafeteria?) The air was different than what I was acquired to, but I was open-minded. Mom used to call me an old soul. Dad just called me dramatic. The day I met Reina was the day you could say I started to feel. To feel, to see, to be. It was in that left corner that I hovered, alone, defiant. She approached me with unmistakable confidence. We locked eyes and she stopped just before the toes of our sneakers touched. The corner of her mouth twitched adorably before gracefully spilling out the word, “Welcome.” I replied with thanks and before she turned to glide away, her right eyebrow twitched, mirroring the twitch of her lip just a handful of seconds before.
A couple of days went by and my eyes could never find her in the realm of my new surroundings. But, eerily, she would find me in that left corner of the commons, her ice-tinted eyes always locked. I often wondered what they were protecting. Something about her presence gave me butterflies, not big ones, just big enough to spark ponderings in my mind and unsteadiness in my hands. My first week was coming to a close, this would be day number four of her peculiar greetings. It was that fourth day that I told myself I would speak up, ask my questions.
Standing in my corner, I was nervous, unstoppable. Everything in my head was loud, oppressing, itchy. Just as thoughts were threatening to bleed under my breath like ink, she appeared, sailing on her own feet, towards me. I wouldn’t let her win the first words. So, in our, bubble, sneakers almost touching, blue ice against green earth, it all came spilling out. “What is your name? Do you have a secret? Why don’t I see you around? Can’t we share longer talks? Why have you been deceivingly-willing to befriend me, when you just leave without letting me speak?” Seconds ticked by as I deflated and she took in my words as still as stone. There it was, the twitch of her lip, and identical to that, her right eyebrow. “Reina. My name is Reina. I’ve got secrets, don’t we all? You don’t see things you don’t know, and you haven’t known me until now. Now you know my name is Reina and I’ve got secrets. We can share talks, just ask for them, don’t ask why I don’t give them, for how do I give what is not asked for? It’s not that I deny you the chance to speak, it’s that words come from the heart, not the brain, you think too much.” Time seemed sticky as I processed this. “That was…those were…the best excuses I’ve ever heard.” And with that she turned on one heel with a satisfied smirk. She said I think too much. I think too much.