Friday, February 17, 2012

"I Love You"

I know what you're thinking. "Oh, Valentine's Day was three days ago Aaron, isn't it a little bit late to be publishing a love story?". First of all, no, because love stories never go out of style. You cynics. And second of all, this isn't a love story. It's a story about a teenager and a hard realization. Enjoy!

"I Love You"
Aaron Matthew Smith - 17 Feb 2012

Chrissie sat on the couch, her face hidden behind a book. She was watching her sister Faith, seated across the room on a big wingback chair, tapping frantically on her laptop. Occasionally Faith would glance up at her, but Chrissie would always duck behind Grimm’s Fairy Tales just in time. She was so sly. 

Finally Faith finished typing and sat her laptop aside. 

“Mom,” Faith called, “I have to meet Jeremy in twenty minutes, ready to go?” Their mother said something from the top of the stairs, car keys jingling. 

“No reading my journal while I’m gone,” Faith threatened, pointing at a spot between Chrissie’s eyes. Chrissie snapped at her finger like a dog.

“You’re not the boss of me,” Chrissie said.

“Chrissie, no reading Faith’s journal,” their mom said from the door.

Faith grinned triumphantly as she and their mom headed for the car. 

“You’re not the boss of me,” Chrissie said to nobody. She picked up her sisters laptop. Faith got hers when she turned fifteen. Chrissie still had like nine months to wait. Their parents said that Chrissie would get her own for Christmas, but in the meantime she had to share Faith’s. 

Share a computer. With her sister. What was she, a hobo? 

She sat down and opened the icon on the desktop called “Faith’s Journal- CHRISSIE KEEP OUT!!!!!!!!!”. The program opened- two pink hearts, one with a lock and one with a key, popped up on the screen. Two words blinked in the middle of the hearts: ENTER PASSWORD.

Crap. She should’ve thought about this. Of course Faith would’ve put a password on her journal. Ever since Chrissie listened in on that phone call between her and Jeremy, it was like Faith didn’t trust her anymore. Faith had to be the worst sister in the world. 

This couldn’t be too hard. Their mom had taken Faith to the mall to meet Jeremy and some of their friends- they’d be gone for at least an hour. That was plenty of time to guess a password. 

Okay Chrissie, think. What would Faith use as her password?

J-E-R-E-M-Y, she typed. Nope, that wasn’t it.

Maybe there was a clue in the phone call she’d listened in on. She tried desperately to remember, but that was like a month ago. She tried a couple of Faith’s friends’ names- M-E-R-E-D-I-T-H, A-B-B-Y, J-I-L-L, but got nothing.

This was no fun. She could be guessing all night. That was when inspiration struck- the last words that Faith had said to Jeremy on the phone, the words that made Chrissie gasp and got her caught that night.


The pink hearts twinkled and spun as the program opened. Chrissie cheered. The program opened on the entry her sister had been writing when she’d left. She leaned forward in her chair, as if the secrets within would somehow be juicier if she was closer to the screen.

It turned out that her sister’s secrets weren’t really all that great. Something about her and Jeremy at her locker that day… they shared a locker? That was dumb. Some girl looked at him in gym class, and Faith didn’t like it… Oh, it looked like Meredith was dating some new guy named Jake (Chrissie had never heard of him). 

Let’s see… Ugh, Faith wrote something mean about her in here. She was not a pest! And… uh-oh, she was going to tell their mom that Faith had called her that word. Mom said that was the worst word you could call a girl. Chrissie wasn’t sure what it meant exactly, but she knew it was bad. 

Huh. This wasn’t as much fun as Chrissie’d hoped it would be. She hadn’t really known what she expected to find in her sister’s journal, except that reading it would be totally awesome. But it wasn’t all that awesome. In fact, it wasn’t really awesome at all.

There was another entry about her… mean!?! She was not mean. And… nosy? Well, Chrissie would admit that she was a little nosy, but only because Faith kept trying to hide stuff from her. Wouldn’t that make anybody nosy? 

Something strange started to happen as Chrissie scrolled back through the entries from that week, and then the week before. First she started to get bored. Then slowly she started to feel bad. There was another entry about her. And another, two days earlier. None of the entries about her were nice. Was this really what Faith thought about her? 

She glanced at the words across the top of the screen- “Faith’s Journal- CHRISSIE KEEP OUT!!!!!!!!!” practically shouted at her in the title of the program. A cold, hard lump, like a piece of frozen iron, settled into the bottom of her stomach. 

Oh, no. The things that her sister wrote about her were true. She was a nosy pest. And even though she didn’t know exactly what that word meant, right then she bet that whatever it was, she was it. 

She closed the program and clicked the laptop shut, but the cold lump in her belly didn’t go away. She laid on the couch and pulled a pillow over her face, but the words she’d read in her sister’s journal were still bouncing around inside her head. 

Nosy. Pest.

How long had she been like that? Had it been her whole life? How had she not noticed it? Why hadn’t anyone told her before? 

Faith’s told you before, a tiny voice inside her said. She named her journal after it for goodness sake. 

Chrissie laid there for a while. She lost track of how long. Finally the noises bouncing around in her brain got so loud that she felt like her head was going to explode.

An idea struck her. She threw open the laptop and opened the journal program again, but this time she clicked the button that said “Create a new journal”. After a few minutes of setting it up, she opened her first entry.

My name is Chrissie. This is my journal. Today I learned that I’m a nosy pest and another thing that’s even worse. I don’t want to be one of those anymore.

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