Monday, August 25, 2008

Little Girls

Any minute now.

He had slipped her the note after class. 3:15, bottom of hill. I’ll walk you home. But the line of school buses had already fumed away. The hands of her watch scissored to 3:23 as she eyed the safety mirror across the street.

Shit, shit, fuck, fuck

From the low wall, she peeked over the top of her book. More cars leaked by. But nothing materialized in the dead space behind her.


Two juniors whose names escaped her passed by, squealing. Their hollow dance repulsed her. She was reading Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Sort of.

Girls. Stupid, little girls.

She stuffed her nose deeper into the book's pages, and glued her knees together. Becoming a sophomore had suited her. It was like being the middle kid in a family. Invisible. But she could still watch, and record the universe crunching around her.


3:25 . . . 3:26.


The weight of the day, all that effort spent not caring, embraced her body like a lead apron. Behind her lids, the round eye of the mirror squiggled into stardust. Her thoughts retreated into familiar landscapes. Pastel fantasies.

Jaw slackening, she permitted the book to drop an inch.

“Bonjour, Meredith.”


Her eyes flapped open. Staggering to her feet, she caught the dark reflection painted in the mirror.

Meredith turned and tossed her hair.

“Bonjour, Monsieur Binegar.”

If only she could do something about that shake in her voice.

It totally ruined her pronunciation.


*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Awesome narration!

I can so relate to that state of restlessness and excitement which such waits drive one into.And those are times when "people-watching" is at its peak.

The starting lines reminded me of Tom Sawyer and Betty Thatcher :)

Anonymous said...

That boy is late, late, late! Get him a watch. Geez.

Great description of sophomore-ism. Unlike her, I hated that year for the same reasons. I was deep into the high school experience, but it seemed an eternity until graduation. A wide-open middle period to drift in. I guess I wanted a sharper goal to point towards.

I so felt for her with the shake in her voice. Probably because I've known that shake too well. I hope by the third deep breath, it passes.

Charles Gramlich said...

Great stuff. I loved the "fumed away." Really exciting narrative, with many things happening at once.

Sarah Hina said...

I haven't read that one, Sameera. But very cool that you remembered those lines.

That excitement can be all consuming. Even if we're desperate to contain it. ;)

Jason, I didn't do my job clearly enough here. I meant for the "boy" to be her French teacher. Trying to show how that desperate drive to be adult/superior can have dire consequences when she's still a kid emotionally.

The sophomore year is a riddle. But I think I felt impatient, too. And shaky. ;)

Thanks, Charles! I tried to keep in touch with the more objective events outside of her, and the need/fear inside her mind. I hoped it was somewhat cohesive.

Aine said...

Dangerous liaison, indeed! Am I to understand that Monsieur Binegar is her teacher?

No wonder she was more anxious than excited. And the juniors are but "little girls"....

You certainly surprised me with this one!

Aine said...

Ah-- I did read it correctly!! Our comments crossed in cyberspace.

Sarah Hina said...

Yes, Aine! Thank you. :)

I could have given another indication of his status as teacher. I thought the "Monsieur" was enough. But Paul, too, said that could have just meant he was a fellow French student. Point noted.

I'm glad I surprised you! Not that this remotely resembled me in high school. I never took French... ;)

Beth said...

I still think you should take all these and make a book of them for publication. Or is that what you're doing?

Haven't seen you in a while, so wanted to drop in on ya.

Hotwire said...

i love how the last line made the whole piece real.

Sarah Hina said...

I haven't thought about publishing these pieces, Beth. Just trying to hone my writing and have some fun. :)

Thanks, Hotwire. I thought that line demonstrated her desire to please, and her immense youth. I'm glad you felt the same!

Anonymous said...

BTW, that's too cool that there's a little you in the picture.

Mirrors are curious things. I like the effect here.

Sarah Hina said...


You weren't supposed to see that, Jason. ;)

Anonymous said...

I liked the story here and your writing is great as always.

I didn't quite get the story the first time through. I didn't get the teacher part. Still, nice work as always.

Sarah Hina said...

Thanks, Paul. I appreciate your letting me know what didn't work for you. You weren't the only one.

I've struggled with being clear enough in the past. Maybe I slipped a little here. Which is why blogging is such a crucial tool for us writers. Instant feedback! :)

Sheri said...

Oh I was disappointed it ended. I wanted to read more! What happened? And if he is a monsieur, does that mean he was a teacher and not another student??? You left me suspended. Write a part deux s'il vous plaît!

Sheri said...

Oh I love how the hands on teh clock 'scissored.'

Sarah Hina said...

How can I resist, mon ami, when you ask so sweetly? ;)

On second thought...I don't think I'd want to go down that road, Sheri. Whatever followed wouldn't be good.

But I'm glad you found the story compelling! And thanks for noticing that line. :)

aoc gold said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lena said...

i have read the story and comments too and i think it is only the way of perception .. i mean not everyone can see the same story in the same way... not because you havent stated it clearly he was a teacher, for me it was obvious that he was one. I guess you did all you could to make us understand it in the right way.

Wonderfully written, as always! :)