Portrait of a Girl

To Be Brave, and, Bored

I couldn’t get her out of my head, I couldn’t get what she had said out of my head, it was nagging at me, what if I had wasted my entire four years of high school being boring. I replayed the conversation over and over in my head, what if this was her goal, to get in my head and fuck with me. Her sent lingered in my nose, all the way through youth group that nigh. After youth group on Wednesdays a group of us would meet at McDonalds, we had do this nearly every Wednesday for the past six years.

“Gabe, man you alright? You haven’t been yourself today,” Rod a blond haired blue eyed, six foot five, Gods gift to high school girls said.

“Do you guys get bored of this?”

“This what?” Ally asked, she was also a blond haired blue eyed example of the wonder of puberty.

“We’ve done the same thing every day, every week, for the past what at least 4 years, have we wasted high school?”

“You might have,” Rod began, “Because you haven’t been getting laid, or drunk, or high, or doing anything besides like soccer and being a good boy.”

“Such a good Christian,” I said rolling my eyes, “ What do you guys know about Lillian Murphy?”

“Is that the girl with the pink hair?” Devon, a soccer playing junior asked.

“Oh yeah, skirt girl, ” Rod began again, “She’s cuteish, shes got big tits. Dresses weird though.”

“She dated James Farnsworth for like a year and a half,” Ally offered, “She, plays soccer, but you know that Gabe.” I did know that now that she mentioned it, I was number 7 and so was she, except she played goalie and I was a midfielder.” umm…” Ally said looking up as if the information was written in the air for only her to see,” she’s on the quiz team, and drama club.”

“She’s president of French club,” Rod said, “And Mock Trial.” Ally and Rod were both on the year book and the senior pages included lists of everyone’s activities.

“How is she involved in so much shit at school but we never hang out with her? I asked, she was in almost more things than I was.

“I donno she seems kinda stuck up,” Ally said, “ Like were not good enough for her to talk to us.”

“Ally, you realize that were the preps we are the stuck up crowed, we’re the cool kids,” I said.

“Yeah, Ally,” Devon began, “ You are a cheerleader, president of the pep club, you were homecoming queen, your daddy is rich and you got a new Mercedes for your sweet 16. You are the bitch in teen movies.”


“James, said she was nuts after they broke up, but I donno other than that,” Rod said.

“Aren’t any of us friends with her on facebook?” I aked.

“She doesn’t have one,” Interjected a new voice. We all turned to look just in time to see Lillian and her tall brunette friend, who I was pretty certain was named Liz walk out of the door.

Thursday passed mostly without incident, we passed once in the hallway. When she saw me coming she had stiffened her shoulder and as she hit me she hissed, “Clocks ticking, tick tock.”

That evening I sat at the counter working on my AP calculus homework while my mother stood chopping vegetables for dinner, “So do you have a date for prom yet?” she asked.


“Prom have you asked anyone yet?”

“Well,” I paused chuckling to myself, “A girl asked me the other day actually.”

“Oh really? Who was it?” She asked smiling, “Someone I know?”


“Really? Tell me about her.”

“Well, to be honest Mom, I don’t know much about her.”

“Is she a new kid?”

“No, she’s just not in our group of friends that’s all.”

“Go with her!”

“What? I don’t know her," I said shaking my head.

“Honey,” She began sitting on the stool across from me, “Your father’s position in this community has given you a skewed perspective of life… Well I’m just as guilty I’ve never encouraged you to branch out, well I mean I had good reason I didn’t want you getting hooked on drugs, but that’s not point not all less privileged kids are on drugs and not all kids who don’t live in town are poor… But… You have only ever hung out with well off town kids. You will be going to college in a few months and you are going to have to meet and get along with new people with very different backgrounds than you. And you’ll have to make friends and get along and live with. And now you are 18 and into good school and you don’t have time to make any bad habits so go be brave Gabe, be brave!" She said taking my hand.

“So is it normal to be like bored with my friends?”

“Honey, you are a good kid, thank god. But you’ve never tried anything fun and new, and while that’s good, you’ve never rebelled even a little. And… well…Gabe, go smoke so pot, go get drunk once, have fun while its safe and in place where you uncle is sheriff and he can get you out of trouble.”

“Really Mom?”

“Yeah, just don’t tell your Dad I told you to do that.”
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