Mary, Won't You Stay?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: 'The Odd Ones'
Wrote this for my creative writing class! Maria and Mary are in the same class. They talk. They like each other.
Unfortunately, my teacher didn't really catch onto that last part for some reason. Either way, gay girls = gr8.

Submitted: April 30, 2016

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Submitted: April 30, 2016

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Seventh grade was stupid, and Ms. Hale was stupid, and life was stupid. Stupid and dumb and pointless! I just wanted to go home. I want Mom’s chocolate cookies. I angrily pressed down on my pencil, breaking the lead.

 “Are you, um… okay? Are you going to cry?”

 A sweet, quiet voice invited itself into my ear, arriving from the right, from the girl who sat next to me. She hadn’t spoken a word besides a shy “Good morning” every now and then since she joined the class in the beginning of the year. She wasn’t particularly pretty, but she was lovely in her own special way, I supposed. She didn’t wear makeup or do her hair or wear a lot of jewelry like most of the other girls in the class, but something about seemed like she didn’t need it. Dark skin, and dark hair with faint red highlights, and nice chocolate eyes…

 “Is something wrong? Why are you staring? Oh, is my nose bleeding...”

 Her voice startled me while I was spacing out and I jumped a little, leading me to smack my knee hard on one of the metal legs of the chair. I reacted to the sudden pain by smacking the desk as well. The girl was frantically searching for something in her bag now, seeming equally startled.

“Maria? Are you having an alright time back there?” Ms. Hales’ sharp voice cut cleanly through the small scene happening at the back of the classroom. Her hand, gripping a piece of chalk, paused from writing an equation on the blackboard. She stared me down, telling me she wouldn’t just let me off with one simple question. “Perhaps it’s something you’d be interested in… sharing?” she asked sternly. I rubbed my very red hand and hesitated before replying.

 “Er, I, um, just hit my leg.” I mumbled, praying that she’d just ignore it and move on.

 “What was that? Say it a bit louder, Maria.”

 “I said I, um, hit my leg!” Please, please just let me go.

 “Very good.” Ms. Hale smiled as she picked up her red book. I said a silent farewell to my participation points for the day as she made a mark in the book, no doubt next to my name. The class cackled. I looked over to the girl, who had stopped shuffling around in her bag and was dabbing her nose with a tissue. She really had thought it was bleeding. I decided to say something to her before being silent again.

 “Sorry but… what’s your name again?”

 “Oh, um, it’s Mary.”

***

 Later that day, I noticed Mary at the bus stop. She was sitting under a nearby maple tree, reading a thick paperback book, occasionally peering up for a few seconds before her eyes fell back down, tracing the words. I looked around cautiously before slowly approaching her. She seemed so easily startled, I didn’t want to frighten her.

 “So, you take the bus? I never noticed you here before…”

 “Oh, I, uh, guess no one does.” Mary put down her book to look at me, slightly hurt. “Sometimes I, um, my mom picks me up.”

 Oh, I, uh, guess no one does. The words echoed in my head as I wished I could crawl in a hole and die. I come to try make conversation and the first thing that I think to say is that I never even noticed her?

 “So what’re you reading?” I could still make this work. There was still a sliver of hope.

 A bit of panic crossed her face as she shoved the book back into her bag. “It’s for, uh, um, English! It’s called um… To Kill a… gosh, what was it… Cardinal! To Kill a Cardinal! To Kill a Cardinal? So it hadn’t been a book for English after all. Though she seemed smart, she wasn’t a terribly good liar. Huh. “Well, anyway, I, uh, looks like my bus is here! I’ll see you, um, tomorrow.”  Mary stood up abruptly, seeming relieved. Something large and heavy-looking slipped out of her bag as started scurrying to her bus. I picked it up and went to give it to her, but she had already disappeared. It was the book she’d been reading earlier! The title read General Hospital: Episodes 1-750 Analysis by Stephanie Jones. 750 episodes? No wonder it felt like it weighed fifty pounds. And General Hospital? Wasn’t that an old person show or something...

***

And so the days went on like this, each time we conversed we learned about each other a little more. Mary liked maroon, brown sugar candy, and gold lettering on the fronts of hardback books, and hated blankets that are too warm, movies that are too long, and icing that’s too sweet. As for me, I liked coffee that was more cream and sugar than actual coffee, when it was so dark you could see the stars clearly, and emerald green, and hated half-broken headphones, people who bragged, and movies that kept getting sequels they didn’t need (however, we did debated this last one quite a bit). Mary gradually left behind her vocal fillers and stuttering and nervousness as we kept talking every day, and smiled more, too. However, she still read those huge analysis books about General Hospital. Not everything can change.

One day, whilst we were waiting for our respective buses to arrive, Mary said something rather strange.

“The skies will change soon, won’t they, Maria?” She looked rather serious, staring off into something I couldn’t see.

“Huh? What do you mean?” I said confusedly. The sky was always the same, wasn’t it?

 Mary reached out and clasped my hand with her own. It was barely audible, but I heard her whisper.

 “I don’t want them to change.”

She turned to look at me, smiling a little, almost like she was hiding something. “Well, looks like the bus is here. See you tomorrow.” She let my hand go and walked away, leaving me to stare after her. Whatever she was saying about these skies changing, I felt like I didn’t want them to change either.

***

 It was something strange again. Mary’s beautiful chocolate eyes were sad, nearly grieving. She clasped my hand in her own, and this time held it tight.

 “Oh, Maria…”

 “What is it?”

 “Can’t we just have it stay like this forever?”

 “We can, can’t we? To eighth grade, and ninth, and tenth all the way until…”

 “Until?”

 Sometimes Mary loved to play the question game.

 “Until we’re dead, I guess.” I shrugged. Mary had been playing the question game a lot more recently. I kept telling her we should play a different game instead, but she kept pushing it. Why?

 “Oh, Maria…” Mary sounded close to tears. “Why can’t we stay?”

 “Sure we can stay! What would make it so we couldn’t?”

 Mary sniffed and looked the other way. “Lots of things.”

 Lots of things? That wasn’t a terribly satisfactory answer. “Things? What kinds of things?”

 “Just things… stuff.”

 “I don’t like those things then. You should try to get rid of them.”

 “I would if I… well, anyway, looks like my bus is here.” She was still facing away from me, frantically wiping her face with her sleeve. Mary gave my hand one more squeeze before she let it go. She stood up and picked up her bag with shaking hands. “See you...” Her voice trailed off as if she was about to say “tomorrow”, but didn’t.

 Mary started to walk away before quickly running back and planting a small kiss on my right cheek. She waved as she ran to her bus, leaving me with my hand pressed against my cheek where she had kissed me. I went to pick up my own bag and noticed a little slip of paper lying next to it. Mary must have dropped something again. I retrieved it from the ground and unfolded it. I expected it to be homework or some notes but what was written there surprised me.

 The skies changed, Maria. I’ll never forget you. -Mary

 

 The next day Mary didn’t come to school. Or the day, week, month, or year after that. All the years of my life after that day I was plagued with regret. Maybe, just maybe, the end wouldn’t have been so bitter if I had just realized, that the whole time…


I’d been in love.



© Copyright 2017 B.S. Son. All rights reserved.

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