Teen Ink on Twitter
I've been working with this story for nearly a year now, and I honestly have written nine endings. I don't like any of them. I love the beginning, but I have no idea where to go from there. You can give me some feedback on this first part if you like, but what I'm really looking for is: how should I continue, and end this story??
When I first met you, you were behind me in the checkout line at the local Winn-Dixie. You were buying Halloween candy, five bags of it, even though Halloween wasn’t for another two weeks. You refused to let anyone else carry the basket. It looked too heavy for a six-year-old, but I said nothing. I told you that you should have gotten the Hershey Kisses instead of the Reese’s, but you just smiled, like there were more important things to worry about. I didn’t tell you that I was allergic to peanuts until years later.
I was just buying dinner for the night with my mom and her mom. It was grilled chicken—the same as always. You said you hated grilled chicken. I said I did too. And then you smiled—again. That quirky little one-sided smile. For as long as I knew you, that was one of the only things that never changed. I remember that you tried to reach up to the conveyor belt to put the candy on. You couldn’t quite. I could. And then, I smiled at you. I laughed at the fact that you couldn’t reach the conveyor belt. You told me you were only six and a half. I laughed again. I was seven and three quarters. You said you’d grow taller than me when you were seven and three quarters. But, then, I said, I’d be eight. And you said you’d be taller than me anyway.
The second time I met you, we were in a crowded airport in New York City. You were waiting for your connecting flight to London, off to see the whole wide world with your mom and dad and two sisters and seven cousins. I counted them all. I was there by myself; lost. You sat there next to the pizza restaurant: Gameboy in your lap, delight in your smile. You were eating Reese’s--again. I tapped you on the shoulder: a nervous wreck of twelve years, alone in an airport that I’d never seen before. You looked friendly enough. And I asked you where to flight to Pensacola was departing from, and you said you had no idea, because you had just come from there. You didn’t even look up from your Gameboy. You were playing Super Mario.
You asked me if I wanted a Reese’s, and I told you that I was allergic, so I was about to walk away and find someone else to ask. You grabbed the hem of my pants, and told me that I looked like a girl you had met a long time ago in the checkout line of the local Winn-Dixie, a girl who hated Reese’s and Grilled chicken; a girl who was tall enough to reach the conveyor belt.
I looked at you funny. You had grown a lot in five years. I asked you to stand up, and then it was your turn to look at me funny. You asked me why. And I said I wanted to see if I was still taller than you. You made me remember.
And the two of us walked to the pizza restaurant behind the rest of your family, trading stories of Halloweens come and gone, of how I wore the same costume for the past three years, and how you tried to find my house, but couldn’t. Turned out we lived just on opposite sides of the park. Close enough to walk, but somehow a lifetime apart.
I waited for you as you bought your pepperoni pizza at the restaurant. The waiter handed it to you on a little paper plate, all steaming hot and messy. The grease dripped down your chin; a smiling beard that made you look blissfully mischievous, if only for the meantime. I tried to wipe it off, but you batted my hand away. Your dad said that you could walk to my gate with me if you wanted. You said okay, sheepishly. And I stood on my tiptoes to read the departures board, looking for flight number 903 to Pensacola. I was still taller than you.
You're right, this is a hard ending to write. Let's see, hmm... You could have them become best friends, girlfriend /boyfriend, or mabey something comes between them like a girlfriend or a sport or something. Mabey they lose touch again? I think that it really depends on the mood you're trying to convey because if it's lightweight, then they should propeably become friends. If it's sad, then they should be separated (dont kill one of them, so far the story, is not headed that way). I personaly think they should become best friends.
thanks! I thought about having them be boyfriend and girlfriend, but I tried it a little and it quickly became a soppy, mushy romance--which I wasn't quite fond of.
Best friends is a great idea, though.
One of them should die. Best friends, I saw that coming, but the unexpected death of a character is like a punch in the gut at will leave the reader thinking "What the heck just happened?" But it's the answer to a lot of problems. Don't go killing off characters left and right though, since that will make the reader expect it. When you do, make it count.
I might have one of them be forced to kill the other? I think that was suggested to me once, but I never ended up doing it.
Thanks for the ideas!