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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write something in the YOUNG ADULT or TEEN genre (06/07/07)

TITLE: Another Face in the Crowd
By Jennifer Wetter


Time seemed to pause for a moment as our eyes interlocked. In that moment his brazen brown eyes reflected sorrow and pain. My heart ached for him; I wondered if maybe what he truly needed was a friend. Just as quickly as time had paused, the play button was pressed. Life once again resumed its course.

“Hey,” a sharp finger poked at my face. “Space to Kara, anyone aboard ship yet?”

My thoughts were promptly brought back to my current reality. Sadly my current reality was staged in a high school cafeteria, mystery meat, too much noise and way too many teenagers. Hundreds of voices filled my aching head. I couldn’t think, I didn’t even want to try.

A faint pink blushed my cheeks, “Sorry, I was just thinking.”

“I think you do much of that,” a male voice laughed.

Suddenly a piece of mystery meat managed to find its way into my lap. “Oops wrong target. Sorry about that.”

“Will you guys ever grow up,” I stared into the eyes of the potential target. “Men are so immature. You’d think your mother had never taught you manners.”

Someone snickered, “Mom had said I was always raised by monkeys.” Their hands reached into a high five, as if celebrating their best remark ever.

“Don’t mind them,” my best friend, Dana’s voice muttered. “By the way are you ready for our Physics midterm.”

My hand smacked my forehead. I shook my head no, I’d completely forgotten about it with everything else going on. Between soccer, honor society and work I had forgotten how to breathe. Adults wonder why were so stressed and angry it’s not always about hormones.

I picked up my books, preparing to leave the cafeteria when I gazed back over to where he was sitting. He being Jonas White the high school loner and considered by many students to be a freak as well. I’d known him since the beginning of junior high.

In all those years I’d never even stopped to say hello.

I made myself a mental note that tomorrow I’d say hello and offer to sit with him at lunch. Right now I needed to get to study hall to studying for that Physics midterm. The entire while mentally kicking myself for forgetting about this midterm. I’d deal with the consequences later, no time to deal with this now.

Tomorrow’s lunchtime arrived and once again the cafeteria was overflowing with teenagers and breaking eardrums with noise. These are the blessed moments that allowed to me actually yearn for college.
I glanced around the cafeteria purposed to finally keep my promise. Jonas’s usual spot and the surrounding were surprisingly empty. I wondered what was going on, where was everyone. I finally caught glimpse of a familiar face.

“Hey,” I asked Jonas’s acquaintance. “Where’s Jonas? I haven’t seen him today.”

His eyes widened in shock, “You don’t know what happened to Jonas? Do you?”

“What happened,” I whispered. “Is he okay?”

His shook his head no, “He died last night.”

“How?” I muttered in disbelief.

His voice cringed, “Suicide, no one saw it coming. His poor mom’s devastated.” His eyes filled tears and so did mine as he wandered away.

My thoughts filled with regret and desperation. I should have said hello yesterday, he might still be alive today. The day passed in a blur of color and minutes. After school ended I raced to Jonas White’s house.

Guilt wracked my heart as I quietly knocked at the door. Large brown haired women answered
the door, peering through its crack. “Yes, what do you want?”

“I’m Kara, a classmate of Jonas,” I cringed. “I am so sorry about what happened.”

She nodded, “Thank you. Would you like to come in?”

“I didn’t know Jonas that well,” I said. “I wish I’d taken the time to get to know him better.”

“It’s too bad more students didn’t have the same idea,” Mrs. White remarked.

“Jonas was extremely shy,” she continued. “The students could be so cruel. I don’t know how many days he came home crying, berating wishing he was someone else.”

“Or how many times he prayed to God for a single friend,” tears streaming down her face.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered. “I wasn’t a friend when he truly needed one.”

In the end we truly stand alone
One among many
Just another face in the crowd
Waiting for a moment were are truly found

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This article has been read 566 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Janice Cartwright06/14/07
Heartbreaking that your story plays out way too often in real life and not only among teens. As ambassadors of hope we should begin each day with a prayer that Holy Spirit will help us be sensitive to that lost soul and that we will make time those He brings to us.
Joanne Sher 06/14/07
Wow - tore my heart out. Nice job conveying the emotion and angst of this situation.
Marilyn Schnepp 06/16/07
Such a haunting story, and yet filled with an important message of the value of a friend. People of all ages need friends, and especially the young, the shy, the lonely. Very good entry, which could be excellent with a little editing here and there. Although sad, I enjoyed the read from beginning to end. Nice job!
Dee Yoder 06/17/07
I was taken back to High School through your story. You did a great job in conveying the emotions, the stress, and the lonliness of teens in school. Your ending paragraph tied well with your title, also.
Jacquelyn Horne06/27/07
Very impacting. I can see why it was highly commended.