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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write something in the YOUNG ADULT or TEEN genre (06/07/07)

TITLE: Nothing Will Ever Be the Same - Except Something
By Pat Guy


Alisa was not happy. She was livid, and she had every right to be, “Get outta my face Charlene! I never wanna see you again!”

With that, she swished her long brown hair over an angry shoulder and flounced off leaving Charlene with tears threatening to break loose. “Alisa! Hold up a minute! I’m … sorry, I …”

But Charlene’s plea got lost in the rushed hallway.

Alisa didn’t care one bit about her friend right now. She was hurt more than ever! How could my very best friend in the whole world steal my boyfriend?

Thankfully, she got to her next class without seeing him. She sat down and covered her face pretending to rub her eyes. Everybody else was getting their books and supplies ready so she busied herself with doing the same … anything to keep busy and not think.

I can’t believe it. Jason kissed Charlene and Charlene let him – in ‘our’ special corner of the school. Now everybody’s looking at me and talking about it! How could she? Her throat ached, squeezing off a sob.

The rest of the day was like trying to swim through mud. She avoided Jason and everybody else too. She just wanted to get home to her room.

But as soon as she got on the bus, her cell phone started in – it was Charlene. No way! Then Jason. Creep! Charlene and Jason. She turned towards the window to hide the pain she was sure everybody could see on her face.

The house was quiet and empty when she got home – she tried to blink back the tears but it was no use. By the time she got to her room, the anguish of her heart came out in such pain her lungs hurt from the cries she tried to muffle in her pillow.

She loved Jason with all her heart. He and Charlene were all she had … and now it was all gone. She was all alone. Nothing will ever be the same again.

She lay on her bed too heavy with grief to move and watched the blades of her fan go around and around. She noticed the strobe effect of the shadows and allowed that old feeling to creep back up from the dark place where it lived … just waiting – always waiting, and always dependable. What a comfort to have it tucked away when she needed it most!

I’ll feel better if I eat something. No one’s home and it’ll be just like it used to be … before Jason.

She had been trying really hard not to … well, anyway, no one knew; and she missed that feeling … it was sooo worth it! It felt so good to fill that emptiness and then get rid of all that ugliness and pain … what a relief!

She went to the kitchen with the exhilaration of knowing what she would be experiencing soon.

As she pulled out her favorite snacks, her mind conjured up how she was going to prepare for this secret time in the bathroom – how she would burn candles … to fake-out her mom. I wonder where my gum is?

But there was something else deep inside – something that stirred uncomfortably in her chest and brought back a memory.

She tried to shake it off.

But the stirring was strong and drew her to the scrap of paper in her purse she kept ‘just in case.’

She wished she had never, ever seen it! She wished she had never, ever written it down!

She stood there trembling, shaking with indecision. Wavering. She wanted to eat! She wanted to purge!

She had to!

Just one then … I’ll take just one with me … well … and maybe these. She snatched the snacks and went to boot up the computer. Then she quickly retrieved her purse not giving herself any time to glance in the bathroom.

A mental STOP sign flashed through her head.

She sat down, opened her Twinkies and chips, took a bite and scrounged around for the piece of paper.

Her fingers hovered over the keys – she let out a breath. She typed the address – another bite. She started to read … she got up. She sat back down … she needed more snacks, but …

There was just something that kept her there at the website. Something touched her … someone cared and … she wasn’t alone.

Maybe … just maybe, no candles will be needed today.


Author’s note: Eating disorders come in many forms and can develop into other forms. There are four out of one hundred young women who struggle everyday.

The website Alisa checked out was: www.freedomfromed.com. It has many links to other websites that can also help.


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This article has been read 1388 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 06/14/07
Your story has a relevant topic for teens and a believable main character, also. I think teens would relate well to your story.
Lynda Schultz 06/16/07
Well done. The thoughts, feelings and struggles were insightful — and a topic that touches so many lives.
Joanne Sher 06/18/07
Excellent job with the characterization and voice. I was holding my breath for this poor girl. Wonderful.
Jan Ackerson 06/20/07
Great title, masterful look into your MC's personality. I wondered if you might write on this topic, and I'm glad you did.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/20/07
Your story works very well as an explanation, as well as a warning. Good job.
Pam Carlson-Hetland06/20/07
Excellent story, excellent writing. Excellent resource listed in author's notes.
Sara Harricharan 06/20/07
Hmmm. This took a twist I wasn't looking for. And you touched a topic many teen girls are faced and struggling with. Kudos to you for writing on it. I could connect with this-you did a good job.
Sharlyn Guthrie06/20/07
This is a very relevant topic. I work with 7th graders and they all know of someone dealing with anorexia/bulimia. Thanks for your no-nonsense story.
Kristen Hester06/20/07
Wow! This is powerful. I feel I better understand eating disorders now.
Amy Michelle Wiley 06/20/07
Wow, very powerful. There were a few missing commas, but otherwise well-written.
Janice Fitzpatrick06/21/07
This is so well done and has so much truth to it is frightening and sad as so many girls and women fall into this trap and end up hurting themselves or even causing permanent damage. Very on the money with description and emotion. I wanted to hug the main character and just listen. Agan great job!Janice
Betty Castleberry06/21/07
This is very moving. I've never had any experience with this personally, but you've got me curious. I'm going to check out the website "just because."
Congratulations on a well-deserved first place win.
Debbie OConnor06/21/07
Great job, Pat. Excellent message. I love the way you brought Alisa's struggle to life.
Sara Harricharan 06/21/07
Pamela Kliewer06/21/07
Your story touched me deeply. Thank you.
Victoria Weathers06/21/07
Great story. I admit this is a topic I am not up on so I have one question. What was the piece a paper? Was it a business card or where she jotted down a web address? And what was the significance of the candles?

I love your descriptive ability. I am struggling in that area. I could picture everything as I read.
Victoria Weathers06/21/07
I guess I more accurately had two questions. LOL
Myrna Noyes06/21/07
WOW!!!! FIRST PLACE in Masters and FIRST PLACE in the EC!!!! This is really your day!!!!!! :D CONGRATULATIONS on an excellent story that deserves the accolades!
Joanne Sher 06/21/07
Congrats, my dear friend. This was AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!
Kate Grey06/21/07
Great story. You did a great job getting us into your MC's head. :) Sis
Sally Hanan06/21/07
Loks like we both have the same mental age...hehe. This was great.
Laurie Glass 06/21/07
Congratulations! You did such a wonderful job on this, Pat. And you know that this piece will always be near and dear to my heart. :)
Leigh MacKelvey06/22/07
wow, Pat ... I somehow missed this one! Great job and Congrats on # 1!