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

TITLE: I Can See You Naked
By Sally Hanan


“I can see you naked.”

“What?” yelped Karen, throwing her hand over her cleavage.

“I can see you naked,” I repeated. “See? It’s working already. I was scared of speaking in front of you, and now you’re the one that’s uncomfortable. It’s in this speech book – one of the many ways I can get comfortable in front of a large crowd.”

Karen hoisted her tank top up to her neck. “Jeepers, you’re only reciting a poem in front of Dillon and the class! Is it that big of a deal??”

I dropped my page on the desk. “It’s only Dillon?? Karen!!!”

“FINE! Dillon is the most gorgeous guy in the whole school and this is your message to him,” she droned. “Okay, I get it! Just seduce him already!”

“Oh, I plan on it girlfriend.” I raised one recently plucked eyebrow and wiggled my right hip in her direction. Despite the fact that our school skirt wouldn’t attract a rodent, we both laughed hysterically. Crushes do that to you.

The hour of possibilities arrived -- English class. Mr. Clifford scanned his list, lifted his glasses in my direction, and curled his little finger at me. “Gina, you recite your sonnet first.”

I stood in front of the shrubbery of learning minds, fingers gripping the sheet of paper that had all of my emotions but nothing of his name on its side. It trembled mockingly as I raised my eyes above it before the class….and Dillon.

Out of the corner of my eye I could see Karen’s upraised thumb encouraging me on. For some reason, it made me think of the speech book. A smirk wriggled across my lips and a snicker galloped through my nose. The ensuing noise was far more hilarious to the class than my nerves could react to politely. Without even thinking I shouted, really loudly, “I was only laughing ‘cuz I could see you all naked.”

The instantaneous uproar was uncontrollable. Bobby had tears coming out his nose, Sarah was holding her ribs so tight she could have stopped breathing, and Dillon, my Dillon, was looking at me with a huge grin on his face and he was clapping! Like instant strawberry pudding dissolving in milk, my face turned a velvet shade of red and I ran to my seat. Beside me, Karen’s head was lost on the desk in her folded arms. If she wasn’t my best friend, I could have sworn she was laughing too. My life, as I knew it, was over.

Mr. Clifford shuffled up and down through the rows of desks, waving his spectacles up and down, saying, “Settle down now class.” He turned to me and lifted one eyebrow. “Ms. Fry? We’ll get back to you later.” I slid farther down into my chair.

After the bell I waited in my den of self-pity for everyone else to leave before I uncurled from my fetal position…at least... I thought everyone had left. I lifted my head to see Dillon standing right beside me, that stupid grin still on his face.

“Hey Gina,” he whispered seductively, “I can see you naked. Rrrraarh!” and he laughed like he was the funniest alpha male in the world. Then he left me there, alone.

I glazed over the words of love and desire I’d written and rewritten, night after night, daydream after daydream.

How can I stop my self from loving you?
Almost a god, so muscular, so kind.
A supernatural love so strong, so true
makes heaven’s thoughts weave patterns through my mind.
You’re like the Greek god, Adonis, enthroned.
Charisma, looks, physique, they conquer me.
All thoughts of single life have been disowned.
This heart of mine can no longer be free.
The gods carry the world upon their back.
They conquer every heart of all their realms.
The way you look in my eyes leaves no lack.
All normal things your deep gaze overwhelms.
   As much as my heart feels this love for you,
   I pray that your heart feels the same way too.

A sickness rose up from within, and with many tears I scribbled out the last two lines. Under the inky blackness these words belched out:

  I thought your heart was something I desired,
  but all that’s over after what’s transpired.

I crumpled up my heart on paper and threw it, with an angry sob, into the trash can.

Somehow, imagining people naked wasn’t quite so funny anymore….

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This article has been read 1345 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 06/14/07
Just like High school! Oh, the angst of the teen girl's heart and the unrequited love that goes with it. You captured the scene well. :)
Kaylee Blake 06/15/07
Is it OK to love this piece? I was really enjoying it, until Dillon said that. Then I felt really, really sad for poor Gina. But this is sooo like high school crushes. I think you've touched on the genre perfectly!
Debbie OConnor06/16/07
Oh, the drama...

You hit the nail on the head with the over-the-top flowery love poem and the callousness of the kids and Dillon. The embarrassing behavior was on too. Well done.
Lynda Schultz 06/16/07
Great story. My high school science teacher told me to think of my audience as a field of cabbages (that was back in the days when picturing people naked was definitely NOT done!) Well done.
Joanne Sher 06/18/07
The absolutely PERFECT description of a high school crush. You pegged it for sure. Loved it!
Jan Ackerson 06/18/07
This is super! I especially loved the sonnet--exactly like one a high schooler would write--and I grinned out loud at the revised last two lines. Top notch!
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/18/07
This is a great short story. You've captured the "crush" syndrome perfectly and how easily it can be squashed as well. The description is outstanding.
Jacquelyn Horne06/20/07
What an embarrassing moment! Many teens have probably been through similar situations and will identify with this.
Kristen Hester06/20/07
This is so like high school...the crusches, the fickleness! I really liked this. It's great.
Sara Harricharan 06/20/07
Oooh, very sneaky twist here. I feel so bad for Gina. And that idiot, Dillion (or whatever his name was-lol) I wanted to whack him good. It was interesting to use your title throughout the story. It added a different note. Nice.
Catrina Bradley 06/20/07
I've just relived my high school years, and it wasn't fun. Reading your story was, tho, I really enjoyed it.
Pam Carlson-Hetland06/20/07
I, too, had a flash-back to those days standing in front of the classroom. Loved the line - "Like instant strawberry pudding dissolving in milk, my face turned a velvet shade of red..." Been there and done that. This is absolutely wonderful. Beautifully done! Bravo.
Julie Arduini06/20/07
Did you read my diary from my teen years? Wow could I relate! You started that off with a bang, I love a line that gets your attention. Well written, and perfect for this genre. Loved it!
Janice Fitzpatrick06/21/07
Amazing writing. Your words were like a time machine that cetainly did trasport me back to high school. I could relate to the high school crush and having to stand up in front of class so well on many occasions. One time, though this was only in seventh grade, I was giving an oral report along with a visual that I designed. I was cruelly teased for rocking back and forth from foot to foot,and having trouble finding my voice, I was no nervous.

The sad thing was that not only did most of the students mock me but in the next clas we had together the teacher herself joined the students unprofessionally and made a spectacle of me.

I don't think that teacher lasted long though because she was frequently name calling other students and causing problems.

My heart throb then was my own literature teacher,Mr.Parr. He had said that my writing was impeccable and my visual was so well done.In front of the class he asked me if he could keep my visual for an example for next year's class.It was a large 3- D Steam boat I had spent alot of time designing myself to capture the essence of my biography,Mark Twain.

I don't know what ever became of that project but Mr.Parr's kindess and encouragement gave me the boost of confidence I needed and he will forever be sweetly remembered.
Rita Garcia06/21/07
Talk about grabbing the readers attention with the first line!! Great teen story! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
Sara Harricharan 06/21/07
Joanne Sher 06/21/07
Excellent - congrats on a well-deserved win!
Janice Cartwright06/30/07
I was looking to see who wrote the brain bad-poetry poem and lighted on your story. Once begun I couldn't put it down. Very graphic of teen emotion and reminded me of a textbook my daughter had in college titled, "Sometimes You Have Just Stand There Naked." I remember being shocked at the title and asking her what in the world the book was about and what were educators thinking giving it a name like that. She said it just meant sometimes we have be transparent with people, that it's better in the long run not to try to be someone we aren't. I had t agree with that though my conservative soul was still wounded!!
Pat Guy 06/30/07
Hey! I never did congratulate you on a job well done! I really enjoyed this - it was sooooo good and on the money.

I think you're right. We must do our best when we write in our true voice .... teenager's! :)

Woop whoop to us!
Cheri Hardaway 07/05/07
"I stood in front of the shrubbery of learning minds..."

"After the bell I waited in my den of self-pity for everyone else to leave before I uncurled from my fetal position..."

Loved these descriptions! And the title was perfect; draws the reader in with curiosity.

Congratulations on a job well done!