Whispers __ “Why can’t I be pretty?”


Mom, where are you?


Late picking me up after school

An hour standing feeling awkward, looking down, always down

Never dare speak to these other kids

These other kids never dare speak to me

Pushing their precious reps over the cliff

Why can’t I be pretty?

The last remnant of popular picked up now by their rides home

Alone, sinking down coming to rest on the assault parking lot, my backpack between me and red brick wall of the gymnasium

Feeling alone

Then welcoming this vacancy of the popular, like the comfort of my room

My safe room

Tired of looking down all the time, I dare look up now

Why can’t I be pretty?

In class, I’m okay. No one is talking, at least after the bell rings

The bell rings, I exhale

In the hall between classes at my locker, it’s always the worst

No one ever sees me

No matter what I do to my hair

Or a new pair of high-top sneakers, orange

No one ever notices

Why can’t I be pretty?

Shifting my position sitting on the pavement; down, I’m always looking down .  .  .

Mom, where are you?

Then a confident, yet somehow easy voice says, “Aren’t you Morgan?”

Looking up, OMG, it’s him

Girls follow this one around like he’s the Pied Piper, forever dreaming

He’s perfectly Disney, his hair is now perfectly waving slightly in the breeze. But, of course it is, he’s freaking perfect!

I’m trying to say, “Yes”

Now even that single word won’t come out


He’s sliding down the wall right next to me with his backpack between him and the red brick wall of the gymnasium

I’m freaking out, not breathing a muscle

He starts talking to me


5 minutes later, his mom whisks him away, all my air moving away with him

Left sitting, wondering, dreaming, glowing; but, mostly just shaking

But, in the narrow moment it was like we’ve been friends since forever, so comfortable, just talking

The next day I know after 4th period he walks past my locker

OMG, It’s here, it’s the end of 4the period and I’m trying to climb into this stupid locker


He’s coming down the hall with 5 other guys

(as a quick aside, yes, they’re all perfectly cute)

Now back to; OMG

Instantly looking down, stay down, telling myself. Down, down, down; always looking down

He won’t notice me

No one notices me

Then looking up

Whoooo .  .  .  he’s passed

My tornado inside still screaming “this one’s both the hell and the high water”

Safety now, his back slowly moving away, joking with his friends

Exhaling, it’s safer now


What’s he doing


He’s turning


He’s walking back this way


He stands like ice for a moment dead in front of me

Then I feel his lips moist, softly on my cheek


This fool just kissed me and the whole school was watching

I am pretty