Pixels & Pages

Calling all creative teens! Send us your best poetry, stories, and artwork! Accepted entries will be featured on this page, with a chance to be published in Pixels & Pages, our annual Teen Magazine! Submit your work at any MCPL location, or online at www.mcpl.us/teenzone/publishing.
APRIL 2, 2012
Something to Live For
Something to Live For
All I see when I look in the mirror is a face without hope,
dignity, life, or prosperity. All I've ever wanted to do in this world
was to sketch calm people on a quiet Saturday afternoon in Central
Park. My dream, a wonderful, simple dream, obviously never came

You see, I live in San Francisco, California, where the people
strangle you for a ten-dollar gift card to the local coffee shop. Yes,
New York has that too, but I still would much rather live there.
I sighed as I stepped through the halls of Golden Gate Junior
High. Often I dreamed of having a true friend, maybe like Quinn
Jemison, a boy in my art class. He seemed like a cool person to be
friends with.

Lunch was about to begin. I never knew where or whom to sit
next to. I really don't have much in the way of friends. Sometimes I
will just go to the library with my lunch and read a random book off a

I decided to sit down next to Quinn. I knew his family was rich.
If there even was a chance that we would become close friends, it was
extremely slim ...

"Hey Veronica," he said with a small smile, "I heard that your
sketch, Person in Despair, was being entered in a competition. That's

I was shocked, to say the least. I didn't even know that the
sketch of that person on the subway was seen by a teacher. "Do you
really think so?"

"Yeah, I do! Everybody I asked agrees that you're the best artist
in the class." He paused, as ifhe was a little nervous. "Veronica,
you're pretty smart, right? Well, I was wondering if you could help
me with a geography assignment. I have to draw a map of my house
with a scale."

I cocked my head at him a little. I love to draw maps, but I
thought that he was pretty good at maps too. So that could only mean
one thing ...

"If you are busy, I get it, but it's just not my thing ... " Quinn
seemed a little uncomfortable.

"Sure, I can! Still, I don't know where I would meet you." I felt
eager to have a small social life at last.

"Just meet me at my house. There's a study where I do my
homework." Quinn looked just as happy as I felt.

"All right, I guess I'll see you later," I quavered.

"Yep, see you!" Then Quinn gathered up his lunch, waved, and
hurried off to his next class.

"So this is your study?" I asked as I walked behind Quinn. I'd
seen his huge house before, but I'd never been inside it. "It's
amazing, to say the very least!"

"Yeah," he said, but he looked guilty of something. "Veronica, I
have a small confession to make."

I knew that I looked scared, even though I had absolutely no
idea what he was talking about.

"I just invited you over to hang out, not work on school work.
I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings ... "

"Quinn! Uh, no, that's okay! I just ... " I sighed, not having a
clue of what to say next. I then stared down at my notebook. "I guess
I've never told anyone this before, but I've had a dream. I've always
wanted to go to Central Park and draw on a Saturday."

Quinn looked at me in shock. "Wow, I guess I. .. don't know
what to say ... "

"All right, I know it's weird, okay?! There's no need to rub it in!"
I shook my head, almost dizzy.

Quinn sighed. "Veronica, that's not a weird dream. In fact, I
could believe you wanting to do such a thing. You are such a fantastic
artist, and that seems like the only thing you ever want to do. I can respect that."

I looked at him, surprised but skeptical. "Do you really think so?"

"Of course I do! Why do you think that I asked you to come
over, anyway?" He gave me a shy, guilty smile.

I looked at him and laughed. Then I dug through my bag and
yanked out my sketchpad. "This is the first time I've laughed in a long
time. I feel like drawing something happy. Could I do you?"

He grinned. "I'm happy almost everyday."

As he sat laughing at a book he was reading, I made brown, brushed hair, his bright, large blue eyes, and his tall but super thin figure come alive on paper. After about an hour, I'd put the last touch on his bright blue sweatshirt.

With a smile, I handed it over to him. "What do you think?"

His eyes shone as he stared at it. "Wow, this is better than I could ever do! You've got quite a gift!"

I shrugged. "I'm not too good at working at the laughing technique. I'm used to drawing quiet mouths, sad and hopeless."

Quinn gave me a little smile. "Do you remember one of yourart's titles, Nothing to Live For? Well, I definitely think that you have something to live for!" Quinn laughed. "Are we friends?"

I grinned. "We're obviously friends. Thank you so much,Quinn." Impulsively, I gave him a rushed hug.

"Veronica, you are by far the coolest eighth grader I've ever met." He slapped my hand for a high-five, making me feel happier than I had ever felt in years.

The End 

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Categories: Short Story/Essay 2011-12Teen Publishing Project