Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Give It A Chance"

by Grace Rittenberg

Polly was obsessed with it. It was so easy. Eventually she would get kicked out of the stores, but she always had some time to do what she loved.

She walked down the familiar streets with a smile on her face. No one that she knew was around so it was safe. None of her friends knew about it. She told them that she had stuff to do on Fridays. It was a ritual, and she didn't want to break it.

She walked into the building and immediately went to the right section. There were a few other people around. Polly wondered if they hid from their friends also. It wasn't the most shameful thing in the world, but if your friends rag on something, you tend not to do it.

She had been at it for maybe an hour when she heard a voice say, "Polly?"

Polly looked up to see two very familiar faces. They were standing there with their mouths open.

"What are you doing?" one of them asked.

"Um... reading."

"In the manga section?"

Polly didn't say anything. She knew her friends would find out sooner or later, but she had hoped that it would be later. They were always talking about how dumb manga was, how people who read it are lame.

"I was waiting for my dad. And okay, look, there he is!" With that excuse, she ran out of the bookstore.

She knew it was stupid. She knew that her friends would like her whatever she did, but it was something that she wanted to do alone. She never bought the books; she just sat in the stores read them until clerks annoyed her about actually buying something.

Now she wouldn't be able to read these books in peace. Her friends would mention it whenever they got the chance. She would laugh it off, but it would still hurt a little, because manga was something she loved. Her friends just didn't give it a chance. That's all she asked for--a chance.

(prompt: write something about shame)