The watching girl | Teen Ink

The watching girl

August 18, 2011
By SpringRayyn PLATINUM, Lakeville, Minnesota
SpringRayyn PLATINUM, Lakeville, Minnesota
34 articles 2 photos 658 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't punish yourself," she heard her say again, but there would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness too. That was writing."
--Markus Zusak, "The Book Thief"

I saw the girl first at school. She stood looking out the window, out over the schoolyard. It was before class started and everyone stood around in groups talking. I was with my friends too, but I wasn't really listening to what they were saying. Because I was focused on the girl. She was
the only one in the hallway to stand alone. I wondered why she was alone. Didn't she have any friends?
My friends noticed I wasn't paying attention, and asked what I was looking at. "Nothing," I replied, taking my eyes off the girl, "just daydreaming. Sorry, what were we talking about?" When I got the chance to look up again, the girl had disappeared.

The next time I saw the girl was at the mall. She stood at the railing near the food court, looking down at all the people scuttling around the fast food places and kiosks. She was leaning on her elbow, and I was about to go over to her when I remembered that my mom wanted me home by noon and, looking at my phone, I realized it was already 12:30. I gave the girl one more look before I headed off to the parking lot.

When I finally saw her again, it was months later. We were at school again. I could see her more clearly now, as it was lunch time and she was watching over the entire cafeteria on a balcony thing. Her hair was long and mud brown, and the girl herself was shorter than average. She was wearing a red sweatshirt, unzipped and showing a grey t-shirt. I wondered why she didn't eat with the rest of the students.

Pointing her out to my friend Kami, I asked, "Have you seen that girl around school before?"

"What girl?" Kami asked. I looked back up at the balcony where the girl had been standing, but no one was there anymore.

"She was standing up there on that balcony near the stairs," I said, and then continued to describe the girl to my friend. Kami shook her head.

"I don't think I've ever seen that girl before. Is she new?"

"Not as far as I know. I saw her here a couple months ago here at school and once at the mall too."

After that Kami promised to keep an eye out for the girl and find out who she was. Meanwhile, the topic was dropped and we went back to the topic of Kami's new converse shoes.

Several weeks later the first semester ended and the second started. The watching girl, as I had come to think of her, was in my new math class. She sat in the back of the room and never asked questions or did homework with friends during work time. I decided one day to go talk to her and see if she would do the work with me. When I walked over to her desk I smiled warmly.

"Hey, what's your name?" I asked. She just looked up at me and stared. She blinked and didn't say a word. I tried again. "Do you want to work on homework with me?" Still she said nothing. I sighed and went back to my seat to work alone.

After school that day I called Kami and told her about the watching girl in my math class.

"Well did you find out her name?" Kami asked excitedly.

"She didn't really say anything to me at all," I replied. The conversation afterwards was short until she told me she had to do her homework and we hung up. I sat on my bed a while and wondered who the girl was. Maybe she was a mute. Maybe that was why she had no friends and didn't talk. Or maybe she was deaf. But there wasn't an interpreter in the class, so that couldn't be it. I decided I'd just have to get to know her to find out.

Day after day I tried to get her to talk to me in math during work time. But the watching girl never talked, no matter what I tried. All I wanted was to be her friend! Did she have something against me? No, she didn't talk to anyone else either. I didn't know how to figure this out. Just as I was thinking this, my math teacher declared work time and called me over to his desk.

"Jezza, after this period the guidance counselor would like to meet with you. Here's a slip out of your next class, and you can go right to the counselor's office. Now you can go back to work." Curious, I nodded and headed back to my seat, wondering what in the world the guidance counselor would want me for. It seemed like seconds later when the end-of-class bell rang.

I made my way through the crowded hallway, feeling watched as I entered the door to the counselor's room. She smiled at me as I cautiously walked in and sat down.

"Hello there Jezza. I assume you know why you're here?"

I had no clue, so I shook my head.

"You're here because your math teacher noticed you...talking to yourself in his class. He informed me that you sounded as if you were talking to someone else. Is this true?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," I objected. "I've never talked to myself in any place."

"Really?" She looked interested. "Your teacher said that you went over to a desk in the back of the classroom and started talking to it as if someone was sitting there."

I shook my head stubbornly. "There was a girl there. She had long brown hair and blue eyes and she didn't talk at all. I've seen her around for months now."

Now the counselor looked concerned. "You've been seeing this girl for months? And you never told anyone?"

"I told my friend Kami about her a while back."

"And she didn't say anything?"

"The girl had gone away by the time she looked."

"I see."

There was a long pause. The guidance counselor nodded and wrote something down.

"You're free to go to your next class. I'm going to call your parents."

When I got home that day my mom told me that we would be going to the doctor.

"Why?" I asked.

"We just need to get you checked out to see if you're alright, honey," she replied.

They checked my head. They gave me tests that took hours. They poked me and prodded me and did all kinds of things to me until they had finally come to a verdict.

"You. Are. Schizophrenic."

"What does that mean?"

"You see people who aren't really there."

And this is what I have to live with. The watching girl.

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This article has 21 comments.

on May. 18 2014 at 8:13 pm
SpringRayyn PLATINUM, Lakeville, Minnesota
34 articles 2 photos 658 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't punish yourself," she heard her say again, but there would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness too. That was writing."
--Markus Zusak, "The Book Thief"

Yes, Schizophrenia is a real thing (the people who have schizophrenia are called schizophrenic). It's a type of mental illness and one of the symptoms, the one I used in this story, is visual hallucinations. I don't really know the specifics of it very well, so if you want more information you should definately research it!

on May. 18 2014 at 6:53 am
uncomfortableBrunette SILVER, Lr. Sackville, Other
5 articles 13 photos 164 comments

Favorite Quote:
I want to hate you half as much as i hate myself

That was really weird! But really good! Is schizophrenic a real thing? Or did you just make it up? Again, I really liked it!

on Oct. 25 2013 at 6:30 pm
SpringRayyn PLATINUM, Lakeville, Minnesota
34 articles 2 photos 658 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't punish yourself," she heard her say again, but there would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness too. That was writing."
--Markus Zusak, "The Book Thief"

I think that it might have been feeling alone myself, and I saw myself as the watching girl, although I wrote this so long ago that I honestly can't tell you for sure what my inspiration was.

on Oct. 25 2013 at 3:37 pm
TheCapturedBat GOLD, Belen, New Mexico
12 articles 0 photos 88 comments

Favorite Quote:
If all else perished and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.
-- Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

Very well done. I love the description of the girl, the way she seems so real. What gave you the idea?

on Jan. 27 2013 at 10:46 am
SpringRayyn PLATINUM, Lakeville, Minnesota
34 articles 2 photos 658 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't punish yourself," she heard her say again, but there would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness too. That was writing."
--Markus Zusak, "The Book Thief"

Yeah, sorry about that. I figured it would be easiest to keep it simple since it was the end. I should have put a disclaimer in the description of it that I don't know much about schizophrenia.

CountryMusic said...
on Jan. 26 2013 at 10:08 pm
CountryMusic, Dolores, Colorado
0 articles 8 photos 59 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The quietest people have the loudest minds."

Wow! Well written, the turn at the end was great, I loved it!

on Feb. 20 2012 at 8:19 am
Jappyalldayeveryday, Detroit, Michigan
0 articles 0 photos 163 comments

Favorite Quote:
They say that good things take time, but really great things happen in the blink of an eye

This is kind of creepy, but really good!

on Feb. 12 2012 at 9:11 pm
marchbutterfly GOLD, Orange, New Jersey
18 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When you play God, you get screwed."

The story was really interesting. I love the ending, it was so unexpected.

on Feb. 11 2012 at 5:26 am
Eshshah PLATINUM, Galloway, New Jersey
32 articles 31 photos 239 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep." -Robert Frost

great Idea! the plot is twisted in a nice way, though I could see kind of what the "watching girl" was- great story though, I enjoyed it!

on Feb. 11 2012 at 12:02 am
PhoenixCrossing GOLD, Tinley Park, Illinois
14 articles 0 photos 178 comments
Woah this is really good! The plot line is great with a good bang for the ending! My only suggestion is that you add a little more detail to spice it up, a little more imagery. Other than that, great job!

on Feb. 9 2012 at 2:21 pm
AhadHa-am BRONZE, Winnipeg, Other
1 article 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Historical truth is that, and that alone, which reveals the forces that go to mould the social life of mankind"

Asher Ginsberg (a/k/a Ahad Ha-am)

It'a an interesting story. Schizophrenia isn't all about hallucinations, but I do like the twist at the end, when you learn the girl is a hallucination.

on Feb. 8 2012 at 9:41 pm
DinaTheDinasaur, Long Branch, New Jersey
0 articles 0 photos 8 comments
Interesting twist, I've always been interested by schizophrenia..

on Feb. 8 2012 at 8:04 pm
flamestar BRONZE, Fredericksburg, Virginia
4 articles 0 photos 15 comments
it was good but like Honor i could kind off guess that "The watching girl" was a ghost. i liked the flow of the stroy though.

Honour SILVER said...
on Feb. 7 2012 at 6:23 am
Honour SILVER, New London, Connecticut
9 articles 0 photos 181 comments

Favorite Quote:
Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. ~John 15:13

"Give me liberty or give me death!" ~Patrick Henry

Be brave and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them, for it is the Lord, your God, who marches with you; he will never fail you or forsake you. ~ Deuteronomy 31:6

"I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery" ~ Thomas Jefferson

It was a good, story, I could see where it was going, but it was good.

on Feb. 6 2012 at 4:51 pm
DifferentTeen PLATINUM, Seaford, Delaware
32 articles 2 photos 329 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There’s no such thing as true love, just spurts of insanity—falling over and over again, thinking that won’t happen to me"

It was okay. I wasn't really captivated, and I had already figured out the ending about halfway through. I think you should continue though, and add some twists no one could predict. Like maybe the girl is someone that was murdered in her home over 50 years ago or something. That'd be intresting. OVerall it was good, keep writing!

koolwords said...
on Feb. 6 2012 at 4:29 pm
koolwords, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
0 articles 0 photos 28 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Unless you put your whole meaning into something, it's a waste." -Yvonne Tindelll

Hey, I liked this piece overall. The ending was nice, ad I have to agree with blitsnik that I could see where it was headed. I figured the main character was the only person who could see the girl, but I thought she might have been death or something watching and wating to take the person. So in a way I like that you kept it to the real world (because so much is fantasy right now). To me (because I like fantasy and science fiction and stuff like that) I thought that the real world twist was surprising. Through out the piece be careful with repeating your words. You don't want to get too repetive because it's a turn off to the reader, and towards the end I thought you were doing okay, but at the beginning the word girl was starting to get to me just a little. Also when you're revising there's a trick in which you read it aloud to yourself. This helps you see how it flows when it's read. I don't know if you did that or not, but if you didn't I would give it a try sometime, because I find that it's helpful. I have to say that the best part of your story for me was the last sentence. That made the whole piece for me, and I really enjoyed it. The name the watching girl has scary kind of tone with it. i really like it, and i whish you luck in your further writing adventures.

on Feb. 6 2012 at 4:13 pm
FluteFreak SILVER, Auburn, Indiana
8 articles 0 photos 43 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Insanity just adds a little spice to life!" -Me

This piece was very good (I liked the twist at the end) but I think you could make it better if you added more description to it.

on Nov. 22 2011 at 8:09 am
blitsnik SILVER, Palm Bay, Florida
8 articles 0 photos 51 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you must mount the gallows, give a coin to the headman, a jest to the crowd, and meet the drop with a smile on your lips."

I liked this one, though i could kinda see where it was going. Just a few places you might want to look over, like the first paragrapgh. It seems a bit choppy. And while i understand the last part, i dont thikn it really flows. The "You. Are. Schizophrenic." In my head it sounds better together. But great job i enjoyed reading it.

on Nov. 15 2011 at 6:29 pm
RaveFire PLATINUM, Vancouver, Washington
32 articles 1 photo 217 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Sometimes You Have To Give Up Your Life To Save It." ~some book that i don't remember the name of

"Live Life Like There's No Yesterday" ~ random billboard

"If No One Can Hurt You, Then Nobody Loves You" ` ~ Kerli?

I really love it. Like alot!

Steph0804 GOLD said...
on Oct. 4 2011 at 7:58 pm
Steph0804 GOLD, Seoul, Other
12 articles 4 photos 206 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Explaining a joke is like dissecting a frog: you understand it better, but the frog dies in the process." -E.B. White

I think this was very powerful. I love the twist at the end, too. It was very descriptive as well. Nice job! 5 stars!