In applying for my school’s publications team we were supposed to send in a narrative piece on ‘And she/he said no.’ I made a huge error and instead of writing ‘and she said no’ i wrote ‘she said no’. I doubt I will be selected for it now and I feel incredibly stupid because of this but oh well.
Here is my piece:
Mom had never said no to him. Why would she? He was her golden boy, her little miracle from heaven. It didn’t matter if he was in the wrong; his mistakes could be overlooked. She always had excuses ready for whatever he did.
What started out as ‘he’s just a child; they all make mistakes’, soon turned into ‘he’s a boy, they all act like this-he will grow out of it.’ He never did grow out of it though, because if he had; he wouldn’t be sitting here, with his hands chained together, drowning in regret and remorse.
Her horrified screams still filled his ears and her burned distorted face kept floating in front of him. He had only heard about her in college at first. Then he saw her; she was always laughing, always talking, flitting from one group of people to another. She was friendly with the boys too. Maybe that’s why he had heard so much about her.
She had a reputation-she was one of ‘those girls’. The type every guy scorned yet secretly wanted. The type you asked out to lunch but called a whore at night while hanging with the boys. He used that as a justification. She had it coming. As her face floated in front of him, he told himself over and over again, “She had it coming. She asked for it.”
Once he’d had the idea in his head he hadn’t given the possible outcomes any thought, because for him, this could end only one way. After all, none of the women in his life had said no to him; why would she? He walked up to her during one of the breaks. She was standing with some friends-all girls.
Not once did he second guess himself. She turned around to look at him, he smiled at her. She smiled back. Confirmation.
He asked her, “I am going to watch a movie tomorrow evening; I want you to come with me.” If the insolence ingrained by his upbringing had not been intoned in his voice, it was evident in the phrasing of his words.
The smile slid off her face. She said, “No.”
His fury was paralleled only by his humiliation. How dare this pathetic thing say no to him? Who did this inferior creature think she was? How dare she snub him like this? She’d pay for this. She’d pay for it with that pretty little face she flaunted around with its insincere smiles.
Years of being said yes to, had not prepared him for rejection. They had not prepared him for the two letters that would bring his world crashing down around him.