Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Short Story » General

Stupid Marissa

by ultraviolet

Marissa wants to forget.

“Forget what?” I ask her, and she mulls it over, pulling her fingers to her face as though deep in concentration. Finally, she decides on her answer.


I ask what she means, because she can’t mean everything everything. She has to want to remember how to talk, or read, or breathe, at least. But what else? Does she want to forget who she is? Who I am?

And then I think, Oh, my God. Marissa wants to forget who I am.

“I dunno,” she says, flipping her braid behind her shoulder. I notice her strawberry-scented, strawberry-shaped hair clip. It waves goodbye to me as it flies away with her braid.

“I guess I just want to forget all the stupid people,” Marissa says finally.

My eyes grow wide. Am I stupid? I ask myself. But that’s a stupid question, so it must be true! I’m stupid and Marissa wants to forget me.

“Like who?” I breathe, pretending I don’t know what she’s saying. I fight against the tightness in my chest, the shakiness that’s pushing to take over my words.

“Oh, I don’t know...” Marissa trails off, nonchalantly glancing around the room. Her eyes settle on a poster of a talking owl, which happens to hang across the room from me.

She’s afraid to look at me, I think. She knows I know.

Suddenly, she jerks her head to face me, and Marissa smiles - the kind of devious grin that makes her eyes sparkle like they have a story to tell. Like they know they’re not supposed to tell it, but they just can’t resist.

“You know that new guy?” Marissa asks, and I can’t tell if we’re still on the same topic or not. I mean, I’m still on it - I’ve been on it for weeks now. But Marissa likes to jump subjects, bouncing between them so she doesn’t get bored.

“Yeah, what about him?” I try to sound cool - chill. Like my heart isn’t barrel-rolling inside my chest.

You’re going to say that you like him, aren’t you? I think. You’re going to say that I’m stupid, but he’s chill, so you’re dumping me for him, right?

And I’m going to be speechless, because how could she? I’ve been here for her all along, and suddenly I’m not good enough anymore? I mean, I’ve never been good enough - but she doesn’t need to know that!

When I don’t say anything, she’ll take my silence for acceptance. She’ll smile sweetly - she does everything sweetly, super super bittersweetly - and she’ll think about hugging me, but she won’t, in the end. Because, that’d just be weird, right? I mean, who does that?

And I’ll wish she would. At least then I’d get something worthwhile out of this whole mess.

But she’s not going to hug me. She’s just going to smile and do this little half-curtsy, half-bob thing she does, and she’ll say, “I don’t really think we should talk anymore, but you understand right? Of course, you do.”

And she’ll laugh, like that was a joke - which maybe it will be, and I just won’t find it very funny.

“But anyway,” she’ll say. “Bye, okay?”

And I’ll think, No, it’s not okay. Because I’ve been here for you. I’ve waited around for a long time. You can’t leave me now, you just can’t. That’s not fair.

You’re supposed to be fair, Marissa!

But it won’t matter because she’ll already be gone, laughing and smiling and curtsying for her new little boyfriend. Because that’s what she does. She laughs and smiles and curtsies her way into everyone’s hearts, and then she stomps on them - on purpose, even! - and grinds them into the dust. She makes you feel so stupid, that’s the worst part.

You can’t help but ask yourself, Why am I so stupid?



And you won’t get an answer, just like I won’t get an answer now.

“What about him?” I repeat, this time snapping from anger. I’m brought back to the present, where she hasn’t left me yet. Where my life hasn’t ended yet. At least now I have time to brace myself.

Marissa looks taken aback. “Nothing,” she says, mumbling through squinting eyes. “Just that he’s dumb.”

And before I can ask if there’s a difference between “dumb” and “stupid”, she is already lost onto another topic, darting between tangents like a hummingbird that feeds on change.

I can’t help feeling inferior. How can she just rush through life - through conversations like these ones - and not be affected? I feel like hot water is being poured on top of my skin. I’m burning up, and meanwhile she looks just as chill as that dumb new boy. I don’t understand it; I’ll never be that detached. I’ll never stop caring.

Even now, I start to sweat from relief and also from discomfort, from the fact that I still don’t have an answer. Because the new boy is dumb - she said it herself! But I’m still not safe, she still hasn’t said she loves me.

And I have to wonder if she could ever love anyone so stupid.

Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.

Is this a review?



User avatar
72 Reviews

Points: 5401
Reviews: 72

Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:17 pm
BadNarrator wrote a review...

hello and thanks for following me.

first thing I want to mention, "Am I stupid? I ask myself. But that’s a stupid question, so it must be true!" this part made me chuckle. the voice is pretty well developed. you make good use of inner monologue to build tension in this story. my biggest suggestion would be to take the anxious voice of this narrator and put it to work by bringing more action and concrete details in this piece. there's not a whole lot of action in this story, which was a little disappointing. as it stands now it's more of a vignette than an actual story. but I think that if you spend some more time with this narrator you could get a full length story out of it.

that's all I have. let me know if you'd like me to elaborate on anything.

User avatar
68 Reviews

Points: 505
Reviews: 68

Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:54 pm
View Likes
cgirl1118 wrote a review...

This is so sad. And you are right, Stupid Marissa. That little...

This was a very interesting piece and I loved how you can just imagine what she's going to say next. Did you purposely write this to make the reader feel a lot of hate for Melissa? Just asking..

In all I did not find any mistakes and I loved it all. There's not much to review since there are no mistakes. Which is good. Great job on making me feel really angry. (not sarcasm)

All in all awesomerific job! Keep up the good work!

Happy Writing,

User avatar
262 Reviews

Points: 1193
Reviews: 262

Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:23 am
View Likes
ultraviolet says...

Hey, thanks for the reviews, guys! They helped clear a lot of things up for me, as for what came across the way I intended and what didn't.

The story is actually supposed to tell a lot more about the narrator (and he is a boy; I just never found a way to work that in there so that it seemed natural and not like an aside) than about Marissa herself. In my mind, she's just some generic, nice girl who genuinely likes the narrator and who doesn't notice his insecurities. The narrator is this boy with terrible self-esteem who thinks that Marissa is way out of his league, and therefore is very paranoid about their relationship. He's scared of losing her, and he thinks that it is inevitable (even though it's very much not) which is why he sets up that scenario in his head where she breaks up with him.

Hannah, you said that it came across as him feeling entitled to her love, but it's actually supposed to be the very opposite; he feels like he doesn't deserve her love at all, and as such she can't possibly love him so she must be using him instead. (As for him calling her a bitch, that was a spur of the moment thing during an edit. I wasn't sure if it portrayed what I meant it to, but I kept it in, thinking, "What the heck, I can always take it out later.")

The whole point of this is that the narrator's thoughts aren't supposed to be taken 100% seriously. They're exaggerated and full of teenaged insecurities. But obviously I didn't pull that off, and I'm not really sure how to make readers see what Marissa is like without breaking the narrator's character.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to look at this. It needs a lot of work to get it where it is in my mind, and all the help and feedback is very much appreciated.

Cheers, ultraviolet

User avatar
1313 Reviews

Points: 23286
Reviews: 1313

Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:48 am
Hannah wrote a review...

Hey there! Haha, there is a lot of the word "stupid" here, isn't there? I like this. It's a little bit like the word "love", when you think about it, because what do either of them REALLY mean? Like what does stupid mean? It's so vague -- it could mean any number of things, one of the reasons this narrator freaks out when Marissa says the new guy is dumb. It's like a new way to explore that kind of ambiguous word. Coming in the back door with stupid instead of the over-used front door of love? That's a nice idea.

One thing that bothers me might just be the character you intended, but it really sticks out to me when this narrator calls Marissa a bitch. Seriously? He/she goes from loving her in one breath to calling her a bitch because (s)he's frustrated in another?! I feel creepy crawlies all over myself from thinking about how this narrator feels like they are ENTITLED to Marissa's love, without realizing she's a person who has her own feelings and is living her own life and should not have to bend to what the narrator wants. This bothers me, but it also sets the book up for potential growth. If we see the narrator realizing Marissa's reality by the end, that would be nice.

I also think you could try to keep the reader a little bit more focused on real time instead of getting lost in the narrator's thoughts. I know there's a lot of them and I know they're setting up how this character thinks and his/her personality, but when we lose real time, we stop moving forward, and the reader always wants to be moving forward, however slowly, toward their prize: resolution.

I also really want to make sure I mention that there's some gorgeous writing in here that I think you should pay attention to and strive toward a little more often. My favorite line was this:

darting between tangents like a hummingbird that feeds on change.

Because it described Marissa more perfectly than I think any other straight-forward description possibly could have. It gives her movements, the shape of her intent and heart, and her motivation. Super great writing, so keep that up!
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about my review.
Good luck and keep writing!

User avatar
14 Reviews

Points: 597
Reviews: 14

Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:57 am
novelist wrote a review...

If I were the main character (I wish you included his name, or described his person,) I wouldn't care what she thought of me, because she obviously isn't a good friend. I was pretty curious to see what she would say about her opinion of him -- if it WAS a he. But I'm supposing that the antagonist is male.
I like how the whole story never revealed Marissa's intentions, except that she probably uses people to make her feel superior. I don't see how the antagonist could love Marrisa. If he thinks she's a female dog, and that she thinks he's stupid, how does that manifest into love? This is just a guess: but I think he's in it for something, just like Marrisa is in it for her own reasons.

When you cut pieces out of the truth to avoid looking like a fool, you end up looking like a moron instead.
— Robin Hobb