The Girl Sitting Next To Me
by Tim Joumas, 9th grader
Crunch is the noise I hear from the girl
Sitting next to me at the counter.
Her arm reaches back into the Ruffles bag
And exits with another handful of chips.
All of a sudden she starts to laugh,
And covers her mouth as bits of chips fly out.
She frantically tries to pick them up,
As if the whole world is watching her make a huge mistake,
Which is funny because it is just the two of us in the room.
I look at the computer screen that she is staring at so intently
And see the comedian laugh at his own jokes.
Then he says something else and everyone in the audience laughs.
The girl sitting next to me does, too,
But when I begin to laugh
She gives me a “What the heck are you doing?” glance.
And awkwardly I look away,
Trying to pretend this hasn’t happened.
But there is no escaping the encounter.
It has happened, and in the silence afterwards
You can hear a pin drop.
After a minute or so she doesn’t pay much attention anymore
And goes right back to laughing at the computer screen.
A little bit later I don’t care either,
Remembering that she isn’t a total stranger.
She’s just my sister.