Peer Review by Sunshine Rose Writer (United States)

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Elizabeth Ryou

By: Ash

PROMPT: Polar Opposite

I walk down the hallway with my drawstring tan backpack securely fastened on each shoulder. My skirt bounces up periodically from covering half of the distance between the start of my legs to my knees down to a quarter. I play with the hem of my pink blouse for a minute before I realize what I'm doing and stop. 

Once school is over for the day, I need to go back to the library and return the book on mythology they accidentally gave me. It must have gotten switched with the book on World War I and II battle accounts. My pinkish purple tinted lips curve into a frown: it was rather unfair that I ended up with the less desirable of the two. Nothing to do now but return it and wait for the library to notify me again when the war book came back in.

My black flats click loudly enough on the linoleum titles that I regret not putting on my soft-soled pink sandals. They aren't regulation, not that any of my fellow students care at this point in the year. But rules are still rules so I make my way to my chemistry class with my eyes fixed on the floor. 

“Hey, Lizzy!” my best friend since kindergarten greets me from her usual spot in the very back corner of the class. 

I slip into the desk at her left, thinking. I want to correct her and tell her that I like my name in its entirety over the nickname. My mom and dad wrote out on my certificate “Elizabeth” for a reason; abbreviating it just seems wrong. But I also don't want to offend her or make her feel bad. Furthermore, I need to greet her soon as well otherwise the whole situation will turn awkward. Then I get an idea.

“Good morning, Alexandra,” I reply, grabbing out my notebook, a pen, and my phone.

“Aw, c'mon, that's a mouthful; I've told you before I prefer Lexi.”

I smile. Now that Lexi corrected me, I can correct her. “And Elizabeth has a much nicer ring to it than Lizzy.”

“But lost time is never regained.”

“Are you quoting someone?”

“Yeah, it's for that English project where we had to collect like a bizillion quotes and how each one relates to the each of the zillion book we've read this year.”

I sigh. “That was due today, wasn't it?”

“We could skip. I brought my car: we could get lunch out of town and drive down to the coast for some beach fun.”

If it was anyone but my BFF suggesting the idea, I would've timidly squeaked back a no thank-you. But back when Lexi finally got me to skip in early September, I actually had fun. Besides, it was Friday. “Great idea. I'll text Tyler and May that we're ditching after this class.”

“And I'll inform Josh and Kayla to bring some drinks and the other party favors.”

The bell rang just as we positioned our phones underneath our desks. We had mastered the art of typing without looking at the tiny keys so as far as Mr. Gilbert could tell, we were thoroughly engrossed in his lecture regarding balancing electrons. I was rather annoyed we hadn't gotten further into the book's material: I already knew all this stuff. I guess I would just have to read the textbook later and see if I could make sense of the more complicated stuff. 

The forty-five minutes passed by in a whiz and, like always, Lizzy and I made it to the dark blue car without anyone so much as giving us a second glance. Tyler and Josh came outside not five minutes after us with May and Kayla on their heels.

“Hey guys. Ready for some fun?!” May hollered as she unlocked the red car next us.

Lexi caught my eye and smirked, so I mirrored the expression. Then Lexi full out grinned before calling out, “Tyler, ride with us! Lizzy's gonna be in the backseat and I promise you won't even notice I'm there!”

I turned to Lexi. “One: could you please stop. Two: can we stop at the library first?”

“No problem,” she said, twirling the keys, “with fulfilling your second request.”

Tyler made his way over to us. “Kayla says she needs to stop and pick up some stuff first. Mind if I ride with you two?”

“No,” I murmur, my eyes drawn to the pavement. “We're gonna stop at the library real quick first though, so you might not wanna come.”

“No problem,” he shot back with a smile. “I think I have some project in history that needs a biography as a source anyways.”

Lexi lost no time in shooing us into the car, speeding to the library, and then shooing us both out again. We walked inside. He kept trying to make eye contact with me, but I kept dodging. 

“May I help you?” the old woman at the desk asked sweetly.

“Yes-s, I got this mythology book by mistake. I just wanted to return it and see if you could tell me when the copy of World War Battle Tacticscomes back in.”

“Sure thing,” she said, taking the book back. “It just came in this morning. The call number is 920.5 Hamil, so it's in the South Wing.”

“Thank you.” I turn to Tyler, expecting him to ask about biography books, but he just smiles at the old woman, so I make my way to the dusty old South Wing.

“Alright,” I mutter as I bend down slightly to examine the shelves. “It should be!” I pull the textbook off the shelf with a grin and spin around.

Tyler grabs me by my waist, pulling me towards him and passionately kissing me. I don't pull back, prefering to move in closer. We stay that way for what seems like eternity.

I pull back. “Lexi's waiting outside.”

“Oh, right.”

“Not that I wouldn't want to continue.”

“That's good.” He pauses. “So, leaving then?”


“But when we get to the beach-”


Peer Review

l liked that your character was a reader, and that you elaborated on this quality by giving a notion as to what kind of books she liked to read.

Personally, I would like to see more of the relationship between Elizabeth and Tyler. Maybe answers to questions like what their true relationship status is or any complications readers might not suspect.

Reviewer Comments

I was surprised about the informality in Tyler's kiss. It caught me off guard as it seems to have Elizabeth. This part in the story really made me slip into the character's shoes.