The CXC short story award 2007 went to this answer.
CXC English A paper 2 question: Write a story which includes the words, "The phone rang once and stopped. It rang again. This was it now."
Beads of sweat slowly trickled down my face, the numbing feeling of guilt stealthily creeping up my spine. I sat in my western looking living room on the cowboy patterned sofa, shaking from head to toe. The dingy brown, the room had been painted, it seemed nauseating at this moment - or was it the fact that the walls of the room seemed to be closing in on me.
"I wish they would," I thought.
My mind drifted to two hours earlier that day in my classroom. Life seemed less complex then.
"Come on Susan! There is no one here. Why can't you just this once kiss me?" My boyfriend Zack pleaded desperately with me getting more agitated with each second that was added to his wait.
My eyes admiringly drank him in from head to toe. "What was wrong with me?" I thought. Zack was expertly molded in every way possible and yet still I found it so hard to indulge in anything with him physically, because of fear of being caught.
His caramel brown skin seemed to seep all over him.
He was tall, with full, luscious pink lips, breath-taking glassy black eyes, and curly dark hair. The desire in his eyes drew me in, like a fisherman reeling in his catch.
"Zack, you know physical contact at school is forbidden, and my parents have a lot to do with my not doing anything with you. If I was caught I could not bear to face their anger and disappointment."
"I know Susan, but we've been together for three months. I'm sure this one time wouldn't hurt, and I promise we won't get caught."
I looked up at him questioningly, praying for the Lord to restore my sense of judgment, as I was on the verge of surrendering to him. As though sensing my wavering in thought, Zack leaned over unto my chair and placed his nose directly on mine. The scent of flower scented soap softly caressed my nostrils mixed with the baby powder smell it seemed of his youthful perfection. My heart hammered against my ribcage, almost arresting the air which tried in vein to enter my body. I leaned in towards him, and shakily pressed my lips against his.
"What are you doing?!!" A loud, accusing male voice came crashing between Zack and me. I froze.
"Susan James and Zachary Elliott?!! This is totally unbelievable!" the voice continued. I turned reluctantly to face a tall, dark man, clad in a grey suit with a repulsive tie, staring angrily at me. It was Mr Forbes, our school Principal.
"I was .......," I started to say. I was however interrupted by Mr Forbes. "Head home now, the two of you, and wait for me to call your parents."
The phone range once and stopped. It rang again. This was it now. Like an alarm clock, all my nerves spiralled my body into an unhealthy vibration. My mind was jogged back to reality. I could taste the breakfast I had eaten that morning re-entering my mouth.
"Huh!!" I replied completely out of touch with everything. "Answer the phone!!" my mother bellowed from the kitchen.
My stomach, rotated 360O, and knotted into a terrible bow. The phone kept ringing.
"Susan! Susan!..... Susan!"
My mind seemed to be playing tricks on me. The voice which kept calling my name seemed to be transforming into that of a male's. A hand tenderly rested on my shoulder and gently shook it.
"Susan, are you OK?"
I turned to look at my enquirer, and to my surprise I was staring right into Zack's face. The school bell was ringing uncontrollably.
"Susan, I just asked you if you'd kiss me, and you totally zoned out for about five minutes. Aren't you going to answer me?"
"Oh.... I don't think we should do that just yet. I have a funny feeling about the outcome.
"But Susan, we've been ...." he started.
"I know, but I'm not ready," I interrupted.
"OK, I respect that" he replied, "I'll wait" quite to my surprise. I...