Just because I can’t actively participate in NaNoWriMo for the upcoming round that kicked off this November doesn’t mean that I haven’t stopped writing! Lately, I’ve been asking several of my friends to give me weekly writing challenges to keep my brain’s novel muscles strong, if that makes any sense. This week I have chosen to post my response to the challenged prompt which is to write a story about the relationship between a boy and girl, in second person.
Um, let’s just say that no, I have not decided to write a response that lies within the romantic genre. I don’t know much about romance or writing in this type of voice, but I have created a story about friendship, because isn’t there, to a degree, some form of love and respect one holds for friends, right?
No matter where you went, or what you did, your nose was always in a book. The set routine between the books and yourself was simple. Every week, you would indulge yourself in the latest checked out novel—often, it would be the Rubix-cube thick dragon series invented by a fifteen-year-old Montanan—and never let go, then circulate over to the next installment. Once you concluded a series, you would lurk over to the library and begin another novel circulation cycle.
Even outside of school, you would pay no attention to those passing by, including one girl who recognized you at the video store, accompanied with your dog. As your family leaves, you have no idea that the girl, who watched the entire time, thought your hand had the sticky substance of Super glue or Velcro, but only attracted books.
One day, in the dead of the winter, you were reading the fifth Diary of a Wimpy Kid installment, the copy granted to you by a fifth-grade teacher. You cross paths with the video store girl and her friend. No one spoke much about you. No one knew you that well, because you were new that school year, thus, casting you as a bit of a loner.
“Why don’t you join the book competition the school has, huh?” The video girl stated snobbishly. “Reading is all you ever do.” Her friend nodded in agreement. Rather than responding, you roll your eyes and walk off. The two girls did the same, yet unknown to you, the video store girl could not help but notice that you would sit by yourself, in the middle of the field.
Sixth grade, music class. The teacher asked everyone to sing the words “present” when she called out their names as a part of your grade, but she was the sort who would take attendance in reverse alphabetical order. You sat next to video store girl, the reasons unknown, though everyone assumed it was because she was the only person who would earnestly talk to you daily.
“Present,” the video store girl sang, pure and strong.
Several more people go by. The video store girl slowly scooted away several paces from you. Your face remained stoic. Music wasn’t necessarily your favorite class—you preferred gym and the library compared to the two music periods set every day before lunch, with a double dosage of a music class on Wednesdays every two weeks.
The music teacher called out your name. “Present,” you attempted to sing, but the noise which came out was unlike that of your left-seated companion—rather, the word came out scratchy and off-pitch.
The music teacher pursed her lips, scribbled something onto her attendance sheet, and continued down the line.
Whether she had docked off points for that class of the week, you were unsure.
Middle school. As you entered the library, you see the video store girl returning her lunch library pass before making her way to the computer section several stair steps below. You were in the library, because, like her, you thought that the lunch room was too loud to stay in for a full forty-five minutes. The librarian talked to you about a book that you have due within the next few days, but you made no sign of listening as your write your name on the sign-in sheet and then walked down the stairs to where the video store girl was.
You sat right next to her at the computer station, knowing that it makes her furious. “Can’t you just go away?” She laughed, and you shed a smile, too—you knew that she was just joking.
In a mocking voice, you asked, “But where are your friends?”
“They’ll be here soon.” You knew that her statement was true—they always came several minutes later after she arrived.
“So you don’t consider me as a friend?”
She pushed you and stuck out her tongue. “You know what I mean.” You pretend to have stumbled and been hurt, despite your one foot height difference. The librarian glared from the tops of the steps, making the video store girl’s attempts to suppress her laughter fail miserably.
“’Someday I'll be living in a big ole city, and all you're ever gonna be is mean…’” You watched as her eyes grow wider and an expression of wonder and awe came across her face. She slammed her palms on the computer table and turned to face you.
“Oh my gosh… I can’t believe you can sing! And you singing "Mean." goodness!” She clapped her hands together and squealed in delight.
You scratched the back of your head. “Haha, well, it’s because of some people in my family, I guess. They sing too many Taylor Swift songs.”
The two of you laughed out loud at the fact. It didn’t matter that you two differed or that the librarian, once again, put her fingers to her lips to tell both of you to shush—what mattered was that you could sing! You, out of all people could sing, and right then the video store girl’s impression of you changed, all due to those moments. Everything seemed to be the same, but no, from then on, things turned different, for the better.