In 5th grade, I was head over heels in “love” with a boy named Christian. I didn’t know what love was at the time; I desperately wanted to be his friend, and since I was quite unfamiliar with this feeling, I categorized it as a crush (and for reference, I now know that I know now that love is, presently, uninteresting).
We were actually pretty close (we were both at the advanced math table that consisted of me, Christian, and an empty chair), making jokes and helping each other out and stuff like that. I was sad when it was time to move into 6th grade, in the land of giants. I thought I’d never see Christian again.
But lo and behold! I had Science and another class I forget with him. The following anecdote takes place in this forgotten class.
Every year at our middle school, there is a 6th Grade Talent Show. My buddy Christian here (alas, we were starting to grow apart now that kids from the other schools were mixing in with our close-knit elementary community) was a comedic genius (or at least I thought so). I told him one day, “You should do a comedy thing for the talent show!”
Christian shook his head. “Nah, I’m not funny.”
“Yes you are!” I insisted, like an idiot.
“Not alone.” Christian shook his head again.
“I’ll do it with you,” I volunteered, like an idiot.
Christian rolled his eyes and told me with a grin, “If you can write a good comedy script and send it to me tonight, I’ll do it with you.”
Because I was a writer, I thought, Challenge accepted!, like an idiot. I got his email address, which was probably the only good thing that happened to me that day.
At home, I set to work on writing a glorious comedy script for Christian to read. First on my list of many tasks was to search up what a comedy script was. I had absolutely no idea.
I later did come up with something, though it was awful and wasn’t actually a comedy script. I was psyched, and I got writing. Just thinking about it now makes me want to recede into my ribcage and collapse in on myself until I break space-time and pass tragically away in an alternate universe where I never existed.
I pulled out the slip of paper with his address on it and I started to email him (I got an email, like, a year before, so I was knew to all this). I added six too many emojis, two of which I remember being a blue bird and a sweaty smiling face (a fantastic first impression, take notes), and “Here it is! Hope ya like it! *emojix6*” and attached the doc and hit Send and danced to bed.
The next day, I went to school hyped to see his reaction. Would it be “I was rolling on the floor laughing” or “Hahaha” or “You’re on the team now bucko” or something else in the ballpark? I didn’t care. I knew he would be delighted.
In the forgotten class, I sat down (my seat was next to his) and didn’t say anything, waiting for him to praise me or at least commend me.
At the end of class, he leaned over to my side and expressed his opinion.
So, neither of us did a comedy thing, but he was an announcer and I had to do something for our class performance (our teacher was the director of the talent show).
But I know now that, no matter how harsh a critic I face in my writing, I will never be as horrified as I was when Christian whispered with a solemn face, “That was really bad.”