I Hate Moths

Well, I hate all bugs. I’ve been trying (okay, half-heartedly) to not hate as many things anymore… but I really don’t like bugs. They creep me out and they fly everywhere and they bump into me and feel all icky and it just gives me the skeevies. I’m sorry, bugs. I’m sure your parents love you.

Hm. Sometimes, I read things about people who are going through their parents’ divorce and they talk about how they’re scared and they don’t want to be “the kid with two houses” or they don’t want to have stepparents and stuff like that. Was I too young in first grade to be impacted by my parents’ divorce? Were my parents just very mature about the matter, not making a scene about it? Did they really only fight when (they thought) my sister and I were napping in our room, so that we wouldn’t have to go through that? I mean, are all these other people going through something that I never had to experience?

Sometimes, I feel just a tiny bit cheated that I’ve had the watered-down version of some of the standard “bad childhood experiences”, like my parents’ easy divorce and my mom’s marriage to my kind and friendly stepdad and the birth of my two loving and adorable half-siblings and the meeting of my dad’s loving and wonderful girlfriend. All of these things just wound up working out for me in the best possible way. I’m really glad that my parents–all three of them–are so mature and easy to get along with, as well as understanding and accepting. I love my family so much. I really am happy with my life… But sometimes, I really wish I could relate to people who have had so much go wrong in their lives because then maybe I’d be more able to help them.

Well, okay, that’s enough of that emotional crap for now, you probably don’t really want to hear it… So I’ll just write tonight’s story, and then I’ll go to bed. I have a party tomorrow night at my boyfriend’s house, in honor of the end of state testing! Now it’s just finals… and drum major tryouts. Other than that, though, stress-free me!

I was beginning to drift to sleep behind my textbook during English. We were reading The Odyssey and I could barely stay awake because the translation was so dull.

I saw the paper out of the corner of my eye before I felt it graze my ear. When I picked it off of my desk, I saw that it wasn’t just a wadded up piece of paper: it was a rather elaborately-folded paper balloon. I unfolded it carefully, not ripping any of it, and found that inside was a note. It was on a torn sheet of binder paper and it said, “Plans after school?”

I looked around for who might be asking this. I didn’t recognize the handwriting. My eyes locked with a broad-shouldered brunette boy named Anthony and he grinned at me.

I replied, “Not in particular…”

I threw the paper back at him and it soon landed back on my desk. I read it: “Kickass. Want to go play on the swings by the park by my house? I know a place where we can get some awesome French fries if you want.”

I smiled. “French fries and swings? Could I possibly say no?” is what I wrote back.

A new scrap landed on my desk, since we’d filled up the original. “I don’t think so, ma’am. You would find yourself hard-pressed to think of a better offer. P.S. I’ll totally pay for the fries.”

“Sounds like a plan,” I responded. I drew myself giving a thumbs-up and sent the paper back his way.

A blue sheet of stationary appeared next to my hand. I opened it. Carefully penned was a message: “When did you and Tony get chummy? BTW, you guys are funny, throwing paper back and forth at each other. Text me?”

The note wasn’t signed, but I recognized the paper from the notepad I’d given my best friend, Izzy, for her birthday a few months ago. I had a good look around the classroom and saw the substitute teacher, sitting at his desk, reading The Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America.

I took my phone out under the desk and texted her, “I’ve almost never talked to him. I think we worked on a history project in seventh grade together?”

I felt a paper hit me in the head and I whirled around to see Anthony grinning sheepishly at me before stuffing his nose in the textbook. I read the note. “Eeeexcellent! The park is only a little walk away Where shall we meet after school? I have P.E. last period.”

I wrote back, “We’ll meet by the bus stop?” I crumpled it into a ball and threw it, and it landed precisely between his face and the textbook. I watched his eyes light up in astonishment and I chuckled.

My phone lit up; I read the text, which said, “Oh, yeah, huh? Well, what are you two talking about?” I replied with, “Nothing much,” because I didn’t really want her to invite herself along, and besides, I knew she had a Mock Trial Club meeting after school, so she should go to that.

I got the note back from Anthony. “Perfect! See ya then!”

I turned around and smiled at him, and he smiled back, until he looked down very theatrically at his book. I glanced surreptitiously at the sub, and saw that he was glaring in our direction. I whipped back around my book and smiled, knowing that I finally had plans after school with someone other than Izzy or one of my friends from tennis. Finally, I was branching out. This was a good start.

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