Oh, the pre-teen angst!
I’ll warn you now, this is a longish one. But it’s also fascinating. This is the first Mini-Me, but hopefully not the last.
What follows is an unedited “short story” I wrote shortly after the events transpired, with modern-day annotations for your benefit. Names and places changed or omitted, of course. I can’t decide whether to be disturbed by the fact that I still kind of react to guys the way I did then (but that’s another story), or laugh. I think I’ll just go with laugh.
A long time ago — when AOL Instant Messenger was still the bee’s knees — in a land strangely identical to the one where I currently reside, there lived an eighth-grader named Maria. She attended a small, Catholic, K-12 school, one of those ones where the classes are so small that the 1st and 2nd grades share a classroom, as do the 3rd and 4th, 5th and 6th, etc. At this point in her young life, Maria had grown out of the phase during which boys were fit only for gratuitous kicking. But she had yet to grow into a new one. In sum, boys weren’t icky, but they were definitely beneath notice.
Julian Thomas: A Short Story about a Weirdo
About a month ago, a new boy came to our school. Apparently his name is Julian Thomas and he’s a freshman; that’s all I knew about him…until he IMed1 me.
1: Nowadays, the kids would say he “messaged” me. Back when AIM was the only way to M, we called it IMing. Like texting, but on the computer. Gosh. It’s not that complicated.
Completely randomly, someone IMed me whose screen name I’d never seen. The name was “bayareajuliant,” so the name “Julian” reassured me. I figured the new kid had just gotten a hold of my screen name from a friend. He said, “Hey,” and I just responded with a question mark. He told me that he was the “new kid” at school in ninth grade, and I found out that he’d gotten my screen name from Claire, a girl in 7th grade in my 7/8 class.