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A Writer's Pride

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The alarm goes off. Your day begins. You make ridiculous punches at your bedside table. You hear your mother’s voice from far away. You notice the smell of toast and the sound of eggs being fried. Your mother tells you to get out of bed. Now. You get up only to crawl right back into bed. ‘One more minute will do’ you promise yourself. One minute goes. Two minutes, three minutes… Five minutes and your mother shouts for the last time. She gives you five seconds. While she counts to three, you look up at the ceiling. You think about the story you wrote when you were seven, the story about a kid who one day wakes up to find the world upside down. You think about how the idea had come to you. How you were on the swing on a Saturday morning when it had come. You ask yourself why it’s not as easy anymore, finding what to write about. You pick yourself up and walk to the breakfast table. You do simple stretches on the way. "Finally," your mother says. You sit and start eating without a word. In your head, you think about why your brain has been drained of all ideas. High school. You try to blame it all on schoolwork. Extracurriculars. You know they have nothing to do with it. You stop thinking altogether and finish your breakfast in silence.
You walk to school. You carefully observe your surroundings on the way. You look at the sidewalk. Your feet. Then at the kindergarteners passing you by, giggling. Nothing. You look up at the sky. It’s blue. You wait. You wait a little longer. Yep. Still nothing. You reach the school building. You tell yourself finding inspirations on the way to school was never an easy task in the first place.
World history, first period. You watch the teacher-whose name you’ve forgotten again- and try to make out how much he spits out each time he opens his mouth. You remember a friend from another class telling you about her first world history class. She had sat in the very first row right in front of the teacher. The top of her head had turned damp by the end of class. It suddenly comes to you. You could write a story about the exciting life of a guy who spits more than he speaks whenever he opens his mouth. You would title it ‘The Waterfall’. It would be a great hit.
You move to your next class. On the way, you decide that the waterfall story is horrible. Math. Mr. Grady welcomes you in. He starts giving out graded exam papers. He hands you yours. Without looking at it, you stuff it into your backpack. While the Q&A session goes on, you look around the room. You see Tyler and Danny concentrating hard. You see Samantha concentrating hard on her nails. You see Kathy, Alex, Lauren and Stephanie Latilla playing with their phones. You hate them. But you hate Stephanie Latilla the most. Right there another story in your head. You picture yourself becoming the best dancer in the whole state. You enter a state competition Stephanie Latilla enters every year. To the whole school’s surprise, you beat Stephanie Latilla and win the whole competition. No, not the whole competition that would be a bit unrealistic. You beat Stephanie Latilla and that’s it. You wonder where the story should take place. You also wonder whether or not you should use the exact names for each character. You wonder if that would embarrass you when your book is finally published and the whole school reads it for summer reading. You decide it probably would. The bell rings.
Next period. Art history. You immediately notice the one guy you’ve been into since freshman year. You notice another guy, who’s probably the only guy who’s into you in the whole damn school. He smiles at you. You don’t miss the twinkle of light bouncing off his braces. Beautiful. You stare into space for half a second and let out a sigh. You shake your head and look through the stack of folders on your table and pull out yours from it. Right then you hear him. Oh, God, it’s him. You hear him talking to his friend by the cabinet right behind you. You freeze, only your eyes rolling and faster than ever. Act normal. You remember your sister's words. Right, a normal hello. You slowly turn around. Stephanie Latilla. Argh. You turn back around, only to find the other guy taking his seat next to you. He grins at you, the light dancing in between his braces. For the rest of the class you try to avoid any eye contact with him. You decide you should give up on making stories this period. You know any story you come up with will be pathetic in this environment.
You go through the next period, lunch, and the three periods afterwards feeling like the biggest loser. You remember the day you discovered that you had talent in making up good stories. You remember the day you read one of your stories in front of your class in elementary school, how your homeroom teacher and classmates had praised it. You come home. You throw your backpack on the floor and get changed into your pajamas, getting ready for a nap. Before you throw yourself into bed, you turn around to look at your giant corkboard taking up one side of the walls. Post-it notes. Countless. All ideas for your next novel. A soon-to-be bestseller. You let out a sigh and pin up another post-it note among the others. ‘The Waterfall’. You give it one more look and climb into bed.
‘The Waterfall’ makes a big hit, turning you into a bestselling writer. You somehow manage to write as its sequel, a novel about you, your crush, the other guy who becomes an orthodontist, and Stephanie Latilla, who later becomes your maid. This one becomes the fastest-selling book in history. Your school indeed adds your book to the summer reading list. You realize you’d forgotten to change the names before sending it to the publisher.





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