Imaginary

June 11, 2016

I want to read something good. I’m kind of tired of all those stories about girls in poverty, girls with cancer, girls whose fathers abandoned them at a young age.

 

Sure, they are interesting, but I can never really think, "I relate."

 

I want to read something about a girl who is perfect; but not one of those perfectly imperfect insecure popular girls. I want something that describes my life story, something that I will relate to, something that will make my heart ache.

 

“I didn’t mean for it to come out like that,” I say sheepishly as Justin looks over my notebook, his brow furrowing as he comes to the second sentence.

 

He nods. “Right.” He finishes reading the whole entry, sighing, and shifts his position on my bed. “Turn on some music.”

 

I reach for my iPod, turn it on, and proceed to toss it, face down, onto my nightstand. “There’s nothing good, and the glass is cracked to the point where touchscreen becomes useless. Right over the fast forward button.”

 

“Great. Just great.” He rolls over, wrinkling the bedspread, and looks over at me. “Anything interesting happen recently?”

 

Justin scratches furiously at his dark brown hair, which he got cut medium-length a couple days ago, right after school let out. I'm still getting used to it.

 

“Nothing interesting at all.” I reach for my phone, about to text Bennett, when I remember that his parents made restrictions on all his electronics: app installations, music downloads, who he can text, who he can call, even the time frame that he is allowed to be online.

 

Justin sees the look on my face. “They did that a long time ago.”

 

“Yeah, but I keep forgetting.” I mean, what kind of thirteen-year old needs that many restrictions?

 

He chuckles. “Plus, his laptop was confiscated the week before school ended.”

 

“Oh… true.”

 

Justin nods wisely. “That’s your response to everything.” He bounces halfheartedly on the mattress, then plops himself back down. “Did you find any new video games or anything? You’re so boring.”

 

I try not to strangle him. “You’re not supposed to be that rude.”

 

“Forgive and forget. I'm a seventh grader, unlearned in the ways of the world."

 

“Seventh grade, going on eighth,” I remind him, and his grin disappears.

 

“Why are you thinking about school already? We have, like, fifty days left!”

 

“Well… school is the only time when I’m actually too concentrated on schoolwork and stuff to think about my social situation.”

 

“Dang.” He yawns again, looking tired, although I doubt it takes a healthy person that much energy to just stay seated. “Your social situation isn’t that desperate.”

 

I snort. “Right. While most of the teenagers I know are enjoying their naive, meaningless versions of life at Yogurtland and the AMC, I’m sitting on my bed talking to a boy who doesn’t technically exist, and-”

 

He frowns. “I don’t technically exist?”


I wince. “Sorry.”


“I don't technically exist?”

 

“I meant, you don’t physically exist… through which you don’t exactly… Aw, lay off, Justin. I said I’m sorry, and I mean it.”

 

He nods. “I am your original character. I don’t really exist yet; you’re right.” His expression is solemn. “You brought me to life.”

 

I pick at a small hole in the bedspread, silent.

 

“I’m sorry, too.” Justin rarely apologizes to me. I should be recording this conversation.

 

But I roll my eyes to show that it doesn’t matter. “As if I ever got credit for creating you.” What I really want is to see him, my creation of scrawls and scribbles, and watch while this universe, which doesn’t technically exist, falls apart in a grand display of color and light.

 

So I try to make amends. “You’re the only person that describes my life story. You’re the only something that I will relate to. You are the one who will make me cry the most. You…” I stop to think, but it all comes out in a jumble.

 

“You'remybestfriend.” Words are so powerful, especially when I use them. Will I regret saying this? I regret saying a lot of things.

 

Justin flashes his signature smirk, easing up the tension. “Aw, lay off. I said sorry, and I mean it. And- and you said you didn't have a best friend.”

 

“Well, okay, I don't go throwing that term at everyone I know. I think the true meaning of ‘best friend’ should be something like, if I would die for them, and if they would die for me, that's a best friendship. Right?”

 

“Yes.” He glances at his watch. “I’m still bored, you know?”


“You’re always bored.”


“Yeah… but you know what I wanna do right now?”


“What?”


“I want to read something good. Can you write me something?”


I grin as he hands me my notebook. “Gladly.”






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