Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cheater Pants

I felt ridiculous practically laying on top of my Earth Systems test.  My free hand covered as much of the answers as it possibly could. Anything to just have one paper--just one--that the answers were ONLY mine, and not copied word for word by the girl next to me. Her and her annoying laugh and attention-starved headset and the fact that she thought we were best friends. It was only about two weeks into the new semester, but I already had her figured out. She was a cheater.
When I got to the end of the test I no longer had enough arm to cover up my paper. There went her curious eyes that could never seem to leave my side of the desk. I watched, extremely irritated, as she quickly wrote down the answer that wasn't covered up by my arm. It was super obvious considering she wrote it down before she answered the five questions before it. I finished the test and turned over the paper before she could see my last answer.

What were the odds that she was seated next to me in every class I had with her? It drove me insane.
Nearing the end of the term it was no secret to anyone that knew me that I did not like that girl. But with only a few class periods left of Term 3, I decided to just wait until we got new seating charts for Term 4.

In the first class I had with her we got to choose our seats. I left her side with lightening speed and moved a few rows up. I was happy for about two seconds before I realized the seat next to me was, moments later, taken by little Miss Cheater Pants.
Of course.
I had a little more hope in my last class of the day when we were being assigned new seats. But once the seating chart was given, you can imagine my horror when I looked up to see her right in front of me. I tried to comfort myself. It's okay, she can't even see you, she's sitting IN FRONT of you.
But it didn't last long. We took a test, and while I was confidently circling A, B, C, or D, someone in front of me wasn't feeling as confident. Big shock. There she went. Her head slowly twitched and then turned. She craned her neck and her eyes locked with my paper. Once she found what she wanted she whipped her head back around as if it never happened.
I will NOT take one more day of this, I said to myself, and sure enough, after the bell rang, I couldn't even force myself to leave. I stood firmly planted on the floor next to my teacher's desk.
"_______'s a cheater," I said matter-of-factly. "She's been cheating off me all semester. Will you please move us apart?"
My understanding teacher said she would and I felt a sense of victory. I don't even care who I sit by next Monday, as long as it isn't her.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

People Say

People say that I am fat.
People say that I am ugly.
People talk all day.
I act like I don't care.
I act like it doesn't matter
What they think
Or what they say.
But it does.
And sometimes
I think that I am fat.
And I think that I am ugly.
I think all day.
And it matters what I think.
And it matters what I say.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

That's Just How We Are

I promised my brother I would go to his band concert. I didn't come to the first concert of the year and didn't really want to come to the second one. They're super long and half of the time they're setting up chairs. But I did promise him, so, like a devoted sister, I came.
After the concert was over I drifted out into the hall to talk to some of my friends that were in it too. Sam hugged me before I left, like she always does. But this time as I was about to leave I heard another voice. It was one of my guyfriends, the first friend I made in Jr. High. "Do I get a hug, too?" he asked. I gave him a hug and hurried to the car with my family.
Later he and I were talking and I asked him why, after knowing each other for 3 years, we had never hugged until then. After thinking about it a moment he said, "Cause that's just how we are."

Back in February he invited me to go with him and his family to a Vocal Point concert, BYU's acapella men's ensemble. I was excited and said I would.
A few weeks later he and I had an argument. Nothing super serious, but he hurt my feelings. In my distress I told him I wasn't going to the concert with him anymore. We didn't talk about it again.
Last week at school I heard this girl talking about how she was so excited to go to the Vocal Point concert... With him. In my next class I rigidly told him what I had heard.
"You're not mad, are you?" he asked. I could tell he was nervous. I've always hated that he always treats me like a bomb about to explode any minute. I tried to stay completely emotionless and I told him I wasn't. I knew saying anything else about it would be pointless. He would just say I was an overreacting fool because he hadn't actually done anything particularly wrong. All I did was ask him when he invited her to go with him. He said the week after our argument.
Only one week later? That soon? The idea seemed unbelievable. Slightly shattered, I ended the subject.
I can still hardly believe it.

But I guess that's just how we are.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Just Met

It was one of those moments I'd never thought I'd have. Just sitting there on his living room couch. Just small talk with someone I had just met. But for some reason, it seemed a lot more important than that.

The story starts in eighth grade. Eighth grade was party time for Ally and I. We told each other detailed stories of our adventures with our other friends, the people we didn't like, and especially our crushes.
Ally was crushing on a ninth grader. He was kind of short with golden brown hair and a wannabe-gansta' attitude. She and him weren't super close, but she sat by him in one of her classes and, after a while, was no match for his boyish charm. We saw him in the halls one day with his friends, and we couldn't help but notice that one of his friends stood out from the rest. It took us but a second to figure out what it was. 
His monumentally large head.
He was tall with narrow shoulders and a thin body. But right on top of it all sat a huge head topped with short dark curls.
"You should marry him," Ally said. I laughed in surprise. Sometimes I had no idea where her ideas came from. I treated it like a joke only told once, but Ally was determined to keep it going. Every time we saw him she referred to him as my "husband". We later found out his name, but his former title had already stuck. Soon it became one of our inside jokes that we mentioned every once and a while and laughed at. 
Near the beginning of ninth grade I made a new friend. She and I talked at school and she was super sweet and fun. When I told Ally about her and mentioned her name she made a connection that hadn't before occurred to me. "Whoa! That's your sister-in-law!"
Much later in the year my "sister-in-law" and I planned a movie night at her house. I arrived and walked up the porch steps listening to piano music filtering from inside the house. When I knocked on the door the music stopped. Footsteps. The blinds from the thin window next to the door lifted a bit, and I stared into the small crack to see brown eyes. Brown eyes connected to a large head topped with short dark curls. 

I had to remind myself that he had no idea who he was as he opened the door. I asked him if his sister was home.
"I don't think so," he told me. His voice was deep.
"She invited me to come over at 7..." I said, trying to look less confused than I was.
"Do you want me to call her?" he asked. 
"No, I can call her," I said. I scrolled through my contacts, expecting the door to close and to be left on the lonely porch. I only had a moment to ponder on that thought when he invited me in.
I stepped in the house. It smelled and looked clean with a shiny grand piano and brown leather couches. I called my friend and she apologized profusely for forgetting about our movie night and said she was headed right over. "My husband" asked for the phone and I handed it to him. He talked to her for a minute and probably made her feel super guilty before handing the phone back to me. I hung up. He invited me to come and sit on the couch while I waited for her to arrive. I sat down and so did he. 
"What's your name?" he asked. 
"Tessa Hatchett," I said, "what's yours?"
It was one of those moments I'd never thought I'd have. Just sitting there on his living room couch. Just small talk with someone I had just met. But for some reason, it seemed a lot more important than that. 

When my friend got home she apologized some more and we continued on to our activities. As she and I talked I found out her brother sings and plays drums, guitar, and piano. It was like all of the sudden he was becoming less of just an inside joke and more of a person. A person who lives in a house and goes to high school and has hobbies and talents and friends. I'll never forget that feeling.

And I'm pretty happy to have finally met "my husband".

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dinner Time

We sit around the dinner table eating something that has no wheat, sugar, or pasteurized dairy. Everyone compliments Mom on her amazing cooking. I ask my parents how their days at work were and ask them to say 5 good things about their day. After they come up with a few I rattle off 6 or 7 really good or really bad things about mine. Braden begs everyone to either play Uno with him or take him to the Orem Recreational Center. We throw food scraps at the dog and when we don't she sits under the table waiting. I run through every event of my day in detail and update the family on my social life. They all basically ignore me, but I don't really care. Janell comes in from working at the horse barn. She smells like alfalfa and dust. She gets in the shower. We finish dinner while Mom and Dad discuss political matters and Braden and I have staring contests with doofy faces across the table. We discuss our individual and collective schedules for the week. After dinner we clean up the kitchen and clear off the table.

We are family.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Wall

There's a wall between you and I.
It's made out of the thickest of concrete and the hardest of rock. It's monumentally tall, towering over everyone around us. It's impenetrable.
And yet we still send out our armies, determined to do some damage. They scream their battle cries. They shoot their cannon balls. Both sides receive permanent damage. Both sides will never be the same.
The war rages on, getting more violent by the day.
Why do we fight like this? Let's take the whole wall down, let's climb to the top. We could be allies so powerful we could conquer the world. We both know this is true.
But we still scream our battle cries, still shoot our cannon balls, and the war will forever rage on.
The great war fought over the wall between us.