Current word count: 18,173
*Part in italics taken from the end of Day 7, and not included in todays word count
“Oh my gosh! River Phoenix is sooooooo cute! I totally want to marry Chris Chambers! ” Angel squealed at the end of the movie and grabbed a pillow and hugged it close to her body as she rolled onto her bed.
“He dies?” Roseland was sitting on the edge of the bed. She had both her hands up and out like a question. “He grows up and tries to help someone and he dies?” She looks over at us. “That’s lame. I don’t like that. He shouldn’t have died.”
“Oh who cares.” said Angel sighing, “It’s just a movie. At least River Phoenix is alive and he is going to live forever and I am going to marry him!”
“You just said you wanted to marry Chris Chambers.” I said feeling irritated. “So Chris Chambers is who you get, and he dies so too bad so sad.”
I had never really liked boys much before this year. Some of my friends from before had boyfriends even when they were in second grade, but I didn’t like them. I thought most of them were pretty stupid. I remember when I was six and I was playing with this neighbor girl Cathy. Her mom and her dad were both doctors and they had just had a baby. He was almost a year old when her mom got pregnant again and her stomach started to get big. We both knew that babies came out of moms’ stomachs, but we didn’t understand how they actually got there. I had seen puppies be born before so I could kind of understand how the babies got out, but I wasn’t really sure how they come out of a mom because dogs and people were different. So one day Cathy and I asked her mom how babies were made and born. Her mom sat us down in their living room and she brought out a book that had all these pictures that were drawn, and she told us everything, the whole story about how babies were made and born. She showed us the drawing of a penis on a boy and a vagina on a girl. She told us that the boy puts his penis in the vagina of the girl and then a baby get’s made. Then she told us how it is a fetus and it grows into a baby and then it comes out of the girl’s vagina. I did not like this story one bit. After words I had felt really disturbed like something was really wrong with the whole world. I remember that Cathy didn’t say much either. We went and played on her swing set. It was one of those fancy new metal swing sets that you can buy in the store and put together at home. They had put the swing set under the huge fig tree that grew in their backyard. I remember as we were swinging that I could smell the figs and see them turning purple some of them were still green on the top but they would be ripe soon. A few had fallen to the ground and the gooshy insides and purple seeds had splattered onto the path that her parents had built in their backyard. The hanging and fallen fruit made me think of pregnant women. Her mother had walked out of the house carrying her baby brother. She had him on her hip but it looked like he was riding on her belly and sitting on the new baby that was growing inside her. She set him in the garden as she did some work watering the plants and picking some of the vegetables. We swung back and forth on the swing set neither one of us were talking and there was only the sound of the swings squeaking and the smell of figs. I watched her brother sitting in the garden as he picked up a snail. He held it in his hands and then pulled the snail out of it’s shell and put it in his mouth. He chewed on it for a little bit and then spit it out and as the chewed snail fell out of his mouth brown spit came out too. I felt my stomach get sick and I thought, boys are so gross. A that moment I looked at my friend Cathy who was also watching her brother. “I don’t care what grown ups say,” I said to her, “I don’t want a baby. And I will never ever ever let a boy put his penis in my vagina. Ever.” She nodded in agreement.
I had really thought boys were more of a bother than anything. I liked to play with them to beat them at games and stuff and some boys were okay to play with but older boys were just stupid, and my brother got more and more dumb the older he got. I was fine without them, but like I said some of the girls that used to be my friends liked boys differently. I had thought if they new about how babies were really born then they might not feel the same about boys as they did today. I never liked them until the first day of school this year. I really hated boys after my brother died, and not just because they were simply boys, but because once I started to change like wear all black and stop playing with the girls I used to play with the boys got mean. Boys being mean can not compete with girls being mean, but still it made me mad that boys who I used to play with or boys that once were friends with my brother started calling me a freak, and trying to push me around and stuff. They don’t try stuff now since last year I pretty much beat up every boy in my class, but like Jason Sanders they like to try and call me names when they are out of my arms reach. I really didn’t like them at all not even to play with until this school year. On the third day of school a new boy came to our school. His name was Sam Rider. He had been living in Ridgeview his whole life, but he had been going to the other elementary school, but his parents had sold their house and moved to the North Ridge. We would have lived in the same neighborhood if my dad hadn’t of moved me to my grandparents. I didn’t know exactly why I liked Sam. It was weird because I had always hated boys, but Sam was different. It was the first time I actually really noticed a boy. It was really weird, but I thought Sam was cute. Sam looked kind of like River Phoenix in the Stand by Me movie. I never really thought even movie actor boys were cute until I saw Sam. I was keeping it a secret though because I didn’t know why but I didn’t want to let anyone know that I liked him. I haven’t even tried to talk to him, but sometimes I find myself just staring at him. He dresses different from all the other boys and I was wondering if it was because things were different at the South Ridge elementary, but in a “What I did for Summer Vacation” paper that we had to read out loud in class we learned that Sam had spent his summer in France. He had an older sister who was an exchange student in France and that his parents let him stay with her for the whole summer. I don’t think any kid wanted to read their paper in front of the class after hearing Sam’s story. What was really strange was that sometimes boys like Sam get bullied at my school. Most kids here would think he was showing off that he lived in France or that he was better then them he was certainly different, but somehow Sam became the most popular boy in school in the first week he was there. He was nice to everyone and he was really funny. It was like he was magic or something. Lots of girls liked to talk to him and he never sat at lunch alone. I kept as far away from him as possible, but sometimes I when Wendy and I would sit outside at the school picnic table and Sam was out on the field playing with his friends most of who used to be my friends I would just kind of stare at him and not even hear what Wendy was saying. I didn’t do that much now that we had Roseland because now there were three of us, but that was okay. He sat in the front of my class and I sat in the back and I really liked this because I could stare at him anytime I wanted and he couldn’t see me. It was funny because I knew that girls who liked boys liked to talk about liking boys, but I hated it. I really didn’t like liking Sam and sometimes it made want to be even meaner to all the other boys.
“I don’t really like boys that much.” Said Wendy.
I could always count on Wendy.
“What?” Angel sat up on her bed. “You don’t? I don’t think that’s normal.”
“It’s normal.” I said coming to Wendy’s defense.
“Do you like boys?” She said asking me.
I shrugged. I wasn’t about to come clean to her about anything, but at the same time I was worried about not seeming normal and I didn’t know what Roseland would think. “They’re okay. They’d be better if they weren’t so stupid all the time.”
“But you think River Phoenix is cute don’t you?” She asked.
“Yeah. Sure. I like Chris Chambers in the movie.” I said because that seemed safe. Then I had a strange realization about all the boys in the movie, I kind of liked all the boys in the movie, but I didn’t know why. “I kind a like all the boys in that movie.”
“Yeah, but I mean like differently. Like do you want to marry Teddy LaChance or do you want to marry Chris Chambers?”
I didn’t even have to think about it. “Chris Chambers.”
“Do you like boys?” Wendy asked Roseland.
She shrugged like I did. “A little.” She said. “There was this boy last year that I liked to play with and I liked him like you know like just normal kind of boy, but sometimes I felt like I liked him more, but I don’t know. I don’t like any boys at this school though so I don’t really think about it much.”
“Wow.” Said Angel. “I’ve liked boys since kindergarten. I remember there was this boy Matt that would chase all the girls around and when he’d catch them he would kiss them, and I always let him catch me.”
“Ewwww. Matt Foster? Ewww. He would chase me too and I thought it was gross. I did not let him catch me.” I said totally disgusted.
“Ewww. Me neither.” Said Wendy.
“Well, I don’t like him now. I just mean that I liked boys ever when I was little.” Angel said. “My other friends like boys too. It’s mostly what we talk about. We like the junior high boys. Next year when we go to junior high there will be boys from South Ridgeview there and if they are all like Sam Rider its going to be so great.”
I felt my face get hot and I had a really strange feeling in my stomach that was kind of like all my insides fell out. I felt like I was going to be really really mad. First my family and then my friends, then River Phoenix and now Sam Rider? I was about to belt her one right in the face, but Roseland sat next to her on the bed. Then Wendy climbed on the bed too. I stayed on the floor just staring at them. I felt really betrayed and angry, but I didn’t want to let anyone know. I didn’t like how I was feeling and I just wanted to be mean to Angel. Really mean, but I didn’t know how.
“I don’t like boys that much.” Roseland said again, “They just kind of annoy me, but I do think some boys on t.v. are cute, but they seem different.”
“I like boys.” Wendy said.
” I thought you just said you didn’t like them.” I kind of barked at her. “One minute you like them the next you don’t. What are you just tryin’ to look cool for Angel or something.”
Angel wrinkled her eye brows at me as the other two just looked at me strangely for a second.
“No. I mean I like to play with boys but I don’t like ’em like ’em.”
I felt a little stupid with them all staring at me like they were so I didn’t say anything else.
“I want to play the same kind of games as boys sometimes, you know. Like I like to play race cars, and run and climb trees and play pranks and stuff. I like my dolls still, but sometimes I want to play with boys, like when I was little I used to play with all the boys in the neighborhood, but they don’t like me anymore. They all say I’m gross or that I have cooties, but I just want to play.” Wendy looked really sad.
“I don’t play with dolls.” Angel said. “I don’t like boy things. I like clothes and I want to wear make-up, but my mom says no, but maybe next year. I just like to kiss boys.”
“EEEEwa!” Squealed Roseland with a short laugh. She shook her hands in disgust. “Gross!” She laughed and threw her face into a pillow.
“What?” Angel yelled. She wasn’t mad I could tell because she was smiling.
Wendy looked grossed out. “You kiss boys?” She stuck her tongue out like she was going to puke.
“So.” Angel laughed.
“Gross!” Roseland screamed into the pillow. She started kicking her legs on the bed and the other two started laughing and piling on top of her. I smiled at them and part of me wanted to climb on the bed to and crawl into the pile, but I also felt too mad at Angel to join them so I stayed on the floor and watched. My smile began to fade as a feeling of being lonely came over me. I felt like I wasn’t a part of their group. They were all misfits too. Angel was too loose at too young of an age, Wendy was not accepted as normal by other kids and she was slow and awkward, and Roseland while being a really cool girl was the only black girl at school and that made kids be mean to her. If they knew that she had a black mother and a white father who knew how the kids would be. They were all misfits and rejects, and I still didn’t fit in with them.
Roseland pulled herself out of the pile. She was still laughing as she kicked at Angel. “I think if a boy kissed me I would puke.”
“You have to use your tongue.” Angel said.
“Ewwwwww!” She screamed again throwing herself back down on the bed.
We all screamed even me. That was way too much all I could think about was Cathy’s brother and that chewed up snail and brown spit coming out of his mouth.