You know you did great when they don’t need you anymore…
that’s aright, I wasn’t using my heart anyway….
Wow… thanks for making me sob everywhere…
And there goes my heart…
Oops, I’m going to fic…
The bell rang as the last few students straggled into the room. The teacher - a probably insane woman with a massive mane of red curls and a dark blue dress covered in stars and planets - swept in not two seconds later. When she reached her desk, she stood behind it, threw her arms out in a grand gesture, and proclaimed, “Welcome to middle school!”
The students, who had been loudly chatting amongst themselves, fell silent at this.
The teacher grinned. “Good. Now that I have your attention… hi. I’m Valerie Frizzle, Ph.D, MBA, MPH, MD, ABC, XYZPDQ…” Two girls giggled, albeit nervously. “But you can just call me Mizz Frizz.” That elicited a few more laughs. “Welcome to English class,” Ms. Frizzle continued. “We’re going to start off today with short stories… that you write.”
Calvin, from his desk in the second row, winced. He had never been that good at writing. It wasn’t for lack of ideas, oh no. It was just that his teachers had always glanced skeptically on his stories, telling his parents in the inevitable parent-teacher conferences that “his writing needs to be more normal.”
“The prompt…” Ms. Frizzle paused for dramatic effect. “Write a short story about one of your childhood toys.”
Calvin’s heart soared.
“And when I say short, I mean short,” Ms. Frizzle added. “Three paragraphs at most. You have twenty minutes. When you’re done, you will find a partner, read each other’s short stories, and offer criticism. Keep it nice and constructive, please. If you don’t know what constructive criticism is, just ask. Any questions?”
The boy in front of Calvin raised his hand hesitantly. “Yes?” said Ms. Frizzle, pointing to him.
“What if we can’t pick just one?”
Calvin had the strangest feeling that he would like this boy.
After a second, Ms. Frizzle smiled. “You don’t have to choose just one. Write whatever you want. And that goes for everybody,” she added, raising her voice so the rest of the class heard. “Let your imaginations go wild.”
Calvin was already writing. Once upon a time, there was a tiger named Hobbes. …
Twenty minutes later, Calvin had written five whole paragraphs. He scribbled the last sentence: “Hobbes is my best friend.”
He frowned and then crossed the is out: “Hobbes
is was my best friend.”
“Time’s up!” Ms. Frizzle chimed from the front of the room. “Find a partner!”
Calvin, with a sudden sense of urgency, tapped the boy in front of him on the shoulder. “Hey, can I read your story?” he asked, hoping he didn’t sound pathetic.
The boy turned around, looking slightly surprised. “Sure,” he said. “Can I read yours?”
“No problem,” Calvin said. They exchanged papers and started reading.
After a few minutes, the other boy said, “This is great. Hobbes is so funny.”
Calvin grinned modestly. “Thanks. All your toys are fantastic.”
The boy sighed, somewhat sadly. “Yeah. They are.”
In that moment, Calvin saw something in the boy’s face that he’d often seen in his own, on those occasions when he really looked at himself in the mirror. He saw nostalgia mixed with bitter longing. He saw loss.
“Mine was, too,” he said softly.
The boy looked at him, surprised. “I thought I was the only one. I thought I was a weirdo for calling my toys my best friends and playing with them and giving them their own little world.” He hung his head a bit.
Calvin just smiled. “Yeah, you’re a weirdo. But you’re not the only one out there.”
The boy smiled back. “I’m Christopher Robin.”
“Calvin,” Calvin said, proffering his hand. “Nice to meet you.”
The boys shook hands and nodded at each other, feeling as if they’d just met their new best friends.
Suddenly, Calvin had an idea. “Hey, you know what?”
“We should write a story together! I bet Hobbes and Tigger would be best pals.”
Christopher Robin laughed. “Let’s do it.”
Ms. Frizzle, who had been walking around the classroom, passed Calvin and Christopher Robin as they talked excitedly, both bent over a piece of paper. Christopher Robin was scribbling hurriedly. She thought about interrupting them… but then again, better not, she thought, smiling. Looks like they’re doing just fine on their own.
And at the end of class, when Ms. Frizzle asked for volunteers to read their stories, it was Calvin and Christopher Robin who practically sprang out of their seats to read “The Amazing Adventures of Hobbes, Tigger, and Pooh in the Hundred-Acre Messy Room.”
OH GOD I JUST GAVE MYSELF FEELS
T_T This is what tumblr is for. Thank you.