The laws of middle school state that there is a chance—miniscule for most—that a single story, a single trait, can be the defining factor between popular and dweeb. If you get it right, you will rocket into middle school sainthood. If you don’t…well…you don’t. This is one of those don’t stories.
Chicago is a lovely city, even in the spring when there is still a frigid chill to the air and jumping in the fountains at the park isn’t exactly the most appeasing idea in the world. But middle school children on a field trip are resilient, so we did. The aquarium and the national museum were enough to fatigue us, if only with the walking—what felt like five miles—and the stench of fish breath on our hoodies. The showers that night were warm and welcome, and Tila Tequila was on full blast in room 304, the gathering place for all of the averages.
Mazda, Rupee, and Sophie welcomed Maxine, Knix (she moved to Wyoming in 9th grade), and myself to their hotel room, one they shared with the central character of this story: Emilia. I would give you a background on Emilia but I didn’t know her very well. Only this story has ingrained her in my memory.
The first thing you notice when walking into room 304 is the roll-away trundle bed. Each room was already equipped with two full sized beds, enough to fit two young teens easily enough, so this made the third bed seem a little peculiar.
“That’s alright.” Emilia said when she caught me staring. “Rupee’s mom doesn’t allow her to share a bed with other people.”
This I knew was a flat-out lie. Rupee just didn’t want to share a bed with other people. Liar, liar pants on fire. But what did I care? Besides, the real story I’m trying to tell hasn’t even happened yet.
“What are you watching?” I asked.
“Tila Tequila.” Mazda smiled. “She’s partying again.” But of course, when was she not partying? So we sat and watched the drunk girl on the screen for some time until the teachers came by, calling for lights out. We were halfway to the door, almost there, when Emilia stopped us.
“Wait.” She declared and we all froze, spinning around; Tila shrieking drunkenly behind us. “There’s something I need to tell you all.”
“It’s about an ability that I have.”
“I think I’m psychic.”
Okay, I did not see that one coming.
Mazda was the first to speak up. “Why?”
The one word was blunt, she didn’t believe Emilia. Really, none of us did. But that didn’t stop our curiosity from peaking as the girl blew through a rather ridiculous explanation of her supposed abilities.
“You see, one day at camp I had a dream that I stubbed my toe; then the next morning I woke up and stubbed my toe! It’s been happening more and more.”
“Stubbing your toe?” Sophie looked confused.
“No,” Emilia shook her head, “seeing things before they happen.”
I’m not very good at awkward situations. I don’t know how to handle them with grace, so instead I did the first thing that came to mind, which was to say, “Oh, that’s nice. I’m tired, so I’m going to bed.”
“Me too.” Maxine squeaked and we ran out of there like lightning was coming down around us. Our teacher, Mrs. Oble, gave us the stink eye. We were supposed to have been in bed five minutes ago. Ooh, five minutes! Knix joined us soon after, panting from sprinting down the hall away from the crazy-hall-monitor-guard-man whom our school had hired to watch us—or trap us—I wonder…
“What happened?” We both asked, and she pulled at the ends of her hair, frowning.
“Well, after you left, Emilia went to take a shower.”
“And, nothing, we finished watching the show.”
“What about the whole psychic thing?”
“Oh, right, yeah. That was strange.” She shrugged. “Do you think she’s really psychic? Do you think she can read my mind?”
“Yes.” Maxine and I both said at the same time.
“I hope not, if she told Mazda what I was thinking I would feel really bad.”
“What were you thinking?”
“That I didn’t particularly like her shirt.”
And that was the end of it. We didn’t talk about the conversation again and Emilia never did bring it up a second time. Is she psychic? I don’t really know; she left our school before we could find out. All I can say is that her story left her a place amongst the averages. Were we popular for it? No. Are we popular now? No. But that does not—and will not—stop me from telling you these useless stories about are lives.
Until tomorrow my friends! Forever and Average,