Hello! If you're just tuning in or need a refresher, it's marching band season and Summer (drumline) has a crush on Micah (drum major), but she's too anxious to talk to him or tell her friends about it. Summer learned about an app called Chat With Me (you can only talk to people at your school and the conversations can't be tracked). They've been talking (except Summer is pretending to be someone named Anna) and they've started to grow closer. Summer is becoming more worried about their growing connection and how she's going to come clean, and she's agreed to meet up with Micah sometime in the future.
# signifies a scene break that will be a page break in the finished manuscript :)
This is draft 2, and I'm more interested in big picture comments than sentence level/grammar comments. Thanks for reading! <3
I think I’m in trouble. It’s been two days since Micah told me he would ask me on a date to get to know me better after we meet, and it’s all I’ve been able to think about.
A date. With Micah. Me.
He wants to go on a date with Anna.
When I started this whole thing, I never really had a clear picture in my head of how it was all going to end or how I would transition from Anna back to me, and now I’m really stuck.
In last period, my history teacher hands back the pop quizzes we took yesterday over a book we read about Native Americans. I read the book and enjoyed the book, but a big red D is written at the top of my paper. I slide my pencil case on top of the letter so no one that sits near me will see my bad grade, and look it over to see where I went so wrong. I’m already kicking myself because I made some really careless mistakes on questions that I know the correct answer to. I was too distracted, and I hate myself for that. I’m not going to be able to do the premed program at the University of Minnesota if I keep acting like this.
I think I need May. I’ve tried so hard not to bother her at school and figure out this Micah stuff on my own because for better or for worse, it’s mine. But I don’t want to mess this up any more than I already have.
I’m glad we don’t have rehearsal today after school. As soon as I get home, I shut myself in my room, and call May. I haven’t worked out exactly what I’m going to say or how I’m going to explain all of this to her, but hopefully that will all magically come to me as soon as I hear her voice.
She doesn’t answer and I check the text she sent me about good times for her to talk. She told me last weekend that Wednesday afternoons/evenings are good times.
I try again an hour later after Danielle gets home from school and after I’ve worked on a little homework. Voicemail again. I throw my phone onto my bed.
I really want to talk to her today. I want to hear about college and marching band, and I really want her advice about Micah.
I’m really starting to like Micah, and I really think there’s a chance we could be something, but it’s all so screwed up. How in the world am I going to go from hi my name is Anna to actually I’m Summer, you see me every day, do you still want to get to know me. He’s going to hate me, and he’s going to think I’m a total freak.
I think about working on my math homework, or maybe getting caught up in the weekly Humanities reading I’m always behind in, but I can’t bring myself to get off of my bed.
I’m already dreading what people would say if I told them what I’ve done - well, what did you think would happen when you started talking to him as “Anna” in the first place. And that’s just it. I didn’t think. When I made my profile, I didn’t think he would actually talk to me, and never in a million years did I imagine that it would progress to this point. I knew I’d have no trouble really liking him. I never thought he’d like me too.
My phone finally buzzes somewhere in the depths of my blankets. It’s May.
“Summer!” She yells once I answer the phone. “I’m so sorry! I didn’t hear my phone ring! How are you?” Her voice is too loud and too garbled to sound like my sister.
“Is everything okay?” I ask her.
“Of course! Why wouldn’t it be?”
“You don’t sound like yourself.”
“I might,” She giggles, “be a little tipsy.”
My stomach drops to my knees.
“Tipsy? May, it’s a Wednesday. It’s not even dinnertime yet.”
“Wasted Wednesday they say!”
“Don’t you have class tomorrow? Or rehearsal or something?”
She laughs again. “You sound like mom. I have it under control. Don’t worry.”
A lump lodges itself in my throat. This isn’t my sister, and I don’t know what to do.
“Maybe we should talk a different night?” I suggest quietly.
“Oh it’s fine! We can talk now! You’re the one that called! What’s up?” Before I can answer, May squeals and says, “Yes! You got it!” to someone on her end.
“Nothing that can’t wait. Go enjoy Wasted Wednesday.” I hang up before she can answer and put my phone on silent so I won’t have to answer if she calls back.
I flop back onto my bed under the covers, all of my clothes and wig still on. A few tears escape and hit my pillow. It’s stupid to get this emotional over May, she’s having fun in college. Whatever. But I need her. I don’t know who else to talk to and I can’t keep this all to myself anymore.
This is all going to fail. It’s all going to blow up in my face. It was stupid for me to even try this in the first place, knowing it was all going to end this way. There’s no way I can go from hi my name is Anna to hi my name is Summer without him thinking I’m insane.
I suppose the sensible thing to do now would be to just end it. Say I’m moving back to my home school or say I’m never going to feel comfortable meeting so lets stop talking.
I should end it. No harm no foul, no one knows. It’s over and done I learned my lesson, I won’t do it again, I’ll bumble through trying to talk to him in person and probably never get anywhere with that either.
But even that doesn’t sit well with me. I enjoy talking to him. It’s so easy to talk to him, easier than some of my friends. I don’t want to give that up. Do I really have to give that up? Especially when I can picture how it could be with Micah, once he knows who I am?
What am I supposed to do if I can’t talk to May?
I find my phone and see that she hasn’t tried to call me back, which doesn’t exactly surprise me. I don’t want to talk to Micah when I’m so out of sorts about what exactly I should do going forward.
The only person I could maybe talk to about this whole situation because I know she wouldn’t jump to conclusions or make a big deal out of it, is Bryn. I’ve never confided to her about anything other than my wig, so talking about a boy, let alone a boy we both know who I’m calling myself Anna to, would be totally uncharted territory.
But I suppose I could maybe get her advice without mentioning all the details? I wouldn’t have to say anything about what I’m actually doing, it could all be hypothetical maybe.
Maybe. Would she see through it? Would she assume that something is going on with me? Would she press for more details? Katya would. Camilla definitely. But Bryn? I might be safe with Bryn.
Summer: Hey Bryn! Weird question… Let’s say someone was talking to someone and the first someone wasn’t being 100% honest with the second someone.
I delete that. I don’t want to frame it as not being 100% honest. I mean, I’m not, but that’s not the point exactly.
Summer: Hey Bryn! Question for you. I’m trying to give someone advice and I’m stuck. Person A has been calling themselves Person C to talk to Person B (who they like). Person A now feels bad and doesn’t know how to precede and tell Person B the truth without Person B hating them. Advice?
I delete that too. Too convoluted and weird. Who would I possibly be giving advice to? She knows everyone I know. And I don’t want to lie to her about the reasoning for my question in the first place. It doesn’t sit well to lie about a lie you’re already telling.
After several more iterations and deletions, I settle on.
Summer: Hey Bryn! Weird question for you. Don’t look into it, everything is fine :p Say someone started talking to someone else under a pseudonym and the someone else only knew them as that pseudonym. How would the person go from the pseudonym to hey this is my real name, sorry, and you may know me in real life, double sorry, without the other person hating them?
I manage to hit send, but I hate myself as soon as I do. She’s going to be so confused and it’s not going to make any sense. And she’s going to assume something is going on with me because, well, why wouldn’t she, and this is probably a can of worms I shouldn’t have opened.
My stomach hurts and my eyes hurt and I wish I hadn’t said anything and had just waited for May, while also wishing that this whole problem could go away.
My phone dings less than five minutes later, sending a new wave of nervous energy throughout my body. I can’t look at it. She’s somehow going to know. She’s going to be so confused. This whole thing was a mistake.
But the longer I go without checking the message, the more I feel bad that she’s going to be more confused and more suspicious that here I asked for hypothetical advice and now I can’t even read and respond to her message.
My phone buzzes again, reminding me that there’s an unopened message waiting for me, so I chance a glance and see that the message is, in fact, from Bryn.
I try not to vomit as I unlock my phone and read.
Bryn: Hey! Interesting scenario! I’ve read some stuff kind of like this in various English classes, like The Prince and the Pauper or Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. They’re both different though because those are more about someone impersonating someone else, and this sounds like just being known by a different name? The Prince and the Pauper turned out okay for both of them once they switched back. No one died :p And it worked out for Viola at the end of Twelfth Night too because she ends up with Duke even after he finds out she was pretending to be a guy. So maybe if the person was honest with the other person and explained why they did it, the other person would be able to move past it?
Of course Bryn would consult the classics. She reads more than anyone I know. I have to read through her message three times in quick succession in order to actually grasp the meaning because I’m too distracted and my mind is spinning too much.
I don’t think she read too far into my inquiry. There’s no follow-up message about why I asked or making sure everything is okay even though I assured her that it is. Weird question. Simple answer. Bryn is amazing.
I send her back a simple thanks with a smiley face emoji and then lay back in my bed to mull. Come clean and explain why I did it and maybe he can move past it. I think I knew deep down that this is what I would ultimately need to do, but gosh it sounds close to impossible.
I know I can’t keep this going forever, but I’m also not ready for whatever this is to end.
Welcome to Chat With Me!
Friday, 03:04PM - You’re chatting with: MICAH TURNER
Micah (03:04PM): Hey, are you going to be at the game tonight?
Anna (03:07PM): I don’t think I’ll be able to :( The parents want to do a family dinner.
Micah (03:09PM): Ah, no worries. You haven’t seen the full show yet, have you?
Anna (03:10PM): No and I want to! When is your first competition?
Micah (03:11PM): We’re about a month out. We’re fine-tuning each movement and we’re starting to add in effects and stuff now. You’ll have to try and see it soon!
Anna (03:13PM): Definitely! And is this an attempt to try and meet me in real life? :p
Anna (03:16PM): Haha impatient Micah.
Micah (03:16PM): Can you blame me? :p
Anna (03:18PM): Perhaps after a competition.
Micah (03:19PM): We can meet?
Anna (03:19PM): Perhaps ;)
Micah (03:20PM): I’m going to hold you to that ;)
Anna (03:21PM): *internally panics* :p
Micah (03:23PM): I’ll say you must be Anna. I’m Micah. Nice to finally meet you. Care to join me for a casual hang so we can get to know one another better. Yeah? Sounds great. How’s Wednesday after school. And then you’ll say yes and that will be that. Easy. Nothing to worry about.
Anna (03:24PM): Haha if you say so!
Micah (03:26PM): Off to pre-game rehearsal. Talk to you later!