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When I Was Anna - 14

by Carlito

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. She's agreed to meet up with Micah after a marching band competition and she doesn't know how she's going to salvage the relationship after that point. She opened up to her sister and they're going to come up with a plan.

# 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


Coming home from my weekend with May, my nerves about Micah are still very much present. I trust that May is going to help me, but I still can’t help but feel it’s all going to blow up in my face.

We got back last night and May and I have a phone date scheduled for this evening so we can discuss a plan in more detail. That way she has time to mull everything over and I have time to keep panicking and try to get my homework done.

I’ve kept to myself since we got back, only texting my friends that it was a fun weekend and I’ll see them on Monday.

I do manage to get most of my homework finished before my phone rings at 7:30 on the dot.

“See, I told you you could count on me,” May says as soon as I pick up.

“Like I would ever doubt you,” I joke.

“Okay, I’ve been doing some thinking about this whole situation.”

I silently beg that she has something good.

“You have your first competition this weekend, right? And you said you would meet him after a competition.”

“Correct, but I didn’t specify which competition.”

“That’s good. I mean, we can do it this weekend, or we can wait for the next one.”

I bite the inside of my lip. This weekend feels so soon. “Tell me the plan first?”

“What I’m thinking is that you’ll need to lay a little ground work and prep him a little bit. Like I’m excited for this meet up but I’m nervous about what you’re going to think after you meet me.”

“He would just say I’m sure you’re great or something nice.”

She thinks for a second. “Just tell him something to that effect, that you’re excited, but that you may not be who he thinks you are, or that you want him to come into it with an open mind.”

“I don’t want him to be suspicious.”

“Right, but I think you need to lay a little ground work now that when you meet he may be a little surprised is all. That you’re still very much you, but the person he has in his head about what you look like and everything may not be accurate.”

“Should I tell him I haven’t been entirely honest with him?”

She thinks for a second again. “If you want to. If you go that route, I would wait to do that until the week of.”

My stomach starts to twist in a way that’s become all too familiar for me.

“So this week or next?” She prompts me.

“What do you think?”

“I can’t make all the decisions, you know.” I can almost hear the smile in her voice. “Does this coming weekend feel too soon or do you just want to rip the band-aid off?”

I bury my head in a pillow. “Why did I even tell him a marching band competition? I want to be able to focus and enjoy them, not worrying about this Micah stuff. And there will be so many people around. What was I thinking?”

“Changing the plan now will result in another lie, that you couldn’t get a ride or you don’t want to for some dumb reason, so I think you have to stick with it. But that’s the next part of my plan. First, lay the ground work. Second, the actual meeting.”

I grimace.

“On whatever day that is, you will scope out a good private meeting spot when you arrive that day and let him know that’s where you want to meet. After you’re doing competing, when you have a little down time, is when you will get away from your friends and do this meeting.”

I’m going to throw up.

“And then I what? Ride the bus back with him after he hates me and tells everyone about the stupid thing I did?”

“Do it at a competition where you can either take the bus home or you can get a ride home. Then if it goes well, and it might, you can take the bus home together. If it doesn’t go the way you want it to,you get a ride with a friend or you have mom come pick you up.”

“But what do I even say? Hi my name is actually Summer, sorry?”

“If that’s what feel natural, then it’s perfect.”

“And then what?” I moan.

“You talk to him. You answer his questions. You call me later so we can talk about how we continue to move forward.”

“My friends don’t even know, May. What do I say to them?”

“Just tell them the truth. They’ll understand, and if they don’t they’re not your friends. Tell them now or tell them after, it’s up to you, but tell them.”

I wish I never would have done this. Here I thought I could get to know Micah this way without the awkwardness of people knowing we’re talking and having opinions about it and knowing if it all goes wrong, but everyone is going to find out anyway. I’m so stupid.

“So are you clear on the plan?” She asks. “First, lay the ground work and decide if it’s this competition or the next one. Second, find a secluded place and just be honest.”

“Yes,” I groan.

“You can do this, and I’m here for you. This is not the end of the world. This is not something that’s unredeemable. It’s going to be okay.”



Welcome to Chat With Me!

Sunday, 08:04PM - You’re chatting with: MICAH TURNER

Micah (08:04PM): Hey, we haven’t talked in a while. Everything okay?

Micah (08:04PM): First competition is on Saturday if you weren’t aware ;)

Anna (08:07PM): Hey! Sorry I’ve been a little MIA. My sister came to visit this weekend :)

Micah (08:09PM): Oh that’s cool, what’d you do with your sister?

Anna (08:10PM): No a whole lot, just hung out, talked about college, you, school, normal sister stuff…

Micah (08:11PM): Me you say?

Anna (08:11PM): Maybe a little :p

Micah (08:12PM): What did she have to say about me?

Anna (08:13PM): Good things! I hadn’t really told her about you yet, but she was happy :)

Micah (08:14PM): She didn’t know about us talking? I thought you told her everything.

Anna (08:15PM): I do tell her everything! But this felt more like an in-person convo you know? I wanted to wait until it was a good time. She’s been really busy and we haven’t been able to even talk on the phone that much.

Micah (08:17PM): Makes sense.

Anna (08:18PM): I’ve been dying to tell her about it :)

Anna (08:18PM): And I’ll have to look at my calendar for Saturday. If I’m not able to make it, when is the next one?

Micah (08:19PM): The weekend after that.

Anna (08:20PM): Okay cool. I told her we would be meeting up soon and she’s excited to hear about how that goes :)

Micah (08:21PM): I’m excited to see how that goes too ;)

Micah (08:22PM): But either this competition or next?

Anna (08:23PM): I think so. I’ll have to make sure I have a ride and everything, but I’ll let you know :)

Micah (08:23PM): Okay cool.

Anna (08:25PM): What’s been happening with you?

Micah (08:26PM): Usual stuff. Band. School. But I’ve been getting sick more lately. I’m trying to figure what that’s about.

Anna (08:27PM): Sick like?

Micah (08:27PM): Crohn’s sick.

Anna (08:27PM): :(

Micah (08:28PM): It’s a little too early to know exactly what’s going on, but my current treatment regime isn’t working as well as it’s supposed to. I’m seeing my doctor soon so they can run some tests and then we’ll figure out if I need surgery or something.

Anna (08:29PM): Yikes! Is surgery likely?

Micah (08:31PM): I’ll probably need surgery at some point. I’m hoping to put it off as long as possible though. It would be really inconvenient to have to do that during marching season.

Anna (08:32PM)): Are you nervous? I would be.

Micah (08:33PM): I don’t know. I’m not trying to sound brave or macho or anything. I don’t know if I’ll have to do it or what exactly it’ll entail. I’ve never had surgery before so I don’t really know what to expect.

Anna (08:35PM): I’ve never had surgery either. I’m sure they’d prepare you a lot for it, but still. Scary.

Micah (08:37PM): Yeah, I’m hoping that whatever is going on can be fixed with a med change or by tweaking my diet again but we’ll see. I don’t really want to give up more foods but it beats surgery I guess.

Anna (08:38PM): And here I complain about having no hair.

Micah (08:39PM): It’s not a contest :p I don’t know how it would feel to be a girl with no hair. That’s tough for a totally different reason.

Anna (08:39PM): Yeah, but I’m not in pain.

Micah (08:40PM): Physical pain maybe. Are you trying to pretend there’s no emotional pain?

Anna (08:41PM): No I guess not

Anna (08:41PM): Will you keep me posted about the tests and stuff and what you find out?

Micah (08:43PM): Of course! Maybe I’ll have an update for you when we meet up ;)

Anna (08:43PM): :p

Micah (08:44PM): Or before then. Who knows :p

Anna (08:46PM): I really hope you don’t have to have surgery.

Micah (08:47PM): Me too

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421 Reviews

Points: 16643
Reviews: 421

Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:28 am
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Tuckster wrote a review...

Hi again Carli! Tuck back with another review for you today. Let's get right into it!

Overall, I feel like there's not a ton to comment on in this chapter that I haven't mentioned before (specifically giving some more environmental and body language clues in dialogue as a way to add some extra description), but pacing-wise this chapter was definitely slower than most. There was a lot of talking and hashing-out plans in this chapter, and there was little else going on, so it was hard to keep my mind from wandering.

I would agree with Elinor that your story as a whole oscillates between fast-paced, high drama to slow-paced, low drama. The past few chapters have been more on the slow side and centered around a single plot point, as opposed to the chapters before that which had a lot of action and multiple subplots. I think a way to even out the oscillation here would be to change the way the subplots interact with the main plot so that they're not both spiking at the same time, if possible. I'm spitballing a little here, but I think that'd help to resolve some of your issues.

Another comment I have for you is that Micah and Anna seem to have very similar, if not identical, writing styles, which makes sense considering that there's one person writing both of them. You're at a slight disadvantage here when it comes to painting a picture of Micah since the majority of their interaction is online, so it's harder to give him personality nuances and other such things that would be easier to slip in if their interactions were face-to-face.

Hopefully these comments were helpful to you, and I apologize I couldn't offer a ton more! As always, if you have any questions, just let me know and I'd be happy to answer them for you. Happy RevMo!



Carlito says...

Thank you again!! <3

Very helpful as always! I didn't even consider that they both sound the same in text and that's a super good point!

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87 Reviews

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Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:49 pm
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Gnomish wrote a review...

Hello! I know I haven't been reviewing consistently, but just because I can't find anything to review! I really am liking the direction of this story! One thing I would say, is that it seems to be slowing down a bit. I feel like the last few chapters are all pretty similar. That being said, I like the conversations with Summer and Michah.

Waiting for the next chapter!

Carlito says...

Thank you so much!! I really appreciate your comments! You totally don't need to feel pressured to review/comment on each portion. <3

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Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:44 pm
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Elinor wrote a review...

Hey Carlito,

I don't have too much else to say about this chapter that I didn't tell you in the previous two. The one thing I will say that I've noticed is that the chapters that you've posted seem to oscillate from a lot happening to not much happening at all. While, in a story, some plot moments are of course going to be more significant than others, everything should feel like it's moving the story forward. Here, there's a hinting at something deeper going on. Micah has been extraordinarily patient with her and sooner or later she's going to run out of excuses. If I were him I'd be a lot more distant in this conversation, especially since he's dealing with Chron's. I like the idea of him icing her, and then Summer having to overanalyze why he's acting different.

Just a thought! Excited for you to post more. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!


Carlito says...

Thank you again!! <3
I can definitely see what you mean with oscillating from a lot happening to not much happening. I plot with beats and I always figure out the big moments first and then fill in the rest :P But definitely something I can tweak!

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354 Reviews

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Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:29 pm
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Liberty says...

Ahhh, great chapter. :smt023


;) I can't wait to see what happens next! *squeals then runs away*

Carlito says...

Thank you Liberty <33

Liberty says...

Your welcome! ^^

So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install a lovely bookcase on the wall.
— Roald Dahl