My Amy is a teacher…

For those of you who don’t know who Amy is I will give you a brief recap. I went to a garage sale earlier this summer and came across the most beautiful woman in the world, with the most beautiful… um.. tank top I’ve ever seen. I decided to call her Amy because she looks like the actress Amy Adams who played Lois Lane in the recent Superman Movie ‘Man of Steele’.

Anyway I couldn’t stop thinking about her so I wrote her a secret admirer letter, explaining how I’d seen her at the garage sale and I thought she was beautiful and that I was not yet 18 (plus I left my cell number). After leaving it in her mailbox I felt really dumb and didn’t expect to get a text or a call. And I didn’t get either, for like a month. Then, standing in Jane’s bedroom, (I was there to pick up my mom’s dog Xena) I got this text:

-Hi. I got your letter in my mailbox. It was sweet.

I had no choice but to explain the situation to Jane of course, because I was standing in her bedroom dumbfounded and in shock. She’s a really good listener, and she doesn’t even mind that I call her Jane (although I haven’t told her the real reason I nicknamed her Jane, ‘Plane Jane’). It took me like an hour to finally send a text reply to Amy. Jane and I went through a million possible replies but I was too nervous to be satisfied with any of them. Nothing seemed quite right. Then finally the winning reply was:

-wanna go for coffee?
-I’ve got the kids
-you have to watch your kids all day?
-no, my sister’s kids. I don’t have any of my own.
I’m a teacher, don’t work in summer saves money if I watch them.
-Cool.

It took a few hours for me to stop feeling shaky after that AWESOME text conversation.
Jane didn’t have to babysit her little sister that day because her mom was home so we went to the mall together to buy me some clothes that actually fit me (I un-grew all of my clothes – lost weight this summer). Did I mention my mom gave me money for all the house cleaning I’ve been doing lately? It was enough to buy back a new x-box and I’m sure she expected I would do just that, but I wasn’t fully decided.

Now I’m glad I didn’t spend the money because Jane and I picked out some really great looking clothes for me. All clothes look great when you’re skinny. Ya, you heard me, I totally lost weight, very much so. And I couldn’t eat almost all day yesterday, I was running on some ‘Amy’s Text Replies’ high so I wasn’t even hungry. I couldn’t believe she actually texted me! As a young guy you can’t imagine what a boost that is to my ego. She’s so hot! Anyway this post is getting long but I’ll keep you all updated…

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An Unexpected Text Reply

I didn’t get much sleep last night. I went to bed after 2am (after Jane’s party) and my mom was up at 6am, freaking out about Xena being gone.

So needless to say I had to go to Jane’s house again today to pick up Xena. I waited until it seemed like a decent hour, 9:30 am, then headed over to her house.
The front door was open, with just the screen door closed and I could smell something delicious baking inside. Jane’s mother was home. She said she was making chocolate banana pancakes. I’d never heard of chocolate banana pancakes but what a brilliant idea! My tummy was rumbling. But the text messages wouldn’t stop beeping on my phone, my mom asking if Xena was safe for the millionth time, so I had to get an answer for her immediately. Jane’s mom said I could go downstairs and see if Jane was awake.

Jane’s bedroom door was slightly open when I got there. Xena was sleeping with her, tucked right under Jane’s chin like a stuffed animal. I watched them for a moment, admiring how pretty Jane looked when asleep, and how even more rodent-like Xena looked while sleeping.

Xena noticed me first and jumped out of Jane’s arms, waking her.
“Oh hi.” She said, blinking at me.
I expected her to panic and yell for me to get out. Girls don’t like to be looked at first thing in the morning. But she only smiled and sat up slowly. She was wearing a tank top and pajama bottoms. I didn’t feel the same way, seeing her in a tank top, as I did seeing Amy in one, but it still made me smile, seeing her dishevelled hair and glazed over eyes. It made me want to cuddle up with her and go back to sleep, and not just because I was so tired, but because she looked so cuddle-able.
My cell phone beeped again.

“My mom’s been texting me like crazy.” I said, looking at my phone. “She’s been worried about Xena.”

“Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t have your number to call you. I let her out to pee and we fed her some …. Caleb? Are you okay?” Jane was talking to me but I was unable to speak. I was looking at my texts, most of which were from my mom, but one of them…. was from Amy….

I don’t ever want to grow up

My mom is asleep when I get home. She called me around midnight on my cell phone while I was at the party at Jane’s house and I convinced her that I was safe, just down the street, and there was nothing to worry about, so she let me stay. I’m not sure what time it is now but I think its almost 2 am. I can’t believe those kids stayed up so late, especially the toddler.

My house is like a tomb as I walk through the living room area where my mom is asleep on the couch. I guess she was trying to wait up for me. Just earlier this evening I was envious of how she was out for a late night movie with her friends and I had no friends. Now I feel bad for her. I’m all she’s got really, I’m the one she comes home to and tells about her day. I’m actually proud of her for not hooking up with another guy as soon as dad left. She’s been doing the best she can keeping in touch with friends, its not easy at her age, parents are always too busy for fun.

I don’t think I ever want to grow up. I just want to play and not worry about working a job I hate, paying bills I can’t afford and facing a divorce of my own. I have a 50% chance of getting a divorce if I get married. The thought is depressing. The house feels too lonely, far too quiet. Then I realize why. I forgot Xena in Jane’s bedroom!

Last Night – Part Five (All Fun Things Must Come to an End)

The lights go out in the basement and it is ‘night time’ for the village. There is a round of giggles in the dark as the kids crouch in their make-shift homes. Jane has provided the lanky boy with a flashlight (she’s very practical) but even with that in hand he manages to trip on everything and take forever getting to his victim. The kids however love the suspense and enjoy the kidnapping game.

When he chooses one of the girls she screams bloody murder. I’m surprised none of the mothers come flying down the stairs to see what’s going on, but the folk music is still playing loudly upstairs and the parents’ voices have gotten even more rowdy. I think some vodka may be involved.

With the kidnapping accomplished the lights return and my dart competition begins. Everyone takes a turn except for me and Jane (King and Queen of this Kingdom). I even heroically slay the dragon with a hockey stick sword to free the kidnapped child from the evil Ring Bearer’s dungeon, so she can also attend the dart contest. They all take turns throwing and the closest dart to the middle is one of the boys (who looks exactly like his younger brother and I confuse them). We’ve all forgotten about the toddler but Jane says she must get a try too.

“Throw it that way Emma.” Jane says, helping her hold the plastic dart. Emma gives a hefty throw, reaching far behind her before letting the dart fly forward. It lands smack dab in the bull’s eye.

The room erupts with loud cheering. Emma squeals and jumps up and down.
“I did id! I DID ID! I DID ID!” She is so happy it brings tears to my eyes. I stop the cheering when I realize that its so late at night I’m getting emotional from being too tired.

“There is to be a celebration in the land, held in honour of Emma, to present her with her reward for winning the dart competition.” I decree. “I have decided to award her the ring of power, which will be, from here on, no longer evil but good.”

Everyone cheers and I appoint dancers, music makers and jugglers for the event. Soon we’re in full festival mode and just when it isn’t possible to have more fun than we’re having, two of the mom’s come down stairs to announce that its time to go home. The party is over.

Last Night – Part Four (Let’s Play!)

I slip off my LOTR ring and hand it to lanky kid.

“I’m the king and you’re the villagers. You all have a job…” I look around the basement “and you all need homes. Before we start I want everyone to push all the toys on the floor into the middle of the room.”

They all rush to do my bidding. Jane helps them and gives commands when necessary.
“Jane will be the Queen.” I announce.
“Who’s Jane?” Maegan asks.
“I mean Leena. Leena will be the Queen.”
Jane (aka Leena) stops pushing a doll house to the center of the room and looks at me. We lock eyes for a moment.
“But I want to be the Queen.” Maegan whines, breaking the spell.
“You’re going to be the merchant.” I tell her. She looks at me like she’s trying to decide if that sounds cooler than being a Queen or not.
“Everyone has to build up their village homes around the edges of the room.” I say to the others. “But you must buy stuff from Maegan, or trade, you can’t just take it from the pile in the middle of the room. She’s the village merchant.”
Maegan’s eyes light up.

Everyone has questions about how to play ‘Villager’ but I hold up my hand to silence them.
“I’ve decreed that you must all build homes to sleep in. If you have further questions for the King you are required to bring a dessert offering before my throne…” I look around the basement. “Queen Leena, you will now be known as Queen Jane, can you get me a throne?”
Jane nods and disapears into her room, returning with a chair and a blanket to cover it. She sets up the throne for me and I have a seat.

In no time many tasty desserts from upstairs are brought before me, and the questions asked are as follows, “Am I allowed to have a pretend pet dragon that’s invisible?” “Can I be the village idiot?” and “Will there be a battle against the trolls?”

Jane stands loyally by my side, stopping petty fights as they arrise, mostly bickering in the ‘market place’. I spot a magnetic dart board in the pile of toys that no one has snatched up yet.
“Queen Jane.” I say to her. “Please have someone bring that dart board to the palace and write up invitations to all the homes in my Kingdom. Every villager is invited to attend the royal dart throwing competition tomorrow morning.”

Immediately everyone starts talking about the dart throwing competition, even though they haven’t recieved their invitations yet. I shake my head at their poor roleplaying skills. Jane nods and goes to her room for paper and markers.

Lanky kid is looking bored as the others build their homes. He has been pretending he is invisible but is now unmotivated.
“Ring bearer!” I summon him. “Come here.”
When he gets closer I lower my voice to a whisper.
“Tonight, when the lights go out and all the villagers are asleep for the night I want you to kidnap one of them and trap them in your dungeon.”
He looks excited, but unsure.
“But I don’t have a dungeon.” He whispers back.
“Then make one!” I dismiss him and he runs off.

Last Night – Part Three (One King to Rule Them All)

ring

The Saga continues: My night at Jane’s house, attending a family celebration unlike any I, an only child, have ever attended before.

Maegan is pulling on my arm, “play Barbies with me! Play Barbies with me! You promised!” and the other kids are looking suspiciously at me. They kind of look similar, three of the boys and two of the girls, probably all from the same parents. Then there’s a really skinny awkward kid that has quite large teeth and a perma-grin and there’s a two or three year old toddler that is still in training diapers.

They all talk to me at once, with their high pitched yelling voices. “Why are you here? Are you Leena’s boyfriend?” “How old are you?” “Did you get my note in the mailbox?” Xena is shaking violently in my arms at all this yelling.

“Whoa! Wait, everyone stop talking.” I say. “The first person who brings me a brownie, or a peace of chocolate cake from upstairs, will get to wear my magic Lord of The Rings ring that can make you invisible.”

There is a second of hesitation, as my words hang in the silence. Then they’re off! Running towards the narrow staircase, pushing and clawing and scrambling their way up. I am left with Jane, who gives me a questioning look, but then a little smile escapes her and we give each other a high five. The toddler has been left behind too and Xena barks at her.

“Why don’t we put Xena in my room?” Jane says to me and to the toddler who is reaching her chubby hands at Xena. “I will lock her in there so the kids won’t accidentally step on her.”

As she heads for a closed door a loud rumbling sound makes me duck involuntarily. I’m worried the cieling will collapse until I realize its the kids, racing down the stairs and pounding their feet like elephants. Their eager bodies spill out at the bottom of the basement stairwell and run towards me, chocolatey hands outstretched. The tall and lanky kid with large teeth reaches me first, the others bang into one another, tripping, squishing brownies and dropping pieces of chocolate cake on the floor.

“He reached me first.” I say, pointing at the tall kid. There is a chorus of complaints of why it isn’t fair. “But!” I say “the ring is evil.”
Everyone stops compaining and listens. I try and think fast.
“Whoever has the ring is invisible and no one can see him, so he can steal from your homes.”

“What homes?” The lanky kid asks.

“Who wants to play medieval village?” I announce, putting my hand up to get a show of hands.

All hands go up instantly for playing ‘Village’, a game that I just made up on the spot, no questions asked. I look down at this group of eager children, practically begging for a leader to tell them what to do. I will be their King and rule them all. Now the party is about to begin.

Last Night – Part Two (Invited In)

dwarfparty

I walk up to Jane’s door and ring the doorbell. It shouldn’t surprise me that nobody hears it ring. I take a deep breath and knock on the door with my fist, as loudly as I dare.

A barking starts up from inside the house and Xena stiffens in my arms. Its Hasslehoff Huskey and I have no doubt Xena remembers that bark. The talking inside is interrupted now by shouts of dialect that I don’t understand and the door suddenly opens. I expect to see a rough looking Viking man with a horned helmet on his head and an angry scowl on his face but Meagan opens the door (Jane’s 7 year old sister), her hair wild and her face flushed. Her eyes go wide when she sees me

“YOU CAME! You got my note!” She runs off, calling for her sister. Hasselhoff Huskey barks at Xena a few times and is taken away by a very tiny elderly lady who looks like she’s from the “old country”. She is strong though, handling HH with no problem.

“Who is it?” A gruff voice shouts in a thick accent. It is a short, biker-looking man. I was right about the angry scowl, but not the horned helmet. The music and shouting continue once again, not only men’s voices but women’s too. The women’s voices are sharp, piercing the eardrum, especially when they are laughing. I’m not sure what they are celebrating but I spot two large tables laid to the brim with food, lots and lots of food.

“Who are you?” The man asks accusingly. I presume this is Jane’s dad, the head of the household.

“I’m a friend on Jane’s.”

“We are busy here, what is wrong with you boy?” This causes an outburst of laughter from the group of adults in the kitchen/living room area. Jane appears, flustered and flanked by a group of like 10 children.

“Dad. This is… my friend.” Apparently she doesn’t remember my name, but I don’t remember telling her my name last time our dogs were in a death battle.

“There is too many in my house!” Jane’s dad yells and there is another outburst of laughter in reply, they all talk at once and laugh…

too much in the house hahaha
the fattest must go out
open the windows!
You will not fit the fattest through the windows!
It is you who is the fattest
no it is you!
No, I am the fattest!

All of this said in English, for my sake I guess.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I heard this much group laughter, in real life, not just on a stand-up comedy bit on youtube.

A plump woman comes over to the door and pulls me inside by the arm, making me almost drop Xena.
“There is never too many to be a guest in our house!” The plump lady says. “I am Leena’s mother, it is nice to meet you. What is your name?”

“Caleb.” I say. Jane’s dad walks off, defeated and grumbling, as the others continue to jostle him, ‘here comes the fattest of the house! If he goes out then there will be room for three more people to come inside! Hahaha’

“Leena take him to play.” Jane’s mom shoves me forward. I’m so out of my element, but I love it. I’ve never had a big family, or a loud family or a family from the Old Country. Or much of a family at all.

The kids follow Jane and I down a narrow stairwell which leads into a half-finished basement. There are toys EVERYWHERE. The house is a huge mess both upstairs and downstairs, its staggering and liberating at the same time. You could never make a mess or ever be expected to clean one up, in this basement! I love it!