I don’t remember exactly when I got into this whole "egg" situation, but it seems an awfully long time ago. Like, "being in the womb" a long time ago. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration. But you know, it’s like… when Ms. Trunchface embarrasses you in front of the whole class — and all the moments in your life leading up to that fateful day when you walked into English Lit — somehow start to de-attach from your life’s stock of memories, and blur into the distance until they disappear over the horizon? And, from this moment on, your life begins from the moment that Ms. Trunchface caught you making a face at hot Joey, and made you stand up and tell the whole class why you were making that kind of face at hot Joey’s back, when she knows full well that’s his nickname because he looks like Leonardo di Caprio in Romeo and Juliet, except, like, you know, meaner. And to be honest, you’re not entirely sure if you haven’t caught her looking at hot Joey that way during tests and stuff sometimes, too? Yeah. It’s kind of like, that long ago.
So here we are. Me, fat Linda (who, for some unfathomable reason has decided that we’re best friends just because I got put next to her in Chemistry and we had to share a bunsen burner), and hot Joey. Yes, THE hot Joey. Hot Joey who can’t quite look me in the eye, and it’s definitely not because he has this perfect little mound of floppy hair that falls in front of his face just so and sometimes blocks his vision. He just looks at me and his cheeks flush and then he looks away. And then MY cheeks start to flush, except I don’t go a soft, warm glow, like he does. I speed on ahead into full on beetroot. I think it’s a brown people thing. I’ve never been able to just blush, you know, like in a cute way. It’s straight up purple all over, and “why are your eyes watering?” So, here I am, thirteen years old, boobs about to come in, stuck in a bloody giant "egg" costume with nothing but my mortification (and Fat Linda) for company, awkwardly staring at hot Joey’s glowing face. And fat Linda is awkwardly staring at me, which makes the whole thing so much more obvious (this is why we’ll never actually be best friends, only science friends, owing to Mr. Spleen the Chemistry teacher making everyone sit in alphabetical order)… and I completely forget my line.
I mean, let’s be honest. I only signed up for the school play because Mr. Spleen (who despite his love of Chemistry once — almost — got into RADA and probably would have if he hadn’t gone in to audition right after Tilda Swinton) — true story, that, he talks about it all the time... Anyway, Mr. Spleen passed around sign up sheets for the school play, and as Linda shoved it in front of me, nestled right above her scratchy scrawl, and right below Penelope’s obnoxiously large joined up handwriting with extra curls on the y’s and stuff, was his name, written in that dead cool all capital letters but really small handwriting thing that he does. You know, like Kirk Cobain’s handwriting. So before I knew it, there I am casually writing my name right under Linda’s. And I’m really not trying to copy his handwriting, but it sort of awkwardly looks a bit like his all the same.
And that’s why I’m sitting here, strapped into fluorescent foam padding, playing “blue egg number two” in Mr. Spleen’s “avant garde” interpretation of Old McDonald Had a Farm. Hot Joey, of course, is playing Young McDonald, except Mr. Spleen says Young McDonald is really Old McDonald but nobody realizes until the end. And in the middle of all this fat Linda is poking me in the side, except I don’t feel it because all of the padding, and hot Joey is looking away— I mean, wouldn’t you, if some purple person strapped into a giant blue foam sponge ball was looking at you? —and I forget my bloody line. It’s literally the only line I have in the whole play. Linda has three lines because she’s blue egg number one. And Penelope has a whole monologue, of course. Actually, now that I think of it, hot Joey doesn’t have any lines either. Mr. Spleen calls him a “silent character,” and goes on this rant about something he almost learned when he almost got into RADA. So hot Joey just looks wistfully off into the distance the whole time, pushing hay about with his rake. Which, of course, is placed right next to the egg crate that me and Linda are wedged into, which is why I’ve turned purple and completely forgotten my bloody line.
I really didn't think it would end (and trust me, I’m not suicidal or anything, but my life pretty much is over after this moment) like this.
Just my luck.