Renaissance Online's second serial story, "Dear Dreadful Book" will appear over the next four months, concluding with the November 1999 issue.
SHARON E. SVENDSEN, an English teacher and writing instructor, is a contributing writer to Renaissance Online Magazine. She makes her home in Bremerton, Washington.
Dear Dreadful Book
SHARON E. SVENDSEN
I would rather flunk out - I would rather not graduate at all - than invite Aunt Lizzy to my graduation party. I would rather have some evil Nazi yank out all of my toenails. I would rather lie naked in a snow bank during a blizzard and have ice cubes dropped on me - one by one - until I shivered myself to death. I would rather go out on a date with Lardbutt Douglass. I would rather transform myself into a big green monster, or get a hideous black rattlesnake tattooed across my forehead. I would rather find a yellow jacket hive in my bedroom closet. I would rather wear a perfume that smells like Grandpa Ed's awful German cheese - the kind that you can't stand to be in the same room with. I would rather pick up ten gallons of wormy poochie poop with my bare hands. I would rather walk barefoot through a field full of gushy slugs. I would rather eat nothing but Spam for a month - - two months. I would rather have the flu and barf on my best friend. I would rather give a speech about feminine hygiene to an audience full of cute boys. I would rather be sold into slavery. I would rather sneeze fifty times at a quiet concert. I would rather do a belly dance on top of the tables at a meeting of my high school's PTA. I would rather mow my parents' lawn in the pouring rain for the next fifty years. I would rather be a window washer on the World Trade Tower. I would rather munch down disgusting bugs and insects. I would rather topple end over end in a car wreck and end up with permanent scars. But Mom has made it clear: No Lizzy, no party. I have to have the party. I've invited everyone.
I'm so mad at Mom! I hate her! How could she do this to me? Lizzy the Lezzie! Gross! I just won't do it!!! I'd rather die.
Sid said it's gross, too, and Marcy said, "Gag me with a spoon." Right on! What am I going to do? If I invite Aunt Liz then, of course, I have to invite her girlfriend, her partner, Rose - Rosie the Superjock. Ugh! What if they start kissing each other? In front of all my friends? I will just freak out!
I can't believe that stupid, ugly slut of a Rita. Sid and I were sitting in the lunch room and Rita overheard us arguing about going to the James Bond movie. So she comes up beside him, leans over (God and Sid and everybody else could see her boobs! And smell? Geez. She must take showers in that cheap perfume.) and she says - with this big slut - slime smile - "I like James Bond, Sid." "Whoa," he says, "a woman with good taste." Taste! As if she even knew what it was. And he's looking her up and down. Give me a break. Can you imagine coming on to another woman's boyfriend like that? What a scuzball. I bet she would like to have a nice boyfriend like Sid. But she can't have him. He's mine. Besides, Sid is really too intelligent to fall for that stuff.
We had a talent show at school today. Nick Sheffield sang this song, "If I Loved You." I think it's from some big musical or something. WOW. He sounded wonderful. He is going to be a big star someday. He is so handsome. I almost said cute, but there's a difference between handsome and cute. I mean, Sid, he's cute. He's this big (not fat) teddy bear kind of guy and you just want to hug him. But Nick Sheffield is handsome. He's got the kind of looks that you just want to sit there and sigh. Sigh.
Lux did this tap dance number. She was so cute. There's that word again. But, well, she was cute. God, she's good. She was wearing this kind of World War II type dress and she had her hair all funny like they did back then. She was adorable.
But the big surprise was Lardbutt Douglass. We were all kind of snickering when he came out because, well, he just looks so dorky. He's not really all that fat, but what fat he has is all in his little round face and his enormous butt. And those stupid - looking glasses. Yuk. So he looks kind of funny anyway, then he brings out this clarinet. Trina and I looked at each other and we just about split. It was so phallic. And he looked so serious. But he started to play and everybody got all quiet. He is really good. He played this song that was sad and beautiful. I don't know what the name of it was, but the way he played it made me want to cry. We all just went wild with applause when he was finished. I mean, we all knew he was really smart - he's got like his choice of scholarships - and we all knew he played in the band, but we didn't know he was so good on the clarinet. It was a real surprise.
Sid is still being a butt head about James Bond. I've been wanting to see "Love Showers" for ages and ages.
Rita got her hair frosted. Funny? I just about fell off my chair. Instead of looking cool, she looks like a little old lady. Lux and I were laughing about it when Rita walks by and says, "Hi, Cindy, how's your Aunt Liz?" Bitch! Why do I have to have such a freako, weirdo aunt??!? Lux told me that Rita went all the way with Roger Wodehouse, and she did it more than once. Lux said that Rita got an abortion last summer. What a sleaze Rita is.
Sid won't give in on James Bond. I told him I was going to see "Love Showers" or nothing. He said, "Okay. Nothing is fine. I can put in that new carburetor." As if! I just said, "I want to see 'Love Showers'." He shrugged and said, "Maybe you should go with someone else." Maybe I should!
I can't believe it. I still can't believe it. This just can't happen. I came around the corner at school today and Sid was kissing Rita - right there in the hall. In front of everybody. My mouth just fell open. I almost had a heart attack. It was just such a shock and then I felt so hurt. I wouldn't let Sid know that, though. He came up for air and he saw me, then - instead of blushing or apologizing, he just laughed. Can you imagine? He laughed! The stupid pig. And Rita's standing there smirking at me. The bitch! Why did it have to be Rita of all people? I just ripped the chain with his class ring off of my neck. My neck still hurts where the chain broke. And I threw the ring - chain and all - right in his face! "Hey," he said, "you could have put my eye out." I wish I had!
Trina, Lux and I went to see "Love Showers". I guess it was all right. Rosilind Stone was really beautiful and John Jacobs was a real hunk, but I was too bummed out. Nick Sheffield was at "Love Showers". He was by himself. I wonder why? He is such a dream boat. Anyone would be glad to go out with him. "Hi ladies," he said. "Did you like the movie?" We said "Yes." I've always thought he was really cute. I wonder what it would be like to go out with him? Interesting... After the show, when Trina and I were waiting for Lux to come out of the bathroom, we were standing a little ways away and we saw Sid and Rita come out of the James Bond movie. They were laughing and he had his arm around her. We pretended we didn't notice them. How could my Sid go out with such a loser?
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