I recently read a blog I follow that mentioned the writing exercise of laying out a scene where you are speaking to yourself, thirty years ago. Unfortunately I'd be negatively aged at about 10, so I'm afraid that isn't going to fly..
However I thought I'd speak to myself 7 years ago. At thirteen I was just starting year nine (I was put up a year, god only knows why, I wasn't that bright!) and lonely, picked on and feeling awfully sad and sorry for myself. I would like to have known that it got better - lots better. So this is it! Get ready to meet 13 year old JulzPerri! (Sorry it's all dialogue but there really isn't much of a scene to set or describe!)
I approach the girl sitting alone on the bench by the lockers. As she looks up to see who it is, her face lights up with recognition, then a second later, confusion.
"Yep." I reply. Her face is still pockmarked with the last remnants of late chickenpox.
"Hm." she goes silent for a moment, "What are you doing now? Do you have friends?"
"Yeah a few, good ones, mostly those that you'll meet here."
"You're kidding me right? Everyone here is mean to me. Except the people that don't want to get involved, and other kids like me."
"Everyone? Don't worry, it'll change. This sounds awful, but at the moment you're your own worst enemy, it's not long though and you'll start making friends."
"Yeah I know I'm a bit of a loser. I don't know what to do about it though, I was born like this."
"Nah, it gets better."
"When do I move out of home?"
"Geez you're thinking about that already? When you're 17. It's sudden, you don't really plan it just is kind of offered to you, and you take them up on it."
"Cool. What do you do?"
"I work for Dad still, I did a couple of years of accounting, but now I do reception in his new office."
"He has a new office?"
"Yeah, it's pretty cool, I'm there by myself most of the time."
"Cool. So how do I stop being me then?"
I laugh at her question. "Don't stop being you, you just change, like everyone does."
"Oh!" She jumps suddenly, "Do you have a boyfriend?"
"Yes..." I start, trying to be careful with this question.
"Who is it?"
"His name is Nic"
"I only know Nic Parker* - he's in the 'cool' group though. Do you remember him? He's going out with Kylie*."
"Sure I remember him, I live with him." I say cheekily as I smile at her.
"No way! I end up with Nic Parker!?"
"Yeah, and he gets hotter too," I say tongue in cheek.
"He already is hot." she seems confused.
"Hun, you have no idea," I say as I wink at her. "It takes a while though, you won't even talk to him at school I don't think."
"Oh." she grows quiet. "Well, do you, or me I guess, do you save yourself til marriage?"
"Haha, like I'm going to tell you all about that!"
"But I'm you!"
"Nice try." I keep smiling, she returns the smile. "It gets better love, soon too."
"Good." We smile at each other for a few minutes before the scene begins to fade.
*Names have been changed to protect identities (sounds stupid I know but it is what it is).