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Do you know what wildfires are?
That exact same thing happened when Dylan asked me out.
Instead of fire, there was the news of Dylan asking me out flooding in the school premises 
The entire school heard this news during recess. Some were shocked, most were not because they had already expected this (because Dylan and I were so close)
By the end of school; rumours had it that Dylan and I were in a relationship
Dylan didn’t say anything against this but I kept on telling people that it wasn’t true. For them; this answer wasn’t convenient 
‘‘Chill Em’’ Martin patted my shoulders
‘‘Don’t tell her to chill!’’ Stephanie snapped, ‘‘why hasn’t Dylan said anything against this rumour?’’
‘‘Maybe he has feelings for you’’ Steve said, looking at me
This can’t be happening, I thought, there’s too much drama in my life already
‘‘See, I was right’’ Stephanie said, rolling on my bed
‘‘What right?’’ Martin asked
‘‘I did think that Dylan always had feelings for Em’’ Stephanie replied, ‘‘but now I’m sure’’
Martin had a band-aid on his left hand
‘‘Mackenzie scratched you again’’ I pointed at his left hand
‘‘Yeah’’ Martin replied, covering it with his jacket, ‘‘she’s been out of control lately’
‘‘She has always been’’ Stephanie replied matter of factly.
‘‘You shouldn’t have said yes!’’ Stephanie cried, changing the topic 
‘‘What should I do?’’ asked them
‘‘Well’’ Steve looked at me, ‘‘do you like him?’’
‘‘I’m not sure’’ I answered 
‘‘So what now?’’ Stephanie asked
‘‘Let her go to the prom’’ Martin said, ‘‘I’m not going as usual’’
"I don't want to go alone" I whispered 
"You won't be alone" Steve replied, "I'm going too. With Andy" 
"Andy?" I asked, my nose was all red from crying 
"Andrea" he replied 
I didn't know why but that made me sadder. 
"George is not going maybe," Martin said 
‘‘But I am’’ Stephanie said, ‘‘Oliver asked me’’
‘‘Oliver’s a handsome man though’’ Martin said softly as if he was dreaming about him.
‘‘But I’ll stay with you no matter what’’ Stephanie assured me, ‘‘there’s still one week left’’
‘‘Yeah’’ I curled up on my bed
‘‘Oliver and I will only stay with you’’ Stephanie said, ‘‘and so will Steve and Andrea, right Steve?’’
‘‘Of course’’ Steve smiled at me, ‘‘we won’t leave you alone Em’’
I managed to smile
Instant thoughts of me curling up and dying passed in my mind. Those were much pleasanter than this
Steve’s phone's screen flashed
I read the message; it was from Andrea.
Andrea: Can you come home for a minute? 
Steve noticed that I was looking at his phone; he took it instantly, read the message and said, ‘‘I’ve to go’’
Stephanie nodded and Steve looked at me and asked, ‘‘call me if you need help, okay?’’
I nodded
Steve was always helping some person or another. But I wanted him to stay. I really did.
George got angry when Dylan asked me out and he hadn’t come to my house, not even once.
‘‘I wonder what George’s doing’’ I asked
‘‘He got really mad today’’ Martin noticed. Martin didn’t know about any of this but he was a great observer
‘‘He can’t even control himself when he gets mad’’ Stephanie said, ‘‘he yelled at the entire Soccer Team after school’’ 
‘‘What?’’ I asked
‘‘Yeah’’ Martin explained, ‘‘you know that George gets out of control when he gets mad, don’t you?’’
‘‘Peter told me that George kept on shouting at the entire team and even at the Football team when they came to ask what had happened’’ Stephanie added
This was getting out of control now. 
I knew how mad George could get. He didn’t know how to control his anger like Steve or Dylan. If he was sad then he would throw things or yell at people and get angry for being upset.
And here’s a thing; if he was angry, that was going to last long
The next day I went to school and tried my best to avoid Dylan and George
‘‘Emily’’ Dylan came to my locker. 
All eyes were on us now. Ashley was holding Courtney tightly (maybe so that Courtney doesn’t get away and rip out my hair)
‘‘Dylan’’ I anxiously replied
‘‘Can we talk?’’ he asked
‘‘No’’ I blurted
This was maybe the time when Dylan would start explaining things and I really didn’t want to hear the same story elaborately and with a different perspective.
‘‘Mr. Hill’s calling me’’ I lied and started running towards his office
I bumped into Andrea
‘‘Hey’’ she helped me to get my books which were now on the floor
‘‘Hi’’ I replied
She picked up the books and gave them to me
‘‘Thanks’’ I panted
‘‘Welcome’’ she smiled, ‘‘have you seen Steve?’
‘‘I don’t know’’ I shrugged, ‘‘he’s your boyfriend, you should know’’ 
‘‘I thought he was with you guys’’
‘‘No no, I haven’t seen him’’
Before she could say more, I mumbled ‘‘gotta go’’ and rushed to Mr. Hill’s office
There were only six days left for the prom
Mr Hill was still not here today. I looked at his desk and saw three letters
Maybe that was the only thing that made my day that day. I opened the first letter, half hoping for Brittles to write something
The first letter was from Brittles but the other two were from somebody else
I opened Brittles’s letters:
Dear Respondent,
The girl I like is Emily. You might know her; she’s in freshmen year. Straight dark hair with coffee brown eyes.
My heart got heavy. 
So Brittles was somebody from the guys.
I read more: 
Dear Respondent,
The girl I like is Emily. You might know her; she’s in freshmen year. Straight dark hairs with coffee coloured brown eyes.
She’s kind to everyone and she has a beautiful smile; the kind of smile which makes your day and forces you to smile back instantly. She used to mispronounce Beatles when she was four years old. She used to call it Brittles and all of us used to laugh at her. I even named my guitar with that name. I really like her. With her, I don’t have to pretend to be anybody else. And how can I not love her? Whatever she does makes me so happy that I know her. 
Thanks for the suggestion last time; I hope it works!
With regards,
Then it hit me
I used to mispronounce Beatles as Brittles when I was three or four. I remember my mom telling everybody in the neighbourhood about it. And I also recall Dylan, George, Steve, Martin and Stephanie making fun of me. 
Oh God
How did I not notice this?
Dumb dumb dumb Emily
I shut the letter and opened the next.

Submitted: February 23, 2020

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