A rotation was going around the school with stories. My stories. This rotation included friends, friends of friends, relatives, teachers, and even strangers. I am known as the Writer at my school, probably because everyone knows I write stories and want to be published one day.
I can hear the whispers in the hallways as I pass by.
“He wrote a sixty page paper for a history class?! You’re kidding me, right?”
“See that thick book in his hand, that’s ‘light’ reading for him.”
“Writing a novel right now, running a blog, and keeping up with schoolwork. Does he have a social life?”
It was a normal day, so far.
I walked down the hallway to be confronted by a tiny seventh grader, “Are you Vatche?” He had glasses and tanned skin. The glasses reflected a vague outline of my image, but I took notice of his eager eyes.
“Umm, I think so,” I joked. I could tell he was nervous probably because I was five years older than he was.
He smiled. “You write, right?”
“Right, right,” I nodded my head.
He laughed and his nerves cooled, “I read some of your work.”
“Really?” I put down my bag and thick book onto the cracked tile floors of the school’s hallway. “Which one?”
“The one you posted on the Saroyan’s Ghost blog, the ‘My Love Life’ one.”
“What about it?” I crossed my arms.
“It was phenomenal. Is it true?” His eyes searched for something, yet I couldn’t tell what it was.
“Yes, it’s true,” I said proudly.
“Do you have any more stories? Any fiction writing?”
“Umm, I do write fiction on my time off. I’m working on a novel right now really.”
“What’s it called?” He looked amused by our conversation.
“Can I ask you something? It should be fair one question of mine for twenty of yours.”
“Yeah, yeah. Sure, sure.” He nodded his head so many times that his face became a blur.
“What’s your name?”
I stuck out my hand, “Well, though it’s late for introductions. It’s a pleasure meeting you, Jeremy.”
He shook my hand, “I never thought you would be such a nice guy.”
“Why?” I raised my eyebrow. “Do I look big and scary?”
“Well, you are a senior.”
“What does that have to do with anything?”
“I don’t know. The whole age difference might make you not want to talk to me. I was nervous in the beginning—”
“Yeah, I could tell you were nervous, but you got to lighten up. Speak your mind, man!” I patted him on the shoulder. “Just because I’m older than you doesn’t mean I can’t hear you. I’ll listen if you have a voice.”
“Thanks, so much. All I really wanted to say was that I like writing, too. Though I’m not as good as you are,” Jeremy looked down.
“Well, to tell you the truth, I used to suck,” I whispered into his ear, “I wasn’t born a writer, you know?” I bent down a little to make eye contact with him. I wanted him to understand that I wasn’t lying and all I needed to do was give him my eyes.
“Yeah, I get it. Practice, practice, practice. Right?”
“Not just that, Jeremy,” I took the thick book from the floor and put it into Jeremy’s hands, “you got to read, read, read. You read my piece, right? Then, you should understand, Jeremy, that if you want to be a successful writer, you got to read!”
“Jeez, being successful would be a dream come true.”
“Yeah, for you and me!” I patted him on the shoulder as the first bell for our classes rang.
“But Vatche, you’re already published practically.”
“What do you mean?” I grabbed my bag off the floor.
“There’s a circulation of your stories going around. I don’t know where they’re coming from, but everyone’s reading your stories, your blog, and they are waiting.”
“Waiting for what?”
“The next blog post. The next short story. The next chapter. The next novel. Your next piece. Vatche, don’t you get it?” he said as he walked down the hallway and waved goodbye. “We are all waiting.”
“Hey, wait up!” I caught him before he entered his classroom.
“If you need any help, at any time, you just come to me and ask. You can even hand me a story of yours or two, ok?”
He shook his head, “Thanks, so much. I’m glad I talked to you.”
“No problem,” I looked at the watch Amy gave me, “get to class you’re almost late!”
“Right, right,” he ran inside smiling ear to ear.
Though the bell rang, I watched him take out his notebook and begin writing his next story instead of doing classwork. All his thoughts and ideas were made into a reality on that single piece of loose-leaf paper. All his imagination was poured onto the white sheet and drenched the page with color.
He handed me that paper, full of life, one class period later.