TITLE: Viola Jokes
GENRE: Women's fiction
Your friends want to meet this mysterious guy who sends actual in-the-mail letters and whom they sometimes scrawl notes to in the letters you write back, this Josh Galen who calls you Mrs. Galen. They don't know you both hid from the same bullies who called him Gay-gay-galen and had an even worse name for you. They just think you were friends. They've seen his stick-figure cartoons hanging in your locker, remnants of the days you used to draw in each others' notebooks at the rear of the classroom, and they don't know—you wish you could tell them but you don't—how on the last day of sixth grade before he left for a performing arts middle school, how he struggled to speak and couldn't get out anything at all while you sat on the swings, until finally he handed you a note that said, "Will you be my first kiss?"
And how when you said yes, he leaned forward and gave you a peck on the lips, a touch that burned a line all the way to your stomach. You saved the note in your grammar school yearbook.
Now you're both sixteen, and he says sure, he'll come to the dance at your school. That's how to screw up a relationship.