Me, Wendy, and Chemistry by Susan Hatters Friedman

Wendy said ‘Hi Pete.’ To me! In chemistry class. She turned around, her long brown hair flying, and said it straight to my face. That was just Monday. 

By Tuesday, she smiled at me. 

Not at Michael or Tony or Tim or John. At me! 

Wednesday, I got up the nerve to do it. Asked Wendy, my dream girl since the third grade, to the Prom.  

‘Oh Pete, I don’t even know if I can go at all! My mom said if I don’t bring up my marks with tomorrow’s science fair, I’ll get grounded… I don’t suppose you know anything about chemistry—for my science project?’ 

I knew what she was saying, and I told her not to worry. Chemistry, at least chemistry of that sort, wasn’t my forte. 

I had another plan.  

Since Thursday would be sunny, the science fair would be on the high school’s front lawn.  

I knew the janitor goes to the bathroom a lot. So I watched out for him to feel the need and then I ran into the unlocked control room.  

Found the switch for the ‘school sprinklers (front)’ and turned them on. She’d love me now! 

One science fair averted.  

There was screaming and running. Wet t-shirts! 

Wendy, and everyone else but me, got an A for participation.   

I didn’t count on there being cameras on the control room, on getting suspended. Which meant that I was the one who couldn’t go to Prom. 

And now Wendy is going with Michael. 

Susan Hatters Friedman is a psychiatrist specializing in maternal mental health and forensic psychiatry. She is pursuing a Master’s in Crime Fiction at the University of Cambridge, and has studied satire writing with The Second City. Her recent creative writing can be read in The Dillydoun Review, The Centifictionist, and the Love in the Time of Covid Chronicle. 

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