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The Quarter-Life Crisis

July 5, 2020

The Chainmail

"Mom," I yelled out from the living room, "I'm just going to go on the computer."

"You have one hour," her voice replied.

An hour wasn't a lot, not for what I had in mind. It had taken me a couple of days to muster the courage up to talk to the love of my elementary school life, Jordan. We were in the same class since kindergarten, and nothing ever happened between us. I knew the potential was there; he just needed time to see it. I spent days daydreaming of his soft chocolate ringlets and the fact he always wore basketball shorts, even in the winter. He never gets sick; he's so strong, I would think to myself as I stared at his small photo on msn.


I figured out my intense feelings for him during the grade six end-of-the-year party that was held at my house. The entire class came. Jordan and his best friend Derek sat on my black leather couch, one next to another, as all the girls circled around them. But I kept my cool. I didn't want to come off too needy. So, I would make sure their glasses were full every two minutes and ask them every time they took a bite of pizza if they wanted another one. It's called hospitality. 

A couple of hours rolled by, and the two boys decided to leave the party, you know, they had other grade six parties to attend. When they left, all the girls watched them walk down my driveway, and the moment they disappeared around the corner, our eyes shot back to their seats. The leather is still warm; we must smell it. 


Twenty girls lunge towards the leather couch, all hoping to sniff their way into the hearts of Jordan and Derek. Courtney, horse-like in comparison to the rest of us, managed to throw herself onto the couch, covering her body in their scent. The rest of us were left without a single whiff of either of them. Though it was hard, we all refused to sniff Courtney based on principle. 

But grade seven was a different year; I grew older, wiser. A whiff of his body odor wasn't going to excite me. I wanted hand-holding and walks around the block. I wanted something real. But before I went on msn messenger to declare my love to him, I decided to check my email. In case anyone...emailed me.


Subject: Death by Bloody Mary

What? Who's Bloody Mary?...I have to open this. I clicked the email open and received shocking news. 




Oh my god, no, no, no. I whispered to myself, grabbing my face in horror. What have I done?


You are now cursed. You must this email to 5 of your friends or you will die at midnight. Tonight at 12:00 am, by Bloody Mary. This is not a joke. 


Oh my god, oh no. I grabbed my hair in a panic. What? Who's Bloody Mary? Think fast. Okay, I'll just delete it. They won't notice.

You cannot delete this email. She will slit your throat and your wrists, and pull your eyeballs out with a fork. Then, your body will be placed under your bed. Your parents will find your body in the morning. This is not fake, it's happened to many people who didn't send this to 5 of their friends. You must send it to 5 people. If you send it to 4, you will die. 


Send this right away to 5 five friends or see your life end at midnight.

Oh my god, pull my eyeballs out with a fork? I could feel my heart pounding; I didn't have much time, it was already 7 pm. Send the email to 5 of your friends right now, Natasha. This isn't a joke. Other people have died. In a panic, I quickly forwarded my friends the email. Wait, are they going to die too?  I pondered that thought for a brief moment but didn't care. I needed to save my own life, and my dad always told me you're lucky if you end up with one good friend when you're old. After forwarding the email, I took a deep breath and wiped my cheeks dry. Okay, the curse is gone. That was close.


I checked the outbox, just to make sure everything went as planned. Oh my god, I only sent it to 4 people! My face heated up, and my eyes watered with fear. I only sent it to 4 people, as I sobbed in the computer chair. "I'm going to die!" I cried out loud.  

"Natasha?" my mom's voice called out. "Are you okay?"

I quickly wiped my face, "yeah, mom, I'm fine. It was just something on tv." Oh my god, I thought to myself. What am I going to do? Bloody Mary is going to kill me.

I stared at the computer screen, looking at the names of my friends on messenger. Jordan needs to know I love him. 

 Jordan was online. I clicked on his name and told myself this was probably the first and last time you'll ever speak to him, so I knew I had to be honest. If I wasn't going to live another day, he needed to know I loved him.


Hey, Jordan. Sup? N2m with me. I need to tell you something, hehe.😊


I wiped the snot off the little groves of skin between my upper lip and nose. You're going to die, but you can't let him see you're scared. 


I really like u. I even luv u. 💕 U don't have to reply back. Bloody Mary is going to kill me tonight because I opened a cursed email. I only sent the email to 4 people and not 5. 


Maybe I sound too serious? No guy likes that. 



I nodded my head, re-reading the message. Much better. 

I thought u should know how I feel about you. Brb. Ttyl. Or not 😢


I placed my status on "away" and got up from the computer chair to say goodbye to my parents. I wanted to tell them I loved them, and then sit in bed to await my fate. But then I heard a ding. Jordan replied. 

Lol. I did it last week and didn't die. My older brother told me it's chainmail. See you at school tomorrow ✌️

I gasped with surprise; I'm not going to die, it's just chainmail. What's chainmail? This is was not the time to start thinking about those frivolous things.  I quickly moved past relief and read his message again. He didn't say he didn't love me. Oh my god, and he gave me a peace sign at the end. He loves me.

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