I fell in love with a girl named Anna once. We were in high school. She was a Mormon and I was a dyke, but we held hands in Art class. She got in trouble once for giving out pencils that said “Jesus loves you!!!!” to the Muslim kids, though only because one of the teachers threatened to complain. Minnesota likes to think it’s liberal like that. I hated her and we fought in the parking lot just like in the movies and then we kissed and I still hated her or maybe just what she claimed, but we kissed, once, and it was almost a thing. And like I said, we held hands in Art class and I painted a portrait of a girl who wasn’t Anna but couldhave been Anna if you squinted a little. I would have given it to her but then she got a boyfriend and dropped out of Art the next day. Her boyfriend was named Chad. He wasn’t a Mormon but he was on board with the Jesus pencils. And that thing we almost had didn’t happen. I was an artist about it and made a sculpture, mixed-media and acrylics, which my advisor put in a contest and that contest brought me to the scholarship committee, which then brings me to this.
Hello. I punched Chad Rainsford in the dick. I did not key Chad Rainsford’s car or slash his tires with a palate knife, because it is physically impossible to do that and I have an alibi (see email attachments). Tell Chad a palate knife isn’t actually a knife. Use small words if you have to. I looked up Traumatic Brain Injuries on WebMD and I think he has one. He’ll claim it’s from the time he scored a touchdown and won the State game, but that’s a lie. He got it driving his car into a stop sign playing chicken in the eighth grade and they didn’t win the State game at all. The whole football team got disqualified for kidnapping the opposing team’s mascot. They have a three-year ban. It’s a big deal. Go Spartans!
Anyhow, I’m supposed to tell my half of the story and explain how I’m very sorry and won’t ever do it again. But the truth is, committee people, that I did punch Chad Rainsford in the dick, and I’m not sorry at all. I did it for my art. I don’t want to sell out so early in my career. My advisor said I should apologize and be “eloquent with the truth,” but that sounded like a thing a sellout would say. So I decided to be radically honest. Feel free to give me that scholarship anytime. Or don’t. I told the truth. It was artistic as fuck. You can quote me on that.
And if you see Anna, maybe mention she could do better.
I don’t miss her at all.
Emma Johnson-Rivard is a Masters student at Hamline University. She received her undergraduate degree in Film Studies at Smith College in Massachusetts and currently lives in Minnesota with her dogs and far too many books. Her work has appeared in Mistake House, the Olive Press, and the Santa Ana River Review.