Authors: Dorian Cirrone
For Stephen Koncsol
Emily Poses Little Threat
Emily Hovers Over Intracoastal Waterway 3
Emily Delivers on Promise
Emily on Path of Destruction?
Emily a Danger to Tall Trees?
Emily’s Strength Curtailed
Emily’s Power Wanes
Emily Back on Course
Emily Delivers Once Again
Emily Full of Hot Air?
Emily Reaches Shoreline
Emily Takes Detour
Emily Breezes Through
Emily Moves Closer
Emily on Detour?
Emily’s Direction Uncertain
Emily on Collision Course?
Emily Stays the Course
Emily on Her Way
Emily Changes Course
Emily Grows in Strength
Emily Rocks South Florida
Emily Poses Little Threat
Junior year was supposed to be all about Brian Harrington, the prom, and becoming editor in chief of the
. Instead, it was all about handcuffs, hormones, and headlines.
But in a good way.
Not in a skanky way.
Of course, none of it would have happened if it hadn’t been for the summer before eighth grade. That’s when twins Brandy and Randy Clausen, my former best friends forever, decided it would be fun to create an I Hate Emily club.
For no apparent reason, except perhaps that I did not get the memo that we were no longer wearing 1
horizontal-striped shirts from the Limited Too, I had been thrust from the inner circle. After an entire eighth grade of being excluded from every shopping trip, sleepover, and party, I vowed I would someday get back at one or both twins.
Around the same time that summer, a hurricane named Emily was in the news. I watched the headlines every day as they shouted: EMILY ROARS ACROSS
CARIBBEAN, EMILY BLASTS THROUGH GULF, or, my personal favorite, EMILY ROCKS SOUTH FLORIDA. After reading those headlines each morning for days, I decided two things: 1. I really liked seeing my name in print. And, 2. I wanted to be like that Emily in the headlines.
To take the world by storm.
Not that I wanted to knock over mango trees or whip power lines across the sky like spaghetti. But I wanted to
in my own way.
Emily Hovers Over
By the beginning of junior year, I still hadn’t figured out a way to show the Clausen twins that they shouldn’t have crossed me. Although, there was that time in ninth grade at the Saint Mark’s carnival when I took an ill-fated ride on the Zipper. I ended up losing my lunch all over Brandy and Randy, who happened to be sitting downwind.
No one can accuse me of not being an equal opportunity hurler. The twins always said they loved doing
together. And, while it was a fabulous experience watching the two of them scream “Ewwwww” in unison and run to the restroom, it was not the ideal revenge.
I had, however, succeeded in seeing my name in print. I was a feature writer for the
, our school newspaper.
But I wanted more.
I wanted to be editor in chief.
And time was running out.
I needed to do two things in order to accomplish my long-held goals:
1. Put the Clausen twins in their place by figuring out what one or both of them held dear and trying to snatch it away. And,
2. Beat out Daniel Cummings, my nemesis and main competition for the editor in chief position on the
Neither of these tasks would be easy.
I’d been writing for the
since freshman year, competing with Daniel Cummings. He was a tall, skinny, smart-alecky guy who liked to wear thrift-store T-shirts. He also had a well-read blog called
“Cummings and Goings.” His most recent entry was an editorial cartoon that pictured a pile of feces with orbiting flies. The caption read STAY IN STOOL. Despite his disrespect for authority, our journalism teacher, Ms. Keenan, seemed to like him.
As for my revenge, after a few months into the school year, it became evident that the one thing Brandy Clausen held dear was Brian Harrington, aka 4
junior class hottie, star athlete, and, as chance would have it, the Boy Next Door.
He lived next door to me.
Though he and Brandy dated off and on, it didn’t seem that he was paying all that much attention to her. She was trying way too hard. The constant flirting and cheering only for him at basketball games were a dead giveaway. But somewhere along the way of my trying to jump in for the ball in a revenge play, an odd thing happened: I fell hopelessly in lust with Brian Harrington.
After observing him for several months, I knew every ripple of his fabulous abs and every bulge of his biceps, as well as the exact location in millimeters of the tiny scar turned dimple under his right eye, which was a slightly lighter blue than his left eye. But it wasn’t just his looks. He was different from the other jocks. Nicer.
I knew this because every once in a while if he saw my little brother Jon outside, Brian would invite him to shoot a few. Most high school guys wouldn’t let a twelve-year-old near the hoop.
Despite the amount of time I had spent studying all things Harrington, and the fact that I lived only yards away, Brian was unaware of my existence as possible girlfriend material.
Finally, in March, all that changed.
Starting with the junior class cruise.
I wasn’t sure why the Crestview Prep Student Council had chosen the touristy
for the class trip. Everyone had already seen the houses along the New River—some of us even lived in them. If you’ve been in Fort Lauderdale for any length of time, you’ve probably taken a slew of relatives on a cruise like that.
It’s practically mandatory, like taking them to the beach—or the flea market for fake jewelry and cheap underwear.
Okay, that probably tells you a little bit more about my family than I should have mentioned.
Anyway, the second my sneakers squeaked across the shiny deck of the
, I knew something was about to happen. I just didn’t know what. I was clenching the railing with one hand and clutching my stomach with the other when I heard Lindsay’s voice behind me. “Hey, Em, what’s up?”
I turned to face her.
“You don’t look so great,” she said. “Well, I mean you do look great. I love the outfit and all. But your face, it looks a little green, kind of like the witch in
.” Lindsay’s the only person I know who could com-pare seasickness to a Broadway show. But that’s why I love her. And I guess I have the Clausen twins to thank for that. If they hadn’t blown me off back in middle school, Lindsay and I probably wouldn’t have found 6
each other and become such good friends.
I inhaled a huge breath of sea air and looked down at my white capris and navy-striped shirt.
“Are you gonna barf?” Lindsay said.
I shook my head.
“Good, ’cause that would be a one-way ticket to Dorkville.”
“Thanks for your support.” I plopped onto one of the long wooden benches.
“Sorry,” Lindsay said. “But having been there myself for most of middle school, I can tell you it’s a place you don’t want to be.”