Melody, a teenage girl, age 13
NOTE: The Snap Game is a game where different colored jelly bracelets represent sexual favors. If a boy successfully breaks a jelly bracelet off a girl’s wrist, he gets a sexual coupon for the associated act. A black jelly bracelet signifies intercourse.
MELODY plays with a black bracelet on her wrist, struggles to explain its significance to her older cousin.
It’s just a bracelet. It’s like, cool, okay, and I like black. ‘Cause it’s goth. Not goth like I’m gonna kill myself, that would be totally sad, but it’s a color or a shade or whatever. It like, goes with everything or something, right? Whatever. I can wear a black bracelet if I want to.
But in gym class today – it’s so stupid. They tell us to run around outside, but there are all these rules like ‘don’t touch anyone’ and ‘don’t get hurt.’ ‘Cause I’m sure when Megan broke her arm last month it was because there wasn’t a rule to not get hurt, not because she tripped over a branch or whatever. Adults are beyond stupid.
But… right. Gym class. Yeah. Tommy tried to grab my bracelet today. It’s not even jelly, it’s like, rope or string or something, so it didn’t break. And I don’t play Snap. I wear it because I like it, not ‘cause I wanna have sex or whatever. But I was scared. Like… what if it did break? He would tell everyone, and then it would be like he had a coupon. And everyone would think we did it, even though I’d never do anything with him, because he’d tell everyone we did.
And Tommy’s so gross! If it had been Taylor, I wouldn’t have cared as much. Taylor kind of looks like Zayn. Actually, he looks like Zayn but with Darren Criss’s eyes – like season three Glee eyes not whatever the hell they did to him in American Horror Story eyes. He looked gross in that. Like, Tommy gross.
But even if Taylor had gotten my bracelet – I don’t wanna have sex. I mean he’s hot, everyone says so, but… no way. And definitely not with Tommy. Not just because he managed to grab something off my wrist. That’s like… so dumb. I’d kick him or something. In the nuts. He couldn’t do it then, right?
I stopped at this store on the way home. Stood in front of the jelly bracelets for like, forever. But they sell them in packs, not by single colors – again, stupid – and I only had a couple of dollars leftover from buying lunch. I wanted to get yellow ones, and wear them to school tomorrow, because then if someone broke one off, yellow just means hugging, which really isn’t a big deal. I swear, we all hugged each other all the time in kindergarten. But now if we so much as touch each other some teacher is screaming about sexual harassment and personal space.
But, like, I hate yellow. I never wear it. I don’t own anything yellow. So why should I buy yellow bracelets because of some stupid game that I’m not even playing?
(SHE fidgets with her bracelet.)
And my bracelet’s not even black. Not really. I think it’s like, hemp or something? We got it on our last family vacation, at the amusement park maybe, before Jessie got sick. Everyone treats me weird already, like they might somehow catch her cancer from me just ‘cause we’re sisters, so I could never tell them, do not tell anyone not even Ashley, but like… the bracelet is good luck. You’re supposed to wear it until it breaks, and when it breaks so does your luck. I’ve worn it forever, at least three years, so it’s totally black now. But if it breaks, then the luck’s gone. And then what if Jessie really does die? It would be my fault. So it’s not even about the sex. Not really.
Robin Fusco is known for shattering social conventions in her work. She frequently creates characters who refuse to bend to society’s expectations and believes stories are a way of playing what if and, ultimately, of spurring change. Robin is also a performer. Similar to her writing, she most enjoys portraying unapologetic women who possess sharp senses of irony and refined wits. She writes for film, television, and the theatre and enjoys being able to instantly visit whatever world she chooses by simply creating it. Robin holds an MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage from Point Park University and a BA in Theatre from Muhlenberg College. Follow her on Twitter @robinfusco or on the web at http://www.robinfusco.com