My sister called me on her drive home to San Francisco after Christmas. I was in the grocery store and she skipped the greeting and went right to: Do you remember a guy named Thomas Andrew Young? I told her it sounded familiar but that I was not sure who the person was.
She and her boyfriend burst into laughter in the car. While she was at my parents’ house she’d been going through the boxes of pictures as she is wont to do. Amongst the family memorabilia she found a copy of my very first complete short story, written when I was 11 years old.
Thomas Andrew Young was the main character of this story. My sister greatly enjoyed reading passages of it out loud and regaling me with the hilarious details. She asked where the story came from, how did I come to write this? Was I upset with someone? I explained to her the story was not about me, it was a work of fiction and what she was failing to fully realize was that I was awesome as an 11 year old. I made the story up and it was great.
I’ve read it from time to time over the years and I always enjoy it with nostalgia and a sense of pride. I thought that today I would share it with you. I hope you enjoy the inner workings of my 11 year old mind as much as my sister did.
I have not edited it or changed it in any way.
Hi! This is the diary of Thomas Andrew Young (that’s me) and you can call me Tommy. I am an overweight eleven year old with serious psychological problems. One of these is my loving, skinny family.
I also have an array of school problems (besides my grades, which I believe to be low because it’s hard to concentrate on math and spelling while your face is being beaten in and your butt is being kicked). Another one of my long list of problems could be my lack of friends. In my whole life I’ve had one friend. Who was, by the way, an imaginary one. His name was Fred, but I killed him off when I was eight.
My parents find all of this hard to believe since my skinny brother, Sean Allen, who is a junior in high school, and my skinny sister, Natyli Ana are so popular – not to mention honor students.
Some of my mental problems are due to the fact that putting me down is a favorite family pasttime in my house. If a day goes by that Sean doesn’t get the chance to beat me up or play a mean trick on me, he becomes a sad and lost human being with a bad temper.
An example is the time I was seven and fell in love with my sister, Natyli. When I asked her to marry me, she and Sean decided to “teach me a lesson in life” and I would tell you about it, but the memory is too painful.
Then, when I was at the tender age of eight, my imaginary friend, Fred (mentioned before) betrayed me. (You’re asking yourself, “How can an imaginary friend betray someone?” Well, then, PAY ATTENTION!!) He made me tell Sean about a very serious problem of mine. This was my crush on his girlfriend, Cindy. (By now, I was long since over Natyli, who was no 14 years old and in the ninth grade.) Sean decided it was time for another “Lesson in Life”, so Cindy, who went along, pretended to be in love with me and got me to tell her of my love and when I went in for the kiss I had seen Sean perform flawlessly so many times she shoved me away and started yelling. Well, as you may have guessed, Sean was right there and had the whole thing on video tape.
And from my parents all I ever hear is:
“Tommy, you look awful today, go change.” (This almost every day.)
“Tommy, why can’t you dress more like your brother and sister?”
“Tommy, why can’t you behave more like your brother and sister?”
“Tommy, why can’t you get good grades like your brother and sister?”
Now, I believe everyone needs someone to put down and be mean to, as I discovered early in life, but why me? I mean, I don’t encourage cruelty and bodily harm unto myself, I take showers and I’m generally neat and as nice to everybody as you can possibly be to people who use you as a punching bag. So, I have arrived at the conclusion that I was God-chosen and the only cure is:
Unknown to my family, I had begun planning my revenge. For three months all I could think of, night and day, was my sweet plan for revenge. But in the end all that was destined to go to waste. For that reason I won’t even take the time to tell it to you.
What happened instead will astound you and you may not believe it, but read it anyway. (You’ve come this far so you might as well suffer through the rest.)
It was a warm spring day and I was out for a walk to observe nature. (I also had to get away from the house because Sean was in a particularly bad mood and I was still sore from the bad mood he’d been in yesterday.)
As I walked along, what should I come across? It looked to me to be a bunch of papers. But I’m no expert and these days you never can be too sure. So I looked inside and there were about 15 pieces of paper full of what looked like plans or something. Anyway, they were in another language.
Being paranoid as I am, I immediately took them to our local FBI branch and a “friendly helper of justice and the American Way” (as they call themselves on TV) helped me locate someone called a bilingual. Since I’m only eleven, I thought the worst – why does someone with a weirdly named disease work for the government? As it turned out, bilingual meant someone who spoke more than one language and the funny writing turned out to be Russian. They were plans and they said that the Russians were planning a secret attack on the United States.
Before I knew what was happening to me, I was a National Hero. Suddenly my life was forever changed. For one thing, now Sean and Natyli kissed up to me and I was now my parents favorite child, and always (secretly) had been.
I didn’t buy that stuff for one single second – would you? But I took full advantage of it – I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy being spoiled and pampered?
All over the country I, Thomas Andrew Young, was on newspaper covers, magazines, TV.
But wait! Here’s the best part of all: The President of the United States wanted to give me a reward! On national television! The day arrived and I went up there and received my reward in front of the whole country and I shook hands with the President. Then came my revenge! (You thought I forgot about it, didn’t you?) My family stood around the podium at my feet and clamored for attention. our great Commander in Chief saw them and asked me if they were my family. At that point they jumped up and started hugging me – on national TV! So I said that no, I didn’t know who they were, had never seen any of them in my life.
The President thought that they were trying to hurt me (And Sean was, he tried to discreetly pound my back in with one hand while hugging me with the other.) Security guards and Secret Service men came and my family was taken away in strait jackets.
Then, while they grew old in separate mental hospitals, I grew up as the adopted son of the President of the U.S. of A.