Sofia Becomes a Criminal


Sofia Wilson, Staff Writer

“You are not weird,” my mother reminded me as a child, “you are unique!”

Indeed, I was a unique individual in my early years, so much so that I wonder how most people put up with my extraneous personality. My mother sometimes tells me how awful I was in infancy and toddler-hood, and although she never said it, I believe she was concerned that I would grow up to be a terrible person despite any parenting style I received. Of course, this never happened, but I doubt that she never thought of it. I never slept a minute in my crib, crying until someone held me; I refused to eat more than four different types of foods until middle school. I would even try to wake my little sisters up from their naps to get attention, forcing my mom to bribe me with entire chocolate bars so I didn’t start a third world war. Soon enough, though, kindergarten hit, and with it, the exploitation of how truly wonderful and hilarious my personality really was.

I was a hopeless romantic from the beginning. I lost my first boyfriend in kindergarten after one day due to the fact that I chased him after school, screaming “kiss me!” As it turns out, kindergarten boys are not fond of being chased, even if it is out of love. My next boyfriend in then second grade broke up with me in front of another classmate by saying “wait, no, you’re not my girlfriend anymore. I have a different girlfriend.” I chased him, too, and took it even further by leaving obscure love notes in his cubby that accused him of ruining the future we were supposed to have with each other. It was at that moment that I decided to stop chasing after the boys and start focusing on other ways to embarrass myself. 

Perhaps one of my favorite stories to tell nowadays is from second grade. Miss Julie, our teacher, was one of the nicest ladies I had ever known. She was so nice that she organized for my class to do an “Appreciation Day,” in which we each chose anyone in the school that we appreciated to celebrate. Every one of us got to pick someone, and I chose my guidance counselor, Mrs. Cutler. She had helped me learn to make friends the year prior after my best friend moved away. So, my class prepared for weeks. We wrote personal, customized letters for our people and practiced singing different songs for a big performance. I cannot remember the names of all of the songs, but I can say that there were three and one of them was “Say What You Need to Say” by John Mayer. 

When the day finally came, I was bursting with excitement. There were rows of chairs set up outside the classroom in the hallway, with a couple of microphones for us to sing into. The entire performance went off without a hitch, and I got to thank and hug Mrs. Cutler at the end, just as everyone was doing with the friends, teachers, and staff they had each invited. It was one of the most fun days we had had at the time, and when it was over, I followed a few of my classmates back into the room.

There was no way to prepare for the events that would occur in the following minutes. 

I was in the room, there was barely anyone in there, and I was absolutely thrilled. Back then, I expressed my emotions extravagantly, and at this time, I felt like spinning around with my arms out and my hands balled into fists. I began to sing “Say What You Need to Say” to myself as I spun around, looking like a dreidel that’s been injected with steroids. One spin, two spins, three spins, four-



I stopped dead in my tracks and whipped around to the table I was standing near, the same table that displayed the container of meal-worms my class was studying for science class. The container that was now lying on the floor on the other side of the table.

My heart rate soared and, panicking, I looked around to make sure no one saw me commit manslaughter. Thankfully, the other students were just as oblivious as I was and didn’t seem to notice. Because I’m a good, honest person, I did what any other student would do: I speed-walked away as fast as my stubby legs could take me, eyes focused on my horrendous chartreuse sneakers. Minutes passed as more kids began filing in, until finally, someone noticed the crime scene.

“Miss Julie! The meal-worms!” a girl cried.

Miss Julie’s cheery face turned into a mix of surprise, anger, and, worst of all, disappointment. It was at that point that I thought I was going to pee my pants out of sheer panic, an act that was not uncommon for me in my early years of life. She sat us down on the carpet, lectured us about telling the truth, and begged someone to own up. I went from appreciating a teacher to being wanted for second-degree murder in ten minutes flat, and I said absolutely nothing. Not a single peep came from my mouth. No one, not a soul, admitted to the crime. 

To this day, no one knows who killed the meal-worms. Students and teachers alike have been pondering the possibilities, searching for the culprit, unaware that she was the same girl singing “Say What You Need to Say” right in front of them. I even found out from my younger sister that Miss Julie stopped doing the meal-worm project by the time she had her in class. Never in my life have I committed an act as atrocious as this. 

Few souls have been entrusted with this information; it took me two years to tell my parents, and another two to tell a friend. I couldn’t listen to “Say What You Need to Say” until the spring of my freshman year, and I swear on my cats’ lives that there is no trace of embellishment in these words. I am trusting you, the reader of this article, to guard this information with your life. And Miss Julie, if you ever read this, I just want to say: