“To win her heart, you will need to set up a bakery for sandwich bread in Dowa.”
–Maggie, ACCA, Episode 5
I’ve always been the competitive type. When I was much younger, this drive manifested in sports and other outdoorsy activities (much to the surprise of people that know me now, I was actually somewhat of an extrovert back then). During the 5th grade, I’d often be one of the last people tagged out during gym class as I viciously hurled myself at the other kids’ flags during capture the flag. I remember one time in particular I swear I was flying — I did a belly flop on the hard gym floor and knocked the wind out of myself — all for the sake of sweet, sweet victory.
As a young kid, my whole world thrived on gym and recess. There was no better fulfillment than clumsily and successfully maneuvering the army of kids trying to take me down, whether it was football, dodgeball, or whatever else. I was the (self-proclaimed) recess king.
And that’s precisely why when my homeroom teacher took my recess away I cried long streams of crocodile tears begging her to put me back out there. I looked up from behind my desk and stared out the window to see my friends all out there laughing and having a good time. I begged her: “Please, I’ll do anything!” She just looked at me for a bit before walking up to hand me the first novel of the Harry Potter series. I looked back disgruntled: “Why would I read when I could be doing something fun outside?,” my dumb 5th grade self thought. Never in my life had I read one of those books and I sure as heck wasn’t going to spend my recess doing that. I had a ‘cool’ image to uphold to my peers.
I caved out of sheer boredom and hesitantly read a few pages.
Those few pages turned into a few chapters, and before I knew it, recess was already over but I hadn’t bothered to look up; I was completely entrenched in a world I dismissed as boring not even thirty minutes prior. I hadn’t even noticed until the teacher called my name.