Nothing Is Normal
By Rachel Kelly & Lauren Kiel
This film continues Adelaide’s story from “Far Away Is Closer Than You Think,” an original short film featuring the same main character. She realizes life isn’t going back to normal, yet… but what is normal?
It’s Adelaide, and welcome to my very, very, boring life.
I was writing in my journal when suddenly the alarm to go to school went off. BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
Ugh! So I have to attend virtual classes, during which time goes by so slowly and lunch goes by so fast. You have to pay attention even though there are lots of distractions, and I definitely don’t doodle in class. I wish the virus would just go away! I think we all do. To be able to go to school, meet people on the subway, go to my locker, I even miss the not so great things like getting to class late. If only we could…
“Adelaide, what did you get for question fourteen?” asks Ms. Scott on the screen.
“Oh right, Ms. Scott, question number fourteen, ummm… ”
I looked down at my phone to see a classmate texted me the answer. “Thirty-seven,” I say.
I’ve made a couple friends since my friend June moved away. It’s crazy that my family didn’t move away first. My family has a habit of not staying in one place for very long. Even though I’ve lived in New York for two years now, I don’t have any close friends here, which makes independent lessons unbearable sometimes. Listening to music can help, but sometimes I can’t resist checking my phone where everyone’s life looks so perfect. I really like this account by @letteringw.lottie. I’m thinking that I might start my own, but it would never get popular. It’s just a fact, Adelaide isn’t popular… but it IS anonymous!
Well, that’s my very very boring life, see ya later.
XOXO Adelaide <3
I decided to start a similar account. It’s so hard to wait during my morning online classes. Charlotte was my partner in our math break out room. I felt like she was silently judging me the entire time. I know she wants to do a project with Kaila. I’m sorry Ms. Scott paired us together.
She asked me if I needed help with the conclusion. Of course, I shyly said “no” even though I was confused and could have used a second set of eyes.
Finally, it’s lunch time! I start to film the quote I made, but everything is getting messed up. That’s not right, there’s a shadow in it, it’s too dark, you can see my legs. Okay, it’s done… and so is lunch time.
I log onto the Zoom meeting for class and ask, “Hey, Ms. Scott, can I turn off my camera for a second and get something to eat?”
And of course she replies, “No, you just had your lunch period.”
Right. But the feeling of hunger was worth it, because when I checked my phone later that day, I saw a comment on my posted video from @letteringw.lottie: “I love it!!!” Yes, you heard right, I got a comment from @letteringw.lottie. Maybe, I’m not so hopeless after all!
I’m so excited that Halloween is finally here. To celebrate Halloween, my neighbors and I all put out candy on our doorsteps for everyone in the building to take. But that’s not why I’m excited. Neither is my costume, which makes my cat and I look like identical twins.
I’m so excited because @letteringw.lottie and I are doing a Halloween collab! My account is actually doing really well.
In the collab we are both writing the same quote and taking photos of the same things, but we’re doing it in our own style.
I can’t wait to see how her post turns out; we post at 7 p.m.!
I can’t believe this is happening. I didn’t mean this at all!
Everyone is commenting on Lottie’s post saying that all I care about is getting more followers and that’s why I collabed with her. Not only is that entirely false, but Lottie and I are becoming like friends now. I’m scared that she’ll probably believe them and think I don’t care about our friendship.
When I woke up, I checked my phone, and I’m so relieved, Lottie is not upset with me after all. She sent a DM and said, “I totally understand that gaining followers is not your intention. You’re my friend, so I’d love to spread the love!” I feel like we’ve gotten a lot closer, and I realize our friendship is strong.
As usual, I go to Ms. Scott’s class and she says from the screen, “Welcome class, everyone who comes beyond this time will be marked late.” Then she adds, “And Charlotte, I do not accept nicknames for your name. Change it or you’ll be marked absent,” in a harsh, upset tone.
That’s unusual… I look to see what Charlotte’s name is, and my heart skips a beat.
“Yes, Ms. Scott, I’m sorry, I signed into class with the wrong email,” says Charlotte, like it is no big deal.
The time it took Charlotte to change her name was enough for me to read that it was @letteringw.lottie. All this time, I have been DMing the most popular girl at our school!
What do I do? Do I tell her? Do I not? What if she finds out? What if she already knows?
Adelaide was the character in Rachel’s previous short film. She wanted to develop her more and together she and her mentor, Lauren, made a story plot that not only enticed the reader/viewer to keep reading/watching but also let them better understand Adelaide as a character. Since this originated as a short film, after they wrote out the script they had to finalize a shot list, film, edit and finally animate it.
Rachel Kelly is a sophomore in high school who loves writing and film. She started a YouTube channel where she likes to show her short films. She also enjoys photography, bullet journaling and ice skating.
This is Lauren Kiel’s third year as a mentor with Girls Write Now. She works at Bloomberg Media, where she is general manager for Bloomberg Green, an editorial brand focused on climate news and analysis. Lauren enjoys reading and caring for her plants, and she looks forward to getting to travel again soon.