"I don't get it " Skylar stirred the popcorn seeds at the bottom of their bowl. The couch was big enough for all three of them, but Emily decided to stretch out her legs so John took the recliner. "The smart kids are pretty much always picked on in movies, and yet intelligence is highly valued in your society."
"Jealousy." Emily scoffed, sitting up. "That's why it still happens in real life and makes good conflict for Hollywood."
"Still happens?" Skylar tilted their head. "Did either of you get bullied for being smart?"
"Yeah." John reached his foot out from the recliner and poked Emily's calf. She flinched nearly spilling the kernels of popcorn onto Skylar who was sitting next to her. "You called me a diphthong."
"As a fellow bookworm I thought you would know there was nothing insulting about it. It is a statement of fact."
"A fellow bookworm I may be, but not of the dictionary variety." John rolled his eyes. "Even if it is true my name is a diphthong."
"That was the longest conversation you had with me before we were friends." Emily rested her chin in her palm. "Actually, I think it wasn't long after we became friends, right? Did diphthong make us friends?"
"It certainly places us on the same level of the elementary school hierarchy." John poi ted to the ground. "You know, the bottom."
"That's actually kind of a cute stor-"
"No." Emily interrupted, pointing at John. "The bottom of the hierarchy didn’t come until after the brobdingnagian incident. Even the other nerds didn’t want to talk to us.”
“Oh yeah!” John laughed. “The brobdingnagian incident!”
“We were in fourth grade.” Emily pat Skylar’s shoulder as she spoke. “And we were talking about synonyms-”
“We were in groups,” John’s voice jumped in. “And our group was assigned to find synonyms for big.”
“We got the usual, huge, giant, ginormous, you know.” Emily started giggling.
“Then Emily and I,” John swallowed back his chuckle as he spoke, “after spending hours using the dictionary when Emily thought she wanted to be a spelling bee champ, had one more word to add to the list-”
“Brobdingnagian!” Emily and John shouted at the same time. Skylar kept stirring the popcorn kernels in their bowl as John and Emily started laughing so hard and so loud they were wheezing for breath.
Eventually John sucked in enough of a breath to explain. “The teacher thought we were making things up. Until she looked it up in the dictionary. And the kids were really annoyed that we got extra credit on top of our group winning the exercise, because of our long word.”
“A brobdingnagian word.” Emily forced out between chuckles.
Skylar joined in the laughter, but it certainly wasn’t nearly as raucous as John’s and Emily’s continuous laughter.
Word count: 472