Slamming my locker shut, I haul my school bag over my shoulder and turn back to Rusty, my best friend.
“Do you think we could make such a thing go viral?”
“I’m not sure,” she shrugs. “The thing is, people do heaps of awareness stuff on autism all the time. You’d have to make yours really special somehow.”
Rusty’s practically a part of my family and so she loves Becky just as much as the rest of us. We both agree there’s nothing wrong with her and we both agree we should murder the kids in her grade who seem to be set upon treating her like she’s diseased. When I told her about the Becky Challenge earlier, I thought she’d laugh, but instead she nodded.
“We’ll think of something for her, something to make her feel special.”
But now we’ve reached the stage of worry and confusion. If we did try, odds are it would all just full through and the Becky Challenge would finish before it even started. Plus, we then needed a decent challenge to throw to people that didn’t involve drawing dots on a wrist or shaving off your hair or something.
“Here’s the thing,” I walk alongside Rusty. “If we do figure something out, we’re not going to tell Becky until she’s at least got a few others doing it too. Otherwise she’ll just feel worthless and we don’t want that, right?”
“Agreed,” Rusty nods thoughtfully. “I could come over in a few hours while she’s playing tennis this afternoon and we could brainstorm?”
“Squash,” I amend. “She switched last term, remember?”
“Ugh, sorry,” Rusty face-palms. “She switches to many times, I can’t keep up.”
“It’s okay. See you later?”
Frowning, I stare down at my bed where I’ve thrown a whole heap of junk in the hope something might give me an inspiration for a challenge. Maybe people could blend a whole orange and drink it? Maybe people could tie tennis balls to their hair?
Frustrated with myself, I stomp over to my desk and throw open the laptop and bring up my blog. Scanning my notifications, I sigh when I see Sarah, the girl who nominated me for the ice bucket challenge, had sent me a reminder. I scrolled past, pretending I saw no such thing until I reached the end of the notifications and quickly typed up a blog post about staying calm while in frustrated times.
Just as I’m hitting the “post” button, I hear a knock on the door and turn my chair just in time to watch Rusty throw open the door and walk in.
“Darcy’s downstairs,” she says as she heads towards the bed at the opposite end of the room where Darcy resides. “You think she’d mind if I flop since yours is covered in junk?”
“It’s not junk,” I roll my eyes. “I’m trying to get inspiration here.”
“Maybe,” Rusty flops onto Darcy’s bed, “we could do one of those card thingies? I film you holding them up and then we propose the challenge at the end. That way, unlike with the ice bucket challenge, people actually understand what it’s for.”
I did have that idea, too, but then I came to a road block.
“What would the cards say? The usual cheesy stuff?”
“It’s only cheesy if you make it that way,” she lifts her head to glare at me. “You’re good with words, right? You own a blog. Just say a few words about them being normal, about how wonderful they are. People could get touched.”
I chew on my lip.
“But then, what’s the challenge?”
“Well,” Rusty stands to her feet and wanders over to my bed where the “junk” lies. “Let’s make it something easy so people can and probably will actually do it.”
“No tennis balls tied to your hair then,” I say under my breath.
“What was that?”
“Nothing,” I shake my head. “What do you think?”
We start pawing through the stuff, occasionally holding up something for the other to see.
“Maybe we could invent a new hairstyle?” Rusty holds up a hair brush. “Call it the Beckster.”
“To many flaws with that,” I shake my head. “Every hairstyle on the planet has been invented anyway.”
My hands full on my bag of make-up and hold it up.
“Maybe everyone wears their make-up a certain way?”
Rusty pauses as she thinks thoughtfully, running her hand over a copy of the book Catching Fire.
“Maybe not that exactly, but we could do something with make-up. Does she even wear make-up though?”
“No,” I shake my head and toss the bag back onto the bed. “Though she does use nail polish every now and then. Thank God we’re allowed to wear it at school or she’d have a meltdown.”
“There’s your inspiration then!” Rusty grins. “Let’s do something with nail polish! What’s her favourite colour to use?”
“She likes fluoro green,” I say, excitement building. “But then she also likes to mix her colours together to make something really gross.”
“There we have it then,” Rusty claps her hands together sharply. “The Becky Challenge will challenge people, men included, to the task of painting their nails a colour they wouldn’t usually use. It’s both fun, simple and rather easy. It might just work.”
“You think?” I ask, starting to bounce up and down. “You think it might actually work?”
“Well,” Rusty bends down and pulls up my arts and crafts box. “You never know until you try. Let’s do this thing.”
Tucking my hair behind my ear, I try not to look to uncomfortable as Rusty finishes setting up the camera, lens trained on me. In my hands, I hold the cards in perfect order. To me, the words sound rather cheesy.
“My name is Morgan and I have a younger sister named Becky.
Unlike the rest of us, Becky doesn’t have an easy life,
Thanks to the assumption that she’s crazy.
Mental diseases aren’t something to be ashamed of,
They make up a person just like any normal trait.
Becky is beautiful and so is everyone else,
No matter the disabilities they may have.
To raise awareness of the beauty of mental diseases,
I am proposing the Becky Challenge.
Paint your nails an abnormal colour,
And then nominate 4+ others to do the same.
This is a challenge for both males and females,
Since everyone should have the capability to love.
Spread the love and do the Becky Challenge.”
I’m just finishing getting my hair in order when Rusty pipes up,
“We’re ready! Action in three… two…. one.”