By R.J. Garcia
To be honest, Colson wasn’t like other sixteen year olds. For one thing, he was in college. For another, he was Colson.
Colson opened his mailbox to find one envelope. He stuck it between two folders— his interest peaked. He had no idea that the instructions in that simple white envelope would change his reality forever. He walked to his dorm room. Half of his head filled with Professor Rynbright’s lecture on Quantum Mechanics, and the other half filled with Jade.
He first discovered her walking across campus. Her auburn hair blazed as the sunlight hit it, and her lily white skin absorbed the light, making her glow. A breeze caressed her hair and made the changing leaves on the trees-tops flutter. Colson didn’t usually notice things like girls or trees. Then they had a class together. Mathematically, what were the odds? Crazier yet, she sat next to him, and smiled at him one unforgettable time. When he glanced over at her during class, it seemed she was always looking at him, too.
After the last class of the semester he spotted her again. He kept clearing his throat as he followed her across campus. Now the words played back in Colson’s head. “Um, Jade, would you want to maybe exchange e-mails? I would like to get to know you.” He again cleared his throat. Why did he keep doing that? He plastered an uneasy smile on his face. His mom always told him people will like you if you smile. Did he sound normal? He had wanted to sound normal.
She came to a halt. “Listen Colson, I like you, but it’s not like that.”
“Friendship is good.” He was leaving himself a small morsel of self-respect, and a
flicker of hope. Friendship could develop into more, or so he heard, or overheard from people who had friends.
Her shoulders hunched, and her lips thinned. “I can’t be your friend, Colson. Bye.”
He froze. She started walking. He mumbled, “Bye,” but she had already passed.
He awkwardly stood there not committing to any emotion. Other students hurried by like flashes in a dream. He just felt dazed. Colson was not inclined to strong feelings. His brain told him that it hadn’t gone well. Yet, she knew his name and that was good. Girls didn’t usually know his name. The conversation was set on a kind of replay in his head, resulting in agonizing sensation.
Once Colson arrived to his scantily decorated dorm room, he went and sat down at his desk. He retrieved that curious letter. It stood out because there was no return address. Carefully, tidily he opened the envelope, revealing instructions titled, “How to Build a Bride.” Grinning uncomfortably, his cheeks flamed. The robots he had built could move about the floor, turn around and that was the extent of it. Building a bride was a crazy notion. He continued reading for idle fun.
The instructions themselves read like a passage from Frankenstein. Step One: acquire a fresh cadaver. Instantly, Colson became uncomfortable. He forced his scattered thoughts into order. This was someone’s way of telling him he didn’t stand a chance with a real, living, breathing girl. Colson impervious to rage, became quite miffed. He crumbled up the instructions and threw them away and grabbed an energy bar from his desk drawer. He ripped into it and swallowed his pride along with a mouthful of granola.
The next day, he plodded across campus to meet with Professor Rynbright, regarding an assignment. He was back to living in his head not noticing the people passing, or the blue sky and beautiful New England campus that looked good enough to be a screen saver.
The door squeaked open. He passed several empty classrooms and a large corkboard with postings of campus activities, which he never attended. Then unexpectedly, Jade exited the lab as he approached. His body tensed. He told himself to keep walking. Head bent, he took a safe step past her.
“Colson, wait,” Jade said.
He turned to face her. Their eyes met and locked.
She asked, “Do you still want to know me?” This was highly unexpected.
The answer came easy. “Yes.” A smile crossed his lips without any effort.
She was clearly emotional. Her lips quivered, but her eyes were in a state of disconnect. “You got it?” She asked, her hand fluttering near her collar bone. “You got the letter I sent you?”
“You sent me a letter?” His eyes narrowed, becoming confused.
“I followed you, I watched you put it in between your folders yesterday. You wanted to
know me?” She sounded desperate. “But I don’t know me.”
The door of the lab burst open. Then Professor Rynbright stepped in-between them, and snatched Jade’s arm. “Colson, I see you’ve met my wife, Jade.” He was puffy with self-gratification under a bad hair piece.
Everything was unclear and out of focus. A bubble of panic worked its way toward his
esophagus. He cleared his throat. Jade’s eyes studied Colson’s face. Closer to her now, he caught a subtle whiff of formaldehyde and decay. He was almost sure she mouthed the words, “Help me.” Colson could hardly find the appropriate words in regular social interactions. It seemed as if he was ready to speak, but no sound emerged. He ran.
Colson would tell some guys in his dorm, and his graduate advisor the bizarre story of how a distinguished, tenured Professor manufactured a corpse bride. This compiled with his mysterious disappearance, was how he became known as Crazy Colson.
( Illustration by Luisa Gascon. Click on link to — See more art.)
April 2 – I think Colson went home to his mom. It would be interesting if he had some kind of psychotic episode, because he is Crazy Colson. He and Jade can get together when he is medicated and back at school. – Zoe
March 15 – I am thirteen and wanted to ask Tommy, what boys really think about? Maybe he could blog about this. I also wanted to say that Colson could have ran away with Jade. We are not really sure. – Emily
March 3 – I was hoping Colson would have saved Jade. I liked him. I know they aren’t real but … – Gabby
Crazy Colson Part Two
By:Kaitlin Benkert, age 10
The next year was tough for Colson (Crazy Colson). I mean who would know that his professor was married to his crush? Was he? When Professor Rynbright said that Jade was his wife, both Colson and Jade were confused. Colson thought all night about it. Were they engaged? Why didn’t she tell him? It was all a mystery.
When he woke up the next morning he went to class. Of course, Jade was there. He didn’t know what to think. Were they friends or not? He wanted to talk to her, but what would she think? Then he noticed, she didn’t have a ring. Did she take it off? Or are they not really married? Colson was very confused. It didn’t make sense to him.
Later that night he walked into his room and told his roommate. It didn’t make sense to him either. He told Colson that together they would figure it out. What was the professor doing? Did Jade agree with it? “Why?” Colson thought. Throughout the week, Colson and his roommate ,John, thought about how they were going to figure out the situation. They decided that the best plan was to watch what Jade did and where she went after classes. By doing this it would tell them if she actually did have a ring, and if she saw Professor Rynbright later after school.
Hopefully after doing this, it would clear some things up about Jade. She was such a mysterious girl. Were they spies? What was going on? He just wanted to know. Did she agree to this? Did she want this to happen to her? It would be so much easier if he just knew. What if it didn’t work? What if his plan didn’t work? What would he do then?
The following week he watched Jade. He followed her to where she went after class. It was a mysterious room, there were no windows, there were no people. She was all alone. Or at least, that’s what he thought. Did she see him? Did she know he was there? Every day she went there, and it was the same. No one was there, not even Professor Rynbright.
The next day when he followed her to the mysterious room there was somebody there. It was professor Rynbright. Luckily Colson did not get spotted. The professor and Jade started talking.
“Did you talk to anyone?” He asked Jade.
“No,” she said, “How long do I have to keep this up?” Jade asked.
“Honey, You know I don’t want you hanging out with Colson. His name is CRAZY Colson for a reason.”
“I know but-”
“No buts, now go back to your dorm and I’ll see you tomorrow.”
The next day Colson approached Jade in the hallway. He told her about how he heard the conversation she had the following day. Jade told him that the whole thing was a misunderstanding. He told him that professor Rynbright was actually her dad. Jade also said that he was very overprotective. She told Colson that her dad didn’t want them hanging out.
It all made sense now. Colson understood. So they weren’t married, and Professor Rynbright was just her dad. When professor Rynbright said that he was Jade’s husband, Jade was also confused. She never knew that it would come this far. So everything was perfect. Jade liked Colson and Colson liked Jade. Except one thing, would they ever be together?