I hate it and dread it every year. Will someone pull a prank on me? Will someone prank me so hard that my chest pound and I have to watch my back the entire freaking day? Will I get hurt? I might be able to stand pain but I hate to get hurt.
Pranking was absolutely not allowed in my household, it still isn’t. Pulling a prank equals picking a 24-hour fight. Thank god I’m alone today.
I remember there was this one year in middle school. Actually, I think it was my first April Fool in the U.S., the one after I made some actual friends.
When I arrived on the crosswalk that morning, my friend wasn’t there. I was thinking she over-slept or left the house late. I had no idea it was April Fool but in the air that day, I felt something was different.
“Boo!” I must had slipped into daydream mode. It scared me so much that I almost dove into traffic.
My friend stood behind me, she was giggling and laughing so hard while my chest was so pounding like I had just sprinted. “What the hell?”
“It’s April Fool.”
“A day to prank people, duh.” We made our way to the other side of the road and then she began walking so fast that I couldn’t catch up. We were speed-walker, you see. We often raced to school but that day was different.
“Hey,” I called. “Why are you walking so f****** fast?” (I swore a lot back then, one of the consequences of living in a horrible neighborhood.) She didn’t answer and before I knew it, she disappeared in a crowd of students, also walking to school.
When I finally got to school, I searched for her at the main entrance and at the blacktop (the place people hung out). A hand landed on my shoulder. I reached for it, intended to grab it, to put an end to her stupid prank before I got startled.
I knew it was her pulling another prank. Instead of touching skin, I came in contact with something rough and papery. It was a skeleton hand. I jumped back and shrieked while my friend bent over and laughed. “Stop it now!” I used my firm voice. She threw her hands up in surrender.
She didn’t stop though. The day went down in my books as the most insane, horrifying day. It was also the day I began hating April Fool. Everything she said was a prank and she pulled one after another. I told her to stop but she just mimicked my babyish whine.
That afternoon, when I finally stepped through the door of the apartment, my sanctuary, a prank-free zone, I got another scare. My step-father jumped out and cried “boo.” I was so freaked out and angry I punched him in the shoulder. He said, “ow, what was that for?”
“For scaring me.” I snapped. “I had a horrible horrible day,” I told him. He apologized and pulled me in for a bone-crushing hug. At least someone care.
My friend didn’t dare to pull one when she later came over for tutoring. “I am afraid of Tiger,” she would later tell me years later.
So do you see why I don’t like April Fool? My friend ruined it for me. The next April Fool was different. Everyone in school seemed out of it as if this silly holiday was just a thing in the past.