One day, a perfectly ordinary day, when we were all sitting in class, quietly doing fractions, Madame Demay, our teacher received a note, that asked a list of five of us to come to the office after class.
My name was on the list, and I was suddenly terrifed. What had I done? Was I in trouble? Why was I being called down along with the likes of Benjamin, one of the worst trouble-makers in the class?
Over recess, the five of us who had been chosen, were called turn by turn into the office. Much to my relief, we were not in trouble, rather, the school had been asked to select five "typical" students to take part in a short film for the World Expo in Japan.
Fear turned to excitement, and I began to look forward to the day of the shoot. We were going to be put on film that was going to be shown to masses and masses of people from around the world. To boot, the expo was in Japan, a country that fascinated me and filled my head with visions of Asian splendor: up-turned roof corners, bright colors, kimono and the plaintive sounds of flutes.
I couldn't be happier.
The day before the shoot, I was so excited, that I wasn't paying attention to where I was going during a game of tag. I was running towards the big chestnut tree in the middle of the playground to be "safe." I turned to look behind me to see where the person who was "it" was and before I knew it, I had run straight into the tree.
I bounced back and fell down, stunned and just sat there for a minute while everyone laughed. I'd had my head up a little bit, so the brunt of the blow landed on the underside of my chin. There's still a small rough patch under there, where the bark scraped all of the skin off. But what made me cry, was the idea that I might have wrecked my chances of being in the film.
I went home that afternoon full of questions for my mother, who took one look at the little scrape and assured me that no one would even notice if I kept my head down a little bit. She put a small band-aid on the boo-boo and told me to relax, that everything would be fine.
It was quite cold on the day that we were filmed. We had to arrive early, to use the playground before anyone arrived. The directors grouped us up and told us to pretend to walk into the playground chatting. They had Max and Benjamin do a little bit where one of them was hanging out alone on the playground, and then the other arrived and the two of them slapped each other on the back and walked off arm-in-arm.
I got to run up and down the hill by the tree a couple of times, pretending to play tag.
By the time we had to be in class, it was all over. Later on in the year, we saw the finished product, and everyone had a good laugh at the footage. The band-aid underneath my chin wasn't even visible.