Emma & Fabian, by Emma


“F*** me, I’m famous.”

That’s how 11 year-old Fabian usually greets me, and I usually answer, “No, thank you,” because I want my students to learn polite English. His real name isn’t Fabian, but he’s fabulous, so that’s what I call him. He also goes by Fabio, Cody Taylor (his preferred moniker) and Gravy Brown. Sometimes he calls me Lola Pink which is a nice reprieve from Stefani Germanotta.

We’ve been meeting every Wednesday for a year, yet I’ve taught him nothing. He’s really proud of this, and I don’t care anymore. Therefore, we spend most of our time role playing celebrity interviews, acting as fashion police (I’m usually the offending perp) and arguing about pop stars. Before you judge me too harshly, I’ve got to tell you that this is the kid who made me change all the aliens in his workbook to Adeles (the singer) so that he could more accurately describe and relate to them.

One time I spelled the word limousine for him because it comes up a lot in our conversations. He spelled it limousini, and I said, “No, the English ‘e’. What you wrote is Italian.” For the next 40 minutes, we tried our damnedest to out-Pacino each other. To this day, if I start to get frustrated with him, he whispers, “Limousini,” and we both get the giggle fits until we stop functioning.

Like all fabulous people, he isn’t without his flaws. He measures people’s worth by their material possessions, so my ancient phone cube is a real struggle for him. Sometimes he makes me hide it from his view, sometimes he demands to play the one game on it because if I don’t who will? And sometimes he calls the man whom the night before I’d just told I don’t want to see anymore. After I karate chopped the phone from his hand and explained his faux pax through my spittle, his pre-pubescent voice shrieked, “Helllloooooo!? I am the boyfriend of Emma! We are never, ever, ever getting back together!” Good save, Fabian.

We’ve only really had one fight. My dogs were killing me because I’d just gotten them tattooed, as you do, and had been walking all day. I’d slipped off my sandals to let them breath, and he just couldn’t abide my hippy (his word) ways. He demanded that I put them back on, but I refused.

“Put your shoes or I going to tell my mother that you try poison me!”
“Are you blackmailing me!?” I retorted.
Fabian, “Yes!”
“You don’t even know what that means!” I said.
“…now, I do,” he responded with the international sign for bitch slap.

I guess I have taught him something.