I found out that the little devices were known as Tamagotchis and they were this new popular toy that had come over from Japan.
In fifth grade, everything begins to change. People you once knew suddenly stop talking to you and you go your separate ways. They hang out with new friends and cliques form up quite quickly. The one thing that gets even trickier is how the placement works. If you’re like me, a kid from a poor family who doesn’t get all the cool new clothes from name brand stores like Abercrombie Kids or even designer stores like Barney’s, you’re kind of left out to rot in the hot sun of August during recess on your first day back.
My backpack was the same one from last year. My parents took me to Walmart to get new school clothes, but for the most part, a lot of what I wore last year still fit and there was no way they could afford to buy me too many new clothes. I took what courage I could and breathed in deep before stepping out of the car on my first day back. Besides all the changes mentioned previously, there was something else I noticed almost all the girls had hanging from their belt loops. It looked like something that would fit on a keychain but it had a screen, sort of like one of those miniature pagers but without the numbers flashing across in green on the front.
I went to sit by myself on one of the benches by the bike racks and listened to any playground gossip that I could pick up before the bell rang. I found out that the little devices were known as Tamagotchis and they were this new popular toy that had come over from Japan. I looked it up online later when I got home and found out they weren’t new at all. They had been around back in the 90s and died out but were making a comeback. However, the worst part was, I was the only student in my class, out of the girls anyway, that did not have one of those hanging from my belt loop or backpack strap.
The research pointed out that they were some sort of little pocket monster that one fed and cleaned up after by pressing these little buttons on the face. It was a pixelated character that didn’t do much but beep incessantly every 30 minutes until it was finally tired enough to go to sleep. Even still, I wanted one if only so I maybe I could say I was a little like the other kids, but when I asked my mom, she said we couldn’t afford it.
I went to sleep dreaming about little pocket monsters and woke up the next morning totally not ready to go to school. My clothes had been picked out the night before, so after going through my morning routine, I started getting dressed. It was when I was putting on my old blue jeans that I felt something squirming in my pocket. I reached my hand in to find out what it was, and something bit me!
At first I freaked out that a bug had gotten into my pocket but when I pulled it out, I found a small little pink creature that I had never seen before. It was a round fluff ball with a funny sort of face but sharp teeth. I held it in my hand confused more than anything before it smiled at me and began chirping.
I closed my eyes thinking I was just dreaming, but when I opened them, it was still there chirping in my hand. I told it to be quiet and it hushed. I was shocked. How was I going to tell my mom that I had my very own little monster that appeared out of my pocket this morning. She would think I was nuts! I put the little guy down on my desk and began to think as it watched me with its beady little eyes of lurid blue. “Well,” I said out loud to it, “since you’re here, I might as well take you to school with me. There’s no way I could explain you to my mom if she came in while I was gone. It’s not like the other kids don’t have their own little electronic pocket monsters with them. But I think you’re much cooler. You’re real. I’ll call you Tibby.”
And that is the very beginning of my life with my little pocket monster. I had no idea to expect when I went to school with Tibby in my pocket that day, but let me tell you, it was a riot.