04: Connection

April 23, 2013 in Grammar and Conventions, lau0601 by lau0601

Tiffany found it really ironic, actually. Now that she’d published several of her stories with taepeapea999’s help, she was getting a lot more attention from the student body in general. It wasn’t an odd day if someone walked up to her and told her how much they had liked her stories.

But. But the one person that didn’t say anything was still this elusive taepeapea999. Even after countless emails, stacks and stacks of printed words – still, taepeapea999 had yet to reply to any of Tiffany’s emails.

To: taepeapea999@xmail.com
From: fanylovespink@xmail.com
Subject: hello?
Attachment: oct15.doc
Thanks again for the corrections, Yuri really liked it. Here’s the next one – it’s a bit lengthy, hope you don’t mind.
By the way, just curious, but what’s your name?

To: taepeapea999@xmail.com
From: fanylovespink@xmail.com
Subject: yuri’s birthday
Attachment: oct 24.doc
Do you not like to reply to emails? I know you’ve received my past emails because you read the stories but how come you never answer?
Either way, it’s Stewie’s anniversary soon, and I’d like to get this in on the day. Would you be able to edit on such short notice?
I’d still like to know your name.
Tiffany sighed in frustration.

“Something wrong, Hweng?”

She groaned. “Not you too, Sooyoung!”

“Why not? It’s a nice name. Hweng.” Sooyoung smiled as she placed the fresh cup of coffee next to Tiffany’s laptop. “Here’s your drink. Cheer up, okay? Don’t mess up the atmosphere of my café with your melodramatic sighing, please.”

Tiffany sipped her drink and put it down. “Thanks, Sooyoung.”

“No worries, ju-” The barista straightened up. “Hello! Welcome to Sooyoung’s Café!”

Tiffany watched as she walked off before returning to the blank email in front of her. It had been a month since she had started to send her stories to taepeapea999, but so far, apart from the usual printed copy complete with red pen marks, Tiffany had not heard even a peep from this mysterious editor.

If Tiffany was to be honest with herself, she would say that she was genuinely intrigued by this stranger. A stranger who wasn’t really a stranger, perhaps, because this stranger knew Tiffany’s quirks, knew her favorite phrases, the way she thought.

At first, she had often crossed out Tiffany’s frequent commas, an edit that Tiffany pointedly ignored. But, now, it seemed like taepeapea999 had gotten the point. There were hardly any crossed-out commas, and even if taepeapea999 did point on out, it was only as a suggestion to use it for more emphasis. And Tiffany appreciated that.

And in turn, Tiffany also learned about taepeapea999. For one, the stupid email address didn’t reflect the thought processes and attention to detail of her unknown editor. Tiffany grew used to taepeapea999’s dislike of repetitive words, useless semicolons, pronoun mix-ups. Sometimes Tiffany would smile because of crossed out corrections; and as time went by, she would look almost eagerly for the rare stars and smiley faces next to underlined chunks. Tiffany even found herself wanting to do better just so she could see which bits taepeapea999 liked.

Tiffany glanced down at the most recent stack of papers, right by her elbow. The red marks had started to decrease as Tiffany had started to anticipate taepeapea999’s edits, changing the mistakes before sending the stories, in hopes that that might earn her some more smiley faces.

Yes, Tiffany knew she was being a little desperate.

But, as annoyed as she might’ve been at the beginning, she really was coming to respect and appreciate this taepeapea999. Her readers’ comments were a huge encouragement to her, and she was pretty proud of how well she was beginning to warm up to people. But, for some odd reason, it was taepeapea999 that she wanted to hear from the most – the person who attacked her work without reservation.

So it was, to say the least, utterly frustrating that the editor never replied to a single email and never wrote more than the correct spellings or phrases in her edits. Tiffany was curious – more than just curious, she was dying to know who in the world this taepeapea999 was.

And it was out of this desperation that Tiffany hatched her evil plan.

To: taepeapea999@xmail.com
From: fanylovespink@xmail.com
Subject: >:(
Attachment: nov2.doc
Okay, this is what’s going to happen. I’ve gone through my story and put in as many spelling mistakes and made all the bad word choices that I can think of. If you don’t reply somehow, I am going to refuse to change them and I’m just going to send this to Yuri. I know you’re a grammar Nazi so I’m sure you don’t want this to happen?
It’s simple, really. Just your name is enough. That way I can start my one-sided emails with at least a name.
Got it?
P.S. there are many, many, many semicolons. Like; this.


Tiffany couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed. So far, 25 hours and counting, there had been no reply. She was almost ready to give up. Sitting down at her usual desk in the library, she picked up the waiting stack of papers and flipped through them listlessly. Really, taepeapea999? So you just went and edited all the mistakes, and still didn’t bother just giving me your name?

She smiled faintly, though, at the sudden intensity of the red marks. Sure enough, her secret editor had gone through each and every mistake, underlining, circling, even boxing. That was new. Tiffany couldn’t even begin to fathom how many pens taepeapea999 had had to go through.

And, oh. There was a mistake that she hadn’t even meant to put in. Oops. Aha! A star! Tiffany was impressed; how in the world did taepeapea999 manage to understand all the typos and grammar issues? How in the world was she even able to understand the plot, let alone like that part of the story?

And then she saw it.

At the bottom of the last page, still in red, was a single word.