Chapter 1: God Likes Me ? ????
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It’s the first day of eighth grade and someone’s got a crush on Noa. Someone pretty overwhelming.
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Speaker 1 01:16
Here Lies Me is intended for mature audiences. Listener discretion is advised.
Speaker 2 01:45
I think God likes me.
Speaker 3 01:53
Wait. Big or little?
Speaker 2 01:57
Speaker 3 01:58
Speaker 2 02:00
Speaker 3 02:01
What makes you think that did he like say something?
Speaker 2 02:05
No. It’s just last night. I was at the movie in the park with my sister. And little God. He was sitting in front of us and he was just..
Speaker 3 02:17
Was he like, wanking it?
Speaker 2 02:20
Livi, why would you say that? No, don’t make me. Oh, no, no, he just instead of watching the movie, he was like, watching me. Back to the screen the entire time.
Speaker 3 02:32
Noa. This is bad.
Speaker 2 02:36
I mean, maybe not.
Speaker 3 02:38
No. Noa. Listen to me. This is really really bad. God is gonna wife you up.
Speaker 3 02:45
He can’t just force me to marry him
Speaker 2 02:50
Seriously, Noa? You know what happens when little God has a crush? Everyone know. He like literally marks you. No one will want to come near you or talk to you or be friends with you. Maybe not even me.
Speaker 2 03:05
Don’t even joke, Liv. I can’t survive this year without you. Hey, don’t tell the others when they get here. About, God. Okay?
Speaker 3 03:21
Fine. Cross my heart.
Speaker 2 03:50
Hey, you, yeah, you listening right now to me. To my life. Can we just agree on something? Hugging in school is weird. It just is. Last year, the popular girls started hugging whenever they pass each other in the hall. I mean, get over it. You just saw each other last period. Livi and I used to joke about how dumb they looked. Trying so hard to be little adults. So then why is she having a hug fest right now with some girl I’ve never met? I think I know she is.
Speaker 4 04:30
Oh, the great.
Speaker 3 04:34
Speaker 4 04:36
Damn, girl. I’ve heard so much about you.
Speaker 2 04:41
And I’ve been hearing about O, since I was like six.
Speaker 4 04:45
Dude. Livi is my girl.
Speaker 2 04:47
They used to take ballet together.
Speaker 4 04:49
We used to take ballet together and jazz and tap and modern.
Speaker 2 04:54
Speaker 4 04:56
It was for fucking ever ago.
Oh, you to dance with my other best friends to, Via? And Olivia.
Speaker 4 05:12
Livi, Via, O, they’re all just nicknames for the same thing.
Speaker 2 05:17
You see. O, is kids explaining to me that all four of their names are actually Olivia. Oh my god, crazy.
Speaker 4 05:28
Anyways, the four of us were like, the fucking kindergarten version of Sex in the City. You’ve heard of that show, right girl? Then in the first grade, I moved to the city, you know, New York.
Speaker 2 05:42
And for some reason the Olivia’s took me in as like a replacement. Olivia. Even though I’m not in Olivia, but technically.
Speaker 5 06:11
Alright, alright. Welcome to eighth grade people. Time to sit down.
Speaker 2 06:15
This year. I’ve got homeroom with Mr. Harding. He’s got a pointy mustache, which would look evil if he wasn’t so pudgy.
Speaker 5 06:25
And not just any seat, the one with your name on it. That’s right, get up. All right, this is where you’ll sit the entire year. No ifs, ands or buts about it. The gluteus maximus is a hilarious especially when I’m booting one to Dr. Rocklands office.
Speaker 2 06:49
Mr. Harding used to be a football player for like his job. People say he once carried a kid over his shoulder all the way to the principal’s. Some people say it was two kids one on each shoulder. I kind of believe it.
Speaker 5 07:02
And don’t come to me about trading partners. Nope. I don’t care if I paired you up with your mortal enemy. Your arch nemesis, your evil twin. Nothing. Sorry, not sorry.
Speaker 2 07:13
Mr. Harding teaches science. So the desks in his room are those big lab tables that you share with someone else?
Speaker 6 07:19
Hey, I’m Seb.
Speaker 6 07:22
Lucky you, stuck with the new kid.
Speaker 2 07:25
If Livi were here right now, she’d say the Seb guy was fire. But me, I don’t care about these things. I mean, yeah, he’s got nice cheeks. His face ones.
Speaker 5 07:41
Speaker 2 07:43
Radcliffe, that’s O’s last name. She’s the only Olivia and my homeroom.
Speaker 5 07:49
See that remote up there? On the chair, under the screen. Yes. Do me a favor and turn that volume down. These kids are trying to blow my eardrums.
Speaker 7 08:03
What up my plain view peeps, it is I, God. A.k.a, little God and the I of course and big God, the original God. Debatable as to whether you’re the original, or while we’re at it. Even that big fact like, I’m five inches taller than you not to mention two and a half months older, shorty. You’re not smarter.
Speaker 6 08:33
What is that deal with these guys?
Speaker 2 08:35
They both want to be God. We call them big God and little God to tell them apart.
Speaker 6 08:41
and I thought things were weird at my old school.
Speaker 2 08:45
Yeah, they kinda got voted into daily announcements of the joke.
Speaker 8 08:49
Looking for a club to join a sport to keep you feeling fit. Then you’re in luck. There are tryouts this week for lacrosse, field hockey, cheerleading and soccer. Or football.
Speaker 2 09:02
I am not exaggerating. When I say little God’s voice makes me feel like puking. Play with your feet. But you know, it’s making me feel less pukey watching Seb. He’s drawing something concentrating so hard. He’s licking his lips.
Speaker 8 09:16
That disco night is in two weeks from today, but that’s for your parents. So I don’t know why we’re even telling you. And now it’s time to get serious. It has been a year since we lost Lucas Scott. He was a kind soul taken from us far too soon. But God works in mysterious ways. Let us do a moment of silence for Luka Scott.
Speaker 6 09:50
Hey, Noa. See if you can solve this.
Speaker 2 09:56
It’s a maze. I really wish you could see this thing because it is absolute craziness. Tiny little pathways across the entire page.
Speaker 7 10:10
Luka was a good guy and I can honestly say I miss him. He was a jock. But nice.
Speaker 8 10:18
They don’t make them like they used to. That’s for sure. And now for my wise side of the day. Jimmy on my face. Would you George? Thank you.
Little God and his stupid wisdom. No, thanks. Anyway, I’ve got a maze to do, and an erasable pen to do it with.
Speaker 8 10:41
My people. I urge you to take control of your year.
Speaker 6 10:49
It looks like there’s no way out. But there is, there always is.
Speaker 8 10:55
Strive to be your truest selves to be unique.
Speaker 8 11:03
No, bloom, you are unique.
Speaker 2 11:06
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Speaker 8 11:12
And by unique. I mean, you’re the only girl I can honestly look out without vomiting. Besides, you’re the only other Jewish kid in our grade, which makes us a perfect match. God out.
Speaker 2 11:30
Excuse me for a moment while I go die. Here Lies Ne Noa Bloom, age 13. Tragically killed by God’s crush. Just do me a favor and give me a Jewish funeral that so no flowers and tell everyone to throw stones at me. Right into my grave. Don’t worry. They won’t need much convincing
Speaker 5 11:59
Unless you’re having so much fun you want to keep it up in detention. Settle down.
Speaker 6 12:05
Wait, the hobbit was talking to you? What have you got next?
Speaker 2 12:11
Speaker 6 12:13
Me too. I’ll walk you or you walk me? Because I have no idea where I’m going.
Speaker 4 12:19
Fuck girl. What are you gonna do about that God kid?
Speaker 5 13:43
Tell me if you see that God kid, all right. I’ll be your human shield.
Speaker 2 14:54
Are you even taller than me?
Speaker 6 14:56
Barely, but I’m tougher than.
Speaker 2 15:02
My life is over.
Speaker 6 15:04
It’s gonna be fine.
No, you don’t understand. That’s it. I’m done. I’m gonna lose all my friends.
Speaker 6 15:10
Who needs them, you got me?
Speaker 2 15:13
Oh, yeah, that’s really nice. But being friends with me right now is probably social suicide. No one’s gonna want to sit with me at lunch. I’m gonna have to sit the loser table, if the losers will even let me.
Speaker 6 15:27
Hey, deep breath. Let’s, let’s talk about something else like that Luka kid. What happened to him?
Speaker 2 15:36
Speaker 6 15:39
I got that. But how?
Some drinking accident with a bunch of kids at Hunter Reed’s house down in his dad’s wine cellar.
Speaker 6 15:48
Dang a wine cellar. How bougie is this town?
Bougie times 1000. Basically everyone lives in the movie version of a party house. Everyone except me.
Speaker 6 15:59
And me. I don’t even have a cellar. Unless you count the store under my apartment. Which actually is a wine shop.
Stop pretending like you don’t have a wine cellar.
Speaker 6 16:14
Yeah, I’m gonna throw some term parties for just you and me apparently so until be my only friend. Hope you like wine.
Speaker 2 16:21
Speaker 6 16:23
Yeah, me neither. Don’t tell my parents I’ve tried it though. We’re Muslim.
Speaker 2 16:27
I don’t know your parents. Good point.
Speaker 6 16:30
Wait, so Luca died from wine? Dude must’ve drink a buttload.
Speaker 2 16:36
No, it wasn’t the alcohol. It was a champagne cork. Someone popped it and it hit Luka right in the head like in a spot that kills you. Yeah. They tried to save him at the hospital. But they couldn’t. Maybe because he’s also kind of drunk. I don’t know, everyone tells it differently. And no one ever confessed. But we all know it was Hunter. Some people say he pointed it a Luka’s head on purpose just to see what would happen.
Speaker 6 17:02
Man. That is dark.
Speaker 2 17:06
Welcome to plain view.
Speaker 6 17:08
where apparently rich people get away with literal murder. I thought this town was supposed to be all progressive and shit.
Yeah, but your description is more accurate. Oh, okay. This is us, Mrs. Winterbottom.
Speaker 9 17:27
Ah, okay, boys and girls. This year we’ll be studying diverse world cultures.
Mrs. Winterbottom has been a plain view middle for a zillion years, or at least long enough that my dad had her.
Speaker 9 17:43
But you don’t have to look very far to find diversity. And to show you what I mean, we’re going to do a fun little exercise. So let’s all stand up. Right, and get in a circle around the room. But wait, listen for my instructions. You’ll organize yourselves by skin tone, lightest and darkest meet at the front of the room right over here.
Speaker 6 18:22
No, no, no, no, no. Use the inside of your arm.
Tans or not. I’m obviously the […]. Guess who’s the darkest
Speaker 9 18:32
Young man? Tell me your name again? Yes, Sebastian.
Speaker 6 18:39
Just Seb. That’s my full name.
Speaker 9 18:42
Let’s have you and Noa hold up your arms next to each other.
We’re not exactly touching. But I swear I can feel his arm hairs tickling me.
Speaker 10 18:54
Ah, Mrs. Winterbottom?
Speaker 9 18:56
What is it? Dani?
Speaker 10 18:57
There is something very uncool about this thing we’re doing.
Speaker 10 19:03
I’m not trying to be cool, Dani. I’m just trying to make a point.
Speaker 10 19:08
But your point seems I don’t know. Racist?
Speaker 9 19:13
It certainly is not. We are celebrating race. Look. Here we have Sebastian and Noa in the very same class and to think way back, this would have been impossible. He would have been a slave.
Speaker 6 19:35
Whoa, hold up. That’s not, wow. So I would not have been a slave. My people weren’t even here yet. I’m first gen. And anyways, I’m not Black. I’m Egyptian. But the Noa, she’s. She’s Jewish. So actually, actually, if you want to go way back, she would have been my slave. Wait, wait. I didn’t mean it like that.
Speaker 9 20:01
But Sebastian, your example is even better. Here. You and Noa are standing beside each other. You’re not forcing her to make bricks out of mud. And you’re not whipping her.
Speaker 11 20:20
Mrs. Winterbottom This is crazy. Your lesson plan needs to wake up.
Speaker 6 20:33
Noa, sorry that was weird in there. I didn’t really stick it there. No, that’s not what I..
Speaker 2 21:03
Stop talking to me. You’re only making things worse. Good thing this Seb kid doesn’t have his next class with me. I might have an actual shot of saving myself. Everyone knows the way to score social points in middle school is to literally score points. So no, I’m not gonna pass the ball. I’m gonna score points. I scored a point. Two points. One basket is two points. I broke the frickin tie.
Speaker 12 21:40
Nice. No. Very nice. Wow. Nothing but net on that one. You must have worked out this summer.
Speaker 2 21:48
I rode my bike a lot.
Speaker 12 21:50
You should try track. Yeah, you sure got the body for it.
Speaker 10 21:53
Oh, Jesus. Coach. You can’t say things like that.
Speaker 12 21:57
Okay, chill. Dani. I’m complimenting her. Okay. It’s athlete for good job.
Speaker 10 22:04
It’s human for inappropriate.
Speaker 12 22:07
Look, Dani. I’m just welcoming my pal Noa to club physical fitness. What I’m saying is I had no idea she had it in her. There we go, guys. Oh, and your ball.
Speaker 10 22:29
You can take this to Dr. Rocker and you know, it’s fine.
Speaker 2 22:33
I’m fine, I want this to go away. I want this whole day to go away.
Speaker 10 22:38
Then woman up? You’ve got to speak up. Prove you can’t be messed with.
Speaker 2 22:46
Sure, I guess I can woman up. Speak my mind like Dani. But you wanna know where that landed her? The loser table. Not that she cares, but I do. So I think I’ll keep my mouth shut and do the only logical thing. Have lunch in the bathroom. Tuna on white bread. I don’t have to open the sandwich to know the pickles are arranged like a smiley face. How dad always does on the first day of school. By the way, I don’t know what you’re picturing. But yes, I’m sitting in a stall. And yes, my pants are on, my […] aren’t that bad.
Speaker 4 23:32
Oh my god. You’ve got to be kidding me. No fucking way.
Speaker 2 23:39
Are you talking to me?
Speaker 4 23:41
Is there anyone else in here?
Speaker 2 23:44
I don’t know. I don’t think so. Is that?
Speaker 4 23:49
Yeah, bestie it’s me. And you’re wearing my fucking shoes. That little hard on the toe. I drew that. My mom gets those bad boys to Goodwill.
Speaker 2 24:03
What are you doing? You’re supposed to sit on the toilet, not on the top of the stall.
Speaker 4 24:11
Who’s better from up here?
Speaker 2 24:13
You’re a psycho. You’re just gonna watch me?
Speaker 4 24:15
Who’s the psycho? I’m not eating lunch while I poop.
Speaker 2 24:19
I’m not pooping. I’m just sitting, whatever.
Speaker 4 24:23
Look, we were gonna do this later as a group, but this is better. I’m actually doing you a favor doing, it in private. Girl, this is hard af to say but we voted and everyone agrees. You need to stop hanging out with us.
Speaker 2 24:43
Stop hanging out with who, I just met you.
Speaker 4 24:47
Sorry. I mean, stop hanging out with them. Livi, Via, Olivia. And don’t bother hanging out with me because like we’re all literally boy crazy right now and it’s like, I mean, how are we supposed to get guys? I mean hot ones if you’re like, linked to us. You’re a literal cringe fest.
Very funny. This is one of Livi’s pranks, isn’t it?
Speaker 4 25:18
Oh, I wish there was trust me. Livi didn’t want to talk shit about you. But once she got started, it was like she couldn’t stop.
Speaker 2 25:28
No, you’re lying. What’d she say?
Speaker 4 25:31
I guess it all comes down to your personality.
Speaker 2 25:35
Speaker 4 25:37
No offense, but you don’t really have one.
Speaker 2 25:41
How is that? No offense?
Speaker 3 25:44
Noa, you’re just kind of a sheep.
Speaker 4 25:50
Livi says you follow her around.
Speaker 2 25:52
I don’t. We’re best friends.
Speaker 4 25:54
You laugh when she laughs You agree with her always. Even when you have no clue what she’s talking about. And you’re afraid to swear. And we’re pretty sure you’re asexual.
You just got here. You can’t just show up and like, kick me out or something. I’ll talk to Livi I think at this point, I know her better than you do.
Speaker 4 26:17
I told Livi, you’d probably mature when you get your period.
Speaker 2 26:22
How do you, wish she told you? I haven’t?
Speaker 4 26:27
I know this sucks. But you’ll be okay. I mean, God’s looking out for you. Right? Maybe he’ll save you from that new kid and your little sex laziness or whatever.
Speaker 2 26:41
Have you ever had that thing where you do something? But it doesn’t feel like it’s you doing it? Like you’ve left your body and you’re watching yourself do something the real you would never do? Yeah, so don’t blame me for what’s happening right now. That’s not really me. Dunking my sandwich in the toilet and hurling it at the psycho on top of the bathroom stall. Oh, right in her face.
Speaker 4 27:08
Oh, you did not just hit me in the face of a fucking tuna sandwich in fucking toilet water. Oh, my God.
Speaker 2 27:27
Do you ever feel like you need to yell at someone? I have that feeling a lot. But I never actually do it. In the cafeteria, there are lots of people you can yell at, all those tables full of people who think they’re better than you. There’s the theater kids. The lip gloss girls. The tall girls. And of course, the jocks aka the populars, led by their queen bee. Then there’s the people I really want to yell at. The Olivia’s, except there they go. Running away throwing me shade. Probably off to the bathroom to save O for my evil tuna sandwich.
Speaker 6 28:31
Noa, there you oh my god. I’ve been looking for you. I’m so sorry about that slave thing. I don’t know what I was thinking. I wasn’t thinking I was just reacting crazy Mrs. Winterbottom, but I didn’t mean to turn it on you.
Speaker 2 28:51
Listen, Seb I just met you. And I have no idea if you’re nice or an asshole. But looks like I have to start every stupid day at this stupid school sitting next to you. So let’s get this straight. You will never wit me. I will never give you a BJ, you will never force me to do anything. And if you try, I’ll fuck you up. It’s not funny.
Speaker 6 29:35
I just I think you might be my favorite person. Ever.
Speaker 8 29:46
Are you deaf Pharaoh. I claim her this morning. My glasses. He broke my glasses.
Speaker 6 30:08
My mom is gonna kill me.
Speaker 8 30:10
My mom is gonna kill you.
Speaker 5 30:11
Okay, that was cute. Was that fun? Have a good time? Dr. Rocklin’s office now.
Abby, it’s not an awkward silence. We’re just chewing.
Speaker 13 31:46
So who’s gonna tell me about the first day? I want everything. The Good, The Bad. The Annoying teachers.
Speaker 14 31:52
I won the armpit fart contest behind. And I made it into the flimptactics. Mr. B says you might even be on TV this year. When you died. Does your eyes really turned to exes? Not even mice?
Speaker 13 32:13
Only cartoon ones.
Speaker 14 32:15
Yes, I was right.
Speaker 13 32:19
How about my favorite Solon tween.
Speaker 2 32:22
It was fine. Abby, could you knock it off already?
Speaker 14 32:27
How can you never talk anymore except when you’re being mean?
Speaker 2 32:31
What do you want me to say Ab, you wouldn’t even get it. Middle school isn’t all armpit farts and rainbows. You can’t just put on sequins suspenders and bang on some drums and expect to be popular. Oh, hey, I was hoping you’d come, Livi we need to talk.
Speaker 3 33:02
You broke her ankle, you know?
Speaker 2 33:05
Wait, that’s all you have to say right now?
Speaker 3 33:08
She can’t dance. Or try out for cheerleading even.
Speaker 2 33:12
So you’re serious? What does that even mean I have no personality that I follow you.
Speaker 3 33:19
What do you want me to say, Noa?
Speaker 2 33:21
I want you to say that this is not happening, that we can forget it all happen to go back to being friends.
Speaker 3 33:27
Noa. Oh, this would have been so much easier in text for everyone. When are you going to get a phone already?
Speaker 2 33:37
Maybe when you start be such a such a backstabber
Speaker 3 33:42
oh my god, Noa. You’re 13, grow up.
Speaker 2 33:48
Why, what’s so great about growing up?
Speaker 13 33:56
Speaker 2 34:00
Just people with a petition? I told them you can’t sign because you’re a journalist.
Speaker 14 34:06
I bet it was her boyfriend.
Speaker 10 34:27
Hey, it’s Dani.
Speaker 2 34:30
Hi. Hang on. Oh, Dad, this cord is a mess.
Speaker 5 34:37
I’ll untangle it later one of my favorite hobbies.
Speaker 2 34:44
Hey, Dani, what’s up?
Speaker 10 34:47
Hey, I hate small talk. So I’ll just get right to the point. You know, God likes me last year, right?
Speaker 2 34:56
Yeah, I think everyone knows.
Speaker 10 34:58
He can make your life really suck.
Speaker 2 35:01
Speaker 10 35:02
Well, there are a few of us. We’ve got a club. It’s called WAG. Women Against God, I thought you might want to join
Speaker 6 35:25
HERE LIES ME is a Lemonada Media original in collaboration with the longest shortest time. Executive producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Jessica Cordova Kramer and me, Hillary Frank. I also wrote and directed the show. Hannah Boomershine is our producer. Peter Clowney is our story editor. Ivan Kuraev is our audio engineer. Music by Casey Holford with drums by Sasha. Our artwork which changes every week is by Lindsay Stripling. Thank you to the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas where we found our team cast and to the spruced in and space on writer farm, where I developed the pilot for this project. Special thanks to Val Bodurtha Eartha, Xorje Olivares, Jonathan, and Michael Raphael. The voices you heard today are Ollie Grishaber, Grant Eason, Rafael Pina, Rebecca Lembcke, Anna Marie Tobin, Emma Ogier, Vineeth Nadella, Julian Cotom, Anna Grace Hethcox, Savannah Coyne, Luca Jarosz, Chloe Vuong, Sasha Menjivar, Matt Hune, Judith Miller, Stephanie Wittles Wachs, with special guest W. Kamau Bell and Rob Huebel. For fun facts about our cast plus resources on harassment and bullying. Gotohereliesme.com Next time on HERE LIES ME.
Have you ever had a tower of butts in front of you? I thought about how crazy it is that you’re supposed to climb it?
Hillary Frank 36:57
Nope, can’t say I have. But I want to hear all about it, don’t you? make sure you are subscribed to HERE LIES ME in your podcast app so that you don’t miss this episode. While you’re there, please take a moment to rate and review the podcast. We are a brand-new show and we’re hoping to get some important conversations started about you know some of the tough stuff that goes on in middle school, which means we got to get this story to as many years as possible. And your rating and reviewing will really, really, really help with that. So thank you in advance. Follow us at @LemonadaMedia across all social media and follow me on Instagram at @thisisHillaryFrank.