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Kevin joined Lily for lunch at her house. They ate in silence until…

“Nothing’s going right,” Kevin moaned.

Lily waited for him to continue.

“My grades are in the toilet, my YouTube channel is in the toilet and I am in the toilet!”

Lily looked him in the eyes and listened.

Kevin wanted her to say something, but he realized that there was nothing for her to say.

“What do you think I should do?”

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Lily realized Kevin just wanted to pout and work on his channel, so she went home.

For the next few hours, Kevin watched YouTube tutorials on how to record himself playing video games. Then he had to learn how to play one. Finally, he recorded himself playing the video game and posted it. Anxiously, he checked the number of his subscribers, likes, and dislikes. 

Three followers! He gained two! But he also had only 3 likes and ten dislikes. 

It was late, but he wasn’t sleepy. What to do? How to get people to like his channel and subscribe? He laid in bed thinking and thinking. He fell asleep only to wake suddenly in the middle of the night.

Geometry quiz!

He forgot to study. 

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He refreshed again. He sighed.

“OK, I have one like and one dislike. Five views. No subscribers.”

“C’mon, Kevin. Let’s work on the rainforest. Check it later.” Lily moved on to the sloths. Sloths are so cute, she thought.

Kevin felt sick to his stomach. He felt humiliated, sad, and out of control. His heart was beating out of his little chest – he had to do something. But what?

As he molded the toucans, his mind was on his channel. Why don’t people like me?

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“What now? Want to work on our rainforest project?” Lily asked.

“Um, OK,” Kevin said distractedly.

As Lily worked on the insects, Kevin refreshed his YouTube page. Lily could see Kevin was stressed. He was turning red.

“Look! Look! I have 4 views!” 

Lily looked at his screen. Indeed, there were four views. Kevin refreshed. 

“What? One dislike?! A thumbs down?” 

Lily went back to her insect-making. “Our video was great. Ignore the dislikes.” 

“Ignore? How can I ignore that? I don’t even have any likes!” Kevin wondered how the other three views garnered no reaction.

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This wasn’t what Kevin expected at all. He thought they’d be as excited as him. A cloud of doubt began to form in his head and in his heart.

He tried to push it away.

“I don’t have to be the expert on any of those topics. I just need to make it entertaining to watch.” He thought of Nastya and how he didn’t find it particularly captivating, but…190 subscribers sure did!

“Meh, no thanks,” Carlos said.

“Yeah, I don’t want to be on YouTube,” Minji concurred.

Kevin was bewildered.