“I’ll ask the twins,” thought September.
August and January were the smartest, most organized people he knew. Full of fire and resolutions, she was the start of the calendar year, he was the start of the school year, and both ran their lives by lists.
“We could help you become special,” said January. “But it won’t happen overnight!”
“There are steps, you know,” said August.
“Procedures,” confirmed January.
“Supplies to buy,” said August.
“You might have to take classes.”
“And start waking up earlier.”
“Are your finances in order? This won’t be cheap.”
“I’ll get back to you,” said September.
“I’m thinking of taking steps,” September said, at a backyard barbecue with his big brother July and July’s wife, Sunday, “to be more special.”
“Who said you weren’t special?” July asked, looking at September over the propane grill. “Do I need to have a talk with them?”
“No,” said September hurriedly.
“Because you are special!” said July, motioning with the barbecue tongs. “Don’t let anyone tell you differently!”
“Temper, dear.” Sunday smiled, serene as always.
“Okay,” said September. “How exactly am I special?”
“You’ve got…” July frowned, flipping a burger, then said, “Ask February. He’s better with words and things.”
Over wine and a plate of expensive cheese at a posh restaurant downtown, February spoke eloquently (mostly about himself, but he mentioned September a couple of times).
“I love your style, Sept,” he said. “You may not wear suits, like me, or office attire, like the twins, or anything memorable, like October, but you do your own thing.”
“Thanks,” said September. “I think.”
“If you want people to like you, give them chocolate, or flowers. Send a card! I’m brilliant with cards. Sometimes I put poetry in them! For example-”
“Look at the time!” said September, “Thanks for the cheese.”
September headed to May’s garden to clear his head. Unfortunately, the garden was not tranquil at all.
“I still have to till the southeast bed, get these roses in, and finish by 5 to take mom to dinner. Give me a hand with that mulch.”
“I just needed a place to think,” said September. “Do you ever feel like you’re not special?”
“I’m too busy for that. Who cares if you’re special?”
“Well, I sort of care...”
“No, you’re fine. April, though? Who knows what that girl does with herself. Talk to her. I bet you’ll feel remarkable by comparison.”
What September found at April’s cozy cottage only made him feel worse.
“What’s with these postcards from Japan?” he asked.
“I’m sort of popular there during cherry blossom season.”
“And all these books?”
“National Library Week!”
“What about this box of practical jokes?”
“I did some fooling earlier,” said April. “Want to borrow the fake dog poo for your next dinner with February?”
“Yes. No! I mean – Sis, this is frustrating. I’m the only month who isn’t special at all.”
April hugged September tightly. “Somebody out there needs a month, Sept,” she said. “You just have to find your people.”
And so instead of trying to make himself special, September searched for people who needed a month like him. He found people who weren’t looking forward to winter and took them boating on the last hot days of the year. He rescued people who had been hiding from their allergies since spring. He invited people who didn’t get along with the summer months for long walks in the cooling evenings.
“It’s working!” he told April, “Though it’s slow going.”
“Try having a holiday,” she suggested. “I know some librarians who want to celebrate controversial books. Maybe you can do that?”
“Wow! Holidays are easy!” said September. “Let’s have another! Everyone, why don’t we take Monday off and go to the lake?”
Workers everywhere cheered and patted his back.
“We would like a holiday too,” said some pirates. “Is your house available?”
“Come on in,” September said.
By the time he saw October again, September was exhausted. “Do you feel special now?” October asked.
He nodded, looking around at the photos now covering his walls, of smiling faces at parties and picnics. “It’s easy to be special when people need you.”
“You were always special,” October said. “But now you know.”