11-year-old Jessica breathed in a deep breath as she walked into her new school. She
had just moved from Idaho to Colorado. She was nervous, because she had a back brace. Back
in her old home, her friends had known her before she had had to have the brace put on, and
they accepted her. She was afraid the kids would make fun of her. As she walked in, everyone
turned to greet her, then fell silent when they saw her. They started whispering amongst
themselves, pointing at her back. Still she walked along, eyes towards the ground, filling
up with tears. She wiped them away and went to her class. For the next few weeks, Jessica
was isolated from the rest of the kids.|
Katie watched as the new girl walked through the front doors. She saw everyone
staring at her, and wanted to help her somehow, but what if everyone ignored her, too? What
if she lost her friends? She felt guilty, but she held back and left Jessica alone. She was
also in the same class as Jessica, and she watched as Jessica went to the farthest seat back.
She argued with herself over the weeks of whether she should try and be friends with Jessica.
It was a hard one, but finally she came to her decision. One day at lunch, while Jessica was
sitting alone at a table, Katie took a deep breath, hesitated, then got up and walked over
to Jessica's table. Everyone watched as she sat down with her. The lunchroom was silent. A
few people giggled, and Katie turned red, but she didn't move. She took her sandwich out of
her lunch box and bit into it, then she said to Jessica, "So, where did you come from?"
Jessica, almost too shocked to speak, shakily said "I-Idaho. We moved because my da! d got
a job offer." "Oh. So, do you have any pets?" This broke the ice. "Oh, I love animals! We
have two cats named Oreo and Biscuit, a dog named Yoshi, and a couple of goldfish. We've had
the cats for a while-they're sisters-but we just got Yoshi a month ago. He's a puppy, so
he's really hyper. We've had the goldfish for a long time, though. They're Sunshine, Goldy,
and Star. Do you have any pets?" she asked. "No," Katie admitted, "But I have two brothers,
one's sixteen and one's four." "I don't have any brothers or sisters. Hey would you...like
to come over to my house sometime? I live out on Stonybrook Lane." "That's where I live!
Sure, I'll come over. How about tonight?" "Okay!" replied Jessica, beaming. Katie glowed
inside. Over the next few months, Jessica and Katie became closer than ever, and soon
everyone accepted Jessica.
~ FIVE YEARS LATER ~
Everyone is now in the tenth grade. Jessica and Katie have just turned sixteen.
Jessica now has many friends and a boyfriend. `At the doctor's` "Jessica, today you will
be getting your brace off," said the doctor. "Cool," she said, kicking her legs against
the doctor table. Her mother looked taken aback. She had expected her to be more excited.
The doctor took her into a separate room, and the removal process began. A week later, she
was back in school. No one noticed the difference! Jessica was starting to get annoyed.
Finally, at lunch, when she went to her full table, she stood up and said "Don't you see a
difference?" she spun around. No one said anything. Finally, Katie noticed the difference.
"Your brace," she said suddenly. "It's gone!" Many people shrugged and some said "Wow."
Then they went back to talking. Jessica smiled, then pulled Katie aside and said "Thanks.
Thanks for being my friend."