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It was a bright morning in the middle of March. I was standing at the far end of the bus stop, trying to ignore the loud dialogue of the other students. I couldn’t help but feel that I wouldn’t fit in. I had just move to San Diego, California from New York City. I had remembered what my mom told me before I left the house, ‘Be yourself and you’ll fit right in.’ I didn’t believe her then and I still didn’t.
I had straight, brown hair and pale, blue eyes. I was wearing a white tee-shirt, denim jeans, and white sneakers.
All of the kids looked at me and then turned around laughing. Except one girl. She was standing on the other end of the bus stop. She had curly, black hair and brown eyes. She was staring at me, but she seemed to be looking right through me. Then, I heard vague footsteps gaining in the back. I turned around and found a girl wearing dark blue glasses. She passed me and kept walking toward the black-haired girl. When she reached her friend, they began chatting and laughing.
One of the girls from the big group of kids was walking away form her friends, and toward me! Her red hair was pulled up into a messy bun. Her friendly, brown eyes were glistening brightly. Her friends watched her in disbelief and then went back to talking.
“Hi, my name is Jessie,” she greeted.
“I’m Emma,” I said quietly.
“Did you just move here?” Jessie asked as she eyed me curiously.
“Yeah,” I answered.
“New York City.”
“Wow!” She exclaimed, “That is really far away!”
Her jaw opened, widely. I tried hard not to burst out laughing.
“It is really far away,” I agreed.
I heard laughter in the background. Jessie obviously did too, for she turned around and stuck her tongue out at her friends. They did the same and went back to chattering.
“Ignore them. They’re just mad because I ditched them,” she explained with a wide smile.
“If you want to rejoin them,” I considered, “You can.”
“Okay,” she agreed, “Come with me.”
With that, we walked over to join her friends.
“Hey, everyone,” Jessie announced, “This is Emma.”
Some greeted me, while others just simply smiled. Jessie introduced me to all of her buds. There were a total of four kids. I only remembered two of the students though. There was Sammy; she had hot pink glasses, blue highlights, and neon-green nails. The other was Eric; he had spiked, orange hair, one nose-piercing, and two eyebrow-piercings, but he had beautiful blue eyes. One girl, whose name I didn’t remember, seemed very shy. The only thing I noticed where the scars that covered both of her wrists.
“Hey Jessie,” I whispered, “Why are there scars all over her wrists?”
“Oh, that’s Tori,” she explained, “After her mom and dad had a divorce, her dad would abuse her. She started cutting herself. When her mom found out about the abuse, she called the police. Tori’s dad was taken to jail and her mom gained full custody of her.”
“That is horrible!” I exclaimed, trying to hold back my tears.
“Don’t worry,” she said, “She stopped cutting herself more than three years ago.”
None of Jessie’s friends were alike, yet they all got along just fine. It seemed like they all had their own storey to tell. Eric’s parents had passed away in a car wreck four years ago. He now lives with his aunt. Sammy had been in a juvenile detention center because her dad used to steal trucks. Sometimes she had to go with him and was forced to help. One of the other boys had been in a foster home because his parents were always drunk and doing drugs. His grandma had adopted him a few years ago.
“All of your friends are very different from each other,” I remarked.
“Then why do they get along so well?” I asked.
“Well, they have all gone through tough events in their lives. They just understand how everyone else feels,” she explained.
‘If you don’t mind me asking; what happened to you?”
“Nothing, I just accept people for who they are and I don’t judge them,” she answered with a sense of pride in her tone.
I couldn’t believe that Jessie, someone who was perfectly normal, managed to welcome all of these people that had no one else to turn to. Jessie seemed to be the most caring and welcoming friend, and those who were her friends were lucky to have her. I decided to walk over to Tori and talk to her.
“Hey, I’m Emma. You’re Tori right?” I asked, being as friendly as possible.
“Ummm… Yeah, I’m Tori.”
“I’m really sorry about… your dad,” I said, “If you don’t want me to bring it up again, I won’t. Thanks for your concern though,” she thanked and smiled, faintly.
I decided to walk over to Eric.
“Hi, I’m Emma.”
“Yeah, I’m Eric,” he greeted.
He stuck out is fist and we locked knuckles. He smiled widely and laughed. I joined in with him. Sammy walked up to Eric and me.
“Hey Emma, I’m Sammy,” she introduced.
“I used to have a friend named Sammy but she moved away a few years ago,” I said.
“Cool, I’ll catch up with you later,” she promised.
I could tell that she was the short conversation type. I waved goodbye to Eric and headed for the other guy in the group.
“Hi, what’s your name?” I asked.
“I’m John. You’re Emma; the new girl,” he gave me a crooked smile.
“Yeah,” I smiled back.
He shook my hand and motioned me to walk with him. We headed toward the others by the stop sign. When we reached the others, we talked. Eric was the jokester of the group, and every joke he told we laughed at.
Shortly after our conversation started, the bus pulled up to the curve. This was going to be a great year.