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Everybody Needs Somebody
So there I was, just sitting at the bland round tables in the uncomfortable chairs that the school had mass-ordered for the entire school’s chair supply: bad move. While staring at the taupe brick walls my mind went blank, just twitching from the color. I glanced around the study hall room; it wasn’t much of a room: just a few modest tables and three chairs for each, along with a chalkboard and Mrs. Mill’s desk at the back of the room. I would kill for that lounge chair right now, my rear is killing me. The raspy sound of her snoring drives me crazy; it is monotonous other than the occasional deeper and louder snore.
Suddenly, it happened. He burst into the room, a tall kid with red hair and green eyes; I noticed he didn’t have any freckles, which was surprising to me – I thought all kids with red hair had freckles. I had heard about this guy. He recently moved here from Indiana and beyond that, he was as plain and ideal as could be (Maybe…). When it came to stereotyping him, it was difficult, I sized him up: He had short hair, a green American Eagle shirt, blue jeans with a belt, and a plain, black, zip-up sweatshirt. He wasn’t especially bulky, probably a solid 150 pounds.
He walked in and pulled a bright pink pass out of his worn red folder and slapped it down on Mrs. Mill’s desk, and she awoke with a start. Her snore was interrupted and arrested and she almost fell out of her luxury computer chair. “I got lost,” he said in an apathetic and weary voice. She set her glasses on the bridge of her crooked nose, the nosepiece applying pressure and defining the lines that spider-webbed all over her face. She grunted and indicated to the chair across from me, and tore up the pass and threw it into the trashcan. He turned to me and dragged his feet across the floor over to where I was sitting, pulled out the chair and set himself down like a ragdoll being dropped. He heaved a sigh and put his folder on the table. Silence…
He heaved a long breath inward, letting it out slowly in a long whistle. He spoke. “So how was your weekend?” I scoffed at the absurdity of the question; not because it was ridiculous to ask for, but that he spoke to me as if we were already friends, and good ones at that. I shook my head and answered.
“It was great; I sat around looking for something to do and was waiting for a call from anyone. I didn’t dare go outside because I thought I might miss the phone ringing, but it’s not like it ever does. But while I was waiting for the phone that didn’t ring, I began thinking about some pretty deep stuff.”
“Oh?” he asked with interest; his eyes brightening with fierce care and fascination. I stopped for a second to search for its authenticity, and surprising enough, it was there.
“Indeed. I began thinking about myself and why my closest friends weren’t calling me.”
“Perhaps they had other things going on,” he suggested. I shook my head at this,
“No, it wasn’t that, because they were telling me about it this morning.”
“Maybe they forgot then.” I shook my head again, laughing because I had thought these things myself.
“No, it wasn’t that either, this isn’t the first time it’s happened, or the only example of it. For example, science; I despise science. Do you know why? Because too often we’re asked to find a partner for labs, and guess what happens. As soon as the teacher even utters the word “lab” or hints at a lab, we are supposed to choose who we want to be our partner. I am always either the last to be picked, or the one who is assigned to the kid who doesn’t have any friends. Usually he or she is shy, smelly, and stupid. I wallow in my situation, and desperately look for another, but there isn’t one to be found. I mean, I don’t want to say that he or she is a bad person, but they weren’t exactly my first choice, or my second, or my third. I just think it so funny that I can have so many friends (I raised my arms and bowed each of my middle and index fingers) and yet, I'm so alone and shy when it comes to my deep feelings about certain things. The clarity of myself is unclear because I don't know myself, I've never met me, and I've never been around me. I don't know what to think. I'm crazily pulling my hair out while I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with my character, with me. By character, I mean the literary term. The way I see it I can look at this two ways: one, either people who are compatible with me are still out there somewhere, waiting to be found, OR There's something wrong with the way I treat people that I need to be informed about. Am I too boring, too sad, too crazy, or too over the top? Am I ugly or what? What makes this repulsion between me and anyone I want to get to know really well and care about? Why don't they care about me back? Why am I always the one to take initiative? Why am I Just some person, and what can I do to change that?” I sighed deeply and put my face in my hands; almost crying right in front of this guy I had never met. I didn’t even know his name. I looked up to find him staring at me with a look of concern and care. He put his hand on my shoulder and gave me some encouragement.
“You know, some people in the world are shallow. Most people in the world are shallow, as a matter of fact. If people are nice to you, they usually have an angle. They don’t really want to be your friend; they’re just greedy and want what you have to offer. People are like leeches: they are just there to take and take and take. They don’t want to sacrifice anything. And they are a friend to the people who are like them. So don’t feel bad, if you find the right group, then everything will be fine.” I looked up at him; he had a smile on his face and his encouraging hand on my shoulder, comforting me. I just chuckled to myself even more.
“The whole thing about so many people being shallow is true; maybe it's so true that I'm one of them. Maybe that’s it; maybe that’s the key to my downfall. I just don't know. I just want to change. Then I duly doubt that I’m the problem, maybe I'm wrong about being wrong, and maybe I just haven't found the right person. Maybe I just need someone to talk to.” I looked at him from under my overgrown bangs, and I could see that he was grinning. I could already sense his idea.
“My name is Mac; it’s a pleasure to meet you.” It was indeed, all mine.