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New Best Friend
Jill hated nothing more than having to go to school. She was eight years old and had had a rough time getting through her kindergarten and first grade years. Jill did not have and friends because she lived in the middle of nowhere with her mother and grandfather. Starting school was not something she was looking forward to.
It was the morning of the first day of school.
“Jill, it’s time to wake up.” Her mother whispered as she gently shook her daughter.
“Mom, I don’t want to go to school, I hate school. No one likes me.” Jill sat up with tears streaming down her face. Her mom slid across the bed and wrapped her arms around her daughter.
“Honey, you have to go to school,” her mom explained, “just give it time. Things will get better.
Jill jumped out of bed, grabbed her coat, and slipped on her shoes. “No Mom!” Jill sobbed as she ran down the stairs, “Things won’t get better. They never will.” Jill ran out the front door and slammed the door. She ran through the front yard and sat down beside her favorite tree. She put her head between her knees and sobbed.
“Jill!” her grandpa hollered, “Where are you?” Jill peaked her head out around the tree and wiped away a tear from her cheek. Her grandfather strolled towards the tree, and Jill slowly stood.
“Jill, Honey sit down I have something I want to share with you.” Jill and her grandfather slowly sat down under the shade of the tree and Jill’s grandfather began to tell his story. “I understand why you don’t want to go to school,” he began. “When I was about six I started Kindergarten, I was excited the night before but when I got to school and saw all the kids I got very scared. I told my mom that I had changed my mind and didn’t want to go to school.” Her grandfather paused for a moment as if he were collecting his thoughts, then he continued. “My mother turned to me and told me that she was sorry but that I had to get out of the car and go to class. I slowly got out of the car and walked through the hall all by myself and entered my classroom. As I entered everyone just stared at me. I sat in the back of the room by myself the entire first week of school. On Monday of the next week a little girl came up to me and asked me what was wrong. I didn’t know exactly how to explain it so I just explained that I was lonely and didn’t have any friends. She looked at me sympathetically and told me that she would love to be my friend. From that day on we were best friends. She and I went through everything together.”
Jill stopped him. “Grandpa is that really what happened?” Jill asked with sincerity in her voice.
“Yes dear, it is. She and I were best friends clear through high school. We even went to college together. And… you know what else?” Her grandfather asked.
“What?” Jill responded very interested in the story now.
“That little girl that I was friends with clear back in Kindergarten in your grandmother.”
Jill could not believe it. She was shocked. They both sat there for a few minutes and didn’t say a word. Then Jill broke the silence.
“Wow grandpa,” Jill began. “I think maybe I can go to school now. Maybe the same thing will happen to me.” Jill explained with a cute little smile on her face.
Jill leaned toward him and gave him a hug. They both slowly stood up and walked back inside and up the stairs. She dressed in her best school clothes and walked down the steps.
On the way to school Jill just sat with her hands folded in her lap and gazed at the passing country side outside the window. Her grandfather looked over and placed his hand on her shoulder.
“You’ll be just fine, Honey. I promise. You will meet a lot of people today, and I’m sure you’ll make great friends.”
Jill looked over at him with wide eyes just hoping that he was right. Slowly they approached the school, and she saw all the children running around. She placed her hand on the door handle and after taking a deep breathe hopped down out of the car.
The morning was a blur. Lunch was lonely, but she still had hope. At recess Jill sat on a swing, slowly swaying back and forth when out of nowhere a little girl jumped into the swing beside her.
“Hi,” the little girl giggled, “ My name’s Chloe.” Jill looked over at her and smiled.
“Hi,” Jill responded, as she continued to look at the little girl.
“I noticed you were all alone,” Chloe stated sincerely, “I thought maybe you could use a friend.”
A wide smile spread across Jill’s face and as she and Chloe sat there talking, Jill thought about how right her grandfather had been. Maybe it wouldn’t be exactly the same but maybe her and Chloe would be best friends for life.