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While everyone was reuniting with their friends they hadn’t seen since the end of the year, I stood alone, but I was used to that. I don’t have any friends or anyone that really cares at all. I never did; except maybe Jimmy from kindergarten (whose mother forced him to play with me) or Mr. Reynolds from freshman year. He was the one that actually taught me what a friend was. He was probably the only true friend I’ve ever had. Oh, how I miss him. But I think I’d rather be alone. I don’t like people much. Humans are just hopeless souls trying to have a successful life; as if success is really worth it. We all just die in the end anyway.
It seemed as though the rest of the world was in fast forward and I was frozen. I stood outside the school staring at the sign that read Rockville High School, when suddenly, I was shoved out of my temporary paralysis. Composing myself from the two minutes of my worthless life that I had just wasted, I quickly turned around to see who bumped into me. I saw the long, wavy brown hair as it slowly strutted into the double doors and without even seeing her beautiful green eyes, I knew it was Madison Casslin (better known as Madds to her stuck-up, puppy-dog-like posse). She was terrible; a terrible, mean girl. Oh, but she was beautiful. Another beautiful girl that would never know me as anything more than a pile of rocks. But, I was kind of flattered by her shoulder forcefully colliding with mine. It was the most attention I had ever gotten from Madison, except for that time in the hallway…
Ring! The wide corridors flooded with children. Freshman year—I was on the bottom of the totem pole. The lights were dim, making it seem as dreadful as the majority of kids explained, but it actually isn’t that bad. I kind of like school. It gives me something to do. Otherwise, I’d just be sitting home forced to think about the fact that I have nobody in this world except for myself. The air in the hall was musty and stale because it was locked up for about three months.
Lost, I was scurrying through the hallway trying to find my class. 163.. 163. Where in the world is room 163? I thought.
The number on the top of the nearest door caught my eye. It read 204 and I finally realized I was going the wrong way. I abruptly turned around, and just my luck, bump into a girl with long, wavy brown hair and beautiful green eyes.
“What do you think you’re doing?” I hear Madison say as I stumble around trying to collect my books.
“Uh, sorry.. I, uh, oh nevermind.” It wasn’t even worth it to answer her. I would be wasting my breath. Not that I had anything better to use it on.
Ring! I was late.
I felt a warm hand on my shoulder. It was the most comforting touch I had ever felt. I looked up.
“You need help?” the man asked.
“Yea,” I said, rudely. He was nice, but you can’t trust anyone nowadays. “Where’s room 163?”
“Oh! Boy, you’re in luck! Follow me.” We went in the opposite way of my original path, and finally arrived to room 163.
“Thanks,” I said and walked in and sat down in the only open desk.
“Good morning, students!” I looked up to see where this voice was coming from. It was the same man I that had helped me in the hallway. A warm feeling came over me, one that I might have actually described as happiness. “I need to take attendance. Say here when I call your name. Ella.”
“Here,” I said.
I turned around to see who answered, praying that it was Madds. She gave me an unfriendly smirk, I guess as some sort of payback for our collision in the hallway. Oh, how I hated that beautiful girl. He called a couple more names and then went on with his lesson. I’m not usually a fan of English, but as I sat in that classroom, with posters all over the wall and the smell of papers and chalk (if you can even imagine that), I was so intrigued.
Ring! Mr. Reynolds’ class went fast, faster than I would have liked. I stumbled to gather my books as the classroom emptied out. Before I knew it.. Ring! Today was not my day.
“Boy, you are a mess!” Mr. Reynolds said.
“Don’t get me started,” I said. “Where is the gym?”
“Down the hall and make a right. Hey, kid. You look like you got a lot on your mind. If you ever need someone to talk to, I’m a great listener.”
I didn’t hesitate to take him up on the offer. I mean, let’s face it. No one can get through life completely alone. I spent every afternoon with Mr. Reynolds, whether it was talking about life or just simply doing homework—I liked the company. Mr. Reynolds was the best friend I’ve ever had.
“I want you to have this,” said Mr. Reynolds one day as he took a woven leather bracelet off of his wrist. “I used to be just like you—hating everything about life and unsure of the true meaning behind all of our hard work. My seventh grade teacher gave me this bracelet. Let me tell you, he taught me something more valuable than just social studies. He taught me life is worth all the struggles, and to never take anything for granted. I hope that, through all the time we spent together, my optimism will rub off on you. We all deserve to be happy.”
I put on the bracelet and never took it off.
A couple of months later I went to Mr. Reynolds’ funeral. He apparently had some type of cancer that had gotten pretty serious. This is what I mean, though. Why do we all work so hard in life to succeed if death is inevitable in the end? I don’t get it, I don’t think I ever will get it. But, I know he was hurting, and he is in a better place now.
I wiped a tear from my eye and realized I was still standing outside the school staring at the sign that read Rockville High School. Everyone had already gone inside, so I was all alone. Again. I looked down at my woven leather bracelet, took a deep breath, and walked inside realizing that as long as this thing holds up, I’ll never be truly alone.