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New Kid Gone "Popular"


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The day is here. My dad and I are finally making the big move. From Hawaii to New York. A new change. A better change. We’ve been packing our things for two weeks now and in a couple of hours we’ll be on our way to the airport for the first flight to New York New york: where all of your dreams come true. I’m excited to make this change, but I’m really going to miss this place. I mean I lived here for most of my life. I’ll tell you what i’m not ready for.. the 11 hour flight TO New York! Blah. Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Hello, my name is Jacob. Jacob Wellers. I’m 16 and have moved quite a lot. From California to Hawaii, now it’s New york.
Dad and I arrive at the airport 15 minutes before our flight takes off. It takes us about 10 minutes just to get through the detectors and ticket lines! We cannot miss this flight or we will have to stay here for another 6 hours until the next flight gets here. And that’s the LAST thing we need.

    We made it to our flight in time so everything turned out to be okay. Except for the plane ride. My dad and I didn’t sit next to each other on the plane because the internet messed up the seats we wanted to have. So my dad sat about 3 rows ahead of me and I sat by some stranger that kept trying to talk to me. Talk about awkward. Anyways, the service was pretty nice and the view from the window seat was GORGEOUS! Clear sky, looking down made you feel like you were flying... oh wait. But once it was night time looking at all the lights below and the stars above. Ahh, nzuri.  

    The best part about it all though was landing in NYC. I’ve always loved the feeling of going somewhere new to live throughout my life. I mean, you sort of have to get used to it at some point if you know it’s going to happen more than once, right?

    Well, anyways arriving there was more amazing than learning to surf for the first time. Yes, that amazing.. The lights were just fantastic to watch as we drove by them in the taxi that was taking us to the condo we bought. The Empire State building, all of the little shops and boutiques. And what amazed me the most was all of those people just walking around. I mean, there were all types of people. Men in business suits. Women in fancy dresses. And oh my goodness, you should of SAW the heels those women were wearing! Jeez. How could they even walk?!

    This really is like a dream world.

    Okay so, I’ve seen the city. Now what about our house. Turns out our condo is right in the center of all the commotion of New York. Which is GREAT! The city life is going to be way different from the life back in Hawaii on the coast. Like I said before, a new change. A better change.

So far everything here is great. The movers said that they should be done unpacking our things in about two weeks or so. Until then my dad and I are staying in a hotel a couple of blocks down.

The next morning my dad sat me down to talk about my new school.

“Alright son, I know you’ve heard things about New York from your from your friends  
back home. And.. well, they are right. It’s tough out here. And to live tough you gotta be tough. So, at school, if someone tries to mess with you. Stand up for yourself. Understood Jacob?” My dad had some fright and almost anger in his voice.

    “Yes dad, I understand,” I say back. My dad taught me to be tough anywhere we moved. But, here he seemed a little more frightened of something happening to me. Or maybe even, us.
    Dad begins to talk again, “okay, now about your school. You’ll be attending a private school. Called Willington High. Just like back in Hawaii. It’s not in the city, so a bus will be arriving to get you in the mornings. Okay?”

    “Dad, i’m going to be just fine. I can take care of myself.” I will admit I am a little nervous to start school on Monday. Considering I am new kid starting school right smack in the middle of the school year. Dangit.. I HATE doing that!

                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Mondays, Mondays, Mondays. Hate ‘em, but love ‘em. In this case i’m not so happy about this one. My dad sort of freaked me out on Friday. Talking about the mean kids or people that live here in New York. I don’t know, I really shouldn’t worry about anything. I’ll be fine.
    I wasn’t always the most popular kid in school. I had plenty of friends, just never, you know, the “cool” kind of friends. But here people seem to be so friendly. Once I got to my locker, all sorts of kids were saying hi to me and stopping by to make small talk before homeroom.

    The guy that has a locker next to mine started talking to me. He asked some questions. Simple questions. Like the kind you would ask someone you wanted to get to know better. One question he asked was sort of out-of-the-blew of things like “what’s your favorite color?” or “where are you from?”  

“Do you like me, you know as a friend,” he asks me. Well of course I like him! I mean I know I’ve only really talked to him for like 10 minutes, but he’s got a good sense of humor for a guy who I barely even know. If that makes sense..

“Yeah you’re a really cool guy,” I answer.

He had this smile on his face like either he had a really good idea or he was flattered, “Good. Hey you should sit with me at lunch. I can introduce you to my crew. What class you headed to after homeroom?”

Okay seriously this guy is awesome. I mean he’s just so out-spoken. Like one of those random people on the street that come up to you and say the craziest, funniest stuff and don’t really care what your response is after they leave. You know what i’m talking about?
    Oddly, I was speechless. “Alright sure, that’d be cool,” I started searching for my schedule, “And I have gym next with Mr. Thomas.”
    “Hey me too. Oh hey i’m sorry man,” he laughs, “I’m Josh. What’s your name?”
    “Oh yeah, i’m Jacob. You can call me Jake though.
    Okay now one of my worst fears of going to a new school has changed into a I-can’t-wait moment. This could finally be my one chance become popular! Well, I mean I think Josh is popular. He was wearing one of those jock jackets and referred to his group of friends as his “crew”. I don’t know, maybe i’m overthinking all of this.
Well, its lunch time. As I walk into the cafeteria, my heart starts racing and I suddenly get nervous. What if his friends don’t like me and I get stuck with the nerd group again? Or what if Josh was just kidding and this was all a big dare to ask the “new kid” to sit with them at lunch? I hate it when all these thoughts come into my head!
Oh look there’s Josh! Holy cow that is a huge table.
Once I get to the table Josh stands up and says, “Hey man. Glad you decided to sit with us. Here I saved you a seat.”
“Hey thanks for letting me.”

Josh introduced me to everyone at the table. They were all really really nice. Except for one thing. All they talked about were other people. I think Josh said it’s called gossip here. I’ve never done it and certainly don’t plan on it. They were making up rumors and calling people names. It was a lot of he-said-she-said stuff. You know?

Josh seemed just as annoyed as I was with it. About five minutes of listening about Becky and her “new” shoes. I looked around and realized everyone else in the cafeteria were giving this table dirty looks. Why though?

Lunch is over. Thank god! I couldn’t stand another minute of listening about the same thing about the same people. Very annoying. Anyways, as I was at my locker getting my things for the next class, I felt this strong slap on the back. ouch!

“Hey bud. Lunch isn’t so much fun is it?” It was Josh.

“I’m glad we’re on the same page with that. Hey I hope this isn’t rude but I couldn’t help  but notice all the glares people were giving us at the table. What’s up with that?” I just had to ask.

“Alright, let me fill you in on something. I’m friends with all different types of people from all different types of groups. But the only thing about my “crew” is that nobody else that I hang out with likes them. Plus this group is so... I don’t know... clingy. Once you hang out with them a few times, then they want you to do everything with them all the time. And if you say no to them, then they get mad at you for the longest time! It’s really messed up,” Josh’s explanation was very clear and I honestly did not see that coming.

“Well that makes sense. But why do they get so mad?” I ask.

“Like I said... clingy clingy clingy. But class is almost starting so what class do you have next? I have math,” Josh says in a hurried voice.

“Oh dangit I’ve got science,” I answer with the thought about the friends thing still going through my head. And the thought didn’t just stay in my head all day. But it stayed in my head for almost that whole week. I thought, and thought, and thought. And finally a Light bulb went off.

    Once I got to school I talked to Josh immediately about my plan.

    “Hey Josh. Alright so I’ve been thinking long and heard about that whole conflict with the group thing. So you’re about done with listening to gossip and being controlled by that group right?”
    Josh looked confused, “yeah?”
    “And you said you have friends from all types of groups right?”
    Still confused, “yeah?”
    “ Da-da-na-na! Jacob is here to save the day!” I pause over Josh’s laughing. “Alright well, I’ve come up with the idea of making a new group! You’ve got a bunch of friends that i’m sure are done with the rumors being spread. So why shouldn’t we make school a place that you wake up in the morning and look forward to seeing all of your friends. And by all I mean everybody, and by everybody I mean the biggest group of the school!”
    Josh just sort of looks at me for awhile and says, “you know Jake, you’re not so bad. But hey, yeah I’m down with that. We’ll talk to some people at lunch and see what they think. Alright?”
    Boy am I happy he agreed with that. And surely enough he was all for it. We talked to like half of the cafeteria at lunch time. Josh wasn’t kidding about know all different types of people. And you know what I’m starting to like this place.
    I think I made a new best friend. As many people as we talked to, Josh did not once forget that I was next to him. He introduced me to every single person we talked to in that place. And not once did he leave me out of the conversation. Thanks josh. Thanks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Within a week our group had about 20-30 people sitting at a table at lunch. Just talking and laughing. Not about people, not about problems. Not about anything really, just... talking. And as the school year went by, more and more people came and asked to sit at the table. Sometimes, the “gossipers” even wanted to come sit us and nobody even had a problem with it.
They stopped giving us dirty looks by the way. They kind of became a part of this group after a while.
Soon enough, I never felt alone. I felt like I had someone to sit by and talk to in every single one of my classes and in the hallway. By the time the school year was almost over, it seemed like the whole school was one huge bunch of friends. But, you know who stood by me the whole time? Josh Henderson.
It was never, hey, let’s go sit and Josh’s table, or hey, lets go sit at Jake’s table. It turned into, hey, let’s go sit at Jake and Josh’s table. We were best friends, and everyone knew that. We became best friends. And there was doubt about that. Everywhere I was, he was. Or everywhere he was, I was. That’s just how things went.
You know, I feel like we accomplished something. I feel like we made a new school. A new community. There was no “popular”. There was no “crew”. We were just a school. A school that got along just fine. We were just the good ol' Willington High.



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