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One Move Too Many
It’s going to be my first day at a new school, for the fourth time. If anyone knows how hard it is to get settled down and make friends after a big move, it’s me. Whenever I tell people my situation they think I’m a freak for moving so often. I just can’t stand people anymore. I hate them, every single one of them. Stares and whispers of, “that’s the new kid,” coming from every corner. People don’t know what to say at the right time and place. Ignorance and naivety kill me. They just say whatever they’re feeling without a care about what anyone else thinks or feels about what they just said. You need to think before you speak. Think of what’s going to happen in the future, and realize how you affect another mans life. I’ve came up with this theory, friends come and go but words will always be with you. Yes, words. They stay with you forever because if you hear something and it means something to you, if you feel the slightest bit of remorse when you hear those words, they’re with you. And oh god yeah my friends, hah what friends? I can’t even keep in touch with the friends I’ve made in the past. The past three schools I’ve been in I’ve had about two friends, maybe three tops. Well, whatever.
This summer was a drag. My mom thought it would be cool to move the second week of summer. Does she honestly think that my social life would be normal with this many moves in my life? I had nothing better to do this summer so my mom signed me up for some random classes. One of them was sign language classes. I actually had an interest in that and put an effort to learn the language, so ill guess ill put it to some use now. How can she expect me to be a normal kid in a normal high school with out any experience, or friends or anything? I have nobody! Not one person in my life who I can go to and express my feelings to. For once in my life I want to be just like everyone else. Or rather for once in my life I’d actually like to be noticed.
This time I made a promise to myself that this wouldn’t be like every other time. Something’s going to be different, and this time people will actually know who I am. They will remember my name and the next school I’m going to will already know my name. I need time to prepare myself, and not a soul will know what I’m up to.
“Ben, come down and have some breakfast!” That’s my mom. Every morning she makes this huge bountiful breakfast and expects me to eat it all. She obviously is crazy.
“I’m not hungry, but thanks, as always. Maybe I’ll have a little bite to eat.” I took a sip of my orange juice and bit the toast that my mom spread butter on so beautifully. I guess you can say she’s a perfectionist, but not in the workplace. If she disagrees with anything at all she’ll have to make a huge production and get the way she wants it. That usually ends up with us living in a new town, with me going to a new school. The bus arrives in 5 minutes. This leaves me just enough time to get my hearing aid ready before she goes to work.
“Alright Scott, I’m going to leave now. Have a good day at school, and don’t get into any trouble please.” And she kissed me on the head.
“I’ll try, bye mom.” I check to see that she’s gone and I quickly run to the bathroom to attach my hearing aid. I see the bus from around the corner and walked casually to the bus stop after I locked up. I am so eager to see how this ends up.
As I enter the bus, of course people feel the need to stare. I’m a new kid, not an alien. I put up with these gross stares and find an empty seat in the third row of the bus. I want to scream at the girl sitting across from me. She’s just sitting there acting all ditsy and laughing with her dumb blonde friend. How do people even have energy this early in the morning? All of this makes me want to continue on with my journey even more. After getting my schedule from the main office, I start looking for my first period class. Art, this is perfect.
“Welcome to art! I’m Mrs. Anderson and I hope you feel comfortable in this new environment.” I gave her the blankest stare and acted as if I couldn’t comprehend any of the words she was saying. I started speaking slowly.
“What..?” I began moving my hands and fingers in formations and my teacher was completely confused. I continued on speaking in sign language.
“Oh! Wow, um, excuse me class I need to make a quick stop to the main office, I’ll be right back, just hold on!” Mrs. Anderson left the room and at the same moment of time I felt 27 pairs of eyes turn and look at me. Brilliant, this is just what I needed. I spelled hi and waved to the classroom. I felt kind of awkward just standing there in front of the class so I quickly searched for a seat. I found an empty one next to this girl. She seemed nice I guess. Immediately she began saying everything on her mind like word vomit.
“Hey! I’m Melissa! But you can call me Mel. Oh my god I don’t know anyone here. Everyone changed over the summer. I can barely recognize some people. You just moved here right? Where did you move from?” Wow. She talks way too much.
“Sorry?” I said and then continued on spelling that I couldn’t understand what she was saying. I asked her to hand me a piece of paper. I spelt my name and read it aloud.
“Ben. That’s a nice name you have Ben. I’ve always loved that name. It’s so short and simple.” She seemed to be okay with the fact that I appeared deaf. Mrs. Anderson returned with another woman. She said hi and told me she was going to be my sign language teacher. As if I couldn’t tell. I continued on listening to Mel talk. She always has a lot on her mind. I felt kind of bad that I was able to help her out, but didn’t. I just listened and nodded occasionally. This was all just so confusing. Why on earth would she be talking to me? This is like kicking my plan in the a** completely.
Three months went by and I was practically this girl’s best friend. I was like her personal therapist. I’ve never had a person in my life like this before. Day by day I’d see her in art and she would spill her guts to me. I almost wanted to just tell her that I can understand every single thing that she’s saying. It would ruin completely ruin everything. That night when I came down for dinner my mom told me she had something important to speak with me about. I’m a little scared.
“Hey honey, I think you might want to sit down for this one.”
“Mom if you tell me that we’re making another move, I refuse! I won’t leave this time!”
“Ben, were going to have to whether you like it or not, okay! I got fired at work and my next job offer is in Virginia. If we move there I promise that’ll be the last move we’ll have in a very long time.”
“You’re kidding me! No I don’t even care! That’s what you said the last three times and mom, come on, I’ve finally settled down and I actually have some friends here, you can’t keep doing this to me.”
“I know I’m really sorry but we have no choice, and Virginia’s only one state away you can easily visit your friends whenever you like!” I couldn’t believe this was happening to me.
“You’re killing me, you know that?” I said and stormed up to my room. I wanted her to feel as horrible as possible. Now that we would be moving in one week this is going to be my last chance to end things the way I need them to. I need to tell Mel.
It was the day before the move and the anxiety in my blood was about to burst. I walk into Art and take me usual seat next to Mel, and she begins talking.
“Ben, I’m so mad! My dad’s job got relocated in New York and I have to move there next year! This is going to be absolutely horrible, I’m not going to no anybody, I’m going to have no friends and no one will want to talk to me because they’re going to think I’m weird! I’m so terrified I can’t breathe, I wish I could stay.”
Okay, whoa. Stop, rewind, and pause. She’s moving? I don’t know if she’s making fun of me because she found out about my secret, or this is the real deal. Whatever the situation was, I felt like this was the perfect time to tell her.
“I know just how you feel,” I calmly said as I continued on working on my project. I looked up for a split second and looked back down. She looked like she was paralyzed, stricken with a look of horror, like in the movies right before you get killed.
“Wait, what? You can hear me?” I thought she was about to cry.
“Yeah,” I said, paused, took another deep breathe and continued, “I can.”