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Two Sides

He walked through the hallway with his head down, ignoring the bully slamming a kid against a locker. He walked past the putrid marijuana smoke cloud emanating from inside the bathrooms. He dodged the stumbling teen that had obviously been drinking, and He barely made it into his first class before the bell rang. His teacher began rambling about the weekend, and she purposely ignored what she was supposed to be teaching. Like He did on most days, He didn’t pay attention to the majority of the class that was texting on their cell phones. He didn’t even look up when one of the girls made a malicious remark about the teacher’s uncanny ability to be absolutely boring. When lunch came around, He sat at a table by himself, barely touching his food. After a few minutes, He looked to his left and saw Her. He knew who she was. She used to be one of the most encouraging, well-behaved, and beautiful girls in the school. But when her mother committed suicide, she turned to drugs and alcohol. That dealer currently talking to her had taken advantage of her situation ever since he found out, fueling her habit at his gain and her expense. The drug dealer must’ve had lots of experience doing that, He thought with a hollow feeling in his chest.

When walking to his next class, He almost tripped over someone on the ground. He wasn’t surprised to see it was another bullying victim, with more bruises on her body than He could count. He stepped over her without sympathy and continued on his way to the class, dreading the mountain of homework He would inevitably have. After school let out, heavy rain soaked through his light clothes and chilled him to the bone as He walked to his run-down house with his eyes downcast, all the while asking himself why it had to be this way.

He walked through the hallway confidently, giving a smile and a wave to his friends. He nodded at the student who stood up for the kid, telling the bully to get lost or face the principal. He breathed in the clean spring air from the breeze blowing through an open window. On his way to his first class, He caught a student by the arm as she stumbled, steadying her. She flashed him a quick smile as she rushed in the opposite direction down the hallway. He made it to the classroom with plenty of time. When the bell rang, the teacher asked everyone if they had their essays done. She was more than pleased with them when everyone said yes. She began writing important details for the upcoming test on the whiteboard while the entire class took out their notebooks. He carefully copied what she was writing, and He made a small note when one of the girls asked about something the teacher forgot. When lunch came around, He sat at a table with his friends, and He invited a new student to sit with them. When He looked to his left, He saw the two of them sitting together. She was one of the most encouraging, well-behaved, and beautiful girls in the school. But when her mother was killed in an accident, she would have turned to drugs if it hadn’t been for the person sitting next to her. The guy heard about what happened, and he had challenged himself to help her. He had been there for her through it all, and had kept her motivated even when times were tough. He shared a joke with her, and she smiled for the first time in a month. It may have been a small one, but it was a smile nonetheless.

When He was walking to his next class, He saw a friend apologize and help another student up after they ran into each other accidentally. He walked past them, nodding to both. When He got to the classroom, He accepted the mountain of homework He would inevitably have, knowing He would get it done. After school let out for the weekend, He strolled unhurriedly towards his house while listening to the birds sing, all the while thinking about how life was good.



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