People Different Than You

October 26, 2007
By Earvin Mcmillian, Houston, TX

When I started my school year over because of the hurricane, it was very scary. Going to a new place not knowing anybody are hardy anything about the place. I walked into the cafeteria; I saw lots of kids that I had never seen in my life. The majority of the students were white, all of them looked like they stepped right out of those high school movies with the popular kids and the other that just looked good with their special group of people. I thought to myself “How can I get settled when everyone has all their friends from like middle school and maybe even lower than that.”

There was no chance I would meet anybody. The next day I was sitting at a table alone and out of nowhere this extremely pretty girl came up to me. Of course she was white. I never had anything against people of that color but it was a little weird for her to come up to me. A little part of my mind thought “Oh god, she must think I’m some poor charity case. I smiled at her and she smiled back and said. “Hi my name is Michelle”.
“Are you from New Orleans.” She said
“Yea and my name is Earvin”. I said
“So how do you like Texarkana so far?”
“Well it’s super scary, but as far as the town goes I really like it.”
She then said “Well hey; you can sit with me from now on ok?”
“Alright then” I said

I got up and went over to her table. I was kind of uneasy for awhile because there like four other people at her table. I sat down and she started telling here friends about me. She started asking me all kinds of questions about me. In a way she hesitated to ask me anything about what I had just been through. I learned that she was super sensitive and that she almost cried or maybe cried when she found out about the disaster. I was very nervous it almost felt as if I didn’t want to be there, but I knew if I wanted to have fun at this school I had to loosen up. Michelle was telling me things like how she was sorry this had to happen, and how she wanted me to feel as comfortable as possible.

The time passed and everyday was more fun than the last. We grew closer and closer and soon enough we were definitely on a best friend level. Everyday when the bell rang at lunch it was always a hug and a goodbye. We would even sit in the grass and talk after we had ate. It was all so surreal, I only seen things like this happen in high school movies, when friends would hang out at lunch, then go sit in the grass and laugh and talk. It felt as if I was in a long wonderful dream. There were times when I felt as if I was kind of under her level and her friend’s level. Here I am like one of the only black people hanging out with them and plus she was a senior. She cared and treated me in the nicest way a person could be treated. I was very thankful to have found someone who wasn’t there to judge me, but instead like me for who I really was. We discovered so many things about each other and had so much in common it was as that friendship was meant to be. Everything was just perfect.
Like all perfect things, some come to an end. I had to move to Houston with my mother because my aunt whom I had lived with had to move back to New Orleans for a big job. The thought of leaving everyone was the thing that hurt me most. Being somewhere for five months, I was so attached, Michelle wasn’t too happy about either. Before I left she gave me and little Christmas card and a picture from homecoming that we all had went to. It had things like how I came into her life and changed everything, how she was thankful to have someone like me in her life. I gave her a story about these two different people who find out that internally they are exactly the same. It was hard to leave, but I had no choice.

I learned that people are different on the outside, but inside they could be so different from what you would expect. I use to think people would try to judge me cause of my situation, but now I know where you’re from, or you color doesn’t matter. I am very grateful to have met someone like her. And that has opened my mind to new things and new people and a new way of life.

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