Friend: Mike This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   I desperatelylooked for a place to sit, but my hopes were dashed as I saw there was no seatleft but at the "cool" kids' table. I began to wonder how I would getthrough lunch. As I walked to that only open seat I thought, I am popular amongall the other kids. What am I doing wrong? As I sat down the jeers begin. Theyyelled, "Get out of here" and "Hey, moron, the loser table is overthere." I tried to ignore them and ate as fast as I could.

Then thefirst French fry hit me in the face. The salt stung my eyes. Next came the juice;I felt it running down my shirt. It stuck to me like glue. Then came the lettuceand tomatoes. I felt like a comedian being rejected by the audience for ahorrible performance, yet I had done nothing wrong. The mayonnaise and tomatoseeds stuck to my cheeks and forehead. I was a walking buffet. I was frozen withfear and embarrassment.

Then I felt a tug on my arm. I followed the forcethat had taken hold of me and was led away from the battlefield. I recognized theperson, his name was Mike. This incident sparked the beginning of our friendship.We became best friends, even though he was one of "them," a"superior" individual. But, he had the courage to help me.

People do not understand the emotional damage they can cause just bycalling someone names or directing hateful acts at a person. The body heals fromphysical attacks, but the damage the soul can take is limited. Once that limit isreached, the soul becomes a bottomless pit of despair. Those people made school aliving Hell.

During class I was too busy planning my next move to keepout of harm's way to pay attention to the lessons. At home I constantly foughtfeelings of depression and thoughts of suicide.

Mike healed those wounds;for the rest of the year he made sure I was included. Whenever a problem arose,Mike would divert attention from me. Those kids got a sense of power from pickingon people, but it was false power. Mike got his power from doing justice andgaining respect, which is true power.

Friends like him are the mostimportant things in life and can change someone forever. We see heroes on TV,like those who are helping with the relief efforts for the terrorist attacks, andthink we can never be a hero. It's not true. You can, just start where you are. Akind word is an act of heroism in itself.

You can be someone's hero likeMike is mine. Always remember that no act of kindness (no matter how small) goesunnoticed, and that is a true power, the power all of society should glow with.Mike taught me that in the eyes of friends you are perfect. I hope you have theprivilege to learn that, too.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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