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A Great Friend

By , Harrisburg, PA
Today started out like any other day, dark and cloudy. I got up slowly from my bed. I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth, take my asthma medicine and do my tumbleweed hair. Then, after I put my hair in a low ponytail, she told me to get dressed to get ready for school. I go to a gifted school called Infinity Charter School. It's for smart people who are bored with public school and its cheap thrills.

I put on a blue striped shirt with long skinny jeans and a old blue flower necklace I haven't worn since fourth grade. I thought I would wear something different, surprise some people. I looked at myself in the mirror afterwards, thinking I was dressed well, considering that I wear a lot of Nike shirts with jeans.

My sister woke up then, so I had to help her get dressed to go to school. She used to go to my school, but then she tranfered to the regular public school, South Side Elementary School.

I tell you this, my mom was not happy with my school. After two weeks of arguing with the teacher and the learning specialist, thinking that my sister was dumb, she got fed up and transferred her. They thought she couldn't count to twenty, even though she said her numbers right in front of them up to fifty and wrote every letter of the alphabet. They were stuck deaf and dumb.

After I helped her get dressed, gave her breakfast, cleaned my room, and did the fifty other chores I had to do, I sat down I started writing in my writing jounal. I carry it everywhere so I can write down an idea when it struck me. At 8:10, I left for school.

"Bye, Mom. Bye, Mimi. I'll see ya' later," I called out the door, half-running to go to school. It was weird for an eighth grader to run to school. You would run to school to if you had no homework every day, except for once in a blue moon. Also, I live about a block from the school, so I walked there.


I found the eighth graders outside, talking in a circle, and joined in. One girl asked me where my sister was.

"Transferred. My mom didn't like it here." I said hollowly.

"Oh. I liked her," the girl said sadly.

We went back to talking to the eighth graders, who were talking about Cats, due to one girl who was a dancer and loved Broadway muscials. The principal screamed at us to line up to go inside. I found my teacher, the best teacher in the school, waiting for us. She had on a black sweater, jeans and dress shoes. She had her hair pulled back in a ponytail. Eighteen of us lined up in our usual blob. As long as we are quiet, our teacher dosen't care if we make a line or a zigzag line. We went inside to our classroom. I found myself talking to this new kid who always smiled who sits across from me. He had a green sweatshirt with a sports team on it. I really didn't look at it. He also wore glasses and is the type of person that you would feel very comfortable with.

First on the schedule was Language Arts. I pulled out my book we were assigned to read, pretending to read it, even though I read it three times. I kept looking over my book, looking at the new kid, wondering what he was like. All I knew about the kid was that he was a fast swimmer, according to one of my classmates. He was also a fast runner, because I saw him run for a race one time at recess. He sat there reading his book, smiling.

"How can you smile when we were reading a sad book about a girl who lost her mother?" I thought to myself when I heard him talk.

"Oh, that makes sense,"I thought stupidly. "He's not reading it." He was talking about his swim meets. Typical me, jumping to conclusions.

Next on the schedule was Math. In my opinion, it was boring because it was simple like tying your shoes over and over and over again. We had a easy packet on pre-algebra that I finished just for my group. I gave them the 15 page packet, not really caring that I was letting them cheat. I went on a retarted school website called Study Island that supposed to help you at school. I had to get this crap done to pass. We had to get on to do the assignments for the day. The new kid sat next to me, sitting at a computer.

For five minutes, we worked in silence. Then, he complained, "I wish we could use caculators." We wern't allowed to use the school caculators or our own to solve ridiculus problems. Doing "11,529,000 times 15,000" longhand is pretty ridiculous.

I agreed with him on that score. I was still sad that my sister wasn't here and had to start a new school, not knowing anyone all over again. Then, I remebered something. Every computer was equipped with a calculator.

"Hey, I just remebered something," I said to the new kid. "The calculator is in the computer, under 'Accesories'."

He smiled, getting what I was saying. We opened up our computer calculators and then scientific notation got a whole lot easier. It was refreshing teaching a new kid old tricks he never thought of. He started talking to me and telling me these jokes that were so funny. Then, a girl piped up and said, "Stop flirting with her. We know you like her."

Oh man, I had to laugh. Why would a new kid just start flirting with me when he dosen't even know me? I had to take that girl's remark into consideration, though, because he was quiet and not smiling for 40 minutes.

After Math was the dreaded subject, Art. The art teacher was the meanest, most unfair teacher I ever met. She gave this one kid a dirty look, which made everyone laugh silently. He was the troublemaker. Need chaos to make your boring day awesome? He's your man.

We worked on our self-portraits quietly listening to pop-orchestra music that sounded so horrible that you would make up plug your ears for the whole period. Thank goodness we only have her for one day. She put up a self portrait of herself as Queen Esther. She also had another picture of her being a Jewish girl from World War II. She made the bogeyman look like something you would want to date. All I could think was, "That's gruesome."

We had lunch next, which was a quiet event for me. I was still feeling a little bit sad about my sister, when lunch was suddenly over. I sat on my desk, talking to Helen when the new kid gets in my face for no apparent reason.

His face was a foot away from mine. It felt weird, because I was never a foot away from a boy like this before. All the time, I was thinking, "What the heck?" and "Does he like me?" I get up, still dazed and the kid that I hate (who, unfortunately, is sitting next to me) is laughing. I felt like punching him in the face.

I was still dazed when our next subject was writing Mad Libs for Writing class. I just yped my writing, missing some verbs, but I really didn't care. I just kept thinking about that kid. I thought, "At least he's smiling again, unlike earlier during Math." I couldn't get my Mad Lib done, because I became to confused to think anymore.

Then, recess came. He kept trying to get next to me. Right about now, I was flattered, because no boy, and I mean no boy, ever followed me around like this. I was also getting more depressed, because of problems at home.

Then, he asked me, "Where's your sister?"

"Transferred," I said, with sadness in my voice.

"It's alright," he said. "You must really care about your sister. I really wouldn't care about my brother, because I know he would be OK."

"But she's in kindergarten," I said, holding back tears.

"Why did she transfer?" he asked.

"Because the teacher thought she was dumb, which makes me madder than heck," I said, starting to get hysterical. "Even when she shows them that she can do it, they still wouldn't listen. That's why I'm so mad."

"As long as she's happy, she'll be fine," he said.

"He has a point," I thought.

"You're right," I said. "There was this one singer that said in one of his songs, 'Don't waste your time on the past/ It's time you looked to the future.' And he was right," I finished.

"That was Michael Jackson, right?" he asked.


"How did you know?" I asked, suprised.

"I remember you saying something about liking his music," he said, blushing.

We lined up then to go back inside. I went to the front of the line to talk to my friends, when he grabbed my arm and held me back.

"You know, you are one of the best people I know. You are a great friend to me, being all nice and caring," he said.

"You are too. You listened to my problem," I reminded him.

"Sometimes, you got to look forward to the good times," he said.

I felt like a feather going back inside. Theme was quiet for us, mostly because I was trying to read and absorb what it said, even though it was hard, with people always talking. I gave up and so did he. We started talking about our families and our annoying siblings. I ended finishing the chapter somehow, even though I don't remember picking it back up, which was odd.

When I was walking home, it was sunny and brighter than this morning. I thought about what he said. " 'Sometimes, you got look forward to the good times.' " It was the truth. I remembered all the cool things I did since seventh grade, when life was simpler.

Getting published into a book of poetry. Singing in front of a big group of people in one of the most presitgious choruses. Going away from home for the first time. These were all big things for me and that was last year.

"This year," I thought, "I will make better memories to take with me to high school."

The first memory was meeting the new kid. I finally learned his unique name. Tiras K.

I knew we were going to be great friends.





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