Silence fell over the classroom, but it was soon followed by whispers amongst the class. Our teacher casually walked in. A short girl, whom none of us have ever seen before, followed. Her round face was framed with light brown hair. She probably looked like the average kid, but to us, she seemed so fascinating. Her hands were submerged into the dark pockets of her sweatshirt, and as she glanced around the classroom, her eyes avoiding the eager faces of her new classmates. Who would be her new friends? Our teacher broke the deadly silence by saying, “Everyone, this is our new student, Milly! I expect that all of you will be very kind to her, and if she needs someone to sit by during lunch, please do so.”
Maybe Milly was switching from another elementary school near us, or maybe she was from some place far away and exciting. I tried my best to hide my curiosity, unlike my classmates. Everyone observed her as she hesitantly approached her seat. They remained focused on her every move, even after we were directed to continue on our math assignment. Eyes never seemed to leave her, and it was quite obvious. Wow, how rude can you be? It’s one thing to glance, but they should know not to be so impolite. And by they way, these were not welcoming looks. They were stares that you would give an alien.
Lunchtime finally came, and the class busted out of the doors as if there was pure freedom on the other side. I waited a moment at my seat as the room emptied; it was nice to have a bit of quiet to myself. I clicked my unpainted nails on the desk, and waited to be the last to exit. Milly walked behind the crowd, hands still hidden in her pockets. Her hands shouldn’t be cold in in this warm weather. She sat down at the lunch table, and as expected, the seats around her filled in seconds. Everyone was eager to know something about the new kid.
Though I really did want to sit near Milly, the only seats left unclaimed were at the opposite end of the table. My blue sneakers approached my regular seat, and I ate lunch with the same kids that I always did. I told the two of them,
“I hope I will get to talk to Milly sometime, she seems like she could use a new friend.”
They both continued eating, and did not react.
“She seems nice,” I added.
“Why do you think she’s so cool? She seems so boring,” said the kid to my right.
I replied, “I didn’t say cool, I said nice. I mean, I haven’t met her, but I don’t think she’s boring.”
The kid across from me said,“She hasn’t said a single word this whole time, and that means she’s boring. No one’s gonna care about her after they forget that she’s new here.”
I turned my head away, and looked over at Milly. Her hair was drooping over the sides of her face, as her head was tilted downwards. In the middle of my thinking, the kid next to me spilled his water, and it trickled onto my jeans. I helped soak it up with a napkin. The kid cleaned the rest of it up, and moved on. If Milly had spilled her water, she’d be very embarrassed. No one knows who she is, and because of it, they observe what she does. She’s a creature under a microscope.
The recess bell rang, and the swarm of nosy kids forgot about our new student. They bolted for the playground. The cafeteria was empty as I walked outside. All of the kids were laughing and playing with their friends. They all seemed to have someone to be with. I saw Milly on the swings, alone, hands still in her pockets. She had not seemed to give any details about herself, she must want someone to share her story with. She might want to get to know somebody, but would she even want to talk to me? I mean, she hasn’t really talked to anyone, and she might just want to keep to herself. And I am definitely not cool, and that’s all that the kids at lunch cared about. Why would she be different? Despite my doubts, I sat on the swing next to her and said, “Hi, do you mind if I hang out with you?”
Her face sort of glowed as she said, “No, not at all.”
We talked about whatever popped into our brains, and I really caught a sense of who she was. She was a truly kind-hearted person, and I think that she just needed a good listener. She told me about her old house, her best friend from her old school, and her house cats. As she told me about how she really liked this new school, I saw that her hands were laying in her lap.