I Am That Kid

October 24, 2016

As the bell rings, I know it’s time
to make my way to the cafeteria
for lunch.
I know it, but God- how I dread it….
I drag
my unwilling feet
to the green bench
farthest
from the swinging cafeteria doors,
farthest from the laughter
and the smiles
and the heart-felt hugs,
farthest from them-
those kids who, even as I watch
unabashedly throw their arms
across each other’s
shoulders
and chatter on in that care- free tone
so open and without restraint, that is
seen only
among the best of friends;
the closest of friends.
I stare at them, so happy
and so loved
and so together
in that bond of friendship
and without warning
a dry sob tears
through my throat
and out into the open air
and I can only
duck my head
in shame.
Because- who am I kidding?
I am that kid.
I was that kid- only yesterday.
We were inseparable, she and I-
Best Friends.
The best of the best, so what happened?
When did it all change?
Was it when, out of the blue
she strode over
and sat down
between two girls who gave me
only
cold stares?
Perplexed,
I tried to sit down
on the very edge of the bench-
telling myself that I had to make myself fit, that there was room for me-
and then
she looked right at me
and said,
“Go away. No one wants you here.”
And so
I turned
my back to them, and walked away-
walked
away
from someone who I
had considered my best friend for
so long,
and who
was now nothing more
than a stranger
to me.
And now
as I sit here on my bench
all alone
with nothing
but my cold, miserable lunch for company
I think-
I would give anything
for a simple
“Hey. Want to come sit with us?”
And now
I ask you
to ask yourself-
how truly difficult is it
to just
say
hi?






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