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Be Kind, it Might Just Change Someone
I saw her as I did everyday. By the trees that nobody played by. She sat with her knees to her chin, and her back trembling. I wonder if I should go over and say something. Maybe she wanted to be left alone. Besides, if I try to comfort her, I’d probably just say something stupid, and make her feel worse. No, it’s probably best if I just leave her alone for the rest of recess.
Despite my thoughts screaming: “No! No! No!” I find my legs walking towards her. I sit down in the damp dirt, not quite dusty, but not mud either, and tap her on the shoulder with a shaky finger. She lifts her head, and sniffs. Her face is streaked with watery streams.
“Hi,” I say in a voice so quiet, it’s almost a whisper. She makes a face. I think it was supposed to be a smile, but it looked like a lop-sided frown. “What are you doing here, all alone?” I ask.
She sniffs and says something so quiet, I can’t hear it.
“What?” I ask. “I couldn’t hear you.”
“Just sitting,” she replies.
“Why aren’t you playing with your friends?”
“I don’t have any friends,” she says and looks down. She looks as if she is going to cry again, so I try to stop it before it can start.
“I can be your friend,” I offer. She looks at me. A mix of hope and confusion appears in her eyes.
“Really?” she asks
“Sure!” I smile and hold out my hand to pull her up off the dirt. She takes it, and pats her clothes, to get rid of the brown spots. She shows a small smile, and I feel like this is going well.
We head over to the swings, and I push her.
“Higher! Higher!” she giggles, and I push higher. We laugh, and have a great time, then the whistle blows, and it’s time to head back to class. I feel a little sad, I didn’t want to go back to reading and math problems; I had made a new friend today.
“Meet me at the slide tomorrow, and we can play again,” I say as I point to the twisted yellow monster attached to the old, wooden play structure. She nods, and we walk to our separate classes.
That night, I tell Mommy and Daddy about the new friend I made, and how I couldn’t wait until tomorrow; we were going to have such a great time. In the morning I got up, and Mommy walked me to my bus stop, as she did every day. When the bus arrived, she hugged me, and I boarded on.
I could barely sit through class, listening to Mrs.Tubbs go on and on about math, and our spelling test. When it was time for recess, I couldn’t get out of the door fast enough, but I still had to walk across the pavement until the bark chips, or the I.A.’s would make me go back and walk it again.
When I arrived at the slide, she wasn’t there yet, so I waited. And waited, and waited. It had been a full five minutes, and she still wasn’t there. I decided to look around the playground, see if she thought we were meeting somewhere else. I looked everywhere, by the swings, the monkey bars, the trees, the play structures I even looked by the slide again, to see if she finally arrived, and was looking for me. She wasn’t anywhere.
Maybe she was sick, has a cold or something. I think to myself. Yeah, that must be it. But the next day, Mrs.Tubbs calls us down to the front carpet. We sit in our spots we use when she reads to us.
“I have some very sad news for you this morning,” she starts with a look in her eyes I couldn’t quite read. It was strange, I didn’t know what to expect. “Some of you may know a student that goes here by the name of Charlotte Pompour. She is in Ms.Giddings class.” Some of the students nod. I think that’s the name of my new friend. “She had just moved here a few months ago, but sadly last night while riding home, she was in a terrible car accident. The doctors weren’t able to get to her fast enough, and she passed away.”
My stomach feels as if somebody had hit me right in the middle. My throat starts to form a pearl that slowly grows into a rock the size of my fist. I can’t cry, boys aren’t supposed to cry. But never the less, a silent tear starts rolling down my face, and I can’t help it after that. I know in my heart, that Charlotte Pompour was the name of the friend I had just made the day before.
The rest of the class is dismissed to work on an art project, something that won’t require much thinking after what we just went through. She tells us we can go to a room where the counselor was, that we could talk to if we needed to. But Mrs.Tubbs pulls me aside.
“Will, I know you didn’t know Charlotte very long, but her parents wanted to make sure you knew how much you helped her. Before they crashed, she was talking about how wonderful her day was, all because of you. Now, I’m not sure about the details, but they told me she was having a hard time making friends, and had cried when she got home almost every day. You made her the happiest she’s been in months. They told me to tell you thank you.”
I was surprised to say the least. All I had done was push her on the swings, nothing special. I must have looked every bit surprised as I was, because she just tried to smile to make me feel better, and had me work on my project. I couldn’t really focus; my mind was racing with so many thoughts and questions. But I did learn something out of this whole disaster: no matter how small your kindness may be, it can make the difference of a lifetime to somebody.