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Pen Your Pride


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Everyone had made friends on the first day of kindergarten except me. I was too shy to talk to anyone in class after the teachers made us introduce to ourselves to our classmates.

It was recess and we were allowed to go outside and play.

All the children were at the playground, on the swings, slides and trying out the monkey bars; they were too caught up with their games to notice the shy, brunette with light amber eyes sitting a little away from them on a bench and watching her peers socializing.

I clutched my lunchbox, trying to ignore how empty it felt inside without a friend, how the loneliness bothered me.

Suddenly a boy broke out of the group from his friends, his neat blond hair now tousled all over and green eyes glinted with mischief. "That one's mine now!" He exclaimed, lips curving upwards into a smirk.

I looked at the ground a few feet away from me. A blue ball rolled to the spot where my gaze was locked on. I believed that belonged to the boy.

Without a second thought, I moved and picked it up just as he reached for it.

"Hey, I saw that first." He frowned, sticking out his lower lip. He held out a hand, a gesture that implied he wanted it back.

I took a deep breath, steeling my nerves. "Hi I'm Kaitlyn Elisabeth Redford." I clutched the ball tightly in a fit of nerves, a rush of relief flooding in me when I managed to speak up.

I put the ball in his hand, making sure to maintain my gaze on his face. He had the prettiest green eyes on him.

"I'm sorry I took this from you." I blushed.

He cocked his head, now confused. Blinking slowly as realization dawned on him he said tentatively. "Oh that's okay." He bit his lip in uncertainty. "I'm Mikey - sorry - Michael Gordon Clifford." He struggled to pronounce his name.

Michael looked around me as if looking for someone behind my back. "Why are you not with them?" He pointed at my classmates who were all gathered around the swing, eagerly awaiting their turn to play.

I shook my head, biting my lip. "I'm shy." I admitted. "I-I don't know how to make friends."

He let his hand drop, nodding in understanding. For a moment, the impish gleam in his eyes faded as a new expression crossed his features. "Do you want to be my friend?"

I stared at him in surprise, my lips parted. "R-Really?"

Then, he grinned, a really open-hearted smile and a small warmth bubbled in my chest.

"Yea! You look like a really nice person! C'mon I'll show you my other friends!"

I made my first best friend that day at the playground.


Years later, Michael and I were inseparable. I had just started 3rd grade, him in 4th grade, and school had just finished for the day so we waited at the school playground for our parents.

As the years passed, Michael was starting to become little annoying devil, pissing the crud out teachers and getting himself into trouble for pranking others. He was obnoxious, outgoing and brash.

Only his close friends, Luke Hemmings, Calum Hood and Ashton Irwin could stand being around him. They were a really tight group; sometimes when they or Michael wanted to hang out together, I'd excuse myself and walk away since I was too shy to befriend boys other than Michael.

"I dare you to climb that and sit on the top." Michael pointed at the monkey bars with a gleam to his green eyes. His blond hair was tousled again; it seemed no matter how neatly he had brushed it the morning before, it always got messy by the end of the day, even when he didn't touch it.

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