My Friends

213 36 37

As the dismal tedium
of the new school year
sets in,
I feel myself
sinking back into
the familiar feelings of
boredom
and disinterest
that come with this place.
I listen quietly
in each class
as the teachers go over
their syllabuses
and the other students
chatter quietly among themselves,
obviously not paying attention.
It's the first day of school, though;
no one does.
No one but me,
that is -
and I can't help but feel
a little left out
because of it.

Lunch comes around
at last,
to my relief.
I stop by my locker
to pick up my lunchbox
before heading to the
cafeteria.
Maybe surprisingly, I don't
sit alone -
I haven't since
the first few days of my
freshman year.
Instead, I again find myself
at a table with
a bunch of other people
in my class,
crowded on the end
of the long bench seat
while they all smoosh together
across the rest
in order to fit all
twenty-some of them.
I've never understood
how it would be comfortable
to crowd so many people
at one little table.
I also don't understand
how anyone could have
enough people that
they want to talk to
that they have to all crowd
around the same table.

Personally, I am
only sitting at this table
because of one nice girl
who had invited me
to sit with her group
a few days after our
freshman year had started.
The offer had never
been rescinded,
so I'm still here
sitting with them,
though they never
talk to me,
or even look my way -
not even the girl
who had invited me
in the first place.
Really, it just
makes me even more lonely
to know that even among
dozens of other students,
I still feel
unnoticed
and unwanted.

Eunice finds me
after school
to say that Thias
will be staying late because
of a meeting that
the soccer team is holding.
As team captain this year,
he has to head the proceedings,
I guess.
I don't really say anything,
even when she asks what's wrong
and offers to walk home with me
rather than with her friends.

"Don't you have
your own friends
to walk home with?"
she asks as we
start off down
the front sidewalk.
It's not like she's
trying to sound accusatory
or anything;
she's just worried
in that older sister kind of way,
like always.
"Lots of people
live in the same direction
that we do.
I'm sure any of them
would be willing to
walk with you."

When I don't
say anything in reply,
she turns on me
with a mildly shocked
expression on her face.
"Don't tell me
that you don't
have any friends!"
she gasps
over dramatically.
I can't help but
crack a tiny smile
at her antics.
Miss I'm-going-to-be-an-actress
strikes yet again.

"Not really,"
I sigh at length.
"Everyone that I
went to middle school with
is at a different
high school now."

"What happened to that
one girl last year?
What was her name -
Marsha?
Marcy?"

"Michelle,"
I correct her,
"and she was only
ever interested in
copying my English homework."

"Right..."
Eunice gives a
long sigh,
one that gives away
her mixed exasperation
and worry.
I can't help but
feel bad
for making her feel
so liable
for my lack of friends.
She's my older sister, but
she doesn't have to
feel guilty
for everything bad
that happens to me.

"You know what?"
she says suddenly,
snapping me from
my thoughts.
"I'm going to
introduce you to
some of my friends.
I think you'll
really like them -
they're good people.
And they're better than nothing,
right?"

"But they're all juniors,"
I point out,
"like you.
It isn't like
I'll have any classes
with any of them."

"Better than nothing,"
Euni repeats.
"Come on -
what is there to lose?
They're gonna love you,
I just know it."

I have to admit,
I probably don't have
very much
to lose right now.
The idea of
hanging out with my big sister
and her group of friends
is a little strange
and somewhat unfavorable,
but it isn't like
I have any other options.

"Fine,"
I finally agree,
a bit reluctantly -
and my sister squeals
and pulls me in
for a massive hug
and promises that she
will make sure that
I have just as many friends
as she does
by the end of the week.
I have no idea
what to think
of that claim,
but I just shrug it off
and attempt to calm her down
because of how loud
she's being,
pushing away
all thoughts
of things that could
go wrong.

Of course,
I have absolutely
no idea
how far off
my imagined worst scenarios
really are.

×

Okay. I can do this. I can write a part a day....hopefully. Just take this as fair warning that there might (probably will) be times when I randomly don't update, but I'll try very hard to keep that from happening. It should be fine once I get this story rolling, so long as work doesn't interfere with that. I'm still gathering ideas for how I want this all to play out at this point, but it'll get better. Beginnings are always what throw me off, honestly, because I tend to plan out the action that's to come way too far in advance and not really what comes before it. Sigh.

Anyway, if you guys liked this chapter, I would love if y'all would vote and leave me some feedback! It'd be much appreciated!

UnparalleledWhere stories live. Discover now