Odd and Infinite

January-May is the popular girl in her year. She has the world at her feet and she could do anything yet everyone would still love her. Except one thing: Hanging out with the social reject. Will she go with the crowd or stand up for what she believes in? Will she risk her reputation for one person who is outside her "social circle"?

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1. Infinite

 

People say that being different is what you should be but it seems to me that they have forgotten that. Just because you might be into different music, have an unique name or maybe just be plain different doesn't give everyone a right to pick on you. We should embrace and accept our differences. Our differences are what will get us to where we want to be in the future. At least that's what I, January-May, say.
"Hey January." Mel says as she gives me a hug.
"Hey Mel." I say back. Today is another school day where I will sit with Mel, Sherrie, Clarice, James, Michael and Henry. I will listen to Mel go on and on about Henry, how perfect he is and how they are a "totally" right for each other. As you might have guessed I am sort of popular in my year, not the stereotypical popular but the friendly and helpful type of popular. 
"January, I have to get to class but I will talk later. Ciao." Mel says blowing me a mock kiss.
"Bye." I cheerily say. I start walking to class, through the bustling corridors, past the battered lockers and up the creaky stairs. The bell rings and I start bolting for class. I round the corner and run into someone. I scramble for my feet and look at the person on the floor. He has tangled messy hair, crooked glasses and white converses. 
"Are you okay?" I asked gently. He looks up at me with fear in his eyes. I feel terrible. Do other people feel this way about me. 
"Are you okay?" I asked again. 
"Y-y-yes." He mumbles. I can see he isn't. I bend down and start picking up his books. I know this is like the normal boy meets girl thing but I am just helping out. 
"I-i-it's fine. I d-don't need your help." He tells me. I feel sorry for him. 
"What's your name?" I ask hoping for an answer.
"H-h-harry." He manages. Not all I was hoping for but it's a start.
"My name's January-May but most people call me January." I say to him nicely.
"I know who you are." He says with a hint of annoyance. I am taken aback. All I was doing was being nice.
"Oh. What class do you have?" I say tentatively hoping this time not to provoke more annoyance. 
"Science." Harry mutters.
"Great, you're in my class. Let's go together." I announce happily. Harry mutters a complaint but I ignore it. We walk in silence and when we get to the door I realise we are ten minutes late to class. 
"Ah, Miss January. I would have expected better from you but never mind. Hurry up inside." Mr Kensington says, trying to sound angry but failing. I turn to Harry who looks away and trudges into the classroom finding a seat at the front on his own. Instantly all the kids start whispering about him. I see Sherrie and she beckons me over but I look at Harry and have the sudden urge to sit with him. I walk over, feeling all eyes pouring into my back and sit down. Harry looks sideways at me and I smile broadly at him. He just looks away. 
"Right then. Let's begin our discussion on molecular compounds." 
Science went by fast but I remember catching people whispering and glancing my way but it didn't bother me. Harry is really smart and he listens so attentively to the teacher. This amazed me even though I am pretty good student. The bell rings for recess and the class piles out messily. 
"Wow, what were you trying to do? Make us all laugh?" Sherrie asks me puffed. 
"No, I was sitting with Harry." I answer calmly. Her eyes widen at my honesty.
"But, he is like so outside our social circle." She informs me. What even is a social circle and how can anyone be outside it?
"Sherrie, I felt like sitting with him. Is it such a crime?" I say. 
"You did not. Oh no! You have got to be kidding me. It is a crime. You should know that he is the social reject of the school." Sherrie exclaims loudly. Oh great! I have brought on the lecture.
"Sherrie, why is he the social reject? What did he do that made him that? Who is in charge of making him a social reject anyway?" I ask her. 
"Um. I d-d-don't know-w. It doesn't matter. Okay?" She says flustered.
"No, Sherrie. It isn't okay. You don't know why he is the social reject so to me he isn't. Maybe I will go hang out with him." I say to her. She looks at me astonished. I turn on my heel and walk away not looking behind me. Harry is on his own as usual sitting on a bench under a gum tree. 
"Hey." I say brightly. He looks up startled and doesn't reply. 
"Can I sit down?" I ask already plopping my bum down on the bench. He just grumbles. 
"What do you like to do?" I ask hoping to get an answer. Harry fiddles with his sandwich wrapper.
"I like to play." He replies. 
"What do you mean by I like to play?" I ask confused. I think I catch a small smile on his face.
"I like to play music." He says a bit more confidently.
"Oh, cool. I play piano and I love music." I say happily. Score! I have found something we have in common. 
"Do you have any other hobbies?" Harry asks. He is talking to me and asking questions. Score again!
"I like to draw, write, dance, surf, kite and some other stuff too." I tell him.
"Wow, you do a lot." He says. I smile at his effort at making conversation. Mel is staring open mouthed at me and James is laughing with the others. I wave. Mel looks like she could faint. 
"Do you maybe want to hang out after school?" I ask Harry. He looks at me startled. Harry probably doesn't get a load of people asking him to hang out. 
"Uh..." He begins. 
"I am not asking you on a date. I am just wondering if you want to hang out. Maybe study together or go get a milkshake or something." I laugh out. 
"Oh, well sure." He says relieved. The bell rings and we grab our bags. Harry shuffles along awkwardly and I smile broadly at all the onlookers who look away quickly to avoid eye contact. Bleep! Bleep! My phone goes off. I reach into my bag and pull out my samsung galaxy. What r u doing? Committing social suicide? The text reads. I look at Harry and he stares back.
"You can answer it. I don't mind." Harry says with a hint sadness in his tone. This is not social suicide. I will talk l8r. I reply to Mel. 
"Harry the Hog is in a pit. Harry the Hog as dumb as dog..." People taunt. What is with people these days?
"Come on, let's go." I say taking his arm in mine and walking confidently out of the school grounds. 
"Where do you want to go?" I ask Harry calmly letting go of his arm. He has started shuffling again. Harry grumbles an answer that I can't understand. 
"Don't let those people get to you." I tell him. Harry looks away abruptly pretending to be fiddling with his watch.
"Harry, I mean it. Don't let it get to you. I know it does but they are nothing at all. They don't know you. You are better than them. You have a life and interests. They are just jealous and have nothing better to do than pick on someone who has a million better things to be doing than to be a bully." I say firmly pulling him to face me. His eyes are red rimmed and tears are brimming. He smiles a sad smile at me. I feel his pain and terror. I want to help him and I will. 
"January, do you really think so?" Harry asks quizzically. 
"I know so."  I reply reassuringly. Harry smiles broadly this time and I know that I have lit a small spark in his heart.
"Thank you." Harry says.
"For what?" I ask.
"For making me feel important, special and not alone in this crazy world." He answers. 
"You are most utterly welcome." I tell him. We arrive at the park and as we walk I feel like I have made a small difference in this boys life. It is like he had a blank canvas and now he painting it back to life. As we sit on a bench, Harry gives me a smile that is sincere and happy. It doesn't matter what those people say because in this moment we are INFINITE. 

 

 

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