This sucks, I’m currently sitting in the one class I don’t have with my best friend Sapphire. It seems like every time we’re apart people start staring at me. I swear one of these days I’m going to stab one of these kids in the eye and see how much they feel like staring then. I shifted slightly in my seat and turned to look at the clock. I counted down the seconds until it was time to leave.
Finally, at least now I have a class with her. I quickly exited the class and made my way through the halls until I was in front of Ms. Parks’ art room. The second I entered I looked straight at Sapphire and saw her waving me over. She was sitting at a back table by the window with her bag on the seat next to her.
“Geez, way to take a thousand years to get here gramps.” She said jokingly and moved her bag from the seat for me.
“It’s not my fault that you have no patience.” I countered and sat down.
“I have a lot of patience but I choose to channel it toward my tolerance to withstand you and your annoyingness.” She said smirking at me.
“What tolerance? You take every possible chance to insult me.” I scoffed at her.
“That’s my way of tolerating you, by using verbal abuse. It works like a charm.” She giggled mockingly.
“See, all you do is hurt me.” I said and held my hand over my heart.
We both bust out laughing at each other and try to get control of ourselves. I turned to look at her and suddenly I was hit with memories.
I was eight when I first moved to Transmere with my family. Prior to moving I had never met a hum- I mean another kid, I was home schooled. Transmere was supposed to be my chance to change that and make a lot of friends but that wasn’t the case.
*Flashback to 9 years earlier*
“Don’t worry Alex you’re going to be fine. You’ll have fun, make a lot of friends and after school you can tell us all about your day.” My older sister Sarah said as I clung to her and her twin, Stephen. They’re two years older than me. We were standing in the main office waiting for the assistant principal to direct us to my new class third grade class. My parents wanted to be there but they couldn’t because they had to go back home after they dropped us off and finish unpacking, getting the internet and cable set up, and making sure that the rest of our family and the post office were aware of our change of address. They made sure to give me their love before I left though.
“Yeah there’s nothing to be afraid of. I bet you’ll love school by time we come to get you.” Stephen said ruffling my hair.
“Sorry for the wait I had to deal with a call from the school board. But now we can head toward your class Alexander. My name is Ms. Martinez” The assistant principal said smiling at us and started to lead us to the class. She was very nice and I could tell she was honestly content working with children on a daily basis.
We walked for a bit and passed a lot of classrooms. I was curious seeing all the different kids sitting in the rooms and it made just a little less scared.
Finally we stopped in front of a class that said Ms. Atkins on the sign. Ms. Martinez knocked on the door and motioned Ms. Atkins to enter the hall. When she came outside she looked at me and smiled.
“Well hello. What’s your name?” She asked and kneeled down.
“Alexander Richards.” I whispered and gripped Sarah’s hand.
“Well Alexander it’s nice to meet you. I’m Ms. Atkins come on let’s go inside and introduce you to the rest of the class.” She said and held out her hand to me. I hesitated but eventually took it.
“Wait Ms. Atkins. You should know Alex is a bit shy. He’s only been home schooled before coming here. He’s not used to so many people at once.” Sarah warned before turning to follow Ms. Martinez with Stephen to their class.
“I’m sure everything will be fine.” Ms. Atkins said to me before we stepped into what would soon be known as my own personal hell. She pulled me to the front of the room before letting go of my hand and clapping hers to get the attention of the chatting students.
“Class. We have a new student. This is Alexander Richards, he just moved here. Let’s give a warm welcome to Alex.” She said gesturing to me.
“Hi Alex!” Said the entire class and I shyly waved back.
“Alex, you can sit by the window. Today we’ll be working on our reading skills. Everyone get a copy of Amber Brown from the bookshelf and we’ll take turns reading out loud.” Ms. Atkins said and went to her desk while I walked to mine.
I put down my bag and headed to the bookcase and grabbed a book before hurrying back to my seat but on the way someone put out their foot and tripped me. The whole class started laughing and Ms. Atkins scolded them but I just picked myself up and ran to my seat with my head down.
The rest of the day kids would quietly pick on me and one even attempted to push me but Sarah and Stephen saw him and exploded on him then told Ms. Atkins what they saw. After that no kid dared to hit me for fear of Sarah and Stephen finding out but they still teased and mocked me.
*Time skip 2 years*
It’s been a couple years and I still haven’t made any friends. It doesn't matter though; I would never want to be friends with these idiots. All the other kids just spread rumors so no one even wants to talk to me. Day in and day out I sit in my seat by the window just listening to the gossip coming from the ignorant kids around me like they know who I am or what I’m like. It’s sad how much someone would do to hurt a person they don’t even know.
I heard someone sit next to me but ignored them because there was no point in looking since they probably wouldn't even say anything to me. But then I felt a tap on my shoulder and I was so surprised that I couldn't help but turn and see an unfamiliar girl smiling at me.
“Hi. My name is Sapphire. What’s yours?” She asked me and I couldn't help but hesitate to answer.
“Al-Alexander. H-hi.” I stuttered and was even more shocked to see her smile widen as she held out her hand to me.
“Nice to meet you, Alex. I’m sure you can tell but I’m new. Do you want to be friends?” She asked when I finally shook her hand; strangely I felt my skin begin to tingle.
“I-I don’t kn-know. I don’t r-really have f-friends.” I stuttered.
“Really well then we can best friends!” She said excitedly and pulled me into a hug that made me blush bright red and take notice to all the kids staring.
“O-okay.” I said and hesitantly hugging her back. I found it pretty suspicious that she would want to befriend me though. I guess I’ll just have to be careful with her.
Soon after we pulled away and turned to the teacher when she called the class to attention. It was nice to sit next to someone who hadn't at one point lied about me or made fun of me. We spent the time up until lunch time working and passing notes or whispering. I eventually got comfortable enough to stop stuttering with her.
Once lunch time hit we all got up and I saw Sapphire waiting for me with her lunch bag in hand. I realized I left mine in my book bag at the back of the room.
“You can go ahead I have to get my lunch I’ll meet you in the cafeteria.” I told her and she left.
I quickly got my lunch bag and went to meet my new friend. But while I was heading to the cafeteria I heard the voices of some of the kids who gossiped about me the most. I peeked my head around the corner and saw them speaking to Sapphire. I began to prepare myself to lose the only friend I had.
“You really should stay away from Alexander.” Said Stacy, a little red head who decided she didn't like me just because I accidentally spilled a little paint on her once.
“Yeah he’s a total freak!” Said Johnny, a brunette who just picked on me because he had a crush on Stacy.
“Yeah and he’s an idiot, I swear I've never met some dumber than him. You should totally be friends with us instead.” Said Brittney, a little blond who only follows Stacy.
I began to walk away sure that Sapphire would believe them and abandon me.
“I don’t care what you think about Alex! He’s nice and you guys are just bullies. I don’t want to be friends with bullies. If you mess with my best friend I’ll tell on you and never talk to you again. So you’re either going to have leave Alex alone or stay away from us. Besides I’m willing to bet not a single one of you have ever really gotten to know him, so you’re just telling lies!” Sapphire yelled at them and then stomped toward the cafeteria. I was shocked after hearing that. This girl who only just met stood up for me and even complimented me. I felt my chest tighten and my face flush, my palms started to sweat and I couldn't wait to see Sapphire. Although I do feel guilty for being suspicious of her. I ran toward the lunch room and looked around for her.
“Hey Alex, I’m over here!” She called and I spotted her waving at me from an empty table. I hurried over to her and sat down but I immediately began to squirm with guilt.
“I’m sorry.” I blurted out after a couple minutes of eating.
“What for?” She asked looking at me confused.
“I was suspicious of you when you first asked me to be friends but I heard what you said to those bullies. You stuck up for me even though you just met me and all I did was be suspicious of you. I’m sorry.” I said while staring at the table. When I finished talking I lifted my head to look at her, she was giggling.
“It’s okay to be suspicious when first meeting someone especially when no one’s ever treated you nicely before. My mom always tells me to be careful with strangers but to never be rude or mean just because you don’t know them. She also tells me that I should never go off the opinions of others because you never know if they’re telling the truth or not, and even if they are, everyone deserves a chance. So I’m happy that even though you were suspicious of me you still gave me a chance to be your friend.” She said and then she smiled. She was giving me the sweetest smile I had ever seen from someone that wasn't family. Right now she looks like an angel. No… She is an angel, my angel. I swear from now on I’ll protect her and give her more reasons to smile.
From then on I was very open with Sapph. We spent the rest of the day together. And for once I was sad to leave school because now I have to wait until tomorrow to see her. I had just finished hugging Sapphire and watched her get in her mom’s car when the twins came outside. Sarah and Stephen noticed my sadness when they reached me in front of the school.
“What’s wrong Alex?” Sarah asked pulling me into a side hug while we waited for mom.
“Nothing Sarah.” I said and tried to put on a smile.
“Al you’re not fooling anyone.” Stephen said staring me down.
“…” I didn't answer.
“Al” Stephen pressed.
“… I made a friend and I’m sad to see her leave.” I whispered.
“What!” Sarah said and spun me around to look her in the eye.
“That’s great Alex!” Stephen said and I just glared at them.
“Well other then you missing her but you’ll get over it. Tell us what happened.” Sarah demanded.
“…” I said nothing and just shook my head and turned to look at Stephen.
“Hmm. You’re right we should wait so Mom and Dad can hear about it.” Stephen nodded; he perfectly understood my looks when I didn't want to speak.
“But I want to know what happened.” Sarah whined.
“…” I look at Stephen.
“He’ll tell us all when we get home. Besides Mom and Dad are here, you can wait.” He said and seconds later they pulled up in front of the school. We climbed in and buckled up but Sarah was still excited over the news and very jittery.
“Sarah why are you moving so much?” Mom asked looking at her from the passenger seat.
“What happened today?” Dad asked.
“…” I immediately looked at Stephen.
“Well-” Sarah started but was cut off.
“Sarah don’t say anything. It’s Alex’s news to tell.” Stephen said and glared at her.
“Fine.” She sighed.
“What news? Why don’t you want her to tell us?” Mom immediately questioned.
“Because it’s not her news to tell. Alex has something to say and he wants to say it when we get home.” Stephen explained.
“Well is it bad?” Dad asked worriedly as we turn onto our street.
“No it’s good, very good.” Stephen assured him.
“Oh well then let’s all go to the sitting room and you can tell us there son.” Dad says as he pulls in to our drive way and parks the car in front of our nice two story house. I nod and unbuckle my belt before heading inside with everyone. We all head straight for the sitting room and everyone takes a seat while I stand in front of them.
“Go ahead and tell us Alex.” Mom says.
“Today I made a friend.” I announced and waited for my words to sink in.
“…You what?” My mom asked standing up and pulling me toward the couch and everyone made space for me to sit in the middle.
“I made a friend.” I repeated and watched the excitement appear on my parents face.
“That’s wonderful Alex! I’m so happy for you.” My mom said and pulled me into a hug.
“That’s great! I knew you would make one.” My dad said and ruffled my hair.
“Who is this friend anyway? What are they like?” Asked Sarah.
“...” I looked at Stephen.
“He doesn't want to say. He’ll only tell what happened but nothing more.” Stephen explained.
“Why not?” Sarah whined.
“He doesn't want to jinx it.” Stephen said.
“Alright Alex.” Mom said but I could tell she wanted to know about Sapphire.
I told them what happened but left out her name or any gender pronouns. I also made sure to leave out my promise because who knows how my mother would have reacted. By time the end of my story it was sort of late and everyone was hungry.
“We should go out to eat as a celebration.” Dad said once he noticed the time.
“Yeah everyone dress nice we’re going to a restaurant.” We all went to our rooms and got dressed before heading out to the car. The duration of the ride I sat and thought about Sapphire and what would happen tomorrow.
“Come on Alex. We’re here.” Sarah said and shook my shoulder.
“Okay.” I said and got out of the car. We headed inside and waited to be seated.
“Hey Alex!” I heard a familiar voice call and smiled then immediately turned around just in time to get an armful of Sapphire.
“Hey Sapph.” I said as I hugged her with an even wider smile on my face.
“…” My family stood there speechless and I couldn't blame them it was very rare when I would allow anyone outside of family to touch me and even if I did allow it I usually hated it, not with Sapphire though it’s nice holding her.
“I’m so sorry about my daughter! Sapphire I know I told you to not just jump on people.” Said a woman running over to us, she looked just like Sapph. Upon her arrival my mom snapped out of her shock.
“I didn't jump on people. I jumped on Alex, he’s my best friend, so it’s okay.” Sapphire said and let go of me but then took my hand. My face began to resemble a tomato at that point.
“Sapphire-” Her mother started to say but was cut off.
“It’s just fine. We’re happy to see that Alex has made a friend that’s so obviously happy to see him besides he doesn't seem to mind.” My mom said and then turned to look at me, yet again I was blushing because she was right.
“Oh well then I guess it’s okay just this once. It’s nice to meet you. I’m Sapphire’s mom, Marlena. That’s my husband, Giovanni, my eldest daughter, Melody, my oldest son, Leo, and my niece Vera.” Sapph’s mom said and gestured to each person.
“Nice to meet you too, I’m Cathryn. That’s my husband, Michael, my twins, Stephen and Sarah, and as I’m sure you know my youngest, Alex. Since we’re all here and our kids have recently become friends why don’t we eat together?” Mom said as the waiter came over to seat us.
“That would be nice.” Said Sapph’s mom. We followed the waiter to a table big enough for both families, strangely enough everyone arranged themselves to that Sapphire and I would sit together.
That day ended up being one of the best days of my life. I made an amazing friend and went out with my family. I saw my friend again and we even ate together. But the best part was that we held hands the entire time.
“Alex snap out of it we gotta start before the teacher gets here.” Sapphire said shaking me.
“Start what?” I asked confused.
“Start our drawings. The teacher wants us to sketch something important in our lives for now and then do a full on drawing of it at home.” Sapph explained.
“Okay thanks.” I said and got some sketch paper.
“So what got you so distracted earlier?” She asked as she started sketching.
“Nothing I was just remembering something.” I answered.