By my first spare, I had picked up a couple more textbooks, but no more friends. Always painfully shy, this would be far harder than solving a math equation or analyzing an English paragraph. I slipped towards the gymnasium looking for a corner to hide out in and ease my backpack off my shoulder. And that is when Nikki smiled in my direction.
"Hi," she said. "I think you were in my homeroom with Mr Warne. What did you think of him?"
"Um. He's alright I guess," I mumbled.
No one ever typically sought me out for conversation. I felt out of my depth, but somehow buoyed by her friendliness. She had mousy brown hair, an English Beat tee-shirt, and big, beige glasses that took over half her face. Just like mine did. And apparently she wasn't put off by my Bi-way cords or equally mousy haircut in a slightly light shade.
We chatted for a few minutes, and then she commented that my bag looked heavy.
"Yeah," I replied. "I didn't get a locker. I guess I'll have to get used to it."
"Do you want to share mine?" she asked.
And with that, I gained a best friend who would fade in and out of my life for years, but would always be there to share the load when I needed a friend the most.
Today's 30-Day Writing Challenge though is two parts. The above is part one. The second half of the challenge is to imagine what life would have looked like if my supporting actor had not stepped into my world.
How did they change you and how have they influenced your life? Try to imagine who you would be without them. Write that scene again but without them.
I walked out of Mr Warne's class. Barbie and Kelly pushed by me laughing at some inside joke I wasn't privy to. Kelly looked over her shoulder, as they got to their locker.
"Nice glasses," she muttered to Barbie with a nod in my direction. Both girls snickered cruelly, as they jammed their heavy backpacks into the shared space.
"Oh, look," Barbie added.
"Twinsies," she cried as another girl slunk out of the now empty classroom. "It's the nerd squad!"
I put my head down and quickly walked away from them. The weight of my backpack was nothing compared to the embarrassment that weighed me down by being centred out by the 'cool' girls. I might not ever had been overly popular, but being singled out to be picked on was more than I could stomach on my first day of school. My only friend from primary school went to another high school, leaving me alone in a sea of strangers. Anxiety swelled inside me as I fled away from their taunts. I was too scared to stand up to their cruelty and too shy to seek out the other poor girl who was sadly lumped into my geek domain. She didn't need that kind of stigma.
At the end of the hall, I escaped into the girls bathroom. Older girls stared at me, as I stumbled in. This wasn't the refuge I imagined. Those weren't friendly eyes boring holes into my cheap Bi-way outfit. I wouldn't fit in here either. Maybe I wouldn't fit in anywhere...
Would it have gone down like that? I don't want to know. With a new friend at my side, I gained confidence to find my voice, to find my tribe, to find my path. I am blesses that she walks on my path still and has influenced my life for the better every step of the way. She is a positive role model and amazing cheerleader for anyone who needs the boost. She might have experienced her own ebbs and flows in life, but she sure isn't afraid to fight for what's right for the downtrodden, little guys, or marginalized. And her soul makes mine stronger to fight for the same rights for those in need in my neck of the woods. She is definitely one of the best supporting actors in my life. 💕