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The Other Me


Sarah Gold

It was the first day of school. A group of kids stood congregated on the school steps leaning against the banisters. I was new at this school, new in the town.

I walked calmly up the steps and stood next to a curly red headed girl, "Hi! I'm Jess."

"Hey, I'm Kat." The girl replied, and then she pointed to five kids and introduced me. "This is Jim, Billy, Jo, and Kris." Amazingly, they all smiled and waved to me. I was accepted.

"So, are the teachers nice here?" I asked Kris.

"Yeah, for the most part."

And the conversation continued.

Unfortunately, that wasn't what happened. That was the Other Me, the one I always wanted to be, the one I always thought about. But in actuality, I was shy and awkward, not brave and outgoing. Not like the Other Me at all.

I boarded the bus at 7:17 and sat in the seat behind the bus driver. Although I was sitting in a three seater, I didn't want anyone else to sit with me. I put my backpack on one seat and my coat on the other. There, I was blockaded from everyone. Luckily there wasn't any need for me to move my stuff. I rode to school in silence while all the other kids conversed about their amazing summers at camp.

While climbing off the bus, I tripped and fell. I picked myself up. I don't think any one even noticed I had fallen. I was just another new kid, a kid to be picked on or ignored.

There was an open door off to the side of the main door. Ducking my head, I ran through the door and found myself in the library where I waited out the torturous five minutes before class.

Unfortunately, this was what happened. I was as shy as last year, but unlike last year, I didn't have any friends at my school. I longed for a kid to stop me as I crept into the library day after day. Someone to notice me, even bully me. The first week of school was torture. Each day at lunch, I ate at the new kid table. We weren't united as new kids but as losers. We all sat alone together, at the same table. We were united by the longing for friends, but we wouldn't settle for each other - new kid friends.

In history, we were assigned to work on a project. We got to pick our own teams, teams of three. I panicked. We had five minutes to form teams. The teams were formed instantly. Belle and Bev were best friends, but they didn't have a third person for their group. There were a few kids leftover, all new kids, not willing to form a team between themselves.

Surprisingly, Belle came over to me, "Er... do you want to be in our group?"

I was shocked. "M-me?"

"Yeah you." Belle was shifting her weight between her two legs.

"Sure, I guess."

"Great. You know Bev, right?"

"Um, only from seeing her around."

"Well, that's Bev."

"Okay. You're Belle, right?" I made sure that I knew her name.

"Yup. Oh! I almost forgot. Do you want to sit with us at lunch and work on the project a little?"

"Sure!" I said a little too loudly, too quickly.

"See you there." Belle pivoted around on one foot and walked over to Bev.

Lunch came and went. Days turned into weeks. Belle and Bev became my friends. Weeks turned into months. It was December.

Each year at Abe Prep, there was a school dance called Chick Pick. Each girl got to pick a guy who was to be her date for the dance. We didn't have to pick, we could just go with a group of friends. I asked myself what the Other Me would do. I knew what the regular me would do. I would just go with Belle and Bev. The Other Me would ask Danny Jones to the dance. Danny was the guy I had liked since October.

Hadn't I always wanted to be the Other Me? What did I have to lose? I knew Belle and Bev would stand by me, no matter what.

The dance was two weeks away and everyone was picking their dates. I walked up to Danny, "Are you going with anyone?"

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