I kept counting the days until school started. 5 days. I knew I would be the new kid. 3 days. I dreaded that day when there was just a few more short and unpleasant hours until I was sitting in a new desk, in a new school, with new problems.
My family moved from Yorkton to Regina, Saskatchewan, less than 3 weeks ago. My dad got an unexpected job offer, and 1 week later, we were on the road with 2 suitcases each. My mom found a tiny apartment, and according to her, we wouldn’t be there for very long. I knew I had to make new friends, but who would want to be friends with a shy, skinny, nose-stuck-in-a-book 12 year old girl, whose only adventure consisted of walking to the corner store in the rain to get headache pills. I never had many friends back in Yorkton, but by the end of today, I’m hoping I’ll find one.
. . .
I reluctantly stepped out of the car onto the chalk covered sidewalk, and squinted my eyes to get a look at the school. It was big. Bigger than my old, rundown school back in Yorkton.
“Bye Monica, I’ll make sure to be here to pick you after school, ok sweetie?” I heard my mom say from behind me.
“Ok, see ya”, I said as I started walking towards the blue front doors of the school. I heard my mom honk the horn, and I turned around to wave, trying to act more enthused than I felt. I looked around at all the unfamiliar faces. Some kids were running around, playing tag. Others were in small groups, on their phones or gossiping about the latest trends. Rather than going to introduce myself, I went and sat on a cement wall. The bell rang, and kids started rushing into the building. As I got up to go inside the building, I turned my head and saw a blonde haired boy push past and then trip another girl. I ran to the girl, who was on the ground holding her leg, which was bleeding quite badly, soaking threw her jeans.
“Oh my, are you OK?” I asked sheepishly as I crouched beside her.
“Oh, yea, it’s just a bruise and a scrape, I think I’ll be alright”, the girl replied. It had gotten eerily quiet, and I was guessing class had already started.
The girl started to get up, but I helped her onto her feet, and we started walking through the now silent and deserted playground.
“My name is Monica, by the way”, I said casually.
I looked at the girl, who then smilingly looked at me and replied,” My name is Olive”.
“Wow that is such a cool name. I’ve never heard it before”, I said in astonishment.
“Thanks, I get that a lot”, Olive said with a grin.
Because that rude and ill-mannered blonde boy pushed Olive, it came to be that for the rest of the day, we talked and mingled like best friends would do. We just, well, clicked. Coincidentally, we were both in the same grade, class and we even had art together (bonus!). It was just meant to be. Monica and Olive.
. . .
That day at school, our first assignment was introduced, and, obviously reading each other’s minds, were partners for that assignment.
After and long and unexpectedly fun day, I decided to invite Olive over for dinner. My mom was very glad that I had made a friend, and agreed immediately to let her stay. We worked on our assignment, searching up plants and writing definitions. After a yummy steak dinner, I hugged Olive and waved goodbye.
The next day at school, Olive and I agreed to work on our project at recess. Olive was phenomenal drawer, and instead of printing our pictures, she wanted to draw them.
The recess bell rang, and I was sitting in the library with our science project in front of me. Olive still hadn’t arrived, but she might’ve had to do something. 5 minutes passed, still no Olive. 10 minutes, nothing. RING! Recess was over and still no Olive.
I walked to my locker with the project tucked under my arm. I was pretty disappointed when I saw Olive walk in the front doors, obviously outside for recess. I was even more disappointed and shocked when I saw her arm linked with another girls arm. I stood there in disbelief. Olive had skipped our project for another girl? I felt a pang of jealousy. Why would Olive do that?
. . .
Nothing tasted good after what happened. It didn’t feel right to be jealous, but I did. Olive didn’t talk to me for the rest of the day. Did I do something wrong?
That evening as I was eating dinner with my head down, the doorbell rang. I watched as my mom got up and walked to get the door. A few seconds later, my mom called to me that someone was here for me. It could only be one person.
“Hey Monica, I brought your binder that you left at my house”, said Olive, handing me my binder.
“Thanks”, I replied, not looking into her eyes. I closed the door, but Olive stopped it from closing.
“Monica, listen, I’m really sorry. That girl you saw me with was not what it seemed. She was a jerk. I didn’t mean to not help with the project. Please, I’m really sorry.”
I looked at her. She really was sorry.
“Oh, Olive, I forgive you”, I said, wrapping my arms around her. We hugged for a few seconds, and then we let go.
“I have to go, it’s getting dark”, Olive said with a smile,” I’ll see you tomorrow?”
“You bet yea”, I said with a smile, as Olive ran down the sidewalk. I closed the door, so very grateful to have Olive in my life.