Life was perfect. I had friends, I had family. Back in Perth, life was wonderful. Now it’s as if it’s all fallen apart. Ever since we moved, mum and dad have been too busy with work. I hardly ever get time with them at all, and when I do I feel as if nothing ever changed. I wish it could be like that more often. But everything has changed. And it’s as if nothing will ever be the same again.
It started Wednesday, my first day of school in Sydney. New faces, new teachers and hopefully new friends. I was really excited but kind of nervous too. The usual feelings on someone’s first day. I walked proudly through the school gates, a big smile on my face. There were children on the playground and walking on the asphalt. So far, I liked the look of this school. I walked towards my classroom and set my books on my desk, the bell rang and in came the teacher.
I have to say…pretty boring first lesson.
I filled my lunch tray in the cafeteria and ended up sitting on my own. Nobody noticed me. Nobody came and sat next to me. It seemed as if everyone already had their own friends. I wondered if there was someone else like me in the world, no friends, all alone. An old memory found its way into my stream of thoughts. It seemed as if my old home and the sycamore tree was something that never even existed. I remember sitting under the shade of it with my grandma, as she retold stories from when she played around the railway tracks when she was a kid. I thought back to movie nights I had with my parents. I remember ice creams and sleepovers with my friends. How I miss my friends.
When the bell rang for home time I quickly gathered up my books and walked home, alone. Mum was in the kitchen when I got there.
“So, how was your first day?” she asked.
I start up the stairs.
“It was fine mum,” I call back. I turn away from her.
“Do you want to talk about it?” she seems concerned.
“Um…”I paused. A moment to talk to mum sounded so good. A moment to tell her what I felt about school and about moving. But my head declines my heart and I blurt out:
“No mum, don’t worry. Anyway, I got homework I need to do.”
“On the first day?” she responded, confused.
“Oh yeah! You know with all those strict teachers and stuff.” I walked up the last step, went into my bedroom and collapsed on my bed. I turned over and looked up at the ceiling. I sighed.
Why me? Why do I have to be the one with no friends? I turn over and sob silently into my pillow. I feel so alone and lonely, like no one likes me. Like no one cares for me. Like I don’t exist. It hurts. I’m not used to having no friends. Maybe it hurts so much because I’m not used to it. But my hopes are high. Tomorrow will be a great day.
The same thing…for 3 days after. No one talked to me at all. Except for the nice lady at the cafeteria. On Fridays, she always gives me a double serve on chips. That’s nice, I guess. But it’s a bit embarrassing thinking that my only friend at my brand new school is part of the staff.
One Thursday lunchtime, after I tipped the remnants of my lunch into the rubbish bin I went into the bathroom and locked the door behind me. I feel like the only person in the world without friends.
The first time I saw her she looked really upset. I can relate to that. At my other school, I was bullied. But when I came here, I found friends fast. I guess it’s different for Autumn. I do try to talk to her though. But each time I try and come up to her she walks away. As if she knows I’m coming. As if she actually WANTS to be alone. I know no one does (except for when my little brother annoys me when I need to do my homework). But I really want to be her friend. I talked to mum and dad about it and they said that I shouldn’t try to be her friend. They said that it was her problem that she’s alone. I was a bit taken aback, so I decided not to mention it again.
I’ve talked about it to Willow and Emma too, who have been my best friends almost as soon as I met them here. I told them that I’ve kind of been watching Autumn. Emma’s response was:
And Willow just said:
“Maybe she wants to be by herself.”
I ignored Emma’s remark and replied simply to Willow’s:
“I’ve told you guys before. She just looks so sad all the time, that I know she DEFINITLY wants a friend…or friend-z.”
I had no idea why, but I had made it my mission to talk to Autumn and to be her friend. I think it’s because I just don’t like seeing people by themselves.
Three days in the first week that Autumn attended our school I didn’t get a single chance to talk to her. She stayed out of people’s way. But after lunchtime on Thursday afternoon, I saw her walking off into the girls’ bathroom. This was my chance I guess.
“Where are you going?” Emma asked as I stood up from my table. I raised my eyebrows in response.
I made my way over to the bathroom, straight after Autumn. This, was the moment of truth.
I was crying with my eyes buried into my knees when I heard someone come in.
“Hello?” a voice called. “Are you okay?”
I didn’t say anything, but stayed quiet.
“Do you want me to get a teacher?” the voice asked again.
“No I’m alright thanks,” I quickly said. I wiped the tears from my eyes. I stood up and unlocked the door.
Standing outside my door was a girl about the same age as me, with shoulder length blonde hair and radiant blue eyes.
“Hi, I’m September,” she said.
“Autumn,” I responded.
“Sorry but I happened to come in and I heard you crying. You sounded really upset.”
“Well,” I started. “I’ve been here for almost a week and I haven’t got any friends.” (I decided not to mention the cafeteria lady.) “I’ve just moved from Perth to here and I miss my old friends and my grandma and…”
I started crying again. September patted me on the back.
“It’s okay Autumn, I can be your friend.”
She guided me back into the cafeteria. The last five words September mentioned were ringing in my head.
I can be your friend.
I smiled. A small but happy smile. I felt something inside. A spark of happiness. For the first time since I moved, I could have never felt better.