49: The New Boy

49: The New Boy

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Middle School

The New Boy

Love and kindness are never wasted.
They always make a difference.
They bless the one who receives them,
and they bless you, the giver.

~Barbara De Angelis

He came in the middle of my seventh grade year,
Tall and quiet with large dark eyes.
He was the center of curiosity on that first Wednesday
Ballroom dancing in the gym at 10 A.M.
Who would the new boy choose?
I sat with my fellow wallflowers:
Lucille, the poor girl,
Her pretty face marred by crooked teeth.
Marjorie, the preacher’s daughter,
A forty-five-year-old spinster in a twelve-year-old body
And me,
Too tall, too fat, too odd.
The music began and the boys rose from the benches,
I craned my neck to see which of the popular girls would be chosen,
Unaware someone was standing before me
   until he held out his hand.
The new boy had asked me to dance.

~Juliana Harris

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