The New Girl
by naomi Cassata
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"Hello", Ms. Brown, the teacher, announced to the class that they would be having a new student join their class. “Her name is Kayla and her family just moved here. I would like everyone to make her feel very welcome.” Just then, the door opened and in walked Kayla timidly. Everyone stared at her wide eyed. She was dressed poorly. Her shoes were dirty and a size too small. Her jeans a little raggedy and her jacket’s front pocket was missing.
“Hello Kayla,” Ms. Brown said cheerfully, “we’re so happy to have you join us. You can take the empty seat on the third row.” Holly was glad the seat next to her was empty. She hoped to make friends with Kayla. Holly looked over at Kayla and smiled.
Soon it was time for recess. The girls had gathered around to jump rope. “1, 2 buckle my shoe,” the girls cheered with every jump, “3,4 shut the door,” they continued. Kayla stood quietly watching the girls. Just then, Marie, who was known to be a bit outspoken, interrupted the song as she turned to Kayla, “Are you sure you can jump rope with those old shoes?” All the girls laughed. Kayla’s face turned red. “I bet she got them from charity,” another girl piped in. Just then, Holly looked over at Kayla and noticed a tear fall to the ground. “I, I have to go,” Kayla stumbled over her words as she quickly turned to leave. She didn’t want the girls to see her crying. They were too busy laughing to even notice. Holly felt bad, but said nothing because she was afraid she might be Marie’s next victim.
Later that evening while at church, Holly’s children’s church teacher, Ms. Teresa, was teaching about being like Jesus. “Doing nothing, when someone else is hurt, is just as bad as doing it yourself,” she stated. Holly was confused, “What do you mean?” she interrupted. “Well,” continued Ms. Teresa, “Jesus illustrated a story about a man who was beat up, stolen from and then left to die. Two people passed by him, but they did not help him. In fact, they ignored him, which made it just as bad as hurting the man,” “But,” Holly interrupted, “they weren’t the ones who robbed and beat him.” “You’re right,” responded Ms. Teresa, “but let me finish.” She continued, “Then a man from Samaria walked by and gently bandaged his wound and took care of him.” Jesus taught us that if we want to show love to others, we must be like this Samaritan man, especially when someone has been hurt by someone else.” He was gentle and kind. Holly thought back to the incident that happened at school earlier that day. I should have showed kindness to Kayla when she was hurting, she thought to herself. She felt ashamed and was determined to treat Kayla like Jesus would.
The next day during recess, the girls were jumping rope together again. Only this time Kayla sat under a big oak tree all by herself. Holly remembered the story of the Good Samaritan. She laid down her rope and walked over to where Kayla was sitting, “Would you like to jump rope with us?” Holly asked with a smile. “Sure, I love to jump rope, but I don’t think the other girls will let me,” she said sadly, “especially Marie. I don’t think she likes me.” “Well you are my friend now and if they won’t let you play then we will find something to do together,” responded Holly. Kayla smiled brightly. Kayla and Holly walked over to the others. “Why are you playing with her?” Marie said sarcastically. “She’s my friend,” said Holly. Marie rolled her eyes. “Fine, but I bet she doesn’t even know how to jump rope,” said Marie. Kayla took hold of the rope. All the girls cheered, “1,2 buckle my shoe, 3,4 shut the door, 5,6 pick up sticks, 7, 8 lay them straight, 9,10 do it over again.” Kayla jumped and jumped. The girls had to sing 5 times before she got tired, more than any girl had ever done. Marie looked down and kicked the dirt; for once, she didn’t know what to say. Holly just smiled; she was glad she made things right.
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