Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write something suitable for CHILDREN (05/31/07)
- TITLE: Differences
By Deborah Cooke
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In the summer Peter played cricket and in the winter he played soccer. In the summer he threw the cricket ball against the wall after school. In the winter he kicked the soccer ball against the wall.
It was always the same; he liked things being the same. He went to school the same way each day and played with the same friends. Every day, and that’s how he liked it.
Wednesday, there was a new girl in Peter’s room. She was different, very different and she was sitting in front of Peter. Peter kept watching her, even when he didn’t want to, he would watch her.
She was small, too small to be in his class, Peter thought; and she needed help even to get into her seat. She had glasses that made her eyes look twice as big as any eyes he’d ever seen. When she walked, she rocked from side to side. He watched her.
She was always by herself. At lunch time and at recess; none of the other girls ever talked to her. He noticed her. Her name was Amy.
The following week when Peter was delivering pamphlets he noticed her. Even before he got right up to her house he knew it was her; sitting on the front veranda, with her legs dangling over the edge of the seat.
“Hello Peter.” Her squeaky voice shocked him. He wished she hadn’t seen him, he wished she didn’t know his name. But she did.
“Uh, hi.” He responded.
“Do you deliver pamphlets?”
Well, what did she think, him riding his bike stuffing ‘pamphlets’ into boxes, how dumb is that? But he just responded, “Sure.”
She asked him some things about school and about cricket and he answered her. He asked her where she came from and if she had brothers or sisters.
No, she didn’t have brothers or sisters and the people she was living with weren’t really her family. When she was born her mother didn’t want to take her home and she lived in a place that looked after people like her. She had only moved in with this couple last year and they had moved here because her ‘Dad’ had a new job.
Over the next few weeks, Peter made a point of riding past Amy’s house and chatting to her, but he still never talked to her at school. This made him notice her even more and a hard lump started in his chest, every time he looked at her.
One Thursday evening at devotions after dinner, his Dad read out,
“A friend loves at all times.”
Things started to bubble inside of Peter and it made him cranky. “Why do we ALWAYS have to do this stuff anyway?” Peter snapped as he left the table.
That lump in his chest felt like solid rock. He didn’t want to go to school; he didn’t want to throw the ball.
He stopped calling in to see Amy. It felt better for a while. But the lump was still there.
Then it happened!
The class was given a math’s assignment. They had to pick teams to work together. No-one chose Amy. She sat in her desk and scribbled on her paper, waiting. But no-one volunteered.
Peter knew she was crying, he noticed her eyes.
He stood up beside his desk and put up his hand.
“I choose Amy.” His voice almost jammed in his throat. He wished it had.
“I beg you pardon?” Mister Martin asked.
He could not look up at first. He could hear the boys sniggering and the girls were staring at him.
“I would like to work with Amy, she‘s my friend.” This time his voice was clearer, but his eyes stung with tears.
“That’s a great choice Peter.” Mister Martin added, “Amy got the highest marks for math in her last school, you’ll make a good team.”
Peter didn’t care so much about the math right at this moment. He looked over and Amy was smiling.
That lump in his chest seemed to have disappeared right there, right then.
Everything had changed, everything was different now. Peter thought he could get used to things being different
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