Not Invisible

 

He crouched by the lockers.

Feet swarmed by. Sneakers, sandals, loafers, tennis-shoes. The hallways rang with voices and a smell wafted from the floor. A mix of sweat, old puke, and industrial cleaner. The smell of school.

It was odd. To be invisible.

Not literally, but still. A new kid in a city with more kids in this one building than in the whole town he’d come from.

“Hey, you,” a foot in a shiny Mary Jane nudged the edge of his bag.

He looked up.

“You Mark?”

He nodded.

“Cool. Come with. I’m Clara. Welcoming committee. Show you around.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers 

(Photo credit: J Hardy Carroll)

 

44 thoughts on “Not Invisible

    • Yes! Very! There are more and more schools that try to incorporate ‘ambassadors’ to welcome new students. It ends up teaching empathy AND preventing some trouble. Also, it is the decent thing to do.

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    • Thanks, my friend! I’m glad it made you smile – we can use all the smiles we can get, especially these days. Not that there’s nothing to smile about, but there are surely tons of (justified) frowns and a LOT is at stake, and not all think that newcomers should be welcomed … while I totally think we do more with kindness than with bullying and intimidation … So, yeah … I’m glad he found a friendly face. It’s the decent thing to do. 🙂 Na’ama

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    • I’m sure many can relate! It is not necessarily a bad thing (in the long run) to experience some distress and overcome it, but there is no rule that says we should not try to minimize or soften it … So, yeah, knowing even ONE child can make all the difference. (and, yeah irst day of first grade can be super difficult!)

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  1. I read this yesterday, forgot to comment. I can picture this scene so well, right down to that smell… maybe the smell the most, like the basement hall of the high school, the one down below the old moldy water pipes that once fed the old steam heaters. and the old gym, no windows, no ventilation… just “that” smell. Yuck! Okay, so that was a trip down the old memory lane… 🙂 ❤

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    • Yes! Some schools do. Not enough of them, but more and more. And it is good for the welcoming ambassadors, too … because it reinforces empathy and allows them to be the ones who are helping. Win-win!

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  2. Love, love, love this, Na’ama!! Loneliest thing ever to arrive in a new school and know no one. I love they have welcoming committees in some places. One person that will make all the difference. Lovely story.

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  3. Wonderful story, Na’ama. Great take from the prompt.
    I grew up in the same town. However, I spent a career moving about every three years. My children had the experiences of new starts at new schools and neighborhoods many times.

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    • Thank you, Bill! Yes, I think that this is a part of many’s experiences and while it need not be traumatic, it is certainly not a trivial reality for children. There is resilience in change but it doesn’t meant it isn’t taxing and that we shouldn’t do all we can to minimize the challenge. 🙂

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