Were you kind to the “weird kids” in class? Maybe they didn’t always shower, or maybe they didn’t know how to have a normal conversation. Maybe they kept to themselves and didn’t like to interact with other students. This is the true story of a girl who took the time to say hello to the “weird” kid at school, and they changed each other’s lives in ways they would never have imagined…
I knew a kid in high school that never spoke. I was kinda a loner myself but it wasn’t necessarily by choice. He sat alone at lunch , and I didn’t have anyone to sit with so I just quietly ate with him every day.
I soon noticed he was in a lot of my classes and I started just sitting with him. When he thought no one was looking he would smile at jokes or start to doodle, but as soon as he knew someone was watching he would go blank.
Naturally kids started picking on him a little, trying to get him to talk or asking him why he never spoke. None of it seemed to phase him and he would just shrug or smile.
But what really got me mad was when the teachers would draw attention to him or when they would call roll they would pause at him sometimes and poke fun at how he wasn’t going to answer. He would go really numb and still when this happened.
One day I snapped at a teacher to “leave him the hell alone” and “if you feel the need to look cool in front of a bunch of high schoolers by making fun of a child than you’re a pathetic person!”
I’ll never forget the way he looked at me when I was sent to the office. He had his mouth open like he wanted to say something.
At the office a councilor sat with me and explained that his father died in Afghanistan and he hasn’t spoken to anyone but his mom since.
I learned a lot about people from him. I leaned how cruel they can be and I leaned how kind and compassionate they can be. But the thing I learned from him that was most valuable was the power of listening.
I tried to take my life in November of that year, and I was gone for a few weeks. The entire school totally new because of my brother. I was a stupid teenager who didn’t realize the value of her own life.
When I got back he was waiting by my locker.
He said hi.
I thought it was someone else but he gave me a hug and said hi again.
It was the most meaningful thing anyone had said to me during that time.
I cried a little and after that he began to speak to me really quietly. It was little things at first like “hello” and “good bye” but soon he was asking how my day was and before I knew it he was rolling in laughter at my dumb jokes.
He knew more about me than anyone because he listened.
I moved after I graduated but I still wonder about him almost every day.
Just wanted to share this with someone.
She later updated this story with the good news that she had been able to contact him through the friends of friends in her hometown. He had been searching for her as well, but she had gotten her name changed after marriage so it had been impossible to find each other. They were able to reconnect and have resumed their friendship via letters and emails. This story is really sweet!
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