“The time is right to make new friends”

A short story from a fortune cookie: 

               I fiddled with the laces of my black converse as I sat in the passenger’s seat of my mom’s Volkswagen. I tried to tune into the sounds around me – the car doors slamming as kids got out of cars (something I had yet to do), the laughter as people met up with their friends (something I did not have).

“I know you’re nervous, but it’s just a matter of putting yourself out there!” She said, her voice straining to sound enthusiastic.

I looked up from my shoe-fiddling; the fancy new rock seemed too big for her left finger; the rock that made us move half way across the country. My palms began to sweat as I thought about getting out of the car. “Senior year though, really?” I asked with a sigh. My mom smiled half-heartedly, a sign that she had nothing left to say to me, after all we’d had this conversation many times and I’m not sure why I even bothered bringing it up anymore.

“3 o’clock.” I reminded her as I stepped out of the car.

I hadn’t even made it half-way up the stairs of my foreign looking school as I tripped over the shoelaces I’d been fiddling with earlier. My Walkman skidded across the cement towards an array of feet, and my face flushed as I heard high pitched giggles and snickers from boys I knew were in letterman jackets. Still on the ground, my palms aching from trying to brace my fall, I looked over my shoulder and hoped my mom was still there so I could run to safety, but her blue Volkswagen had been replaced by a BMW.

As I stood back up, I began to panic – my Walkman was gone. I almost let out a few curse words until I felt a tap on my shoulder; once again, panic set in and if I turned around and saw a letterman jacket holding my Walkman, I decided I was going to walk home. But, much to my surprise, it was the complete opposite. A boy with dirty blonde hair, ripped jeans and a leather jacket stood there; he looked a bit dirty, but so did I after my fall, so who was I to judge?

“Drop something?” He said with a half grin.

I grabbed it quickly, “Thank you.” I wasn’t much of a talker and turned to leave, but he wasn’t giving up just yet.

“I’m Daniel.” He said, walking beside me, a bit too close for my liking. “I’m new too.”

“Is it really that obvious?” I asked him, to which he nodded with another half grin. I felt a little bit better once I knew his status here. “I’m Samantha, Sam.”

“Well, Samantha, Sam…Want to hit the movies later? Us new kids gotta stick together.” He smiled warmly. It seemed like I’d finally gotten my senses back since the fall and immediately became self-conscious the longer he looked at me. I began to make my way into the school to avoid the feelings of self-consciousness; I didn’t even know where I was going but walking into the building was a good first step.

“Um, sure. I guess there can’t be too much homework on the first day.” I smiled for the first time this morning. “So, what movie did you want to see?”

Daniel pondered for a moment before saying, “How about The Breakfast Club?”

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