Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Boy Who Changed My Life

By Liam Hogan, Age 12, Massachusetts

 

“STOP!”

“No, not until you give me back my lunch,” says George, the biggest bully in the school. He loves to pick on me.

“I didn’t take it. I swear!”

“Fine. If you don’t give it back, then I’ll take yours. Open your backpack. NOW!” I open my backpack, and the bully satisfyingly holds up my lunch bag. “Nice! A PB & J sandwich, yogurt, some chips, and, YUUUCK! An apple.” George tosses the apple in the trash nearby. “See you tomorrow, LOSER!

I run out of school to the nearby river and sit down. I eat the extra granola bar that I put in the small pocket of my backpack, in case I got hungry on the bus. Mom will probably yell at me for taking the last one, I think to myself. I sigh. Another day alone, with only the river, the ducks, and the dark green frogs to keep me company. I’m sitting there without a lunch, and nobody cares.

Squeek. The bus stops after school. “Arrived destination, Green St, Carson City, Nevada.” Down the aisle I go. I pass the group of popular people, the group of science nerds, and people like me: the lonely people.

“Hurry up, Francisco,” the driver says.

I ignore him and hop off the bus. I walk to my house and open the door to another normal day at home. Well, normal for me. My dad yells at me right away. “Come on Francisco. Do your chores. You are already fifteen minutes late.” My dad is a big man with a lot of muscle. He is tall and very intimidating, at least to me. He always yells at me to do my chores. I sigh, and head outside to work in the garden.

“ATTENTION CLASS!” Mr. Yellow booms the next morning. “There is a new student who will be joining us today. His name is Ethan. I hope you will all be very kind and welcoming to Ethan for his first year at Green leaf Middle School.”

“Good luck with that, Ethan,” I mumble to myself.

Right on cue Mr. Yellow says, “Ethan, why don’t you sit next to Francisco right here?”

“Okay,” says Ethan quietly. I can tell by the way he tries to avoid eye contact and the way he positions his fingers, that he was just as nervous as I was on my first day. He has long dark blond hair and pale skin, unlike all the other kids in my class, who are tan from the sun. He’s short and skinny like me and has freckles all over his face and arms. He seems like a nice kid.
Another chance. Can I make a real friend this time? No. Probably not. I’ll give it a try.

“Hi,” I say.

“Hi,” he replies. All of a sudden a conversation broke out. We talked so much the Mr. Yellow had to tell us to stop three times!

“Bye, Ethan,” I say.

“Bye, Francisco.”

I walk home with a great smile on my face; I’ve finally made a friend!

But after I get home, my happiness turns into disappointment. Right away, my dad yells at me.

“FRANCISCO, DO THE CHORES YOU FORGOT YESTERDAY. THAT’S DOUBLE FOR TODAY.”

“Okay,” I say quietly, and head off to the kitchen to clean. Chore Number One.

That night, I sit in my room instead of eating dinner. Apparently I don’t deserve dinner, because I didn’t finish my chores and I did a “horrible job” on the chores that I did finish. You might not know the feeling of going a night without dinner. I know that I don’t have it as bad as kids in other countries who don’t have enough money for food, but being forced to skip dinner happens to me a lot. You start off with a small pain in your lower stomach, then it gets worse. It takes over your entire body until you decide to try to fall asleep, which is extremely hard when you haven’t eaten since breakfast. Luckily, that night I fell asleep quickly from exhaustion and the day slowly faded away from my memory, and I awoke to a brand new day with little memory of the night before.

“Hi Ethan,” I say as I walk onto the bus.

“Good morning,” he replies.

I sit in the empty seat next to him as the bus takes off, heading for school. Ugh, school. Although, I think to myself, it won’t be so bad now that I have a friend.

In English class, last period, Ethan says, “I can’t wait to go home and play with my brother.”

“What?” I stare at him. “You actually play with your brother? My brother hates me, and my parents think he’s so much better than me and make me do all the chores.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright.”

“You should stand up to your brother and your parents. Tell them how you feel. Maybe they’ll listen, and you can have fun with your brother all the time. Like me, you can actually look forward to going home. You should really speak up.”

“Okay.” I say. “I will at least give it a shot.”

“Great.”

BEEEEEEEP. The bell rings.

“Okay, see you tomorrow.”

“Bye.”

That’s what I thought about on my walk to the bus. That’s what I thought on my ride home on the bus. That’s what I thought about on my walk to my house. Can I actually do it? Yes, I can. No, I can’t. Ugh, which one? Fine. I will do it.

I walk into the house. “Dad!”