“What’s the best thing going on at school today, Eli?” My mom asked as she poured her coffee. My mom always asks happy questions like that in the morning. I think she learned it in Mom school or something.
When I was little, I made up all sorts of stories to tell my mom. I’d pretend Lindsey rode a giraffe to school, or Sebastian taught us how to eat worms. Then my mom and I would snuggle and giggle.
But now that I’m in the 3rd grade, I’m too old for that stuff. Still, it’s best to tell her something and send her off to work happy.
“Miss Jennings is announcing who’s in the running for class President today. It’s really not a big deal” I shared.
“Oh? That is exciting!” She pulled ...view middle of the document...
I saw Mason standing beside me with a piece of purple chalk and I knew something bad was about to happen.
He wrote “Eli” on the blacktop just as Miss Jennings had written on the board, but this time, he put a big X through it.
I thought I couldn’t feel any worse, but I was wrong.
He whispered so quietly that no one else could hear but me. “You’re going to lose, and I’m going to win. You’re over here hiding. What kind of leader does that?”
He had a point. I’m not a leader.
I wished that Mason would disappear and let me sink into the blacktop but he kept going with his mean whispers.
“Ben’s way too nice, Megan’s just weird, and we all know Janelle just does whatever she’s supposed to do. Don’t get your hopes up, Eli. I’m the most popular kid in the class. None of you has a chance.”
“Besides, people will always do what I say, even if I’m not the class President.”
By now he was shouting and I hoped that someone would notice so he would stop.
I looked around and saw that even the jump rope girls were gone.
I’d heard enough. I was not going to be bullied by Mason. We’ve been friends since preschool, all of us, and putting down our friends wasn’t cool.
I started talking, but my voice shook. “You’re right, Ben is nice. Think about when you got hurt during our last soccer game. He walked you off of the field and sat with you for the whole quarter without even being asked. Being nice doesn’t make him a bad leader, Mason.
Megan’s not weird either. She has a better imagination than all of us put together. Remember she brought in that funny video she made of her dancing to Katy Perry for the time capsule? That was totally awesome.”
My voice felt bigger but not louder.
“I saw Janelle help you when you forgot our big history presentation was due, like she has a million times before. Everyone goes to her for that stuff, not just you and she always helps.
That’s when I started to think about everyone in our class and realized everyone has something that makes them special.
All of the sudden I was feeling a lot better. I smiled. Big.
“Thanks Mason,” I said.