“Hey, Sis!” New Era, April 2008, 45
I was leaving junior high school, embarking on a new adventure riddled with unknown possibilities and, of course, filled with fun. Little did I know that the first few months of high school would feel disastrous and ultimately change my life.
It all started normally enough for a freshman. I felt small at this new, big school. Everything seemed twice as big, but it was nice knowing I was going through this with my friends. When we checked our class schedules, we saw that I didn’t have any classes with my friends. As the weeks passed, we drifted apart. Instead of the close relationship we’d once shared, I would be lucky to see the backs of their heads as they walked in another direction.
My lunch hour was miserable. I tried to make myself look busy, like making several unneeded trips to my locker to retrieve books I didn’t need, tying my shoes, or pretending to look for someone who would never be found. I guess I wasn’t very good at pretending, because my older brother, Shawn, noticed.
Since my childhood, Shawn was always there, whether it was teasing me incessantly or putting his arm around me after a bad day. He never really asked me what was wrong; he just knew. He started inviting me to eat lunch with him and his friends. When I was with him, he never ignored me. I remember him yelling, “Hey, Sis!” and walking over to put his arm around me.
Slowly I became stronger, and I became comfortable in my own skin. I realized I didn’t need my old friends to define who I was. I had my brother, my friend.