I was never good with people but I had a friend, once by Michelle Elvy

This is a story about a skinny girl named Penny. We climbed the monkey bars after school because my dad was usually late to pick me up and her parents arrived even later than my dad. So even if we didn’t exactly intend to be friends, we were — after school, at least, since during school she was the kind who didn’t dodge the red ball, and I was the kind who threw it hard because I could. I reckon I wasn’t the nicest kid, but Penny saw past such flaws and became my friend anyway. I didn’t realize we were friends until one week she didn’t turn up at school and I didn’t talk to or play with anyone or even try hard in gym class. So when she showed up again on the following Monday, I asked her name and we became friends – probably even BFF’s except I didn’t know such cuteness and I had a keen sense that forever was bullshit. When we had an outbreak of lice at school Penny took me to her house and we shaved our heads with an electric razor. My teacher called my dad for a conference but he wasn’t a conference kind of guy so he never showed. We kept our hair short all through that spring. But by the following September, Penny had moved away and my hair had grown out. Everything was the same again — except I stopped throwing dodgeballs at skinny girls.

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5 Comments

Filed under Michelle Elvy

5 responses to “I was never good with people but I had a friend, once by Michelle Elvy

  1. Oh Michelle, this is such a wonderful vignette of growing up, and friendship, and learning. Beautifully done.

  2. I thought this was a great little slice of childhood memory.

  3. If flash is a “Slice of life”, then this is a perfect example of the genre. Thank you for sharing.

  4. nice story, particularly the reference to not knowing such cuteness and what others might put upon that generalisation ‘kids’

  5. Pingback: Week #26 – bad haircut « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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