The Bracelet

When I was young, I was not the most popular girl in school. I did not have many friends in school. Instead I was the class scapegoat. I was that child that always seemed to be the on getting picked one. I was the outcast. I was the one that was ridiculed and tormented throughout school. For this reason I did not have very many friends, if any.
The first person I would call my friend would have to be Justin. He was one of my classmates. He was one of those people that would be considered popular. He was the first one that everyone picked to be on his or her team. He seemed to have plenty of friends. Although he was popular, he was still kind to everyone around him. I don't remember ever seeing him being cruel to someone else.
I don't recall the first day I met him. I do remember my initial impression of him though. My first impression was that he was really big. He was not fat, but big boned. Yet for such a large young man, he was the biggest teddy bear. He was so shy and bashful when I first met him it threw me off. I expected him to be aware of his size and use it to his advantage, yet he didn't.
Justin sat near me in class. He always seemed to have a cold or allergies. One thing that he did not have, that he needed, was a tissue. This is how I first starting talking to Justin. My mother used to send me to school with those packs of tissues and I never seemed to use them. So I began to give the packets to Justin. I did not use the tissues so I thought that since he could, he should have them.

It was from these packs of tissues that I got my first friend. I found out that Justin was really nice. He never tormented me like the other children did. He repaid my kindness with friendship. He talked to me and didn't seem to care what our fellow classmates said. They did tease the both of us, although, me more than him. They teased us because we talked to each other so much, but I did not realize it as much as before. I noticed that when he was with me the other children did not tease me as much. It probably had something to do with the fact that he was much bigger than most of the other children.
It didn't matter to me anymore, that my classmates still tormented and teased me. Justin took my mind off of all of the teasing. School had become tolerable to me again. I looked forward to seeing and talking with Justin. He made my life a little easier. I was happier than I could remember being in a long time.
Time past so quickly, the next thing I knew it was Christmas time and my classmates were exchanging gifts. I did not expect anything. I was the class scapegoat. I knew that no one would get me anything. They would not even think twice about getting me anything. Yet when I got to class that day, Justin rose from his seat when he saw me come in. Then he approached me very quietly. I saw that he had something in his hand, but I thought nothing of it. Then, when he reached me, he presented a small, wrapped box. As he handed it to me, he stumbled over the words to tell me, that it was his mother that brought this for me. She wanted to thank me for giving him all of the tissues.
While he was handing me the box, my peers began to stare blankly at him and me. It was almost if he had broken their taboo. First he became friends with me and then he showed he cared for me, by giving me a present. I took the box from him and smiled shyly. I was too shocked to say anything to him. So I just began to open the box. Inside of the box I found a small bracelet. On the bracelet, between red and silver beads, was a small rabbit.
I was so surprised that, I did not know what to say. I think I must have stared at the bracelet for a while, because I remember Justin looking worried. He was saying something about having no idea that his mother was going to do something like this. I saw that he was beginning to think I was upset and didn't like it, so I quickly told him it was ok. I thanked him and asked him to thank his mother for me. Then I returned to my seat, still staring at the bracelet.
I was so shocked and surprised to receive something from someone. No one had ever shown this type of kindness towards me before. I was the outcast. No one was supposed to give me anything. So for the rest of the day, even though my peers, for being Justin's girlfriend were tormenting me, I was happy. For once I felt like I had a real friend. Someone had actually shown that they cared for me. I felt wanted. Justin made me realize that friends were important. He made me realize what I had been missing in my life was friends. He chose to defy the rules of popularity, and give me a gift. He showed me a kindness that no one else had dared to. To this day I still have the bracelet, even if the elastic wore out years ago.