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CHAPTER 5
 
"How do you know him?" I asked
 
'‘Coach told me that a new player was going to join today" Dylan replied
 
'‘I heard that Coach is on leave?" Austin asked Dylan
 
"Yes he is" Dylan and I said simultaneously
 
"Where’s Hayley?" I noticed that Hayley was nowhere to be seen
 
'‘I told her to go'’ Dylan said
 
"When did you become such a saint?" I inquired sarcastically
 
Dylan’s brown eyes flickered mischievously, '‘why? I was a saint all along!"
 
'‘Yeah right'’ I rolled my eyes
 
"She’s waiting for you in the cafeteria'’ Dylan added
 
'‘I was hoping to meet the captain of the football team'’
 
And here we go again, my mind instantly beamed
 
"I am the Captain of the football team'’ Dylan gave his charming, hard-to-detest smile, '‘and I’m also the quarterback of the team"
 
"Yes you are" I sarcastically remarked 
 
Dylan didn't get it. He rarely understood my sardonic temperament 
 
'‘Oh'’ Austin smiled at Dylan, '‘it’s nice to meet you"
 
'‘Yeah you too'’ Dylan replied
 
Austin looked at me and asked, ‘'my next class is geography, do you mind to show me the room?"
 
"Of course not" I smiled
 
"Looks like somebody got a thing for someone" Dylan slowly muttered
 
I smacked his forehead and walked with Austin
 
Hayley was waiting in the cafeteria. 
 
'‘I was looking for you" she smiled at me
 
"I was looking for you too" I replied
 
'‘Who is he?'’ Hayley asked me while Austin looked around the cafeteria as if it was a whole new world for him
 
‘'He’s Austin" I pointed at him, '‘he’s also new here"
 
'‘He’s also very good-looking'’ Hayley commented as she dreamily stared at Austin
 
‘'Of course'’ I sarcastically replied in a high pitched tone
 
By the time we got out of the cafeteria and reached the lockers; the second period was almost over.
 
It was a relief because Hayley was getting unbearable, she kept on looking at Austin while Austin kept on talking to me.
 
I understand that Austin’s looks were too good but how could she be so out of control? She even told him how good-looking he was and you DO NOT do that.
I took Austin to the Geography room; Ms Digsby was inside the room and smiling
 
Must be a message from her new boyfriend, I thought
 
"Thank you Emily" he smiled
 
‘'Happy to help" I smiled back
 
He got inside the room and I started to walk to Mr Hill’s office
 
"Looks like you have a letter"
 
That was the first thing that Mr Hill said as soon as I entered his office
 
I smiled and went near his desk
 
He gave me the letter and told me to open it
 
"Have you read it yet?'’ I asked
 
"No'’ Mr Hill looked offended by my words, '‘I keep my promises, Emily"
 
I sat on the chair and opened the letter:
 
Dear Respondent, 
 
I am a football player and my hobby is to cook food but I’ve never told this to anybody. I’ve always baked cakes and pies for the football team and I always wanted them to know about my hobby. I’m planning to bake a cake for the football team for winning in the 24th Football Summer Tournament but I’m afraid that they’ll laugh at me because I’m a football player. I feel so helpless; can you please give me a suggestion?
 
With regards,
Paul
 
I read the letter one more time. 
 
Paul
 
I’d heard that name before. I thought for the possibilities of who it might be and then it hit me:
 
It was Derek; I knew it was him because last night Dylan mentioned that he was in charge of getting a cake. And also; Derek’s middle name was Paul. He was in my homeroom last year.
 
I knew how it felt to be helpless or at least I could imagine.
 
No matter how many times people tell you its okay to stand out, in reality; it isn't so easy.
 
It’s such a dilemma of life to fit in with others. When I was in fifth grade, I used to ask a lot of questions to teachers and even though the teachers always answered to my questions; the girls always made facea and started to ignore me. Later, Stephanie told me that asking too many questions made me look like a geek and for the rest of the class; it was the most un-coolest thing ever. I decided to stop asking questions even when I had them. And now; I don’t even get a single quarry in my mind regarding any topic. 
 
I realized that Mr Hill was scrutinizing me and my reactions to the letter from his desk. He had to drop his pen to make a sound and pull me out of my thoughts
 
'‘Can I reply to this now?'’ I asked him, clutching a pen in my hands
 
'‘Of course, you can!"
 
"Do you want to know what’s written here?" I slyly smiled. 
 
I knew that Mr Hill was desperate to know what was written in the letter but it gave me such peace to annoy him sometimes
 
"Emily" Mr Hill forced a smile, "a letter will never falter my promise"
 
"Do you want to suggest something?" I asked
 
"Like what?'’ he asked
 
'‘This kid here" I pointed towards the letter, '‘has a hobby and he wants to tell everybody about it but he’s afraid that everyone would laugh at him"
 
'‘Well," Mr Hill shifted in his seat, "you shouldn’t change yourself for somebody else. If they do not accept your change then they’re not worth keeping in your life as well"
 
"Okay'’ I nodded, trying to process all the knowledge
 
'‘It depends whether the habit is a good one or not" Mr Hill added then he looked at me, "depending on the habit reply to your letter. Don’t forget the thing that I taught you_"
 
'‘Put yourself into that situation and do the right thing'’ I recited
 
‘'Now'’ Mr Hill’s eyes turned to the letter, "write"
 
"Okay'’ I began to reply to the letter:
 
Dear Paul,
 
I know how it feels to not “fit in” with everybody. I’ve experienced this situation too and I’m ashamed to say that I changed my hobbies and habits because it was usually tagged to be “uncool” or whatever. But, I really think that you should tell everybody about your hobby when you present the cake to them. Cooking is not a bad hobby; most people do not even know how to cook and that’s not something to be proud of. So, please do tell them about your hobby; if they laugh at you then they don’t deserve to be your friend at all
 
With regards,
Respondent
 
It took me a whole period to decide what words I should choose but then Mr Hill told me to keep it casual and informal. 
 
After I finished writing the letter, I put it inside the Respondent’s letterbox which was at the end of the Mr Hill’s office and headed to my next class.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Submitted: January 20, 2020

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