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The Day I Realised It Was Okay to Be Me

 by Huckleberry. B. Hill (age 10)

Graduating Year 6 was easy. I was sad to be seeing my friends for the last time, but I was nervous about high school. I had a really good experience at my primary school. It was a small country town, and everyone knew each other, I’d see my teachers at the shops on the weekend and I knew them all by their first names. All of that was about to change because we’re moving to Sydney, because my Mum got a job at the new hospital. It was Mum’s big break, and we were all happy for her. But it’s hard with Dad out at sea and he’s been out for three months now. 

My new high school is the biggest in our area, they have a theatre, three football ovals, an indoor swimming pool and aircon in every room! My Mum keeps telling me that I’m going to love it. I hope so.

It’s the last night of the holidays and I’m in bed reading. Mum comes in and kisses me on the head and says, ‘Sweet Dreams, big day tomorrow, better get your beauty sleep’. I have a hard time sleeping, I keep thinking about what tomorrow is going to be like, will I find where I’m going, will I get shoved out of the way in the hallways? I eventually switch off and drift into a deep sleep.

The next day when I got up everyone’s already left. Mum’s left a note on the table and wishes me a great first day, it was her first day too! I ran to get the bus, but I missed it, and wait for a half hour before the next one comes. 

Eventually I find my homeroom, it’s 9.16am, I’m late and I’m already off to a bad start. I nervously nudge the door open to see everybody sitting down and chatting, looks like the teacher’s running late too. Suddenly the whole class stops what they’re doing, and all turn around to look at me. They stare at me like I’m an alien from another universe... I feel nervous and scared……I go to find my seat and as I sit down, the unthinkable happens.

One kid out in the back row blows a raspberry. Then the most immature thing that a grade 7 class can do is…. they all start LAUGHING. The laughter is so loud it deafens me, and I cover my ears to try and block out the humiliation. Time slows down. Everything sounds muffled. And I take myself far away into my safe space. I’m soon snapped out of it as I hear as clear as the day, ‘’Aw, that reeks! HA HA HA!”

I can barely even begin to reply to something as stupid as that, but I still find myself tearing up, that well-known taste of salty water running down my cheeks into my mouth. 

I look around the room for exits, I need to get out of here now, but the only door visible is the one I came through. I turn to see the teacher fumbling through the door. The classroom stops, everyone straightens up and gets ready to fake listen. 

I get a moment to breathe and sit in the embarrassment. What should I do?  A quick assessment and I come to three options:

Number 1. Tell the teacher and be bullied for the rest of my life for snitching?

Number 2. Run out of the class crying, or, even quicker, jump out the window?

Or Number 3. Suck it up and deal with it.

But I’m guessing it must be door number three, because I think that I can show people that I am worth something. So, I wipe away my tears with my sleeve and straighten up my back and say to myself, remember Daniel, it’s okay to be you.



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