Instant friendship

The bell rang, Tom quickly pack his bag and ran home. He knew there were delicious food awaiting him as today was his eighth birthday. Upon arriving home, he was astonished by the scenes of almost empty corridor. Everything was being packed. Suddenly, Mom told him to go up to his room and pack everything because they would be moving to the city later that night. Though he didn’t understand what is happening, Tom chose to follow his mom’s order in frustration as he knew mom wouldn’t explain anything more. Tom loved the countryside, he loved the afternoon running on the hill on the way home, he loved the wind warming up the noon and the cold, the mystery fog of early mornings and his favorite thing were to catch fish every weekend afternoons. He knew that he couldn’t enjoy these when he went to the city and thought it would be very, very boring. His dad told him that they must go there for a better job and he felt confused because he and dad enjoyed the countryside very much. To make the night before goodbye-to-the-countryside more boring, there was no birthday celebration. After they had finished dinner, mom quickly washed the few dishes and use a nilon to wrap them and put them into the bag. All the furnitures and things that couldn’t be moved by car were sent to a transportation service whose drivers would move those things to their new house in the city in a big truck. The sun had totally set, the sky was a pure black with little, shining stars, which made Tom thought of a long, dark silk with white, illuminating spots on it. His bags, mom’s bags, dad’s bags, all were put into the back of the car, they got on the car together. As the car accelerated, Tom turned his back and looked at his cute, loving home in the countryside. He would be missing it a lot. Tom took his last chance to enjoy the breeze, the smell of the grass and its sound when the wind was blowing as the car was on its way leaving the countryside.

He woke up to see his new home with the his mom’s waking-Tom-up-call. He disliked the noise of the cars driving fast on the street and the people walking on the round. Everything was so hurry and noisy and busy compared to the slowly and peaceful and easy pace of the mornings in the countryside that Tom frowned showing frustration and dislike. However, Tom was amazed by the tall building before him. For a moment, he was excited that he would have this whole big building to run around and explore but was quickly disappointed to understand that he only had a small space of a room in the building when his parents received a key and then went to the room they had rented. The room had everything: kitchen, three sleeping rooms, a living room and a balcony, still, it was too small to satisfy Tom’s desire for exploration. Not until mom and dad brought to Tom to the mall did he stopped showing boredom on the face. The mall had so many things, there were so many pencils, pens, and bags with all the colors. Tom bought all things he needed that were blue and green. He was happy to have his school bag filled with new stuff, even the schoolbag was new too. Tom were looking forward to see and explore his school. He wondered what color it had, how big it was and he would he have a lot of friends?

Just like in the countryside, every morning, mom went to Tom’s room to wake him up. Tom had a shower, brushed his teeth and filled his stomach with the his mom’s delicious bake egg cakes. Tom was eager to leave for school and make new friends but he couldn’t make out why his parents told him not to approach the filthy, black children. He thought all those children must had done something very bad. Upon arriving at school, the school amazed Tom with its huge playground filled with tall, full of leaves and flowers. It looked similar to his school in the countryside but bigger and seemed to be more crowded. Tom quickly ran into the school hall when the bell rang. As he was running, Tom hit a tall boy, taller than Tom a head, his skin was dark black and he had no hair at all. The tall boy quickly stood up and pulled Tom up. He said sorry to Tom and his name was Justin. One thing that made Tom felt strange is that after apologising, the tall boy asked to befriend with Tom. Tom remembered what his parents told him but he felt no threat or harm from the tall boy, Tom even liked his smile. Therefore, Tom came to the decision that he would make friend with Justin and concealed the fact to his parents. Break time after three classes, Tom headed to the canteen and saw Justin was standing there at the gate. Tom soon found out that he and Justin had a thing in common, that was, they found it hard to fit in a crowd and befriend with a lot of people at a time, so they decided to buy a bread together and headed to the back of the school yard where there were merely no people and enjoyed the snake and talked together. Though Tom had wished to have a lot of friend but he had been used to the state of having not too many friends and he enjoyed the small chat between him and Justin as he felt comfortable apart from a bunch of people all silent or talking at the same time. The days after, Justin and Tom keep laying together. Tom enjoyed playing with Justin a lot though he didn’t enjoyed keeping secret from his parents every time he went to play with Justin. Every weekends’ afternoon, Tom would make up a reason to go to an abandoned park where Tom was certain that nobody would found them to play chess with Justin. Tom took pride in being better at chess and given small candies from Justin for winning.  Tom didn’t understand why people hated black people so much while he had so many positive experiences with Justin. He believed that Justin was a good friend as he always shared food and helped Tom with homework, especially Maths, which Tom could not understand a thing of it. Before and after Math lessons, Tom would go to the back of the playground where also nobody usually go to and ask everything that Tom found unreasonable or hard to understand. Tom admired Justin for his natural talent in Maths as he was able to get an acceptable score in Maths because of Tom’s helping hand. To pay back, Tom would help Justin with English and history exercises which Justin found hard to memorise the concepts to apply in exercises. Tom and Justin both enjoyed their “lonely” friendship despite not having too much white friends and being teased by them. Everything was normal and fined until a couple of white school bullies eventually find them. One afternoon, just as other days, Tom and Justin went together to the back of the playground and suddenly, they bumped into a group of four white boys. They demanded both Tom and Justin to hand in their money and called Tom just as filthy as Justin because he played with a black guy. Both Tom and Justin refused to give away their money and received a punch in the face. Justin become enraged, he stood up fiercely, punched all of them in a face sequentially, fast and seemed very hurt. Tom didn’t expect to be that strong. Justin grabbed Tom hand and both of them run as fast as they can out of the school. They went to the disolete park again took out the board to play chess together. That day, both of them skipped school. They stayed in the park until night and when the first snow dropped, they know they were late for home. They said goodbye and went home alone. When Tom arrived home, he sensed a tension in the living room. Mom and dad said that they received a call from the school about the afternoon incident and Tom would go with them to meet the school’s principal tomorrow. They also warned Tom not to play with Justin again.

Tom was worried all night that he couldn’t sleep. Nervous and worried as Tom felt, on next morning, he still stood in the principal’s room along with Justin's mothers and the bullies’ parents. Tom hated that moment in the room because it was filled with people shouting and Tom hated the way the bullies’ parents protect them. Because the wound on the bullies’ face looked serious while Justin seemed to had no wound at all, the principal decided that Justin had to say sorry without taking in the fact that those bullies’ were the one who start the fight. Tom felt sorry for Justin but he couldn’t do anything. As Tom’s parents still didn’t know about the disolete park, Tom still secretly met Justin at the park after school. However, he didn’t expect that it would be the last afternoon Tom ever met Justin. Justin would have to move away because his parents found another job in another state and want to change school for him. Once again, Tom felt that he was so useless. Tom couldn’t protect Justin and couldn’t keep him. Tom could only say goodbye that afternoon. Without Justin, Tom became vulnerable to the bullies. He endured it for a year until his parents found out and they decided to move away. Tom always hope that he would be able to meet Justin again in the new state but it seemed like an impossible thing. Tom may never met Justin again. Tom had always wished that if they hadn’t went to the back of the playground that afternoon, Justin’s parents wouldn’t have had come to the decision to change school for Justin. Tom felt a little bit selfish because that was a right decision. Justin shouldn’t stay at that school, where both Tom and Justin couldn’t stand the racism.

May 08, 2020 13:43

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

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