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When you move, you lose the things you loved the most. My friends were like puzzle pieces drenched in superglue being dropped. When they hit the floor, they stay there and there's no way to get them back. Your friends are like the edge pieces to the puzzle. They are very important and hold you together. Now that’s all gone; they slipped through my fingers and stuck to the floor, and then it all disappeared. I had a lot of friends, and they were amazing people. The problem is, I'm not sure if there'll be kids like that in my new school.  Kids that'll be caring, helpful, and funny. I hope there will be, because if there isn't, this will be the worst school year ever.

I start my morning off packing. That’s how it’s been for the past weak. Each day just boxing up memories of my life, one funny moment after another. I wasn’t about to let my life just be ripped from my hands like that. It just wasn’t fair.

It's the first day of school.  My alarm sounded off, waking me out of an amazing dream. My dream was about this girl from my old school. Her name was Emily. Emily was the most amazing girl I had ever met. She was sweet, kind, and definitely beautiful. She had eyes as green as the new spring grass and hair as black and bold as the night. She always stood out from the crowd helping other girls or boys from class with homework or problems. She was stunning, but she's gone now.  She’s just another puzzle piece falling to the floor. It's ok though, it's time to start fresh and make a new puzzle. Right?

After my alarm went off, my mom came running up the stairs racing from room to room throwing things together.  

She kept screaming asking, “Michael, where are my red flat shoes?”

Why was she asking me?  Like I keep track of her shoes.  

“I don't know,” I responded with an annoyed tone in my voice.  I hate getting up in the mornings now. Mom is always working or going to class, so I am forced to make my own breakfast, get myself up out of bed, and race out to catch the bus.  It's a big change, and usually you can't change the picture of a puzzle, but in this case it's completely different.

I flung the blankets off of me, and dragged myself out of bed.  I raced down the stairs, almost falling on my face while throwing my clothes on. My mom came out seconds behind me blowing kisses and opening her car door, then she was gone, driving off into the distance.  Her driving away reminded me of when we had to leave my old town. I watched as we drove farther and farther from the life that I was so happy to have.

I snapped out of my thoughts as the bus came pulling up to my driveway, I slowly went up the steps preparing myself for my new life.  I looked across the bus for an open seat, and everyone stopped and stared. I wanted to disappear. There were no familiar puzzle shapes in the new box.  And there were missing pieces everywhere. Why did things have to change? I ran my fingers through my hair and could feel sweat running down my back like a waterfall. I sat in the first seat with a boy with blue tipped hair. When I sat down, I got a weird vibe and had the feeling that this colorful puzzle piece didn't fit just right.  

When we get to school, I was last off the bus.  The school was bigger than I expected. As I walked in, I saw my mom standing in the office of the school talking to the principal.  Oh, did I not mention my mother’s new job was at MY School! As I passed the office, I tried to hide my face by tugging my hood over it, but of course she saw me and started screaming my name and waving with a huge smile on her face.  

Does she have to embarrass me?  It’s like shes a vacuum that follows me around and sucks up all the pieces that fall off the table.  Just like when she made us move.

I finally got to my first class and sat down scanning the room and then saw the teacher.  He reminded me of home. We had a neighbor that looked just like him. I dozed off and dreamed about home, where I wanted to be, and where I thought I belonged.  It was hard to think back to the times of me laying in the new spring grass with my feet crossed as I stared up at the sunlit sky. Those were the better times when I enjoyed life, but now I’m not so sure about the new one I’ve started.  I was interrupted when the teacher called my name, and I thought to myself please tell me there is another Michael in this class. Nope, I’m the only one. I stood up from my chair and got ready for a punishment, but instead I got a welcoming smile, and he asked me a few questions on geography. Then I sat down again.  Maybe this won’t be so bad after all.

The next day,  I woke up to a chaotic morning as usual.  Mom running around getting ready for school and me waking up to slamming doors, and her yelling to get up and go to school.  I got myself ready like every other morning.

When I got to school, I was walking down the hall to my locker and saw a group of boys standing in front of it.  I tried to squeeze through but gave up and said, “Excuse me.”

They all stopped and turned.  My face turned red as they looked at each other and started whispering; then looked at me again.  One boy, the strongest looking one, stepped up. A sudden chill ran down my back and fear washed over my brain. I was hoping the guy wasn't going to put me in a trash can or something.

Instead he said, “Hey shorty, wanna come and check out an old abandoned house with us.”

In my mind I was thinking NO WAY, but then I thought maybe this could be my time to make a name for myself and maybe become noticed.  Plus my mom was never home to worry about me getting in to any trouble. So I replied, “Yeah, I guess”

“Good!”  he said.

After school when it was finally dark, the group of boys and I met on the corner of the street and headed toward the house.  When we arrived, I started getting second thoughts. The house was old and looked as if it could crumble down any second.

“Maybe this isn’t such a good idea.”  I said as we approached the house.

They turned and looked at me giggling a little, and then one said, “You aren’t scared, are you?”

 Just then I had to choose between making myself a better name than ‘the new kid’ or going home and watching Netflix in my bed with warm blankets.  I chose to stay.

We approached the door of the house and one of the boys turned the rusty old knob.  I stood in the back chewing at my nails with fear that something bad would happen. We slowly started to step in and one of guys stopped and said,”You first, you’re the brave one.”

 Was I?  I didn’t wanna look dumb so I stepped in front of the boys and their cloud of calone.  I started forward and then jumped in the air to the sound of the door slamming behind me  I turned and ran as fast as I could to get to the door back open, but the rusty handle wouldn’t budge.  I stepped to the side and watched out the broken window as the group of boys ran away. I started to lose breathe as I turned and saw the interior of the dark house, but whipped back around when the door knob started to move, and the door cracked open letting in a beam of moonlight.  I looked as it was one of the boys from the group, the shy one who kind of stood aside and didn't say much, waved me out.

We ran out of the house not even bothering to close the door or look back.  I looked at the boy as we ran down the street thinking that maybe we could be friends.  He did save me from a night in the dark cold house. We stopped when we got back to the corner and I said, “Thanks for saving me!”  I couldn’t think of a cool name to use at the end like bro or dude. So I said nothing.

He looked at me and said, “No problem.  My name’s Trevor.”

I shook his hand and said, “I’m Michael, nice to meet you.”

 We kept talking while we took a lap around the block and had a long conversation about how the boys were probably too scared to go in anyway.  When I got home, I saw something I didn't ever think I’d see, my mom was sitting on the couch by the fireplace before 8:00 p.m. She usually got home at 10, but here she was. I  sat down, and I old her about my night.

The next morning my mom said, “Don’t worry about rushing around, I’m gonna drive you today.”

I was surprised because she hadn’t done that since my last school year.  I smiled and started getting ready at a slow and calm pace. When we got in the car, we started off silent, but  started laughing after my mom didn't slow down as we went over a speed hump. When I got to school, I saw that same group of boys, and they laughed amongst themselves.  I just ignored them, as I walked by acting like the laughing and pointing didn't bother me.

For the rest of the week, I was down thinking that I wouldn’t make any friends, and that I was just gonna be alone for the rest of the year.  

It’s been another week and nothing has happened.  At least nothing different. Finally its the weekend.  I wake up lying in bed staring at the newly painted ceiling.  I started to picture my old room and how it had my old memories in it.  I remember my mom and I would play with my toy cars when I was little, and when I would have friends over.  I sat up and just looked around, then I got out of bed and dragged myself down the stairs. I sighed as I walked into the kitchen.  My mother came over and sat next to me, “What's the matter?

“I just miss having my friends over and actually having fun.”

“Why don’t you invite the one you were telling me about last night?”

I remembered the boy, “Thanks mom,” she smiled.  

I raced down the street to the boy’s house since he only lived a couple houses down.  I walked up and knocked on the door.

Trevor opened the door with a confused look on his face.

“I wanted to know if you wanted to come hang out at the arcade with me.” I said.

“Yeah sure!”

I was relieved thinking that he might have said no. When we got to the arcade, Trevor and I raced to the first game we saw.  We challenged each other at all of the games. These were the moments that you see in slow motion in the movies. Except this one was real.  When we were done, we went out for pizza, and played Guess Who I am.  

When I got home, I smiled and thought about how I made a new memory in my new life.  All the pieces were coming together, and the picture became clear. A new life wasn’t so bad.  My puzzle was complete.



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