[Short Story] My Best Friend Waved His Branches at Me

Aqua Dragon

I'm made of water. Remember that now.
This is a personal narrative I wrote for English class. A lot of people have liked it a lot though, even though I only made it for a grade. So I am putting it here in case you guys would like to look at it.

It's a story about my life with Aspergers Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism

My Best Friend Waved His Branches at Me

The grass bent slightly as a gust of wind flew by. Countless blades were stomped under the frivolous play of happy elementary-schoolers, with laughter filling the sunny air. In the center lay a large sandbox, filled with climbable plastic behemoths on top of a miniature desert. A large field of grass surrounded the box on all sides, and continued until it was interrupted by a chain-link fence. A young boy picked up one of the green little fellas and brought it to his eye, staring very intensely at the dark green veins that made up its skeleton. It was torn asunder the next second, and its pieces fell to the ground to be consumed by the earth. Another blade was plucked, and another was destroyed. The boy glanced up to see the other kids playing, and then looked back down to continue with the monotonous process. This was the daily routine of this young boy. This was the daily routine of me.

The bell rung and the elementary kids were ushered outside, to give both them and their teachers a chance to relax. I looked around to see my friend standing and watching the other first graders run off. I waved to him and he waved back, and I walked up to where he was. I could always trust him to keep me company on the playground during the boring school recess, unlike Joey. The teacher tried to make me one of Joey’s friends, but as soon as we went outside, he forgot and ran off to play with his own friends. But it was okay since I still had my best friend that day. He was very silent, but that was fine. I wasn’t a very good speaker, and at least I knew he wouldn’t abandon me. Our friendship was strongly rooted together. We always sat together and spent all recess looking at the other kids and coming up with ideas. I stared up at him a bit and uttered, “That all looks like a lot of fun. Maybe we should join.” But I knew my friend. He wasn’t very good at sports. He wasn’t very good at much actually, which is probably why I hung around him. If he was good at things, he would also forget about me. I glanced down, took a seat, and continued from the previous day’s grass ripping. “You’re right, maybe I shouldn’t. This is fine anyways.” I muttered as I picked more grass. I don’t know what I would have done without him. Without my friend, recess would have been a nightmare every day, or at least a worse one.

The bell rung and the batch of eleven and twelve year olds were ushered outside, to give both them and their teachers a chance to relax. I looked around to see my new friend standing and watching the other kids go off. I waved to him, but he didn't wave back. It wasn't surprising, considering he had no arms. But it was fine, because I knew he had a heart of silver. Or one that looked like it was made out of silver anyways. I sat beneath his arching neck and his dead head watched me sit. His head was always dead during the day. It was only at night when he got lots of ideas. Recess was still boring, but now I had two friends to share it with. I glanced at my best friend, and saw him standing over a large brown patch in the field of grass. There was no playground at this school, but he still watched the other kids mess around and talk. I watched them sometimes, thinking about the betrayals, the loneliness, the happiness, the playing. In class, I could never tell anyone who my friends were; I had no real friends. Before these thoughts consumed me, I would switch my attention to the ground in front of me and begin the exorcism of the grass.

Walking into the algebra room, I had no idea what to expect. It was the first day of class, and if first period was of any indication things weren't going to get any better then they were last year. At the very least, there wouldn't be recess anymore. That made me look forward to the lunch, except not really since I would probably just sit somewhere by myself most of the time. I was brought back to reality when I saw that most of the tables were already occupied. “Well this is annoying,” I thought as I stood around waiting for the next minute or so. “Hey Jay!” said a voice behind me. I turned, and sitting at a circular table were three Asians kids with glasses, two of them boys and one a girl. “Do you want to sit with us?” asked the boy with the short hair. I just stared for a bit, thinking of the betrayals and the loneliness… and the happiness and the playing and I sat down to join them at our little corner of the room. “Do you remember us, Jay?” asked the other boy, whose hair was a bit spikier. Every face from my previous schools looked the same, each one bearing the same hidden malice, and so none were recognizable. Each one was a stranger. I shook my head, unable to let words out of my mouth. I was fearful, for this had never happened before. People remembering me? I was more often forgotten! “Well that's fine.” said the girl, whose long black hair was wrung into a ponytail. For the next month, I hardly said a word to these strangers. Whenever I wanted something, or answered their question, I would give them a piece of paper with my ugly, scribbled script. This became the norm. But slowly, I began to feel more comfortable around them. People usually don't know the name of strangers, or spend lunches with strangers, or be happy with strangers. And I began to whisper. After more time, I started to talk, and joy erupted from within my soul. I started to understand what it felt like to be loved; to be able to write names, not objects, on questions like “what makes you happy?”. And I began to act out, with strange non-verbal language and a sock puppet made from a real sock. I was not used to having friends, and I was an utter buffoon at being one. Eventually, I began to calm down and became more accustomed to the non-shyness. The past daily schedule was dead, and the new one that second period wrought was the only reason I ever felt like coming to school. The grass plucking had ended. Real friends had been made.

Posters, doors, and flags all whooshed past my vision, and the papers in my hand were barely holding on. As I began to slow down, I found myself outside of the assistant principal’s office, gasping for breath. After regaining my composure, I walked in and was greeted by the AP, Mrs. Garza. I set down the papers, told her I couldn’t find the right spots for them, and took a seat to wait for the next envelope. Come, get paper, deliver paper, rinse and repeat. Being a staff aide was nice. Mrs. Garza picked up the next letter, but this time she eyed it a bit strangely. “Oh look, this one is for you, Jay!” I looked upwards and cocked my head to the side with an emotionless stare. That certainly wasn’t normal; most of my jobs were for classrooms and other people. She handed it to me and continued, “About getting out of special education.”
“I’m not in special education though. At least, I don’t think I am.” I said as I inspected the letter. Sure enough, she was right. “Or maybe I am and I just didn’t know. Not sure.” I walked out the door and began galloping through the blue hallways to the destination, the other AP office. I was sure to get some answers once I got there. Or at least it would have been nice if I did, considering that the counter lady there had absolutely no idea. I returned back, and Mrs. Garza told me to ask the counselor, since she was the one who held the information. Luckily, the counselor's office was inside the main AP office. But despite the short length of the trek, I could not help but think about all the things the letter could be about. After arriving and explaining the situation, the counselor pulled up my profile. Listed under special education was “autism.”

When my Mom got home from work that day, I asked her what this “autism” thing was all about. She didn't seem surprised that I had found out, probably thinking I was smart enough to figure it out on my own. She had known about this since I was in fourth grade, and I was secretly put into the special education program to try and improve the poor social skills that erupted as a result of the autism, or more specifically Aspergers Syndrome: a high functioning form of autism. Although I did not know it at the time, the revelation that came on that day, February 17, 2008, would forever impact my life and way of thinking. When I got on the bus the following day, I was fine. Because I was in geometry class, which wasn't offered at my school, I had to go over to a high school every morning before the first period classes began. Normally, the time spent there was used playing cards, going to class, finishing work, going to the library, waiting at the bus canopy, and then going to school to begin my staff aide duties. This time was different however – thinking about aspergers syndrome quickly began to pull my ideas and hopes down. On that day, after class, I instead hid at the bus canopy away from my three Asian friends and the rest of the geometry class. And I cried, knowing the thirteen years of betrayal, loneliness, and pain was not caused from something I could control but from some incurable mental disorder that I did not want. That had left me by myself with a blasted tree and a useless streetlight every day, all because I wasn't normal enough to help other people. Because I wasn't normal enough to provide them the mutual care that comes from friendship. Because I wasn't normal enough to play or talk to them. Because I wasn't normal enough. And the metaphorical grass picking began again. But this time, there was hope, for my enemy was no longer invisible. I could not punch or hit the entity that had made me so sad, but I could fight him in other ways. I stood up, and got on the bus that had arrived. I looked out the window and as we passed by the playground of an intermediate school, I waved to my best friend. The memories from looking at him were painful, but I'd be darned if I let him and some grass define my life.

The 4th period of the day began right after lunch ended. I was already in my seat and getting all my stuff ready for the world geography class. The day seemed a lot longer then it was before, and I was still getting used to the way work was handed out in this new school. When Lesy arrived and sat in front of me, I became a bit happier. She was a cool person, very knowledgeable and outgoing. Her dyed-blonde hair extended down only to her neck. It was also ironic that, like most of the few friends I had, she was Asian. But I didn't care; it was always great getting to see my friend. This was the new daily schedule, and I was happy. Except today, that happiness was coupled with nervousness. I wondered if I should tell her, to see if maybe she could help me with my problem. There was good reason to think that she could, because Lesy and I did a lot of things together. We had many classes, shared the same lunch, were part of the same Speech and Debate club, and went to just about every tournament together. She knew me, and was around enough that she would be able to really help. So I asked if I could tell her a secret, and I told her about aspergers, and I pleaded for assistance in overcoming its plethora of symptoms. She looked at me and said, “sure.” That “sure” resonated within me, and I felt at peace, unlike many other “sures” that I had been told. We went over to the computers and began working through the ninety minutes of class to finish some maps. But that still wasn't enough time, as was common with much of the work that we got. We both stayed after school to finish the maps before the late buses came to pick up all the high-schoolers that had remained to do their work. As we walked down the carpeted hallway towards Lesy's locker, I looked towards the ground very sullenly. I glanced at her, and knew that I trusted her, and would do anything to make my best friend happier. But it still shook up my nerves when I asked, “Do you really mean it? Will you really help?” I had received positive answers many times. Thinking about any of those times only reminded me of their apathy; their meaningless “yes” and “sures”. “Of course. Why wouldn't I?” she said rather confidently. And I stared at the ground, muttering only,“thank you.” I was ashamed. Ashamed that I was asking such a huge favor out of my best friend, for a person as worthless as me. I did not deserve it, and yet she would sacrifice her time to help me. Lesy was my beacon of hope, my way to overcoming Aspergers.

The paper was staring as intently at me as I was staring at it. Only one of us could be a victor, and I sure as heck wasn't about to lose. “Alright, now moving on,” commanded the English teacher. The paper had won this time, but I wasn't just about to let it get cocky. I did as the teacher willed, and thought of objects that had special meaning to me. Within moments, it was covered in black blood and I let out a mental battle cry of victory. The bell rung, I headed off to the bus, and we were driven to another high school not much farther away to head off to another bus that would actually take us home. As I got off one vehicle and headed to the other, I looked to the right and there stood a lonely tree, spending every day watching over the kids that rushed to their transportation. I stepped off the sidewalk over to it and to look up into his many fingers. The roar of bus engines seemed distant as betrayal and loneliness once more flooded my mind, but so did happiness and playing. And not that of others, but of mine. All the great times I spent with my various acquaintances and new friends, and my best friend Lesy. She had long since given up on me, saying that I was not listening and being too stubborn. I really was trying, willing to listen, and doing my best. I did not understand what she meant when she told me that. But she was happier not helping me, and so I did not seek to learn what she had meant. She held true to her promise during the time she did try to help, and changed me in so many ways. My aesthetics were completely different, and she taught me much about nonverbal body movements. She shaped my pattern of language and gave me ideas to help fight off my invisible opponent. We went with each other to many places over the summer, and all of these thoughts made me happy. If I had not met Lesy, and if she had not had the audacity to have her words bear actual meaning, I would not have been able to change so much. She was still my best friend, and I respected her decision. I tapped the tree three times on its trunk, and silently trampled over the grass towards the future.

I wouldn't mind some criticisms as well, since I plan to turn this into a Scholastic Writing Contests some time next year. Teacher said it would have a good chance of winning, probably because it's about a topic that isn't presented often.
 

esb

Because none of us are as cruel as all of us.
Wow. The story is just great. I love the metaphors in it, makes it stand out from average writing. It's sort of sad, but not the typical sadness, because we can see that you don't give up and keep on trying.
 

Durandal

New Member
This was a fantastic piece of writing, what was intriguing to me was how many things I could see in myself while reading it, which made it come alive emotionally for me..

A good read, very solid.
 

Aqua Dragon

I'm made of water. Remember that now.
Thank you both very much. The reactions I've gotten from classmates has been about the same.

After reading it over myself a few more times, I've spotted a couple more errors that I think I could fix. I will do that at a later time though.
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • Ghan Ghan:
    Test!
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    I must be in a test server.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Nice, Twitter tweets embedding now works
  • Wizard Wizard:
    Yup.
  • Ghan Ghan:
    Excellent.
  • Ghan Ghan:
    @tom_mai78101 Hello there.
  • Ghan Ghan:
    Tagging works in the chat too.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    @Ghan Missed it.
  • Wizard Wizard:
    Still fixing things here and there. Added widgets to the portal, will make it match the ones here on the forum index tomorrow.
  • Ghan Ghan:
    The venerable World Editor Tutorials site has been converted to HTTPS at last.
  • jonas jonas:
    cool
  • jonas jonas:
    and I can even edit my messages, nice
  • seph ir oth seph ir oth:
    GENERAL CHIT CHAT, YOU ARE A BOLD ONE
  • Ghan Ghan:
    Hello there
  • The Helper The Helper:
    this new chatbox is great and the forum software update is great too
    +1
  • The Helper The Helper:
    upgrade has fixed forum registration spam problem
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Something tells me we might be able to customize the chatbox a bit, considering that there's a gap under every message.
  • Wizard Wizard:
    Going to deploy a fix soon, just had to take some time for myself this weekend.
  • Varine Varine:
    Unbelievable. Time for yourself? How dare you!
  • Wizard Wizard:
    xD
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Hm, it is now harder to type anything on an Android phone. Pressing Backspace or Enter keys will dismiss the Android keyboard for some reasons.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Just noticed there's a delay of at least 2 minutes before each post. Guess I can't post Headline News quickly as I used to.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    As far as I can tell, there are definitely things I need to get accustomed to first.
  • Varine Varine:
    FCC is cracking down recently

    Members online

    No members online now.

    Affiliates

    Hive Workshop
    Top