Jessy looks for Peyton at the bus stop on her first day of junior high. Peyton and Jessy have been friends since kindergarten, but Peyton spent most of the summer making new friends at soccer camp. Jessy boards the bus hoping to see her friend on the first day of school. Truth is, Jessy hasn’t heard much from Peyton since she returned from camp.
At school, Jessy closes her locker and turns to head to her 1st-period class. She sees her friend, Peyton, walking toward her with a large group of girls. Jessy waves and says, “Hey Peyton,” loudly. Jessy knows that Peyton can hear her, but she walks by as if she doesn’t even know her. A lump forms in Jessy’s throat as a rock sinks in her stomach. She fights back tears as she doesn’t want to be seen crying on her first day of school in the middle of the hallway.
At lunch, Jessy again sees Peyton with the same group of girls sitting at a large table in the middle of the cafeteria. She walks up to Peyton this time so that she is standing on her right side. She has to hear me now, she thinks. “Hey Peyton, can I sit with you?” Jessy asks. Peyton turns toward her, looks her up and down, then returns to talking to her new friends as if Jessy isn’t even standing there. This time the tears cannot be held back. Jessy slams her lunch tray down in front of Peyton and runs off crying. She can’t understand what happened to her friend and why she is acting like this.
When the last bell of the day rings, dismissing the kids from school, Jessy can’t wait to get home. She rushes to her locker, grabs her backpack, and moves quickly to the school bus pickup. When Jessy boards the bus, to her surprise, she sees Peyton sitting by herself toward the back of the bus. Jessy really wants to ask her old friend what is going on. She begins to make her way toward Peyton who then slides to the end of her seat so that Jessy can’t sit next to her. Peyton looks out the window as if Jessy doesn’t exist. Giving up, Jessy sits in her own seat staring out her own window in disbelief. I can’t believe Peyton cares more about being cool than she does about our friendship, she thinks.
After getting off the bus, Jessy rushes home. “Jessy!” she hears from behind her. Through misty eyes, she sees Peyton rushing toward her. Surprised, she says, “Peyton? You can see me? I thought I was a ghost or something.”
“I’m so sorry, Jessy. I don’t know what came over me. I’ve been so wrapped up in trying to be cool with these new friends I made at soccer camp this summer that I thought they wouldn’t like me if they knew we were friends. But I’m so sorry, Jessy, I don’t care what anyone else thinks. What’s really important is the friendship we have. And besides, if they get to know you, I know they’ll love you. If they don’t, their loss! I really do apologize. I haven’t been a very good friend lately. If you acted like I have, I would be just as hurt. Still friends forever?” “Forever!” Jessy replies.
Jessy and Peyton embrace and everything seems like it is back to normal, the way it should be. The next day at school, Peyton introduces Jessy to all of her new friends. Jessy sits with them at lunch every day going forward.
Weekly Bible Verse: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. -John 15:13 NIV
Note to nibble: Be kind to one another and don’t get so wrapped up in yourself that you forget about others.