Robin de Voh
writer, developer, nerd

Nanoprep 2015 Day 11: On the Sidelines

By Robin de Voh on 2015-10-21

There's always one of those kids in high school class. The one nobody really notices. On one side you've got the 'cool kids' and the bullies, on the other side the 'losers' and the bullied. And there's always one who isn't cool enough or weird enough to really get any attention from anyone.

It's weird, but I never thought I'd be that kid. But in this class, it's the role I've been given and so far, I haven't found a way to break through that. I don't like the same things either side likes, haven't found a single thing to connect through.

So I'm sitting on the sidelines, watching everything just sort of happen. Nothing involves me, I don't influence anything, it all just happens. The worst thought is that if I weren't here, I honestly don't think anybody would notice. Not that I was planning on going anywhere, I knew quite well this whole situation would only last another couple of years and then I'd be off to college. But it'd be nice to be missed, you know?

So I've had a few years of this social limbo, and then suddenly it all changed.

A new kid. Nothing special to look at, didn't seem either cool or weird, just kinda boring. Very middle of the road.

And I realized something. This was the perfect moment to have my role taken by this guy. He was new so it should be easy enough. But if I were to do so, I'd have to get to know him a little. I also needed to decide whether I was going to angle towards cool or weird.

So during lunch, I was sitting alone and so was he. If this was one of those arthouse movies, everyone would be in color but the two of us. I got up and walked over.

"Hey, your name was... Paul?" I said, putting my tray down.
"Yeah. You?" he said, looking up.
"Jim." I sat down. "Getting used to the town?"
"Not yet, but so far it's okay," he paused. "You're the first person to talk to me..."
"Yeah, it's a weird school. But welcome to our beautiful high school," I grinned.

My intent had been to find out more about Paul, to somehow maneuver things so that I would no longer be the least noticeable person in class, but dammit, he was actually a nice guy.

He liked the same kind of music I did. Shit.

He watched movies I'd wanted to watch and some I had already enjoyed. Crap.

Since he didn't know anyone in town yet, he asked if I wanted to go see the exposition at the museum this weekend. The one I'd been wanting to go to but didn't know who with.

Actually, maybe this isn't so bad. It took a while, but eventually I realized that this guy was my kinda cool.

"Yeah, sure, let's do that," I said, smiling.
"Awesome. Thanks, man. It'd be nice to hang out with someone who knows his way around," he also said smiling.
"No problem. Oh, next class is starting."

We got up and walked to class together, talking about a movie neither of us had seen yet but both wanted to.