The school bell rang. Clusters of kids, talking in tight groups, groaned and sluggishly headed toward the classrooms. Some yelled at each other, and others walked closely together, deep in conversation.
Angie was new. It was another new school, one of many during her young life. She had no friends and wasn’t sure that she wanted any. Just when someone started to become special, Angie had to move again.
“What’s the use of making friends? It’ll just hurt again when I go to another school.”
She was a quiet, polite girl. Angie was pretty, and a few of the guys had checked her out. Some of the girls stared, taking in her not-so-cool clothes.
She knew all the looks by heart. She’d always been an outsider. Her straight blonde hair hung in her face and over her blue eyes. It was a good thing because she didn’t want anyone to see the tears filling them. Intelligence and looks didn’t make up for being the new one. Loneliness engulfed her as she walked into the classroom and reported to the teacher. The noisy room became very quiet, and all eyes were on her as she said her name. Angie wanted to shrink down into her shoes. She hated being inspected like meat.
Her teacher told her to grab an empty seat quickly because they needed to get started. Angie looked up at the stares of her classmates. No one appeared the slightest bit friendly. She stumbled over a foot, and many of her classmates laughed. Her backpack fell and spilled its contents onto the floor. No one offered to help as she fumbled for her belongings.
Angie chose a seat in the back of the room. No one could watch her without having to turn around. How she hated first days!
Angie was sensitive and intelligent. She was attractive and had a nice figure, but she was an outsider . . . always an outsider.
Somehow, she made it through that first day. She ate her lunch alone, stood alone, felt alone. She was surrounded by people yet felt as though she was invisible. Small groups of girls stood nearby chatting. Some looked at her and snickered.
Really, Angie wanted friends in the worst way. She longed for someone to like her. “Lord, please, let someone like me.”
Each day at school was agony. Alone in her room at night, she covered her head with her pillow as yet another of her parents’ frequent fights started.
“Why was I even born?” she cried. The pillow muffled her sobs. She cried herself to sleep many nights.
She attended youth group at church, but the kids there were the same as kids at school. They all had their special friends. She was left out again.
As the weeks passed, one of the youth group leaders started paying special attention to her. Angie was shy and fearful of being hurt again, but this lady was so nice. She always had time to talk and didn’t seem to think that Angie was stupid. Bit by bit, Angie began to tell this leader about her terrible loneliness. They prayed together, and Angie asked Jesus to come into her life. It was much more than she had ever experienced in any other church youth group. The youth group meetings became the most important events in her week.
Soon, it was time to move again, just like always, but this time Angie knew that she was taking someone very special with her. She had a friend, Jesus, who would always be with her. The youth leader cared and promised to stay in touch.
“If someone cares here,” Angie told herself, “maybe I’ll find another friend in the new place and never be so lonely again.”