Episode 731: This Used To Be My PlaygroundHe was pretty much her only friend left if you didnít count her mom, dad, and baby brother, so Tansy had decided to take his advice and try super hard to ignore anyone who sucked. But when she walked into her assigned classroom on the first day of the new school year, and she found everyone talking and laughing and catching up in the cloakroom where they kept their coats and backpacks, she didnít want to ignore them, she wanted to be part of it.
She headed straight for the corner where her former best friend, and the other girls were personalizing their cubbies with stickers and pictures and beads and all kinds of fun stuff. Tansy wished sheíd thought to bring some from home, but since she hadnít, as she hung her purple backpack on a hook beneath an empty cubby right beside the girls, she leaned in and without thinking that everything had changed between them, she asked if her old best friend would share some of her glittery butterfly stickers.
"No," the other girl said in such a stern voice she probably could have passed for a teacher if only she were taller. "You have to bring your own stickers. And you canít use that cubby, itís taken."
"But, but," Tansy struggled to find words through all the hurt in her chest. "But itís empty, and-"
"Itís taken. You have to go someplace else."
The other girls nodded in agreement. Tansy didnít see much point in arguing, they would only just keep shooting her down like they had the whole spring and summer. She thought for a second about looking for a cubby amidst the boys, since she liked being around people, but it wasnít like any of them had been all that welcoming to her lately, so she settled for hanging up her backpack at the far end. She was five cubbies away from anyone else.
She made a big project of setting out her stack of notebooks, pencil box and other supplies sheíd take in to her desk, frequently rearranging the stack, even though it didnít need it, she just wasnít ready to follow everyone else into class yet. The bell rang and she continued to kneel there trying to get it together, unnecessarily fussing away, totally alone. Totally. She felt so alone.
But then she heard footsteps. She tensed, a lot, figuring maybe her new teacher had been really quick about getting to roll call and had sent someone in to retrieve her, it would be someone who would make fun of her or shun her, she didnít know which was worse, both were pretty bad.
Only it wasnít. It was a new boy. He said his name was Henry. He said he was late because heíd been nervous about coming. He asked if her backpack was new. He said it was nice. He was really, really nice. It was so nice and Tansy wanted it to last forever though she was sure it would end after heíd spent a little time with their classmates, after he discovered that he was supposed to hate her the way everyone else did.