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I remember this one time when I was in ninth grade and I joined beginning chorus. It was an all-women's group and most of us didn't know each other. We had a big introduction party, and one girl mentioned that she was brand-new in our city, having moved down from New York City. So not only was she beginning a new school and beginning high school for the first time, she was in an entirely unfamiliar region of the country.

So I was eating lunch with my group of friends, some of whom I knew from middle school, and I noticed the new girl eating her lunch out under a tree, reading a book. I noticed her doing the same thing the next day too. Being someone who has always liked solitude, I didn't want to assume that she would rather be chatting with a bunch of prattling high school kids than reading a book, but I looked at her sitting there by herself and I felt bad for her.

So, I asked my friends if they thought I should ask the new girl to join us. I said she was nice and in my chorus class and was new from New York. They said they thought it'd be cool if I brought her over, so I walked over to her and she looked up from her book.

"Hey Januarie, I'm Julie from chorus class, remember me?" I said, and she said she did. I told her I wondered if she wanted to come eat with us, and she seemed surprised and almost confused, but obviously pleased about the invitation. I brought her back to my group and introduced her to my friends. They welcomed her and asked her the standard "new girl" questions, and they hit it off.

Later in the year I got a boyfriend and we started eating our lunch together with a few other friends, close by but not "with" my original group. I noticed Januarie kept eating with my friends and had apparently begun to be included in their social events and whatnot, just one of the girls.

Near the end of the school year, Peter broke up with me when he found out I was moving, and I spent my last couple weeks eating with my old friends again. She was still there, and helped me cheer up (along with the others) by listening to my lovely story and being supportive. (I wasn't broken up over "losing him" or anything; I had never been in love with the guy and only went out with him because no one ever asked me out before, but it bugged me that he "dumped" me--in a note, too, same way he asked me out.)

I moved to another city and found my own new friends. But sometimes I think about ninth grade and I wonder how much that one random invitation changed that girl's life. I know of course that she would have found other friends, but I wonder how close she ended up becoming with my old group, and whether she got some lifelong friends out of the experience. When I think back on it, I'm just curious how much influence I had on one person's life, and I am proud to think I might have made such a difference.


I wish I could be more like you! [cheer_babe0182]

Kinda amazing isn't it... How little actions can have such profound effects! [Freder]

Don't ever let anyone take that from you - remember?

You are such a sweetheart :) That was really nice of you. [katqueen]

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