I marched down the last step of the bus and froze. Kids were running everywhere, screaming and laughing. Kids of all sizes and shapes were rushing by me, and here I was, little Pamela, tiny and so shy. I looked up to see the smile on my teacher’s face and felt my little feet move again. She introduced herself as Ms. Daniels and told us to follow her. We all lined up and carefully followed behind—the wide eyes on our tiny faces soaking up the scenery.
We walked into the large school building, and my little heart rate increased. There were lockers lining the halls and drinking fountains scattered about. Doors were mathematically spaced along the walls. I was overwhelmed by the size, the smell, and the noise. It was the scariest place I’d ever been. After Ms. Daniels opened the door to our classroom and took us inside, my nerves subsided, and I could relax. The room was spacious, with round tables scattered around. Each table had six small pint-sized chairs. She told us to all grab a seat, and we rushed about trying to find the best one.
Ms. Daniels took role after we all got settled in, and I found out the boy’s name from the bus was James Halpert, but he went by Jimmy. He was the cutest boy I’d ever seen. He had messy brown hair and hazel green eyes. He made me smile with a look, a sideways glance, or even a furrowing brow. He was generally a skinny boy, a little more height than the others. He was wearing jeans with a black sweater that accentuated his eyes. His hands, however, were tugging at the collar around his neck all day. It was obvious that his mother chose the outfit.
The first day of school turned out to be a good day. We played most of the time, and I met new children. I befriended a girl named Kelly Kapoor, who, as it turned out, liked to talk immensely, and since I was generally a shy kid, we made an excellent team. I used to take my box of crayons to class every day, Kelly by my side, and we talked about everything. She talked about everything while I sat beside her, coloring away.
I remember one specific morning when Jimmy asked if he could borrow one of my crayons. The box I had was a 64-pack, with the built-in sharpener, of course, and I was cautious with it. I coveted that box of crayons, which was generally tough for me to share, but in that instance, it was a piece of cake. Jimmy was using one of the school boxes with only eight colors. He explained to me that his box didn’t have the right color blue that he needed. When I told him he could borrow any color he needed, I saw that smile again, that same one from the bus. I could feel my cheeks flush when he looked at me. He turned to his paper and wrapped his arm around it, shielding it from peering eyes; I always wondered what he was drawing that could cause such seriousness.
One of the other boys ran up to the table, his name was Ryan, and he tapped Jimmy on the shoulder. He looked up at him, and Ryan turned, pointing to the other side of the room. When I looked over to see the commotion, I saw Kelly covered in marker. She looked like a clown, but she thought she looked pretty. I remember her trying to convince Ms. Daniels that it was make-up, but to no avail. Kelly still had to remove it. Ryan had thought that was the funniest thing he'd ever seen, but Jimmy just scrunched his face, expressing himself without words. I found it incredibly easy to read him and his emotions. That talent almost came instantly like instincts. He just turned back down to his paper while Ryan walked away defeated.
After Ryan was out of earshot, I whispered to him, “What are you drawing?”
He looked at me and smiled, “I don’t want to show anyone yet. It’s not done.”
I just nodded and understood his diligence; I saw myself as an artist and wanted my work to be perfect before showing it off too.
I don't remember seeing the finished masterpiece. It probably got forgotten in the short attention span of our little young minds.