Fredrica, Age 14, Calgary, AB

The new girl smiled at me. Why would she do that? Didn't she know that I was hated? That nobody liked me?

But maybe she was different. I smiled back. She mouthed back something I couldn't understand.

At lunch eating time she pulled up a chair. "Hi," she said.

"Hi," I replied.

And we were friends. Just like that.

When people tried to pick on me, she told them to leave me alone.

Then people started picking on her. But she didn't leave me. She didn't say, "this is your fault."

Now people have stopped picking on us. With each other, nothing they say can bother us.

With her I have a friend.

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