Crossing the quadrangle, Hannah squealed when she saw Mia and Sophie. She dumped her backpack on the ground and jumped into a group hug. It was all so different compared with this time last year. Last year, Hannah had tried to convince her mother as often as possible that she was too sick to go to school. And it wasn’t a lie - not exactly.
The thought of school was always enough to curdle her gut. It was excruciating, trying to find somewhere to eat when she didn’t fit into any ‘group’. And so embarrassing when no one volunteered to be her partner in PE. Worst of all was the day of her English oral, when she heard giggles during her speech. She knew they were laughing at her.
Hannah had found a table at the edge of the playground - the perfect spot to eat her sandwiches each day. No one bothered her there. Once she finished eating she would go to one of her hidey-holes - the library, the trees at the back of the oval, the tennis courts - and wait for the bell to ring.
Until the day Mia and Sophie plopped down at her table.. Hannah didn’t mind too much - even if Mia’s egg sandwich was a little on the nose. She picked at the table’s peeling paint and started debating if she wanted to read a book or draw a sketch for the remainder of lunch time.
“What do you think, Hannah?”
Hannah snapped out of her daydream and looked at Mia, shocked.
“Um, ah, pardon me?”
“Do you think Sophie should enter in the school art contest? You know, the big sculpture in the corner of the art room?”
Hannah was amazed. They wanted her opinion? She stumbled out some awkward answer, and the conversation soon transitioned to favourite artists, favourite celebrities, favourite movies. Mia and Sophie included Hannah the whole time.
The next day, Hannah walked towards her table a little faster. She couldn’t help but smile when she saw Mia and Sophie already sitting there, waving her over. Hannah felt less awkward chatting that day, and more comfortable every day after that. She soon found herself sitting between Sophie and Mia in class. Their teacher nicknamed them ‘The Three Amigos’!
It didn’t take Hannah long to realise what she’d been missing out on this whole time. Now she had more brains to help solve math problems, more eyes to help choose the perfect outfit, and more smiles for her silly selfies. No wonder Harry Potter chose to have Ron and Hermione by his side in the fight against Voldemort. Three were so much stronger than one. Even if one friend was away, the other two still had each other to hang out with.
Now, ready for the new term, Hannah linked arms with Mia and Sophie and headed towards class. This year would hold its challenges - harder schoolwork, more assignments, bigger responsibilities. But Hannah was confident. She knew she could do it all with her friends at her side.