Just something I came up with at 1:11 a.m .
Alright everyone! Before you leave I wan t you to write a report over the weekend d of who that special person you look up to is! Who is your personal role model? The report is due on Monday. Have a ver y special weekend everyone!" Mr. Simmons shouted over his fourth grade class before they exited the building for the weekend to begin. The class groaned at the a assignment as they filed out of the doors of P.S. 118 and onto the public bus .
"Hey Arnold, who's the person your going to write about as your role model?"Gera ld asked his friend. Arnold shrugged hi s shoulders.
"Mickey Keiline." he said cooly.
"Uh Arnold, not to be a bummer but I think half of the boys in our class are do i ng Mickey Keililne." Gerald said. The tw o boys looked around to hear other bo ys talking about the famous former baseball legend.
"I guess I'll have to choose another rle model then." he sighed.
"C'mon man, it can't be that hard to find a new role model. Your sur rounded by people in the neighborhood, a nd there's always the history makers." . Gerald tried to cheer his best friend.
"We'll see." was all he said.
Meanwhile in the back of the bus...
"Who is your role model Helga?" Phoebe asked her best friend since preschool. Helga just shrugged her shoulders.
"No one any of these dopes would know ab out." she responded bluntly.
"Oh." Phobe responded.
"How about you? who's your role model?" Helga questioned her small partner in crime. A smile broke out across her face.
"There are so many people, I can't really choose just one Helga!" she exclaimed excitedly.
"Well you have two days to choose one of them." Helga responded. The bus came to a stop and the two girls got off, walking and chatting about the day's events until they reached their point of seperation.
"Good luck on your project, Helga." Phoebe stated.
"Same to you Phoebe." Helga responded. Phoebe watched her turn the corner before continuing on her trek home herself. When she arrived, her mother, Reba, was there making that night's dinner.
"Hello Phoebe, how was school?" she asked her everyday question.
"Oh, it was quite interesting. Mr. Simmons gave us an assignment on who our personal role model is." she responded eagerly to her mother. Just then, her father entered the room in one of his normal sweaters he wears everyday.
"Oh, and who would that be?" Kyo asked.
"I have so many to select from, I can't just choose one. It has to be personal!" she said, now a little saddened by the realization.
"I know you'll pick the right one eventually. You do have all weekend." Reba comforted her distressed daughter. The young girl nodded her head in silent agreement with her mother. "Good. Now go freshen up for dinner." she said with one last reassuring smile at Phoebe. The girl went upstairs and washed her hands. Afterwards, she laid down on her bed an d took out a blank sheet of notebook paper, jotting down the names of people who inspired her in some way. After a few minutes, she narrowed her list down to three.
A knock at her door interrupted her thought process and her father's voice struck her ears.
"Phoebe, your mother says dinner is ready." Kyo said.
"Coming dad!" she exclaimed. The meal came and went, and when she finished washing all of the dishes she ran upstairs to finish thinking about her report. Paper balls flew to the other side of the room and eraser shavings were everywhere as the hours passed on. Phoebe was just about to begin he fifteenth attempt of Marie Curie, her head fell on her desk and she drifted into a deep sleep.
The day was grey and raining, or that's what she learned. After the rude girl in pigtail knocked over hr building blocks, she began to rebuild them when th from before came up to her. She looked up at the boy who had just had his stomach used as a pillow cushion and his three friends in the back, all wearing wierd but unfriendly smiles.
"H-hello." she stuttered shyly in her very high voice, almost too soft for them to hear. They snickered at each other before going back to the tiny toddler. T he chubby one stepped forward.
"What's that supposed to be?" he asked.
"T-the Taj M-mahal." she said looking down shyly. The large boy laughed haughty .
"Yeah right! More like-like Taj Ma-fall! "he said and destroyed the reconstructed building. The three boys laughed and pointed fingers at her and her pile of bl oc ks. The tears began to brew in her ey es and her lip started to quiver as the boy s laughed at her. "Oh, is the little baby gonna cry?" the boy continued to taunt.
"Yeah, is the little baby girl gonna cry ?" a boy with a backwards green cap and big nose repeated. They laughed even harder at her and she was just about to cry when-
Phoebe's eyes awoke and her head shot up as the sunshine shone through her blinds on the Saturday morning. The paper underneath her face was still blank other than the title. She sighed as she look ed down upon the blank sheet of paper, frustrated about her thoughts being blocked as such. Her mind floated back to the dream she had awoken from. It was her first day of preschool.
Suddenly her hand moves her pencil across the page and the words flow out of her . Soon enough, the page was covered and she flipped it onto the back. A few minutes pass before she feels satisfied with what she wrote and was about to put it up for monday, until she noticed the title.
"That's wrong. It should be this."she said, changing the title before putting it in a safe place in her bookbag and leaving the room for breakfast.
Sunday came and went in a blur and Monday morning began on the city bus with Phoebe and Helga in the very back.
"Konichiwa Helga!" Phoebe said estatically.
"No Japanese today Phoeb's." Helga said.
"Alright. Good morning Helga! Who did you do your report on?". Helga sent Phoebe a knowing smirk.
"You'll see with the rest of them." she replied cooly. " How about you? Did you finally choose someone as your role model?". The small smile on Phoebe's face widened when Helga said that.
"Yes. Yes I did."
"Good morning class! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!" Mr. Simmons said to his fourth grade class. Everyone went silent and paid attention to him as he started the morning activities. "Who wants to share their report first?"
The room remained silent
"Anyone? Anyone, somebody?" he blabbed. Eugene's hand shot up and Mr. Simmon's face lit up. "Yes, Eugene!". The boy stood up to walk down the aisle before tripping over his shoe lace.
"I'm okay!" he said before getting up and making his way to the front of the classroom. Everyone watched with sleepy ey es as the accident prone child said his pa per.
"Tell us Eugene," Mr. Simmons began, " who's your special role model?"
"My role model is Arnold!" Everyone snickered and looked at Arnold, who's cheeks were red from all the attention as h e shrunk in his chair. "One my first day of preschool at Urban Tot's, I was new . I'm sure each of you remember some of t he day we all met. Anyway, no one would sit me after I fell off of the teeter totter, and I felt very lonely like the to hers who couldn't make any friends on the first day. Then, Arnold asked if it was okay that he sat with me, and he was the first person to actually be nice to me and treat me like I was worth something. He's always so optimistic and such a leader, even though he can be quite a jinx at times, so thank you Arnold. Thank you for being my first real friend." Eugene finished.
"You don't need to thank me Eugene. I was just as scared as you were, I bet we all were." Arnold responded and looked back at his classmates. They all had a remorseful look on their faces and looked downwards. Even Helga looked a bit saddened by the fact of how the boy was treated, even though she tried her best to cover it up.
"We-were sorry Eugene." Harold said.
"Yeah, we were young an' ain't stupid back then." Stinky said.
Helga scoffed quietly. "You still are." she said quietly, which earned her a few glares. "What?" she scolded and glared them away.
"That's alright you guys! All of you are my friends now, even you Helga!" the boy said estatically. Helga's brow raised and her eyes widened before she put back on her poker face.
"Whatever." she responded cooly.
"Eugene, that was very special." Mr. Simmons said after wiping his eyes of unshed tears. "Alright, who wants to go next?".
This went on with everyone, Harold about Mr. Green, Rhonda about Nancy Spumony, Curly on Willy Wonka (don't ask), Sid with Elvis, Stinky with his father, Gerald about Babe Ruth ( I don't know if his number was 33 or not), until it finally came to Helga.
"My report is not one for a role model, but a anti-role model." she began.
"Um Helga, this report was supposed to be about your role model. I don't understand what your doing." Mr. Simmons said.
"It's simple really. You pick a person and do the exact opposite things that they do. For example, if your mother sucks up to her boss and lets her treat her like nothing, you are suppose to stand up for yourself and put the boss in his place." she said. The class began to murmur in quiet agreement.
"If someone told you to go sky diving off of a cliff and forgot their parachute but jumped anyway, get your dumb butt off of that cliff the way you got on top of it bucko!" she exclaimed and the crowd cheered her on. Her expression became serious as she said the next one. "
"If someone is beating a kid in the hallway for no reason and your friend ignores it, you can stop the fight and find a new friend at the same time.". The crowd began cheering her name at her last sentence. "That is why my anti-role models are the people who are too quiet and shy to do anything to protect themselves or the people around of them.". She sat down and everyone applauded her.
"That was.. interesting Helga. Thank you for sharing that very special speech!" Mr. Simmons said through tears. Helga rolled her eyes at the crying man.
"Oh, brother" she muttered underneath her breath. Once the class settled down Phoebe's hand shot up in excitement.
"Yes Phoebe, would you like to go next?" Mr. Simmons asked the quiet girl.
"Yes Mr. Simmons.". The girl got up and stood at the front of the class as the others before her had done and cleared her throat before speaking. "At preschool my voice was higher and I was very much smaller than I am today. I was extremely nervous and insecure about how things were going to go. I thought my reputation and the big words at the time would get me at least one friend, but it in fact did the complete opposite. I was one of the toddlers Eugene described earlier, lonely and shy. My blocks were knocked down by three bullies and I thought no one would like me ever, that I was all on my own."she finished solemnly. The whole class looked ashamed at their actions, especially a certain trio of hooligans in the back of the class. She paused before continuing her speech. "All but one person ignored me. This brave person at the time was just like me, but somehow she hid her loneliness and sadness by something else. She protected me from the bullies that were hurting my feelings and self-esteem, and ever since then she has been my closest friend and me her's. That day she promised to protect me as long as I stuck with her, and six years later she hasn't broken that promise once. We have protected each other and she is the sister I may never get the chance to have. My role model is you, Helga G. Pataki." she finished. The class was in a stunned silence as they looked at Helga, who sat in her seat with wide eyes. Phoebe looked straight into her friend's wide eyes from across the room. " You are the reason I was able to stand up for myself, you are the reason that I do something exciting once in a blue moon, you are the reason I don't always walk with my head down, the reason I can have a stern voice. You are my strength, Helga, and I thank you for that." she completed her speech with misty eyes.
Everyone watched in amazement as Helga's surprised expression turned into one with a quivering smile and watery eyes, looking truly touched by her friend's words. She sniffled before responding. "That was the best thing anyone has every told me Phoeb's. Thank you for being there when you didn't have to be." she said in a soft, gentle voice. She abruptly got up and did something no one had ever expected Helga G. Pataki was capable of:
She hugged Phoebe.
After Mr. Simmons collected himself from sobbing at the young girl's speech, he was about to continue with class until the recess bell rang. "Alright, I will see you all after recess! Then we can continue the presentations.". Everyone left in a jumbled mass.
But two girls just laughed like the best friends they were ,both giving off the strength the other needed.